The anticipation of a job interview can be nerve-wracking for all job seekers, whether they are beginners or seasoned professionals. The fear of making a good impression on the hiring manager often results in even fully qualified candidates faltering during interviews. The best remedy for interview-induced anxiety is thorough preparation.
If you are seeking a job in quality assurance (QA), you’re in luck. This article presents a list of 25 commonly asked QA interview questions, along with suggested responses to help you prepare and feel more confident during your interview.
What Does a Quality Assurance Engineer Do?
Before delving into the common QA interview questions, it is essential to understand the primary responsibilities and daily duties of QA professionals. QA engineers are responsible for ensuring that products meet all requirements and function correctly. They oversee every phase of software development, conduct various types of tests, and implement processes to identify bugs as early as possible. Some of their day-to-day duties include:
- Reviewing product specifications and business requirements.
- Developing test plans and creating test cases.
- Conducting functional and non-functional tests.
- Writing bug reports and updating defect-tracking repositories.
- Researching new testing technologies and tools.
- Evaluating test coverage and suggesting improvements.
- Quality assurance roles encompass a wide range of job titles, such as Software QA Engineer, Software Test Engineer, Software Quality Engineer, QA Analyst, QA Tester, Test Analyst, and Manual QA. While these titles may sometimes differ in their specific responsibilities, they are often used interchangeably by employers.
What Do QA Interviewers Look for in Candidates?
Job descriptions provide valuable insights into what hiring managers seek in QA candidates. These expectations typically encompass technical knowledge, proficiency with specific tools, and essential soft skills. Commonly required qualifications include
Understanding of different software development methodologies (Waterfall, Agile, etc.).
Knowledge of software QA methodologies and testing approaches (manual and automated tests, negative and positive testing, white-box and black-box testing, functional and non-functional tests, integration and regression testing, etc.).
Experience with issue-tracking software (Jira or similar).
Experience with test case creation software (TestRail or similar).
Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
Effective written and verbal communication skills.
Attention to detail.
Most interview questions aim to assess these hard and soft skills. Interviewers will evaluate your knowledge of quality assurance terminology, inquire about your past software testing experience, and may pose more in-depth questions to gauge your proficiency with specific tools and technologies.
Now, let’s explore various types of QA interview questions and examples of how to answer them.
QA interviews often commence with general questions to get to know you better, and understand your motivation, personality, and career goals.
Tell me about yourself.
Answer: “I work on web and mobile applications, ensuring everything works well and meets all requirements. I use TestRail to create and execute test cases and report issues in Jira. Additionally, I work with tools like Chrome DevTools, Xcode, Android Studio, ADB, and Unix.”
Why do you want to leave your current job?
a. “My current role is an internship, and I am seeking a long-term opportunity.”
b. “The project I am working on is coming to an end in a few months, and I am looking for a new opportunity.”
c. “I am seeking new challenges and opportunities to explore new tools and technologies.”
Note: Provide a clear reason without badmouthing colleagues or managers, and avoid complaining about salary issues.
Why do you want to be a QA engineer?
Answer: “New technology has always been my passion. I love finding issues and contributing to the creation of high-quality products.”
In your response, emphasize your genuine interest in technology and quality assurance.
Basic QA Interview Questions
These questions aim to verify your understanding of fundamental quality assurance concepts in software development.
What is the difference between quality assurance, quality control, and testing?
Answer: “Quality assurance involves implementing steps to maintain quality and prevent issues. Quality control comprises activities that detect defects and verify product compliance with requirements. Testing is the process of finding errors.”
When should QA activities start, in your opinion?
Answer: “QA activities require planning and should start at the project’s inception to establish effective processes and identify issues as early as possible. Early identification is vital because fixing errors later becomes more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming.”
What is the difference between validation and verification?
Answer: “Verification evaluates the product against requirements and addresses whether the system is being built correctly. Validation checks if the product meets the user’s actual needs and expectations, ensuring we are building the right system.”
Describe the bug life cycle in your company.
Answer: “A bug starts with the ‘Open’ status and moves to ‘In Dev’ once it is assigned to developers for fixing. After fixing, it goes to ‘In QA,’ where we attempt to reproduce it. Based on the results, we change the status to either ‘Closed’ or ‘Reopened.'”
Name the main components of a bug report.
Answer: “A bug report should contain project name, title, description with steps to reproduce the bug and actual vs. expected behavior, priority, environment, evidence (screenshots, videos, or log files), and assignee.”
Questions About Quality Assurance
These questions test your knowledge of key QA concepts and familiarity with different testing methodologies.
What are examples of functional and non-functional testing?
Answer: “Functional testing verifies what the system does and includes tests like smoke, integration, regression, system, or acceptance testing. Non-functional testing assesses how the system works and includes tests like load, stress, performance, compatibility, and scalability testing.”
What are negative and positive testing?
Answer: “Positive testing uses valid input data to compare the output with expected results. Negative testing uses invalid input data to verify that the system rejects it and displays the correct error message.”
What is the difference between load and stress testing?
Answer: “Load testing simulates the expected application load, while stress testing evaluates its performance under heavy loads beyond standard operational capacity.”
Can you explain the difference between white-box testing and black-box testing?
Answer: “Black-box testing is when the tester does not have access to the application’s source code and relies solely on requirements. White-box testing involves the tester having access to the source code and understanding the internal system structure. Gray-box testing combines both approaches. In my work, I primarily perform black-box testing, but I am also familiar with gray-box testing. For instance, I have experience with database testing using SQL.”
Questions about Experience and Background
In addition to assessing theoretical knowledge, interviews include questions about your background and work experience in testing.
What kind of software have you tested before?
Answer: “I have worked on e-signature software, web and mobile apps for job search management, and accounting software.”
What did you do in your last project?
Answer: “In my last project, I conducted tests on various devices and platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. I was responsible for functional and UI testing, utilizing tools such as Chrome DevTools, Android Studio, Jira, and TestRail.”
Have you used any automation tools in your work?
Answer: “No, I have not used any automation tools in my work yet. However,
In conclusion, mastering job interview skills is crucial for success in the competitive job market. By following these tips, candidates can enhance their chances of impressing potential employers:
- Prepare thoroughly
- Showcase your strengths
- Improve communication
- Dress professionally
- Display confidence
- Ask thoughtful questions
- Handle stress
By honing these interview skills, candidates can present themselves as valuable assets to prospective employers and increase their chances of securing the desired job opportunity.