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I'm a fresh out of school software engineer, and have been asked to interview potential qa managers and directors.

Since they're management level, what sort of questions should I ask them? Company structure, guidelines and managerials experience, testing standards etc?

  • Approx. How much experience they will have?? – Helping Hands Feb 9 '15 at 15:51
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You should check with the hiring manager about your role on the interview team. If I were asking you to interview managers, I'd be looking for your perspective on how this person will lead you.

Open ended behavioral questions are good, especially if they lead to a story. Some questions that come to mind:

  • Tell me about when you successfully mentored someone. Tell me about an unsuccessful mentor relationship. What happened?
  • How do you interact with your team members? (looking for staff meetings, status reports, 1:1 sessions, open door policy, etc.)
  • What are your expectations of your team? What is the most important characteristic of a successful software engineer?

If you've experienced any kind of problem with work or projects, you might want to ask how the prospective manager would handle the situation.

Good luck!

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If you need to check their QA skills then you can ask on following topics :

1 - What is their expertise? Experience in manual testing , automation testing , technical analysis

2 - What is STLC and How he/she follows?

3 - Testing terms

4 - Ask about Test cases , test plan , bug reporting

5 - What is main weakness and strength of that person

6 - Ask like what if he approved software and client found bugs , How he will convince client?

7 - What is BEST and WORST time during their QA job experience?

8 - Why started career as QA?

9 - What is future goal?

10 - What is hobby?

11 - Ask about Bug life cycle

12 - Ask about team management , How they can handle team

There can be lot of , but in my mind above looks important.

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I would assume that other people with managerial experience will ask (and evaluate) the candidate questions related to management skills, and your role is to check if they have real QA skills (but you should ask confirmation of my assumption - ask the person who asked you to participate what your role should be).

If so, you are checking if candidate has QA skills - see Related questions on right side of this forum. Ask about experience in technologies on resume relevant to your situation, some deep technical questions where answer is impossible to fake. As manager, s/he might not have such deep expertise, but it is good to know to both you and your colelagues - because maybe s/he promised such experience in resume, and is hoping that non-technical people will fail to notice such lack of skills. You would be surprised but it happened to us. With enough confidence, con-man can BS to a fairly senior technical position, and stay there for few months.

Ask also some open-ended behavioral questions: examples of situation working under stress, handling misunderstanding, dealing with request which is impossible to fit to schedule, etc. So you will have better idea what is this person management style. And if s/he cannot provide examples, you can see that experience (in this universe) is not what resume suggested.

  • Definitely a great practice to check with the hiring manager about your role in the interview team. – jruberto Feb 15 '15 at 16:35
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Unless you are the only one in the company interviewing these candidates, stick with what you know. That's probably why your company asked you in the first place - because you know something about software development or how developers interact with testers.

Don't try to ask a bunch of questions that random people recommend. Don't ask a bunch of questions that you don't have experience with and the interviewee can just BS because you can't tell he difference.

Do ask questions that might help you understand the way they work, how well they might fit in with the company culture, how they might deal with particular problems the company has dealt with, etc.

Your company probably isn't assuming you're a master programming or tester nor are they likely assuming you are skilled in management so don't over reach. If you've got the time come up with some questions you think are important and run them by the person / persons who asked you to sit in the interviews.

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Questions should definately cover:

  • Estimation techniques
  • Risk analysis, impact, probability, mitigation
  • Planning, approaches, tools, e.x. gantt diagram, etc.
  • Vision, strategy of services/processes improvement
  • QA processes, services
  • Testing strategies, Test documentation
  • Automation and process optimization strategies
  • Standards (e.g. ISO 9001:2008), test types, awareness of test certifications (ISTQB)
  • Soft skills check, ability to conduct interviews and mentoring activities

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