I took part in a bunch of interviews in the past years and during this time, I've worked on polishing my set of questions to be addressed to our candidates.

For a long period, being a candidate to an interview was like a nightmare for me, and have tried to avoid going to interviews mainly because I've always felt that the interviewer's role was to highlight my weaknesses.

(Yeah, yeah, I know, when you're accepting your weaknesses and you're not afraid to look vulnerable, everything goes smooth. We all know the theory, right?)

But then I got to the other side of the table.

Things to observe during an interview

In the beginning of our discussion, I'm giving the candidate the chance to present himself/herself, to say whatever he/she wants based on his/her professional experience and resume which helps putting himself/herself in a good light.

In our area of expertise, i.e. software testing, the most important area to focus on during an interview is the technical part.

Even if I'm looking for an automation tester, manual tester, quality assurance specialist, test analyst, you name it, the technical questions are covering most of the interview time. And by technical I mean questions that highlight the candidate's knowledge, potential and understanding of the things that need to be done according to our company role's description (programming languages, frameworks, various tools, methodologies, test strategies, types of testing, and so on).

I usually tend to ask questions based on the candidate's resume and based on the needs that our company has for that certain position. I'm trying to avoid asking too many questions on a certain topic when the candidate starts to feel uncomfortable by saying "I'm sorry, I don't know" for too many times.

After the technical part is covered, I'm curious to find out more about the processes.

💡 "What do you do when you run out of work?"

💡  "From where do you get the information on what needs to be tested?"

💡 "What does it mean for you to be an <agile tester>?"

💡 "How soon in the development cycle does the tester have access to the code to be tested?"

And something more

But what's more important for me is to hear the candidate's "why".

What drives you as a tester?

To hear his/her story. And you know what? Few candidates have a real or a strong "why", kicking them out of bed every morning and be thrilled by the job they're doing.

Another thing that I'm curious about to hear is how do they learn.

💡 "What blog posts do you usually read?"

💡 "What testing/technical books have you read?"

💡 "What conferences did you attend?"

💡 "What initiatives did you have and made you proud?"

💡 "Did you attend any mentoring program as a mentor or a mentee?"

💡 "What would you like to learn but you did not get the chance yet?"

And an interesting one to hear is:

💡 "What do you hate at what you're currently doing?"

There are a lot of posts on the Internet teaching you strategies for an effective interview, job interviews questions and answers and ways to prepare, x most common questions and so on.

Even interviews can be hard and unpleasant, I believe they should be led by honesty from both the candidate and the interviewer, to be able to see what level of compatibility you have. in

Photo credit: James Pond on Unsplash