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Interview questions to Onboard a QA

Interview questions to Onboard a QA

8 May 2023 16 Minutes Read BY Divya shree

Getting ready to conduct a QA job interview might be a little stressful and that’s normal. Hiring a QA (Quality Assurance) professional for an enterprise or startup is indeed a delicate balancing act.

You have a list of candidates. The new hire must fit your budget but also has the skills, can communicate well, and suggest improvements. One of the things you should look for is whether the applicant has done their homework on your company. Do they know the products or services you provide and the market you’re in?

Likely, most candidates will not fit the description perfectly. But they will have the potential and the willingness to learn and improve.  Some candidates confidently explain how their skills and experience match job requirements.

There’s another way: outsourcing your QA needs. This is a great option if you’re wasting efforts trying to find the right candidates. Experienced providers take the time to study your industry, company, and products or services.

Outsourcing can be flexible, like on-demand or project-based testing. Testvox for example, will help you with specific things like performance testing while also maintaining long-time relationships.

In this blog, we will look at some of the most important questions to ask a QA engineer and some pointers on executing the interview process as well.

Testvox Software Testing Service


How Long Should You Conduct a QA Interview?

The duration of a QA interview is not set in stone. Each interviewer has their style of conducting the interview. And some questions may require more detailed answers or the discussion of specific real-world scenarios.

The interviewer can start with an initial screening interview that lasts about 30 minutes to an hour. During this time, the interviewer will assess the candidate’s basic skills and qualifications. If they perform well in the screening interview, you can invite them for a longer on-site or remote interview that can last for a few hours.

Most organizations will have multiple rounds of interviews. This includes a technical assignment round where the candidate can demonstrate their skills. The following rounds can allow the candidate to talk to the team to who they will be added so that they understand the need.


Most Important Questions for a QA Fresher Interview

1) Why is automation testing preferred over manual testing?

Automation lets you run tests repeatedly and parallelly without human intervention.

Here are some benefits of automation testing over manual testing:

  • Automated tests can be run much faster than manual tests, and are less prone to errors caused by human factors, such as fatigue or forgetfulness, resulting in greater accuracy and reliability.
  • With automation, you can reuse the same test cases thereby saving time and effort in regression testing.

There are many types of automation frameworks including  Linear scripting frameworks, Modular testing frameworks, and so on.


2) What is the agile testing method and what are its benefits?

Agile testing is a software testing approach that focuses on breaking down the testing process into smaller and more manageable chunks so you can focus on it completely.

The benefits of agile testing include:

Improved quality: Agile testing encourages continuous testing and feedback, so the testers can identify defects early in the development cycle.

Increased customer satisfaction: Agile testing focuses on delivering working software in smaller increments. Your customers can see the product while in progress so that they give feedback right away.

Faster time-to-market: Since agile use sprints, the product is delivered quickly and the time-to-market is faster.

Greater team morale: Agile testing emphasizes collaboration, teamwork, and communication. This can lead to greater team morale and a more positive work environment.

Continuous delivery: With agile, you can frequently release small, incremental changes in the product. This helps to reduce the risk of introducing bugs and allows for faster feedback from customers.


3) What is Data-driven testing?

In Data-driven testing the data is read from specific DB sources instead of hard-coded values to test specific functionality or scenarios. You create data sets to represent different use cases and then use them to test the application. This type of testing allows you to parameterize the necessary variables and you can run through a large number of scenarios in a short amount of time.


4) What is the difference between load testing, volume testing, and stress testing?

Load testing, volume testing, and stress testing are all types of performance testing but they focus on different aspects of an application’s performance.

In load testing, you test the application’s behavior under normal and high loads. As load increases you monitor the application to see how it performs. In load testing, the load limit is a threshold of a break.

In volume testing, you check the application’s behavior under a large amount of data. The aim is to see if the system can handle the expected volume of data without slowing down or crashing.

Stress testing is a type of performance testing that aims to ensure that under a sudden high load for a considerable duration, the servers don’t crash. In stress testing, the load limit is above the threshold of a break.


5) What is the difference between the priority and severity of a defect?

When you run a test case and encounter a bug, you create a defect story and assign a severity level and a priority level to it.

When you set the severity field on a defect, your team understands how much the bug could potentially affect the business processes. It is usually denoted by high, medium, or low. For example, a bug that causes a page to crash or results in data loss is set as a high-severity defect.  While a bug that only affects the visual appearance of the application may be classified as low severity.

The priority level indicates how urgently the bug needs to be fixed and released. It is usually marked as P1, P2, P3, etc. depending on your company’s policies. For example, a bug that prevents users from logging into the website may be classified as P1, indicating that it is a top priority to fix.


6) What is the QA testing life cycle?

The QA testing life cycle is a set of steps done to thoroughly test a feature or product. Generally, there are six phases in the testing life cycle.

Each phase of the testing process has entry and exit criteria that must be satisfied. Only then you can move on to the next. The first phase is requirement analysis, followed by test planning, and test case design. The next three test environment setup, test execution, and finally, test closure.

What is important is that the project must go through each phase of the life cycle. That way we know each feature/aspect has been tested thoroughly.


7) When you find a bug in production what do you do next?

When a bug is found in production, the next step is to investigate and determine the root cause of the issue. As a QA engineer, you should create a defect to track this and mention the steps leading up to the bug. The developers will then check the code or the components involved, and identify what dependency or interaction caused it.

Once the developer or the team finds the root cause, they will start working on the fix. As a QA analyst, you can keep track of the bug fix. Any changes made will again come to the QA team for testing. As the test personnel, you need to do regression testing to see that the fix didn’t introduce any new issues or unintended consequences.


8) Why do we need test planning and test cases in the application testing process?

These are reasons why test planning and test cases are important. You will not get the exact verbatim but look for the key concepts and points.

  1. Test planning helps establish the scope, objectives, and boundaries of testing. This will help us know if all major functionalities are tested and validated.
  2. Resource allocation can be done better if the entire testing process is planned well ahead.
  3. Test planning also includes test strategy which takes care of the overall approach, techniques, and tools that will be used during testing.
  4. Test documentation: Test cases provide detailed and documented steps to validate specific functionalities or features, serving as a reference for testers and developers throughout the project lifecycle.
  5. Consistency and repeatability: Test cases ensure consistent and repeatable testing by providing predefined inputs, expected outputs, and validation criteria, helping to identify defects more accurately.
  6. Traceability and coverage: Test cases trace requirements to tests, assuring that all requirements have been thoroughly tested and no functionality is missed.
  7. Enhanced communication: Both test planning and test cases facilitate better communication among team members and stakeholders, offering clarity on what needs to be tested and how it should be done.
  8. Easier maintenance: Test cases make it easier to update and maintain tests when changes occur in the application or its requirements.
  9. Objective evaluation: With test cases, you can make an objective evaluation of the application’s quality, making it clear whether it meets the specified requirements or not.


9) Explain the defect life cycle

A defect life cycle is a process in which a defect goes through various phases during its whole lifetime. The cycle starts when a defect is found and ends when a defect is closed, after ensuring it’s not reproduced. The bug or defect life cycle includes the steps shown in the below figure.



Defect life cycle in Software Testing



10) What is test closure?

Test Closure is a document that provides a summary of all the tests conducted throughout the software development life cycle, as well as a detailed analysis of the bugs and errors found. This memo includes information such as the total number of tests conducted, the total number of tests executed, the total number of defects identified, the total number of defects resolved, the total number of unresolved defects, the total number of defects rejected, and other relevant information.


11) How will you determine when to stop testing?

Deciding when to stop testing is difficult. Especially with applications that are complex and operate in an interdependent environment. In this case, complete testing is practically impossible. However, some common factors can guide this decision-making process, including:

Deadlines: Release deadlines, testing deadlines, or other time constraints may dictate when testing should end.

Test coverage: When the test cases cover the required functionality, requirements, or code, it may be a good indication to stop testing.

Test budget: When the allocated budget for testing is depleted, it may be time to wrap up testing efforts.

Percentage passed: When a certain percentage of test cases have passed, it may signal that the software is stable and ready for release.

Bug rate: When the number of reported bugs falls below a specific level, you can stop testing.

Alpha or Beta testing period ends: When the alpha or beta testing period is over, it may be time to finalize testing efforts.

Ultimately, the decision to stop testing will depend on a variety of factors and you have to prioritize testing efforts based on the criticality of the software and allocate resources accordingly.


12) When is Automation testing useful?

Automation testing is useful in the following scenarios:

a) Regression testing: In case of a bug fix or new module implementation, we have to make sure that the already implemented or unchanged functionality is not affected. In this case, we end up running the regression test case multiple times.

For Example: After each change request or bug fix, after each iteration in case of incremental development approach, etc.

 b) Non-functional Testing: Testing the non-functional aspects of an application.

For Example, Load testing or performance testing, etc are very difficult for humans to track and analyze.

c) Complex calculation checks or test scenarios that are prone to human errors.

d) Repeated execution of the same tests: Sometimes, we have to run the same set of test cases for a different set of data after each build release or on multiple hardware, software, or a combination of both.

Automating the test cases in the above scenarios helps in achieving the speed of testing and minimizing human errors.


 13) What are the attributes of a good framework in automation?

The characteristics of a good automation testing framework include:

Modular: The framework should be designed in a modular way so that testers can easily modify the scripts according to changes in the environment or login information.

Reusable: Commonly used methods or utilities should be written in a common file that is accessible to all scripts. This helps to avoid duplication of code and reduces the effort required for maintenance.

Consistent: The suite should be written in a consistent format by following all the accepted coding practices. This ensures that the code is readable, maintainable, and easy to understand.

Independent: The scripts should be written in such a way that they are independent of each other. This means that if one test fails, it should not hold back the remaining test cases (unless it is a login page).

Logger: It is good to have implemented the logging feature in the framework. This would help in case our scripts run for longer hours (say nightly mode), if the script fails at any point in time, having the log file will help us to detect the location along with the type of the error.

Reporting: It is good to have the reporting feature automatically embedded into the framework. Once the scripting is done, we can have the results and reports sent via email. This makes it easy to track the progress of automation testing.

Integration: The automation framework should be designed in such a way that it is easy to integrate with other applications like continuous integration or triggering the automated script as soon as the build is deployed.


14) What are the different types of frameworks?
  • Keyword-driven framework
  • Data-Driven framework
  • Hybrid Framework
  • Linear Scripting


15) Do you select which automation tool is best suited for you?

Selecting the appropriate automation tool requires considering various factors, including:

  • Scope of the application
  • Management overhead
  • Learning curve
  • Type of support available
  • Limitations of the tool

By considering these factors, organizations can make informed decisions when selecting the appropriate automation tool for their needs.


16) Can you tell me some good coding practices while automation?

Here are some recommended practices for automation:

  • Add appropriate comments to explain each part of your code.
  • Identify reusable methods and functions and write them in a separate file.
  • Follow language-specific coding conventions.
  • Store test data in a separate file.
  • Run your scripts regularly.


17) How can you measure the success of automation testing?

The following criteria can map the success of automation testing:

  • Defect Detection Ratio
  • Automation execution time and time savings to release the product
  • Reduction in Labour & other costs

So far we have gone through some important technical questions. Asking questions may not be the best way to see if the candidate understands the needs of a QA role, a practical test is therefore preferred over asking technical questions.


A Practical Demonstration of Testing Skills

The interviewer may provide a sample login screen or other application screen and ask the candidate to describe how they would test it.


Practical Demonstration of testing skills


The candidate should first identify the high-level test scenario for the screen and move on to explain in detail based on how the interviewer discusses the scenario.  For example, the high-level test scenario for a login screen might include the following steps:

  • Checking the logo on the screen if it matches the application and brand guidelines.
  • See that the color of the screen matches the color scheme of the application. And it is consistent throughout the screen.
  • Next, you move on to the size of the elements on the screen to see if they fit the design guidelines.
  • Check the “welcome” banner: Make sure welcome notes or messages on the screen are accurate and grammatically correct.
  • Next, you type in the correct and incorrect user ID and password fields and Verify that both scenarios give the result as expected.
  • Test the “forgot password” functionality: Verify that the “forgot password” feature works as expected and that it is easy to use.


Interviewing an Experienced Candidate

If you are interviewing a QA engineer with previous experience, even if it is just 1-2 years, you can ask the candidate about their understanding of the field during the interview process. Here are some important questions listed for you:

1)  Can you tell me about any challenges you have faced during test automation?

This question is designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of test automation and their ability to troubleshoot issues that may arise. The candidate can mention their experiences with situations like not knowing which cases to automate, encounters with flaky tests, and how they handled them.


2) Describe a situation where you successfully collaborated with developers to deploy the release on time.

This question is to assess the candidate’s sense of teamwork and understand their synergy with developers and other team members. They must highlight that a successful product release requires effective communication, a clear understanding of the project goals, and a willingness to work together to solve problems instead of playing a blame game.


3) What are your responsibilities as a QA Analyst?

As a QA Analyst, daily activities may include creating and executing test cases, identifying and reporting defects, collaborating with developers and other team members, and ensuring that the application or system meets the specified requirements and standards.


4) Have you worked with any bug-tracking tools? If so, tell us about the tools you know.

This question is designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of bug-tracking tools and their proficiency in using them. Common bug-tracking tools include Jira, Bugzilla, and Trello.


5) Did you ever have to collaborate with a team whose opinions differed on testing? How did you navigate that situation?

This question has an open-ended answer. Here’s a sample answer given as an example for you to decide how you want to evaluate the candidate.

“In a software development project, I was part of a team where members had different approaches to testing. Some favored manual testing, while others preferred automated testing.

To handle the situation, I called for a discussion among team members to understand their perspectives and reasoning behind their preferred testing methods. I encourage open communication, making sure everyone’s opinions were heard and considered.

After the discussion, I suggested that we combine both approaches to leverage the strengths of each method. We decided to use manual testing for exploratory and usability testing, where human intuition is valuable. And we used automated testing for regression and performance tests, which require quick and repeatable execution.

To ensure a smooth collaboration, I worked with the team to establish guidelines and best practices for both manual and automated testing. Additionally, we organized regular review sessions to evaluate our testing strategy and make improvements as needed.”

In conclusion, these are some of the questions we believe are important to gauge a candidate’s mettle. Try to ask some open-ended questions. This will allow the candidate to demonstrate their problem-solving skills and ability to work in a team.  You can present real-world scenarios to see how they approach problem-solving and teamwork.

It’s important to remember that there are options beyond hiring an in-house QA team. Don’t be afraid to explore outsourcing as an option for your QA needs. It can be a cost-effective and efficient solution, especially for small or medium-sized businesses.

Testvox Software Testing Company


Divya shree

Divyasshree is a developer turned technical writer with a passion for storytelling. With a background in software development, she has a unique perspective on the tech industry and enjoys sharing their insights through writing.