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Graphic that shows three different types of interview questions you should be asking.

Use these questions to identify a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities

Use these questions to determine how a candidate handled situations in the past

Use these questions to assess a candidate’s personal traits and cognitive skills

Why this matters

Quality assurance (QA) professionals often play a fundamental role in developing and maintaining the standards of quality that a company strives to meet. This may require them to work closely with leaders across the business and to stay abreast of evolving regulatory requirements. This question can also help you determine how experienced a candidate is. Do they draw from theory or practice?

What to listen for

  • A thorough understanding of regulatory requirements, if applicable.
  • Details around developing operational processes to deliver quality—and establishing benchmarks that must be met.
  • Examples drawn from past experience are a plus.

Why this matters

For a quality assurance professional working in the software industry, auditing a website should be second nature. An answer here will help you determine whether or not your candidate has the right set of skills to carry out their core responsibilities—one of which will be planning and executing audits that accurately and efficiently evaluate website health.

What to listen for

  • Established procedures and best practices for conducting a website audit.
  • An ability to implement changes and shift operational structure when need.
  • Any specific tools, technology, or industry-standard methodologies.

Why this matters

Seasoned quality assurance professionals have hands-on experience using a wide range of testing-specific tools and methodologies. As a result, they know which tools they need to get the job done—and can clearly backup their choices with well-reasoned justification. A quality assurance professional is only as good as their sharpest tools!

What to listen for

  • Prior use of industry-standard tools and procedures in a professional setting.
  • An ability to explain how those tools might aid in the day-to-day responsibilities laid out in the job description.
  • Tools that align with your organization's current resources.

Why this matters

Improving current methodology and procedural strategy is at the heart of any quality assurance role—and continuous improvement is the goal. A candidate should be able to logically evaluate and step over potential hurdles. Top quality assurance professionals will also demonstrate the level headedness that it takes to deal with complications in a professional manner.

What to listen for

  • An ability to set aside emotional concerns to reassess strategy.
  • Consistent perseverance in the face of adversity.
  • A general understanding of the factors that might interfere with output quality and techniques for missteps when they occur.

Why this matters

Streamlining existing processes and increasing productivity is an essential responsibility of any QA role. If team members are always in a crunch to get things done, the quality of work will undoubtedly suffer. Your next QA hire must be an individual who understands how to increase efficiency, meet deadlines, and guarantee quality in the final product.

What to listen for

  • An ability to efficiently prioritize tasks and manage team schedules.
  • Someone who sees the value of open communication between employees and management.
  • Strategy development skills and the ability to accurately evaluate productivity.

Why this matters

This is a chance for a candidate to show what they are capable of and demonstrate whether they have the right mindset to perform well in a quality assurance role. In a similar fashion to asking a candidate how they respond to setbacks, the new hire’s reaction to success will clue you in on a few key aspects of their personality.

What to listen for

  • A balanced ability to learn from their successes as well as their failures.
  • An attitude that is focused on continuous improvement.
  • Confidence in their ability to drive operational success and improve output quality.

Why this matters

In addition to offering more insight into the candidate’s auditing process, this question also serves to evaluate a potential new hire’s problem-solving skills and their understanding of the full responsibility embedded within the QA role. Candidates should be able to highlight and explain the variables that contribute to the lifecycle of the auditing process.

What to listen for

  • Answers that considers a number of constraining factors.
  • A demonstrated ability to manage high-level project oversight and implement standardized procedures.
  • An in-depth understanding of the auditing process and its key components.

Why this matters

Quality assurance is a fundamental piece of the project management puzzle. If your organization consists of a quality assurance role that is separate from that of the project manager, then coordination between the two is necessary to implement strategy and procedural changes that contribute to the success of your business.

What to listen for

  • A collaborative nature and willingness to work as part of a team.
  • An understanding of the relationship between project management and quality assurance.
  • The ability to see a larger picture and an understanding of where they fit in.

Why this matters

This question can help you assess a candidate’s passion for the field as a whole, and the specific work your organization does. Quality assurance is all about paying attention to the details, so a candidate who is truly interested and engaged in their work is likely to do a careful and thorough job.

What to listen for

  • An in-depth understanding of your company’s goals and objectives.
  • Interests that align with the goals of your organization.
  • Strong answers may touch on aspects of quality assurance that they find satisfying, such as making things better for the end user.