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Interview criterion for a Tester

Have you ever wonder what would be the interview criterion for a Tester? I was reading latest Testing Circus Magazine Jan 2012. Saw an advertisement for hiring *passionate* software tester by Moolya, Banglore based IT company.

I really like the way Moolya represents them in industry. I read advertisement to see how people showcase their core value to the readers.

The qualities that Moolay is looking in a Software Tester are here –

  1. Testing experience – Web application, server, desktop, mobile apps and gadgets
  2. Understand client’s business goals and help to test those goals
  3. Exploratory testing approach ( * This is the best part of Moolya)
  4. Excellent English communication skills (*Its mandatory)
  5. Excellent in finding bugs and reporting in clear manner
  6. Good Learner
  7. Adapt new changes
  8. Lead a team of testers
  9. Asks important questions
  10. Risk analyst
  11. Good in determining test coverage
  12. True leader
  13. Creative
  14. Skills of automation
  15. Open source testing tools
  16. Business analyst
  17. Read testing books
  18. Skilled in software testing
  19. Willing to be a part of an exciting startup

I was wondering that these are not only qualities that a tester should have. When I read Cem Kaner’s paper on “Recruiting Software Testers” then I made my skill’s list and then I realised that I am far behind the expectations.

It is mentioned in the Moolya’s list ‘Skilled in Software Testing’ what exactly testing skills? How can I acquire them? There are many ways to do it. It is just that you need to have the urge to learn software testing.

If I would re-write the requirements as a tester, then first thing I must ask myself, ‘Why people should hire me as a tester?’ ‘What is that the employer always looks forward in a tester?’

I came up with 8 qualities of a tester that I think tester should have before applying for testing job. While thinking these qualities I was looking myself in the mirror:

  1. Rapid learner
  2. Ability to test anything* (any device, software or website)
  3. Ability to ask as and when required appropriate questions. Please refer what is mean by *important or *appropriate.
  4. If a tester knows and practice exploratory testing approach then I think she is a ‘true leader’
  5. Communication skills
    1. Writing skills (specially writing clear and concise bug report)
    2. Good speaker and presenter
    3. Vigilant listener (when she talks with stakeholders)
    4. Knowing any programming language (which helps for automation)
    5. Team builder
    6. Testing skills comprises
      1. Curious
      2. Finds Bugs
      3. Customer Focused
      4. Decision maker and problem solver
      5. Able to take criticism
      6. Detail Oriented
      7. Detective
      8. Diplomatic
      9. Effective with stakeholders
      10. Empathetic
      11. Pragmatic
      12. Determine and understand Testing coverage
      13. Collect Matrix and ability to represent test facts carefully
      14. Troubleshoots well
      15. Critical and System thinker
      16. Assertive

There are many skills one can have. The point is that a tester should be versatile and agile.


Though you may not be able to perform well in interview inspite of all the skills but leave the impression behind on interviewer that you are ardent and inquisitive tester.


Savita Munde

Tester at Mindhunters
She is a Tester by profession. Works on various freelance QA projects. And she is twin's mom.

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5 thoughts on “Interview criterion for a Tester

  1. Ranga Nathan says:

    Decision maker? i think its not applicable for all tester.. .when a beginner in QA team provides the ideas it will be accepted?

    • savita says:

      Why you think that a tester need not to be a decision maker? I think this is the most prominent quality of a tester. whether she joins as a beginner or experienced, she makes decision at every step. For that matter how a tester would decide this is a bug or not? How the tester would decide whether to follow the QA team’s ideas or not?

  2. Confusions Personified says:

    I presume that the term “decision maker” adds a tint of ambiguity here. Decision Maker needn’t always be the person who calls the “shots”.. but decision maker can be a person who will if not anything else, highlight and bring to the table the pros and cons associated with a product and this is what a tester should be doing.

    In my personal opinion, a tester adds value to an organization if he/she manages to do due diligence to this aspect a.k.a shouldering responsibilities w.r.t criticalities and being audacious enough to highlight them and let all stake holders know of the risks that they might be getting into, if the facts facilitated by the tester in terms of defects are neglected. In this aspect yes a tester is a decision maker, but when it comes to a holistic view, the tester is also a stake holder but never the one who calls the shots !

  3. Prasanna says:

    I doubt how many testers posses these qualities in India’s testing Industry and moreover how much time its going to take to verify all these in an interview ?
    Moolya’s approach of selection (by asking a test report of an open source project) makes sense, but any other options?

    • savita says:

      Hi Prasanna,
      I worked with Skilled Software Testers in my previous organizations. But I do not have answer to your question. What i see is that Software Community is changing & today Client is asking for Skilled Tester.

      I really appreciate Moolya’s selection approach. There are plenty of different options like Online Chat, Resume, Interview Questions, Blogs, Tests, puzzles and Group discussions. An interviewer would learn skills like Knowledge, Skills and Abilities.

      You can refer Cem Kaner’s Paper on “Recruiting Software Testers’ 🙂


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