Preparing for a job interview requires you to be ready to answer the basic and tricky interview questions that a hiring manager could ask. If you are wondering about the type of QA Manager/Test Lead interview questions that could be asked in your next interview, this post will help you.
As a Test Lead, you are expected to show good leadership qualities and proficiency in the technical areas of work. In a Quality Management role, you must ensure that the quality of an organisation’s products, services, and processes meets customers’ needs. As a QA manager, you must master Software Testing, Automation Testing, API Testing, Selenium, Java. You will be asked questions about these during your interview. If you plan to prepare for the big job interview, here are the top 45 commonly asked QA Manager/Test Lead interview questions covering basic and advanced concepts.
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Top QA Manager/Test Lead Interview Questions & Answers
Here are the top QA manager and test lead interview questions and answers. This list contains technical and scenario-based interview questions for test leads and QA managers.
Q1. What do you expect out of this role?
Ans. This question measures your compatibility with the role. As you have applied for the role, you should understand its major responsibilities and what you expect from it in the future.
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Q2. Did you handle a team of test engineers or QA professionals in your earlier role?
Ans. As you are interviewing for a test lead position, it is evident that you have some experience in handling a team or similar experiences. You need to give a detail on how you coordinated with your team members and clients to deliver successful projects.
Q3. What do you think of test leads writing test cases?
Ans. The right answer is to say that you feel that the test lead should write test cases like any other member of the team.
Q4. How do you set your team’s objectives?
Ans. If you prefer to set individual objectives for each team member, mention that you set them according to the knowledge and experience levels. This is how we can handle the project more efficiently as a team.
Q5. How familiar are you with the industry-standard testing practices?
Ans. Explain all the proper practices you follow in your existing organization and how you will handle them similarly for the organization you are interviewing for.
Q6. What are the ways you ensure that the team members receive proper training?
Ans. Get feedback from all the team members on their strengths and weaknesses to note what type of training is necessary for the team. Also, new team members should be trained on time to be inducted as quickly as possible.
Q7. What will be your criteria for hiring team members?
Ans. The criteria for hiring team members are 1) his/her technical strength is as per project requirements, 2) his/her attitude towards the profile he will be hiring for, and 3) will he/she be a good fit with the rest of the team members?
Q8. Which testing tools are you familiar with?
Ans. This is one of the most important Test lead interview questions. You should know some of the most popular testing tools as a test lead. You need to explain how you use it and its advantages per the project requirements, the cost of using the tool, and ease of use.
Check out the top Software Tools Courses.
Q9. Are you familiar with automation, and what do you think of it?
Ans. Automation is becoming an important part of software testing nowadays, and you can get away without knowing it. You should be well-prepared for this Test Lead interview question and make it a positive answer, as automation will be the future.
Q10. Do you know what the Requirement Traceability Matrix is? What are its uses?
Ans. This is one of the commonly asked test lead interview questions. The Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that links requirements to test cases. Its uses are 1) to ensure that all the application requirements are tested in the verification process and 2) to check test coverage.
Q11. What is a Test Plan?
Ans. A Test Plan is a document detailing the objectives, resources, and processes for a specific test and contains a detailed understanding of the eventual workflow.
Q12. Name the different types of Test Plans.
Ans. There are three types of Test Plans: 1) Master Test Plan, 2) Testing Level Specific Test Plan and 3) Testing Type Specific Test Plan.
Q13. What are the risks that should be avoided for a testing project?
Ans. One should avoid the following risks during a testing project: 1) human resource risk (resource crunch), 2) project schedule risk (missed deadlines), 3) strategy risk (exceeding allocated budgets) and 4) project definition risk.
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Q14. What are the good practices that you follow?
Ans. Some of the good practices for a successful project are a proper documentation process, high standards of reviewing, recognition of outstanding performers, focus on team building, and making sure there is a continuous scope of learning.
Additionally, you could prepare for more generalised but expected questions on our Team Leader interview questions page.
Now, let’s move on to some more QA interview questions.
Q15. Have you been involved in test estimation? What are the techniques that you use?
Ans. If yes, explain how you develop the test estimation scenarios and the techniques you follow to improve the processes over time.
Q16. What are your key achievements in your current organization?
Ans. Have you completed a project well before the deadline or managed a difficult project efficiently? Mention all your achievements, no matter how insignificant you think it is.
Q17. What is the difference between Agile and Scrum? Which one do you prefer?
Ans. Scrum is a type of Agile framework that does not provide detailed instructions on what needs to be done; rather, most of it depends on the team. The Agile methodology supports incremental and iterative work cadences known as Sprints.
If you prefer that there is a leader who maintains the direction by assigning tasks, then Agile is perfect; otherwise, Scrum provides the advantage of adjusting the project’s direction based on completed work.
To answer the second part of this question, you can give different examples supporting your answer.
Learn more about the Difference Between Agile and Scrum.
Q18. What is Configuration Management?
Ans. Configuration Management covers the processes to coordinate, control, and track test artifacts.
Q19. Explain the Configuration Management Process.
Ans. The Configuration Management Process helps establish a product’s baseline. It also helps manage any changes over time. The process consists of 5 disciplines:
- Planning and Management
- Status Accounting
Q20. What are the informal reviews? Do you document informal reviews?
Ans. An informal review is a process of checking defects without running the code. No, informal reviews do not require documentation.
Q21. What is a three-point estimation?
Ans. This is one of the important scenario-based interview questions for test lead.
Three different values are calculated based on previous experience in a three-point estimation. These are 1) the best-case estimate, 2) the most likely estimate and 3) the worst-case estimate.
Q22. What are the key challenges of software testing?
Ans. This is one of the commonly asked Test Lead interview questions. Some of the key challenges of software testing are:
- Testing the entire application: It is difficult to test the entire application as there are many test combinations. If you test all combinations, it will lead to a delay in shipping the product.
- Communication with developers: Developers or testers may not always agree with each other on some points.
- Regression testing: Managing the changes in current functionality and previous working functionality checks could be difficult.
- Time constraint: You may have multiple quality-related tasks that must be completed within a specified time.
- Priority: With time constraints, it sometimes becomes difficult for the testers to decide which test to execute first.
Some other challenges include deciding on the right process and identifying the non-testable requirements.
Q23. What steps are followed to create a test script?
Ans. Below are the steps to create a test script:
- Understand the Application under test by reading the requirements-related documents and other references, such as the previous version of the application.
- Make a list of the areas to test for the AUT. In this step, you will identify ‘What’ to test.
- Determine ‘How’ to test them. Write various steps to test a particular feature, determine the data that will be entered, and the expected outcome.
Q24. Why is testing necessary?
Ans. Testing is an important step in the software cycle as it helps to identify defects, mistakes, and bugs before the delivery to the client. Testing ensures the quality of the software and produces a more cost-efficient end product.
Q25. What is PDCA Cycle?
Ans. This is one of the frequently asked test lead interview questions. PDCA stands for Plan Do Check Act. The PDCA Cycle is a 4-stage problem-solving technique for conducting a quality check. It focuses on the continuous improvement of processes and products. Simply put, a continuous loop of planning, doing, checking, and acting is useful for testing improvement measures.
Q26. What is a bug?
Ans. A software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, or failure in software code that makes it produce an unexpected or incorrect result instead of executing properly.
Q27. What are the key elements of a Bug Report?
Ans. A good bug report must be concise and specific and should have the following:
- Unique and clearly specified bug number/name
- Steps to reproduce the bug
- A summary describing the defect and the observed failure
- A description that explains the steps to follow to reproduce the defect and the expected outcome.
- Date and time when the defect occurred or reported
- Bug Priority / Severity
- Platform & Version
- Attachment/evidence of the failure to help the reviewer to understand the defect better
Q28. What is the difference between Retesting And Regression Testing?
Ans. The differences between Retesting And Regression Testing are:
|It is planned to test.||It is generic testing.|
|Retesting focuses on testing a specific feature of the software.||Regression Testing focuses on testing a general area of the software.|
|Retesting is done to confirm the test cases that failed in the final execution. It is carried out to check that the defects are fixed.||Regression Testing is done for testing software that was working but might not be working now due to updates.|
|It is done based on the Defect fixes.||It ensures that new code changes should not adversely impact the existing functionalities.|
|Test cases cannot be automated for Retesting.||Automation can be done for regression testing.|
|It is carried out only for failed test cases.||It is carried out for passed test cases.|
|The Priority of re-testing is higher than regression testing, thus it is done before regression testing.||It can be done parallel with Re-testing.|
Q29. What is Exploratory Testing?
Ans. Often described as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution, Exploratory Testing is an approach that involves testing software without any specific plans or schedules. It is carried out when there an early iteration is needed. It requires minimum planning and maximum test execution. During software testing, the tester discovers and learns novel things that, combined with experience and creativity, produce new good tests to run.
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Q30. What are the severity and priority of a defect?
Ans. Defect Severity means how adversely the defect has impacted the functionality of an application.
Defect Priority refers to the order in which the defects will be fixed. It is the urgency of the defect from the business point of view. If the bug’s impact is higher on the business, then a higher priority will be assigned. Bugs could be under different priority and severity combinations.
- High Priority and High Severity
- High Priority and Low Severity
- Low Priority and Low Severity
- Low Priority and High Severity
Let’s look at some more frequently-asked interview questions for test lead.
Q31. How would you choose a Testing tool for your project?
Ans. The steps to select the right testing tool for a project are as follows:
- Identify and understand the requirement for the project
- Evaluate the tools and vendors that meet the requirements
- Consider budget and estimate cost and benefit
- Make the final decision
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Q32. Explain the difference between Smoke testing and Sanity Testing.
Ans. The differences between Smoke testing and Sanity Testing are:
|Smoke Testing||Sanity Testing|
|The objective of Smoke Testing is to confirm that the critical functionalities of the program are working properly.||It verifies and validates the conformity of the new functionalities in the existing code.|
|It ascertains the stability of the system.||Sanity Testing ascertains the rationality of the system.|
|This testing is performed on initial builds.||This testing is performed on stable builds.|
|Smoke testing is carried out by the developers or testers.||Testers carry out Sanity Testing.|
|It is documented or scripted.||Usually, it is not documented or scripted.|
|Smoke testing is a part of basic testing.||Sanity Testing is a part of regression testing.|
|It is usually carried out whenever there is a new build.||It is a planned activity that is carried out when there is not enough time for in-depth testing.|
Q33. What do you think is the best approach to start QA in a project?
Ans. The best approach to start QA is from the beginning of the project. This will help the team properly plan the processes that need to be followed. It will ensure that the end product meets the customer’s quality expectations. QA also helps in starting communication between different teams.
Q34. What are some of the software quality assurance best practices?
Ans. Below are some of the software quality assurance best practices:
- Continuous Improvement
- Two-Tier Test Automation Approach
- Shared responsibilities
- Run a regression cycle
Q35. What soft/people skills should a Test Lead/QA Manager have?
Ans. Besides technical expertise, Test Leads and QA managers must work on their ability to create and work with a creative test team where each member is equally valuable for the organization. This would require them to have the following soft skills:
- Effective communication skills
- Ability to solve problems effectively
- Adaptable and influential
- Strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills
- Ability to motivate team members
- Team Player
Q36. What are the different ways to manage or mitigate risks in a Test Project?
Ans. The following are the four ways to manage or mitigate the risk:
- Avoidance: avoid the risk factor that is involved
- Acceptance & Sharing: Accept the risk and develop a planned budget for the risks involved and collaborate with others to share responsibility
- Reduction: Develop a mitigation plan to decrease the impact of risks
- Risk transfer: Transfer the risk to another resource or party
Q37. How can you determine the quality of the test execution?
Ans. You can determine the quality of test execution by:
- Defect rejection ratio: (No. of defects rejected/ total no. of defects raised) X 100
- Defect leakage ratio: (No. of defect missed/total defects of software) X 100
A smaller value of DRR and DLR indicates a better quality of test execution.
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Q38. What are the best practices for test estimation?
Ans. This is one of the frequently asked Test Lead interview questions.
The following are some of the best practices for test estimation:
- Add reasonable buffer time: It can help you to deal with a delay caused due to unexpected reasons.
- Account resource planning in estimation: Make a realistic estimation after considering the important factors, like the absence of a human resource.
- Use the experience reference: It will help you to prepare good estimates and avoid all the possible obstacles that are most likely to happen.
- Stick to your estimate: Your estimation may go wrong, also. Therefore, you should re-check and make modifications when needed.
Q39. What is the difference between Assert and Verify commands in test automation?
Ans. Assert and Verify commands are used to check if the code conditions are true. The difference is what happens next. There are some differences between Assert and Verify:
- If the Assert condition is true, the program control will execute the next test step. If the command fails, the execution will stop and further test steps will not be executed. There are two types of assets, namely Hard and Soft Asserts.
- When a Verify command fails, the test will continue executing the rest of the code and logging the failure. The Verify command is used to check non-critical things.
Q40. What is the difference between functional and non-functional testing?
Ans. Functional Testing
Functional testing tests the system against the functional requirements and specifications. It is concerned with the result of processing. Each functionality is tested by providing a test input, expecting the output, and comparing the actual output with the expected output.
Non-functional testing verifies the non-functional requirements of the application (all the aspects which are not tested in functional testing). It tests whether the behaviour of the system is as per the requirement or not. It tests various aspects of the software, such as load times, stress, and overall performance.
The table below lists some of the major differences between Functional and Non-functional testing:
|Functional Testing||Non-functional Testing|
|Tests the operations and actions of an application||Verifies the behaviour of an application|
|Based on the customer’s requirements.||Based on customer’s expectations.|
|Easy to execute manually.||Difficult to execute by manual testing.|
|Carried out using the functional specification.||Carried out by performance specifications.|
|Examples: Unit Testing, Smoke Testing, Regression Testing||Examples: Load Testing, Performance Testing, Stress Testing|
Q41. What is the difference between Beta and Pilot Testing?
Ans. The differences between Beta and Pilot testing are:
Beta testing is done when the project is about to release. The application is given to the end-users to check whether the application meets the user’s requirements or not. It is done before the final release when the development and testing are essentially completed. The Beta version is released to a limited number of end-users to obtain feedback on the product quality. The purpose of Beta testing is to identify defects and improve the quality of the application.
It is the real-world testing performed by a group of end-users before an application’s full deployment. A group of users uses the application in totality before the final launch. The purpose of Pilot testing is to evaluate the feasibility, time, cost, risk, and performance of the project.
The following are some of the differences between Beta and Pilot Testing
|Beta Testing||Pilot Testing|
|Performed to minimize failure risks.||Performed to verify the entire system.|
|Done after Pilot testing.||Performed before Beta testing.|
|Done in a development environment.||Done in a real environment.|
|Performed by end-users.||Performed by selected users.|
Q42. Explain bug leakage and bug release.
Ans. Bug leakage is when the bug is discovered by the end-users and not detected by the testing team while testing the software.
Bug release is when the software or application is released with a set of known bug(s). These bugs usually have low priority and severity. If a company cannot afford the time or cost of fixing a bug in that particular software version, it will allow the bug to remain in the released version. Release notes usually mention these bugs.
Q43. What are the different states in a Defect/Bug Life Cycle?
Ans. Below are the different states in a defect/bug life cycle:
|New||It is the first state of the Bug Life Cycle. Any new defect the tester identifies will fall in the ‘New’ state.|
|Assigned||When the defect in the ‘New’ state is assigned to the development team for resolution, the status of the bug changes to the ‘Assigned’ state.|
|Open||In this state, the developer team works towards fixing the bug.|
|Fixed||After fixing the identified bug, the developer team marks the state as ‘Fixed’.|
|Pending Retest||After fixing the defect, the developer team passes new code to the testing team for retesting. The new state becomes ‘Pending Retest’.|
|Retest||The tester checks if the defect is fixed by the developer or not.|
|Reopen||After Retesting, if the defect is identified again, then the status of the bug is changed to Reopened. It will return to the Open state and go through the life cycle again. Once again bug goes to the ‘Open’ state and goes through the life cycle again.|
|Verified||If the tester finds no defect, it is assigned the ‘Verified’ status.|
|Closed||If the bug has been resolved and it does not persist, the state is changed to ‘Closed’.|
Q44. What is Bug triage?
Ans. Bug triage refers to the process of prioritizing each bug based on its severity, frequency, and risk. The QA team validates the bug’s severity, makes the required changes, finalizes the resolution of the bugs, and assigns resources.
Defect/Bug Triage Process:
- Defect Review
Q45. What is the difference between Verification and Validation?
Ans. Verification involves checking if the software achieves its goal without any bugs. On the other hand, Validation checks if the software product is up to the mark. Below are some of the major differences between Verification and Validation.
|Verification evaluates the steps during the development phase and determines if they meet the user requirements.||Validation evaluates the product after the development process to determine if it meets the specified requirements.|
|Verification is performed before validation.||Validation is performed after verification.|
|It includes checking documents, design, code, and programs.||It tests and validates the actual product|
|Verification does not involve executing the code.||Validation involves executing the code.|
|Verification used methods such as reviews, walkthroughs, inspections, and desk checking.||Validation includes methods such as black-box testing, white-box testing, and non-functional testing.|
|It finds the bugs before the development cycle.||It finds the bugs after the development cycle – the bugs that the verification process could not detect.|
|Verification conforms to the requirements specified in the SRS document.||Validation checks whether it meets the specified requirements or not.|
|Its focus is on the following – Are we building the product right?||Its focus is on the following – Are we building the right product?|
Q 46. How do you approach test estimation and resource allocation for a project?
Test estimation involves assessing the effort required for testing activities. I begin by analyzing project requirements, complexity, and scope. I break down the tasks and estimate effort based on historical data, complexity factors, and the expertise of team members. Resource allocation involves identifying the necessary skill sets, considering team availability, and aligning them with project requirements. I believe in involving the team members in estimation and resource allocation discussions to ensure accuracy and buy-in.
Q 47. How do you ensure effective collaboration with cross-functional teams, such as development and business analysts?
Collaboration with cross-functional teams is essential for successful testing. I foster a collaborative environment by actively engaging with stakeholders from different teams. I participate in meetings, clarify requirements, and seek clarifications early on. I involve developers and business analysts in test planning, design, and defect triage sessions. Regular communication, sharing of test artifacts, and seeking feedback from these teams ensure alignment, identify potential issues early, and promote a shared responsibility for quality.
We hope this guide on QA interview questions and Test Lead interview questions will help you prepare for your next interview. If you want to brush up on your QA and testing skills and knowledge, check out the popular QA and Testing Courses.
What does a test lead do?
A Test Lead leads a team of testers to meet the product goals to achieve the organizational goals. A Test Lead is expected to show good leadership qualities along with proficiency in the technical areas of work.
What does a Quality Manager do?
A Quality Manager ensures that the quality of products, or services, or processes of an organization are properly maintained and meet the customer's requirements.
What soft skills should a Test Lead or a QA Manager have?
In addition to technical expertise, Test Leads and QA managers should have the following soft skills: Effective communication skills, Problem-solving skills, Adaptability, Strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills, Ability to motivate team members, Team Player.
What are the responsibilities of a Test Lead?
The responsibilities of a Test Lead are: Defining the testing activities, Test planning, Determine if the team has all the necessary resources, Prepare the status report and progress report of testing activities, Communicate with customers, Provide testing guidance to product teams, Follow up on all pending testing.
What makes a good Test Lead or QA Manager?
Test Leads and QA managers must work on their ability to build and work with a creative test team where each member is equally valuable for the organization. Therefore, in addition to technical expertise, they must also have people skills, such as effective communication skills, adaptability, listening skills, and negotiation skills.
What is a Test Plan?
A Test Plan is a document detailing the objectives, resources, and processes for a specific test and contains a detailed understanding of the eventual workflow.
What is Configuration Management?
Configuration Management covers the processes used to coordinate, control, and track test artifacts.
Why testing is necessary?
Testing is an important step in the software cycle as it helps to identify defects, mistakes, and bugs before the delivery to the client. Testing ensures the quality of the software and produces a more cost-efficient end-product.
What is PDCA Cycle?
PDCA stands for Plan Do Check Act. The PDCA Cycle is a 4-stage problem-solving technique for conducting a quality check. It focuses on the continuous improvement of processes and products. In simple terms, it is a continuous loop of planning, doing, checking, and acting that is useful for testing improvement measures.
What is Exploratory Testing?
Often described as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution, Exploratory Testing is an approach that involves testing software without any specific plans or schedules. It is carried out when there an early iteration is needed. It requires minimum planning and maximum test execution. During software testing, the tester discovers and learns novel things that when combined with experience and creativity produce new good tests to run.
Explain bug leakage and bug release.
Bug leakage is when the bug is discovered by the end-users and not detected by the testing team while testing the software. Bug release is when the software or application is released with a set of known bug(s). These bugs usually have low priority and severity. It is done when the company can afford the existence of a bug in the released software rather than the time or cost for fixing it in that particular version. Typically, these bugs are mentioned in the release notes.
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