Pencil Testing: Task for junior QA on the interview


During the interview, candidates for a Junior QA position could be required to test any commonplace tool or gadget, such as a pencil. A test task frequently causes inexperienced testers to reflect and become somewhat perplexed. Successful interviewing requires preparation, and this article will help you with that. Next, we will look at why managers use testing subjects at an interview and how to show your skills in a task.

Pencil Testing: Task for junior QA on the interviewPencil Testing: Task for junior QA on the interview
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Why can you be asked to test a household item during the interview?

The answer to this question is quite obvious — this junior QA test task provides the interviewer with a simple example to understand what the specialist can do and what they know. Traditionally, testing subjects at the interview, pen, or household item allows HR managers to test critical things:

Ability to work with requirements

The specialist examination begins already at the stage of setting a task. For example, the applicant is asked to perform a test. The applicant should ask which pencil needs to be tested at the moment of getting a task. Otherwise, they can talk for a long time about the intricacies of testing a simple pencil, but it was necessary to look at a colored or mechanical one. After all, the interviewer will not stop you since it was you who did not specify all the required parameters and requirements.

Therefore, after setting the task, we recommend that you:

  • determine the exact object of testing;
  • find out qualitative characteristics (size, color, and material);
  • clarify purpose.

Only after that should you start the work.

Pencil Testing: Task for junior QA on the interview
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Knowledge of testing types

The applicant discusses how to test this item once all the requirements have been established. With this knowledge, the interviewer can determine if the person is following a checklist or making decisions randomly (the latter option typically doesn’t make good sense). DevEducation’s educational programs geared for QA will aid in understanding all underlying potential problems.

Procedure and features of testing

A QA specialist’s critical task is ensuring that the item fully corresponds to the description and functions correctly. Therefore, it is essential to know about positive and negative pencil testing.

It is better to start with positive tests, for example, to check and describe, to talk about what represents the object of testing on the positive side. We recommend that you always start with smoke testing (checking the basic capabilities and functionality of the item). If the device fails to pass the test stage, you should stop the whole process altogether.


Any test depends on the environment in which it is performed. To test a pencil, the condition also applies. Thus, you should find out who the end user is and where the item can be used. If a pencil might be used in a laboratory, it must have additional features — resistance to chemicals and other substances.


You can find a pencil test case online. However, it is critical to remember that resources and deadlines influence the test process. Hence, we recommend clarifying the deadline and the number of testers on the project. Moreover, a QA specialist has the right to determine the exact evaluation criteria.

Tester’s mindset

Spending a lot of time thinking about the above-described parameters is not a good idea. It is sufficient to briefly explain all the details needed to work with before moving on to the test task. The interviewer must be given a scrutinous explanation of your plans and the rationale behind them.

An example of testing a household item

To understand the features of testing any, even the most common household item, you will need to study some subject testing examples. Let’s look at several options — testing a regular pencil and Apple Pencil during the interview. Creating a mind map is the best way to perform an item check.

Mind map pencil testing is the creation of a map where the tested item is in the very center, and the branches of the testing type and a detailed description of each option go away from it.

Pencil Testing: Task for junior QA on the interview

Apple Pencil

Now, take a look at step-by-step testing of the Apple Pencil during the interview as one of the examples.

SMOKE testing

First, it is vital to make sure that the device is working. You must connect a pencil to the tablet and try to write or draw something.

Functional testing

At this stage, it is necessary to check the basic features of the pencil. Some of them are the following:

  • take a screenshot with a pencil;
  • create a simple and quick note;
  • try switching between different tools;
  • make sure the pencil doesn’t work with Bluetooth turned off.

Furthermore, it is essential to ensure the device is charging correctly.

Gadget compatibility testing

The step evaluates the item’s performance on all Apple tablets in the pencil specification. Testing the magnet certain iPads use to attach the device to them is also a priority.

Installation and setup testing

You may do the process in a particular settings section on the tablet of the American brand.


At this point, assessing whether the item satisfies the target market’s expectations regarding convenience, aesthetics, speed, and response is vital.

GUI test

You will need to pay attention to the size, material of manufacture, color, buttons and sensors, indicators, and connectors. Key factors must fully comply with the characteristics declared by the manufacturer.


It is essential to check the wear resistance of the pencil, battery capacity, and other similar parameters.

Stress test

The device’s performance must be evaluated in various settings, such as under intense pressure or running two programs simultaneously.

Testing simple pencil

The object’s original properties must be examined out of the box in the first step. It would be best to start by determining whether the pencil has been sharpened. If it was, you must confirm that it may be utilized for that purpose. If the item is not sharpened, you should address whether it is practical to have an unsharpened pencil right now. Perhaps more initialization is needed.

Next, you need to study the pencil’s manufacturer, marking, eraser, and other visual characteristics. It is critical to describe the shape of the pencil lead, whether there is any varnish coating, a box, and other parameters.

Tool’s quality

The tester studies the quality of the pencil during the interview – whether there are any irregularities, manufacturing flaws, marking, and attaching the eraser to the subject.


Ease of use depends on many factors, such as whether the object fits comfortably in hand, whether there is a special “grip zone” and other characteristics.

Practical use

The applicant must write, sketch, or create something to test the rubber band’s operation. Additionally, you may write something on various materials, like cardboard, wood, newspaper, thick paper, etc.

Final words

Candidates are frequently requested to evaluate a readily available item, such as a pencil or spectacles. Such interview test tasks are designed to assess a candidate’s systemic testing thinking and capacity to develop various types of checks. Being well-prepared is essential to achieve success in a job interview. You will be given manageable tests during the interview to gauge your depth of knowledge in QA. After all, HR’s objective is to assess your logical thought capacity.

The alternatives in our article are some of the most common. Therefore, each applicant is free to add something they consider indispensable. Key skill acquisition requires keen attention, continual tool mastery, and method testing. By enrolling in a unique QA course from DevEducation, where testers study all the potential test assignments they might face during an interview, you will broaden your theoretical knowledge base and boost your self-confidence.

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