Excelling at your Next Software QA Interview

It’s that time of the year when organisations and teams are planning for the next business year. While some organisations may be downsizing, many more are looking to expand to new markets, roll out new products or simply looking to increase their throughput. This implies that there would be quite a lot of hiring for many roles during this period.

In spite of the pandemic, the world and society is becoming even more intertwined with tech and so, there is a great demand for IT/Tech skills where Software QA plays a strategic position in.

Many may argue that a good candidate is one that can excel in an interview without having to prepare since their daily work and deliverables should be a practical application of what the recruiters are seeking. But these days, there are usually a lot more candidates for limited positions; hence, one of the reasons why interviews could be a bit tricky and require some level of preparedness. 

QA Interview questions and tips on answering them

Usually, QA interviews often involve one or a combination of these types of questions:

1. Knowledge-based questions: These basically test the candidate’s knowledge of testing practices, processes and tools/frameworks as well as software testing terminologies. Examples are software testing knowledge-based interview questions:

  • What is the difference between validation and verification?
  • What is black box testing?
  • What is the difference between static and dynamic testing?

For more examples of this kind of questions and their answers, you can visit guru99.com and edureka.com or go through the ISTQB glossary for more software testing terminologies and their definitions.

2. Behavioural-based/Competency questions: This kind of questions are asked to determine your problem-solving ability, and how you have handled various real-life work-related issues in the past. Examples include: 

  • Describe a situation when you faced conflict when working with your team?
  • What is the biggest technical challenge you ever faced in your software testing career? etc.

This kind of evaluation/questions help the hiring team evaluate your communication skills, teamwork and ability to think critically. It also helps the hiring team know if you are indeed a great fit for their team. You can check out this article by Indeed.com on how to prepare for behavioural interview using the ‘STAR’ technique.

3. Technical Assessment: ‘Talk is cheap but actions are priceless’, they say. Linus Torvalds puts it this way, ‘ Talk is cheap, show me the code’. 

Many hiring teams have now incorporated technical assessments into the recruiting process. The candidate can be given a test automation task or a software testing task where a software application is provided for you to carry out exploratory testing on. The assessment could be a take-home assignment or a live task where you are required to share your screen while you complete the task. 

Whatever the option of your interviewers is, be ready to make a presentation of your work or be very hands-on. Also, familiarise yourself with online tools that will help in easy sharing of your work by sending the link of your assessment to your recruiters instead of zipping and sharing files

Virtual Interview Étiquettes 

Images from Freepik

Till the covid-19 pandemic is totally over, many teams will be conducting the entire interview process virtually. While I personally believe that the topic on how to prepare for virtual interviews has been overemphasized, it is still commonplace to find candidates who take virtual interviews as less important as they would on-site interviews. When attending virtual interviews, do well to avoid common mistakes such as:

  • Using a hand-held device for the virtual interview,
  • Not putting effort into how you look,
  • Not planning to turn on video during the interview,
  • Conducting the interview in a noisy or distracting environment,
  • Not testing your internet beforehand,
  • Talking too fast or too much and not giving enough context when answering questions.

Skype also shares many other tips to consider while attending a virtual interview here.

The Preferred candidate

Having done all of the above to prepare for that interview, it is worthy of note that the preferred candidate is one who apart from meeting the job requirements; is able to successfully provide correct answers to most or all interview questions gracefully and is able to make a lasting positive impression on the hiring panel. Your goal should be to showcase yourself as the very best and the unanimous choice amongst the numerous candidates being considered for the role.

All the best! 

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Oluwatomi Familoni is a Software Quality Assurance Engineer at ZOLA Electric

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