4

I am scheduled for a technical interview with a company next Wednesday, they provide an electronic payment system for healthcare providers, healthcare clients, and healthcare payers.

I am told by the recruiter to study my SQL and be prepared to make up test cases when given a test topic.

I am also told to explore topics such as

  • UI testing
  • Functional testing
  • Mobility testing
  • Performance testing
  • Stress testing
  • Test automation
  • Software Development Life Cycle

Test documentation: What are the necessary components of a good test case? What is a test plan for and what does it consist of?

Sample questions:

If you look at a transactional web page what are the observable elements and how do you go about testing them? For example, navigation elements, input fields, buttons, labels...

There are also elements which aren't readily visible like a custom style sheet. What is the roll of "Style Sheets" in a UI implementation?

The two most important topics I must familiarize myself with by next Wednesday are SQL and inventing test cases.

My main questions to you, kind sirs and mams, are, in an SQA interview, what sort of direction should I head in for learning and practicing my SQL? I have only rudimentary knowledge of MySQL from project courses I have taken at my school, I've never worked with SQL before. What are some sources that I can rely on for learning good, practical skills that a good Software Tester should have? What SQL concepts should I absolutely know before I head in?

What kind of test topics should I expect? I have never written any official test cases or test plans before. The sort of testing I do with my code is to just sprinkle print statements all over my projects and eventually track down where the bugs are. I've never even used the debugger in Eclipse, save maybe once or twice. I feel that I am very unprepared for the sort of documented approach to testing software they are going to test me on. How can I prepare myself?

2

[W]hat sort of direction should I head in for learning and practicing my SQL?

W3Schools has good info on SQL. There are many flavors of SQL (MySQL and T-SQL are the big ones) but the basics are the same for the queries you'll likely use.

What SQL concepts should I absolutely know before I head in?

If you can SELECT and JOIN, you probably have enough to validate data.

What kind of test topics should I expect?

Who knows really. Cover your bases and check out the links Chris Kenst shared in his answer. I like to ask questions not related to testing but rather problem solving; "How many ping-pong balls will it take to fill up a limo?" From your questions it sounds like an entry-level position so they won't expect you to know everything but you should make it clear that you know how to find the answers. "I don't know, but I am sure but I am sure I can find out using Google and/or StackOVerflow." Do not try to BS your way through any question.

1

My main questions to you, kind sirs and mams, are, in an SQA interview, what sort of direction should I head in for learning and practicing my SQL?

You could download MySQL to your local machine and play with it there. (You could probably search Google for quick install instructions.) That might get you familiar with the database application MySQL but probably won't help much if you know nothing about SQL. If you want to learn how to use the SQL language / syntax I'd recommend Learn SQL The Hard Way. It's free and Zed's teaching programs are usually pretty good.

It sounds like you have little to no experience with software testing, which is going to put you at a disadvantage. Luckily there are a few references you can check out that might give you some pointers:

I usually recommend people check out James Bach's Heuristic Test Strategy Model because it gives you:

  • A basic overview of the 9 most used test techniques (Functional, Performance, Automation, etc.)
  • Guideword heuristics you can use to evaluate a product (might be good to have this open during the interview) and use to generate test ideas (or test cases)
  • This document is designed to help you build a test strategy which you will need to do before you can really design tests (see the point above).

As for documentation like Test Plans, as I mention in How to write a test plan, a test plan typically contains the logistics of the testing project and your test strategy.

The big thing to remember is if you don't understand what some word means (test plan, test case), ask. There are no standard definitions. Good decisions can only be made with the appropriate context so make sure you understand what is being asked before you answer.

  • Thank you so much! I'll take a look at all the resources you've linked. One question, you said "(might be good to have this open during the interview) and use to generate test ideas (or test cases)", you mean I could have my laptop in the interview with documents loaded? – itnaliv May 22 '15 at 6:30
  • Yes, however you'll want make sure you are comfortable explaining the HTSM or at the very least the mnemonics used it in, so if someone asks you can explain why you use them. (Assuming it's an in-person interview) – Chris Kenst May 22 '15 at 17:19
1

Aside from the required technical information described from the previous answers, be prepared to answer abstract questions that test the way you approach a problem. For example at a recent interview, I was asked what kind of test cases I would create for testing the quality of the chair I was sitting in. I was also asked to solve a riddle involving dice. The important thing about these questions was not if I got it right or not, but rather demonstrating the thought process of tackling a problem from multiple angles.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.