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 practicing 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 practise with these common manual testing interview questions.

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

This is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of manual testing. You’ll want to discuss the manual tester’s role in software development. Describe 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 discuss your relevant education, skills, and experience. If you have insight into the company culture at the organisation, talk about why you would think you would mesh well with them. 

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

If you know the organisation uses Agile testing, take this chance to emphasise your experience using 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. Automation is more suited for exploratory and usability testing, short-time projects, and ad-hoc testing, while manual testing is more hands-on and individualised.

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?

You should be able to 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 own background instead of answering with a textbook explanation.

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 the making of product production and whether it will fulfil 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 is another question designed to gauge your knowledge and understanding of a manual testing role’s nuances. You should be able to speak about the work you’ve done in alpha testing, which end-user representatives typically do 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 prioritisation, and how you are making sure you are taking a granular, modular test case approach and regularly monitoring your test case.

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 just listing those you have experience using, talk about how you have used each. What are the benefits or drawbacks of each type of testing? This provides a chance for you 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 failure unless it meets certain conditions. For instance, the system might not recognise February 29, which happens only every four years. 

Since only particular scenarios trigger latent defects, 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 do more research. The more prepared you are, the better equipped you’ll be to answer whatever an employer asks.

Research the organisation. 

If you’re looking for a job in manual testing, research the companies where you apply. One way to do this is to read the roundups of top companies available online. They will often be customer focused, helping an organisation 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 top manual testing companies may not help much with understanding work culture. If possible, it helps to talk to people who work, or have worked at, that organisation. Use LinkedIn and other professional networks to find more information about what it’s actually 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 in a Zoom call. Try to replicate an actual interview environment. This can include dressing the part and setting yourself up without distractions to do your best in the practice stage. 

Ask for feedback.

The person practising your interview with you is a valuable resource. Ask them to tell you what you did well and what you could improve. With manual testing, it’s helpful to complete mock interviews with someone in the industry to get targeted feedback. After all, your grandmother may be the sweetest person to take the time to ask you the common questions. But she won’t know if you are giving too much or not enough detail while explaining regression testing.

If you have a job interview that doesn’t go well and you don’t get an offer, consider following up with the interviewer to request feedback. They may or may not oblige, but there’s no harm in politely asking.

Next steps: More on interview preparation

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