Jenkins Interview Questions (With Example Answers and Tips)

Updated 22 March 2023

Jenkins is an open-source automation server that workplaces can use to automate parts of their software development process. Employers may look for and interview software developers that know how to use Jenkins effectively. If a hiring manager invites you to interview for this position, reviewing questions they may ask can help you prepare your answers ahead of time so you can feel more confident during the interview. In this article, we offer a list of Jenkins interview questions with example answers and provide additional interview tips to help you make a positive first impression on hiring managers.

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

Jenkins interview questions with example answers

Here's a list of Jenkins interview questions with example answers you can consider to prepare your own answers:

1. Why did you want to become a software developer?

Jenkins is primarily for software developers who want to automate parts of their processes to increase efficiency. Hiring managers may ask this question to learn more about you and ease you into the interview. Explain why you became a software developer and highlight your passion for your work.

Example answer: 'I wanted to become a software developer because I've always loved computers. I used to write basic code for my social media platforms when I was young and really enjoyed it. My parents then put me in coding camp every summer for five years, so I learned a lot and met many people with the same passion. This encouraged me to pursue software development at university so I could become a developer'.

Related: 15 Continuous Integration Tools for Software Developers

2. What are some features that the Jenkins server has?

Hiring managers may ask this question to assess your understanding of the Jenkins server. They likely want candidates with extensive experience using it, so they want to ensure you can explain its details. Discuss features such as the server's plugins, security or open-source availability.

Example answer: 'One of Jenkins' main features is its variety of plugins. The server has over 1,800 plugins available to users, such as MSBuild and PowerShell. You can use MSBuild to create a visual studio project and PowerShell to build scripts. You can use these plugins to enhance different stages of the software development process. Another feature that Jenkins has is open-source availability. This means it's free to use and users can contribute to the server, creating a community'.

3. What are the pros and cons of Jenkins?

Hiring managers may ask your opinion on the pros and cons of Jenkins. This helps them assess your understanding of the software and your experience using it. Try to focus on the benefits of using Jenkins and discuss how you overcome its drawbacks.

Example answer: 'One of the main benefits of Jenkins is that it's free. This makes it more accessible to users around the world, which helped create an involved community. I've met Jenkins users from different countries who offered many suggestions to enhance my experience on the server. Another benefit is that Jenkins has many plugins, reducing the need for additional software. Since users can add plugins to the server, this can mean that some plugins are outdated. The development team may not have time to maintain all available plugins, so I try to use the most popular ones'.

Related: Interview Practice Questions (With Examples and Tips)

4. What are continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment?

Jenkins helps enhance the software development process, so hiring managers may ask this question to assess your understanding of the entire process. Continuous integration, delivery and deployment are practices that software development teams, especially ones using Jenkins, may use to shorten feedback loops. This helps them automate repetitive tasks so they can complete software projects quicker. When answering this question, discuss each practice in detail and explain the benefits of using them.

Example answer: 'Continuous integration is when a software developer adds changes to the main code as soon as they're complete. This ensures the software is always up-to-date. Continuous delivery is an extension of continuous integration, as it automatically sends any changes straight to testing. When the testing is complete, development teams may use continuous deployment to release these changes to end users'.

5. What do you use Jenkins for?

Jenkins has many uses, so hiring managers may ask this question to determine what experience you have with the server. You may have used it in the past to enable task automation or simplify audits. Choose one or two of the server's features and discuss how you used them in previous positions.

Example answer: 'In my previous software developer position, I primarily used Jenkins to test my software. I commit my code to the Jenkins server so it creates a build and runs that build through testing. If the build fails, Jenkins notifies me immediately so I can fix the issue. If the build passes the tests, Jenkins automatically moves it to a ready-to-release environment. Automating these steps allows me to focus on the more challenging aspects of software development'.

Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview

6. What is a Jenkins pipeline?

A Jenkins pipeline is a collection of plugins that software developers can use to create a continuous delivery process. This helps them automate certain steps to enhance the software development process. Hiring managers may ask this question to ensure you understand what a pipeline is and its uses. When answering this question, explain what the pipeline is and discuss how you used it in previous positions.

Example answer: 'A Jenkins pipeline is a sequence of steps users can set to automate their software development process. You can create your own pipeline on Jenkins by choosing your ideal steps. In my previous position, the pipeline I created had five steps, which were start, build, run tests, deploy and end'.

Related: Preparing for an Interview: How to Do it and Why it Matters

7. How did you learn how to use Jenkins?

There are Jenkins certification courses available, but many users choose to learn how to use the server on their own. Hiring managers may ask this question to understand your training better and determine whether you might be a suitable fit for the software developer role. Discuss any certification, diploma or degree you have that helped you learn how to use Jenkins effectively.

Example answer: 'I have a bachelor's degree in software development, which didn't teach me about Jenkins specifically, but it gave me the foundational knowledge I needed to learn how to use the server on my own. I joined the Jenkins community and learned how to use the server mostly through trial and error and advice from other users. I started using it professionally in my first software developer role and have over five years of experience using the server now'.

8. Do you have any questions for us?

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager may ask this question. This gives you the opportunity to ask any clarifying questions or address concerns you may have. Researching the company before the interview can help you prepare a list of tailored questions you can ask. This helps you showcase your active listening skills and passion for the job.

Example answer: 'What do you enjoy most about working for this company?'

Related: How to Answer 'Do You Have Any Questions?' in an Interview

Interview tips

Here's a list of interview tips you can apply to prepare for your upcoming Jenkins interview:

  • Assess the job posting. Reviewing the job description ahead of the interview can help you identify which performance indicators the job involves. You can then use examples from previous technology roles that outline your ability to meet these objectives.

  • Bring the necessary documents. If the hiring manager asks you to bring certain documents, such as a reference list, ensure you do so. This can highlight your active listening and organisational skills.

  • Wear a professional outfit. Many IT jobs have a specific dress code, so teams can represent the workplace well. Show the hiring manager you can adhere to this dress code by wearing a professional outfit for your interview.

  • Arrive early. Many employers seek candidates with effective time management skills to ensure they can meet deadlines and prioritise and manage project tasks well. Showcase your time-management skills by arriving early for your job interview, as it shows them you respect their time.

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