Enhancing Your Interview Questions for QA Candidates

Enhancing Your Interview Questions for QA Candidates

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Interviewing candidates for Quality Assurance (QA) positions can be challenging, particularly when trying to gauge their problem-solving skills and experience through traditional questions. One common question that interviewers use is asking candidates to describe the most interesting bug they have found in their careers. However, this question often fails to yield the desired insights. In this article, we will explore why this might be the case and how to improve your interview questions to better assess QA candidates.

Understanding the Flaws in the Traditional Question

The traditional question—”What is the most interesting bug you’ve found in your career?”—has several inherent issues:

  • Optimization Problem: Asking for the “most” interesting bug forces candidates to solve an optimization problem under pressure, which might not accurately reflect their skills.
  • Vagueness: The term “interesting” is subjective. What is interesting to one person may not be to another, leading to varied and potentially irrelevant answers.
  • Narrow Focus: This question presupposes that the primary role of QA is to find bugs, neglecting other critical aspects of QA such as ensuring overall quality and preventing defects.
  • Memory Recall: Stressful interview environments can make it difficult for candidates to recall specific bugs, especially if they have a long career.

Enhanced Questions for Better Insights

To extract more meaningful insights from your candidates, consider breaking down the question into more specific and situational queries:

  • Learning from Defects: “Describe a software defect that you learned something important from. What was the defect, and what did you learn?” This question assesses the candidate’s ability to learn from their experiences.
  • Prioritization Skills: “Describe a defect that you thought was important to fix. What was the defect? What factors made you think it should be prioritized?” This helps evaluate how the candidate prioritizes tasks and their focus on customer experience.
  • Handling Recurring Defects: “What actions would you take if you had to reopen a defect for the fifth time?” This question tests the candidate’s problem-solving and troubleshooting skills.
  • Testing Edge Cases: “How would you most efficiently test a field that should become red on 30 out of 500 possible values?” This question assesses the candidate’s efficiency in handling edge cases.

Practical Examples and Comparisons

Here are some practical examples of how candidates might respond to these enhanced questions:

  • Learning from Defects: A candidate might describe a bug in an API that had been marked “fixed” multiple times. They learned the importance of checking the bug history and examining the root cause rather than applying superficial fixes.
  • Prioritization Skills: A candidate might describe a security flaw that allowed HTML injection in a comments field. They would prioritize fixing this due to the significant security risk it posed to users.
  • Handling Recurring Defects: A candidate might explain their approach to investigating the root cause of a recurring defect, including reviewing the changeset and collaborating with developers for a permanent solution.
  • Testing Edge Cases: A candidate might describe using a combination of UI testing and database checks to efficiently verify that a field behaves correctly for a specified subset of values.

Using Repeato to Streamline QA Processes

For those looking to enhance their QA processes, tools like Repeato can be invaluable. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that leverages computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain automated tests for your apps. It is particularly fast to edit and run tests, making it an excellent choice for quality assurance.

By using Repeato, you can ensure that your QA team spends less time on repetitive tasks and more time on identifying and solving complex issues. For more information on how Repeato can help streamline your QA processes, visit our documentation page or check out our blog for the latest updates and insights.

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