9 Quality Assurance Interview Questions with Sample Responses

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 14, 2022

Published June 21, 2021

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.

Preparing for a quality assurance (QA) interview is critical to your success in a software QA engineer or quality analyst position. In this article, we review nine typical QA interview questions with answers and sample responses.

What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance is monitoring and preventing mistakes and defects during the engineering process to ensure a quality product or result. In software development, quality assurance is used to ensure that software creation and engineering maintain high-quality standards, processes, and procedures.

Software engineers, QA engineers and quality analysts are all technical roles. They use quality assurance techniques and methods to ensure a program or software functions properly.

Related: What Is Quality Assurance? (And How Does It Work?)

Why are QA questions asked during an interview?

During a technical interview, the company wants to ensure that the candidate they choose has the QA knowledge and skills to perform effectively in the position. Asking questions specific to quality assurance methods and practices allows them to confirm that the skills listed on your resume are accurate.

Tips for answering quality assurance interview questions

When preparing for your quality assurance interview, follow these tips:

Review the job description

As you prepare for your interview, an essential aspect is to review the job description thoroughly and understand the essential duties and responsibilities. Understanding this information allows you to tailor your responses to address the position's critical responsibilities and core skills. You can also use this information to refresh your knowledge of specific QA practices in the job description.

Use the STAR method for providing examples

During an interview, the hiring manager will ask you a variety of questions. These questions can include behavioural, situational, education-based and technical topics. Recruiters look for solid, detailed examples of your experiences within your responses. To keep your answer organized and concise, use the STAR method.

The STAR method is an acronym for a four-step process to answering a question where you need to offer an example. You begin by providing a context for the situation, followed by the task or part you played in the event. Then you continue to elaborate on the action you took and the final result. Use a specific example and focus on a positive outcome where you improved the situation or learned a valuable lesson.

9 QA interview questions and sample answers

Here are several common QA interview questions with answers:

1. What's the difference between software quality assurance and software testing?

An interviewer asks this question to test your understanding of the difference between testing and quality assurance. They're looking for a concise response that clearly defines the differences between the two roles. When responding to this question, use clear language without detailed industry jargon.

Example: "The role of quality assurance within software development is to monitor the process of creating or engineering the software. In contrast, software testing is used to determine the functionality and other aspects of the software itself to meet the user requirements."

Related: Types of Software Testing Methodologies: A Complete Guide

2. Within software development, what's the difference between verification and validation?

A hiring manager asks this question to assess your knowledge of quality assurance and testing processes when developing software. They're seeking a response that differentiates the two concepts. If you want to provide a specific example, use the STAR method to organize your response.

Example: "Verification is the quality assurance process I use during the development of software. I use validation methods once we complete the program to evaluate its functionality."

Related: Understanding Verification vs. Validation (With Benefits)

3. What software validation activities should be completed and by whom?

Because validation happens once the programmers complete the software development, the hiring manager wants to understand your view of validation activities. Respond to this question with examples of the type of validation activities and who should complete them.

Example: “I complete validation activities once the software development is complete. I want to confirm that the software functions as needed and conforms to the user requirements. In my previous role, we hired a third-party validation group to come in and test the software. Another option is to use internal staff who were not part of the development process, or you can perform independent validation. Validation activities include user acceptance, system, unit and integration testing."

4. What are some things you might include in a quality assurance testing document?

The interviewer asks this question to assess your experience using testing documentation. If you've worked in a QA role previously, explain what you included in your documentation. If you have limited experience during your preparation for the interview, review what these types of reports generally include.

Example: "The requirement for quality assurance testing documents changed with each of my previous roles. However, in general, I would include inspection reports, test plans and cases, bug reports, configuration data and user manuals."

5. What are some tasks that a software quality assurance engineer performs?

A hiring manager asks this question during an interview to determine your understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the position. Every company has unique tasks and duties assigned to a software QA engineer, but the core responsibilities remain the same. During your preparation for the interview, be sure to review the job description thoroughly. This way, you can more easily recall and mention the company's specific requirements in your response.

Example: "Based on the job description, I understand the primary responsibilities of the position to be software development, including writing source code. It also requires reviewing code and monitoring changes. Based on previous roles, I'm prepared for this role to include other tasks such as change management, software integration, and testing."

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Software Quality Assurance

6. Can you explain the importance of Agile testing?

An interviewer asks this question to assess your understanding and experience of this form of verification testing used throughout software development. To answer this question effectively, you need to be knowledgeable regarding the testing concept and use critical thinking to explain why it's essential. Be concise with your response, focusing on the benefit of Agile testing and how it contributes to the success of a project.

Example: "Because we do Agile testing parallel to the software development, it's an important aspect of catching errors in real-time. It also allows for functionality and user experience to be evaluated throughout the process. The overall effect of Agile testing is a better developed, more robust software that has a positive user experience and functionality."

Related: What Is an Agile Workflow? (With Benefits, Tools and Tips)

7. How has your academic background prepared you for a position in software quality assurance?

A recruiter asks this question during an interview for several reasons. First, they want to gather information about your education and training, so discuss any certifications you have. They also want to see how you adapt your academic knowledge to benefit the position by applying your training in real-life situations. When responding to this question, focus on your training and how you implement your learning into your career. Refer to the job description to highlight critical skills and qualifications in your answer.

Example: "After receiving my bachelor's degree in computer science, it armed me with the theoretical knowledge and concepts to help me become a successful quality assurance engineer. My training prepared me with ideas, concepts and best practices to implement in my career. For example, my education provided me with an understanding of the verification testing processes I use every day. In my current position, I monitor and test software engineering to ensure the highest quality of performance."

Related: How to Become a Software Tester (With Essential Skills)

8. What are several forms of software testing used in quality assurance?

A company wants to ensure that a candidate understands the various available methods of testing available. Depending on your experience level, you're likely familiar with several software testing methods. Focus your response on what you know and highlight your strengths. If you're confident in software testing methods, you can include examples within your answer.

Example: "The software testing methods I'm most familiar with include functional, performance, stress, volume and load testing. I also know of other tests, such as unit, integration and regression testing. In my past positions, I spent much of my testing time completing stress, volume and load testing to ensure that the software could perform to its maximum capacity."

9. How would you manage a testing issue?

The interviewer wants to understand how you handle a challenge within your daily activities. They are assessing your ability to think critically, analyze the situation and work independently. The interviewer also wants to understand how you manage issues with the software test itself and your ability to resolve the challenge. Focus your response on the steps you would typically take before taking the problem to your supervisor.

Example: "Depending on the issue, I would rerun the test to ensure the testing was being implemented correctly. If the issue continued, I'd restart the software and testing environment. I'd look for any error codes and attempt to narrow down where the issue was happening and make a plan based on my findings. If the problem persisted, I would then talk to my supervisor to gain better clarity."

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