Effective Strategies for Interviewing Automation QA Candidates

Effective Strategies for Interviewing Automation QA Candidates

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Interviewing candidates for an Automation QA position can be challenging, especially when you require them to possess both strong programming skills and a tester’s mindset. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to help you identify the right questions to ask during the interview process, ensuring you hire the best fit for your team.

Understanding the Role

Before you can determine the interview questions, it is crucial to define the role clearly. Consider the following aspects:

  • Will the candidate be required to do any testing or just build automation tools?
  • Is the candidate expected to analyze needs and create their own requirements, or will these be provided?
  • Will the candidate need to conceive, design, and develop a test automation framework, or will they only write code to fill in missing pieces?

Answering these questions will help you steer the interview in the right direction and tailor your questions to the specific needs of the role.

Testing Questions with Programming Challenges

To hire a tester who can automate, consider asking questions that blend testing scenarios with programming challenges. For example:

“You’re in charge of testing a function that returns a random number between 1-6 (essentially a die rolling program). How would you test it?”

This question helps you evaluate how well the candidate can recognize the scope of challenges and use automation and analysis tools to address them.

Simulating Real-World Tasks

One effective strategy is to test their automated test writing skills directly. For instance, you can create a mini-application and ask candidates to:

  • Write test cases for a model.
  • Write test cases for a view.
  • Optimize test cases with duplicated code.
  • Use page objects for UI tests.
  • Identify and resolve issues causing intermittent test failures.

This approach helps you assess their practical skills and their ability to handle real-world scenarios they will face on the job.

Evaluating Problem-Solving and Analytical Skills

Ask candidates to write code for a simple algorithm and then test it as if someone else wrote it. Look for tests that go beyond unit tests and into integration or system tests. This will help you gauge their ability to handle complex testing scenarios and their comfort with debugging, code interpretation, and understanding code coverage.

Breaking Down Essential Skills

Identify the essential skills required for the role and prepare questions that test these competencies. For example:

  • Knowledge in scripting/programming languages (e.g., Perl, JavaScript, Java).
  • Familiarity with relational databases (e.g., Oracle, MongoDB).
  • Experience with testing frameworks (e.g., Selenium WebDriver, JUnit).
  • Understanding of operating systems (e.g., Linux, Windows).
  • Knowledge of QA methodologies (e.g., STP, STD, STR).

These targeted questions will help you evaluate the candidate’s technical expertise and suitability for the position.


By asking the right questions and simulating real-world tasks, you can effectively assess the skills and mindset required for an Automation QA position. Remember, the goal is to find a candidate who not only excels in programming but also possesses a strong testing acumen.

For teams looking for a streamlined approach to test automation, Repeato offers a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android. Using computer vision and AI, Repeato allows you to create, run, and maintain automated tests quickly and efficiently, making it an ideal solution for quality assurance needs.

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