- Who is the QA engineer
- The basic qualifications and knowledge of a QA Engineer
- What skills to pay attention to when interviewing a candidate?
- Features of interviewing a QA candidate
- What questions should be asked?
- How to check English language knowledge?
In order to recruit competent specialists, HR managers must be well-versed in many industries. An interview with applicants for a software tester position is complex, not only in conducting but also in organizing. It should pass through several stages to evaluate the knowledge, strengths and weaknesses, and skills of the job applicant.
In this article, we will discuss the QA tester’s recruitment process in more detail: discuss features of the interview and essential candidates’ skills. Also, we’ll provide you a list of approximate questions to identify a candidate’s skills and competence.
Who is the QA engineer
Recruiters should understand the main tasks of all positions they work with. To begin with, the role of a QA Engineer is to ensure that the product or service meets the needs of its customers. They are responsible for developing and executing test plans, analyzing test results, and creating reports to identify software defects and their root causes. QA Engineers also work closely with developers to identify and fix any issues. They are also involved in creating and maintaining quality standards for products, services, and processes.
The interviewer must be familiar with the terminology to interview the applicant successfully. It’s a common misconception that the terms Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and “testing” are synonymous. However, this is not true, and here’s why:
- QA. Professionals in this field prepare and approve standards, check the quality, select tools, help to prevent errors, and modify the application.
- Quality Control. This refers to the quality control of the product. Experts in this field are responsible for the analysis of the results of the program testing, searching, and eliminating possible bugs. Quality Control specialists work with the program code and technical review, which allows them to check the software thoroughly.
- Software testing. Professionals specializing in software testing check the finished product to ensure that it meets the established specifications and requirements.
When hiring QA specialists, HR managers need to know what responsibilities and key skills the applicant should have. Also, it’s necessary to check the deep understanding of the product, the technology, and the customer experience.
The basic qualifications and knowledge of a QA Engineer
During the interview, the interviewer must determine whether the candidate has the necessary practical skills and competencies to occupy the QA position. This includes:
- understanding of the software development cycle;
- knowledge of the types and levels of the testing process;
- ability to read technical documents correctly;
- knowledge of how to analyze software requirements properly;
- preparation of test documentation;
- monitoring and tracking of software changes;
- writing test scenarios;
- preparation of a technical task to eliminate errors, faults, and deficiencies found during the testing stage.
A Quality Assurance Engineer needs to have a proficient English level. Usually, customers and the company’s team are located in different countries, so a high level of English is necessary to communicate effectively. Equally important for functional software testers to have experience in using bug-tracking systems. The candidate should know how to correctly and thoroughly describe the found bugs, assign priorities when removing them, and indicate the path and other elements necessary for developers. The specialist should also work with bug trackers, checklists, test lists, and cases. QA specialists should have practical knowledge of various technologies:
- HTML / CSS
- iOS Simulator
In order to effectively perform their own work, a Quality Assurance Engineer must have a thorough knowledge of the SQL query language.
What skills to pay attention to when interviewing a candidate?
An interviewer needs to not only study the SV, which will only indicate the qualification level but also be able to determine the necessary soft skills of the candidate. The most relevant ones are:
- Problem-solving skills: Potential applicants should be able to identify problems quickly and come up with solutions.
- Attention to detail: QA Engineers need to be able to spot even the smallest of errors, so they need to have a keen eye for detail.
- Technical expertise: It’s essential to have a solid understanding of the product and the technology used to create it. Candidates should be able to explain how the system works and how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
- Communication: QA Engineers need to have strong communication skills, as they need to be able to articulate their ideas and feedback to the team.
- Teamwork: Choose the specialist that will work effectively with other members of the team, as well as customers. They should take feedback and act on it quickly.
Such skills describe the QA engineer as a perfect specialist who can effectively and productively distribute their working time for the tasks set.
Features of interviewing a QA candidate
The tester’s interview passes through several stages, as only in this way is it possible to accurately identify whether the candidate meets the necessary criteria for the open vacancy. First, the interviewer needs to find out what attracts an applicant and why he is the ideal candidate.
After that, the interviewer should ask several theoretical questions and give a test task that must be completed at a scheduled time. This will help determine the level of competence and knowledge of the candidate. The third step is to check the candidate’s ability to think logically. Thus, it is possible to trace the exact course of the specialist’s thoughts and determine the presence of analytical thinking. Before giving the practical task, the HR manager represents the company and the employer’s brand.
When preparing the interview with the candidate, it is necessary to compile a list of questions and requirements for the QA position, as well as to form an image of what the organization’s dream specialist looks like (professional and personal qualities).
The interview should take the form of a dialogue rather than an interrogation. We recommend starting the interview with a small talk, providing brief information about the employer. You can calm the candidate, tune him into a productive conversation and analyze his interest in the proposed work. Remember to write down the main points and your conclusions.
What questions should be asked?
To have a successful interview, it is recommended to compile a list of questions in advance for the QA engineer position. We have prepared an approximate list that can be used during the interview:
- Describe your experience in the software development lifecycle and how you have incorporated QA processes.
- What techniques do you prefer to use to identify bugs?
- What software tools have you used to create and execute test cases?
- How do you evaluate user requirements and translate them into test cases?
- Describe your experience with various types of testing, such as functional, regression, compatibility, and usability testing.
- What is your approach to developing test plans and test cases?
In addition to checking the applicant’s competencies, the recruiter should ask questions to understand the person better.
How to check English language knowledge?
HR specialists just need to make sure that the potential Quality Assurance Engineer has a high level of fluency in English, as it is mandatory. To do this, they can also ask questions that need to be answered instantly without preparation.
The most common options are:
- Describing the tasks and goals of testing.
- Giving a detailed explanation of one of the possible software errors.
- Speaking about the reasons why the individual decided to change his previous job.
- What advantages of the company attracted the candidate’s attention?
It is essential to understand that the questions described in our article should not be used as a rule. If you need to interview professional testers with a high level of skills, it is better to create the list together with technical specialists to include company specifics and analyze the level of programming language fluency.