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React Interview Questions

by | Jun 23, 2023

React Interview Questions

Preparing for a React interview can be a daunting task, especially considering the vast ecosystem and constantly evolving nature of React.

Whether you’re a seasoned React developer or just starting your journey, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts and be prepared to answer common interview questions.

Dive into this comprehensive guide that covers the most commonly asked React interview questions.

Gain insights into React’s core concepts, component lifecycle, state management, hooks, performance optimization, and more. Equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence to ace your React interviews.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced React developer, this guide will help you brush up on your skills and tackle any React interview with ease.

What is React and why is it popular?

React is a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It was developed by Facebook and open-sourced in 2013. React allows developers to create reusable UI components that efficiently update and render the user interface based on changes in application state.

There are several reasons why React has gained immense popularity in the web development community:

    • Component-Based Architecture
    • Virtual DOM
    • Declarative Syntax
    • Reusability
    • Large Ecosystem
    • Cross-Platform Development
    • Active Community
    • Backed by Facebook

What are the key features of React?

React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces, offers several key features that contribute to its effectiveness and popularity. Here are some of the key features of React:

  • Component-Based Architecture: React follows a component-based approach, allowing developers to build UIs by creating reusable, self-contained components.
    Components can be composed together to form complex UI structures, making the code modular, maintainable, and easy to understand.
  • Virtual DOM: React implements a virtual representation of the Document Object Model (DOM), known as the Virtual DOM. It is a lightweight copy of the actual DOM, and React uses it to efficiently update and render components.
    By comparing the virtual DOM with the real DOM, React minimizes the number of actual DOM manipulations, resulting in improved performance and a smoother user experience.
  • JSX (JavaScript XML): JSX is a syntax extension for JavaScript used in React. It allows developers to write HTML-like code within JavaScript, making it easier to define component structures and render UI elements.
    JSX simplifies the process of creating and composing components, enhancing the readability and maintainability of React code.
  • Unidirectional Data Flow: React follows a unidirectional data flow or one-way data binding pattern. Data flows from parent components to child components, ensuring a clear and predictable data flow hierarchy.
    This simplifies debugging, as changes to data are localized and easily traceable.
  • Reconciliation: React efficiently updates the UI by performing a process called reconciliation. When the application state changes, React compares the new virtual DOM with the previous one and determines the minimal set of changes required to update the UI.
    This optimization minimizes unnecessary re-rendering, resulting in improved performance.
  • React Hooks: Introduced in React 16.8, hooks are functions that allow developers to use state and other React features in functional components, without the need for class components.
    Hooks enable the reuse of stateful logic and provide a more concise and readable syntax for managing component state and side effects.
  • React Router: React Router is a popular library that provides routing capabilities to React applications.
    It allows developers to handle navigation and routing within a single-page application, enabling dynamic rendering of components based on different URLs or routes.
  • Rich Ecosystem: React has a thriving ecosystem with a vast collection of community-driven libraries, tools, and extensions.
    These resources enhance React’s functionality, provide additional features, and address specific needs, allowing developers to leverage the ecosystem to build powerful and customized applications.

Explain the difference between functional components and class components in React.

In React, there are two primary ways to define components: functional components and class components. Here are the main differences between the two:

Functional Components:

  • Functional components are defined as JavaScript functions.
  • They are simpler and more concise compared to class components.
  • They receive props (input data) as the first parameter and return JSX (UI representation) as the output.
  • Functional components do not have their own internal state.
  • They are primarily used for presenting UI based on props and do not have lifecycle methods or state management.
  • With the introduction of React hooks in newer versions of React, functional components can also manage state and have lifecycle behavior by using hooks like useState, useEffect, and more.

Class Components:

  • Class components are defined as JavaScript classes that extend the React.Component class.
  • They have a more verbose syntax compared to functional components.
  • Class components have their own internal state, which allows them to manage and update data over time.
  • They have lifecycle methods such as componentDidMount, componentDidUpdate, and componentWillUnmount that can be utilized for handling side effects and managing component updates.
  • Class components are useful when you need to implement complex logic, manage local state, or access lifecycle methods.
  • However, with the introduction of hooks, many features and functionalities of class components can now be achieved in functional components as well.

What is JSX in React? How does it differ from HTML?

JSX (JavaScript XML) is a syntax extension used in React to write HTML-like code within JavaScript. It allows you to define the structure and appearance of React components in a familiar and declarative manner. JSX is not actual HTML but a syntax that gets transformed into JavaScript during the build process.

Here are the key differences between JSX and HTML:

  • Syntax: JSX closely resembles HTML syntax, but there are a few differences.
    For example, instead of using HTML attributes like class in HTML, JSX uses className to define CSS classes, as class is a reserved keyword in JavaScript. Similarly, JSX uses htmlFor instead of for when associating labels with form elements.
  • Expressions: JSX allows you to embed JavaScript expressions within curly braces {}. This means you can dynamically generate content or include variables, functions, or any valid JavaScript code within JSX. HTML does not have this level of dynamic expression embedding.
  • Component Rendering: JSX enables you to render React components directly within the code. You can use the component’s name as if it were an HTML element. For example, <MyComponent /> represents the rendering of a custom React component called MyComponent. In HTML, you can only use predefined HTML elements.
  • Attribute Names: JSX uses camelCase for attribute names instead of kebab-case used in HTML. For example, onClick instead of onclick or onChange instead of onchange.
  • Self-Closing Tags: JSX allows self-closing tags for elements that don’t have children, similar to HTML5. For example, <input /> is valid JSX, whereas in HTML, the self-closing syntax <input></input> is required.
  • Custom Components: JSX allows you to define and use custom components alongside built-in HTML elements. This makes it easier to create and compose reusable UI components specific to your application’s needs.

How does React handle state management?

React provides a built-in mechanism for managing state, allowing you to handle and update data within your components. Here’s an overview of how React handles state management:

  • Component State: React introduces the concept of component state, which is a JavaScript object used to store and manage data specific to a component. State represents the mutable values that can change over time and affect the rendering of the component.
  • State Initialization: State is typically initialized within the constructor of a class component using the this.state object. It’s recommended to set the initial state within the constructor before the component is mounted.
  • Updating State: To update the state in React, you should not modify the state object directly. Instead, you use the setState method provided by React. This method accepts a new state object or a function that returns the new state based on the previous state. React will merge the changes with the existing state and trigger a re-rendering of the component.
  • Rendering Based on State: When the state changes, React automatically re-renders the component, updating the UI to reflect the new state. React’s efficient diffing algorithm (Virtual DOM) determines the minimal set of changes required to update the actual DOM, resulting in optimized rendering performance.
  • Passing State as Props: Components can pass their state values as props to child components, allowing data to flow down the component tree. This enables components further down the tree to access and display the state data without directly modifying it.
  • Stateful vs. Stateless Components: In React, components can be classified as stateful or stateless. Stateful components (class components) manage their own state and handle state changes, while stateless functional components receive data through props and do not have their own internal state. React’s introduction of hooks allows functional components to manage state as well, blurring the distinction between stateful and stateless components.


It’s important to note that React’s state management is primarily focused on managing local component state. For more complex state management scenarios, such as handling shared or global state across multiple components, you may consider using external state management libraries like Redux or React Context API.

What is the significance of virtual DOM in React?

The virtual DOM is a significant feature of React that plays a crucial role in optimizing performance and efficiently updating the user interface. Here’s an explanation of the significance of the virtual DOM in React:

  • Efficient UI Updates: The virtual DOM serves as a lightweight copy of the actual DOM, representing the current state of the UI. When there are changes in the application’s data or state, React compares the previous virtual DOM with the new one to identify the specific elements that need to be updated.
  • Minimized DOM Manipulation: React’s diffing algorithm compares the previous and new virtual DOM trees and identifies the differences (known as “diffs”) between them. Instead of re-rendering the entire UI or manipulating the real DOM directly, React intelligently updates only the necessary parts of the DOM to reflect the changes.
  • Batched Updates: React batches multiple UI updates and performs them in a single pass. This optimization reduces the number of times the DOM is accessed and modified, resulting in improved performance. By minimizing direct DOM manipulation, React avoids costly and potentially slow operations that can impact the user experience.
  • Performance Optimization: With the virtual DOM, React avoids expensive operations like recalculating styles, reflow, and repaint, which are typically triggered by direct DOM manipulation. By calculating the minimal set of changes needed and efficiently applying them, React optimizes the rendering process and enhances overall performance.
  • Developer-Friendly Abstraction: The virtual DOM serves as an abstraction layer between the developer and the actual DOM. Developers can work with a simplified and declarative representation of the UI (in the form of JSX and React components), focusing on describing the desired UI state rather than dealing with low-level DOM manipulation.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: The virtual DOM allows React to work seamlessly across different platforms and environments. Whether it’s rendering components in a web browser, a mobile device using React Native, or a server-side environment with React Server Components, the virtual DOM abstraction ensures consistent behavior and efficient updates.

What are React hooks? How do they work?

React hooks are a feature introduced in React 16.8 that allow functional components to have state and access other React features without using class components. They provide a simpler and more concise syntax for managing state and side effects in functional components.

Here’s how React hooks work:

  • useState: The useState hook allows functional components to have local state. It returns a stateful value and a function to update that value. You can initialize the state with an initial value, and subsequent updates to the state will trigger a re-rendering of the component.
  • useEffect: The useEffect hook is used to handle side effects, such as fetching data, subscribing to events, or manipulating the DOM. It accepts a function that will be executed after the component renders. You can also specify dependencies to control when the effect should run. For example:
  • Other Built-in Hooks: React provides several other built-in hooks that serve specific purposes, such as:
  • useContext: Allows accessing the value of a React context within a component.
  • useReducer: A variation of the useState hook that is useful for managing complex state logic.
  • useCallback and useMemo: Memoization hooks that optimize the performance of functions and values by memoizing their results.
  • Custom Hooks: Developers can create custom hooks to encapsulate reusable state logic or side effects. Custom hooks are functions that use one or more of the built-in hooks, allowing you to extract and share common logic across multiple components.


Explain the concept of prop drilling and how to solve it.

Prop drilling, also known as “props drilling” or “component chaining,” is a term used to describe a situation in React where props need to be passed through multiple levels of nested components, even if some intermediate components don’t require or use those props. It can lead to code clutter, reduced readability, and maintenance issues.

To solve the prop drilling issue and avoid passing props through unnecessary intermediate components, there are a few approaches you can take:

  • Use Context API: React’s Context API allows you to create a shared context that can be accessed by any component in the tree without explicitly passing props. You can wrap the relevant components with a context provider and consume the context values where needed. This eliminates the need for prop drilling.
  • Use State Management Libraries: State management libraries like Redux or MobX allow you to centralize the application state and access it from any component without prop drilling. These libraries provide a global state store that can be accessed and modified from any component in the application.
  • Component Restructuring: If the component structure allows, you can consider restructuring your components to move the components that actually require the props closer to the component providing the props. This way, you can minimize the number of intermediate components involved in prop passing.

What is the purpose of key prop in React? Why is it important?

The key prop in React is used to uniquely identify elements when rendering lists or collections of components. Each element within an array should have a unique key prop assigned to it. The purpose of the key prop is to help React identify and efficiently update the elements within a list.

Here’s why the key prop is important:

  • Efficient Reconciliation: React uses the key prop to determine whether a component should be updated, added, or removed when rendering lists. When a list changes, React performs a process called reconciliation, where it compares the new list with the previous one. The key prop allows React to identify which components have changed, minimizing the number of updates needed and improving performance.
  • Preserving Component State: The key prop helps maintain the state of components in a list during updates. React uses the key prop to map components to their previous state correctly. Without a unique key prop, components may lose their state during updates, resulting in undesired behavior.
  • Avoiding Duplicate Keys: The key prop ensures that each element in a list has a unique identifier. Using duplicate key values can lead to unpredictable behavior and errors. React uses the key prop to differentiate between components and update them appropriately.

By assigning a unique key prop to each item in a list, React can optimize the rendering and updating process, ensuring efficient and accurate changes to the UI. It’s important to note that the key prop should be a stable identifier that doesn’t change between renders, such as an ID or a unique attribute from the data source.

How can you optimize performance in React?

To optimize performance in React:

  • Use functional components when possible as they have a smaller memory footprint.
  • Memoize components using memo or PureComponent to avoid unnecessary re-renders.
  • Provide a unique key prop for list items to optimize list rendering.
  • Virtualize long lists using libraries like React Virtualized or React Window.
  • Debounce or throttle event handlers to reduce excessive updates.
  • Employ code splitting to load components on-demand and reduce initial bundle size.
  • Cache expensive computations using memoization techniques.
  • Optimize network requests by bundling, compressing assets, and implementing caching strategies.
  • Profile your application using tools like React Profiler or browser DevTools to identify bottlenecks.
  • Avoid inline function definitions in render methods to prevent unnecessary re-renders.

What are controlled and uncontrolled components in React?

In React, controlled components are form inputs whose state is managed by React. The value of the input is stored in React state and updated through event handlers. This allows for precise control and manipulation of the input’s value.

Uncontrolled components, on the other hand, let the DOM handle the input’s state. The input’s value is managed by the browser, and you can access it using a ref. Uncontrolled components are simpler to implement but provide less control over the input’s value.

Controlled components use React state to manage input values, while uncontrolled components rely on the DOM for state management.

Explain the lifecycle methods of a React component.

React components have lifecycle methods that allow you to perform tasks at different stages of a component’s life. The key lifecycle methods include:

  • constructor(): Initializes the component and sets the initial state.
  • render(): Returns the JSX that represents the component’s UI.
  • componentDidMount(): Executes after the component is rendered to the DOM.
  • shouldComponentUpdate(nextProps, nextState): Determines if the component should re-render based on changes in props or state.
  • componentDidUpdate(prevProps, prevState): Executes after the component is updated and re-rendered.
  • componentWillUnmount(): Performs cleanup tasks before the component is unmounted.

What is the significance of PureComponent in React?

PureComponent in React is a subclass of Component that automatically implements a shallow comparison of props and state to determine if a re-render is necessary. It helps optimize performance by preventing unnecessary re-renders when there are no changes in the props or state. However, it may not be suitable for components with complex data structures that require deep comparisons.

How does React Router work? Explain its key components.

React Router is a library that helps manage routing in React applications. Its key components include:

  • BrowserRouter: Wraps the application and handles URL changes.
  • Route: Defines a mapping between a URL path and a component to render.
  • Link: Creates navigation links that update the URL and render the appropriate component.
  • Switch: Renders only the first matching route to ensure only one route is displayed.
  • Redirect: Redirects users to a different location.


With these components, React Router simplifies routing in React applications by handling URL updates and rendering the appropriate components based on the current URL path.

What are higher-order components (HOCs) in React? Provide an example.

Higher-order components (HOCs) are a pattern in React that allows you to reuse component logic by wrapping components with a higher-order function. HOCs take in a component as input and return a new enhanced component with additional functionality.

import React from 'react';

// Higher-order component
const withLogger = (WrappedComponent) =&amp;gt; {
  class WithLogger extends React.Component {
    componentDidMount() {
      console.log(`Component ${} mounted.`);

    componentWillUnmount() {
      console.log(`Component ${} will unmount.`);

    render() {
      return <WrappedComponent {...this.props} />;

  return WithLogger;

// Component to enhance with logging functionality
const MyComponent = (props) =&amp;gt; {
  return <div>{props.message}</div>;

// Enhance the component with the higher-order component
const EnhancedComponent = withLogger(MyComponent);

// Usage of the enhanced component
const App = () =&amp;gt; {
  return <EnhancedComponent message="Hello, world!" />;


In this example, the withLogger function is a higher-order component that takes a component (WrappedComponent) as input. It returns a new component (WithLogger) that wraps the WrappedComponent and provides additional logging functionality.

The WithLogger component logs a message when it mounts and when it will unmount. It then renders the WrappedComponent by passing along any props it receives.

To use the higher-order component, you invoke it by passing the component you want to enhance (MyComponent) as an argument. The returned component (EnhancedComponent) is then rendered in the App component.

By using higher-order components, you can encapsulate common functionalities and apply them to multiple components without duplicating code. They provide a way to enhance and extend component behavior in a reusable manner.

It’s important to note that with the introduction of React hooks, higher-order components are no longer the only approach for reusing component logic. You can also use custom hooks to achieve similar functionality with a more concise and composable syntax.

React Interview Questions

Explain the concept of context in React. How is it used?

In React, context is a feature that allows data to be passed down the component tree without explicitly passing props through every level of nesting. It provides a way to share data between components without the need for intermediate components to pass the data explicitly.

Here’s how the concept of context works in React:

  • Creating a Context: First, you create a context using the createContext function provided by React. This creates a context object that contains a Provider and a Consumer.
  • Providing Data: Wrap the components that need access to the shared data within a Provider component. The Provider component accepts a value prop, which represents the data you want to share.
  • Consuming Data: Components that need to access the shared data can use the Consumer component or the useContext hook to access the data from the context.
  • Updating Context Data: To update the context data, you typically create a state or a context provider higher up in the component tree that manages the data. When the data changes, the context provider will re-render, and the new value will be propagated to the consuming components.Context is commonly used in scenarios where data needs to be accessed by multiple components across the component tree, such as themes, user authentication, localization, or global state management. It eliminates the need to pass props through multiple levels, making the code cleaner and more maintainable.It’s worth noting that using context for all types of data sharing in the component tree can lead to decreased component reusability and harder-to-understand code. Context is most suitable for sharing data that is truly global or widely used across the application.


How do you handle forms in React? Discuss form validation and handling form submission.

Handling forms in React involves managing form state, capturing user input, performing form validation, and handling form submissions. Here’s a general approach to handling forms in React:

  • Form State Management: Create a component that represents the form and define its initial state using React’s useState hook. Each form field should have its own state variable to track its value.
  • Capturing User Input: Bind input elements to their respective state variables using the value prop and the onChange event handler. As the user interacts with the form fields, update the corresponding state variables to capture the input.
  • Form Validation: Implement validation logic to ensure the entered data meets your requirements. You can perform validation on individual fields using conditions or validation libraries such as Formik, Yup, or React Hook Form. Update the form state accordingly by setting an error state or validation messages.
  • Handling Form Submission: Create an event handler function for form submission. When the user submits the form, prevent the default form submission behavior (e.preventDefault()) and process the form data. You can perform additional validation before submitting the form and handle any required actions, such as sending data to a server or updating application state.


What are React fragments and why are they used?

React fragments are used to group multiple elements without adding extra markup to the DOM.

They help keep the JSX markup clean, avoid unnecessary nesting, and reduce the number of DOM elements created. Fragments are a convenient way to structure components and improve performance.

How does React differ from other JavaScript frameworks like Angular or Vue?

React differentiates itself from other JavaScript frameworks like Angular and Vue in the following ways:

  • Component-Based Approach: React focuses primarily on building UI components, while Angular and Vue encompass a broader range of features and functionalities beyond components.
  • Virtual DOM vs. Direct DOM Manipulation: React uses a virtual DOM to efficiently update and render components, whereas Angular and Vue directly manipulate the real DOM.
  • Learning Curve: React has a relatively low learning curve, making it easier to adopt. Angular and Vue have steeper learning curves due to their comprehensive nature.
  • Size and Performance: React has a smaller bundle size and allows for more flexibility in terms of additional libraries and tools. Angular and Vue have larger footprints due to their built-in features.
  • Community and Ecosystem: React has a large and active community with extensive third-party libraries. Angular and Vue also have strong communities and ecosystems, but React’s community is particularly vibrant.
  • Tooling and Development Workflow: React offers flexibility in choosing tools and workflows, while Angular provides a comprehensive set of tools and conventions. Vue strikes a balance between flexibility and built-in tooling.

Describe the concept of reconciliation in React.

Reconciliation is the process by which React updates the user interface to reflect changes in the component tree. When there are updates to the state or props of a component, React compares the previous and new versions of the component tree to determine what changes need to be applied to the actual DOM.

Here’s an overview of how the reconciliation process works in React:

  1. Virtual DOM Comparison: React maintains a virtual representation of the component tree called the virtual DOM. When there are updates, React generates new versions of the virtual DOM tree based on the changes in the state or props.
  2. Diffing Algorithm: React uses a diffing algorithm to compare the previous virtual DOM tree with the new one. It performs a deep comparison of the component subtrees to identify the specific differences or “diffs” between them.
  3. Minimal Updates: The diffing algorithm determines the minimal set of changes required to update the actual DOM. Instead of re-rendering the entire component tree, React selectively updates only the components and elements that have changed. This optimization minimizes the impact on performance by avoiding unnecessary DOM manipulations.
  4. Component Updates: For component instances with the same type, React updates the props of the existing component, triggering a re-rendering and update of its subtree.
  5. Component Reordering: React efficiently reorders DOM elements when the order of sibling components changes.
  6. Component Removal: When a component is removed from the component tree, React unmounts the component and cleans up any associated event handlers or resources.
  7. Reconciliation Strategy: React follows a specific reconciliation strategy to handle different types of updates efficiently:
  8. Keyed Lists: When rendering lists of components, React uses the key prop to ensure efficient updates and avoid unnecessary re-rendering of components.
  9. Batched Updates: React batches multiple updates together to optimize performance. Instead of immediately applying each update, React queues the updates and performs them in a single pass. This batching reduces the number of DOM accesses and updates, resulting in better performance.

  10. Conclusion:

    React has gained immense popularity in the web development community due to its efficiency, reusability, and component-based architecture.

    Mastering React and acing React interviews require not only theoretical knowledge but also practical experience in building real-world applications.

    By familiarizing yourself with these commonly asked interview questions, you’ll be better equipped to showcase your understanding of React’s core concepts, state management, component lifecycle, performance optimization, and other crucial aspects.

    Remember to go beyond memorization and strive to comprehend the underlying principles behind React, as this will empower you to tackle any question that comes your way. Best of luck with your React interviews, and may you excel in showcasing your React expertise!


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