UPDATED: Common Android Developer Interview Questions and Answers

Alessandro Faranda Gancio
12 min readMay 10, 2023

As an experienced Android developer, I have been through numerous job interviews, both as a candidate and an interviewer. While every interview is unique, there are some common questions that are asked in almost every Android developer interview. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate looking for your first job, it is crucial to prepare for these questions to increase your chances of landing the job.

In this article, I will share with you some of the most commonly asked Android interview questions and provide you with the answers that will help you stand out from the competition. We will cover a range of topics, including Java and Kotlin, Android architecture, design patterns, and more. So, let’s get started and prepare for your next Android job interview!

Here is a list of common question and answer that I’ve been challenged during a long and interminable interviewing phase of my life:

[May 16th 2023] Comment for sharing other relevant questions to add in this up to date list.

  • What is the purpose of a Coroutine Scope in Kotlin coroutines and how are nested Coroutine Scopes used?

A CoroutineScope in Kotlin coroutines is an interface in the kotlinx.coroutines package that provides a structured way to manage coroutines and their execution context. It allows you to control the lifecycle of coroutines, specify the execution context for coroutines, and handle exceptions and cancellation. Nested CoroutineScopes can be used to create a hierarchy of scopes, where child scopes inherit the context of their parent scope, enabling you to organize and structure coroutines while controlling their execution context more precisely.

  • What is MVVM in Android app development?

MVVM is a design pattern that separates the UI, business logic, and data layers of an Android application. The Model represents the data and business logic, the View displays the UI, and the ViewModel manages the communication between the View and the Model. MVVM is useful because it promotes separation of concerns and makes the code more modular, maintainable, and testable.

  • What is the role of a Repository in MVVM, and how does it work?

In MVVM, a Repository is responsible for handling data operations, such as fetching data from a network or database, and returning it to the ViewModel. The ViewModel then updates the View with the data. The Repository pattern decouples the ViewModel from the data source, making it easier to change the data source or add caching. The Repository pattern also promotes separation of concerns and improves testability.

  • Can you explain the difference between a Service and a BroadcastReceiver in Android?

A Service is a component that performs background tasks that do not require user interaction. A Service runs in the background even if the user navigates away from the app. A BroadcastReceiver, on the other hand, is a component that responds to system-wide events, such as battery low or network connectivity changes. A BroadcastReceiver does not have a user interface and is typically used to start a Service or update the UI.

  • How do you implement unit testing in an Android app using MVVM?

In MVVM, unit testing can be implemented at the ViewModel layer using test frameworks such as JUnit or Mockito. The ViewModel can be tested independently of the View and the data source, by mocking the dependencies and testing the logic and behavior of the ViewModel.

  • What are some common memory leaks in Android, and how can they be prevented?

Some common memory leaks in Android include leaked activities or fragments, leaked views or drawables, and leaked threads or handlers. To prevent memory leaks, it is important to release resources and to avoid holding onto references that are no longer needed. In MVVM, it is important to use lifecycle-aware components, such as LiveData and ViewModel, that automatically release resources when the component is destroyed. Also use the Android Profiler tool to detect and analyze memory leaks in the application.

  • How do you handle configuration changes or orientation changes in an Android app using MVVM?

In MVVM, configuration changes can be handled by retaining the ViewModel instance across configuration changes. This can be achieved by using the ViewModelProviders.of() method in the activity or fragment, and passing the activity or fragment instance as the owner. The ViewModelProviders framework automatically retains the ViewModel instance across configuration changes, and returns the same instance to the new activity or fragment instance. This ensures that the data is preserved across configuration changes, and the View can be updated accordingly.

  • How do you implement a ViewModel in Kotlin for an Android app using MVVM?

In Kotlin, you can create a ViewModel by extending the ViewModel class and defining your data and business logic in the class. You can then create a factory class that creates the ViewModel instance, and pass the factory to the ViewModelProviders.of() method in the activity or fragment. The ViewModel instance is automatically retained across configuration changes and can be shared across multiple activities or fragments. Or you can use the by viewModels() or by activityViewModels() property delegate to create a ViewModel instance in the activity or fragment, which simplifies the code.

  • How do you handle nullability in Kotlin for Android development?

Kotlin provides built-in null safety features, which help you avoid null pointer exceptions and improve the reliability of your code. You can declare a variable or parameter as nullable by adding a ? after the type. You can then use the safe call operator ?. , the Elvis operator ?: to safely access nullable variables and handle null values. or use the let and apply functions, which simplify null checking and make your code more concise.

  • How do you implement data persistence in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

In Kotlin, you can use Room to implement data persistence in an Android app using MVVM. Room is a library that provides an abstraction layer over SQLite and makes it easier to store and retrieve data from a database. You can define the database schema in a RoomDatabase class, and use DAOs to perform CRUD operations on the data. You can also use LiveData to observe changes in the data and update the View accordingly.

Room provides compile-time validation, which means it detects errors in the SQL queries at compile-time rather than runtime.

  • How do you handle network calls in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

In Kotlin, you can use Retrofit to handle network calls in an Android app using MVVM. Retrofit is a library that provides a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java. You can define the API interface with Retrofit annotations, and use the enqueue method to perform the network call asynchronously. You can also use coroutines to perform the network call asynchronously and simplify the code. To handle errors and exceptions, you can use the onFailure method and the try-catch block.

  • How do you implement pagination in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

You can use the Paging 3 library to implement pagination in an Android app using MVVM. Paging 3 is a library that provides a flexible and efficient way to load data from a data source incrementally. You can define a PagingSource that retrieves the data from the data source in batches, and use a PagingDataAdapter to display the data in a RecyclerView. You can also use the PagingState object to monitor the loading state and handle errors and exceptions.

  • How do you implement data binding in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

In Kotlin, you can use the Data Binding library to implement data binding in an Android app using MVVM. Data Binding is a library that allows you to bind UI components in your layout files with data in your ViewModel. You can use the "@{expression}" syntax to bind the View properties with the ViewModel variables or functions. You can also use the @BindingAdapter annotation to create custom binding adapters that handle complex logic, such as image loading or formatting.

  • How do you handle user input in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

In MVVM, you can handle user input by using LiveData to observe changes in the data and update the View accordingly. You can also use the @BindingAdapter annotation to bind the View with the ViewModel. For example, you can use a TwoWayBinding to bind an EditText with a MutableLiveData variable in the ViewModel, so that any changes in the EditText will automatically update the MutableLiveData variable, and any changes in the MutableLiveData variable will automatically update the EditText.

  • How do you implement background tasks in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

In Kotlin, you can use coroutines or WorkManager to implement background tasks in an Android app using MVVM. Coroutines provide a lightweight and efficient way to perform asynchronous tasks on the main thread or on a background thread. You can use the suspend keyword to define a coroutine function, and use the withContext function to switch between the main thread and a background thread. WorkManager is a library that provides a flexible and robust way to schedule and execute background tasks, such as sync or backup. You can define a Workerclass that performs the task, and use the “enqueue” method to schedule the task.

  • What is the difference between a View and a ViewModel in MVVM architecture?

In MVVM architecture, a View is responsible for displaying the data and receiving user input, while a ViewModel is responsible for managing the data and the business logic. The View communicates with the ViewModel through data binding or LiveData, and the ViewModel communicates with the Model or the data source to fetch or update the data. The ViewModel also exposes the data and the state to the View, so that the View can update its UI accordingly.

  • What are some best practices for designing a responsive UI in Android apps?

Some best practices for designing a responsive UI in Android apps include using ConstraintLayout to create flexible layouts, using scalable and vector graphics to optimize the size and quality of the images, using RecyclerView to handle large datasets and improve the performance, using a consistent color scheme and typography to enhance the branding and readability, and testing the UI on different devices and screen sizes to ensure compatibility and accessibility.

  • What are some advantages of using Kotlin over Java in Android development?

Some advantages of using Kotlin over Java in Android development include the concise and expressive syntax that reduces the code complexity and verbosity, the null-safety feature that prevents common runtime errors such as NullPointerException, the interoperability with Java that allows to reuse the existing Java libraries and frameworks, the coroutines feature that simplifies asynchronous programming and improves the performance, and the support for functional programming that enables to write more concise and composable code.

  • How do you implement dependency injection in an Android app using Dagger and Kotlin?

Dependency injection is a design pattern that promotes loose coupling and modular design in an Android application. You can use the Dagger library to implement dependency injection in an Android app. Dependency injection is a technique that allows you to decouple the dependencies between classes and provide them at runtime. You can define a @Module class that provides the dependencies, and annotate the dependencies with the @Provides annotation. You can also define a “Component” interface that injects the dependencies into the classes, and annotate the classes with the @Inject annotation. In Dagger, you can use the @Component annotation to connect the Module and the Component, and generate the code for the dependency graph. You can use also Hilt

  • How do you handle errors and exceptions in an Android app using MVVM and Kotlin?

In MVVM, you can handle errors and exceptions by using LiveData to observe the data changes and the loading state, and by using try-catch blocks or coroutines to handle the errors and exceptions. You can define a ViewState object that contains the data, the loading state, and the error message, and use LiveData to observe the changes in the ViewState. You can also use try-catch blocks to catch the exceptions and update the ViewState with the error message, or use coroutines to handle the exceptions in a more asynchronous and structured way.

  • What is the difference between val and var and const in Kotlin?

In Kotlin, val is a keyword that is used to declare a read-only variable, while var is a keyword that is used to declare a mutable variable. A read-only variable can only be assigned a value once, and cannot be reassigned later, while a mutable variable can be assigned a value multiple times, and can be reassigned later. A const variable same as val can handle read-only values but this will be defined at compile-time.

  • What are the differences between lambdas and anonymous functions in Kotlin?

In Kotlin, lambdas and anonymous functions are both used to define function literals, which are functions that can be passed as arguments or returned as values. However, there are some differences between lambdas and anonymous functions in terms of syntax and behavior. Lambdas are enclosed in curly braces ({}) and have implicit parameters, while anonymous functions are enclosed in parentheses and have explicit parameters. Lambdas can have multiple exit points, such as return and break, while anonymous functions can only have one exit point, such as return@label. Lambdas can also have receiver objects, which are the objects on which they are called, while anonymous functions cannot. Lambdas are usually more concise and convenient than anonymous functions, but anonymous functions can be useful for specifying types or implementing interfaces.

  • What are some common extension functions in Kotlin?

Extension functions in Kotlin allow you to add new methods to existing classes or interfaces, without modifying their source code. Extension functions can be used to provide utility methods, convenience methods, or domain-specific methods, and can be organized into packages or modules. Some common extension functions in Kotlin include string manipulations, collection operations, mathematical computations, date and time conversions, and file and network operations.

  • What are some benefits of using Kotlin compared to Java?

Kotlin offers several benefits over Java, such as better null-safety, concise and expressive syntax, higher-order functions and lambdas, improved type inference and type checking, support for coroutines and asynchronous programming, and interoperability with Java and other JVM languages.

However, Kotlin also has some drawbacks, such as a steeper learning curve for Java developers, slower compilation times for large projects, and potential compatibility issues with older Java versions or third-party libraries.

  • What is a sealed class in Kotlin?

A sealed class in Kotlin is a special type of class that can only be subclassed within the same file or module where it is declared. Sealed classes are useful for representing restricted hierarchies of classes, where all the possible subtypes are known in advance.

  • What is a delegate in Kotlin?

A delegate in Kotlin is a pattern that allows you to extract common behavior from a class and reuse it across multiple objects. Delegates is a good alternative to implementation inheritance.

  • What are some differences between lateinit and lazy properties in Kotlin?

Lazy properties are thread-safe by default, whereas lateinit properties are not. lateinit and lazy are two mechanisms for initializing properties lazily. There are some differences between lateinit and lazy properties in terms of their initialization, usage, and safety. lateinit is a modifier that can be applied to non-null properties that cannot be initialized in the constructor, and must be initialized before they are used. lateinit properties are initialized using the lateinit modifier and accessed using a nullable type. lazy is a function that can be called on a property to provide a lazy initialization block, which is executed when the property is accessed for the first time. lazy properties are initialized using a lambda expression and accessed using a non-null type.

  • What are coroutines in Kotlin?

Coroutines in Kotlin are a lightweight and efficient mechanism for concurrency and asynchronous programming, which allow you to perform long-running and blocking operations without blocking the main thread or creating multiple threads. Coroutines can be used to implement complex asynchronous workflows, such as network requests, database access, and UI updates.

  • What is the difference between let and apply in Kotlin?

let and apply are two extension functions in Kotlin that allow you to manipulate an object in a concise and fluent way. let is a higher-order function that takes an object as an argument and returns the result of a lambda expression applied to that object. apply is a member function that is called on an object and returns the same object after applying a lambda expression to it.

  • What is a data class in Kotlin?

A data class in Kotlin is a special type of class that is designed to hold data and provide some standard functionality such as equals(), hashCode(), toString(), and copy(). Data classes are defined using the data keyword, and they must have at least one primary constructor parameter. Data classes automatically generate implementations of the standard functions based on their constructor parameters, which allows you to compare, hash, and print instances of the class without writing any code. Data classes are often used for representing domain objects, DTOs (Data Transfer Objects), and immutable values.

  • What is the Elvis operator in Kotlin?

The Elvis operator in Kotlin is a shorthand syntax for handling null values in expressions. The Elvis operator is represented by the ?: symbol, and it returns the left-hand side if it is not null, or the right-hand side if the left-hand side is null. The Elvis operator can be used to simplify null-checking, default values, and cascading operations. For example, instead of writing if (x != null) x.length else -1, you can write x?.length ?: -1 using the Elvis operator.

  • What are some advantages of using Kotlin over Java for Android app development?

Kotlin is a modern programming language that offers several advantages over Java for Android app development, including: improved syntax and readability, null-safety and type inference, interoperability with Java and other JVM-based languages, support for functional programming and reactive programming, simplified concurrency and asynchronous programming with coroutines, better support for Android Jetpack components such as LiveData, ViewModel, and Data Binding, and faster development and easier maintenance with fewer boilerplate code and improved IDE support. Kotlin is also fully supported by Google for Android app development, and has a growing community of developers and libraries.

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Alessandro Faranda Gancio

Hi, I'm Alessandro, an Android Engineer with a passion for building high-quality applications. Follow me for insights and tips.