How To Hire a PHP Developer? With the Right Interview Questions - DistantJob - Remote Recruitment Agency
Evaluating Remote Tech Candidates / Offshore IT Staffing Advice

How To Hire a PHP Developer? With the Right Interview Questions

- 3 min. to read

As you might know already, PHP developers have the ability to create programs, applications, websites, and within this, a lot more functionalities like user logins, internal messaging, image/document upload, among other characteristics. However, most PHP developers work on websites – more than 80% of all web projects use PHP as a server-side language. 

There are two categories of PHP developers:

  • PHP software developers: Create websites, applications, and mobile platforms from scratch using PHP language.
  • PHP web developers: Design and build websites (that can be mobile-friendly as well). PHP web developers work a lot with other popular programming languages like HTML,  CSS, JavaScript. 

In simpler words, PHP software developers build software while web developers only build web applications.

A PHP developer takes care of:

1. Site Speed

Remember of a website that took forever to load? Probably not! You didn’t want to wait and moved on to looking at another website. Whether you have a blog, an e-commerce business, or are just trying to get clients online, having an SEO-friendly website that is fast loading must be one of the things you need to be aiming for. With PHP on your side, one of the major benefits is that your website will be as fast as a Bugatti. PHP 7 is stated to be 3 times faster than Python and highly recommended for content-driven websites or e-commerce. 

2. User-friendly Websites

PHP language developers can create interactive features like email forms, private messaging systems, login integration, access to support, comments, forums – to name a few. You can customize a website easily as you want to with a PHP developer. So, in simpler words, you are the master and creator of your website (With the help of a PHP developer, of course). 

3. Database Connectivity

PHP is very flexible in terms of database connectivity and is able to connect to different databases. And although MySQL is the most commonly used, PHP developers are not limited to using this option. This gives PHP developers the freedom to choose the database of their preference, and the one who works better for the website. 

4. Open-source

What’s the best part of this? Saving money. You don’t need to spend on expensive software or on ‘fancy’ licenses. The fact is that PHP is open source which means that it’s freely available online, and so are many PHP tools, helping reduce costs. Also, it increases the possibility of solving issues that might show up along the way. 

5. Build a Website Fortress

This does not mean that all PHP developers will provide the best security – that’s why you need to make sure you’re hiring the best IT talent. However, if you find out-of-this world techies (Like the ones we recruit at DistantJob), one of the significant benefits is that you will have a website more secure than the National Bank! Well, kind of. But professional PHP developers can build code without vulnerabilities, frustrating hackers and making them give up. 

How to Hire a Skilled PHP Developer? Think Globaly

Woman working from home with her laptop

Why search for talent in just one area when you have a world full of possibilities? Hiring a remote PHP developer is one of the best decisions you could ever make. 

Why? – Here are five (of many) benefits of hiring a remote PHP developer: 

Larger Pool of Talents

How many great PHP developers are in your city? 10, 50, or – if you are lucky and live in a big city – over 1000?

How many great PHP developers are spread all over the world? Millions. Why put limits on your talent search? There is impressive talent out there – and not only in Silicon Valley. It’s everywhere; the US does not have a monopoly on developers. Stop looking and being frustrated because you can’t find the IT talent you are looking for nearby. Go remote!

Productive Employees

Fact: Remote employees are more productive. FlexJobs made a survey with 3,100 professionals. 65% were sure they would be more productive working from home than at their regular offices. Tiny Pulse did another survey, and 91% of remote employees state that they work more when they are not in the office.

There is no science on this. Think about it this way: No office means no distractions, no annoying coworkers (well, not all of them are annoying, but they might interrupt your workflow) – this also means less stress – and excellent work fuel (awesome coffee made at home).

Remote is the Future of Work

We are facing the terrible age of the Coronavirus, which means almost every company is working from home. But even before the pandemic, many companies allowed their employees to work remotely. Since 2005 the number of people working from home increased by 140%. And with technological improvements such as virtual reality tools, distributed teams are more connected than ever. 

Lower Costs

Hiring a remote developer also means saving money. You can hire a talented PHP developer who lives in a city where the cost of living is much lower. Companies who allow their employees to work from home reduce expenses by up to $11,000 annually because they do not spend on office space, electricity, water/coffee/snacks, office repairs, among other costs. 

Is What developers Want

What is better than working with people that enjoy their job and will deliver great results? Remote employees are happier than Onsite employees. Owl Labs surveyed 1,200 US workers between the ages of 22 and 65 for its 2019 State of Remote Work report. Full-time remote workers said that they are 22% happier in their job than people who never work remotely. This relates to the fact that remote employees have better work-life balance, are more productive, have less stress, and they don’t need to spend hours on traffic. 

Hire a PHP developer

Now that you know you want a remote developer, how can you screen and spot the right one? Here’s a list of key PHP interview questions to ask your future team player. Whenever you are interested in hiring a PHP developer to boost your business, these questions will guide you to identify true talent. Yet, if you want to skip the hard work, don’t worry; the only thing you have to do is contact us. 

4 Key PHP Interview Questions To Screen your Next Candidate

1. Explain the difference between == and === operator in PHP.

This question is relatively simple but helps us understand if your potential developer knows common operators in PHP and understands the concept of data types. == is an equal operator and will return TRUE if $a is equal to $b after type juggling. ===, instead, is the identical operator and will only return TRUE if $a is equal to $b and they are of the same data type.

Let’s take a look at an example:

<?php $a=true; $b=1; // Below condition returns true and prints a and b are equal if($a==$b){ echo "a and b are equal"; }else{ echo "a and b are not equal"; } //Below condition returns false and prints a and b are not equal because $a    and $b are of different data types. if($a===$b){ echo "a and b are equal"; }else{ echo "a and b are not equal"; } ?>


2. Explain what a session is in PHP and how to remove data from a session.

Essentially, PHP sessions are used to directly store data for individual users and clients against a unique session ID to maintain states on the server and share data across multiple pages. The session IDs are typically “sent to the browser via session cookies and the ID is used to retrieve existing session data.” If, however, a session ID is not present on the server already, PHP creates a new session and generates a unique session ID.

Let’s look at an example:


<?php //starting a session session_start(); //Creating a session $_SESSION['user_info']=['user_id'=>1,'first_name'=>'php','last_name'=>'scots','status'=>'active'];


//checking session


echo "logged In";



//un setting remove a value from session



// destroying complete session





3. Show how to register a variable in a PHP session.

There are two ways to register a variable in a PHP session that your PHP developer to hire should know. In PHP 5.3 or below, it should be registered via the session_register() function. Now, however, it’s possible to directly set a value in $_SESSION Global.

Here’s an example of both:

<?php // Starting session session_start(); // Use of session_register() is deprecated $username = "PhpScots"; session_register("username"); // Use of $_SESSION is preferred $_SESSION["username"] = "PhpScots"; ?>


4. In PHP, what are constructors and destructors?

Constructor and Destructor – although it sounds like the relatives of Optimus Prime or Megatron – it’s quite (a lot different). 

They are special type functions called when a PHP class object is created and destroyed. 

Constructors are typically used to initialize the private variables, while destructors free up the resources created and used by the class.

Here is a sample:



class Foo {


private $name;

private $link;


public function __construct($name) {

$this->name = $name;



public function setLink(Foo $link){

$this->link = $link;



public function __destruct() {

echo 'Destroying: ', $this->name, PHP_EOL;





Over to you

Describe your dreamed PHP developer. You might be thinking of someone who has expertise in the area, who delivers projects on time, knows how to handle problems the right way, is a team player, has initiative, and communicates clearly. 

Is hiring someone with these traits hard? Yes, very hard. 

We all know that the hiring process is time-consuming and it requires a lot of work to handle. And the IT area is one of the hardest areas to hire for. Taking aside the fact that talented techies are usually working for other companies, the tech marketplace is crazy competitive, and not all the options will make the best suit for your company. 

Not to upset you, but it is the truth. We know this work is hard because we have over ten years of experience headhunting the best international IT talent out there. We can get you the best tech talent, someone who fits perfectly in your company in just a matter of weeks – besides, we take care of all the payroll. 

Hire the right PHP developer for your company now with DistantJob! 

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You live, breathe and eat code, and have fun figuring out how to solve problems. And you love living in South America or Eastern Europe. But you don’t feel as fulfilled as your friends in North America.