Top 40 manual testing interview questions in 2021
July 14, 2021
Update:

Top 40 manual testing interview questions in 2021

Julieta Harutyunyan
Julieta Harutyunyan
Head of Quality Assurance

In this article, we have collected and focused all our expertise to help you with the most useful questions and answers that will be helpful for you in a manual testing interview in 2021. Let’s get started!

1. What does the test strategy include?

This test strategy goal is to show customers all the activities and tools from the manual testing team for the project quality assurance. It should include the following points: 

  • Resource;
  • Scope and timetable for test activities;
  • Testing tools;
  • Testing priorities;
  • Test plan; 
  • Testing types.

2. What is the goal of ad-hoc testing?

Ad-hoc testing helps engineers to break the system without sticking to the pre-specified test cases. The goal is to find some issues that are not specified in requirements or test cases but could be faced by users in their critical path of usage.

3. What testing types are more important?

Here are the required testing types for having good quality and assure its maintenance:

  • Unit testing;
  • Integration testing;
  • Systems testing;
  • Functional testing;
  • Non-functional testing;
  • Regression testing;
  • Sanity testing;
  • Ad-Hoc testing;
  • Smoke testing;
  • Acceptance testing;
  • Alpha testing;
  • Beta Testing.

4. What is the difference between functional and non-functional testing?

Functional testing is more about the verification of functionalities' expected behavior. Commonly, functionality testing is about black-box testing. A tester doesn't need the code to check how functionalities are working. Non-functional testing is about checking non-functional items like performance, security, or usability of the application.

Functional vs Non-functional testing

5. Have you had experience writing test cases without project requirements?

The interviewer asks this question to understand how you can handle the kind of projects without any requirements. So, the best answer for this question is to share options on how you handled it:

  1. I tried to contact a Project manager/Product owner and ask questions about how this specific functionality should work.
  2. The second option is to do refinement meetings to refine requirements together with the whole team. 
  3. The third option is to ask for BA for requirements and give highlights on why it is important.
  4. To implement Definitions of Ready for user stories before including tasks into the Sprint.

6. Can you please give examples where it is important to provide the Regression testing?

Here are the most important reasons why we should provide regression testing: 

  • Bug fixes that could break working functionality; 
  • Big updates in a system; 
  • New functionalities;
  • Extended testing before release.

7. What is Acceptance testing, and when should you provide it?

Acceptance testing evaluates if the application complies with the business requirements. Also, we use it to make sure the build is ready for presentation. As a rule, we provide acceptance testing at the end of a Sprint, just before delivering it to the customers. There is also the UAT (User Acceptance Testing) testing type. End-users or customers provide this type of manual testing to ensure that new functionalities meet the business requirements.

8. How important is it for QA to take part in development planning sessions?

The importance of planning for QA is that QA engineers can estimate and plan their tasks during the Sprint. They can extrapolate the risks related to old functionalities to the new ones. Give recommendations and plan the quality control by keeping in mind the new development plan. The most important thing here is the risk management based on picked user stories. It’s all about quality.

9. At what stage of the project should QA activities start?

The QA activities should start as early as possible. Ideally, it should accompany the development process from the very beginning. QA, here, helps avoid the risks connected to the quality. Thus, the team has more time to create a structured Test Plan and strategy to follow.

If QA activities start later, it can cost a lot of money to fix all the bugs. Besides, most users can stop using the application because of the inconsistent performance. 

Otherwise, you’ll need to postpone the release date to initiate an additional testing routine. Nevertheless, broken deadlines will also harm the product's reputation.

10. When is it required/recommended to automate the QA process?

Usually, you automate QA processes for a stable build. Additionally, you can use it to make manual QA work easier while regression testing needs to be done. 

How will automation help with regression testing? When QA deals with new functionality, you can run automated tests. It will help to make sure that the existing functionalities’ critical path works.

There are good practices that don’t allow the delivery of a build while all automated tests are not passed. Otherwise, the occurred issues should be fixed before delivery.

Automation is also good to run for a Production environment. To ensure that while users deal with software applications, there are no critical issues. If there are, the team will have the ability to fix them as soon as possible.

11. What is QA and QC? 

This is a confusing question for the QA engineers, but the most popular one during interviews. Let's start with quality assurance: QA specialists ensure quality for the product by process improvements, applying different approaches for the testing team and the whole team to improve the work and project quality.

Quality Control (QC) is about providing testing approaches to understand that the application meets all the requirements and has no critical issues.

In general, QA is a high-level activity that controls and applies everything to improve the software quality.

What is QA and QC

12. What must-have “Definition of Readies” would you add for a  project?

Definition of Ready should help a team to have finalized user stories with all crucial information and business requirements.

An example of common DoR could be the following:

  • User story dependencies are defined;
  • User story requirements defined;
  • User story acceptance criteria are defined;
  • User story can be divided into sub-tasks;
  • The Sprint backlog is prioritized;
  • The team has the same vision of new functionality.

13. What is the difference between Sanity testing and Smoke testing?

Mixing up the Sanity testing with Smoke testing is the common mistake testers make. 

First of all, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that Sanity testing is a higher level of regression testing. The regression testing focuses only on details and has a deep dive into every functionality, whereas Sanity testing is focused on critical parts of functionalities. 

Sanity testing is the best option when there is no time for full regression testing.

14. Can you explain the difference between retesting and regression testing?

We make retesting to check if we’ve removed and fixed all the bugs from the software. In contrast, regression testing is about ensuring that every fix or update hasn't impacted working functionality negatively.

15. You have a two-week Sprint. Every two Sprints, the project goes to Production. How do you manage testing activities to assure quality?

Locked content

The interviewer asks this question in two cases:

  • to understand your ability to plan your testing activities by having a deadline;
  • to know if you can manage things correctly and can you control and assure the quality.

From my point of view, I would expect how the engineer tells about the following activities: 

  • Feature acceptance testing;
  • Test design; 
  • Test execution;
  • Smoke testing;
  • Regression testing; 
  • Stabilization day/period; 
  • Acceptance testing before and after release. 

All these activities are focused on getting a stabilized build and a good quality.

16. Which types of testing will you provide to release the product?

You should perform regression testing before any release. The goal is to define functionalities’ quality, find all bugs and stabilize the build. After you’ve fixed all the regression bugs, do Smoke testing to make sure the build is ready for release. Then, provide a Smoke test of End to End testing to ensure that everything is delivered without any error.


17. Which test design techniques do you use for test cases?

Test design techniques help QA engineers to cover functionalities by test cases that are enough to have good quality and define bugs. The following techniques are the most popular and usable. 

  • Equivalence Partitioning;
  • Boundary Value Analysis;
  • Pairwise testing;
  • Exploratory Testing;
  • Error Guessing.

18. Which manual testing metrics are important to have?

  • Test cases coverage: Passed - Here, it is essential to see which part of testing is passed and working.
  • Test cases coverage: Failed - This metric shows the percentage of the failed tests that could affect the project's overall quality, especially if these tests are critical or blocker issues.
  • Fixed defects percent: It is crucial to analyze how many defects you’ve fixed. The percentage of fixed bugs will show how much you have improved the project’s quality.

Critical defects percentage: This metric shows the percentage of the more pressing issues out of all because these defects affect the application quality negatively.

19. What kind of document would you like to add to a QA testing file? 

From my perspective, the "Workflow" doc is vital to have in QA. It helps streamline the team's performance and, of course, improves the quality of an application. Why is it important?

The workflow includes all activities for the set period:  

  • Test design; 
  • Regression testing; 
  • Syncing with the team with the common or related activities;
  • Feature freeze day;
  • Code freeze day; 
  • Stabilization days/period;
  • Release day;
  • Meetings.
QA testing workflow

20. How much testing will suffice to release the product? 

The testing can last forever if we try to cover all kinds of tests. That's why we need test design techniques for creating test cases that are not too much and enough. Apart from that, we should bear in mind the functionalities’ priorities. You should test the essential functionalities often, whereas rare QA testing will be enough for the low-level functionalities. However, if you want to finish your testing, you should finalize all the project updates. Otherwise, the product will require testing every time there are some manipulations on the code.

21. Why is quality so important in the software development business?

An app must present high-quality and seamless performance to attain a vast fan base. All users pay attention to the quality because it saves their time, money and provides comfort. Also, users can entrust their personal data to the application if it has a high quality. 

Let’s have a look at iOS as an example. Despite iOS products being very expensive, they are the most popular ones in the world. The main reason for that is Apple products’ exceptional quality. 

Eventually, you can measure the product quality by end-user satisfaction.

22. How to deal with the lack of time for QA documentation?

There are some projects with restricted time. The restrictions affect QA documentation as there is not enough time to write test plans, cases, etc. But the QA team should deal with it effectively for the project quality and for reporting the results. The best alternative option for Test case substitute is Check-list. In some cases, the checklist can be more detailed, but also it could be high-level. Check-list will save time to focus on testing itself. The team can use different reports with metrics that will be updated automatically from Sprint to Sprint for the QA repo. 

To make bug reports more apparent to developers, attach a video that demonstrates your testing steps.

23. How to deal with the lack of time to test the whole system before releasing updates? 

Considering the project complexity, a QA engineer can provide a Smoke test and check the essential flow of functionalities. Suppose there is no time for Smoke of all functionalities. In that case, it is important to have prioritized functionalities and to run the Smoke test for the more high-priority features in the first place, and continue in Production, if it is possible. 

The best practice, in this case, is beta testing with the help of real users’ focus groups. They will report issues they face while using the application, and it’ll help QA engineers handle the testing task.

24. How to resolve the issues in Production which fail regularly?

A few options as a resolution pop up here. Firstly, the test cases should be added for the case with bugs. Secondly, If those bugs are more technical or related to an external service, then the best option is to automate this functionality, and while the auto-tests are not passed, the build can’t be released. And the third option is to have after-release testing on Production to be sure that there were no technical conflicts after the release.

25. How would you plan manual testing if the application would be released any day?

Depending on what you are releasing, you can opt for different types of testing. Firstly, there should be feature acceptance testing. Then, You should do the Smoke testing of the whole functionality to make sure there are no blocker issues. The checks rounds can be continued on Production by the QA team or by focus group as the beta testing.

26. There is a misspelling on the website. Which characteristic of a bug is high: Severity or Priority? 

This is a tricky question. Misspelling is not a big problem for the product's quality, but it damages your business' reputation. The conclusion: severity is low, and priority is high. 

27. Customer asks to show the product quality based on bug Priority. What are your thoughts and suggestions?

It’s not a good idea to show the quality based on the Priority, IMHO. That’s because the bug priority is just a characteristic that shows how quickly bugs should be fixed. 

So, here a good QA engineer should show their expertise and persuade customers why it is a bad idea. Surely, the engineer would need to suggest better ideas and metrics to demonstrate the product’s quality.

28. How to deal with customer change requests in a Sprint and have a good product quality?

As practice shows, Sprints couldn’t be without any changes. Customers always ask for some urgent changes, and we should adapt to make them satisfied with their project. 

There are a few options to cope with this kind of case. The team should suggest to a customer removing other tasks that have the lower priority and take the same effort from the Sprint. 

Alternatively, the team can suggest making some proof of concept for a change request and then develop and improve it starting from the next Sprint. 

29. What is the stabilization period from a build perspective? 

The focus of the stabilization period in the Sprint lies on bug fixes and their verification. This process aims to fix all critical and major bugs. Once critical and major issues are fixed, the build quality becomes more stable. 

The stabilization period includes only fixing and improving activities.

30. Why do some projects require Feature freeze and Code freeze. And what do they mean? 

Feature freeze is an environment state where you can deliver some updates but not any additional features. At the same time, the code freeze is the environment state where you can deliver neither features nor updates, nothing. 

You need feature freeze and code freeze to test more effectively, especially when you run a regression. If new features are delivered during testing, all the previous testing becomes useless. The incoming updates can break the functionality, so you will need to start it all over again. That’s why, sometimes, feature freeze works. But still, you can deliver the hotfixes for the other cases too. In this case, you should suspend all updates.

31. Why does the QA team need a testing environment?

When the Development team works in the same environment as the QA team, it becomes a big mess. There is no opportunity to have feature freeze or code freeze because the Dev team should constantly pull together code, whereas testers need some stable version for testing perspectives. If there are dev and testing environments, it is better to organize them separately. It will make both teams more effective testing activities and result in good quality for the new build.

32. What does Quality mean?

In the context of QA, the quality application means that it is error-free, meets all customer’s needs and requirements. The great product quality will result in customer satisfaction. So, you can measure your app’s quality by the level of customer loyalty. 

The most important traits of a high-quality application are: 

  • Security: users can trust their personal data to us and feel safe about it; 
  • Performance: This is a crucial parameter for any application. Especially when the app uses the Internet or handles huge amounts of data. Top applications should demonstrate exceptional offline persistence and storage capacity;
  • User-friendliness: A great application always has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. This aspect has a decisive impact on the user experience.

33. What is end-to-end testing?

End-to-end testing is about testing the application from start to end. Testing includes the end-user use cases. End-to-end testing is about checking the application’s business logic.

In End-to-end testing, the application is being checked with all its dependencies and integrations: databases, 3rd party system, file system, etc.

34. What will you do if the Dev team doesn't agree with your corrections? 

The answer depends on the situation and team. There are a bunch of resolution options. Firstly, a QA engineer could relate to the requirements if there are some. If it is a non-functional bug, it is important to explain to a developer that it will affect user satisfaction. If the issue remains, then they can ask BA for help. Here, the bug importance also makes sense. You can skip some bugs when they don’t affect user experience, functionality, etc.

35. Why does the project need unit tests if there are QA engineers in the team? 

Quality starts from the code. So, it is essential to test a code before having functionality for users. 

This is about bug costs. The critical bugs could cost more resources. So, it is important to have the right approach to quality, starting from the application code. 

36. Why should Smoke testing be stopped when we face a blocker issue? 

The Smoke test is about checking the most important parts of the functionality. If you find them blocked, it doesn’t make sense to provide further testing. It is critical to fix all the blocker issues before the beginning of the extended testing.

37. Can you recollect your biggest manual testing failure, and what lessons did you learn from it?

It is important to give some examples of the failures you had in your QA career. The interviewer would want to know your attitude toward making mistakes. Every good specialist has had some failures that have brought much work experience. Such experience adds much value to your expertise.

For instance, speak about a bug or two you once missed on Production, or it could be something about your team or communication with customers.

38. What is the effective way to manage and support the non-reproducible bugs?

To handle the non-reproducible bugs, you can do the following: 

  • Add execute test-cases which include the bug’s steps to be sure that during every execution, the case is passed or the bug could be caught somehow;
  • To summarize and evaluate the test execution results for this particular check;
  • To look into application/user logs to give more information when the bug reproduces.

39. When do you start testing the design of new functionality?

To start the manual testing, you should understand how the QA engineer organizes their entry documents. 

Thus, you need to start the test design once the functionality requirements are finalized. While the functionality is developing, a tester could start test design to be ready for test execution right away after the functionality implementation. After the first execution, you can update them and improve.

The main goal is to provide enough testing for new functionality and not to miss any bugs. That’s why it is recommended to prepare test cases in advance.

 40. What is Bug triage, and why does the team need it?

Bug triage is a process of prioritizing bugs in Sprint. The prioritizing is based on bugs' impact on the application’s quality and business logic. It helps the team to fix more important issues first and do the stabilization part in a very efficient way.

Julieta Harutyunyan
Julieta Harutyunyan
Head of Quality Assurance

Julieta is a devoted QA specialist that generously shares her professional experience.

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