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QA Engineer interview questions and answers

This sample of Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer interview questions is optimized to help you identify skilled candidates for your software Quality assurance position.

Christina Pavlou
Christina Pavlou

An experienced recruiter and HR professional who has transferred her expertise to insightful content to support others in HR.

qa engineer interview questions

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10 good QA engineer interview questions

  1. What’s the difference between Quality assurance (QA), Quality control (QC) and Software Testing?
  2. What is smoke testing?
  3. What’s the difference between verification and validation?
  4. Give me some examples of cases where it’s appropriate to conduct regression testing.
  5. What are the best types of tests to perform on web-based applications?
  6. Describe the bug life cycle. What is your role?
  7. What software automation problems have you faced?
  8. How do you determine which applications you should test?
  9. Describe a test strategy that you’ve found to be effective.
  10. What testing tools have you used?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. What’s the difference between Quality assurance (QA), Quality control (QC) and Software Testing?

This question aims to assess the candidate’s understanding of the fundamental concepts in quality assurance and testing.

Sample answer:

“QA is a proactive process that ensures quality in the entire software development process. QC is a subset of QA that focuses on assessing the quality of the end product. Software Testing is the actual process of identifying defects.”

2. What is smoke testing?

This question seeks to understand the candidate’s familiarity with different types of testing methodologies.

Sample answer:

“Smoke testing is a quick, preliminary test to reveal simple failures that may prevent the software from working at all. It’s like a ‘sanity check’ for newly deployed code.”

3. What’s the difference between verification and validation?

This question aims to evaluate the candidate’s understanding of key testing terminologies.

Sample answer:

“Verification is the process of checking that a product meets specified requirements, whereas validation is the process of evaluating the final product to check whether it meets the user’s needs.”

4. Give me some examples of cases where it’s appropriate to conduct regression testing.

This question assesses the candidate’s practical experience and understanding of when to use specific types of tests.

Sample answer:

“Regression testing is appropriate when there are code changes in existing features, when a new feature is added, or when there is a bug fix to ensure that new changes haven’t disrupted existing functionalities.”

5. What are the best types of tests to perform on web-based applications?

This question aims to gauge the candidate’s expertise in testing web applications specifically.

Sample answer:

“For web-based applications, it’s crucial to perform functional testing, usability testing, security testing, and performance testing to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.”

6. Describe the bug life cycle. What is your role?

This question seeks to understand the candidate’s role in bug tracking and management.

Sample answer:

“The bug life cycle starts from the identification of the bug, moves through stages like ‘Open,’ ‘In Progress,’ ‘Resolved,’ and ends at ‘Closed.’ My role involves identifying, documenting, and tracking the bug until it’s resolved.”

7. What software automation problems have you faced?

This question assesses the candidate’s problem-solving skills in the context of automation.

Sample answer:

“One issue I’ve faced is dealing with flaky tests that pass or fail unpredictably. I addressed this by improving test isolation and making the tests more robust.”

8. How do you determine which applications you should test?

This question aims to understand the candidate’s decision-making process in choosing which applications to test.

Sample answer:

“I prioritize applications based on their business impact, user base, and complexity. Critical applications that have a broad user base are usually tested first.”

9. Describe a test strategy that you’ve found to be effective.

This question evaluates the candidate’s strategic thinking in test planning.

Sample answer:

“An effective test strategy I’ve used involves risk-based testing where we focus on the most critical areas of the application first, followed by less critical areas.”

10. What testing tools have you used?

This question assesses the candidate’s familiarity with various testing tools.

Sample answer:

“I have experience with Selenium for web automation, JIRA for bug tracking, and Postman for API testing.”

What does a good QA engineer candidate look like?

A strong QA Engineer candidate should have a solid understanding of testing methodologies, be proficient in automation tools, and possess excellent problem-solving and communication skills.

Red flags

Be cautious of candidates who lack a structured approach to testing, have limited experience with testing tools, or show a lack of understanding of basic testing concepts.



QA Engineer Interview Questions

Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers monitor all stages of software development to identify system malfunctions and help improve product quality. They are responsible for conducting tests before product releases to ensure software runs smoothly and meets design quality standards.

Your ideal candidates should have a solid technical background, as they’re involved in the entire software development process. Use these questions to discover candidates whose past experience matches your company’s specific needs. It’s also essential to look for candidates with strong communication skills, since QA Engineers usually collaborate with various departments (e.g. web developers, designers and product managers.)

For better results, you should check if your candidates practical skills match their theoretical knowledge. You can include specific assignments in your interview process to assess how your candidates handle software problems and if they can come up with effective solutions in a timely manner.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Computer Science questions

  • What’s the difference between Quality assurance (QA), Quality control (QC) and Software Testing?
  • What is smoke testing?
  • What’s the difference between verification and validation?
  • Give me some examples of cases where it’s appropriate to conduct regression testing.
  • What are the best types of tests to perform on web-based applications?

Role-specific questions

  • Describe the bug life cycle. What is your role?
  • What software automation problems have you faced?
  • How do you determine which applications you should test?
  • Describe a test strategy that you’ve found to be effective.
  • What testing tools have you used?
  • What’s your experience with object-oriented programming languages?
  • What test cases would you write for a remote desktop feature?
  • Are you familiar with designing test frameworks for UI testing?
  • How do you decide you have tested enough?

Behavioral questions

  • Describe a situation where you successfully collaborated with developers to deploy a program or application.
  • Describe a time when you acted proactively to increase system performance.
  • How do you keep up-to-date with industry developments? Are there specific blogs or forums you read?

Source and recruit skilled engineers with Workable’s Boolean search cheat sheets.

Frequently asked questions

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