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Interview Questions for QA Test Lead Position

October 27, 2017 Manual QA Interview Prep
QA Lead interview questions, QA Lead, interview question and answers for QA Lead, QA Test Lead, Test Lead

So far, we have seen software testing interview questions for testers at entry and mid-level. In continuation with this guide, we will look at interview questions that are commonly asked for expert level, say for QA lead. Interview questions at this level are more specific to leadership/ownership qualities, team management, mentoring, reporting, risk handling etc. 

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Interview Questions for QA Test Lead Position

Below are the Interview Questions for QA Lead Position:

1. What are the responsibilities of a QA Lead?

QA lead, as any other tester, will have to perform all testing activities in common. But, along with those, there are certain expectations to be met:

  • Taking leadership/ownership in the project
  • Mentoring juniors
  • Team handling – mainly coordination activities
  • Reviewing everybody’s tasks
  • Handling Client communication
  • Handling delivery management
  • Providing billing details to the customer for entire team

2. Brief upon how will be your typical/ideal day as a QA lead

The typical/ideal day for a QA Lead will be as:

  • Check for emails
  • Handle client emails at first
  • Analyze the tasks for the day and delegate it to the team based on priority and team member’s experience (keep few to yourself as well, because test lead also will have testing activities to perform)
  • Keep track on status at particular intervals, if lagging have a conversation with team
  • Call for daily meetings
  • Review tasks at the end of the day and Daily reports
  • Plan for training, mentoring, etc if necessary

 3. Is QA lead expected to write test cases?

Yes. The QA lead is expected to write test cases as any other team members do.

4. Can the team rely on you in case of issues? How do you handle team member issues?

Yes. Firstly have an informal talk over the coffee and understand their point of view on the issue. If something can be resolved easily, advise them to resolve it mutually. If not, call for a meeting and handle it as a non-offending discussion to both the parties. Let the things not to get escalated at this point in time.

If there is some serious issue and is affecting the project, send out the mail to the member(s) including project management in the loop about the impact and ask not to hamper the work. If required escalate the issue to higher management/human resources team.

5. How do you set objectives for the team members?

Setting objectives for the team members depend on their experience. Higher the experience, higher the expectations and so will be their objectives. It’s always good to set objectives keeping in mind to create a positive environment within the team, healthy competition among team members, and encouraging to learn new things.

6. How do you provide feedback to a member who is not performing well in the team?

Be prepared to have a discussion with the poor-performing team member. Make note of the objectives set for the member and the statistics on the deviation or lagging from each point. Call for a meeting and present the analysis done. Explain the expectations from the member and where he stands for correct reasons. Let the member also speak so that he/she can communicate the reasons for lagging. Once done, give the time period of 15 days or 30 days to improve the performance. Again if things are not satisfactory, set-up new plan to up-bring the member, come up with measures to fix the lagging.

Also, appreciate the member for good things he/she has done to the project. Keep the member motivated and encouraged to learn new things or existing things in a new way.

7. How do you plan for training?

Identify the subject matter expertise for each component and ask them to keep all the related artifacts ready. Plan the dates for training and send out the meeting request for training to the team or new members or selected members of the team, based on project necessities. Make sure training is carried out on time and all the key points are delivered during training.

Have an audio recording, screen recording of the training and share it with the team. Also, save the recordings in sharing location so that any team member can access it at their need.

8. How do you review test cases?

Test cases are reviewed against requirements documents. The review is done for:

  • To check whether the test steps are clear to understand
  • To check whether test case is complete
  • To check whether no ambiguity introduced
  • To check whether test is serving the purpose and is the requirement
  • To check whether any functionality is missed out
  • Is the test case name following naming convention
  • Is the template used correctly
  • Are the previous review comments implemented
  • To analyze the coverage

Once the review is done, list out review comments for the test cases and share it with the member who has written to incorporate the review comments. Once the review comments are incorporated, perform one more round of review to make sure all the review comments are taken care.

9. How do you appreciate a team member’s work?

Good thing is to send out the mail detailing the outstanding work done by the member. Mention the challenges he/she took client feedback for the work in the mail and send it to the member keeping the entire team, project management in the loop.

Also, bring up this in the meeting and appreciate the member for the work he/she has done. Meanwhile, encourage other team members to take up such challenges and prove their efficiency in this regard.

10. How do you handle the situation if a team member is having a problem with you and has escalated the issue to higher management?

Let’s answer this way: If the issue is known to me, then will definitely talk to the member in-person and will try to resolve it in good manners. If something has skipped at my level and has been escalated, they will analyze the situation and provide all the statistics regarding the issue and will try to defend in case not wrong. If the team member has mistaken for something where the fault is not mine, I will give a try to coordinate with the member and resolve the issue the other possible way.

11. Do you prefer team outings? How often?

Yes, team outings are the most preferred ones to keep the team together and build the strong bond between members. This is one such activity which keeps the team motivated, help them to relax a while keeping work pressure apart, they can come back start with great enthusiasm, etc. Overall, this helps in team bonding. But again this has to max once in a month.

12. What are the things to keep in mind when planning for team outings?

Any test case is considered as qualitative only when it meets below criteria:

  • Discuss the venue and date well in advance with the team
  • Inform the project manager about the unavailability of team for the period
  • Get the approval from client
  • Ensure that the work is not affected
  • Ensure that the deliverables are still met (plan for early entry for the day or come back and late exit, or try to compensate subsequent days – based on priorities)
  • Share the compensation plan with management and client
  • Make sure that the plan is well-executed. Do not stretch the activity time as there will be permitted from the project management only for certain period

 13. How do you hire a member of the team?

Hiring a member of the team depends on various factors:

  • Communication
  • Attitude
  • Technical knowledge of the domain and project specific requirements as mentioned in description

Here make sure that the member is answering interview purely based on experience. Observe for the statements which may hint that member is answering based on preparations rather than experience.

14. What factors make you release a member of the team?

Common factors to release the member from the team:

  • Poor performance even though fair chances were given to improve
  • Maybe the member’s experience does not match with client’s current needs
  • Non-willingness to work on the project
  • Skills not up-to-the-mark

 15. How do you make the new member in the team feel comfortable?

When the new member has entered the team, give equal importance as given to other members of the team.

  • Introduce the new member formally in the meeting.
  • Send out welcome mail
  • Make sure he/she has been allocated seating at the earliest (if not, they may be asked to work in meeting rooms or share some other’s workspace – which may not be comfortable)
  • Provide them basic access to project resources
  • Provide training and get their feedback on the training provided
  • Involve them in all the meetings, so that they can understand the process much better before actual tasks start
  • Let them speak in the meeting, share their ideas if any
  • Encourage them to be-a-part of the team – take them for coffee, a walk, lunch together

 16. How do you introduce your team to the new process to be followed?

It’s very difficult to new things in place on the team. This is because everyone will have their own opinion and their way of working. New things are not so easy to adapt. But if the project demands, then call for meeting

  • Give them overview on the current process being followed
  • Give overview on the new process that has to be adapted
  • Explain the advantages of using new process
  • Provide training or detailed discussion on the new process
  • Pass out the references to new process in the mail
  • Explain why is the decision taken to move to new process

17. Which areas do you prefer that your team should specialize in?

Technical areas like automation, scripting, and upcoming methodologies are few where the team has to be specialized in. Encourage the team to learn new things in this direction so that it will be helpful to the project as well as themselves. Provide training or short demos to the team so that they can take it forward with their own interest.

18. Apart from testing activities, what other activities you would like your team to engage with?

  • Take the training provided at organizational level
  • Involve in workshops conducted within the organization
  • Involve in tech-summits within the organization
  • Write technology related standard articles and share it within the project or can take it forward to management level with the help of leads to publish
  • Involve in case-studies, proof-of-concepts for the projects

19. How will you reject a member’s leave plan?

The only reason when the leave plan has to be rejected is that it is on production launch day or near to production or it is during tight deadlines. Reject the leave plan with proper reason how the work will be hampered in case of approval.

20. What are the risks that have to be avoided while testing?

Risks to avoid during testing are:

  • Resource crunch
  • Missing deadlines
  • Exceeding allocated budget

 21. How do you provide estimations?

Best practices for providing estimations are that:

  • Add buffer time, so that it helps to deal with delays caused due to any unexpected reasons
  • Resource planning. Have balanced team with variant experience and skills
  • Past experience. Use the learnings from your past experience while estimating, assuming possibilities

22. What good practices you can bring in the team?

As a QA lead, there will be opportunities to put the ideas the way wanted. Few things that can be practiced within the team can be:

  • Documentation standards
  • Review standards
  • Metris
  • Recognitions
  • Teamwork and bonding
  • Continuous scope of learning

23. When is the bug in the new state, as a responsibility to open it, what factors you look into?

When the bug has to be Opened and assigned, below factors should be considered by QA Lead:

  • Is the bug valid
  • Is the bug information complete
  • Are all the fields provided correct values
  • Is the proper analysis done before logging the bug
  • Is the bug duplicate / out-of-scope for the release
  • Is it really a bug or environment issue
  • If the bug logged during regression, is it linked to test case that is failed because of this bug

About the author

Nandini KS editor

Hello, this is Nandini.

1 Comment

Nikhat Parveen

November 27, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Really helped a lot. Actual scenarios explained.

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