If you are in a developer role or looking for a development role, you obviously need to be proficient with a few build tools, and one of such build tools is Maven. It is an Apache project and is popular for the management of dependencies, supportive environment and more. To check the proficiency of a developer, interviewers might ask questions on Maven. Here are a few Maven interview questions that would make sense to be prepared before attending a developer interview. Let’s dive straight into it.

  1. Explain what is Maven
  2. What are the differences between Ant and Maven?
  3. What are the striking features of Maven?
  4. Why is a build tool required?
  5. What are the benefits of using Maven?
  6. How does Maven use convention instead of configuration?
  7. What are the various aspects that Maven manages?
  8. What is a POM.xml file?
  9. Explain Maven build Lifecycle

1. Explain what is Maven

Maven is a proven project management and comprehension tool. Maven provides developers with a complete build lifecycle framework. The development team can easily automate the project’s build infrastructure in almost no time as Maven uses a standard directory layout and a default build lifecycle.

2. What are the differences between Ant and Maven?

Here are some of the differences between the two.

Ant featuresMaven features
Ant does not use a formal structure, to begin with, so the developer needs to provide the project structure in an XML file.Maven does not require a project structure to be supplied in an XML file as it follows a well-defined convention for placing various files like compile code, byte code etc.
Ant uses a procedural paradigm, and hence it needs the developer to provide clear instructions on what to do and when to do it.Maven, on the other hand, follows a declarative paradigm. All definitions are placed in the XML file named pom.
Ant does not define any lifecycle or phases.Maven follows a build lifecycle that goes through multiple phases.
Ant is based on a toolbox architecture.Maven is based on a framework architecture with multiple components
Ant is primarily a build toolMaven is essentially a project management tool
Ant scripts cannot be reusedMaven plugins can be reused

3. What are the striking features of Maven?

Maven is a preferred build too, with some characteristic features, which are

Maven is simple and easy to use with intuitive project settings based on actual on-ground practices.

It is fast, with fresh projects and module alerts received in seconds.

Maven is not only easy to use, but it is also easy to learn to build a framework across projects reducing ramp up time. 

Maven supports transitive dependencies making it the better tool when it comes to dependence management.

Maven is a multi-project tool, which means you can have multiple projects running simultaneously in Maven.

With a huge and growing library, Maven lets you start off on projects on the run.

4. Why is a build tool required?

A build tool is useful for the following reasons.

Dependency management of the project is handled automatically.

Auto compilation of source code.

A build tool packages code that is compiled into Jar, Zip files.

The packaged code is installed into local and central repositories by the build tool.

5. What are the benefits of using Maven?

With Maven, there is no need to provide the project structure in an XML format which is a complicated process.

Only a pom file in XML format is needed to indicate dependencies in the project. Maven will auto-download all dependencies from the internet if needed and install them into local and central repositories.

Maven reduces deployment footprint by packaging war, ear files, and central repositories and is used for dependency lookups only. 

6. How does Maven use convention instead of configuration?

With a configuration-based build, too, developers have to create the project structure and manually build processes specifying each configuration. In the Maven, style convention is followed where developers do not create build processes. In a convention-style, the developer needs to create a project, and Maven will create the structure based on the type of the project. Developers then will have to follow the convention created by Maven and plant files in the right locations. This eliminates the need to mention any configuration details within a pom file.

7. What are the various aspects that Maven manages?

Maven allows developers to manage development on several fronts including,

  • Project build
  • Project documentation
  • Reporting
  • Project dependencies
  • Software Configuration Management
  • Releases
  • Software packaging and distribution
  • Mailing lists

8. What is a POM.xml file?

Project Object Model or POM in Maven is a fundamental unit of work coded in an XML file loaded in the project’s base directory. Pom files include project details useful for project build and include,

  • Project dependencies
  • Plugins
  • Project goals
  • Project build profiles
  • Versioning information
  • Developer mailing list.

9. Explain Maven build Lifecycle

In Maven or, for that matter, anywhere, a build lifecycle defines a sequence of stateful phases of a project in a well-defined order. There are goals to be executed in each build phase. All build phases are executed during the executing of a project build life cycle. For a build phase to be executed, all prior build phases need to be executed, and thus on the execution of a build phase, all prior build phases are also executed.


Maven is an important tool on your development journey. Get prepared thoroughly on Maven and other build tools using our specially tailored tutorials to face developer interviews with utmost confidence.

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