What is a Front End Systems Design Interview?

Systems design has been part of the interview roster for back end and full stack roles for a long time. They are fairly well understood and seem to follow a consistent framework, making it easy to find a plethora of resources about how to excel in one.

However, systems design interviews for Front End roles are a different story. They seem to differ from company to company. Some companies take the approach of doing a more generalist interview, where you don’t go as deep as you would on a back end focused role. Other companies have developed formats that focus more on the front end stack.

The goal of this article is to provide a framework for a more front end focused systems design interview.

High-Level Goals of a Front End Systems Design Interview

  1. Demonstrate your ability to break-down a technical problem in real time.
  2. Highlight your ability to think technically and use your knowledge and experience to come up with an optimized solution to a front end design problem.
  3. Demonstrate your focus on quality, both technically and experience-wise.
  4. Demonstrate your communication skills.
    1. Think about it this way, you will be having a lot of similar discussions on the job. The systems design interview is a way to show the company how well you can collaborate to solve a challenging technical problem.

Systems Design Case Studies

Stock Exchange Systems Design Case Study

Front End Systems Design Outline

<aside> ℹ️ Below is a rough outline of the activities in a front end systems design interview. This is not meant to be exact, you may not cover everything in one interview.


Discuss and document high-level requirements.

Document the tech stack