Just imagine that you are tired of your current job in software quality assurance (QA) and want to find something new. If you are a good software tester, this does not mean that you know how to find a job or behave during an interview. Nevertheless, fundamental software testing skills can come in handy when analyzing data, asking the right questions, and avoiding problems during the hiring process stages.
Author: Nataliia Syvynska, TestMatick, https://testmatick.com/
How to Search for a Job?
One of the skills is to understand what your company needs and when it needs this. You have to know who to talk to about risks and how to approach that person.
You need to give information to such people in the right format so that they will consider it valuable. With the director of a software testing company, you will communicate differently than with a programmer who you have known for a couple of years.
The same strategy applies to communicating with potential employers. A good way to find the right software tester job is through your acquaintances, using the connections you have made so far. The most important advantage of knowing people from the inside is that you can better understand exactly what a job at a particular company looks like. Such an approach also helps you to decide if you are looking for a position that fits your professional experience.
What You Can Do Before the Interview?
Testers compare the expected behavior of software with the actual one every day. Experienced testers can determine what behavior a client expects and use heuristics and oracles during their work activities. Before the potential interview, you can do a similar comparison of expected and actual results – for example, compare your resume with the description in a job posting. Compare your experience, with the experience the company needs.
Maybe you have some useful skills that weren’t listed on the job posting. And if there is something you haven’t encountered before, work through the arguments why you haven’t done it and how you can improve that skill in the future.
Before you start your interview, understand exactly who you will be talking to. Find their profile on LinkedIn or other local professional networks like Xing. You can also ask people you know who helped you find the job. You will have a real chance to consider the way of the future conversation, depending on who exactly you will be talking to the full-time HR, the future head of the company, potential colleagues in the department or the CEO.
Also, take the time to study the promotional materials of such a company. This should be done so that you do not ask questions that are answered on a web resource – the interview should be used for more in-depth and detailed questions.
What to Do During the Interviews?
So, you have already gathered enough information – about yourself, about the potential company, about your future interviewees. Now comes the important moment. Use all this information properly by creating a test report about yourself. Find the potential gap between your current experience and those expectations, and try to minimize it.
Go into the interview only when you are self-confident and think you are adequately prepared. Feel free to take notes so that you don’t forget anything and ask for details that interest you.
If your interview is with HR, the questions may be as follows:
- What format will the interview take?
- How long has the position been open for hire, and how quickly does the company want to close it?
- What is the salary range for this position?
Communication with a potential supervisor can begin with these counter-questions:
- Why did this position open? Why do you want to close it?
- How will the job be evaluated?
- What challenges is the team experiencing in its technical development?
A list of questions if future colleagues are at the interview:
- Why do you work at a QA lab, what exactly do you like about it?
- Is there anything that makes you nervous when you work?
- What traits do you value most in a tester?
Questions for the director of the company:
- What will be the place of my future team in the overall strategy of the company?
- What do you measure success in (number of projects or amount of money)?
- What risks might the company face?
What to Do With the Test Assignment?
As soon as you get a test assignment like solving a test automation problem, read it several times. Before you start doing it, make sure that you know exactly when it should be handed in, to whom it should be sent, in what format, and the like.
If you start asking questions initially, it will show a potential employer your genuine curiosity and increased attention to detail, which is very helpful in a tester position.
The QA interview is as important for you as it is for the company that wants to hire you. Nobody should force you to be interviewed. If you decide that the position is not to your liking, you can leave at any time. If you do decide however to have a job interview, the set of tips described in this article should help you not get “lost” and successfully pass any interview.