October 13, 2016
5 Testing Interview Questions They Never Prepared You For at School
Are you going for an interview soon? You have the theoretical knowledge in your mind, yet you are wondering what else interviewers might ask?
No problem! We are here to simplify your lives by this post.
Let’s begin with a simple thought – What makes a company hire QA managers? The answer is pretty simple. As the team grows, the product or products become more and more complex, requiring more and more structure to deliver successfully. To ensure successful delivery of products, companies looks for competent managers. A competent manager has the required skill set, required knowledge, and the experience to use them together to overcome any hurdles and ensure timely delivery of quality product.
When you are going for the interview of QA manager, interviewers are expecting to see your management style and how do you intend to regulate their testing process. This is more than the mere theoretical knowledge that you get in any school. In this article, we will tell you the answers to 5 testing interview questions they never prepared for you at school.
Let’s say you are the first QA manager for our software house. How will you regulate things?
Being a QA or Test manager, you will always seek continuous improvement of the software testing process. You can work over the following areas to bring improvement in the testing process:
Establish Test Process
Every manager has a personal management style and this impacts the test process. As a QA manager, you need to decide how much control and participation you will have in the project. You will also establish the standard test process that shall be followed for every project. This test process shall result in an organized and effective testing effort with maximized defect detection ratio.
Set up Bug Tracking Tool
Small software houses use excel and google spreadsheets to record a bug with relevant information in different columns. As you start working with bigger projects and larger QA teams, you realize that maintaining bug spreadsheets become a hectic process. These spreadsheets start to mix up and it becomes difficult to keep track of logged issues.
As QA manager, it will be your responsibility to identify when you should throw away spreadsheets and start using bug tracking tools. I recommend that you move to bug tracking tool as soon as you get enough budget to purchase one.Bug tracking tools or defect tracking tools keep track of issues and defects in the software application. It makes your process more organized and structured. You don’t need to worry about a bug as you can assign them meaningful tags and track them easily through filters. You might like to choose ReQtest as your bug tracking tool.
Acquire New Devices and Tools
If you are getting more projects with different hardware requirements, you need to think about increasing your hardware assets. Acquire new devices and equipment to perform more realistic testing, instead of using emulators. As a test manager, it is your responsibility to identify when and what devices you need to acquire.
Besides hardware, your software also needs an upgrade. New tools and applications come in the market frequently to expedite and improve testing process. These tools include several test automation software, bug tracking software or test management software. Keeping your requirements in mind, you select a tool that provides the required features. As your company grows, you can move towards the acquisition of more powerful and feature-rich tools. For example, you might be using only bug tracking software previously but with the increased budget, you can purchase the complete test management suite.
Being QA manager, it should be one of your goals to infuse the spirit of teamwork in your team to achieve excellence. This is only possible if you have leadership skills and demonstrate team player within yourself to the team as an example.
What is your Test Process?
This question has a typical answer because a software is developed using standard software development lifecycle. However, you can customize the answer by tweaking it a little. How about mentioning logic of every step that you follow?
The first step before starting the testing process is to gain a little understanding of the business. Testers get more involved in a project if they have knowledge of context. They use their creative skills to come up with various test scenarios.
The next step is to prepare a test plan. You can introduce a standard test plan template for your company. This test plan acts as a guide book to the testing process.
After creating the test plan, test cases are created. You understand the time constraints and the fact that we really don’t need detailed test cases every time. Your focus should be to write good test cases, investing only the minimum effort required. You introduce and guide your team to write effective test cases.
When the application has been developed, your team starts actual testing by executing test cases, reporting bugs and testing the fixes.
Don’t forget to mention that you will analyze the performance of your testing team on regular basis. This will land the interviewers to our next question.
How will you measure the performance or success of your testing process?
There are several testing metrics which can be used to measure the performance of your testing process such as defect detection percentage. Defect Detection Percentage measures the overall quality of your company’s testing process. It is the ratio of a number of defects identified during testing divided by total defects identified in that phase. Greater defect detection percentage indicates a reliable and effective testing process. It also increases chances that you deliver a bug-free product to your client.
DDP = (Number of Defects detected in a Phase / Total Number of defects in that Phase) x 100 %
For example, if 75 defects were found in testing and 25 additional flaws were found in the two months following launch, you have a Defect Detection Percentage of 75%. It means that you caught only 75% bugs during testing.
Once you have understood these metrics, it is time to apply your knowledge and analyze your testing methods. For this purpose, you can use a defect tracking system such as ReQtest. You can add details of ‘detection phase’ whenever a bug is logged. In this way, you will be able to identify how successful you have been in preventing defect leakage.
Calculate ‘Defect detection percentage’ for every testing cycle to get a measure of detecting the bugs. You may need to calculate this percentage on the basis of different QA Teams. This will give you an insight of which team is performing up to the mark. You can, then, ask other QA teams to adopt the techniques of the former. It would also enable you to identify flaws in your testing process.
Now, you have displayed your knowledge of testing metrics, interviewers would be more interested know if you have any actionable steps to take once you get these metrics.
How will you control defect leakage or how will you increase defect detection ratio?
It is important to control the defect leakage and increase defect detection percentage to assure a competent testing process. You can think to use the following techniques:
Prevents Defect by Writing Clear Requirements
Use defect prevention techniques to find defects before a product is developed. According to studies, 40-60% defects originate due to bad requirements. So, the best prevention against defects would be to write clear and specific requirements. The requirements should also encompass all possible business scenarios. By doing so, the developer will have clear information on what to implement. Also, the tester would be able to create test cases for all scenarios.
Identify Defects by Inspection and Reviews
Another method to identify defects at an earlier stage is to regularly conduct an inspection. The purpose of inspection and reviews is to find problems in the requirements, design, code and test documents. This results in developing a product with lesser bugs. Thus, it reduces the bug fixing effort and cost by catching the bugs as they originate.
Improve Defect Detection Percentage by Creating Test Scenarios
You can improve defect detection percentage by creating test scenarios for all requirements. Test scenarios should be designed in such a manner that they check a variety of conditions and possibilities. This will increase chances of detecting a defect at the testing stage. Hence, improving your overall defect detection percentage.
How do you best manage manual and automated testing working together?
Today is the era of the test automation. Automated testing has its own charm and the beginners in this field try to automate each and every test case of the test plan. This is not a wise approach as every test case is not a candidate for automation. A good QA manager will devise an intelligent test process where both, manual and automated testing, complement each other. The overall target of the process is to achieve accurate results efficiently.
Manual testing is important and can not be completely eliminated. At the same time, testers often get bored by executing the same, repetitive test cases again and again. Also, it increases the possibility of human error. By performing the same task again repetitively, testers might start to skip some steps in between. It can also induce factors like biases and past experience. For example, a tester is less likely to exhaustively test a functionality that has passed test cases previously. Automation neither knows any bias nor is smart enough to skip steps.
Test automation acts as a support tool for manual testing. Any tool must be used intelligently to yield best results. We know that automated testing can save a lot of time and testing effort, yet providing us with the accurate results. To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of automated testing, you need to select test cases that shall be automated by measuring them against certain criteria.
Do you really need Automation?
You might prefer manual testing over automated testing in several cases, especially when the application is in the final stages. You can not automate the test cases for usability or intuitiveness. Also, you need to do a calculation of ROI (return on investment) to make sure that automation does not turn into a burden, instead of a support.
- What is the budget of the project?
- What is the purchasing and licensing cost of the tool?
- What is required time to develop and maintain the script?
- Is the project really big enough that needs automation?
Shortlisting Test Cases for Automation
Let’s say, you have a test plan with over 200 test cases. How will you determine which test cases to automate and which test cases shall be executed manually?
Let me remind you that a good QA manager does not ask for automation of every test case. Rather, he analyzes the test cases thoroughly and selects the candidates for automation based on several factors. You can shortlist the candidates for test automation by analyzing the test cases using following criteria:
- Which scenarios are tedious but can be automated?
- Which regression test cases be automated?
- Can we automate test data entry procedure?
- Which test cases are required to perform on cross platforms? Can we automate those?
- Can we automate all kinds of validations in the application?
- Can we automate all CRUD (create, retrieve, update, delete) operations in the application?
Shortlisting Test Cases for Manual Testing
You should exclude the test cases which confirm to the following criteria:
- Which scenarios are more complex to automate?
- Which scenarios essentially require manual participation?
- Which parts are expected to be changed in the near future?
That was all for today. We discussed a few interview questions that shall be answered from a manager’s perspective. The interviewer is more interested to know how you will implement the known concepts for the timely and quality delivery of company’s product.
The key to success in the interview is to respond with actionable steps, instead of merely telling theory or concepts. Just remember this tip and you will ace your interview. Best of luck for your next interview!