When you interview a software tester what do you look for?

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When you interview a software tester what do you look for?

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It is my opinion that what should I look for a software tester !
1. The right fit :First of all, it is important that each tester be the right fit for your organization. You want your employees to understand and feel good about your corporate culture. A happy employee is an effective employee.

2. Product knowledge an asset, but not mandatory :Although product knowledge is definitely an asset, it is not a definitive, fixed requirement. Structured software testing is based on processes and it is more important that the software tester be familiar with structured testing principles than to have product knowledge. Software testing techniques can be applied to any software.

3. Strong analytical skills :It is very important for any software tester to have strong analytical skills. As stated earlier, any tester can acquire product knowledge, but strong analytical skills are a must. A good software tester must understand the processes of the computer software, and should be able to analyze cause and effect with ease.

4. Strong communicative skills :Another important skill is the ability to communicate with management, developers, the other test team members, and other stakeholders. The software tester should have strong written and oral communication skills, in order to report the results of the testing process effectively. The tester should be able to differentiate the different levels of communication. For example management may not be interested in the details of every defect that has been located. They are interested in the overall quality of a release and when the release can go in production. Another example is that your developers do not appreciate it when you come up to them asserting that they made a mistake. The mistake you are pointing out may actually be an inconsistency in the specifications, or a change in the test environment. Strong communication skills are particularly important for the success of the testing project.

5. Knowledge of structured test methodology :A good software tester can use their knowledge of structured testing, and apply it to any software product and software testing project. A tester with a sound foundation of structured software testing can work on your software applications.

6. Knowledge of automated test tools :If your company is currently using a test tool, you will want your testers to be able to effectively use this tool. If you are presently not using an automated tool, a tester with automated test tool knowledge and / or experience may be able to indicate the benefits of an automated test tool for your specific testing processes. Therefore, it is definitely an asset if your testers have basic or extensive knowledge of automated test tools.

7. Team player :Software testers must be team players. Software testing is only a small division of a larger part of the organization and you want your testers to be able to understand this and act accordingly. Your testers will need to be able to work together with other stakeholders in the best interest of the overall company.

8. Persistent (but not stubborn!) :Software testers must be able to track down variances in the testing results. If a variance happens, they must retest to decipher exactly at which step the variance occurred.

9. Sense of humor :In stressful situations it is important to keep a sense of humor. When the testing project is under pressure, the testers work hard to get the test cases finished and then sometimes it turns out an incorrect version was put on the testing environment! Of course this is not an ideal situation, but it does happen quite often, and really, all you can do is keep a keen sense of humor and keep going.

10. Stress proof :The testing time line often gets squeezed when development takes longer than expected and the implementation date cannot shift. This results in stressful times for the testing team. A good tester will remain calm, prioritize the test cases, and do as good a job as possible.

Good Luck !

Discuss This Question: 6  Replies

 
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  • carlosdl
    You missed this: 7.5 "Patience and fortitude Patience is an important requirement for software testers. If a new version is to be released, the testers may need to work outside of regular office hours to perform a sanity test. The testers may have worked hard testing a new version, and it may turn out an incorrect version was put on the system and all test results are worthless. Patience is critical in situations like this." :-) ----------- These are some guidelines, something like a wish list. But it would be interesting to know how do you evaluate if a candidate meets these requirements ? can this be evaluated in an interview ? Some things can easily be evaluated, such as knowledge of tools and metodologies, but how about other really important things, like attitude ?
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  • Shilpa Venkateshwaran
    very good point carlsodl. These days there are people who can coach you to give the right answers and you may even like the answers but is that all just words? What happens when its time to perform? What is the scale that you can use to evaluate? Should there be a trial period maybe for both parties (interviewee and the company) to really see if it’s a fit for both of them. What about over qualification for a job opportunity? With economy being so bad... you get at least 10 to 20 times more resumes that you would have decades ago. So what would you do when you are getting people who are more than qualified for the job? Reject them or give them a chance?
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Thanks Carlosdl, I have missed this. Patience & fortitude is so important for any software testers. But it is my view / opinion. I worked as a sw tester for several years. And there was a man who taught me about this.
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  • Shilpa Venkateshwaran
    Thanks for sharing Rechil. It nice to have good mentors/teachers.
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  • TomLiotta
    @Carlosdl: You made a minor mistake when you noted the "copyright" symbol at the end of your addition. Your small extract was good, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't paste an entire copyrighted document without attribution. Or was that really supposed to be a smilely? :-) Tom
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  • carlosdl
    "Your small extract was good, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t paste an entire copyrighted document without attribution." Of course I wouldn't. Thanks for the addition, Tom. It makes the point clearer, I think.
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