9 QA Interview Questions + How To Answer Them

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover questions you might encounter when interviewing for a QA position and how to prepare for your upcoming interview.

[Featured Image] A woman in a dark jacket and glasses practices her QA interview questions.

What you should know about QA interviews

If you’ve landed an interview for a Quality Assurance (QA) role, such as QA tester or QA engineer, you may be wondering what to expect and what questions you’ll be asked. 

Your interviewers want to learn everything they can about your abilities as a QA professional, your approach to testing, how you’ll fit in with the team, and how you’ll  work alongside all stakeholders. Expect questions about the qualifications on your resume, including degrees in computer science or related disciplines, experience in QA, and knowledge of the field. 

Continue reading to discover common QA interview questions you may need to answer, questions to ask your interviewer, and how to prepare to meet a potential employer. 

9 quality assurance interview questions

In this section, you will explore nine QA interview questions, why interviewers ask them, how to form answers, and alternative phrasings to listen for. All nine questions are focused on QA, but keep in mind that interviewers may also ask you general questions like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

We’ve grouped the following interview questions into three categories—behavioral, situational, and testing-related questions—so that you can prepare for a range of questions. 

Behavioral QA questions 

Behavioral questions are an opportunity to explore your professional background and describe how you’ve handled workplace situations. You’ll use the STAR method (Situation, Tasks, Actions, Results) to answer behavioral questions with detailed, compelling stories about your past successes.  

1. Tell me about a time you missed a bug.

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about how you recover from and resolve inadvertent QA errors and the results of your efforts to resolve the situation.  

How to answer:

  • Use the STAR method to compose your answer. Describe the situation you were in when you missed the bug, the tasks you were responsible for and the role you played, the actions you took to resolve the missed bug, and the results of your actions. 

  • Take this opportunity to exhibit self-awareness around past work-related mistakes and confidence in being able to handle them. 

Other forms this question might take: 

  • “Tell me about a QA mistake you made and how you resolved it.”

  • “What do you typically do when you miss a bug?”

2. When you’ve found a bug, how have you resolved it? 

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your experience with different QA processes and methodologies, your past successes in resolving bugs, and how these successes might translate to your performance in the open position. 

How to answer:

  • Use the STAR method to compose your answer. Describe the situation you were in when you found the bug, the tasks you were responsible for and the role you played, the actions you took to resolve the bug, and the results of your actions.

  • Take this opportunity to describe your QA successes in concrete terms and your process, step by step. 

Other forms this question might take: 

  • “How do you typically go about resolving bugs?”

  • “Tell me about a time you successfully resolved a bug.”

3. Tell me about your most difficult project. 

Interviewers ask this question to get a feel for your work ethic. They want to know how you approach QA challenges, such as tight deadlines or fixing bugs during the testing process, and the actions you take to succeed. 

How to answer:

  • Use the STAR method to describe the situation of your most difficult project, the tasks you were responsible for and your role, the actions you took to overcome the challenge, and the results of your actions. 

  • Take this opportunity to showcase your commitment to working through challenges and emphasize the impact of your efforts. 

Other forms this question might take: 

  • “What has been your most challenging QA experience, and how did you overcome the challenge?”

  • “How do you typically handle challenges that come up in QA? Describe an example.”

Situational QA questions

Situational questions are prompts for describing how you would react to hypothetical workplace situations and give employers a sense of your job performance potential. Skillful answers can demonstrate how you think on your feet and imagine different approaches to QA scenarios. 

As with behavioral questions, which focus on the past, you can use the STAR method to walk interviewers through your proposed strategies. 

4. How would you ensure your team accounts for all details in the QA process? 

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of attention to detail and understand how you motivate and collaborate with others to optimize the QA process.

How to answer: 

  • Use the STAR method to describe a hypothetical situation involving a QA process, the tasks you’d be responsible for to ensure detailed attention to the project, actions you would take, and the results you would anticipate. 

  • Take the opportunity to describe your QA methods and approaches in detail and how you would apply them to future projects. 

Other forms this question might take:  

  • “How would you ensure the team avoids missing details during QA?”

  • “How do you come up with QA processes that are thorough and detailed?”

5. If a client found an error in a status report, how would you resolve the issue? 

Interviewers ask this question to find out how you handle interactions with clients or project stakeholders, especially when you or your team is responsible for an error.  

How to answer: 

  • Use the STAR method to describe a hypothetical situation in which a client notices a status report error, the tasks you’d be responsible for in this scenario, the actions you would take to resolve the error and communicate with the client, and the results you would anticipate. 

  • Take the opportunity to emphasize your communication and problem-solving skills, as well as your resilience when facing challenges. 

Other forms this question might take: 

  • “How would you communicate with a client if they found an error in your status report and resolve the issue?” 

  • “How would you address an error in your status report when the client points out the error?”

6. How would you approach a project that you have doubts about? 

Interviewers ask this question to learn how you evaluate projects, raise questions, conduct more research into a project, and communicate your misgivings to coworkers or managers. 

How to answer: 

  • Use the STAR method to describe a hypothetical situation in which you have doubts about a project, the tasks you’d be responsible for, the actions you’d take to communicate your doubts or find out more through research, and the results you would anticipate. 

  • Take the opportunity to emphasize your critical thinking and communication skills, as well as your conscientious approach to understanding a project inside and out. 

Other forms this question might take:

  • “What would you do if you had doubts about a project?”

  • “If you were not to feel confident about a project or notice something amiss, how would you handle this situation?”

Testing-related QA questions 

These questions are your opportunity to showcase your QA knowledge and skills. To prepare, review your training and experience, and refresh your memory of common concepts, terms, and methods. 

7. What does a test plan include? 

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your familiarity and experience with this aspect of QA.

How to answer: 

  • Review your notes, documentation, or training materials on test planning, as well as any experience you’ve had with it. 

  • Be prepared to describe the components of a test plan, different kinds of test plans, how to create one, and different use cases. 

Other forms this question might take:

  • “What are the components of a test plan?”

  • “What goes into test planning?”

8. What is the QA testing life cycle? 

Interviewers ask this question to discover your familiarity with this concept and experience with the process. 

How to answer: 

  • Review everything you’ve learned about testing and reflect on your experiences. 

  • Be prepared to discuss the testing life cycle in detail and why each phase is important. 

Other forms this question might take:

  • “Can you walk me through the QA testing life cycle?”

  • “What is your experience with the QA testing life cycle?”

9. Can you define stress testing, load testing, and volume testing? 

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your understanding of these terms and any experience you have with these types of testing. 

How to answer:

  • Refer to several authoritative QA sources to confirm that you have up-to-date definitions of these terms. 

  • Prepare to define these terms clearly, discuss the scenarios necessitating each one, and describe your experience with them. 

Other forms this question might take:

  • “What’s your understanding of different types of testing, such as stress testing, load testing, and volume testing?”

  • “Tell me the differences between stress testing, load testing, and volume testing.”

Questions to ask in a QA interview 

Most interviewers will invite you to ask questions throughout the interview and at the end. This is your opportunity to get the most out of your interview experience. Prepare questions in advance to:

 

  • Signal your interest in a position. 

  • Demonstrate your conscientious approach to job-seeking (and, by extension, job performance).

  • Get the exact information you need about the company and the position to make a career decision.

 

Draw from the example questions below to prepare your questions.

1. What are the characteristics of your top QA professionals? 

Asking this question can give you insights into the skills and traits that lead to success in the QA role you’re applying for. With these insights, you can refine your QA characteristics and cultivate new ones to match the company's expectations.  

2. What technologies do you use? 

Asking this question shows that you are mindful of what individual companies are doing with specific apps and tools. Depending on the interviewer’s answer, asking this question also presents an opportunity to share your experience with technologies the company uses or commit to becoming familiar with them.  

3. What is your QA process?

Asking this question shows that you are mindful of different QA methods and practices from one company to the next and are keen on aligning your QA experience and training with the prospective employer’s QA process. 

4. What does your development team need from a new QA hire? 

Asking this question demonstrates that you are interested in learning more about what the employer is looking for and how you can develop the workplace and technical skills to become an attractive candidate.   

Read more: 30 Career-Focused Questions to Ask in an Interview

How to prepare for a QA interview

In addition to preparing for QA interview questions, you’ll also need to prepare for the interview experience. Use these six interview tips to boost your confidence and present your value to an employer:

  1. Research the QA role, particularly for the industry you’re applying to work in.

  2. Research the company you want to work for.

  3. Investigate the company’s QA process.

  4. Review your QA achievements in previous roles.

  5. Practice STAR answers to behavioral and situational questions. 

  6. Select appropriate interview attire.

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview 

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