Program tester interviews

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Job interview questions

I am not formally trained in program testing, but I do my share of testing the code I write as an engineer in Google Maps, and one of my wonderful friends, Lyubov Shyshova, has asked me a few times now to help out with the incredible company she co-founded IT labs while she was in the Ukraine, before she moved to San Francisco to work as a tester at Google. During these session we teleconference some of her IT lab students, and ask mock interview questions.... below are some of the typical questions she likes me to ask.

Questions for Program Tester Interview

Intro questions

  • Tell me a little about yourself. Do you have any experience in testing?

Experience questions

  • What did you do at your last job?
  • What are you looking for another job?
  • Why are you looking for a job in the IT sphere and quality assurance? / what made you chockse testing career
  • Have you written any testing documentation? What did it include?
  • What did you like about your manager? What didn't.
  • What is the biggest bug you ever found?
  • What problems have you faced in the past? How did you solve them?
  • Have you had a case where you didn't have any documentation and needed to test a product? How did you do it?
  • Have you done any Back End Testing and/or how did you go in your last project?
  • What type of test cases do you write?
  • Have you used any automated tools? Describe them?
  • Have you used any test case management tools? How did you use them?

Work habits

  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?
  • What is your strongest technical skill?
  • What technical skills do you have?
  • Are you better at working in a team, or working alone?
  • Can you work under pressure?
  • What leadership qualities do you have? #

Basic questions about testing

  • What is:
    • ... software testing?
    • ... performance testing?
    • ... ad hock testing?
    • ... gray box testing? Example?
    • ... quality?
    • ... a bug?
    • ... a test log?
    • ... a test report summary?
    • ... a test case
    • ... a test plan? What does it include?
    • ... a requirement ... a specification?
    • ... a database? SQL statements?
    • ... the Software Development Life Cycle
    • ... the Waterfall Software Development Model? Where can it apply?
    • ... the Agile software development method?
    • ... the SCRUM method?

Difference between questions

  • What is the difference between ...
    • ... load testing and stress testing?
    • ... Quality Assurance and Quality Control?
    • ... smoke testing and sanity testing? With examples.
    • ... a bug, a mistake and an erro?
    • ... validation and verification?
    • ... usability and user experience?
    • ... severity and priotiy? Give example with low severity, high proirity.
    • ... function and non-functional requirements?


  • I have this product ____ how do I test it?
  • You have a web application to test... how do you go about it? What process?
  • How do know when there is sufficient testing?

Career path questions

  • What are your career goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in another 5 years?

Salary question

  • What are your salary expectations.


  • Confidence
    • Personality - sense of humor
    • Admit to lack of experience? ("no experience, but excited to learn")
    • Posture / voice
  • Enthusiasm
    • Thirst for learning - online courses / extra mile
    • Passion for doing well
  • Recover gracefully
    • Repeat question / don't understand / will look into that / different question
  • Knowledge
    • Mention articles you read etc
  • Keywords to use:
    • "passionate", "eager", "adapt", "leadership", "future"

Acknowledgements: Lyubov Shyshova for being a terrific friend, and inviting me to do this!