Top 27 interview questions and answers for QA Engineer

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Rachita Jain

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In today's technology-driven world, ensuring the quality of software products is essential for a company's success. As a result, Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers have become indispensable in the software development process. If you're preparing for an interview as a QA Engineer, you may wonder what questions you can expect. In this blog post, we'll review some of the most commonly asked QA engineer interview questions and answers to help you feel confident and prepared for your big day.

Interview questions and answers for QA Engineer: Freshers

1. Differentiate between Quality Assurance and Testing.

Quality assurance (QA) and testing are two concepts that are closely related but have different meanings, which is why they have become two of the most important QA interview questions and answers. QA is the process of ensuring products and services meet predetermined standards for quality. At the same time, Testing is a specific part of QA used to identify defects or issues in products or services.
Quality Assurance
Testing
It is a subset of the SDLC or Software Development Lifecycle.
It falls under Quality Control (QC).
QA is an ongoing process that takes place during the entire life cycle of a product or service, from the earliest stages of product design and development through production and up to final release and beyond.
Testing is a specific component of QA that is performed after a product or service has been developed.
The primary goal of QA is to ensure that the software development process is well-structured, efficient, and adheres to predefined quality standards and procedures.
The goal of testing software is to uncover bugs, defects, or discrepancies between expected and actual results, ensuring the software functions correctly and meets specified requirements.
It involves creating guidelines, implementing processes, conducting audits, defining best practices, and ensuring that the entire development team adheres to these established procedures.
It includes designing test cases, executing tests, analyzing results, reporting bugs, and verifying fixes. Testing involves checking the software's functionality, performance, usability, security, and other aspects.
QA is focused on preventing defects from reaching consumers by creating and implementing proactive and preventive controls.
It involves running the product through a series of tests to examine its functionality and see if it meets the requirements. If defects or issues are detected, developers can then address them and ensure the product meets predetermined standards.

2. What are the key components of a good test plan?

Since it encompasses the entire test plan, this becomes a significant QA interview question and answer that can be asked in an interview.
A good test plan should include the following components:
  • Test objectives
  • Test scope
  • Test deliverables
  • Test strategy
  • Test environment requirements
  • Schedule and resources
  • Risk assessment
  • Test execution criteria

3. What is the lifecycle of a Quality Assurance Process?

  • Preparation and planning: During this stage, a comprehensive quality assurance plan outlining the methods and processes to be applied during the rest of the lifecycle is developed. It typically includes the goals of the quality assurance process, the means of measuring its results, and the personnel resources needed.
  • Requirements gathering and analysis: During this stage, the stakeholders are consulted to ascertain their expectations for the software product from a quality assurance standpoint. This includes gathering the requirements for the software, analyzing them, and addressing any questions that may arise.
  • Coding: After the requirements for the software have been gathered and analyzed, the path forward is clear for the engineers who will be developing the code. Before the code is written, the project managers must approve the design of the software and determine which coding language will be used.
  • Testing: Once the code has been written, it should be tested to ensure it meets the quality assurance standards set out in the initial plan. Testing entails testing the entire system from a black-box perspective, setting up tests for specific scenarios, and bug fixing.
  • Release: After rigorous testing and bug fixing, the software is released to the public. This stage also includes validation and verification to ensure the system works as it is meant to and passes all security standards.

4. What is a test case, and how do you write one?

A test case is a detailed step-by-step document that outlines how to validate an application's specific function or requirement. To write an effective test case, include information such as:
  • Test case ID
  • Test case description
  • Pre-requisites or setup
  • Test steps to execute
  • Expected result
  • Actual result (filled in after test execution)
  • Pass or fail status

5. Differentiate between bug leakage and bug release.

Bug Leakage: A bug leakage occurs when an end-user finds a bug that should have been fixed in an earlier build or version of the application. A flaw that exists during testing but is not noticed by the tester or developer and is later found by the end-user is referred to as a "bug leakage."
Bug Release: A bug release is a software version that has been made available to the public along with a list of known bugs or defects. These kinds of bugs are usually low priority or low severity. This is carried out when the business can afford a bug in the software that has been released, as opposed to the time and expense required to fix it in that version. These bugs are typically disclosed in the Release Notes.

6. Name some common types of software testing.

Some common types of software testing include:
  • Unit testing: It is used to check the functionality of a single unit or component of a software application. This type of testing is done at the component level and helps developers identify problems early in the development process.
  • Integration testing: It is the process of verifying that different software components work together as expected. It helps to ensure that the components of a system work as a single unit and interact with each other as expected.
  • System testing: System testing is used to verify that an application meets the technical and business requirements of the system. This type of testing involves evaluating the system's functionality, performance, reliability, scalability, and security.
  • Regression testing: Rerunning tests on previously tested functionalities to ensure that new changes or modifications haven't adversely affected existing functionalities.
  • Functional testing: It is used to verify the correctness of the functionality of an application. It ensures that the application or software meets the requirements specified by the client.
  • Non-functional testing (e.g., performance, security, usability): Non-functional testing includes tests such as performance testing, which assesses the software's responsiveness and scalability. Security testing identifies vulnerabilities and ensures protection against potential threats. Additionally, usability testing focuses on the software's user interface and experience, ensuring it is intuitive and user-friendly.

7. Can you explain the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

Quality Assurance (QA) is a proactive process focused on establishing standards and processes to prevent defects or mistakes from occurring during the software development cycle. QA involves creating processes, standards, guidelines, and best practices to be followed throughout the entire product development lifecycle. It emphasizes continuous improvement, risk management, and defect prevention.
Quality Control (QC), on the other hand, is a reactive process that concentrates on identifying and fixing defects once they have been introduced into code or products. QC involves activities such as testing, inspection, reviewing, and monitoring specific attributes of the product or service to detect deviations from standards and specifications.

8. How do you determine when to stop testing?

The decision to stop testing typically depends on several factors, including:
  • Test coverage: Testing should be stopped only when all planned test cases have been executed, and all the necessary features have been tested and verified.
  • Risk assessment: Identified risks have either been mitigated or accepted.
  • Budget and resources: Testing has reached its allocated budget and timeline. You must consider the cost of additional testing against the expected value of the product.
  • Quality expectations are met: Testing should be stopped when the expected quality of the product has been achieved.
  • Test results: If the defined test results are quite positive, and all the defects are resolved, then the testing should be stopped immediately.

9. Explain the difference between verification and validation.

Verification and validation are both important components of testing, which is why it becomes one of the most important interview questions for QA Engineers.
Verification
Validation
Verification is the process of making sure that a product or system meets specified requirements during various stages of development.
Validation, on the other hand, is the process of evaluating a system or component during or at the end of the development process to determine if it satisfies user needs and requirements.
It is done by checking if the product meets the criteria set by the customer and the company.
It is used to evaluate if the product is fit for use by the user and that it doesn't have any defects.
This includes the correctness of the software code, the accuracy of any input and output data, and the reliability of the system. Verification activities are mostly conducted by developers and testers.
Validation typically involves usability testing, performance testing, and acceptance testing. These activities are conducted by QA engineers.

10. Explain the difference between manual testing and automated testing.

Manual Testing is a process of verifying an application's functionality by executing test cases manually without using any tools or scripts. Automated Testing, on the other hand, involves creating scripts using testing tools to execute tests more quickly, consistently, and accurately than manual testing.

Interview questions and answers for QA Engineer: Intermediate Level

1. What is bug triage?

Bug triage is a process that ensures:
  • Bug report accuracy
  • Assignment and examination of defects
  • Assignment of the bugs to their right owner
  • Adjustment of the bug severity appropriately
  • Prioritization of bugs carefully

2. Differentiate between retesting and regression.

Retesting
Regression
• Retesting is the process of verifying that a specific bug or defect, which was previously identified and reported, has been fixed after the necessary code changes or modifications have been made.
• Regression testing involves re-executing a set of tests or test cases to ensure that recent code changes or modifications have not adversely affected previously working functionalities or introduced new defects elsewhere in the software.
• The primary goal of retesting is to ensure that the reported defect has been resolved and that the related functionality now operates as intended.
• Regression testing aims to identify any unintended side effects caused by new code changes or updates.
• Retesting is focused on confirming the fix for a particular bug.
• It involves running a comprehensive suite of tests that span the entire application or affected modules to detect any unintended impacts on the existing functionalities.

3. What are some popular tools used by QA Engineers?

QA Engineering heavily relies on the selection of good tools, which makes this question an important QA interview question. Some widely used QA Engineer tools include:
  • Selenium: Browser-based automation testing framework.
  • JIRA: Task management and bug tracking tool.
  • Jenkins: Continuous integration and continuous deployment server.
  • TestRail: Web-based test case management.
  • JMeter: Load and performance testing tool.

4. Can you explain the difference between black-box testing, white-box testing, and gray-box testing?

Black-box testing
White-box testing
Gray-box testing
Black-box testing focuses on testing a system's functionality without any knowledge or information about its internal structure or implementation details.
White-box testing, on the other hand, requires testers to have knowledge about the internal workings of the code to evaluate logic paths and data flow.
Gray-box testing is a combination of both approaches – it requires some knowledge about the system's internal structure but not as much as white-box testing.

5. What is a traceability matrix?

A traceability matrix is an organized tabular document showing the relationship between two data sets, requirements, and tests.
Traceability matrices ensure that every requirement is fully tested, tested properly, and linked back to the original requirement statement. This ensures an efficient and accurate project development and completion process. Traceability matrices are also used to identify and document gaps in processes, ensure that tasks have been properly completed, and verify project completeness.

6. What kinds of validation tasks are assigned to QA testers?

The following are examples of the validation tasks that a QA tester must perform:
  • Hire independent third parties to verify or validate information.
  • Assign internal personnel who are well-versed in validation and verification methods.
  • Examine on your own.

7. What are some of the different SDLC models?

  • Waterfall
  • Spiral
  • V Model
  • Prototype
  • Agile

8. What is monkey testing?

Monkey testing, also referred to as fuzz testing, is a form of software testing where randomly generated inputs are used to test a system. Monkey testing can be done in the context of quality assurance to evaluate the robustness of a system by simulating unexpected user input.
Monkey testing is usually done to identify errors and security risks. For example, a web application can be tested by sending unexpected requests in an attempt to find ways for malicious users to crash the system or access confidential information. Monkey testing can be used to test the system's ability to handle invalid data inputs, such as text strings containing odd characters or numbers that are too large or too small.
Additionally, monkey testing can be used to test the system's response time when faced with a large influx of requests. Seeing how the system handles the unexpected allows developers to identify where improvements or optimizations can be made.

9. What is gorilla testing?

It is a software testing technique where a module is repeatedly tried and tested using a variety of random inputs to make sure that all of its functions are verified and that there are no issues with it. Because of the Gorilla Testing pattern, it is also referred to as torture testing, fault tolerance testing, or frustrating testing. It is a manual test that is repeated numerous times. Together, developers and testers assess a module's functionality regularly in Gorilla Testing.

10. What is equivalence class partition?

When using equivalence class partition, inputs are separated into several logical groups that behave similarly. Thus, it becomes simple to create test cases in an appropriate manner.

Interview questions and answers for QA Engineer: Experienced Level

1. Name the five dimensions of risk.

  • Schedule: Impossible deadlines, like developing a sizable piece of software in a single day.
  • The client: Vague requirements, requirements that change, and descriptions of the requirements that are unclear.
  • Human Resource: Insufficient personnel possessing the necessary knowledge for the project.
  • System assets: Failure to obtain all required resources, such as hardware and software tools or licenses, will have a negative effect.
  • Quality: A number of factors, including a lack of resources, a rigid delivery schedule, and frequent modifications, will affect the quality of the product.

2. Differentiate between functional and non-functional testing.

Functional testing
Non-functional testing
Every software feature or function is verified through functional testing.
Performance, usability, and reliability are validated through non-functional testing.
Functional testing prioritizes the needs of the client.
It is difficult to carry out non-functional testing manually.
Validating program actions is the goal of functional testing.
The foundation of non-functional testing is the client's expectations.
An example of functional testing would be to confirm the login procedure.
Non-functional testing verifies the non-functional aspects of the software.
While non-functionality describes how a product works, functionality describes what a product does.
An example of non-functional testing would verify that the dashboard loads in two seconds or less.
Functional testing is carried out prior to non-functional testing.
Functional testing is carried out first, then non-functional testing.

3. What is defect clustering?

Defect clustering indicates that there are more bugs in a small section of code that could eventually cause operational failures.

4. What is a quality audit?

A quality audit in QA (Quality Assurance) is a systematic and independent examination of processes, procedures, and activities within the software to ensure compliance with defined quality standards, policies, regulations, and best practices.

5. How do you ensure your testing processes align with Agile or DevOps methodologies?

I firmly believe in adapting testing processes to align with Agile and DevOps methodologies for faster and continuous delivery. I actively participate in sprint planning meetings to understand user stories and define acceptance criteria. I advocate for early testing, integrating test automation into the CI/CD pipeline to achieve continuous testing. Additionally, I collaborate closely with developers, ensuring constant feedback loops and facilitating quicker issue resolution.

6. Differentiate between the severity and priority of a defect.

Severity
Priority
Definition
Severity refers to the impact or degree of the defect's adverse effect on the system's functionality.
Priority refers to the order or level of urgency in which a defect needs to be addressed or fixed.
Focus
It emphasizes the technical impact of the defect.
It highlights the business importance and urgency of resolving the issue.
Characteristics
Severity levels are determined based on the seriousness of the issue concerning the system's functionality or user experience.
Priority levels are assigned based on business needs, project timelines, customer impact, and other contextual factors.
Example
A defect with high severity might cause a system crash, data loss, or a critical feature malfunction, significantly impacting the user experience or making the system unusable.
An issue with low priority might be a minor cosmetic flaw that doesn't significantly impact functionality but can be addressed later, while a high-priority issue could involve a critical security vulnerability that requires immediate attention despite its potential severity.

7. How do you handle communication with developers or other team members regarding bugs or issues found during testing?

Effective client dealing is a significant part of QA Engineering. Thus, there is a high chance you will be asked this as one of the many QA interview questions and answers.
Effective communication is crucial in resolving issues. When I find a bug, I document it thoroughly in a bug-tracking tool, including steps to reproduce, screenshots, and related logs. I prioritize the severity and impact, then communicate it to the development team via the appropriate channels like Jira or Slack. I ensure clarity in my reports, providing necessary context and, if possible, suggesting potential solutions or workarounds to expedite the resolution process.

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