DEV Community

Cover image for Crush Your React and Redux Interview: 20+ Top Questions and Strategies
Jeffrey Nwankwo
Jeffrey Nwankwo

Posted on

Crush Your React and Redux Interview: 20+ Top Questions and Strategies

React is one of the most popular front-end frameworks in the world, and as a result, React interviews are highly competitive. Whether you're an experienced React developer or just starting out, preparing for an interview can be daunting. In this post, I'll provide you with the top questions and strategies to help you crush your React interview. By the end of this post, you'll have the confidence and knowledge you need to ace any React interview and land your dream job. So, let's dive in and get you ready to impress!

🚧 This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it's a list you should definitely be ready for 🚧

React Questions

1. What is React?

Typically, the first question in a React interview is about React's definition. However, it's crucial that your response goes beyond just defining React. To demonstrate your comprehension of React, it's essential to explain it in a straightforward manner.

React is a popular JavaScript library used for building user interfaces (UIs) in web applications. It was developed by Facebook and is now maintained by a community of developers. React uses a component-based approach, where each UI element is broken down into smaller, reusable components that can be easily managed and manipulated.

One of the main advantages of React is that it allows developers to write code in a declarative way, meaning they can describe what the UI should look like at any given point in time, and React takes care of updating the actual UI to reflect those changes. This makes it much easier to build complex, interactive UIs that respond quickly to user input.

React also has a number of other features that make it a powerful tool for web development, including virtual DOM (Document Object Model) manipulation, server-side rendering, and the ability to easily integrate with other libraries and frameworks. It is often used in conjunction with other front-end technologies such as Redux for state management, and React Native for building mobile applications.

Overall, React is a flexible and powerful tool for building complex and dynamic user interfaces, and it is widely used in the web development community.

2. What do you like and dislike about React?

So, when you're in a React interview and the interviewer asks, "What do you like and dislike about React?" they want to know your thoughts and experience with the React library. They're basically trying to see if you can evaluate technology and how familiar you are with it.

The interviewer also wants to know how interested and excited you are about React. Your answer can show whether you're genuinely passionate about it or if you're just using it because it's trendy right now.


  1. I like the unidirectional flow parent to child and the fact that React is pretty much JavaScript. Since JavaScript is at the heart of web development, React makes building web apps a lot more enjoyable and straightforward.
  2. An additional reason why I appreciate React is its ease of adoption. Through my experience working on existing codebases, I have found React code to be relatively comprehensible, making it a promising technology for new projects or team members who are not yet familiar with the codebase.
  3. I struggled initially to grasp React Server Components (RSC) and JSX, and I found that to be a bit frustrating. However, despite this, I still consider React to be my preferred library for building user interfaces.

3. What do you understand by conditional rendering and list rendering?


Conditional rendering and list rendering are two really useful concepts in React that let you show different things on your web page depending on what's happening or what data you have.

Conditional rendering means you can decide whether to show one thing or another based on certain conditions. For example, if someone is logged in to your site, you might show them a "log out" button, but if they're not logged in, you might show them a "log in" button instead.

List rendering is all about showing a bunch of things on your page that are all based on the same kind of data. You can use it to show a list of blog posts, for example, or a list of products for sale.

Both of these techniques are really important for making your web page more dynamic and interactive. By using them, you can make your site respond in real-time to user actions and data changes.

4. What is the significance of having the key prop when rendering a list of items in React?


When you're using React to show a list of items on your web page, it's really important to include a "key" prop for each item in the list.

Basically, the "key" prop is a way for React to keep track of which item is which in your list. It helps React to know which items have been added, removed, or updated when you change the data in your list.

Without the "key" prop, React might get confused and not update your list correctly. For example, if you add a new item to your list, React might think that all the other items have changed too, and it might try to re-render the whole list, which could make your page slow down or even crash!

So, including a "key" prop for each item in your list is really important if you want your web page to be fast, responsive, and reliable. It's a small thing, but it can make a big difference!

5. What is the potential bug you can introduce when using index of an array as a key?


In React, when you're rendering a list of items, you need to give each item a unique "key" prop. This helps React to keep track of which item is which and update the list correctly when you change the data.

Well, it turns out that using the index as the "key" prop can actually introduce a potential bug. Here's why:

Let's say you have a list of items, and you remove the first item from the list. Now, all the other items shift down by one position in the array, so their indexes change. But if you're using the index as the "key" prop, React will still think that each item has the same key as before. This can cause React to get confused and not update the list correctly, leading to bugs and unexpected behavior.

So, the bottom line is: don't use the index of the array as the "key" prop in React! Instead, try to use a unique identifier for each item, like a database ID or some other value that won't change if the data changes. This will help ensure that your list rendering is reliable and bug-free.

6. What is prop drilling and how can you avoid that using the React context API?


Prop drilling is a common problem in React that happens when you have to pass data down through several layers of components, even if some of those components don't need that data. This can make your code messy and hard to manage, and it's often called "prop drilling" because you end up drilling the same props down through multiple layers of your component tree.

The context API lets you pass data down through your component tree without having to drill it through every layer manually. Instead, you can define a "context" object at a higher level in your component tree, and then any component below that level can access that context object without having to pass it down through props.

This can make your code much cleaner and easier to manage, because you don't have to worry about passing props through layers of components that don't need them.

To use the context API, you define a "provider" component that creates a new context object and sets its value to whatever data you want to pass down. Then, any component below that provider in the tree can access the context object using a "consumer" component.

So, the bottom line is: if you find yourself prop drilling in React, consider using the context API to avoid that mess! It can make your code more organized and easier to work with.

7. What was the need for React Hooks?


Before React Hooks came along, managing state and lifecycle methods in React could be a bit messy and confusing. You had to use class components to manage state and lifecycle, which could make your code verbose and hard to understand.

React Hooks were introduced to make it easier and more intuitive to manage state and lifecycle in React functional components. Hooks are essentially functions that let you "hook into" React's state and lifecycle features, without needing to use class components.

With hooks, you can now use state and lifecycle methods in functional components just as easily as you could in class components, making your code more concise and readable. Plus, hooks give you new capabilities that weren't available before, such as the ability to use state in custom hooks and reuse logic across multiple components.

In short, React Hooks were created to simplify the process of managing state and lifecycle in React functional components, and to give developers more flexibility and power in how they manage their React applications.

8. Explain the usage of useState, useEffect and useContext


useState, useEffect, and useContext are three important React hooks that are frequently used in React development.

useState is a hook that lets you add state to your functional components. You call useState with an initial value, and it returns an array with two values: the current state value, and a function to update that state value. You can use this state value to store data and update it as needed, just like you would with class components.

useEffect is a hook that lets you perform side effects in your components. Side effects are actions that don't directly affect the UI, but might involve things like fetching data from a server, updating the document title, or setting up event listeners. You can use useEffect to run code in response to changes in your component's state or props, or to run code just once when the component mounts or unmounts.

useContext is a hook that lets you access a context object from any component in your component tree, without having to pass that object down through props. You can create a context object using the createContext function, and then use the useContext hook to access that object's value in any component that needs it.

These three hooks are essential for building complex, data-driven React applications!

9. How do you optimize a React application?


Optimizing a React application involves improving its performance, reducing load times, and making it more efficient. There are several techniques and tools you can use to optimize a React app:

  1. Code splitting: This technique involves breaking your app's code into smaller chunks that can be loaded on demand, rather than all at once. This can improve your app's load time and performance.

  2. Memoization: This technique involves caching the results of expensive function calls, so that they don't have to be recomputed every time the component renders. This can improve your app's rendering performance and reduce its CPU usage.

  3. Server-side rendering: This technique involves rendering your app's initial HTML on the server, before sending it to the client. This can improve your app's load time and SEO, and also reduce its initial data transfer size.

  4. Performance profiling: This involves using tools like the React Profiler or Chrome DevTools to identify performance bottlenecks in your app, and then optimizing those areas for better performance.

  5. Lazy loading: This technique involves loading components or data on demand, rather than all at once. This can reduce your app's initial load time and improve its performance.

  6. Using a state management library: If your app has complex state management requirements, using a library like Redux or MobX can help you manage that state more efficiently and improve your app's performance.

In addition, the key is to identify areas where your app is slow or inefficient, and then apply the appropriate optimization techniques to improve its performance and user experience.

10. What are pure components in React?


In React, pure components are components that only render based on their props and state. They don't rely on any external factors or internal state changes to decide whether to re-render.

Pure components are also known as "dumb" components, because they don't have any logic or side effects of their own. They simply receive data as props and render it to the screen.

The main advantage of using pure components is that they can improve your app's performance, because they only re-render when their props or state change. This can help reduce unnecessary re-renders and improve your app's overall efficiency.

To create a pure component in React, you can either extend the React.PureComponent class, or use the React.memo higher-order component. React.memo is a function that accepts a component and returns a new component that only re-renders when its props change. You can use this function to optimize your components and reduce unnecessary re-renders.

11. What is React memo?


React memo is a higher-order component in React that helps optimize the performance of your components by reducing unnecessary re-renders. It works by caching the result of a component's rendering, and only re-rendering it when its props change.

React memo is similar to React.PureComponent, but it's a functional component that accepts another component as its argument, and returns a new component that is optimized for performance.

To use React memo, you can wrap your component in the memo function and pass it as an argument. For example:

import React, { memo } from 'react';

const MyComponent = memo(props => {
  // your component logic here

export default MyComponent;

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

12. What is useMemo and useCallback in React? Outline their differences.


In React, useMemo and useCallback are two hooks that can help optimize the performance of your components by memoizing expensive function calls.

useMemo is a hook that memoizes the result of a function call, and only re-runs that function if its dependencies change. This can be useful for expensive calculations or operations that are used in your component's rendering logic.

Here's an example of using useMemo to memoize an expensive calculation:

import React, { useMemo } from 'react';

const MyComponent = () => {
  const result = useMemo(() => {
    // expensive calculation here
    return /* result of calculation */;
  }, [/* array of dependencies */]);

  return (
    // use result in component rendering

export default MyComponent;

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

useCallback, on the other hand, is a hook that memoizes a function definition, and only re-creates that function if its dependencies change. This can be useful for optimizing child components that rely on callbacks from a parent component.

Here's an example of using useCallback to memoize a function:

import React, { useCallback } from 'react';

const MyComponent = () => {
  const handleButtonClick = useCallback(() => {
    // function logic here
  }, [/* array of dependencies */]);

  return (
    <button onClick={handleButtonClick}>Click me</button>

export default MyComponent;

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

The main difference between useMemo and useCallback is that useMemo memoizes the result of a function call, while useCallback memoizes the function definition itself. Additionally, useCallback is usually used for optimizing child components that rely on callbacks from a parent component, while useMemo is more commonly used for expensive calculations or operations that are used in your component's rendering logic.

13. How do you share logic across components in React?

This is a question that can assist the interviewer in gauging the level of reusability in your React code.


Sharing logic across components in React can be accomplished in a few different ways. Here are a few common approaches:

  1. Higher-order components (HOCs): A higher-order component is a function that takes a component as an argument and returns a new component with additional functionality. You can use HOCs to share common functionality across multiple components without duplicating code.

  2. Render props: A render prop is a function that a component uses to share its state or functionality with another component. The component with the render prop provides a function as a prop, and the component that uses it can call that function to access the shared logic.

  3. Custom hooks: A custom hook is a function that encapsulates reusable logic that can be shared across multiple components. Custom hooks can be used to abstract away complex logic and make it easier to reuse in different parts of your application.

Here's an example of how you might use a custom hook to share logic across multiple components:

import { useState } from 'react';

const useCounter = (initialCount) => {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(initialCount);

  const increment = () => {
    setCount(count + 1);

  return [count, increment];

const ComponentA = () => {
  const [count, increment] = useCounter(0);

  return (
      Count: {count}
      <button onClick={increment}>Increment</button>

const ComponentB = () => {
  const [count, increment] = useCounter(10);

  return (
      Count: {count}
      <button onClick={increment}>Increment</button>

In this example, the `useCounter` custom hook encapsulates the logic for counting and incrementing a value. Both `ComponentA` and `ComponentB` use the same `useCounter` hook to share this logic, but with different initial values.
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

14. What are some of the packages you use along with React?


When working with React, there are a number of packages that can be helpful to include in your project. Here are a few examples:

  1. React Router: A package that provides routing capabilities to a React application, allowing you to navigate between different pages or views.

  2. Redux: A state management library that helps manage complex application state in a predictable way, making it easier to reason about and debug.

  3. Axios: A package that provides an easy-to-use interface for making HTTP requests, making it simple to communicate with a server or API.

  4. Formik: A package that simplifies the process of building and validating forms in React, making it easier to handle user input.

  5. Styled Components: A package that allows you to write CSS in your JavaScript code, making it easier to style components in a reusable and maintainable way.

  6. React Native: A framework for building native mobile apps using React, allowing you to use your existing React knowledge to build iOS and Android apps.

There are many other packages available that can be useful when working with React. The specific packages you choose to use will depend on your specific use case and the requirements of your project.

15. What is React virtual DOM and differentiate it from the real DOM?


In React, the virtual DOM is a lightweight representation of the actual DOM (Document Object Model) that the browser uses to render web pages. The virtual DOM is an abstraction layer that allows React to update the UI more efficiently, without directly manipulating the real DOM.

Here are a few key differences between the virtual DOM and the real DOM:

  1. Performance: The virtual DOM is faster than the real DOM because it reduces the number of updates needed to keep the UI in sync with the application state. When an update occurs, React compares the new virtual DOM tree with the old one and calculates the minimal set of changes needed to update the real DOM. This is much faster than updating the entire real DOM tree.

  2. Manipulation: The virtual DOM can be manipulated more easily than the real DOM, which can be slow and error-prone. In React, you can update the virtual DOM directly using JSX syntax, which is then converted into a virtual DOM tree. This allows you to focus on the application logic rather than the intricacies of DOM manipulation.

  3. Memory usage: The virtual DOM is less memory-intensive than the real DOM because it only stores a lightweight representation of the DOM tree in memory. This means that React applications can handle large amounts of data and complex UIs without running out of memory.

  4. Rendering: The virtual DOM provides a declarative way to describe the UI, which makes it easier to reason about and test. In React, you declare what the UI should look like, and React takes care of rendering it efficiently to the real DOM.

Redux Questions

16. What is Redux?


Redux is an open-source JavaScript library for managing the state of a web application. It is often used with React, but can also be used with other frameworks or libraries. Redux follows a unidirectional data flow pattern, where all data in the application flows in a single direction. The state of the application is stored in a single store, which is managed by reducers. Actions are dispatched to the store to modify the state, and views are updated accordingly.

One of the main benefits of Redux is that it makes it easier to manage complex application state in a predictable way, making it easier to reason about and debug. It also allows for better separation of concerns, as the state management logic is decoupled from the UI components.

Redux can be used with a variety of front-end and back-end technologies, and has a large ecosystem of extensions and middleware that can be used to add additional functionality. However, it can add additional complexity to a project, and may not be necessary for smaller applications with simpler state management needs.

17. How do you decide whether to choose React Context API or Redux?


Deciding whether to use React Context API or Redux in a project can depend on a number of factors. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Size and complexity of the application: If the application is relatively small or simple, it may not require the additional complexity of Redux. React Context API may be a simpler and more lightweight solution for managing state.

  2. Data sharing needs: If the data in the application needs to be shared across multiple components that are not directly related to each other, Redux may be a better fit. React Context API is better suited for sharing data between components that are closely related to each other, such as parent and child components.

  3. Time and resources: If you have limited time or resources, it may be more efficient to use React Context API, as it is built into React and requires less setup than Redux. However, if you have the time and resources to invest in setting up Redux, it can provide more advanced features and better scalability in the long run.

  4. Familiarity with Redux: If you or your team are already familiar with Redux and have experience using it, it may be easier to use Redux in your project. On the other hand, if you or your team are new to Redux, it may be more efficient to use React Context API.

The decision of whether to use React Context API or Redux will depend on the specific needs of your project, as well as your own preferences and experience. It may be helpful to prototype the application using both approaches to determine which one works best for your specific use case.

18. What is your understanding of redux store, actions, action creators and reducers?


In Redux, the state of the application is stored in a single object called the store. The store is managed by reducers, which are functions that specify how the state should be modified in response to actions.

Actions are plain JavaScript objects that describe what happened in the application. They typically have a type property that indicates the type of action that occurred, as well as any additional data that is needed to update the state.

Action creators are functions that create and return action objects. They are often used to encapsulate the logic for creating actions and can also perform additional processing before returning the action.

Reducers are functions that take the current state and an action as input, and return a new state object as output. Reducers are responsible for updating the state in response to actions, and should not modify the original state object directly.

Together, they form the core of the Redux architecture and provide a predictable and scalable way to manage state in a web application.

19. What is the control flow between the Redux store, actions, action creators and reducers?


In a typical Redux application, the control flow between the Redux store, actions, action creators, and reducers is as follows:

  1. The application triggers an action by calling an action creator function. The action creator function returns a plain JavaScript object that represents the action and includes a type property that describes the type of action that occurred.

  2. The Redux store receives the action and passes it to the root reducer.

  3. The root reducer delegates the action to one or more child reducers, each of which is responsible for updating a specific part of the application state.

  4. The child reducer updates its part of the state based on the action, and returns a new state object.

  5. The root reducer combines the updated state from each child reducer into a single object, and returns the new state object to the Redux store.

  6. The Redux store updates its state with the new state object, and notifies any connected components that the state has changed.

The connected components retrieve the updated state from the Redux store, and re-render as needed to reflect the new state.

20. What does the connect function do from the react-redux library?


The connect function from the react-redux library is used to connect a React component to the Redux store. It is a higher-order component that takes in two arguments: mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps.

The mapStateToProps function is used to map state from the Redux store to the props of the connected component. It takes in the current state of the store and returns an object that defines the props that should be passed to the connected component. When the state of the store changes, the connected component is automatically re-rendered with the updated props.

The mapDispatchToProps function is used to map action creators from Redux to the props of the connected component. It takes in the dispatch function as an argument, which can be used to dispatch actions to the store. The mapDispatchToProps function returns an object that defines the props that should be passed to the connected component. When an action is dispatched, the connected component is automatically re-rendered with the updated props.

Together, these two functions allow a React component to interact with the Redux store and dispatch actions to update the state. The connect function also provides additional optimizations, such as preventing unnecessary re-renders of the connected component, and ensuring that the component only re-renders when the relevant state or props have changed.

21. Why should you dispatch an action to update the state and modify it directly?


In a Redux application, you should always dispatch an action to update the state, rather than modifying it directly. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Predictable state updates: By dispatching an action, you ensure that the state is updated in a predictable and consistent way. The action contains a description of what happened, which makes it easier to debug and understand how the state changed over time.

  2. Time travel debugging: When you dispatch an action, Redux records it in the store's history. This allows you to use tools like the Redux DevTools to "time travel" and inspect the state of the application at any point in time, making it easier to debug and identify issues.

  3. Middleware and side effects: Dispatching an action allows you to use middleware, which can intercept and modify the action before it reaches the reducers. This is useful for handling side effects, such as making network requests or interacting with APIs.

  4. Encapsulation and modularity: By dispatching an action, you ensure that state updates are encapsulated and modular. Each action represents a discrete change to the state, making it easier to reason about and test.

On the other hand, modifying the state directly can lead to unpredictable behavior and bugs, especially as the application grows and becomes more complex. It also makes it harder to debug and understand how the state changed over time. By dispatching actions to update the state, you ensure that the application remains predictable, testable, and maintainable over time.



It's normal to feel nervous before a job interview, but it's important to remember that you were selected for an interview because the employer saw something in your application that impressed them. So, use the interview as an opportunity to showcase your skills and knowledge, and to demonstrate why you would be a great fit for the position. Be confident, enthusiastic, and honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to listen attentively to the interviewer, and ask thoughtful questions that show your interest in the company and the role. And above all, be yourself - your unique experiences, skills, and personality are what make you stand out from other candidates. Good luck with your interview!

Hey folks! We've come to the end of this discussion. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to drop them in the comments section below. And hey, don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

Also, if you're interested, I could write a detailed tutorial on Redux. Let me know, and I'd be more than happy to do that for you. Cheers!

Top comments (6)

vucat12 profile image

Very good!

yogeshu profile image
Yogesh Bhavsar

Good 👍🏿

faraib profile image
Farai Bvuma

Great advice!

dinarik profile image

Great! Thank you very much! Please, continue share with us such a useful and interesting content. And good luck!

jeffsalive profile image
Jeffrey Nwankwo

Glad you like it Dinara. I will!