5 Spring Security Interview Questions - Beginner to Advanced Level Questions

Preparing for Spring Security Interviews? Practice with these Spring Security interview questions and see if you got the right answer.

Spring Security Interview Questions Coding roles in tech can be seriously lucrative – which means they can also be competitive. If you’re hoping to break into the world of tech as a software engineer, developer or similar, you’ll probably need to jump through a lot of hoops during the hiring process. If you’re not well prepared, it’s easy to trip up during your interviews, when hiring managers will expect you to answer complex technical questions.

Spring Security is no exception. If you’re hoping to work on this highly customizable authentication framework, you will need to demonstrate that you know how it works. And don’t forget – like all companies, Spring will also want to hear about what you can offer the company as a person.

Fortunately, getting ready for your interview has never been easier! We’ve put together a guide to common interview questions at Spring Security, so you can head into your interview with confidence. Read on, and you’ll land your dream job in no time!

On this page, we’ll cover the following points:

  • What to expect when applying to work at Spring Security
  • Some common Spring Security interview questions, and how to answer them
  • Some tips and tricks to make your application more competitive

Finding Work at Spring Security

Working at Spring Security will offer you the amazing opportunity to work on one of the gold standards of Java-based coding. You’ll have the chance to shape the direction of Spring Security, which is used all over the world – which means you’ll be able to make a meaningful difference to the lives of all its users. If you’re looking to take your career in tech to the next level, this is a great way to do it.

Though some careers in tech do require a degree-level qualification, your educational background tends to be secondary to your experience in this field. A career with Spring Security means you’ll need to start by getting to know the product. That means more than just studying the documentation – you’ll need to use it in your own projects, to demonstrate that you can make it work for you.

To prove that you meet that standard, Spring Security may ask you to complete a test or example task at your interview. You’ll need to use your knowledge of Spring Security to solve a technical problem, usually showing your working in the process. And after that, you’ll have to answer additional technical question in your interview.

All in all, the Spring Security interview can be a long and challenging process. But if you’re prepared, you will stand a much better chance of success.

Common Interview Questions at Spring Security

As with any tech company, Spring Security will use your interview to test more than just your behavioral fitness for the role. They’ll want to know that you understand the product they make, and that you have the technical skills necessary to contribute meaningfully to the company. As a result, you can expect a lot of technical questions when you interview at Spring Security.

The actual questions you’re likely to be asked will vary. However, we’ve put together a mixture of sample questions covering both the behavioral and technical aspects of the role, so you can get a sense for how you will need to prepare. Study up, and you’ll be ready for your interview in no time!

What are some predefined filters in Spring Security? What are their functions, and in what order do they appear?

This type of question has a very clear right answer, and a lot of equally obvious wrong ones. It’s intended to test your knowledge of Spring Security’s architecture – if you don’t know it well enough, you won’t know the answer to this question. It’s a straightforward hurdle to clear, and you can get past it by making sure you study up on Spring Security well in advance of your interview.

When you’re asked a question like this, you’re not necessarily being asked to solve a technical or architectural problem. Interviewers want to see that you can demonstrate good recall of the product and its functionality – that’s as important as being able to use it on the fly. The best way to answer this question is to respond with the facts, as promptly and as clearly as you can.

Example answer: “First, SecurityContextPersistenceFilter restores Authentication from the JSESSIONID cookie. Second, UsernamePasswordAuthenticationFilter actually carries out the authentication process. Then ExceptionTranslationFilter is used to catch potential security exceptions from the next filter, which is FilterSecurityInterceptor. That filter can throw exceptions for authentication and authorization.”

Describe the differences between authentication and authorization.

This is another opportunity to flex your knowledge of how Spring Security works. This question is less about the architecture and more about the principles at work behind it. When you get a question like this, your interviewer is really asking you how much you understand about the thinking at work behind Spring Security.

The best way to prepare for a question like this is to research – and not just the gritty details of Spring Security’s architecture. Think about what the product exists to do, and think about the people who initially made it. Why would they differentiate between two processes, and what purpose does each process serve within the broader picture of Spring Security?

In short, this is the moment to show off your understanding of why Spring Security works the way it does. You can go beyond the raw facts, here, and let your interviewer know that you have a solid grasp of the purpose behind the product!

Example answer: “Authentication verifies that the user is who they say they are – it usually involves inputting a user name and password. Authorization is about access control – it checks whether a user has certain permissions when they try to look at controlled or restricted content. Authentication has to come first, because it’s impossible to determine whether a user has particular permissions if you don’t know who the user is.”

How would you configure Spring Security with in-memory configuration?

This question isn’t descriptive – it doesn’t have a clearly-defined right or wrong answer. In fact, the answer here is wholly up to you and your experience with Spring Security. Interviewers really do want to hear exactly what they’re asking: how would you perform a complex, open-ended coding task using Spring Security, within the parameters set by the question?

This kind of technical question is common among tech employers. Amazon and Google rely heavily on technical interviews to sift through the enormous quantity of applications they receive, by giving candidates the chance to prove that they can think technically on their feet. Spring Security is no exception – they want to see that you’re familiar enough with their product, and with the way it works, to solve problems spontaneously under the pressure of an interview scenario.

We’ve provided example answers to other questions, but not this one. That’s because when interviewers ask questions like this, they genuinely want to learn how you think. If you recite an answer by rote, they will notice, and they won’t trust that you have the coding skills necessary to work on Spring Security.

How much experience do you have in coding?

This is your opportunity to talk about your past projects! Interviewers want to hear about your past experience, but they also want to hear about your specific accomplishments in those roles. What have you achieved in your career so far, and how can those experiences benefit Spring Security now?

If you’ve never worked full-time for a tech company before, don’t be put off – remember, this question is about your experience, not necessarily your work history. Think about coding projects you’ve undertaken on your own, or work you’ve completed on a freelance basis. If you really don’t have any prior experience, talk about the process of learning coding languages instead.

If you’ve made it to the interview stage, your interviewers must be confident that you know a thing or two about coding and software development. Focus on the positives, and tell a clear story about your history in coding.

Example answer: “I’ve worked for the past two years at a company developing antivirus software for macOS systems, where I took the lead on building the user interface. Before that, I taught myself Java and C++ while studying for my degree in Computer Science. I was inspired by my studies to build something that could make the internet a safer place, and I’d love to apply that passion here at Spring Security.”

Why do you want to work for Spring Security?

Don’t be fooled: this is not the moment to enthuse about the great benefits or salary ranges on offer at Spring Security! In fact, focusing on what you want the company to give you misses the point of this question. When they ask why you want to work for their company, interviewers are inviting you to explain what you believe you can offer the company, as well as how you hope the role will help you to develop even further.

If you’ve done your research on Spring Security, you will know the qualities and principles they value in both their products and their employees. Draw on that knowledge, and use it to formulate an informed (but still honest!) answer to this question.

Maybe you and Spring Security have fundamental values in common, or maybe you love the thought of building software that people will use all over the world. Either way, this is the time to explain what you and your prospective employer have in common.

Example answer: “I’ve always cared deeply about performance when working on my own projects, and I know that’s an area that Spring really prioritizes. I’d be delighted to work for a company that shares my priorities – I think it would give me a platform to do my best work. I’m also really excited by Spring’s global popularity as a Java-based framework, and it would be a real honor to work on something with such a wide audience.”

Making Your Spring Security Application Stronger

If you’re worried that your application isn’t strong enough, or that you don’t have the right experience to answer the interview questions, don’t give up! You can take steps to strengthen your application now, so that your next interview will go more smoothly. Here are just a few things you can do to improve your chances of landing the job you want.

Build Work Experience

As we’ve already discussed, work experience doesn’t have to involve a full-time role with a software or tech company. It’s totally possible to build work experience in tech without ever actually getting hired as an employee! You can work on your own projects, instead – it’s an effective way to show employers what you’re capable of.

The great thing about building your own coding projects is that you aren’t beholden to anyone else’s needs or limitations. You’re free to dream up a project and execute it to your own standards, to suit your own needs. That flexibility can be a real asset, so make the most of it!

Remember, taking the initiative to make something of your own shows motivation and dedication. Whatever you make, any interviewer will be impressed that you put in the time and the effort without any guaranteed reward.

Get Certified

If your resume needs a boost, consider obtaining a certification in a relevant skill! Whether it’s a coding language, a set of software development principles, or just the time management skills you need to thrive in any workplace, you’ll find that a certification gives your resume a little extra credibility.

You don’t have to break the bank on a certification, either. Plenty are available for free, and most of them can be completed according to a timescale that suits you. Shop around online until you find a course you like – there’s an abundance out there, so remember to be discerning!

Much like building your own coding project, a certification shows initiative and motivation on your part. Interviewers are always impressed when a candidate goes out of their way to learn something new – it bodes well for their professional development in future.

Freshen Up Your Resume

Your resume is the first impression you offer any employer. If you’re having a hard time getting invitations to interview in the first place, consider giving your resume a quick refresh. Whether it’s a change of format or a complete rewrite, you might be surprised by how much it helps.

As always, VisualCV has you covered with a wide range of resume templates. We also have resume samples to suit every kind of role, to give you a head start when listing your relevant skills. It’s worth taking the time to give your resume – and your career – a fresh start!

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