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Top 50 MERN Stack Interview Questions You Need to Know

Blog Web Development April 25, 2024

mern stack interview questions

MERN stack interview questions” are important for developers trying to understand the complexity of creating modern web applications. The MERN stack, which includes MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js, equips developers with the tools to create efficient web applications. As the demand for skilled full-stack developers grows, understanding these technologies is effective web applications.

MERN stack interview questions.

1. What is the MERN stack?

Answer: The MERN stack is a collection of powerful technologies used to develop scalable web applications. It includes MongoDB (a NoSQL database), Express.js (a backend web application framework for Node.js), React.js (a frontend JavaScript library for building user interfaces), and Node.js (a runtime environment for executing JavaScript on the server side).

2. Explain how the MVC architecture relates to the MERN stack.

Answer: While the MERN stack doesn’t explicitly include MVC architecture, it can be aligned with it. Here, React acts as the ‘View’ layer, providing the user interface. The ‘Controller’ and ‘Model’ layers are handled by Node.js and Express.js, where Express routes requests to the appropriate controller logic, which manipulates data models using MongoDB.

3. What is JSX in React, and why is it used?

Answer: JSX stands for JavaScript XML. It allows developers to write HTML structures in the same file as JavaScript code, making the code easier to understand and maintain. React transforms JSX into JavaScript, enabling the dynamic rendering of content in web applications.

4. How does React handle state management?

Answer: React manages state using the useState hook for functional components or state properties in class components. State helps keep track of changes in data over the lifecycle of a component, triggering the UI to re-render when data chang

import React, { useState } from 'react';

function Example() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

  return (
      <p>You clicked {count} times</p>
      <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>
        Click me

5. What are React Hooks, and give examples of common hooks you use?

Answer: React Hooks are functions that let you use state and other React features in functional components. Common hooks include useState, for state management, and useEffect, for performing side effects in components.

import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';

function Example() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

  // Similar to componentDidMount and componentDidUpdate:
  useEffect(() => {
    // Update the document title using the browser API
    document.title = `You clicked ${count} times`;

  return (
      <p>You clicked {count} times</p>
      <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>
        Click me

6. Describe the Virtual DOM and how React uses it for efficient rendering.

Answer: The Virtual DOM is a lightweight copy of the real DOM. React creates a Virtual DOM when a component renders. Before updating the real DOM, React calculates the difference between the current DOM and the Virtual DOM, updating only the changed parts. This minimizes the performance cost of DOM manipulation.

7. What is the difference between a class component and a functional component in React?

FeatureClass ComponentFunctional Component
SyntaxUses ES6 class syntaxUses functions
State ManagementCan use this.state and this.setStateUses useState hook
Lifecycle MethodsSupports lifecycle methods (e.g., componentDidMount)Uses Hooks (e.g., useEffect) for lifecycle events
Use of this keywordFrequently uses this to access props and stateDoes not use this
Length of CodeGenerally longer due to syntaxTypically shorter and simpler
Use CasesSuitable for larger, stateful componentsPreferred for simpler components and using hooks
PerformanceSlightly slower due to lifecycle methodsPotentially faster due to simplified rendering

8. How do you handle asynchronous operations in Node.js?

Answer: Node.js handles asynchronous operations using callbacks, Promises, and async/await. Promises are syntactical sugar over callbacks, providing a cleaner solution, while async/await helps write asynchronous code in a synchronous manner.

const fs = require('fs').promises;

async function readFile(filePath) {
  try {
    const data = await fs.readFile(filePath, 'utf8');
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error reading file:', error);

9. What is the event loop in Node.js?

Answer: The event loop is a mechanism that allows Node.js to perform non-blocking I/O operations, despite JavaScript being single-threaded. It works by offloading operations to the system kernel whenever possible, and it handles polling for these operations and executing their callbacks upon completion.

10. Explain middleware in Express.js. How is it used?

Answer: Middleware functions are functions that have access to the request object, the response object, and the next middleware function in the application’s request-response cycle. They can execute any code, modify the request and response objects, end the request-response cycle, and call the next middleware in the stack. This is commonly used for logging, parsing, and session handling.

const express = require('express');
const app = express();

app.use((req, res, next) => {

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
  res.send('Hello World!');

app.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('Server started on port 3000');

11. What are higher-order components in React?

Answer: Higher-order components (HOCs) are a pattern where a function takes a component and returns a new component. They are used for reusing component logic, such as enhancing components with additional properties or state.

12. How does error handling work in Express.js applications?

Answer: Express.js handles errors through middleware that are defined with four arguments instead of three, where the first argument is the error.

app.use((err, req, res, next) => {
  res.status(500).send('Something broke!');

13. What is the purpose of Redux in a React application?

Answer: Redux is a state management library used in JavaScript apps to manage the application’s global state in a single immutable state object. It helps keep the state consistent across the app, makes data handling more predictable, and simplifies the management of complex state interactions.

14. How do you use the useEffect hook in React?

Answer: The useEffect hook is used to perform side effects in function components, such as data fetching, subscriptions, or manually changing the DOM. It runs after every render by default, but you can specify an array of values as the second argument to run it only when those values change.

useEffect(() => {
  document.title = `You clicked ${count} times`;
  return () => {
    // Cleanup code here
}, [count]); // Only re-run the effect if count changes

15. What is the difference between SQL and NoSQL databases, and why is MongoDB used in the MERN stack?

Answer: SQL databases are relational, structured, and use SQL for defining and manipulating data. NoSQL databases like MongoDB are document-oriented, schema-less, and designed for large volumes of data and flexibility. MongoDB is used in the MERN stack due to its JSON-like document structure which integrates seamlessly with JavaScript, offering high performance, high availability, and easy scalability.

16. What are RESTful APIs, and how do you create one with Express.js?

Answer: RESTful APIs are APIs that follow the principles of REST (Representational State Transfer) to perform CRUD operations over HTTP. Express.js facilitates RESTful API development by handling HTTP routes with simple-to-use methods.

const express = require('express');
const app = express();

app.get('/api/resource', (req, res) => {
  res.send('GET request to the homepage');
});'/api/resource', (req, res) => {
  res.send('POST request to the homepage');

app.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('Server is running on port 3000');

17. What is the difference between useState and useReducer hooks in React?


Answer: useState is a hook that lets you add React state to function components. It is suitable for simple state management scenarios. useReducer is preferable for more complex state logic that involves multiple sub-values or when the next state depends on the previous one. It lets you manage local state of the component with a reducer.

// useState example
const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

// useReducer example
const initialState = {count: 0};

function reducer(state, action) {
  switch (action.type) {
    case 'increment':
      return {count: state.count + 1};
    case 'decrement':
      return {count: state.count - 1};
      throw new Error();

const [state, dispatch] = useReducer(reducer, initialState);

18.How do you implement user authentication in a MERN application?

Answer: User authentication in a MERN application can be implemented using JWT (JSON Web Tokens). When a user logs in, the server creates a JWT and sends it back to the client, which stores it typically in local storage. For subsequent requests, the JWT is sent to the server to access routes that require authentication.

19. What is JWT, and how is it used in securing applications?

Answer: JWT (JSON Web Token) is a compact, URL-safe means of representing claims to be transferred between two parties. It is used in applications to securely transfer information between clients and servers as an object that can validate the integrity of the claims contained within it. It’s commonly used for authentication and information exchange.

20. How do you manage state across multiple components in React?

Answer: State management across multiple components in React can be done using several methods:

  • Props: Passing state down from parent to child components via props.
  • Context API: Providing a way to share values between components without explicitly passing a prop through every level of the tree.
  • Redux: A library that provides a centralized store for all the state in your application, with rules ensuring that the state can only be updated in a predictable fashion.
// Example using Context API
import React, { useContext, useState } from 'react';

const StateContext = React.createContext();

function ParentComponent() {
  const [state, setState] = useState('initial state');

  return (
    <StateContext.Provider value={{ state, setState }}>
      <ChildComponent />

function ChildComponent() {
  const { state, setState } = useContext(StateContext);
  return (
      <button onClick={() => setState('new state')}>Change State</button>

21. What are props in React?

Answer: Props (short for properties) are a way of passing data from parent to child components in React. They are read-only and help you create components that are reusable and configurable.

22. How can you improve performance optimizations in a React application?

Answer: Several strategies can improve performance in React

  • Using Immutable Data Structures: Helps in optimizing pure components.
  • Memoization: Using React.memo for memorizing component output based on the same props.
  • Virtualization: Using libraries like react-window to efficiently render large lists and tabular data.
  • Lazy Loading: Using React.lazy for component-based code splitting.
  • Avoiding Anonymous Functions: Replacing inline function definitions that can cause unnecessary re-renders.

23. Explain how sharding works in MongoDB and its benefits.

Answer: Sharding in MongoDB is the process of storing data records across multiple machines. As the data grows, a single machine may not be able to store the data or provide acceptable read and write throughput. Sharding solves this problem by horizontally partitioning data across multiple servers, thus enhancing the database’s capacity and throughput.

24. Explain CORS. How do you handle it in your applications?

Answer: CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) is a security feature that restricts web applications from making requests to a domain different from the one which served the initial web page. In Express.js, CORS can be handled using the cors middleware.

const cors = require('cors');
const express = require('express');
const app = express();

app.use(cors()); // Use this to allow all cross-origin requests

app.get('/data', (req, res) => {
  res.json({ message: 'This is CORS-enabled for all origins!' });

app.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('CORS-enabled web server listening on port 3000');

25. What is aggregation in MongoDB, and how is it implemented?

Answer: Aggregation in MongoDB is a process of performing computation on data such as averaging, summing, or finding the maximum and is implemented using the aggregation pipeline. It processes data records and returns computed results. It consists of stages, each passing the documents to the next stage in the pipeline.

26. How does Node.js handle child processes?

Answer: Node.js can spawn child processes to execute other programs. Using the child_process module, Node.js can run system commands, invoke additional scripts, or start other Node.js processes. This can be useful for performing heavy computation tasks or handling CPU-intensive operations.

const { exec } = require('child_process');

exec('ls', (error, stdout, stderr) => {
  if (error) {
    console.error(`exec error: ${error}`);
  console.log(`stdout: ${stdout}`);
  console.error(`stderr: ${stderr}`);

27. What are the different types of data streams in Node.js, and how are they used?

Answer: Node.js offers four types of streams: Readable, Writable, Duplex (both readable and writable), and Transform (a type of duplex stream where the output is computed from the input). Streams are used for handling reading from and writing to files, network communications, or any end-to-end information exchange in an efficient manner.

const fs = require('fs');
const readableStream = fs.createReadStream('file.txt');
const writableStream = fs.createWriteStream('newFile.txt');


28. How do you handle file uploads in Node.js?

Answer: Handling file uploads in Node.js can be done using middleware like multer in combination with Express. Multer handles multipart/form-data and provides options for where and how to store files.

const express = require('express');
const multer  = require('multer');
const upload = multer({ dest: 'uploads/' });

const app = express();'/upload', upload.single('file'), (req, res) => {
  res.send('File uploaded successfully.');

app.listen(3000, () => console.log('App listening on port 3000'));

29. Describe how you would set up and secure a Node.js backend.

Answer: Securing a Node.js backend involves multiple strategies

  • Use HTTPS: Implement SSL/TLS to encrypt data transmitted between clients and servers.
  • Helmet: Use the Helmet library to set various HTTP headers for security.
  • Rate Limiting: Prevent DOS attacks by limiting the number of requests a user can make in a given period.
  • Sanitization: Cleanse the input data to prevent SQL injection, XSS, etc.
  • JWT for Authentication: Implement JSON Web Tokens for secure and scalable user authentication.

30. What is server-side rendering in React? Why would you use it?

Answer: Server-side rendering (SSR) in React is the technique of rendering React components on the server instead of in the browser. This approach can improve the performance of web applications by reducing load times and improving SEO by serving fully rendered pages to clients.

31. What is the significance of the package.json file in a Node.js project?

Answer: The package.json file serves as the backbone of a Node.js project, outlining project metadata, listing dependencies, defining scripts for task running, and managing versions and project configuration. It helps manage packages and ensures consistency across environments and installations.

32. Explain the use of WebSockets in a MERN application.

Answer: WebSockets provide a way to open an interactive communication session between the user’s browser and a server. In a MERN application, you can use WebSockets to implement real-time features such as chat applications, live notifications, or real-time updates of data.

const WebSocket = require('ws');
const wss = new WebSocket.Server({ port: 8080 });

wss.on('connection', function connection(ws) {
  ws.on('message', function incoming(message) {
    console.log('received: %s', message);


33. What are environment variables, and how do you use them in Node.js?

Answer: Environment variables are external configuration settings that control the behavior of a Node.js application without requiring changes to the code. They’re crucial for keeping sensitive data such as API keys and database credentials secure and are typically accessed in Node.js using process.env .

console.log('Your environment variable value:', process.env.MY_VARIABLE);

34. How do you use the connect function in Redux?

Answer: The connect function in Redux is used to connect a React component to the Redux store, allowing the component to access the state and dispatch actions. It typically takes two parameters: mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps.

import { connect } from 'react-redux';

function mapStateToProps(state) {
  return {
    todos: state.todos

function mapDispatchToProps(dispatch) {
  return {
    toggleTodo: id => dispatch(toggleTodo(id))

export default connect(

35. What is the significance of the .env file in Node.js projects?

Answer: The .env file is used to store environment variables privately and securely. In Node.js projects, it’s typically loaded at runtime so that these variables can be accessed from process.env. Libraries like dotenv are used to help load these variables into the application environment.

36. How do you handle pagination in a MERN application?

Answer: Pagination in a MERN application can be implemented by modifying the API to accept limit and offset parameters and use these to fetch a subset of records from the database. The frontend can then use these parameters to display the correct subset of data.

// Node.js with MongoDB
app.get('/items', async (req, res) => {
  const { page, pageSize } = req.query;
  const limit = parseInt(pageSize, 10);
  const skip = (parseInt(page, 10) - 1) * limit;

  const items = await db.collection('items').find().skip(skip).limit(limit).toArray();

37. Describe the steps to optimize a MongoDB database.

Answer: To optimize a MongoDB database:

  • Use appropriate indexing to speed up queries.
  • Implement sharding for horizontal scaling.
  • Regularly update and fine-tune your database configuration based on system usage patterns.
  • Use the aggregation framework efficiently to minimize data processing overhead.
  • Monitor performance and slow queries to identify and correct inefficiencies.

38. What is the significance of the Virtual DOM in React?

Answer: The Virtual DOM in React is a lightweight copy of the actual DOM in memory. React uses this Virtual DOM to optimize DOM manipulation by minimizing the number of writes and reflows to the actual DOM, thereby improving performance especially in dynamic applications where the UI updates frequently.

39. Explain the concept of lifting state up in React.

Answer: Lifting state up refers to moving shared state up to a common ancestor in the component hierarchy, allowing multiple child components to access and modify the state. This approach keeps the shared state synchronized across the components.

function ParentComponent() {
  const [sharedState, setSharedState] = useState('');

  return (
      <ChildA sharedState={sharedState} setSharedState={setSharedState} />
      <ChildB sharedState={sharedState} setSharedState={setSharedState} />

40. What are some security best practices for Express.js applications?

Answer: Key security practices for Express.js include.

  • Implement rate limiting to prevent DoS attacks.
  • Use Helmet to set secure HTTP headers.
  • Secure cookies and session data, particularly over HTTPS.
  • Validate and sanitize input data to prevent XSS and SQL injection attacks.
  • Use OAuth, JWT, or sessions for secure authentication.

41. How do you handle forms in React?

Answer: In React, forms can be managed using controlled components where form data is handled by the state within the component. The React state acts as the “single source of truth” for form input values, and events like onChange update the state, keeping the UI in sync with the data.

class MyForm extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.state = {value: ''};

    this.handleChange = this.handleChange.bind(this);
    this.handleSubmit = this.handleSubmit.bind(this);

  handleChange(event) {

  handleSubmit(event) {
    alert('A name was submitted: ' + this.state.value);

  render() {
    return (
      <form onSubmit={this.handleSubmit}>
          <input type="text" value={this.state.value} onChange={this.handleChange} />
        <input type="submit" value="Submit" />

42. What is a memory leak in a Node.js application, and how can you prevent it?

Answer: A memory leak in a Node.js application occurs when the application retains references to objects that are no longer needed, preventing them from being garbage collected. This can lead to increased memory usage and eventually crash the application. To prevent memory leaks:

  • Limit the use of global variables.
  • Use memory profiling tools to identify leaks.
  • Clean up event listeners and callbacks that are no longer needed.
  • Be cautious with closures that can trap large objects.

43. Explain the difference between mapStateToProps and mapDispatchToProps in Redux.

Answer: In Redux, mapStateToProps is used to map the Redux store state to a component’s props, allowing the component to access the needed data from the Redux store. mapDispatchToProps is used to map dispatch actions to a component’s props, allowing the component to trigger actions that can update the Redux store state.

function mapStateToProps(state) {
  return {
    todos: state.todos

function mapDispatchToProps(dispatch) {
  return {
    toggleTodo: id => dispatch({ type: 'TOGGLE_TODO', id })

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(TodoList);

44. What are smart and dumb components in React?

Answer: In React, “smart” components (or container components) are those that manage state, handle business logic, and are connected to the Redux store. “Dumb” components (or presentational components) are those that focus on the UI and receive data and callbacks exclusively via props, making them more reusable and testable.

45. How do you configure a React application for production deployment?

Answer: Configuring a React application for production involves.

  • Ensuring that NODE_ENV is set to ‘production’ which helps in optimizing React’s performance.
  • Minifying JavaScript and CSS assets to reduce load times.
  • Using tools like Webpack for bundling and tree-shaking to eliminate unused code.
  • Implementing server-side rendering or static site generation if necessary for performance and SEO benefits.
  • Using a CDN for asset delivery and HTTPS for security.

46. What is prop drilling, and how can you avoid it in React?

Answer: Prop drilling is the process of passing data from a higher-level component down to a deeply nested child component through intermediate components via props. It can be avoided by using React’s Context API or state management libraries like Redux, which allow you to share state across components more efficiently.

47. How do you perform error handling in React components?

Answer: Error handling in React components can be performed using error boundaries, a React component that catches JavaScript errors anywhere in its child component tree, logs those errors, and displays a fallback UI.

class ErrorBoundary extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.state = { hasError: false };

  static getDerivedStateFromError(error) {
    return { hasError: true };

  componentDidCatch(error, errorInfo) {
    logErrorToMyService(error, errorInfo);

  render() {
    if (this.state.hasError) {
      return <h1>Something went wrong.</h1>;

    return this.props.children; 

// Usage
  <MyComponent />

48. What is a promise, and how does it work in asynchronous JavaScript code?

Answer: A promise in JavaScript is an object representing the eventual completion or failure of an asynchronous operation. It allows you to write asynchronous code in a more manageable way, using .then() for handling successful outcomes and .catch() for errors.

function getData() {
  return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
    setTimeout(() => {
      resolve('data received');
    }, 1000);

  .then(data => console.log(data))
  .catch(error => console.error(error));

49.Explain the use of keys in React lists.

Answer: Keys in React lists are used to identify which items in the list are changed, updated, or removed. Keys should be given to the elements inside the array to give the elements a stable identity. Using unique and stable keys for each element helps optimize the rendering process, making it quicker and more efficient.

const todoItems = =>
  <li key={}>

50. What is the difference between express.Router and app.route in Express.js?

Answer: express.Router is a class that allows you to create modular, mountable route handlers. A Router instance is a complete middleware and routing system; whereas, app.route is a method to define routes on the main app. app.route can help to chain route handlers, making the code cleaner and more maintainable.

51. How do you test a MERN stack application?

Answer: Testing a MERN stack application involves multiple layers.

  • Unit testing: Testing individual components or functions using libraries like Jest.
  • Integration testing: Testing the integration between different components and services, like APIs.
  • End-to-end testing: Testing the complete flow of the application from start to finish using tools like Cypress or Selenium.

Understanding “MERN stack interview questions” is important for both new and experienced developers. This blog delivers an in-depth look at various interview questions, from fundamental to advanced, helping you prove your knowledge in this highly wanted technology stack in the framework of an interview.


Getting through “MERN stack interview questions” can be difficult, but with appropriate preparation, you can approach your interviews with confidence. This guide offers a broad set of questions and answers created to improve your understanding and help you articulate your skills effectively. Every interview is an opportunity to display your technical knowledge and passion for technology. By preparing thoroughly, you not only ready yourself to answer the most technical questions but also show your commitment to continuing professional development in the quickly changing technology sector.

Use this act as a guide for further explore and master the “MERN stack interview questions.” Good luck with your interviews, and may your journey in the tech industry be both successful and enriching!

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