Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Please study for my interview

I recently volunteered myself into the position of reviewing resumes, identifying candidates, and executing first round interviews for a QA position at my company. This has been a real learning experience for me as I've garnered a better understanding of the hiring process; but more so, it has been an eye opening experience. The great majority of applicants in the field are ROBOTS, figuratively speaking. Requirements get turned into scripts and that's how you test. As long as you have the right process, the right charts, the right formula, that's all you need.

I disagree. Don't get me wrong, I want someone that can transform requirements into test scripts but I what I really want is someone that can THINK. Someone that can test what's not in the requirements document. To quote Anne-Marie Charrett, I want to hire someone that says, "Don't hire me if you want perfect software. Don't hire me if you're looking for a tester to only "check" if things look ok."

For my interviews, I developed a standard list of questions to ask. Each question was carefully thought out and has a specific purpose for being asked. Here's my list:
  1. How did you get into software testing?
  2. What do you like about testing?
  3. What are your frustrations with testing and how do you deal with them?
    1. For example: How do you deal with being the resident naysayer?
    2. For example: How do you deal with defects that just never seem to get fixed?
  4. What comes to mind when you hear the term ‘Quality Assurance’?
  5. Compare and contrast automated and manual testing.
  6. Compare and contrast scripted and exploratory testing.
  7. How confident are you in your ability to deliver defect free software?
  8. What essential information should be included in defect report?
  9. How do you determine if something is working correctly when you have no documentation?
  10. What’s your experience with Agile?
  11. How do you sharpen your testing skills?
So there you go. If you're ever on the other side of the table being interviewed by me, nothing I ask should catch you by surprise. In fact, I encourage you to study for my interview. However, for now, I'm not going to explain any of my rationale; you'll have to come back for that later. For those of you that conduct interviews yourselves, is there anything you think I should add? Please share in the comments.

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