Software Engineer Interview Questions: Guide for Technical Interviews in South America

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In the realm of software engineering, the quest for top talent is increasingly taking companies to South America, a region teeming with skilled developers. Conducting software engineer interview questions effectively is paramount to these companies' success. This blog post takes a deep dive into the art of crafting and conducting software engineer interview questions specifically tailored to the South American context.

South America, with its rich diversity and burgeoning software development talent pool, presents a unique set of considerations—from cultural nuances and language differences to varying work experiences—that shape the software engineering interview process. Grappling with these complexities can make the task of evaluating a candidate's technical skills and their fit for your engineering team challenging.

However, understanding the specific challenges tied to conducting software engineering interviews in South America can empower companies to construct an inclusive and fair evaluation process. This approach allows candidates to confidently showcase their abilities, from their proficiency in different programming languages to their software testing skills.

This blog post will explore key strategies and insights for crafting effective software engineer interview questions. It will also delve into the unique considerations associated with interviewing software developers in South America. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive guide that caters to the nuances of the region, and aids in the formation of robust coding interview processes that lead to the successful incorporation of top talent into your engineering team.

Embrace Diversity in Interviewers:

Ensuring diversity in your interview panel is a critical aspect of conducting technical interviews for software developers in South America. This practice brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to the table, aiding hiring managers at tech companies in avoiding biased practices and making more informed hiring decisions for their software projects.

By incorporating interviewers from different backgrounds, including women, underrepresented minorities, and engineers at varying skill levels, you can create a more inclusive and unbiased environment for coding interviews. This not only supports career advice for aspiring developers but also strengthens the software product by ensuring the right talent is onboarded.

Understanding and respecting the cultural diversity of South America is also key. Each country in the region has its unique customs, norms, and languages. By including interviewers familiar with the local culture, you not only ensure that candidates feel more comfortable and understood during the interview process but also foster better communication. This cultural sensitivity can lead to more effective evaluation of candidates based on their problem-solving skills and potential rather than cultural differences.

Partnering with recruiting agencies that prioritize diversity or focusing on companies that can provide a local perspective to the hiring process can be beneficial. As a hiring manager, consider choosing a recruiting partner like BetterWay Devs, known for their experience with talent in the region.

Focus on Realistic Questions:

When carrying out technical interview questions for software developers in South America, it's critical to ask realistic questions that gauge the candidate's skills and knowledge in a pragmatic context. By avoiding trick questions or brain teasers, you can evaluate how candidates would perform in real-life scenarios, which aligns well with developers in South America.

These realistic questions are a key part of interview preparation and can reveal insights into their problem-solving abilities, technical proficiency, and capacity to apply their skills effectively in a software project. This approach provides a more accurate assessment of a candidate's capabilities and their potential to contribute to your tech company.

Moreover, asking realistic questions helps foster a more inclusive environment during coding interviews. Candidates from South America value practicality and hands-on experience. By focusing on questions that mirror this mindset, you're better positioned to engage them effectively and assess their suitability for the role.

As a hiring manager, when preparing realistic questions, consider incorporating scenarios, projects, or challenges relevant to the specific tech stack or domain you are hiring for. This approach allows candidates to demonstrate their expertise and provides a clearer understanding of how they would perform in a real-world setting, such as an agile software development project or a data science task. It's also beneficial to provide candidates with opportunities to showcase their problem-solving skills and their ability to articulate their thought processes.

These challenges can be tackled with the help of technical assessment tools. These tools enable organizations to evaluate candidates' coding abilities, problem-solving skills, and knowledge of programming languages and frameworks, essential for web development tasks. If you're interested in learning more about these tools for career advice, check out this blog post on the best tools for technical assessment of software developers.

Utilize Take-Home Assignments

Take-home assignments have proven to be a valuable tool for evaluating software developer interview questions in South America. These assignments are particularly useful in assessing candidates' understanding of functional requirements and their ability to navigate the software development life cycle.

When assigning tasks to be completed in the candidate's own time, you provide software engineers with a less time-constrained environment to showcase their abilities. This approach brings several advantages:

  1. Effective evaluation: Take-home assignments allow software engineers to demonstrate their skills in a real-world context. Candidates have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the programming language and their problem-solving abilities without the pressure of a time-limited assessment. This can provide a more accurate assessment of their capabilities and potential in the software development life cycle.
  2. Communication assessment: Assignments can help evaluate a software engineer's communication skills, which are crucial for effective collaboration in software development teams. Through their written instructions, code documentation, or any accompanying explanations, candidates can showcase their ability to articulate their thoughts and ideas clearly.
  3. Realistic expectations: When assigning take-home assignments, it is crucial to set clear instructions and realistic expectations. Providing candidates with all the necessary information and resources ensures they understand the task and can complete it successfully. Clearly communicate the evaluation criteria and any specific requirements, such as coding style or documentation standards, or software metrics that contribute to software quality.
  4. Consider candidates' availability: Take-home assignments offer flexibility for candidates who may have limited availability due to other commitments or ongoing job responsibilities. By allowing software engineers to complete the assignment within a reasonable timeframe, you accommodate their schedules and increase the likelihood of their participation.

When assigning take-home assignments to software engineers, remember to strike a balance between complexity and feasibility. Ensure that the task is challenging enough to assess the software engineer's skills but not excessively time-consuming. Consider providing a timeline or deadline for submission to manage the evaluation process effectively, especially for senior software engineer candidates.

By utilizing take-home assignments in technical interviews for software developers in South America, you can gain valuable insights into candidates' communication skills, coding knowledge, and problem-solving abilities within a less time-constrained environment. This approach contributes to a comprehensive evaluation process and helps identify the most qualified candidates for your organization.

Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity

When conducting technical interviews in South America, it is crucial to be culturally aware and sensitive in order to create a positive and inclusive interview experience. South America is a diverse region with various cultures, languages, and norms. To effectively communicate and connect with software developers in this area, it is important to familiarize yourself with the specific cultural norms, customs, and languages of the country or region you are targeting.

Be mindful of cultural differences

It is important to respect and adapt your communication style to accommodate cultural differences. South American software developers may have different preferences when it comes to communication styles. Some may prefer direct and assertive communication, while others may value indirect and polite communication. Additionally, you may encounter variations in English communication skills as Spanish or Portuguese is the first language in these countries. It is crucial to be respectful of these differences and adjust your communication style accordingly. It is also important not to expect a native English accent or fluency.

Use simple and clear language

Avoid using jargon, slang, or idioms that may confuse or offend the interviewer. Instead, use language that is simple, clear, and easy to understand. If you are unsure about a term or concept, don't hesitate to ask for clarification or explanation. Demonstrating a willingness to understand and learn shows respect for the candidate's background and helps create a more inclusive interview environment.

Listen actively and show interest

Effective communication is a two-way process that involves active listening as well as speaking. Show genuine interest in what the interviewer is saying by nodding, smiling, making eye contact, and asking relevant questions. Avoid interrupting or dominating the conversation, and give the candidate ample opportunity to express themselves. By actively listening and understanding the interviewer's perspective and needs, you can foster a productive and engaging interview experience.

Use visual aids when possible

Visual aids can be powerful tools for enhancing communication with software developers in South America. Utilize examples, diagrams, charts, or graphs to illustrate your points and provide a clearer understanding of the discussion. Visual aids help avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations that may arise solely from verbal communication. By incorporating visual elements, you can enhance comprehension and facilitate a more effective exchange of ideas. This approach is particularly effective in explaining benefits and contracting conditions.

By demonstrating cultural sensitivity, adapting your communication style, and showing respect for local practices, you can create an interview environment that fosters inclusivity and allows software developers in South America to confidently showcase their skills and potential.

Preparing for Each Phase of the Interview Process (Remote Interviews)

When conducting remote tech interviews for nearshore developers, preparation for each interview phase is key.

  1. Video Call Screens: This initial stage is vital for building rapport with candidates and assessing their communication skills, professionalism, and overall fit. Video screening helps evaluate candidates' problem-solving skills and fit for the software configuration management role with standardized questions. Language barriers should be considered, and notes should be taken for evaluation. Using recruitment agencies like BetterWay Devs can streamline the process as they pre-qualify candidates, evaluating their technical and soft skills, and English communication abilities.
  2. Technical Interviews via Video Calls: The technical interview is crucial for assessing candidates' technical and problem-solving skills. Using a reliable video conferencing platform that supports screen sharing and collaborative coding environments is important. Prepare software engineering interview questions that align with the specific tech stack or domain, and allow candidates to showcase their skills. Listen actively to their responses and ask follow-up questions for deeper understanding. Creating an inclusive virtual environment is important, considering potential cultural differences. The interview should include technical assessments, collaborative exercises, and behavioral questions to assess soft skills. Use screen sharing and collaborative tools for real-time coding exercises or mock interviews.

Following these steps can ensure a smoother interview process and help find the most qualified candidates for your team.

Evaluating Soft Skills

Alongside assessing technical prowess, evaluating a candidate's soft skills is crucial in the interview process. Soft skills refer to personal attributes and attitudes that enable an individual to work effectively within a team and contribute positively to an organization. These skills often encompass problem-solving skills, communication abilities, and adaptability. Here are some methods to effectively gauge these skills during a mock interview or actual assessment:

  • Utilizing Behavioral Interview Questions: Behavioral interview questions, a type of interview question that focuses on real-life experiences, can be extremely telling. These questions ask candidates to describe how they've handled specific situations or challenges in the past and what they've learned from them. They expose how candidates apply their problem-solving skills in practice and how they handle stress, conflict, or change. For instance, asking about a time when they had difficulty getting others to work together on a critical problem can reveal their problem-solving strategies and interpersonal skills.

  • Implementing Personality Assessments: Personality assessments can measure various aspects of a candidate's personality traits, including strengths, weaknesses, preferences, values, and motivations. These assessments can help understand how candidates might fit into an organizational culture and team dynamics. Tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and StrengthsFinder can provide valuable insights.

  • Conducting Reference Checks: Reference checks offer feedback on a candidate's soft skills by contacting their current or former colleagues or managers. References can provide insights into the candidate's problem-solving skills, how they interact with others, their approach to feedback or criticism, and their demonstration of initiative or leadership. Specific questions about the candidate's soft skills or general inquiries about their work experience can be posed during these checks.

By incorporating these methods into your interview process, you can assess a candidate's soft skills effectively, gaining a more comprehensive understanding of their capabilities beyond their technical skills.


In conclusion, conducting effective technical interviews for software developers in South America is crucial for companies seeking to hire top talent in this region. By embracing diversity among interviewers and focusing on realistic questions, companies can establish a fair and inclusive evaluation process that accurately assesses candidates' skills and potential. Additionally, incorporating take-home assignments, cultural awareness, and technical assessments further enhances the evaluation process. It is important to prepare for each phase of the interview process and consider the unique challenges and considerations specific to South America. By following these strategies and approaches, companies can ensure that their technical interviews resonate with candidates and result in successful hiring decisions.

By approaching the interview process with an open mind and a willingness to learn from diverse perspectives and experiences, companies can create a positive and inclusive environment that attracts and retains top software development talent in the region.

If you want to have a local partner for recruiting to optimize your experience hiring software developers in this region, get more information here, or schedule a call with an expert.

Paula Tellez

BetterWay Devs Inbound Marketing Manager

Suggested Reading

Building a Nearshore Tech Team: IT Recruiting Insights for South America

Expanding Your Talent Pool: The Advantages of Overseas Remote Tech Recruiting

Best Tools for Technical Assessment of Software Developers

Finding the Right Fit: Top Providers for Background Checks on Developers in South America

How Software Developer Recruiters Can Help Build Your Candidate Funnel

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