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React.js Use Cases

  • Building dynamic and highly-interactive user interfaces for web applications

  • Creating reusable UI components that can be easily shared and composed to build larger and more complex user interfaces

  • Building web apps that are able to efficiently update and render large amounts of data in real-time

  • Building cross-platform mobile apps using tools like React Native, which allows developers to use React to build apps for iOS and Android

Top Skills to Look For in a React.js Developer

  • Strong JavaScript skills:

    React is a JavaScript library, so it's important that candidates have a strong understanding of the language, including concepts such as event handling, asynchronous programming, and JavaScript frameworks.

  • Experience with React:

    Look for developers who have experience building real-world applications using React. This could include experience with JSX, component lifecycle methods, and other React-specific concepts.

  • Familiarity with front-end development:

    React developers should have a good understanding of web development concepts such as HTML, CSS, and webpack.

  • Understanding of component-based design:

    React developers should have experience with the component-based approach to building user interfaces, which is at the core of React's design.

  • Experience with other related technologies:

    Knowledge of Redux for state management, Next.js for Server-side rendering, and React Native for mobile app development is a plus.

  • Familiarity with testing and debugging tools:

    React developers should have experience with tools such as Jest, Enzyme, and React Developer Tools for testing and debugging React code.

  • Strong problem-solving skills:

    Look for developers who can think critically, troubleshoot issues, and debug code.

  • Good Communication skills:

    React developers are often required to work in cross-functional teams, and they should be able to communicate well with other team members and stakeholders.

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React.js Interview Questions

How do you handle state in React?

State in React components can be handled using the “this.state” object and the “this.setState()” method. In functional components, the “useState” hook can be used. State is mutable data that determines the component’s behavior and render output.

What are React Hooks and name some of the common ones?

React Hooks are functions that let developers “hook into” React state and lifecycle features from function components. Common hooks are “useState”, “useEffect”, “useContext”, “useReducer”, and “useRef”.

Explain the difference between "props" and "state"

“props” (short for “properties”) are read-only and allow a parent component to pass data to child components. “state” is mutable data that is private to the component and determines its behavior and rendered output.

What is Context in React?

The Context API allows for passing data through the component tree without having to pass it down manually via props. It’s useful for sharing values (like themes or authentication status) between components.

Describe how "useEffect" works

The “useEffect” hook lets you perform side effects (like data fetching or DOM manipulations) in function components. It takes two arguments: a function that contains the code to run and a dependency array. If the values in the dependency array change between renders, the code runs.

Explain the differences between controlled and uncontrolled components.

Controlled components have their form data managed by the React component state. Every state mutation has an associated handler function. Uncontrolled components store their form data in the DOM itself, using refs to access them.

What's the purpose of React keys in a list?

Keys help React identify which items in a list have changed, are added, or are removed. They should be unique among their siblings to ensure efficient updates and rendering.

Describe the concept of Higher-Order Components (HOCs)

A Higher-Order Component is a function that takes a component and returns a new component with additional props or changed behavior. HOCs allow for reusing component logic and are a way to achieve “composition over inheritance.”

How do you ensure that a component re-renders only when necessary?

You can use the “shouldComponentUpdate()” lifecycle method in class components or the “React.memo()” method for functional components. Both techniques help avoid unnecessary renders by shallowly comparing the current and next props and state.

What is the difference between using "React.memo()" and "PureComponent"?

Both aim to optimize performance by reducing unnecessary renders. “React.memo()” is for functional components and memoizes the rendered output of the passed component. “PureComponent” achieves a similar effect for class components by implementing the “shouldComponentUpdate()” method with a shallow props and state comparison.

How do you handle forms in React?

Forms in React can be handled using controlled components, where each input element’s value is controlled by React state, and a handler function updates this state upon changes. Another approach is to use uncontrolled components and refs.

Explain how React Router works

React Router is a third-party library used to implement navigation in React apps. It provides the “<Router>” component, which keeps the UI in sync with the URL. The “<Route>” component is used to render UI when a particular path matches the current URL.

What are the advantages of server-side rendering (SSR) in React?

SSR improves the initial page load time, leading to a better user experience. It’s beneficial for SEO, as search engines can crawl the site more efficiently. With SSR, the server renders the initial HTML, and the client takes over once the page is loaded.

Can you explain the virtual DOM in React and how it differs from the actual DOM?

Absolutely! The concept of the virtual DOM (VDOM) is a fundamental part of how React efficiently updates the user interface. Let’s dive into what the virtual DOM is and how it differs from the actual (or “real”) DOM.

Virtual DOM (VDOM):


  1. Concept: The virtual DOM is a lightweight, in-memory representation of the actual DOM elements. The rendering engine can quickly make changes to the virtual DOM and then subsequently update the actual DOM in a more efficient and optimized way.


  1. Tree Structure: Just like the real DOM, the virtual DOM represents a tree structure of elements. Each element in this tree is a JavaScript object representing a DOM element and its attributes, content, and children.


  1. Reconciliation: When there’s a change in the application state, React creates a new virtual DOM tree. It then compares this tree with the previous one using a process called “reconciliation.” Based on this comparison (diffing), React figures out the optimal way to update the real DOM.


  1. Batched Updates: Instead of updating the real DOM element every single time there’s a small change, React batches these changes and updates the real DOM in one go. This reduces expensive DOM operations and results in a performance boost.


Actual DOM:


  1. Concept: The actual or “real” DOM is the structured representation of web content. Browsers parse HTML to create the DOM, which in turn becomes the content you visually interact with.


  1. Mutable and Expensive: Directly manipulating the real DOM frequently can be slow and expensive in terms of performance. This is because changes to the DOM can trigger reflows and repaints in the browser rendering engine, which are computationally costly operations.


  1. Not Just a Tree: While the core structure of the DOM is a tree, the real DOM comes with additional methods and interfaces, allowing for more complex operations and interactions with the browser.


Key Differences:


  1. Efficiency: The VDOM allows for efficient updates. By minimizing direct interactions with the actual DOM and batching updates, React ensures that the UI remains fast and responsive. In contrast, frequent direct updates to the real DOM can lead to performance bottlenecks.


  1. Immutability vs. Mutability: When a change occurs, React creates a new VDOM tree, effectively making the VDOM “immutable” from one state to the next. The real DOM, however, is mutable – when you change it, you’re changing its actual state.


  1. Representation: The VDOM is a simplified, lightweight representation in JavaScript. The actual DOM is a much more complex entity with a broader set of functionalities and is critical to the rendering and interaction of web content in browsers.


  1. Purpose: The VDOM acts as a buffer or intermediate step between changes in UI state and rendering to the actual DOM. The real DOM is the final output and the interface through which users interact with a web application.




By introducing the concept of the virtual DOM, React offers a way to make UI updates more efficient. It avoids costly direct interactions with the actual DOM until absolutely necessary, and when it does interact, it does so in an optimized manner. This mechanism is one of the reasons React can offer such a performant way to build dynamic user interfaces.

How do you decide when to use a stateful component versus a stateless component in React?

In React, the decision to use stateful components (often called “container” components or “class components” in older contexts) versus stateless components (often called “presentational” components or “functional components”) is primarily based on the responsibilities and behavior of the component.


Here are the distinguishing characteristics and when you might choose one over the other:


Stateless Components:


  1. Characteristics:

   – Don’t manage or mutate state.

   – Receive data and callbacks exclusively via props.

   – Often used for rendering UI.

   – Typically functional components (though they can be class-based).


  1. When to Use:

   – If the component simply receives data and renders it without any complex logic.

   – For reusable UI elements (e.g., buttons, list items).

   – When you want a predictable component based solely on the props provided.

   – If you need a component that doesn’t need lifecycle methods or hooks (though with React hooks, this distinction is less clear).


Stateful Components:


  1. Characteristics:

   – Maintain and update state.

   – Can have lifecycle methods (if class-based) or hooks.

   – Often responsible for data fetching or connecting to Redux or Context API for state management.

   – Can contain both presentational logic and business logic.


  1. When to Use:

   – If the component needs to manage data or UI state.

   – When the component has to control other interactive features like forms.

   – For top-level components or containers that fetch and distribute data to child components.

   – If the component needs to interact with lifecycle methods (though with hooks like “useEffect”, functional components can handle side-effects too).


Modern Context (With Hooks):


With the introduction of Hooks in React 16.8, the distinction between class-based (stateful) and functional (stateless) components has become less pronounced. This is because hooks allow functional components to have many of the capabilities that were once exclusive to class components, such as:


– Maintaining local state with “useState”.

– Performing side-effects with “useEffect”.

– Context management with “useContext”.

– Refs with “useRef”.

– And many more…


Given these advancements, many developers now prefer functional components with hooks for both stateful and stateless tasks because they can offer cleaner, more modular code and more reusable logic (with custom hooks).


Final Thoughts:


  1. Separation of Concerns: Regardless of your choice, it’s a good practice to separate logic from presentation. This makes components more readable, maintainable, and reusable. Even if you use hooks and functional components for everything, you can still have components that are “stateful” in nature (handling logic, data-fetching) and others that are “stateless” (simply rendering UI based on props).


  1. Performance Considerations: Both stateful and stateless components have their own performance characteristics. Stateless components tend to be lighter as they don’t manage lifecycle methods or state. However, React’s reconciliation process and virtual DOM make both efficient, especially when optimized with techniques like memoization (“React.memo” and “useMemo”).


  1. Project Requirements: Often, the requirements of the project, the team’s familiarity with patterns, or architectural decisions (like using Redux or Context) will dictate component structure more than the innate stateful or stateless nature of the component.


As with many aspects in software development, understanding the tools and options available is key, and the best decision often depends on the specific situation and requirements.

Can you explain the component lifecycle methods in React and when they are typically used?

React components have lifecycle methods that allow you to run code at specific times in the component’s life. With the introduction of hooks in React 16.8, function components can achieve similar lifecycle behavior with “useEffect”. Here, I’ll explain the class component lifecycle methods, which have been the traditional way of handling these lifecycles.


Mounting Phase


These methods are called when an instance of a component is being created and inserted into the DOM:


  1. constructor(props)

   – Used for setting up the initial state and other initial values.

   – Called before any other lifecycle methods.

   – A place to bind event handlers.


  1. static getDerivedStateFromProps(props, state)

   – Called right before “render”.

   – Returns an object to update the state, or “null” to update nothing.

   – Used when the state depends on changes in props over time.


  1. render()

   – The only required method in a class component.

   – Reads “this.props” and “this.state” and returns a React element (typically JSX), arrays, strings, numbers, booleans, or “null”.


  1. componentDidMount()

   – Invoked immediately after a component is added to the DOM.

   – Good place to initiate network requests or subscriptions.


Updating Phase:


These methods are called when a component is being re-rendered as a result of changes to either its props or state:


  1. static getDerivedStateFromProps(props, state)

   – Same as in mounting.


  1. shouldComponentUpdate(nextProps, nextState)

   – Lets you optimize performance by skipping the component’s re-rendering.

   – If it returns “false”, “render” won’t be invoked.


  1. render()

   – Same as in mounting.


  1. getSnapshotBeforeUpdate(prevProps, prevState)

   – Called right before the most recently rendered output is committed to the DOM.

   – Enables capturing information (e.g., scroll position) before it’s changed.

   – The returned value (snapshot) is passed to “componentDidUpdate”.


  1. componentDidUpdate(prevProps, prevState, snapshot)

   – Called immediately after updating (re-rendering).

   – Useful for network requests based on prop changes.


Unmounting Phase:


This method is called when a component is being removed from the DOM:


  1. componentWillUnmount()

   – Performed right before the component is unmounted and destroyed.

   – A good place to cancel network requests, remove event listeners, or clear timers.


Error Handling:


These methods are called when there’s an error during rendering, in a lifecycle method, or in the constructor of any child component:


  1. static getDerivedStateFromError(error)

   – Used to render a fallback UI after an error is thrown.

   – Can capture the error and update the state.


  1. componentDidCatch(error, info)

   – Can log the error information to an external service.

   – Doesn’t affect the component’s output.


With the introduction of React hooks, you can achieve similar patterns in function components using the “useState”, “useEffect”, and “useContext” hooks, among others. For example, “useEffect” can mimic the behavior of “componentDidMount”, “componentDidUpdate”, and “componentWillUnmount” combined.

Have you ever used Redux or any other state management library in a React project? How did you find it?

Redux, in particular, has been one of the most popular state management solutions for React. Here’s an overview of how developers tend to view it:




  1. Predictability: With its principles (such as the single source of truth), you always know where your state changes are coming from. This makes debugging easier.
  2. Middleware: Redux allows for middlewares like “redux-thunk” or “redux-saga” which can help handle asynchronous actions.
  3. Developer Tools: The Redux DevTools extension is a powerful tool that allows for time-travel debugging.
  4. Community: Given its popularity, there are a plethora of resources, tutorials, and third-party libraries available.
  5. Flexibility: While Redux can be used with React, it’s not tied to it. You can use Redux with Angular, Vue, or even vanilla JavaScript.




  1. Boilerplate: One of the most common criticisms is that Redux introduces a lot of boilerplate code. Actions, reducers, action creators, etc., can add up quickly.
  2. Complexity: For newcomers or for small projects, Redux might be overkill. The learning curve can be steep.
  3. Overhead: Using Redux in very small apps might be an over-optimization, introducing more overhead than necessary.


Other state management solutions like Context API (built into React), MobX, Recoil, and Zustand have also gained popularity, offering different trade-offs in terms of simplicity, scalability, and developer experience.

Can you explain the difference between a controlled component and an uncontrolled component in React?
  1. Controlled Components:


A controlled component is one where React is in charge of maintaining the component’s state. The value of the form element is controlled by the React component, typically via the component’s state and functions passed as props.




– The form element’s value is determined by the state of a React component.

– Changes to the form element’s value are handled by a function that updates the state, typically named something like “handleChange”.

– The form element’s value is explicitly set using the “value” prop (for “<input>” and “<textarea>”) or the “selected” prop (for “<select>”).





class ControlledInput extends React.Component {

  constructor(props) {


    this.state = {

      inputValue: “”




  handleChange = (event) => {

    this.setState({ inputValue: });



  render() {

    return (











In this example, the “<input>” element’s value is controlled by the component’s state. Any changes to the input value will trigger the “handleChange” method, which updates the state.


  1. Uncontrolled Components:


An uncontrolled component is one where the form element’s state is maintained by the DOM, rather than a React component. React doesn’t manage the element’s state, but you can still interact with the element using a ref.




– The form element’s value is internally maintained by the DOM.

– React does not explicitly set the value of the form element.

– To access or modify the form element’s value in React, you’d use a ref.





class UncontrolledInput extends React.Component {

  constructor(props) {


    this.inputRef = React.createRef();



  handleSubmit = () => {

    console.log(“Input value:”, this.inputRef.current.value);



  render() {

    return (


        <input type=”text” ref={this.inputRef} />

        <button onClick={this.handleSubmit}>Submit</button>







In this example, the “<input>” element’s value is maintained by the DOM. To access the value, we use a ref (“this.inputRef”), particularly when the submit button is clicked.


Which One to Use?


– Controlled Components: They offer more predictability and can be integrated more tightly into the rest of your React application. They’re recommended in most cases because of the ease with which their values and behaviors can be integrated with React’s state management.


– Uncontrolled Components: They can be easier to integrate with non-React code that relies on the DOM state. If you’re integrating React into an existing application or working with libraries that expect the form element to maintain its own state, uncontrolled components can be a good fit.


In summary, controlled components rely on React to manage their state, while uncontrolled components let the DOM handle it. Controlled components are more common and recommended in the React community due to the benefits of centralized state management.

How do you keep your React applications performant, can you give an example of performance optimization techniques you have used in the past?

React is designed to be fast out of the box, but as applications grow, performance bottlenecks may arise. Here are some techniques and practices to optimize the performance of React applications:


  1. Profiling and Measuring Performance:

    – Before optimizing, identify performance bottlenecks. React DevTools and the browser’s built-in developer tools (like Chrome’s Performance tab) are excellent resources.

    – The React DevTools Profiler can help pinpoint which components are re-rendering and why.


  1. ShouldComponentUpdate and React.memo:

    – By default, a React component re-renders every time its parent re-renders, even if props didn’t change. 

    – Use “shouldComponentUpdate” in class components or wrap functional components with “React.memo” to prevent unnecessary re-renders.


      class ExpensiveComponent extends React.Component {

        shouldComponentUpdate(nextProps) {

          return !==;



        render() {

          // render logic





      OR for functional components:



      const ExpensiveComponent = React.memo(function ExpensiveComponent(props) {

        // render logic




  1. Virtualize Long Lists:

    – Rendering large lists can be a bottleneck.

    – Use libraries like “react-window” or “react-virtualized” to only render the items in the viewport.


  1. Lazy Loading and Code Splitting:

    – Use React’s built-in “React.lazy” function and Webpack’s dynamic “import()” to split your code into smaller chunks and load them on demand.


      const LazyLoadedComponent = React.lazy(() => import(‘./LazyLoadedComponent’));


      function App() {

        return (

          <React.Suspense fallback={<div>Loading…</div>}>

            <LazyLoadedComponent />






  1. Optimize State and Props:

    – Use immutable data structures. This makes it easier to quickly check if there were any changes. Libraries like “immutable.js” can help with this.

    – Be wary of creating new objects/arrays/functions on each render. This can cause unnecessary re-renders if these are passed as props to child components.


  1. Optimize Context Providers:

    – Context can cause re-renders in consumers even if data they care about hasn’t changed. Split contexts if different parts of your app need different pieces of context data.


  1. Use Production Build:

    – The development build of React has extra warnings and checks which can slow it down. Always use the production build for deployment.


  1. Throttle and Debounce:

    – For events that fire frequently (like “scroll” or “resize”), use throttling or debouncing to limit the rate at which a function can fire.


  1. Avoid Inline Function Definition in Render:

    – Instead of defining functions inline in the JSX, define them outside the render method or use the “useCallback” hook with functional components.


      // Instead of this:

      <Button onClick={() => doSomething(data)}>Click me</Button>


      // Do this:

      function handleClick() {



      <Button onClick={handleClick}>Click me</Button>



  1. Server-side Rendering (SSR):

    – For initial page load performance, consider using SSR with frameworks like Next.js. This delivers a rendered page to the browser, making content available to the user more quickly.


  1. Use Web Workers for Heavy Computations:

    – If your app has intensive computations, offload them to a web worker to keep the main thread free and the user interface smooth.


  1. Optimize Images and Assets:

    – Ensure images are optimized and correctly sized. Consider using responsive images with the “picture” and “source” elements.

    – Utilize content delivery networks (CDNs) for serving assets.


These are just some techniques. The key is always to measure, then optimize, and measure again to see the impact of your optimizations. Every application is unique, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

How do you approach testing in your React projects? What testing libraries have you used?

Testing in React projects is essential to ensure that components and utilities work as expected. A comprehensive testing strategy often involves a combination of unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end (E2E) tests.


  1. Testing Strategy:


– Unit Tests: These test individual components or functions in isolation from the rest of the application. They’re useful to ensure that small pieces of your application work as expected.


– Integration Tests: These test the interactions between multiple components or between components and APIs. They’re beneficial to ensure that different parts of your application work together correctly.


– End-to-End Tests (E2E): These test your application as a whole, often using tools that automate a browser. They simulate real user behavior, ensuring that the whole system (front-end + back-end) works correctly from the user’s perspective.


  1. Libraries and Tools:


– Jest: A popular testing framework for JavaScript. Jest provides a test runner, assertion library, and utilities for mocking/spying. React projects created with Create React App come pre-configured with Jest.


– React Testing Library: This library offers a set of utilities to test React components. It emphasizes testing components by querying them in ways that are similar to how users would find elements on the page, thereby promoting more user-centric testing.


– Enzyme: Developed by Airbnb, it’s another library for testing React components. Enzyme allows for shallow rendering (rendering a component without its children) which is useful for unit tests. However, many developers are migrating to React Testing Library due to its principle of testing components “as the user would”.


– Jest Mocks and Spies: These are utilities provided by Jest to mock modules and spy on function calls, helping you isolate behavior for unit testing.


– Cypress: An E2E testing framework that makes it easy to set up, write, run, and debug tests in the context of a web browser. It’s used for simulating user behavior on your application and ensuring the entire app works seamlessly.


– Storybook: While not strictly a testing tool, Storybook allows developers to develop and visualize components in isolation. It can be combined with other testing tools to run snapshot and visual regression tests.


  1. Typical Testing Approaches in React:


– Component Tests: Use Jest combined with React Testing Library or Enzyme to render components and verify that they behave correctly.


– Snapshot Tests: These tests save a rendered component’s output to a file (a snapshot) and then compare future test runs against this snapshot to detect any changes.


– Redux (or other state management libraries) Tests: Test reducers as pure functions. Use Jest mocks to test async action creators and middleware.


– Hooks: React Testing Library provides the “renderHook” method to test custom hooks in isolation.


– E2E Tests: Use Cypress or a similar tool to test user flows through your application. For example, you might write an E2E test that simulates a user signing up, logging in, modifying their profile, and logging out.


  1. Best Practices:


– Test Behavior, Not Implementation: Your tests should verify what a component does, not how it does it. This ensures that your tests remain valid even if you refactor the component.


– Keep Tests DRY, But Not Too DRY: While you don’t want to repeat yourself excessively in tests, overly abstracting your tests can make them harder to read and understand.


– Mock External Dependencies: For unit and integration tests, mock out external services and modules to ensure your tests only validate your code’s behavior.


Remember, the exact tools and methodologies you adopt may vary based on the specific needs and constraints of your React projects. The key is to have a strategy that covers different testing levels and to integrate testing as part of your development workflow.