12 Essential Data Structures Interview Questions and Answers You Need to Know


Solutions Review editors highlight key interview questions and answers about data structures you need to know.

Data structures are the format of organization, management and storage that allows access and modification in the field of computing. Data structures act as a collection of data values, the relationships between them, and the functions that can be applied to the data. It is generally considered that there are four types of data structures: linear (arrays and lists), tree (binary and heap), hash and graphs (decision or directed).

With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of essential data structure questions and answers to save you time and help you ace your next interview. We’ve compiled this resource by curating the most popular results from community forums such as Quora and Reddit. Potential data controllers can also consult our directory of data engineering professional certifications as well.

Data Structures Interview Questions

Q: What are data structures?

A: Data structures are a specific way of organizing data in a computer so that it can be used for information gathering. Data structures also take into account the relationship between data.

Q: Where are data structures applied?

A: Data structures are applied in the following areas:

  • Operating systems
  • Compiler designs
  • Simulators
  • Chart
  • Numerical analysis
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Statistical Analysis Packages
  • Database management systems

Q: What methods are used to store batch files?

A: Batch files are stored using the following methods:

  • natural fusion
  • Breakdown of initial draws
  • Direct merge
  • Three-phase polyphase

Q: What is a spanning tree?

A: Spanning trees are trees associated with a network where all nodes of a graph are seen on the tree at the same time. A spanning tree should be organized via full edge weight between nodes.

Q: What is a quick sort?

A: Quicksort algorithms follow the divide and conquer rule and work by reducing one sorting problem into multiple sorting problems and then solving for each problem. The split value is selected from the input data and the data is split into three sets:

  • Elements belonging to the value before division
  • Elements that appear after dividing the value
  • The value itself

Q: What is a merge sort?

A: Merge sort also follows the rule of divide and conquer. This works when it comes to data to be sorted as already sorted lists. Sorted lists that are adjacent are combined into larger sorted lists until there is a sorted list that contains all items. Merge sort efficiently sorts all lists and data structures that are not present in arrays.

Q: How do you search for data in a linked list?

A: The only way to search for data in a linked list is to use linear search. Sometimes it’s quick and easy to take data from a linked list and store it in the various data structures to make searching more efficient.

Q: When does a memory leak occur?

A: A memory leak can occur when a program loses the ability to free dynamically allocated block memory.

Q: What is accuracy?

A: Precision is the exactness of the fractional part of a value. Precision is nothing but the number of digits allowed after a decimal point.

Q: What is the impact of signed numbers on memory?

A: The first bit of memory allocated to a particular number has signed for that number. So to store a number one bit will be less.

Q: How do I invert memory using a declaration statement?

The data type is used to invert memory in the variable declaration. In the implementation of programming languages, there are also predefined sizes for data types.

Q: How many parts are there in a declaration?

A: In a declaration, there are two parts and an optional third:

  • Data type
  • Variable identifier
  • Optional Third Part: Qualifier Type
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