There is one practical task which we are using since 5 year to analyze the right candidate for QA position. The task contains following things -

  1. Functional document : Candidate have to read whole document around 50 pages and come to know about the project goal
  2. We are asking to write UI and Functional test cases for 5 modules
  3. Asking to provide Test plan, Test cases for all 5 modules, Test Summary report and bug report.
  4. We send the mail to candidate and give time for 2 days

But it seems frustrating to candidate that we are asking these many things. So we are planning to revise it but there is no senior QA person who can provide us the guideline.

So my question here is what could be the things which we include in and can analyze the better candidate based on.

I'm thinking about to write some scenarios like :

  1. Test scenarios for payment gateway testing
  2. Basic security test checklist for a web application (we mostly work on e-commerce application)

Can someone help us to determine what should we include ?

  • 4
    50 pages assignment to me would look like a company wants to get their own job done for free
    – dzieciou
    Jul 27, 2017 at 10:43
  • 2 days? Whosoever designed these tests was nuts. Jul 27, 2017 at 10:48
  • 3
    I think experienced candidates never goes to attend this type of tests. Test cases for 5 modules it means -you have completed most of your QA work from interviewers...Who will be ready to write Test plan, Test cases for 5 modules and Test Summary report and bug report?
    – Bharat Mane
    Jul 27, 2017 at 10:56
  • 1
    Think about the candidate applying to 5 different jobs (remember companies get hundreds of applications for one job) that do this. This means TWO WEEKS of job application tasks. This will either mean: they are either unemployed, clueless or both. In a job market with an excess of skilled candidates this might work. In the environments I know candidates are hard to find and this won't help. Jul 27, 2017 at 11:25

2 Answers 2


If you'r company is hiring for QA Role & you have planned for a Practical test round of the QA candidates then-

If you are looking for MANUAL TESTER (QA):

  • Prepare a Demo link of your any application which is having some defects. Assign this link to the candidates for finding Bugs.
  • Ask him to make a DEFECT REPORT; so that you will easily test his/her defect reporting style or way of reporting.
  • Also, you can easily test his/her thinking capability, positive-negative scenarios, deciding severity/Priority..etc.
  • You can also assign writing TEST CASES on the same application where you will be able to check his way of writing Test Cases & reporting.
  • ask some Database queries (SQL/MYSQL) to check a database knowledge.
  • If you are looking for strong analytical/problem-solving candidates then again you may provide some analytical/problem-solving questions like- puzzles, problems on mirror images etc.
    for Example - problems on mirror images

If you are looking for AUTOMATION TESTER (QA):

  • Ask him to do complete Selenium setup (installation) required to start selenium project.

  • Ask him/her to design project structure in eclipse IDE or Framework design

  • you can also provide the same test link of your application for automating small module using java & reporting tools like TestNG...

  • provide some JAVA programs where you can easily check their programming knowledge.

  • ask some Database queries (SQL/MYSQL) to check a database knowledge.

Finally, You can not check his practical knowledge in 2 or 3 hrs practical test, you have to focus on his/her long term goals, candidates analytical, problem-solving skills, Manual testing concepts, Programming concepts, personality, his attitude, communication skill and many more things.


Depends what you are looking for. It's impossible to provide generic questions and checklist. You should tailor your questions and tasks to determine whether the person you are hiring can do the job.

So if daily job includes writing a lot of test cases and reports, you definitely would want to see how candidate writes tests cases and reports, right?

If you are looking for someone who finds problems, you ask him to find some bugs or present system and let him ask questions about it.

If you are looking for developer in test, you focus on technical and programming questions.

If you want someone who will be assertive and vocal, and work well on team, you focus on chatting and hypothetical scenarios, not long take-home tasks.

If strong analytical skills are welcome, you ask how to test some complex system, module, where candidate does not have domain experience.

And you need to keep in mind, what will he/she think about company after receiving any assignments. 50 page doc, and test plan writing would make me think company is not serious, has very outdated development practices, and don't value candidates time.

Generally, i think interviews should focus on candidates personality, attitude, problem-solving and long term goals, not on easily google-able knowledge about test cases or bug report writing, and any take home assignments should take maximum 1-2 hours.


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