Your technical interview is one of the most important steps in the job-hunting process. Not only is it your chance to show how your skills and experience match the position you’re applying for, but it’s also an opportunity for you to learn more about your potential future employer and the team you’ll be working with.
During a technical interview for a quality assurance (QA) position, you’ll be asked questions to test your knowledge about the software development process. Questions related to software testing, the different tools used for QA, and how to identify issues in the development life cycle are all fair game.
To help you prepare, here are 15 of the most common questions that are asked in QA interviews, and tips on how to answer them.
1. Is QA the same as software testing?
Your answer to this question can include the fact that QA focuses more on analyzing the process behind software creation, while software testing is more about examining how individual elements of an application function.
2. Describe the differences between the terms “build” and “release.”
In the context of QA testing, these two terms typically refer to numbers used to name software. A build number is provided by the development team for the testing team to label software that can be installed. A release number is provided to the customer by either the dev team or the tester.
3. What does the term “testware” refer to?
This is a term used by many QA departments, so you can expect a question like this during your interview. Your answer should cover that testware refers to artifacts people use to build and run tests, such as test cases, test plans, and test data.
4. What is meant by the terms “bug leakage” and “bug release?”
A bug release is intentional, while a bug leakage is accidental. A bug release refers to the transaction in which an application is sent to the testing team with the knowledge that it contains a bug. A bug leak describes the event in which a bug makes it past the testing team and to the end user.
5. What does “data-driven testing” mean?
This can be a tricky question because data-driven testing means something different in the context of QA interview questions. Data-driven testing refers to an automated testing framework that tests the results of different input values. These values are read straight from data files, which may include Excel files, CSV files, data pools, and many other formats.
6. What’s involved in test strategy?
Answering this question correctly demonstrates your knowledge of high-level testing concepts. When you answer, make sure you mention that test strategy involves forming an introduction, compiling a set of resources, deciding the scope, and setting a schedule for your testing and the tools involved.
7. What are some of the different types of software testing?
For this question, you could outline several of the following classes of testing to show you have a comprehensive understanding of software testing as a discipline:
- Integration testing. This involves figuring out how different components of an app work together.
- Regression testing. Regression testing assesses how new features impact the functionality of an app.
- Functional testing. With functional testing, you use real-world scenarios to check how well an app accomplishes what it's designed to do.
- Stress testing. The objective of a stress test is to figure out how much an app can take before it breaks, whether the scenario is realistic or not.
- Performance testing. Performance testing is like stress testing, except you aim to see how much an app can handle in a real-life situation.
- Unit testing. A unit test involves testing the smallest unit of an app that you can test. This helps you see how elements of the app perform on their own.
- White-box testing. White-box testing focuses on examining how the internal structures of the app function.
- Black-box testing. Black-box testing refers to testing without looking at the internal functions of the app.
- Smoke testing. This is a set of preliminary tests to assess basic functionality, often in advance of a release or more extensive testing.
8. What do the terms “branch testing” and “boundary testing” involve?
Although branch and boundary testing sounds similar, they address different aspects of application testing. With branch testing, you test the different branches of code. On the other hand, boundary testing involves testing the limit conditions of an application.
9. What is involved in forming test cases and test plans?
This is an important subject to focus on while prepping for QA interview questions because it shows that you understand the principles that undergird this work. You should cover the following areas in your answer:
- Testing the frame
- The reasons driving your testing
- Risk factors
- Criteria for entrance/exit
10. What is meant by Agile testing?
Agile is one of the more recent terms used in the dev world. Agile testing refers to testing that uses Agile methodologies. One of the primary differences is that you don’t wait for your development team to finish coding. Instead, coding and testing happen at the same time, which involves testers interacting with several different members of the team and customers.
11. What does the term “test case” mean?
A test case is one of the basic building blocks of the QA process. It refers to the steps, environments, outputs, and prerequisites involved in the testing environment.
12. What does the term “quality audit” mean?
A quality audit refers to the systematic evaluation of the quality control system’s effectiveness. You can think of a quality audit as a test of how well quality is maintained throughout the development process.
13. Which kinds of tools are typically used by testers?
The tools a tester uses to do their job will vary according to the kind of project they’re working on. But some tools you can mention in your answer are Firebug, OpenSGTA, Web developer toolbar for Firefox, Selenium, WinSCP, and YSlow for Firebug.
14. What is a use case?
Use cases are another central element of the QA process, so it’s good to have a solid answer ready for this question. A use case refers to a document that outlines an action the user takes and how the system responds. It’s used to examine how a specific element of application functions.
15. What does the term “ad hoc testing” refer to?
Ad hoc testing is a popular testing method that’s used by a lot of different QA teams, even though they may not use it all the time. It involves a tester trying to break a system by randomly executing different functions.
Looking for more interview prep?
If you’re looking for more interview support, our guide to the technical interview can help you prepare for this important step in the job-hunting process, and check out these tips for answering behavioral interview questions.