The Best Questions Testers Should Ask an Interviewer

Have you ever clammed up in an interview with an uncomfortable pause when you heard the following question from an interviewer: “Any questions for me?” and finally answered with a “No”. I know I have.

I thought about this a lot and asked myself ‘Did I not have any questions?’   I sure did. But then, why did I not voice them? It is simply because I was not sure if it is OK to ask the questions that were lingering in my thoughts.

What You Will Learn:

Questions to Ask an Interviewer:

I sat researching and analyzing this aspect and put together these few questions that we can ask an interviewer, should we wish to do so.

I have categorized them into areas to make it an easier read. So here is the list:

Category 1: Project related or technical particulars

Q1. What is my role going to be?

For example: Are you going to be a test lead? If yes, then what is the expectation from you? Are you going to be more management oriented or are you going to be more hands-on with testing activities? Also, would you be involved in appraising your team members?

Q2. Is this a new position or am I filling in for a previously existing one that is currently empty?

Q3. What is the project about, the methodologies, the working model and what technologies do we use?

Testers can ask about, what kind of test strategy is followed within the project? Are there any automation tools or plan for automation, if currently not existent?

Q4. What is the current stage at which this project is in?

Usually, new entry-level testers get added into the team during test execution. However, this is not always a rule. So it helps to find out what your immediate tasks are going to be.

Q5. Who are you going to report to?

Q6. Organization structure?

All of these question and the reasons why we are asking these questions are obvious. Hence, no need for any further elaborating.

Also read => Manual and automation testing interview questions

Category 2: Culture related questions

Q1. What is the dress code? – This might sound silly, but on my first day at a famous US-based clothing client place, I was the only one dressed in a business suit while the rest of them were in shorts and flip-flops. And yes, I suffered a whole day of being the odd ‘woman’ out. This could have been easily avoided.



Q2. What kind of work environment can we expect? Some places are more formal than the others. Some are more serious than others. Some companies play music all day, at others even listening to music in your own MP3 player with earphones is considered rude. So, know the kind of place you are going to work at and see if it is a fit for you. I once worked for a banking company that would not let in any devices with memory, Bluetooth or data services in them. I went through a whole year feeling like a juvenile delinquent who was refused a connection with the world. Good for me, it was a consulting engagement. Had I been a permanent employee, I would have quit and moved on. Sometimes, the chemistry has to work, even at an organization’s culture level. It helps to find out about it in advance.

Category 3: The steps following the interview

Q1. What are the next steps in this interview process? – This question will let you know if there is going to be another round of an interview or if it’s the decision time. This will avoid surprises.

Q2. When am I expected to start? This is very important if you are interviewing for a position that requires relocation or providing notice to your previous employer. It always helps to be informed.

Q3. Is there something you need from me, (like my references or any other documentation) before we move to the next step? This will give you an idea on whether the interview was a success or not.

In addition to these, you could ask about:

Q1. How would the career growth be like in this company?

Q2. How long has the company been in this business? (Also, if you could research about this kind of information beforehand, it will be more beneficial. But if you haven’t, it is ok to ask the interviewer.)

These are not all but a few of them to give you a general idea.

Conclusion:

Remember to ask these questions at a relevant time and direct them to the appropriate interviewer. For example, questions belonging to category 1 are most apt for a Project Manager or a technical interviewer. On the other hand, if you had questions about benefits or leave policy or any other organizational policies, it might be best to approach the HR.

I hope this article has given some pointers as to what you might want to find out about your future employer. My personal experience tells me that the career advancement is better when there is a long-term commitment between a company and an employee. Job hopping might be great to gather some skills from all around the place and to diversify our experiences but the chances of moving up the career ladder and the chances of taking on more responsible positions happens when you are in for the long haul.

So, as much as it is important to make it through an interview, it is also important to make an educated choice as to accept the job or not. Choose wisely and have fun at your dream job! :)

About the author: This post is from STH team member Swati S.

As always, we want to hear from you about all of your experiences. What do you look for when deciding for or against a company? What questions have you asked an interviewer? Please leave your comments and questions below.