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Interview

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NotAGolf, 11 Sep 2009.

  1. NotAGolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,447

    Location: Moving...

    Hey all. Managed to bag myself an interview next tuesday for software tester at a local company.

    I was prepping all the normal questions like; "tell me about yourself", what can you do for this company", why should we hire you", "what are your weknesses" etc.

    However, yesterday I found out that the interview was going to be with the test team manager rather than someone for HR.

    I'd imagine this will change the format of the interview quite a lot. He might ask a couple of the generic questions but then get down to nitty gritty technical stuff. Do you think this sounds about right, or do you think it will still be fairly generic?

    The main thing I'm wondering about is about when I ask questions. If he asked me where I see myself in 5 years or whatever I'd perhaps ask him about the possibility of moving up in the company or maybe moving across to design/development. Or if I were to ask him what are the upcoming projects etc.

    Do you think I should still ask those types of questions or try and stick to questions within the testing department?

    Thanks.
     
  2. apatia77

    Mobster

    Joined: 25 Mar 2005

    Posts: 4,748

    Test team - sounds like they might test your technical knowledge. Anyway just relax and good luck :)
     
  3. PlacidCasual

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 May 2003

    Posts: 6,745

    First rule with interviews is make sure you can demonstrate the knowledge you DO have. If you say you've got X qualification and Y experience make sure you can comfortably explain and demonstrate it.
    If you Do Not have a certain type of knowledge don't pretend you do. There is nothing worse in an interviewers eyes than claiming something and being unable to demonstrate it.
    Often you won't have the exact skill set and qualifications they're after but if you can demonstrate you've understood and learnt one set it gives them comfort you'll adapt.

    A friend of mine recently went for an interiew he thinks he did really well on his knowledge of the job he was applying for but his nerves got him and when he was asked about his current skill he fluffed it. Because he couldn't demonstrate his competence at what he is doing now it undermined their confidence about him for the future and they told him as much in the after interview debrief.
     
  4. Smit

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Mar 2003

    Posts: 6,224

    Location: West Lothian

    I am in Software QA and have been for the past 4 years.
    To be honest you should expect a test of some sort about different testing techniques. You may also be required to know about different types of development life-cycles. You may even have a written test to do.
    Should know the basics of why you test, what to put in test plans and about different simple testing techniques like Boundary Value Analysis etc.

    I would not suggest you to say that you want to move in to design or development, that would be a huge mistake. It would imply that you are only doing testing because you couldn't get straight in to those areas. Unless it's contract work then they would at least hope you want to be a tester because you enjoy it, not because you want to use it as a stepping stone to a different career.

    Ask the usual questions regarding career progression, what the team are like, project management like deadlines etc...
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2009
  5. NotAGolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,447

    Location: Moving...

    Thanks for the advice.

    I have one more little dilema. I'm pretty good with the theory behind testing; why you test, dynamic/static testing, black/white box, inspections/reviews, boundary/partionion tests, knowing what goes in test plans, control graphs with branch/decision coverage etc. I'm fairly confident about most of this but will need to brush up a bit

    However, the technology they use and test on I have very little idea about. They do most of their stuff on web based apps so are heavily into PHP, Javascript, ASP.NET etc. They also use a variety of different server and database technologies. My knowledge of these things are basic and I have virtually no experience about actually coding in any of these environments. I know my job isn't coding but knowing the environments would surely be a massive help.

    Do you think I should spend my time between now and the interview on:
    1. Completely nailing the testing theory side of things but leave the technology alone
    2. The opposite (learn the basics of a couple of scripting languages for example but leave the testing theory alone)
    3. Bit of both

    Personally I think i should perhaps do 1. I'll look at the technologies and understand what they are, what they do etc but I don't think I have enough time to really get involved and learn something.

    I'm just worried that at the interview I'll have to do the complete opposite and talk for an hour about PHP, SQL and Apache!

    What do you suggest?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Smit

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Mar 2003

    Posts: 6,224

    Location: West Lothian

    Do you have a job spec that I can look at?
    If you are going to be doing purely Black Box testing then it makes little to zero difference to you what technologies they are using since you will never see the code or be expected to know anything about the code.

    If you are going to be doing automation work then I guess you will should know some VBScript or Java (I think QuickTest pro uses VBScript whereas Functional Tester uses Java). Unless they are using simple record and playback tools.

    Test type things which will make a difference to you if it's just black box testing are:
    + Defect Tracking tool - Rational ClearQuest, Bugzilla, JIRA, Quality Center etc
    + Content Management Tools - Rational ClearCase, Sharepoint, Perforce etc
    + Test Management Tools - Mercury Quality Center, Rational Test Manager, Excel etc
    + Automation Tools (possibly) - in house tool? Rational Functional Tester/Robot, HP Mercury QuickTest Pro/LoadRunner etc

    If you are familiar with any of those then you should make sure they know about it since it would definitely help you.

    If it's white box testing you are doing then the content management stuff should be amongst the most important and the code technologies.

    One thing to consider is.. Do they expect you to deploy the code yourself? If it's a web based application then it may be possible that you expect you to know how to package the code and put it on a server to test.

    Edit - Also useful to know the basics of something like SQL since there would most likely come a time when you need to query a database to see what exactly has been put in there by the application. This isn't essential though and I doubt you would be expected to know this but you may be taught it if you get the job.

    Also enquire about training. I assume you are UK based and so you could go for the ISTQB Foundation Software Testing (really easy).
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2009
  7. NotAGolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,447

    Location: Moving...

    Thanks very much Smit. That's a great help.

    The only thing in the spec that it says users must have is awareness of test dosumentation (plans, matrices etc). It also says knowledge of Linux and/or bug tracking systems would be and advantage. That's it.

    I do need to look into bug tracking so I'll definetley have a look at those you mention. I'll try take a look at some of the other tools you've mentioned as well.

    Thanks very much again for your help, it's greatly appreciated.
     
  8. BrightonBelle

    Woman of Honour

    Joined: 2 Aug 2004

    Posts: 5,570

    Location: London

    Huddy had a brilliant interview guide... somewhere on here.

    BB x
     
  9. Smit

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Mar 2003

    Posts: 6,224

    Location: West Lothian

    In that case I think you should be fine if you know what a test plan is and what goes in it, read about test reports too and maybe test results/statistics.

    Linux bug tracking tool I am guessing would be web based too and so something like JIRA/Bugzilla I would imagine. Although Rational ClearQuest does have a web client which I assume works on Linux too.

    If the job advert/spec doesn't mention test automation then I think it's safe to ignore anything I mentioned to do with automation.

    If you know the fundamentals of testing which it would appear you do, then any questions they have for you should be fairly straight forward.
    IF you get a written test then one question would usually be something along the lines of what tests would you run on a certain application/site. Should be easy enough and include things like text fields (check characters and blank fields etc). You should be able to score a bonus point for more advanced things like PHP Injection (security testing).