Interviews Can Be Tricky And Here Are My Few Reflections On Quality Assurance Interviews
These past three years I have been trying to have a career on software quality assurance, in short it is about testing. Lately I have been looking for other opportunities, so these last three months I have been going to several interviews.
It is always good to be prepared, for instance check who will be doing the interview. Some of the people these days share many of their hobbies or interest on the internet so you can really find a way to “mingle” besides answering the technical questions. If you will be having interview with the direct user, then be technically prepared. There are several times that I happen to not knowing the subject so I decide to be honest that I am unfamiliar with the topic because I personally prefer to start something with honesty. If the question is quite long then I try to reconfirm the interviewer by summarizing the question before answering it. In my opinion it’s always better to get the question right in the first place.
During interviews I also like to ask questions because I believe that interviews should be two ways of getting to know each other. My most favorite question is “what do you guys do to have fun?” This probably sound simple or rather trivial for some people, however to me it may contains the information of how strong the bonding within that team and how fun this prospective team could be if I join in. The team with “fun” vibe often fun to work with.
My second favorite question to ask is “what do you guys do to empower each other to grow or excel?” Most often when I just join in a new team I often feel myself as the dumbest therefore before join in I better ask that question to know what kind of supporting system they currently have, how much help that I probably going to get and how many percentage of self learning or self helping I will need to do in this new place.
I often finish my question by asking what are their expectations from the new joiner who will fill that position, and usually I see interviewers are being more open and relax when answering and I could sense that they finally speak their chest out. On my recent interview I was asking this question to my prospect user and his answer was “having the attitude of breaking things.” Well it is true that some QA have “break the things” strength, however after interacting with quite a bunch of engineers across functions on my current work place, I realize that I don’t have this mentality of “I come and am gonna break it!”. Instead I’m more to “Ok, let’s see how we can make this feature better and have less or even free of bugs” and even with that, some of the frontend engineers address me as “nightmare”. Now imagine if I have that “ am gonna break it” attitude, they will probably call me “La Bruja.”
My last interview makes me reflect on how to have a better interaction during interviews. So for other QAs out there who are still on the interviewing process, you know that during interview you will be asked to write test cases and I think it will be better if you ask them “Do you expect me to write possible scenarios to break it or just a normal happy path and negative cases and a couple of edge cases?” So you can see what they really expect from the QA on their team.