8 Spring Interview Questions (With Sample Answers and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 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.

It's common for developers to use the Spring framework to build Java applications. When you apply for a developer position, employers may want to evaluate your knowledge of this framework during a job interview. It's helpful to review some typical interview questions so you can feel confident when speaking with interviewers about this framework. In this article, we provide a list of common Spring interview questions and offer tips to help you prepare for a job interview.

8 Spring interview questions with sample answers

When you apply for a developer position, employers may ask you Spring interview questions to assess your knowledge of this popular framework. Many developers use the Spring framework to develop, maintain and scale Java applications. Using the core features of this open-source framework, you can create and reuse code for various applications.

Here are some common Spring interview questions with example answers to help you prepare for a job interview:

1. What are the different modules of the Spring framework?

Interviewers may ask this question to gauge your understanding of the Spring framework. In your answer, discuss the organisation of the framework and briefly describe a few of its modules. Since the Spring framework has many components, you can ask the interviewer if they prefer a more detailed explanation of a particular module.

Example: "Spring is a lightweight Java framework for enterprise-level applications with a layered architecture. It's organised into around 20 modules with core layers. These core layers include the core container, data access and integration, aspect-oriented programming, test and web. Each of these layers contains various other modules. The organisation of this framework makes it simple to use and keeps the focus on application development. Would you like me to provide more details about any of the core layers or modules?"

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2. What are the benefits of using Spring?

Many companies prefer to use the Spring framework for Java development because it's lightweight, robust and flexible. Interviewers may ask this question to determine whether you prefer to use this framework for Java applications. You can use your answer to show employers your enthusiasm for using the framework.

Example: "There are many benefits to using the Spring framework, which is why I prefer to use it for Java applications. Spring offers templates with existing code, so developers can save time. It supports various other frameworks, which can streamline development. In addition, it's easy to test applications using the Spring framework because it doesn't require a server. I enjoy using Spring to build and maintain applications, and I'd be excited to continue using this framework on your team."

3. Can you explain the meaning of IoC and DI?

Employers may ask this question to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of these central Spring framework components. In your answer, define the two acronyms and explain their importance. Briefly outline the relationship between these two terms to describe how they work together within the framework.

Example: "IoC stands for inversion of control, which is a core container of the Spring framework. The IoC container creates, configures and manages objects. DI, which stands for dependency injection, is part of the IoC container. The DI concept means you're only required to describe how to create the objects, rather than manually create them. For this reason, the code doesn't connect related components or services. Instead, the IoC uses the code to identify and connect required components. Together, these two terms can help speed up the development process."

4. What are beans within the Spring framework?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of core Spring objects and their metadata. In your answer, describe the term and explain how the framework can create and configure beans using the core container.

Example: "Beans are the objects of a Spring application. When users supply metadata, the IoC uses this information to create beans. This metadata reaches an application through XML or annotation-based configuration. Once the IoC receives the metadata, the container configures, manages and connects beans to form the base of the application. The process of connecting various beans is known as 'wiring.'"

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5. What is autowiring, and what are its limitations?

This process automatically connects various beans to form an application. Use your answer to explain the autowiring process, why it's beneficial and how you can enable this feature. Then explain instances when it may not be possible to use autowiring.

Example: "Autowiring is a process that connects, or 'autowires,' related application beans. It's helpful because it allows developers to connect beans automatically without requiring code. Spring doesn't enable autowiring by default. Instead, you can enable this feature by using the 'byname,' 'bytype,' 'constructor' or 'autodetect' modes. Each mode injects beans based on different properties. There are restrictions to using this process for some data types, including primitive data, strings and classes.

6. Can you define AOP?

Interviewers may ask this question to gauge your knowledge of this core layer within the Spring framework. Briefly describe the term and outline its importance in Spring. Explain how to implement AOP to demonstrate your knowledge of the process.

Example: "AOP stands for aspect-oriented programming, which is a core layer of the Spring framework. AOP provides modularity by separating the program logic into distinct aspects, known as concerns. By using AOP, you can add, remove or modify concerns to improve security and modularity. There are two ways you can implement Spring AOP, which are using XML files or a specific annotation style."

7. What are the differences between constructor injection and setter injection?

This question refers to the two ways you can implement dependency injection to create objects. Show your knowledge of the two processes by describing each one. Then list the common differences between these two injection types and when you may use each one.

Example: "You can achieve dependency injection using either constructor injection or setter injection. With constructor injection, the IoC container uses arguments, which represent class dependencies, to create objects. In contrast, setter injection requires the container to use a no-argument method to configure the bean.

There are several key differences between the two injection types. Setter injection allows partial injection, but constructor injection doesn't. In addition, setter injection can override the injection, but constructor injection cannot. Typically, it's helpful to use constructor injection if a bean has many properties, while setter injection works better if the bean has relatively few properties."

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8. What are the different types of advice in Spring?

Interviewers may ask this question to evaluate your knowledge of cross-cutting concerns in Spring. To answer this question, explain the meaning of advice and describe the different types. Provide details about when to use each type to demonstrate your knowledge of the concepts.

Example: "In Spring, advice refers to an action that implements joinpoints between different aspects. There are five main types of advice: 'after,' 'after returning,' 'after throwing,' 'around' and 'before.' These terms denote when to execute the advice in relation to the joinpoint method. For example, 'before' executes the advice before the joinpoint method. You can configure each type by using its specific annotation mark, such as '@Before.'"

Tips for Spring interview questions

Use these tips to help you prepare to answer interview questions about the Spring framework:

Research the company and role

Before the interview, conduct research to help you understand more about the company and the role to which you're applying. Review the job description to determine the employer's requirements related to the Spring framework. Search online to learn about applications the company has created using Spring. Use this research to show interviewers you understand how you may use Spring in a new position with their organisation.

Related: What to Do Before an Interview to Help You Prepare (9 Tips)

Practice programming in Spring

It's helpful to practise programming in Spring before the interview to refresh your knowledge of the framework. Use the open-source framework to write code or use different modules to perform tasks. In the interview, reflect on your practice to share the strategies and methods you use when working with Spring. This practice can boost your confidence in your abilities to use the framework, which can help you create a positive impression on hiring managers.

Rehearse answers to common questions

Search online to determine common Spring questions employers may ask you during a job interview and plan your responses. Rehearse your answers out loud to prepare for the interview. Record yourself speaking and listen to your answers to identify areas where you can improve. It's also helpful to do a mock interview with a friend or family member who can offer feedback on your answers.

Prepare questions

At the end of an interview, a hiring manager may ask if you have questions for them about the job or the company. Prepare a list of questions to show your enthusiasm for the role. Aim to ask two or three questions to gain insight into the position. Some common questions you may ask for a Java developer job include:

  • What are the long-term goals of this position?

  • How does the development team work together to create applications?

  • What does the development process look like on this team?

  • What other frameworks do developers use when building applications?

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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