So, you’ve finally decided you need to hire someone for software testing. We’re very excited for you. There are, however, a few steps you should follow before you settle on a final decision and extend an offer, and we have a few tips on how you can make the best hire.
- First Thing’s First. The first thing that you should look out for is whether or not the person you’re considering has any errors in their resume. While this should be a given for any job or position, it’s especially crucial in industries where an attention to detail is essential to your job (a.k.a. testing). If the person in question used the wrong “your vs you’re” or spells the company name wrong, they’re probably not going to notice a small, discreet bug.
- Know what you want. Are you expecting this person to do a lot of manual testing, or are you looking more for an automation engineer? Are you transitioning to an agile methodology? What’s the company’s preferred coding language? While many qualified testers will come and go, you want someone who is going to be right for the specific jobs and projects you need completed. It’s not just about finding a good tester, it’s about finding the right one.
- Do they know the basics? Can they explain functional testing? What’s the difference between unit and integration testing? Have they ever coded before? While you shouldn’t expect your interviewee to be giving exact dictionary definitions, they should be able to convince you that they know what they’re talking about and are familiar with the software development and testing industry.
- Ask about their process. Giving your potential new tester scenarios and asking them how they’d go about finding bugs or how they’d get rid of them is a more in-depth way to assess their testing knowledge. It’ll also give you a more expansive insight into their work style and help you recognize if they’ll be the right fit for the jobs that you need them to do.
- Test them. You can challenge someone to define testing terms all day long, but the evidence lies in how well someone can actually execute that test in real life. Whether you have them complete an assignment before you meet, in-person at the interview, or request that they complete one at home afterwards, having them perform a coding or testing job will give a more accurate understanding of their skills, method and technique. This is also a good way to evaluate how much effort they’re willing to put in. A senior tester that makes sloppy mistakes should be re-considered if you have a junior tester that took the request seriously and clearly put more time and energy into the task.
- Have they worked as part of a team? You might find the perfect candidate with years of experience who checks all the boxes. However, being a tester isn’t always a one-person job. Keep in mind that the person you hire will have to regularly collaborate with various people on your team, from designers and programmers to management, engineers and other testers. Even the best tester will be potentially damaging to your organization’s goals if they are unwilling to take feedback and work with others. You want to make sure they fit the company and not just the job description.
- Are they interested in the job? You need to know what you want from your candidates, but they need to be invested in the opportunity, as well. Do they seem interested in the projects they’ll be assigned and eager to bring new testing strategies to your QA game? Your new tester should be willing to learn and be invested in the development process. Many people don’t go into testing and stay without an end goal to transfer to a programming role, but make sure that either way the person is in for the long haul and is going to be an asset to your objectives.
Hiring a new tester is a great opportunity to grow your company, learn new testing methods, improve current procedures and advance the efficiency of your software development strategy. In this way, it’s essential to the success of your organization, your product and your team that you put careful time and thought into choosing your next tester.
Image by สุวรรณา วิเศษแก้ว via Wikimedia Commons