How I failed the first tech. salary for the position of Junior QA Engineer

Hello, my name is Artyom, and I have been studying testing since November. Exactly two months later, I received the first invitation to a technical interview, the position of Junior QA Engineer, mobile development, game development. I would like to share this story with those who may find it useful, as not all of my expectations were met, and some questions at the interview really baffled.

In addition to the fundamental basis of testing theory, the applicant was also required to know simple SQL queries and understanding of the principles of functioning of client-server applications. Experience in writing test documentation may also be an advantage, and knowledge of English from B1. Before responding to a vacancy, it was necessary to pass a small test with answer options on the basic aspects of testing (there were questions a la what is a smoke test, white box testing, etc.).

After my response, HR contacted me, sending a link to a test task in which it was necessary to write test cases with the maximum test coverage for the functionality by spec, as well as split these test cases by type of testing.

By the way, at the moment, I sincerely don’t understand why every company doesn’t do this when choosing a candidate for the position of a junior, it is desirable that when he clicks the “Reply” button, he immediately receives a test task with a link, because thanks to this, you can roughly assess the candidate’s skills, on that he is capable, and for the candidate to understand the range of tasks, or at least part of it, it will also help to weed out all those who thoughtlessly press the “Respond” button. Anyway. It’s not about that.

I sent my solution to the test task the next day, and began to wait. After 10 days (there were Christmas and New Year holidays), I was informed that they would check my solution within 1-3 days. After that, I was informed that they wanted to interview me and offered to choose a date that was convenient for me. I first read all the reviews of employees about the company, played the games that it develops and looked through the group on VKontakte, from which I also learned a lot of interesting things for myself. I’m not entirely satisfied with how the interview went on my part, I was preparing to answer questions on the go, but for the first 15 minutes I was told about the life and history of the company, and I asked questions, I relaxed so much during the story that I completely forgot that they could even ask me some questions, and as a result, I got a little worried when they started asking me questions. And yet, I was invited to those. interview. Everything was done remotely.

Of course, there was excitement here, as it was my first attempt to find a job in principle. At the interview, in addition to HR and QA Lead of the whole company, there was also a QA Lead of a specific project for which they were looking for an employee, which made me even more worried, it was embarrassing that so many serious people dedicated their time for me, it was especially difficult for me an attempt to tell about yourself, imagine, there are three cool specialists with a huge background and life experience, and a little me without practical work experience, who entered the labor market a couple of weeks ago, in principle, for the first few minutes I could hardly put sentences into words, but then it went much easier when they started asking me questions, the guys seemed very friendly, and I really tried to prepare a theory. And now to the point.

By the way, they didn’t ask me a word about my knowledge of client-server architecture, as well as my level of English, neither at an interview with HR, nor at those. social security. And the required work experience in the vacancy was indicated 1-3 years, but they were ready to take a beginner. Here, think for yourself, one interview is not enough for me to understand how common it is to indicate something that may not be useful.

The interview, in my understanding, went well, however, there was a question where I was asked to test hair oil (I called it myself because I was asked to name the first item at hand), I tried to give out all sorts of checks from the fact that the oil performs its functions correctly up to checks where we drink the contents (in case someone’s mom’s child decides to drink the contents, it would be great for him to stay alive), and when he finished he received instant feedback that he forgot to check that the label was stuck, so that the buyer could understand what this is oil in principle, of course it’s my fault here, I confess, but for some reason I imagined that the oil would be sold in a store / online store, and, as it were, all the necessary information would be indicated on the price tag / product description inside the site. But in any case, they asked less and simpler than I expected, I thought it would be worse, but the interview went well until then. until I was given an abstract task: “What will be the differences in testing two programs, where the first sorts arrays using the bubble method, and the second with quick sort, the sort result is the same?”

I, in turn, first assumed that in the expected result of the programs, arguing that it is important to make sure that the solution algorithm itself works correctly in these programs and we see it. They made it easy for me by saying that we know that everything works correctly and that one program does its job faster than another. Then I assumed that in the speed of testing execution, and how much time it would take to test the programs themselves. I was asked if this is all. And then I added that in test cases related to testing the interface, there may also be differences, thinking that the difference is in how the solution will be displayed. I was again asked if that was all. That’s when I got nervous, for another five minutes I sat and thought, sometimes giving out such assumptions, in response receiving suggestive clarifications that make me understand that I’m wrong and that I’m doing something wrong, in the end I said that this is probably everything, and more I can not think of. The interviewer said that the answer should be given now. And I said that I don’t have a definitive answer at the moment. When I gave up, they explained to me that this is a trick question, and the correct answer is that there are no differences.

It was actually a shame, in fact, a common question about understanding black-box testing, but I was a little driven when I heard about matrices, because the last time I encountered them two or three years ago when studying at a university very superficially and fluently, I don’t remember anything about them anymore and I have no idea how to work with them, and the first thing I thought about when I heard the question was “Damn, I don’t know anything about arrays, what to do.”

After that, there was another difficult question about what I would do if the test lead was on vacation, we are in the office and we need to release a very important release today, but there is a critical bug, and the coder refuses to fix it (verbatim). First, I said that I would try to convince the programmer by laying out the facts in front of him (a la mate, the release is very important for the company, and this problem does not give us the opportunity to release an update, we need to fix it, it is very necessary). Ask:

– And if he refuses because he will consider that this is not a bug?

— Then I will try to get through to the lead, despite the fact that he is on vacation, so that he can help resolve the situation

– And if the lead is not reached by phone?

“Then I won’t let it be released, because it’s better not to release anything at all than something that will only harm the program.”

– And if you really need to release, because otherwise the company will lose a lot of profit?

– In that case, I did everything I could, ask the programmer all questions.

By the way, I still do not know the correct answer, if there is one. Probably, it is worth trying to convince the programmer to the last, trying to find mutual understanding by all means. If it doesn’t work out, then it means that both me and him will have to bear responsibility, but it’s better not to release it in this case. But I didn’t think about it then, the interview had already lasted about an hour by that time, and I felt some exhaustion, I answered technical questions as best I could, and I didn’t think about the rest from the word at all. Then I did not attach much importance to this issue. Now I understand that it is more about checking the personal qualities and behavior of an employee in a given situation, and it is no less important than any technical one.

Two days later, the company gave me an answer, calling me “capable, energetic and quick to learn”, but not “diligent” enough (allegedly my decision-making speed prevented me from paying attention to trifles, and in the beginning there would be a lot of routine and monotonous work), and therefore in at the moment they are not ready to offer me a QA role in their team.

At the interview, I answered all the questions the first thing that comes to mind. to show my train of thought, to be involved in the process itself and to show what I really am. It was a little disappointing, because the company seemed very good to me, and mobile development is the most interesting direction for me, besides, I’m quite diligent, but I couldn’t show it in practice, and I can’t challenge their decision in any way, because I understand that from the outside, I showed myself as a whole as I was told, it seems that I really made decisions too quickly and not quite deliberately, afraid that I might just be silent for a while. Also, as a recommendation, I was advised to continue studying the theory of testing and Orlov’s book “Jedi Techniques for Constructive Communication.” In any case, I am grateful to this company for the experience provided, I realized in what aspects I was not good enough

From myself I can add the following.

I prepared the theory for 110%, and I only prepared it, but now I understand that the personal qualities and ability of an employee to solve non-standard situations are valued no less. As well as the ability to project theory into any situation, I really did not cope with it in the best way. Also for myself, I realized that in some situations there is no truly right answer, or the answer may not be as obvious as it seems. Probably for someone this is already so obvious, but at that moment I did not think about it and reasoned in such a way as to come to the only correct option in any of the cases, and everything seemed to me simpler and more obvious. And I strongly recommend that you carefully study each vacancy individually, from and to. The list of tips, of course, could be much longer, but here I only stated what I learned for myself from this particular case.

I hope this information will someday help someone better prepare to make what they want a reality, have a nice day and thank you for your attention.

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