Hiring a tester is never easy no matter how much experience with hiring one may have. Software testing and the skills that come with it, change on a continuous basis, so keeping up with the “now” can be quite difficult.
There are numerous questions to ask and numerous details to take into account when determining who to hire. If you are a QA manger or test team leader in need of someone with amazing testing skills, read on for a few helpful tips.
1. Know What You’re Looking For
Before the interview process begins, it is best to have a good idea of the type of person you are looking for and what skills they need to possess to be efficient within your business or organization. By doing this you will be able to sift through candidates and target them more quickly. Try asking yourself these questions, document your answers, and then in turn ask the candidates the same questions. Compare your answers to theirs and see how well they match up to narrow your options even further.
- Does the candidate understand testing?
- Can the candidate communicate effectively and work well with a team?
- How well and how quickly can they get things done?
- Do they think critically and creatively?
- Can they design a test?
2. It’s Interview Time
Interviewing is arguably one of the most important parts of the hiring process. This is where you get to really know your potential candidate and test their skills. Conducting a small interview over the phone first will help make sure your interviewee knows what to expect; this will also let you or your test team leaders know if this QA tester /software tester is worth the face-to-face time.
Here is an example of a call script that might be helpful:
- Greetings and Intro.
- Question about most recent project.
- Testing question 1.
- Testing question 2.
- Why are you interested in this field?
- Do you have any questions?
- Conclusion and Goodbye.
If the answers given are satisfactory, move to the face-to-face interview stage. Do not forget to ask questions in regards to their character as well as technical questions.
P.S. Never be afraid to do a follow-up interview if you have more questions. Sometimes you might forget to ask a specific question or cover vital details, and that’s ok; simply give the interviewee a call and go from there.
3. Professionalism and Passion
There is a certain level of professionalism that should be seen in a software tester’s CV; this might seem obvious, but it should be error free. Having mistakes (especially in spelling) is a clear sign of lack of attention to detail– which is necessary for any job. Pay close attention to the use of semantics in their CV as well; sometimes software testers use big words to make what they have done seem more technical or complicated than it really was.
While the field of testing is steadily growing, it is rare to find someone who genuinely enjoys what they do. For many it is considered a “stepping stone” to another field (such as development or management) or sometimes just a means to an end. Passion, as with anything, makes a huge difference in not only the quality of work but also the quality of the work environment. No one wants to be around a negative Nancy all day. Make sure the person you or your team are thinking about hiring is enthused, interested, and passionate about this field– also ask why they chose this field and what about it makes them passionate.
To all of the test team leaders and QA managers reading this, I hope the above tips have been useful– maybe even something you’ll start doing when hiring season comes around. Know what skills the candidate needs to have, begin with a simple scripted call before proceeding with a face-to-face interview, look closely at the CV, and determine if your interviewee is truly passionate about what they do.
Testing 101 podcast episode about hiring testers: