Essential Test Engineering Interview Questions And Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Test engineering interview questions may focus on your teamwork capabilities and technical abilities. Hiring managers may ask these questions to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for an engineering role. To prepare, review the questions you're likely to hear in a test engineering interview and plan your answers ahead of time. In this article, we list test engineering interview questions at different levels and provide example answers that can help you perform better in an upcoming interview.

General test engineering interview questions

An interviewer may typically start an interview with general test engineering interview questions to make you comfortable and help you settle down. Answering general questions can give you confidence. An interviewer may only ask three to four general questions before moving to in-depth and detailed questions on test engineering. Below are general questions that an interviewer may ask in a test engineering interview:

  • Tell me more about yourself.

  • What attracted you to our engineering company?

  • Tell me about your strengths and how you use them to test software.

  • What are your weaknesses while in the testing field?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years as a developing test engineer?

  • What are the most important things you are looking for in your next software testing engineer role?

  • How do you handle multiple tasks at a time?

  • Describe what makes an excellent software tester.

  • Tell me about your experience in test engineering.

  • What is your biggest career aspiration?

  • Outline what motivates you on a difficult day.

Related: Software Engineer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Questions about experience and background

After general questions, the interviewer may proceed to topics that are relevant to the job description. They may assess you on your testing skills and experience. When you're pursuing a career in the engineering field, you can expect technical questions that define your background and experience as a test engineer. Some questions that an interviewer may ask related to your technical experience and background are:

  • What software testing tools did you use in your previous job?

  • How do you differentiate a symptom from a primary cause in testing?

  • Please describe the SDLC testing method.

  • Please explain a test strategy you have identified to be most effective.

  • What is your work experience with object-focused programming languages?

  • What software engineering test cases can you write for any remote desktop feature?

  • How can you ensure that a firm's staff is well-trained in testing protocols and procedures?

  • What strategy do you think is critical in developing testing methods for a product?

  • What troubleshooting systems do you use to finalise your testing procedures?

  • What experience do you have with emerging corner cases?

Related: How to Write Work Experience On A CV (With Examples)

In-depth questions

Hiring managers ask questions about industry techniques and technologies that require more specific or in-depth responses than general interview questions. These questions may be specific to your role. They can also test your level of knowledge and skill in test engineering. Some examples of in-depth questions are:

  • How do you work in this sector as a perfectionist?

  • How well do you meet deadlines and operate under pressure?

  • Describe best practices for crafting a test case.

  • Explain configuration management.

  • Can you name some useful configuration management tools?

  • What is quality control and how is it different from quality assurance?

  • Explain verification for software testing.

  • What is the validation process in software testing?

  • Outline static testing.

  • Can you describe dynamic testing?

  • What is black box testing?

  • What does a test suit mean?

  • What is a test environment?

  • In software testing, what are test closure tasks?

  • What is a top-down approach?

  • Describe the bottom-up approach.

  • Outline the difference between system testing and integration testing.

  • What is the difference between nonfunctional and functional testing?

  • Describe sanity testing.

  • What is the difference between sanity testing and smoke testing?

  • Describe compatibility testing.

  • Define monkey testing.

  • Describe usability testing.

  • Describe exploratory testing.

  • Explain what you mean by confirmation testing and regression.

  • What is in-installation testing?

  • Explain risk-based testing

  • What is scalability testing?

Related: Top 20 Software Tester Skills And How to Develop Them

5 common test engineering interview questions with sample answers

An interviewer may ask questions based on the work experience listed in your resume. Before answering, pause for a second to understand the logic behind the question and respond accordingly. The interviewer may often want to know more about your previous experience with testing to determine if your skills can be transferable to the new role. Some sample questions and example answers are:

1. What qualities do you think makes a good test engineer?

The interviewer may ask this question to gauge your response to what a test engineer requires, aside from educational qualifications. You can list the qualities one by one. Then, briefly tell them how the mentioned qualities helped you in your job.

Example: “The most important quality for a test engineer is the 'Test to Break' attitude, where they're critical about the product they're testing. A test engineer improves the product with this attitude and helps the developers deliver a well-tested product. At the same time, being tactful, diplomatic and fostering good relations with developers is an indispensable quality for a tester. Test engineers put themselves in their customer's shoes, think from their perspective and strive to deliver quality products.

Good observation skills, a desire for quality, the keenness not to ignore little things and good judgement skills are important qualities for a test engineer.”

2. Can you describe a time when you encountered a software test challenge?

The interviewer may want to know how you overcome challenges at work. This question helps them assess whether you can add value to the company's current testing team with your problem-solving skills. When answering this question, give an example of a problem that you overcame successfully.

Example: “One of the unavoidable challenges a test engineer faces is last-minute changes to requirements. To solve this, we can inform clients before project commencement that test engineers may not test last-minute changes within the agreed time limits. The testing team can accept it with only additional time. I had incorporated this condition in the last few projects, and it helped us finish the client's request without any time constraints.

Another common challenge is there may not be enough communication and collaboration between developers and testers. We can address this if testers are part of the key development process and have the liberty to make empowered decisions.”

3. What might you do if a software has too many bugs?

A test engineer is likely to face this question for middle and senior roles. An interviewer may want to know if you take ownership of your role. Your ability to address faulty software can indicate your leadership and communication skills.

Example: “If a software has too many bugs, I categorise them based on their severity, document and report them. Too many critical errors can compromise the project, affect deadlines and put undue pressure on the testing team. I then let the project manager know about the bugs and support it with documentary evidence.”

4. How do you decide when to stop testing?

Your answer to this question gives the interviewer an indication of your knowledge of software development and testing cycles. You can list some factors which can stop testing. You can also explain if you have stopped testing based on any parameters.

Example: “The testing team or the management can decide to stop testing based on multiple factors. You can stop testing if the test has met the acceptance criteria or if the testing team has fixed high-priority bugs and blockers. A testing team can stop testing if the required coverage has already reached a specified point and if project risks are within an acceptable limit. We can also stop testing if the management asks us to or if we have exhausted our budget for testing.”

5. How do you estimate a project?

If you're interviewing for a senior testing role, you may face this question. The interviewer may ask this question if you have mentioned that you have mentioned any experience in project estimation in your resume. Respond with actionable steps and specific answers instead of general explanations.

Example: “Before estimating a project, I consider the time and cost of the project. It may be simpler to estimate smaller projects based on my experience. But when I work on large projects for clients, I follow certain standard steps. Firstly, I divide the project task into smaller subtasks. Then I allocate one member to handle each task. Following this, I complete the effort estimation for tasks and then validate the estimation and submit it to the project manager or client.”

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