20 best interview questions for software testing and quality assurance roles

  • 21 September 2023
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20 best interview questions for software testing and quality assurance roles
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Several people become testers, but only a few make a successful career of it. Can’t handle deadline pressures, not good at communicating with developers, too disorganized, bad at time management — there are a lot of ways a person can not be cut out for software testing.
To build a strong software testing organization, it’s critical to find the people that are.
The next time you’re interviewing for a software testing position, use these software tester interview questions to find the best people for your organization. The answers will reveal your candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and aspirations – and if they will mesh well with your team.

The 20 best software tester interview questions

1) How well do you handle ambiguity?
Test cases are not always straight-forward and QA Engineers will need to act on their personal judgement. They need to feel comfortable with ambiguity.

2) What is your mentality toward automating tests that are currently being done manually?
Automating test cases brings numerous benefits. Automation saves time and reduces human error. QA engineers should recognize the value in automation.

3) Explain how you distinguish a symptom vs. a cause when testing.
Often times within the QA process, test cases fail. But why are they failing? This can be tricky. A great QA engineer is able to provide exact reasons to the developer, rather than simply saying a test case failed.

4) Do you feel comfortable standing up to developers who disagree with your results?
In some situations, reporting failures can be a delicate process. Perhaps a developer spent a lot of time on some code which does not exactly meet specifications. QA engineers need to be able to stand up for what they know is right.

5) Are you willing to cut corners to save time?
The correct answer is NO. All test cases need to be run, and making assumptions frequently leads to issues down the road.

6) Can you explain the SDLC and Agile methodology?
QA engineers must understand their role and where it fits into the ecosystem.

7) Explain your attitude toward documentation. Do you believe more is better? Why or why not?
This is a trick question because more documentation is not always better. In fact, it can be detrimental. Documentation needs to be thorough, but still efficient as possible. If there is too much documentation, important details can be missed.

8) How do you go about learning a new product?
This is perhaps the biggest challenge of being a QA engineer. They need to be comfortable and patient with learning complex software. They should be prepared to ask a lot of questions.

9) How well do you work with others?
Many QA teams have team members who are from all corners of the world. QA engineers must be comfortable communicating with people of all backgrounds and all levels of language proficiency. 10) Do you see yourself as a perfectionist?
Great QA engineers are perfectionists. Their job is to ensure that all of the software they test meets or exceeds quality standards, and sloppy work is only going to lead to trouble further down the line.

Download our guide understanding agile testing methodologies.

11) How well do you work under pressure and with deadlines?
Testing usually comes at the end of the SDLC and testing can be viewed as a bottleneck, so being able to perform under tight deadlines and pressure is important.

12) What experience do you have with developing corner cases?
This question will help you to figure out if your tester is willing to dig for different test case scenarios that might not be as intuitive or clear up front.

13) How do you keep up with current technology trends?
Staying up to date on industry news and trends is important in order for you team to keep up with evolving technology and best practices changes.  It also shows how much they like their job!

14) What motivates you?
There are several potential answers to this question. Company culture will play a large part in differentiating a good from bad answer. For instance, if teamwork is important within the product team, a candidate who is driven by internal competition might not be the best fit.

15) What are your ultimate career aspirations?
It is important to learn what your candidate hopes to be in the next year, or 3 years. If the candidate desires a career path you can’t provide, you might be interviewing again sooner than you’d like.

16) How would a friend describe you in one sentence?
Sometimes this question pulls out unique personality qualities that you might not discover from traditional work focused questions.

17) What made you want to get into testing?
Figuring out how your job candidate achieved their current career status can uncover a lot around their ambitions and aspirations.

18) What do you think our company could do better?
This interview question helps you to uncover how much research the candidate did before meeting with you, and it demonstrates their ability to think on the spot.

19) Why do you want to work for us?
The best way to learn if your candidate is excited and passionate about this job opportunity.

20) What testing methods are you familiar with? Do you have a favorite?

It is important to hire a well rounded Test Engineer who is familiar with several different types of testing or find one who is willing to learn.
What are your favorite software tester interview questions to ask candidates? Let us know on twitter @Tricentis.

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