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My boss has given me the assignment of interviewing one of the new automation engineers. The only task left is the technical one, and I have been thinking about a good test that I could give him.

I was thinking of giving him the assignment "make a Sudoku bot with webdriver". Is this good? Too difficult? I really want to make sure that we hire a good automation tester.

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    One of the decision criteria should be: Can you solve the task in the time allocated? :-) Oct 19 '15 at 20:19
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    Sudoku puzzle is not very good IMHO: hard part is to create sudoku solver, which is not related to QA at all. Automating some obvious process should be better test IMHO, if you want to assess automation skills. Oct 19 '15 at 20:22
  • How much time does this candidate have to solve your problem?
    – Yu Zhang
    Oct 21 '15 at 2:58
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Sudoku puzzle is not good task to measure skill of automation tester.

I would like to suggest some good task which you can assign to test skill of selenium automation tester :

1 - Basic test for register form where all type of fields available , ie : http://www.toolsqa.com/automation-practice-form/

2 - Data driven task , For ex: Get data from excel , Import data to excel

3 - Implement explicit wait , work with Iframe , child windows

4 - Integrate TestNG and generate test report

5 - Alerts handling

6 - OOPs concepts implementation

7 - Work with site when element changes dynamically

Above are my suggestions , Everything is depends on your need , your projects , your environment. Make sure whenever you are going to hire any candidate for automation testing, you should ask question for skills which you are using in your daily job or your QA team is using.

There is no meaning to ask questions about Sudoku puzzle because once candidate joins he/she will not work to create Sudoku puzzle. It is good idea to measure logical skill but give more importance to actual need.

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Is this good? Too difficult?

It would be better to give them a real task and see how they do. I have been in interviews where I had 2 hours to write up a series of tests and then had to walk through it. You want something that will test their knowledge of best practices. Things like testing AJAX calls, login pages, finding elements with dynamic IDs, and the like. For example, one of the sites I test hijacks the form for login so you have to let the JavaScript load before submitting or you'll just end up on the same page. The best practice there would be to wait for the page to load. How that's done can differ from person to person but ultimately you are looking for them to go as fast as the app allows without the use of 'pause'.

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I don't think a sudoku solver is a good technical test as I think it would be too time intensive to see some results how the candidate work behavior is and how his/her knowlege is.

Depending on your application I would suggest to let him tests parts of it. This would show you how good the candidate can handle new situations / applications to test. And maybe you (as in term of companies QA) see some new ideas for testing your own application.

You also offer him a look at your application which may also help the candidate finding out for himself (on a personally way) if he can imagine to work with that application. Maybe you can also make something like a test scenario where you hide some bugs into your application and the candidate should find them (without knowing that they exist) - I'm thinking to something like these TV documentations where they tests car repair shops.

At least you can always fall back on core scenarios what are quite common but essentiel to see basic skills, like

  • Login dialog
  • Create new Account / personal Data
  • Create, fill out forms
  • Handle incoming forms and assert the correct value of something

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