Manual testers perform manual software tests to find and fix bugs and issues within software. While there are many kinds of manual software testers, there are common questions that are frequently asked by interviewers to find out how much you understand about their processes. Understanding the questions that an interviewer might ask can help you prepare your answers for your manual testing interview. In this article, we list 50 common manual testing interview questions and provide some examples of effective answers.
What to expect at a manual testing interview
You should prepare to be asked general questions, questions about your experience and background in software testing and in-depth questions that reveal your knowledge about testing processes. Depending on the company, an interviewer might ask you questions based on sample fragments of code. Each company creates or maintains different types of software, so knowing some information about the company you are interviewing with can help you prepare for your interview.
Toward the beginning of the interview, you are likely to hear a few more generalized questions. These general questions are used by the interviewer to discover your interest in the job and your personality:
- Why do you want to be a software tester?
- What do you know about manual software testing?
- What do you like most about manual testing?
- What do you dislike most about manual testing?
- What hobbies do you have outside of software testing?
- How would you describe yourself as a software tester?
- What is your favorite kind of software to test?
- What software do you use the most daily?
- What are your weaknesses with software testing?
- What made you want to apply for this position?
- Why did you choose manual testing over quality assurance?
Questions about experience and background
As the interview progresses and the person speaking with you starts to get a feel for your personality, questions directed toward your background will come into play. These background questions can help the interviewer understand more about your experience in the software industry and manual testing field:
- How much experience do you have with software testing?
- Have you ever been a manual tester before?
- What kind of software have you tested previously?
- What kinds of software testing tools have you used before?
- What's the difference between manual testing and quality assurance?
- Can you explain the various tasks of a manual tester?
- What tools have you used in software testing?
- Have you taken the CSTE testing certification exam?
- What exams or tests have you taken for software testing?
- Have you been trained in manual testing or software testing?
- What are the different types of software testing?
Beyond what you have done or learned in the past, at some point your actual knowledge will likely be quizzed, to prove that you can really do the job. These in-depth questions can help an interviewer understand your comprehensive knowledge about manual testing:
- What is the role of a moderator in software testing?
- What are some commonly used testing types?
- What is formal testing?
- What are the differences between load, stress and performance tests?
- What are the differences between static and dynamic testing?
- What is included in the testing process?
- What is meant by scalability testing?
- What is the difference between verification and validation?
- What are decision tables used for?
- What are the differences between white box and black box testing?
This type of questioning is really dual purposed. On the one hand, you will be put on the spot to discuss what you really know. Beyond that, speaking in-depth about more complex topics will demonstrate how you think and approach tasks. Here are a few more example questions:
- What information could be included in a test plan?
- What are the different types of test coverage techniques?
- How do you determine a time estimation for the completion of a project?
- Can you explain the difference between top-down testing and bottom-up testing?
- How would you handle a software testing conflict among other team members?
- How do you conduct a risk analysis?
- What are some examples of testing activities you would automate?
- What is the difference between a defect and a failure?
- What is typically included in a test report?
- What is the purpose of end-to-end testing?
Interview questions with sample answers
Here are some common interview questions and sample answers related to manual testing:
1. Can you explain the various tasks of a manual tester?
While every company will have its own specific tasks and processes, this question is asking more about the general responsibilities of a manual software tester. If the job description stated the types of tasks this position would be performing, you could use some of those to let the interviewer know you understand the job duties. You can also include the primary responsibilities that a software tester would be expected to perform, such as those that you've completed in your past experiences.
Example: "I'm sure you have specific testing procedures, but generally, I would study the software utilization and create test cases based on scenarios or user feedback. I would execute the test cases, find defects and bugs and then write a report about the possible fix for the developer. Once the test is completed, I would send my test report to the test lead or moderator."
2. What are the different types of software testing?
This question assesses whether you understand the different types of testing and how they differ from the kind of software testing you will be implementing in this role. You can answer this question as a list of standard software tests you understand.
Example: "Based on the job description, I understand I will mostly be running performance tests where I determine the software's general level of responsiveness. However, some other types of software testing include unit testing, which is where you assess segments of code for usability. There's also functional testing, which is the process of determining the success of input and output processes a software can complete.
Load testing and stress testing are both used to understand a software system's response when given large amounts of input and find areas of improvement. Finally, there's also system testing, where you assess whether the software efficiently and effectively performs the commands and functions that it's supposed to."
3. What are some commonly used testing types?
While the previous question asks about different types of software testing, this question refers to specific testing types within manual testing. Understanding the various types of testing that produce different test outcomes shows the interviewer you are knowledgeable about the job.
Example: "I've performed system tests and integration tests, but some other testing types include unit testing, install testing, agile testing and API testing. Some tests are performed to test small pieces of code while others are used for complete tests of the system."
4. What information could be included in a test plan?
This question is used to test your general knowledge of various testing documents and requires you to have used test plans in previous job experiences. While each test plan can vary, explain what a test plan is used for and what could be included in it.
Example: "I've used test plans to describe the testing activities and testing schedule, and usually they include a strategy, objective, test criteria and test deliverables."
5. How do you determine a time estimation for the completion of a project?
This question is an opportunity to demonstrate your time management skills. Even if you are interviewing for an entry-level manual testing role, being able to answer this question can also show your leadership qualities related to project planning and execution. Answer this question by explaining the process of how you would come to a time estimate conclusion on a project.
Example: "Time estimations involve a lot of factors. I would first understand the required tasks and scale of the software. Then, I would divide the testing project into smaller tasks that I could delegate to various software testers or myself. I would estimate the time it could take each process to be completed by each tester and add extra time to account for breaks or possible issues."
6. How would you handle a software testing conflict among other team members?
Many conflicts could arise while testing software, and an interviewer may ask you this question to determine how much of a team player you are. Your communication skills are crucial when it comes to resolving conflicts within a team, and this question allows you to demonstrate how you would manage possible issues as a software tester or team leader.
Example: "Every conflict would need to be managed differently, but generally, I would listen to everyone involved to hear all sides of the issue and possible resolutions. If I were the moderator, I would decide on the best scenario or hold a team meeting if necessary. If I were another software tester, I would offer my resolution to the team or moderator and follow the guidelines of the moderator or lead tester."
7. What is typically included in a test report?
This is another question that reveals your past job experience with manual software testing. Knowing what is included in a test report will show the interviewer that you've either done this job before or have enough knowledge to understand your tasks as a manual tester. For questions that require you to verbalize a list of items, you might also consider including why test reports are beneficial.
Example: "A test report includes information about the project, the objective of the test, the summary of the testing procedures that were implemented and the defect or bug that was found. Test reports help corrective actions occur based on the current project status and determine if the software is ready to be released."
8. What is the purpose of end-to-end testing?
This question is entirely knowledge-based, but you can still provide an effective answer even if you're an entry-level candidate who has yet to gain job experience or has just completed a study in software testing. Explain to the interviewer what end-to-end testing means, when it is implemented and why it is beneficial.
Example: "End-to-end testing is the final testing procedure that is performed after functional testing. It tests the software in a real-world environment as a consumer would use the software, which is critical knowledge to have before launching a software."