Interview tips when appearing for QA roles

Interview tips when appearing for QA roles

Hello Peeps,

I hope you are all doing good. 

Software job trends are changing frequently. To match that, the expectations for Software Testers and Quality Assurance (QA) roles are also changing. Most organizations realized the importance of software testing and the testers. In this era, testing is also evolving to a greater extent.

Also, testers are involved in multiple software development phases due to the influence of Agile methodology. If you refer to a job description for a Software Tester, the requirements list is huge. Five or six years back, Automation was a preferred skill set. Now rarely we can see the requirements for functional testing roles. 

In this blog, we will discuss some tips for people that are going to appear for an interview for QA roles

Before applying to any job, validate the job description. Ask a few questions yourself.

If you have the clarity to the above questions, then tweak your resume accordingly. It doesn’t mean adding the skills to your resume even if you haven’t worked on that tool/technology. It’s highlighting the required skills in your resume based on the current role you are applying for. Try to be honest with your resume. 

Before the Interview:

1. Do deeper, proper research about the Company

Before applying for the job, it’s good to know more about the company. In case you missed it, then do it before the interview. Check if any of your friends or LinkedIn connections are working in the same company. Try to understand the services provided by them. So one of the most important tips is – understand the importance of QA in the organization before you interview for the QA role.

What is the Organization’s culture? Do they offer remote opportunities? Do they have any onsite or travel opportunities? How Testers are treated in the Organization? What are the career options/how is the Career growth for Testers over there? Answers to these questions will provide you with clarity about the employer you are applying for. You can also check out their website/LinkedIn pages. This can say a lot about their quality culture.

2. Read through the JD again and be clear with the expectations

Providing a clear JD is the expectation from the hiring managers. But it’s your responsibility to read through that and understand the nature of the role, types of testing knowledge required, tools and technologies used, etc. This will help you to prepare well for the technical evaluation part of the interview.  

3. Be on time

If it’s an in-person interview. Try to be there on time. This helps to avoid confusion. Locate the interview room or reach out for help if required.

A pro-tip when you are joining a virtual interview for a QA role, make sure to join early in the meeting. If there are any technical issues with the video recording software (say, Zoom, Podcastle, etc.), you will have ample time to fix that. Try to reach out to HR or the person who helped to schedule the interview. Being early helps to avoid qualms.

4. Dress appropriately

For both virtual and in-person interviews, make sure to dress professionally. Pick a dress that is comfortable for you. Also, there are a few colour suggestions, but I will leave that up to you. 

5. Without distractions

Check your voice, and video, and make sure that the ambience is relaxed and peaceful. Also, ensure that the other smart devices are in DND mode. Check if the messaging applications are also muted.

6. Prepare well

Based on the JD and the inputs from HR make a list of technical expectations. Now start preparing for it. A lot of videos are available, so spend your time wisely preparing. For the commonly asked questions, do a practice test. 

7. Programming language expertise

Due to the latest trends, most jobs are demanding programming language knowledge for software testers. At the same time, you don’t need to master any language. It’s good to have basics in any of the frequently used programming languages. Most of the low-code/no-code tools are making a revolution, so focus on gaining the “Automation” knowledge.

During the Interview:

1. Introduce yourself

Self-introduction is an unavoidable part of most of the interviews. Use this opportunity and register that you are an interesting personality. Your resume states everything, starting from the work experiences, tools expertise, education details, etc.

Now try to impress the interviewer by quoting some unique experiences, what you love about software testing, why do you want to stay in testing, etc. Also, keep this short, don’t extend for more than three minutes. Sometimes interviewer may lose interest. 

2. Attitude matters

Focus on your body language. Throughout the interview try to keep up the pace. Choice of words and tone matters. Carry a cheerful attitude that brings out your confidence and the interviewer will also feel at ease communicating with you. So smile when needed. Maintain eye-eye contact with the interviewer. 

3. Keep answers precise

For a few questions, the answers need to be elaborate. But for a few, it should be a pretty quick straightforward one. Don’t speak stories when not required and waste the time of the interviewer.  Sometimes even the questions raised from your answer will decide your fate. So be cautious about what you speak. 

4. Quote examples when needed

When you interview for a QA role, one important tip is to add in examples to explain your answers where possible. Not necessarily every answer should be one or two liners. For specific questions, try to explain with real-time examples. Few questions will demand the challenges you faced. Try to share your own experiences. For instance, when the interviewer is asking about the “Severity” and “Priority” of the bugs, explain them with a simple example.

5. Be Attentive

Subtract the distractions, and be all ears. Listen and act meticulously. If you are confused about the question, clarify it before answering instead of answering wrongly. Be receptive to the feedback.

6. Speak up for yourself

The interview should be in more of a conversation mode, so try to highlight what are your specializations, what makes you a special tester, and what types of testing you worked on. Adding up these pointers to the asked questions will give better clarity about your involvement with software testing. Explain your interest areas and community contributions. This helps the interviewer to assess your team player attitude. 

7. Sound like a Leader:

Your voice should show up enthusiasm and confidence at the same time. Right tone matters. Even if you are in a younger or a Senior QA role, one tip when you are showing up for an interview is – Be firm while you talk. This shows your leadership skills.

8. Maintain the tempo:

Keeping the correct pace is important to convey your answers correctly. Be loud and clear. Also, don’t drag and try to waste the time of the interviewers. 

After the interview:

1. Do a self-reflection

Relax, and think about the entire interview. How do you feel about it? What could have been done better? Write a journal about your experiences. Especially when you are desperate about getting a job and attending a lot of interviews this is a value add.

2. Note down the questions

Every interview is different, try to note down the questions for performing a self-assessment. Analyze how did the answering part go. 

3. Learn to unlearn

After the self-assessment, learn to forget the mistakes and not repeat them. Unlearning is so important to forget the bad. 

4. Next steps?

Based on your self-reflection, you will have an insight into whether this interview will be a success or not. Whatever happens, life is not going to end there. Hang-on. Devise your plan and decide what to do next. This helps you to excel in your future interviews.

Bonus Tips:

1. Stay on top of the latest software testing trends. To achieve this, you can subscribe to the software testing newsletter and a few Test enthusiasts’ blogs

2. Speak with a Mentor or Friend before the interview. This helps in many aspects

3. Highlight if you have completed any software testing or related certifications, or even if you are planning one. This helps the interviewer to know more about your aspirations

4. Highlight if you are a part of any of the ambassadorship programs. This helps you to provide high visibility

5. Brag about your Open source contributions. If you are not going to talk about it, no one else will.

6. Play around with the open-source tools before the interview

7. Most organizations are working in an Agile environment, learning the agile terminologies and using them while answering will justify it

8. Learn the basics of Cloud-based testing

9. Whatever role you apply, brush up on the Testing basics, terminologies, and processes before the interview

10. Be responsible for what you mentioned in the resume. To refresh your memory about the mentions in the resume

11. If it is a virtual interview, connect from the laptop. Avoid using mobile. The interviewer might provide some activities to perform, which is difficult via mobile

12. Think outside of the box for the scenario-based questions

13. Agree with your mistakes. If the interviewer is wrong, try to explain your view politely

Closing thoughts!!

The interview might meet a lot of candidates for the same role. So, understand your strengths and work on them. Be confident. Make your selling points clear. This increases your chance of clearing the interview. If you are learning continuously and open to learning/exploring new software testing trends then definitely you will be an interesting candidate that every employer wants to hire. 

Within the short period, you should be able to justify that you are a passionate tester and a strong-headed person. Even though there is a lot of information regarding the interview tips, keep in mind that honesty is a fundamental discipline for any software tester.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde.

Wishing you the best in your upcoming job search and interviews!!

PC: slidesgo


PC: Interview vector created by storyset – www.freepik.com


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