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Basic Python Interview Questions

Q1. What is the difference between list and tuples in Python?

LISTTUPLES
Lists are mutable i.e they can be edited.Tuples are immutable (tuples are lists which can’t be edited).
Lists are slower than tuples.Tuples are faster than list.
Syntax: list_1 = [10, ‘Chelsea’, 20]Syntax: tup_1 = (10, ‘Chelsea’ , 20)

Q2. What are the key features of Python?

  • Python is an interpreted language. That means that, unlike languages like C and its variants, Python does not need to be compiled before it is run. Other interpreted languages include PHP and Ruby.
  • Python is dynamically typed, this means that you don’t need to state the types of variables when you declare them or anything like that. You can do things like and then without error
  • Python is well suited to object orientated programming in that it allows the definition of classes along with composition and inheritance. Python does not have access specifiers (like C++’s , ).
  • In Python, functions are first-class objects. This means that they can be assigned to variables, returned from other functions and passed into functions. Classes are also first class objects
  • Writing Python code is quick but running it is often slower than compiled languages. Fortunately,Python allows the inclusion of C based extensions so bottlenecks can be optimized away and often are. The numpy package is a good example of this, it’s really quite quick because a lot of the number crunching it does isn’t actually done by Python
  • Python finds use in many spheres – web applications, automation, scientific modeling, big data applications and many more. It’s also often used as “glue” code to get other languages and components to play nice.

Q3. What type of language is python? Programming or scripting?

Ans: Python is capable of scripting, but in general sense, it is considered as a general-purpose programming language. To know more about Scripting, you can refer to the Python Scripting Tutorial.

Q4.How is Python an interpreted language?

Ans: An interpreted language is any programming language which is not in machine level code before runtime. Therefore, Python is an interpreted language.

Q5.What is pep 8?

Ans: PEP stands for Python Enhancement Proposal. It is a set of rules that specify how to format Python code for maximum readability.

Q6. How is memory managed in Python?

Ans: 

  1. Memory management in python is managed by Python private heap space. All Python objects and data structures are located in a private heap. The programmer does not have access to this private heap. The python interpreter takes care of this instead.
  2. The allocation of heap space for Python objects is done by Python’s memory manager. The core API gives access to some tools for the programmer to code.
  3. Python also has an inbuilt garbage collector, which recycles all the unused memory and so that it can be made available to the heap space.

Q7. What is namespace in Python?

Ans: A namespace is a naming system used to make sure that names are unique to avoid naming conflicts.

Q8. What is PYTHONPATH?

Ans: It is an environment variable which is used when a module is imported. Whenever a module is imported, PYTHONPATH is also looked up to check for the presence of the imported modules in various directories. The interpreter uses it to determine which module to load.

Q9. What are python modules? Name some commonly used built-in modules in Python?

Ans: Python modules are files containing Python code. This code can either be functions classes or variables. A Python module is a .py file containing executable code.

Some of the commonly used built-in modules are:

  • os
  • sys
  • math
  • random
  • data time
  • JSON

Q10.What are local variables and global variables in Python?

Global Variables:

Variables declared outside a function or in global space are called global variables. These variables can be accessed by any function in the program.

Local Variables:

Any variable declared inside a function is known as a local variable. This variable is present in the local space and not in the global space.

Example:

a=2 def add(): b=3 c=a+b print(c) add()

Output: 5

When you try to access the local variable outside the function add(), it will throw an error.

Q11. Is python case sensitive?

Ans: Yes. Python is a case sensitive language.

Q12.What is type conversion in Python?

Ans: Type conversion refers to the conversion of one data type iinto another.

int() – converts any data type into integer type

float() – converts any data type into float type

ord() – converts characters into integer

hex() – converts integers to hexadecimal

oct() – converts integer to octal

tuple() – This function is used to convert to a tuple.

set() – This function returns the type after converting to set.

list() – This function is used to convert any data type to a list type.

dict() – This function is used to convert a tuple of order (key,value) into a dictionary.

str() – Used to convert integer into a string.

complex(real,imag) – This functionconverts real numbers to complex(real,imag) number.

Q13. How to install Python on Windows and set path variable?

Ans: To install Python on Windows, follow the below steps:

  • Install python from this link: https://www.python.org/downloads/
  • After this, install it on your PC. Look for the location where PYTHON has been installed on your PC using the following command on your command prompt: cmd python. 
  • Then go to advanced system settings and add a new variable and name it as PYTHON_NAME and paste the copied path.
  • Look for the path variable, select its value and select ‘edit’.
  • Add a semicolon towards the end of the value if it’s not present and then type %PYTHON_HOME% 

Q14. Is indentation required in python?

Ans: Indentation is necessary for Python. It specifies a block of code. All code within loops, classes, functions, etc is specified within an indented block. It is usually done using four space characters. If your code is not indented necessarily, it will not execute accurately and will throw errors as well.

Q15. What is the difference between Python Arrays and lists?

Ans: Arrays and lists, in Python, have the same way of storing data. But, arrays can hold only a single data type elements whereas lists can hold any data type elements.

Example:

import array as arr My_Array=arr.array('i',[1,2,3,4]) My_list=[1,'abc',1.20] print(My_Array) print(My_list)

Output:

array(‘i’, [1, 2, 3, 4]) [1, ‘abc’, 1.2]

Q16. What are functions in Python?

Ans: A function is a block of code which is executed only when it is called. To define a Python function, the def keyword is used.

Example:

def Newfunc(): print("Hi, Welcome to Edureka") Newfunc(); #calling the function

Output: Hi, Welcome to Edureka

Q17.What is __init__?

Ans: __init__ is a method or constructor in Python. This method is automatically called to allocate memory when a new object/ instance of a class is created. All classes have the __init__ method.

Here is an example of how to use it.

class Employee: def __init__(self, name, age,salary): self.name = name self.age = age self.salary = 20000 E1 = Employee("XYZ", 23, 20000) # E1 is the instance of class Employee. #__init__ allocates memory for E1. print(E1.name) print(E1.age) print(E1.salary)

Output:

XYZ

23

20000

Q18.What is a lambda function?

Ans: An anonymous function is known as a lambda function. This function can have any number of parameters but, can have just one statement.

Example:

a = lambda x,y : x+y print(a(5, 6))

Output: 11

Q19. What is self in Python?

Ans: Self is an instance or an object of a class. In Python, this is explicitly included as the first parameter. However, this is not the case in Java where it’s optional.  It helps to differentiate between the methods and attributes of a class with local variables.

The self variable in the init method refers to the newly created object while in other methods, it refers to the object whose method was called.

Q20.How does break, continue and pass work?

BreakAllows loop termination when some condition is met and the control is transferred to the next statement.
ContinueAllows skipping some part of a loop when some specific condition is met and the control is transferred to the beginning of the loop
PassUsed when you need some block of code syntactically, but you want to skip its execution. This is basically a null operation. Nothing happens when this is executed.

Q21. What does [::-1} do?

Ans: [::-1] is used to reverse the order of an array or a sequence.

For example:

import array as arr My_Array=arr.array('i',[1,2,3,4,5]) My_Array[::-1]

Output: array(‘i’, [5, 4, 3, 2, 1])

Q22. How can you randomize the items of a list in place in Python?

Ans: Consider the example shown below:

from random import shuffle x = ['Keep', 'The', 'Blue', 'Flag', 'Flying', 'High'] shuffle(x) print(x)

The output of the following code is as below.

['Flying', 'Keep', 'Blue', 'High', 'The', 'Flag']

Q23. What are python iterators?

Ans: Iterators are objects which can be traversed though or iterated upon.

Q24. How can you generate random numbers in Python?

Ans: Random module is the standard module that is used to generate a random number. The method is defined as:

import random random.random

The statement random.random() method return the floating point number that is in the range of [0, 1). The function generates random float numbers. The methods that are used with the random class are the bound methods of the hidden instances. The instances of the Random can be done to show the multi-threading programs that creates a different instance of individual threads. The other random generators that are used in this are:

  1. randrange(a, b): it chooses an integer and define the range in-between [a, b). It returns the elements by selecting it randomly from the range that is specified. It doesn’t build a range object.
  2. uniform(a, b): it chooses a floating point number that is defined in the range of [a,b).Iyt returns the floating point number
  3. normalvariate(mean, sdev): it is used for the normal distribution where the mu is a mean and the sdev is a sigma that is used for standard deviation.
  4. The Random class that is used and instantiated creates an independent multiple random number generators.

Q25. What is the difference between range & xrange?

Ans: For the most part, xrange and range are the exact same in terms of functionality. They both provide a way to generate a list of integers for you to use, however you please. The only difference is that range returns a Python list object and x range returns an xrange object.

This means that xrange doesn’t actually generate a static list at run-time like range does. It creates the values as you need them with a special technique called yielding. This technique is used with a type of object known as generators. That means that if you have a really gigantic range you’d like to generate a list for, say one billion, xrange is the function to use.

This is especially true if you have a really memory sensitive system such as a cell phone that you are working with, as range will use as much memory as it can to create your array of integers, which can result in a Memory Error and crash your program. It’s a memory hungry beast.

Q26. How do you write comments in python?

Ans: Comments in Python start with a # character. However, alternatively at times, commenting is done using docstrings(strings enclosed within triple quotes).

Example:

#Comments in Python start like this print("Comments in Python start with a #")

Output:  Comments in Python start with a #

Q27. What is pickling and unpickling?

Ans: Pickle module accepts any Python object and converts it into a string representation and dumps it into a file by using dump function, this process is called pickling. While the process of retrieving original Python objects from the stored string representation is called unpickling.

Q28. What are the generators in python?

Ans: Functions that return an iterable set of items are called generators.

Q29. How will you capitalize the first letter of string?

Ans: In Python, the capitalize() method capitalizes the first letter of a string. If the string already consists of a capital letter at the beginning, then, it returns the original string.

Q30. How will you convert a string to all lowercase?

Ans: To convert a string to lowercase, lower() function can be used.

Example:

stg='ABCD' print(stg.lower())

Output: abcd

Q31. How to comment multiple lines in python?

Ans: Multi-line comments appear in more than one line. All the lines to be commented are to be prefixed by a #. You can also a very good shortcut method to comment multiple lines. All you need to do is hold the ctrl key and left click in every place wherever you want to include a # character and type a # just once. This will comment all the lines where you introduced your cursor.

Q32.What are docstrings in Python?

Ans: Docstrings are not actually comments, but, they are documentation strings. These docstrings are within triple quotes. They are not assigned to any variable and therefore, at times, serve the purpose of comments as well.

Example:

""" Using docstring as a comment. This code divides 2 numbers """ x=8 y=4 z=x/y print(z)

Output: 2.0

Q33. What is the purpose of is, not and in operators?

Ans: Operators are special functions. They take one or more values and produce a corresponding result.

is: returns true when 2 operands are true  (Example: “a” is ‘a’)

not: returns the inverse of the boolean value

in: checks if some element is present in some sequence

Q34. What is the usage of help() and dir() function in Python?

Ans: Help() and dir() both functions are accessible from the Python interpreter and used for viewing a consolidated dump of built-in functions. 

  1. Help() function: The help() function is used to display the documentation string and also facilitates you to see the help related to modules, keywords, attributes, etc.
  2. Dir() function: The dir() function is used to display the defined symbols.

Q35. Whenever Python exits, why isn’t all the memory de-allocated?

Ans: 

  1. Whenever Python exits, especially those Python modules which are having circular references to other objects or the objects that are referenced from the global namespaces are not always de-allocated or freed.
  2. It is impossible to de-allocate those portions of memory that are reserved by the C library.
  3. On exit, because of having its own efficient clean up mechanism, Python would try to de-allocate/destroy every other object.

Q36. What is a dictionary in Python?

Ans: The built-in datatypes in Python is called dictionary. It defines one-to-one relationship between keys and values. Dictionaries contain pair of keys and their corresponding values. Dictionaries are indexed by keys.

[::-1] reprints a reversed copy of ordered data structures such as an array or a list. the original array or list remains unchanged.