9 Spring Boot Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Spring Boot is an open-source framework that involves using microservices to make software and applications that are easy to change and update. If you're looking for a job as a developer, a hiring manager may ask you questions about Spring Boot to determine your level of familiarity with this resource. Reviewing relevant interview questions and creating responses in advance may help you feel confident and prepared for your interview. In this article, we list nine Spring Boot interview questions hiring managers often ask and share example answers to help you prepare your own responses.

9 Spring Boot interview questions with example answers

Here are nine common Spring Boot interview questions a hiring manager may ask with example answers you can use to help you craft your own responses:

1. What are the primary features of Spring Boot?

A hiring manager might ask you this question to see how well you understand what Spring Boot is and what it offers. When answering this question, consider summarising some of the framework's most important elements. If you're not sure of all the features Spring Boot offers, you can detail the ones you know about or have experience using.

Example: ‘The key feature of Spring Boot is its ability to create standalone Spring applications with less work. It typically does this by embedding web server files without tedious configuration and using opinionated starter dependencies, which allows the framework to decide on default configurations. It also provides automatic metrics and health checks'.

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2. What are some advantages of using Spring Boot?

You might encounter this question in an interview if a hiring manager wants to understand your familiarity with Spring Boot's benefits. This question can provide insight into the approach a company uses, as expecting you to list Spring Boot's advantages may mean the development team prefers this framework over others. Consider validating the company's preference in your answer by detailing some reasons a developer may choose Spring Boot in their work.

Example: ‘The primary advantage of using Spring Boot is that it allows developers to create applications using Spring functionality while maintaining rapid production. Most importantly, it enables developers to avoid lengthy configuration processes that can extend the time they require to complete a project. This can be a significant advantage for companies that create applications with embedded servers for their clients.'.

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3. Why might you choose Spring Boot over Spring?

A hiring manager may ask you this question to determine if you know how Spring Boot expands on the Spring framework. Explaining why a developer might use Spring Boot shows that you understand how this framework can help you streamline a process. In your answer, you can explain how Spring Boot allows you to simplify the Spring approach.

Example: ‘As a module of Spring, Spring Boot uses the Spring framework to create microservers. Considering this, you can complete a project using either Spring Boot or Spring. You might choose to use Spring Boot if you want to create a web application that only runs locally. While applications with external servers require the complex configuration and flexibility of Spring, Spring Boot makes developing standalone applications more intuitive and less time-consuming'.

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4. What are the four key components of Spring Boot?

Asking this question allows a hiring manager to continue evaluating your knowledge of this framework. The ability to list these components shows that you know the important parts of Spring Boot, which may be beneficial if a company's looking for a candidate with expertise in using this framework. You can answer this question by listing and defining each component.

Example: ‘The four primary components of Spring Boot are CLI, auto-configuration, starter dependency and Actuator. Spring Boot CLI allows you to avoid complex boilerplate code, auto-configuration prevents the need to add WAR files, while starter dependency groups descriptors together. These features work together to increase productivity. Meanwhile, Actuator performs automatic metrics and health checks on running applications and shares this operational information with the developer'.

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5. How have you used Spring Boot in your past roles?

Hiring managers often ask this question to measure your experience using Spring Boot. Provide a specific example of a project you completed using this framework. If you don't have experience with this framework, you can provide a hypothetical example of how you might use it.

Example: ‘In my current role, I've worked with my team to create several mobile applications for our clients. We used Spring for a lot of them, as they worked best with the use of external servers. Recently, my team and I completed two projects for a long-time client who wanted standalone planning and scheduling apps that professionals can use anytime, regardless of whether they have Internet access. The client is pleased with both apps, each of which has over 100,000 downloads'.

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6. What skills do you think are most important for a Spring Boot developer?

Using Spring Boot requires specific skills, and a hiring manager may ask you this question to determine whether you have these proficiencies. They may expect both soft and technical skills that apply to using this approach. In your answer, consider highlighting the abilities you have that make you a suitable candidate for a software developer job that involves using Spring Boot.

Example: ‘I think it's important for Spring Boot developers to have extensive knowledge of microservices and both Maven and Gradle. Having skills in these areas can make you a well-rounded developer who can successfully approach Spring Boot projects using different resources. I also think the ability to think critically and work well with your team is important, as collaboration is key to developing any application. I take pride in my ability to work independently using my own knowledge and skills while coordinating with my team at regular intervals to make the best possible product for the client'.

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7. Where can you define properties in the Spring Boot application?

A hiring manager may ask you this question to measure the extent of your knowledge in this area. Explaining where you can define properties in Spring Boot can show them you have more than a basic understanding of how to use the framework. In your answer, you can explain where you define properties and give an example of how to do it.

Example: ‘You can define properties by accessing the application.properties file, which you can create manually or by using Initializr. One advantage of Spring Boot is that it has preset default values for properties, but it also allows you to set your own if you want to change them. For example, the default server port in Spring Boot is 8080, but you can access the application.properties file to define another server port. Find the line “server.port = 8080” and replace the number with the number of the server port you want to use'.

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8. How can you use Spring Initializr to create a Spring Boot project?

Interviewers often ask candidates about the specific features of Spring Boot to see if they're familiar with them and have used them in previous roles. Spring Intializr is important because it allows you to start a new Spring project. When answering this question, you can list all the necessary steps for using this feature.

Example: ‘Spring Initalizr is a Spring Boot tool that allows you to start a project quickly and easily. You can begin by choosing Maven or Gradle and a programming language of your choice. Then, click “Dependencies”, select “Spring Web” and click “Generate”. Once you've downloaded the ZIP file, you have a WAR file you can use to develop your application'.

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9. How can you connect an external database in Spring Boot?

A manager hiring for a developer role often asks candidates about connecting databases to Spring Boot to determine if they're comfortable with this function. The ability to access multiple databases allows you to collect, distribute and store data from several sources, which can prevent you from writing additional code. In your answer, list the types of databases you might connect to in Spring Boot and provide an example with steps.

Example: ‘You can connect many types of external databases in Spring Boot, but the process varies slightly depending on which one you want to add and which plug-in you use. For example, the last project I completed required me to connect to Redis. I use Maven in Spring Boot, so I added the appropriate dependency in my pom.xml file. Then, I used JedisConnectionFactory to define the RedisTemplate. Finally, I autowired the RedisTemplate class so I could access the data in the Redis database'.

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