According to the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report, QA Engineers are seeing a rise in their earning power. Year over year, compensation for QA Engineers rose by 1.7% to $89,543 as more organizations are realizing the importance of having dedicated personnel to test for and find defects within their software, systems, and databases.
Even though we’re in the midst of a candidate market with plenty of QA Engineer opportunities, it’s still important to make all the right preparations. For example, once you have an interview lined up, be sure to formulate responses that address the core concerns and motivations of your future employer.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common quality engineering interview questions you’ll be asked and a few pointers from our team of technical recruiters.
Process is paramount in quality assurance. Businesses want to know that you can consistently find defects within applications, databases, or systems. Yes, there will be different processes depending on whether you are conducting unit testing, integration testing, regression testing, or anything in between. However, the best responses show that you can bottle your success and unleash it whenever you need.
A good way to think about this type of question is as an exploration of your approach to every step of the QA testing life cycle:
Your work doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Those QA Engineers who show insight into the results and achievement of their work will do a better job of persuading their interviewer – especially if that person is not a quality assurance expert.
One way to show that you think about long-term consequences is to discuss the immediate outcomes of your testing. Talk about quantifiable results like improvement of requirements coverage, defects fixed per day, automated test cases, and other KPIs. If you have inside information on your target company’s KPIs, always highlight your success in terms of their preferred metrics.
Moreover, you should be ready to explain the real-world achievements of the projects you worked on. If your QA work contributed to a mobile application, what type of problem did it solve? What was the adoption rate? What revenue did it generate (if applicable)? Any QA Engineer who grasps business goals and talks from a deliverable standpoint is better equipped to seal the deal during their job interview.
More and more, organizations are pursuing DevOps best practices to achieve higher quality projects, faster speed to market, and greater innovation. The expectation is increasingly that QA Engineers should at least be familiar with working in a DevOps environment and mindset even if they are not yet a certified DevOps professional themselves.
Start by highlighting your involvement during the early stages of the development process. Since strong QA processes start from the beginning of a project, you’ll prove your dedication to full life cycle success by outlining how you guide the development team. Additionally, any instance where you collaborate with interdisciplinary team members to enhance their perspective and improve their work will help convince your interviewer you’ll be fully capable of melding with their in-house team.
We know that quality engineering is not always a walk in the park. Some days, you’ll encounter frustrating scenarios that test the limits of your creativity and problem solving skills. QA Engineers who file away those moments (and the corresponding successes) as leverage and examples of perseverance in times of hardship will have memorable stories they can share with employers during their interviews.
One way to approach this question is to familiarize yourself with the most common challenges that businesses encounter during their quality assurance processes (one resource you can use is our blog on the seven most common test automation mistakes). Once you’ve pinpointed these challenges, recall some of the ways that you’ve either overcome these challenges in your own work or even how you helped a team to develop processes or adopt methodologies that helped them to avoid these problems entirely.
Though you don’t need to have mastery of every QA technology and tool on the market, plenty of quality engineering interview questions will ask you to show off your knowledge of the landscape. There are a few key guidelines to keep in mind:
While you’re at it, it’s important to demonstrate your ability to learn and adapt on the job. That way, if you lack any of the nice-to-haves on an employer’s checklist, you can assure them that you’ll be up to speed within the role in no time.