Software quality assurance engineers monitor and assure the quality of software engineering methods and processes. While a QA position covers a lot of information, there are common questions interviewers might ask to find out how much you understand. Knowing the questions you could be asked about a QA position can help you prepare your answers. In this article, we list 37 common QA interview questions about software quality assurance and provide examples of how to respond.
These general questions are used by the interviewer to discover your personality and interest in the job:
- "Why do you want to be a QA engineer?"
- "What made you want to apply for this position?"
- "What is a weakness you have with software quality assurance?"
- "What do you like most about quality assurance?"
- "What do you dislike most about quality assurance?"
- "Why did you choose quality assurance over software testing?"
- "What are your hobbies outside of software assurance?"
- "What is your favorite software?"
- "What is your ideal type of software to test?"
- "How would you describe yourself as a software quality assurance engineer?"
Questions about experience and background
These background questions can help the interviewer understand more about your experience in the software industry and quality assurance field:
- "Have you ever done software quality assurance before?"
- "How much experience do you have with quality assurance?"
- "Have you ever been a software tester?"
- "What's the difference between quality assurance and software testing?"
- "How does your educational background relate to working in QA?"
- "What kind of software have you assured the quality of in the past?"
- "Have you ever written test cases without documents?"
- "Have you ever programmed software before?"
- "Have you ever resolved software production issues before?"
- "How do you ensure complete testing?"
- "What kinds of testing automation tools have you used?"
- "What kinds of verification techniques have you used?"
These in-depth questions can help an interviewer understand your comprehensive knowledge about software testing, programming and quality assurance:
- "What is testware?"
- "What is data-driven testing?"
- "Can you explain the general bug cycle steps?"
- "What might you include in a quality assurance testing document?"
- "What are the steps to an automation test plan?"
- "What is the difference between verification and validation?"
- "How would you manage a testing issue?"
- "Can you explain the importance of Agile testing?"
- "Can you explain the importance of CRUD testing?"
- "Can you explain the different types of software testing?"
- "What is the difference between load testing, volume testing and stress testing?"
- "Can you explain the various tasks of a software quality assurance engineer?"
- "What is the difference between boundary testing and branch testing?"
- "What's the difference between functional testing and non-functional testing?"
- "What is the difference between positive and negative testing?"
Interview questions with sample answers
Here are some common interview questions and sample answers related to software quality assurance:
Can you explain the various tasks of a software quality assurance engineer?
Every company will have minor differences in the tasks they expect from their QA engineers. However, being able to list at least a few of the possible quality assurance tasks and duties you might have, can show the interviewer that you understand the job. Studying the job description can help you relate the listed tasks to your answer.
Example: "Based on the job description, I understand the major tasks include configuring and integrating the software as well as testing the programs. Some other tasks might include software design, source code writing and change management."
How would you manage a testing issue?
This question attempts to uncover how you might handle problems during your testing. The interviewer might like to hear about how you manage issues with the software test itself. Explain to the interviewer what your general steps would include before asking your supervisor.
Example: "Depending on the issue, I would rerun my test to ensure the testing was being implemented correctly. If the problem persisted, I would restart the software and testing environment to make sure everything was working on the testing side. If problems persisted after a couple of minutes, I would talk to my supervisor or manager so I could manage my time wisely."
What are the steps of an automation test plan?
While the individual automation test plans will differ from company to company, the interviewer wants to understand your knowledge of implementing an automation test and what steps could be included. Your answer shows the interviewer your experience in managing a software automation test.
Example: "I would follow the company's strategy and record the scenario while incorporating an error handler. I would then debug the script and fix the issues as needed, rerun the script and track the results of the fix."
What is the difference between verification and validation?
Verification and validation are two critical processes that quality assurance engineers use when testing software quality and performance. Consider providing a brief explanation of the two processes and how they relate to your tasks as a QA engineer.
Example: "Verification is the assurance process that occurs during the software development stage, whereas validation is the evaluation process that happens once the software is fully developed. I would use verification as my continuous testing throughout development and validation as my final tests to make sure the software runs as it should."
Have you ever written test cases without documents?
Your answer to this question will depend on whether or not you have written test cases without documents. If you have, explain your prior experience in writing test cases. When you lack experience with writing test cases without documents, you can still explain what your process would include.
Example: "Yes, sometimes there aren't any documents. When this has happened before, I looked into past tests or performed minor research to get an idea of the feature being implemented. If the information was limited, I contacted someone from the development team to understand the changes, and in some cases, I collaborated with one of the developers."
What is the difference between load testing, volume testing and stress testing?
There are many types of software testing, and these three types of testing are the most common among software testers and quality assurance engineers. Your answer will show the interviewer that you have legitimate experience in multiple types of software testing and understand the difference between them all.
Example: "Load testing is when you test the software under a heavier load that is still in the expected range, whereas stress testing is when you test the software under a much heavier load that goes outside the expected range. Volume testing is just a system check to find out if the software can manage the expected data or requests."
What might you include in a quality assurance testing document?
An interviewer asks this question to understand your experience with using testing documents. If you have worked as a QA engineer before, explain what you included in your testing document. When you have limited experience, it might be beneficial to understand what a general document should include.
Example: "Each QA job I've had required different inclusions, so I would include whatever information was required by management. At my previous jobs, I've included test plans, test cases, bug reports, user manuals, inspection reports, defects and requirements."
Planning for your interview is important, but preparing answers ahead of time is vital when discussing a technical job like a quality assurance engineer. Considering your answers to these potential questions in advance can help set yourself apart from other applicants.