10 Manual Testing Interview Questions to Help You Prepare

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

To help you prepare for an interview in manual testing, we’ve rounded up 10 common questions asked. Start practising today to land a manual tester job.

[Featured image] A male manual tester, wearing a brown shirt, glasses is sitting in front of his desktop.

Manual testing interviews help hiring managers determine whether you have the proper experience and skills needed for the position. When preparing for a manual tester interview, practising answering common questions is essential to help you feel more confident and land the role. If you’re interested in software development, you’ll want to practice with these 10 customary manual testing interview questions.

1. What do you expect your role to be as a manual tester?

This is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of manual testing. You’ll want to talk about the role of manual testing in software development. Discuss your experience or, if you’re new to the field, interest in confirming that systems work and meet business requirements. Mention the value of testing various aspects such as usability, accuracy, completeness, and efficiency.

2. Why do you think you are a good fit for this manual testing role?

You’ll want to mention your education, skills, and experience relevant to the role. If you have any insights into the company culture at the organization, also talk about why you would think you will be a good fit. 

You might also use this as an opportunity to reiterate the importance of software testing. Outline your answer, with actual examples where possible, the importance of manual testers pointing out defects and errors, reducing coding cycles, and improving user experience.

If you know the organization uses Agile testing, emphasize your experience with this approach. 

3. How have you used manual and automated testing in your previous role(s)?

You would opt for either manual or automated testing in different test cases. Whilst automation is more suited for exploratory and usability testing, short-time projects, and ad-hoc testing, manual testing is more hands-on and individualized.

Use this question to demonstrate that you:

  • Understand the distinction between manual and automated testing

  • Differentiate between verification and validation in software testing

  • Have exposure to various types of software testing

  • Know when to stop the testing process

  • Can communicate effectively about test planning and test coverage

  • Have the problem-solving skills to find innovative solutions

4. Can you tell me what black box testing is?

Concisely explain that black box testing is a standard approach to validating the software from the end user’s point of view. If you’ve done white box testing, compare your experiences with the two. Every question is an opportunity to give concrete examples from your background instead of answering with just a definition you could have learned in a textbook in school.

5. Tell me the difference between quality control and quality assurance.

This question aims to check your understanding of your role in quality management. Quality control (QC) is a subset of quality assurance (QA). QA is broader and more focused on the performance of a process or product production and whether it will fulfill quality requirements. QC meanwhile focuses more on the inspection of the quality management activities. As a manual tester, you’ll be on the QA side.

6. Describe the difference between alpha testing and beta testing.

This question aims to gauge your knowledge and understanding of the nuances of your role as a manual tester. Speak about the work you’ve done in alpha testing, which is typically done by end-user representatives at the developer’s site. 

You may also have done beta testing as a potential customer, but that’s not what they’ll be hiring you to do in a manual software testing role.

7. How would you ensure you achieve the highest possible testing coverage?

You might answer this question by sharing your best practices for writing test cases. For example, you might mention the 80/20 rule that suggests you’ll achieve the best coverage when 20 per cent of your test covers 80 per cent of the application. You might also talk about test case prioritization and how you ensure you are taking a granular, modular test case approach while regularly monitoring your test cases.

8. Tell me about the different types of testing software you’ve used and why you like them.

Many different tools are on the market for testers to use. Instead of listing the ones you have experience using, talk about how you have used each one. Consider the benefits or drawbacks of each type of testing. This also gives you a chance to differentiate between the types of testing. Maybe you’ve found one software is better for acceptance and performance testing while another is best for unit, integration, or functional testing.

9. What do you understand about end-to-end testing?

End-to-end testing is costly and more complicated since it replicates user behaviour with the software in a complete application environment. As these tests are hard to maintain when automated, you can expect to do end-to-end testing as a manual tester. Mention examples of end-to-end tests you’ve done, such as logging in or verifying email notifications or online payments.

10. What would you do to identify and resolve latent defects?

A latent defect is hidden from the user and will not cause a failure unless it meets certain conditions. For instance, the system might need to recognize February 29, which happens only every four years. 

Since latent defects are only triggered in particular scenarios, they can be challenging to identify in the testing environment. Here’s a chance to talk about your attention to detail, your diligence in inspecting the product constantly, and the importance of exhaustive testing.

How to prepare for a manual testing interview

In addition to preparing by practising your answers to questions like these and others, you will also need to study more. The more research you do ahead of time, the better equipped you’ll be to answer whatever that employer throws your way.

Research the organization. 

If you’re looking for a job in manual testing, research the companies you apply for. Reading the roundups of top companies available online is a great way to prepare. They will often be customer-focused, helping an organization decide whether to take their business to that company. Still, you can learn about the top software testing companies this way.

Understand work culture.

The customer-facing rankings of manual testing companies may only help a little with understanding work culture. If possible, it helps to talk to people who work or have worked at that organization. Use LinkedIn and your other professional networks to find out more about what it’s like there. You can also read testimonials on job recruiting sites, but the anonymity of those makes the reliability lower. 

Practise the interview.

Ask a friend or family member to pose the questions above to you in person, by phone, or via Zoom call. Try to replicate the actual interview environment you will experience. This can include dressing the part and setting yourself up without distractions to do your best in the practice stage. It can give you more confidence when you’re live and on the spot.

Ask for feedback.

Ask the person doing your mock interview to tell you what you did well and could improve. With manual testing, it will be helpful to do a mock interview with someone in the industry so that they can give you feedback.

If an interview doesn’t go well and you don’t get the job, you could follow up afterward with a request for feedback. They may or may not oblige. But there’s no harm in at least politely asking.

Next steps: More on interview preparation

Want to learn more about preparing for job interviews? On Coursera, the  Preparation for Job Interviews is a popular guided project to help you prepare and get confident about your interview. 

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