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Six Manual Testing Interview Questions That Every Tester Should Know

Updated on May 24, 2015

Manual Testing Phases

Interested In A Manual Testing Career?

Many companies are in need of manual testers to work towards improving their software/application development. A manual tester must have multiple skills to be an effective part of the development team. The key skills all manual testers should have are communication, analytical ability, technical ability, leadership skills, and a strong knowledge of testing. Whether you are an experienced tester or new to the industry be prepared to answer multiple questions on your knowledge of testing during the interview process. There are several key questions that you can familiarize yourself with before your next big interview. If you can answer these questions well then you have a great chance to be the next manual tester for a company!

What Makes A Good Test Engineer?

A good test engineer should have the “test to break mentality.” This can be described as the ability to take the point of view of the user and carefully test the application with the intention to find any issues. A test engineer should also have good communication skills and be able to know when to speak in technical terms and when not to. Knowledge of the software development process is very important so that there is an understanding of the developer’s mindset. The ability to manage time on the essential features to be tested requires not only time management skills but also strong judgement skills. A tester must be able to focus on what needs to be tested during the current lifecycle of the project.

How Important Is Documentation In Quality Assurance?

Documentation is quality insurance is critical and it doesn’t have to be physical it can be digital. Everything from the client’s requirements to your test cases is necessary to have documented so that it can be referred to during the development phases. Examples of essential quality assurance documents are the requirement analysis, functional specification, test plan, and defects.

Why Are Requirements Important?

The requirements are one of the most important aspects of the software development life cycle. Requirements provide the team the details as to how the features of the product will function. It’s important that the requirements for the project are clear, detailed, and can be tested. Requirements are critical and in non-agile development needs to be documented, but this does not mean that in agile development there is no need for documentation. In agile development there is a priority of working software over documentation. The goal in agile is to meet the requirements without letting documentation take away too much focus on the objective of completing the software.

What Steps Are Needed To Develop And Run Software Tests?

  • Acquire all necessary documents. This includes the requirements, functional design, internal design specifications.

  • Acquire the budget and schedule needs

  • Determine who will be working on the project and what their responsibilities, reporting requirements, and required processes are

  • Identify what aspect of the application is high risk, set priorities to asses it, determine the scope and possible limitations of the test

  • Assess what types of testing and approaches will be needed (unit, system, load, usability, integration, functional, etc.)

  • Determine the testing environment (software, hardware, etc.)

  • Determine the tools you are will be using when testing, also known as testware

  • Determine the test input data requirements

  • Assess the required tasks and who will be completing them.

  • Set a schedule for testing. Determine the timeline and the milestones

  • Determine what the type of data you will use for testing (equivalence classes, boundary value analysis, and error classes)

  • Prepare the test plan to have it reviewed and approved

  • Create test cases

  • Have test cases reviewed and inspected

  • Prepare the test environment and the testing software to be used. Obtain any manuals/documentation/installation guides, test data, etc.

  • Install new software releases if any

  • Perform tests

  • Evaluate the results of the tests and report them

  • Track any problems or bugs

  • Retest if needed

  • Update and maintain all documentation as you continue through the development life cycle. This includes test plans and test cases

What Is A Test Plan?

A test plan is a document that describes the objective, scope, approach, and schedule of the testing process being done for the software. A test plan also contains who will be doing the testing, the tasks that need to be accomplished, the test environment, and the potential risks that will come with testing. The test plan should contain the following items:

  • Title

  • Identification of software including version/release #

  • Revision history of a document including authors, dates, approvals

  • Table of contents

  • Purpose of the document, intended audience

  • Objective of the testing effort

  • Software product overview

  • List of relevant documents such as the requirements, design documents, etc.

  • Legal requirements and standards

  • Traceability requirements

  • Important identifier conventions and naming conventions

  • Team contact information and responsibilities

  • Dependencies and assumptions

  • Project risk analysis

  • Testing priorities

  • Limitations and scope of testing

  • Test outline

  • Output of data input which includes boundary value analysis, error classes, etc.

  • Testing Environment - operating system, hardware, etc.

  • Testing Environment Validity analysis - this outlines the difference between the test and production systems and their impact on test validity

  • Setup of testing environment

  • Software migration process

  • Software CM process

  • Requirements of test data setup

  • Database setup requirements

  • Test tools to be used

  • Tools to track bugs/defects

  • Test metrics of the project

  • Requirements for reporting and testing deliverables

  • Sanity testing period and criteria

What Is A Test Case?

A test case is a document is a document that describes the set of conditions and inputs that a tester will use to see if the requirements of an application have been met. Creating test cases is an important part of the development process because it helps to find issues in the requirements of the software. Creating test cases in the early phases of development can mean finding defects or finishing the application ahead of schedule if the requirements are met.

A test case should have the following information:

  • Test Case ID

  • Unit to test

  • Assumption

  • Test Data

  • Steps to be executed

  • Expected Result

  • Actual Result

  • Pass/Fail

  • Comments

Be Prepared For A Phone Interview

It is very common for employers to use phone interviews as a way to identify if you are the right fit for the company. For a job that is in demand, like manual testing, you may have interests from companies outside of your current residence.

Tips for a phone interview

Keep your resume and any other important documents ready in front of your for reference

Have a pen/pencil and paper ready to take notes

Make sure that you are in a quiet area and that there isn’t a chance for any noise to interrupt you (turn off your phone, tv, or any loud appliances)

Do not interview while eating food. It would be inappropriate for the interviewer to hear you chewing food or slurping your drink

There is no reason to rush your answers. Make sure you give a thoughtful response but do not wait too long to do so.

At the end of the interview make sure to thank your interviewer

Don't Make These Phone Interview Mistakes!

Make Sure You Dress Right And Leave A Good Impression!

Dressing Up For Your Interview

To make a good impression that you are a capable employee and are a serious candidate wear professional business attire.

For men this means a suit (navy, grey or black), long sleeve dress shirt (white or a color that matches the suit), belt, tie, dark socks, dress shoes, minimal jewelry, along with a briefcase.

Hygiene is important so be sure to have a clean hairstyle, and shaven. It is also important to keep your nails trimmed as well.

Women interview attire is a suit (black, dark grey, or navy), suit skirt (appropriate length so that you can sit without worrying), matching blouse, shoes, limited amount of jewelry (should not be distracting the interviewer), appropriate hairstyle, neutral pantyhose, light make-up and perfume, and a portfolio or briefcase.


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    • kvsc profile image


      2 years ago from India

      Great article


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