10 System Design Interview Questions You Should Know

Developer resources


Sameer SM

System Design Interviews 101
System Design Interviews 101

System Design Interviews play a crucial role in assessing senior software engineers, and help in making informed hiring decisions.

What is a System Design Interview?

A System Design Interview, often part of the senior engineer and developer interview process, involves assignments and assessments related to system or software design.

It assesses candidates' system architecture knowledge and design skills, requiring them to plan, outline, and prototype solution-oriented systems for complex problems.

How to Conduct a System Design Interview?

  • Choose Familiar Systems: Opt for systems you are well-versed in to assess candidates effectively.
  • Start Simple: Begin with basic design questions to ease candidates into the interview and gauge their fundamental skills.
  • Understand Thought Process: Explore candidates' decision-making process, system architecture knowledge, and communication skills.
  • Raise Complexity Gradually: As the interview progresses, delve into more technical and detailed questions to assess candidates' in-depth knowledge.

Codejudge’s live coding interview platform is a valuable tool for assessing Full-stack Developers, Back-end Rest Developers, Front-end Developers, Mobile App developers, Dev Ops Engineers, and more of all levels. It aids in making well-informed hiring decisions.

Common System Design Concepts for Interviews

1. Load Balancing: Distributes workload among multiple computing systems, reducing stress on servers and enhancing performance.

2. Networks & Protocols: Encompass machine communication through code and define procedures for information exchange in networks.

3. Caching: Speeds up data access by storing frequently used data in temporary storage called cache.

4. Proxies: Intermediate programs between clients and servers, handling various tasks to relieve the main server.

5. Databases: Involves organizing data according to a database model, deciding what data to store and how data elements function.

6. CAP Theorem: Considers Consistency, Availability, and Partition Tolerance in designing distributed systems with replication.

Additional concepts may include throughput, latency, hashing, publisher-subscriber messaging, and endpoint protection.

List of Top 10 Common System Design Interview Questions

  1. Design a URL shortening service.
  2. Explain the process of creating a global file-sharing or storage system.
  3. Design a traffic control system.
  4. Design a ride-sharing system.
  5. Discuss the importance of network protocols and proxies in system design.
  6. Explain how databases impact system scalability and speed.
  7. Name techniques for streaming large amounts of data to/from a server.
  8. Design an Instagram clone or similar application.
  9. Describe the process of creating a chat or messaging system.
  10. Identify key components for designing an e-commerce website.

Codejudge’s live coding interview platform offers SQL, system design, and programming questions in 20+ languages, providing a comprehensive assessment of candidates' problem-solving skills, code quality, and functional character.

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