Day 12: Share how you prepare for job interviews and any interesting interview questions you've had

Welcome to Day 12! Today, we want to hear about your own job interview experience. Share your tips for interview preparation and making a good impression. We also want to hear about interesting interview questions or experiences you’ve had. Here’s how to take part!

Day 12 Task

  1. Reflect on your interview preparation: Take a moment to think about how you usually get ready for job interviews. What steps do you take? Think about what strategies or techniques you use to boost your confidence and ensure you’re well-prepared.
  2. Share your interview preparation process: It’s time to reveal your strategies! Write about the techniques and steps you take to get ready for job interviews. Your insights can help others improve their interview game. Share your knowledge and contribute to the community!
  3. Discuss interesting interview questions: We want to hear about those unforgettable interview questions you’ve encountered in the past. Were they challenging, amusing, unusual or useful? Did they make you think outside the box? Or maybe they allowed you to showcase your skills? Describe the question, share how you tackled it, and tell us what you learned from the experience. By sharing these questions, you’ll inspire others and spark conversations.
  4. Engage with others: Take the time to read through the responses of other members. Like, leave comments, share your thoughts, and ask follow-up questions. By engaging with others, you’ll get to learn from their experiences and gain insights into different interview scenarios and strategies.

Note: Respect confidentiality - while discussing interview questions and experiences, please remember not to disclose any proprietary or confidential information about specific companies or individuals. Let’s keep it general and focus on sharing the essence of the experience or question without revealing any sensitive details.

We’re really excited to hear about your interview preparation techniques and the amusing, unusual, throught-proviking or engaging questions you’ve encountered.


Why complete this task?

  1. Reflective self-assessment: By thinking about your interview preparation process, you gain the opportunity to reflect on your own strategies. This self-assessment helps you identify what works well for you and areas where you can improve, leading to more effective interview preparation in the future.
  2. Practical insights and tips: Hearing about the interview preparation techniques of other community members allows you to discover new strategies and approaches. You can learn from their experiences and gain valuable insights that may enhance your own preparation methods.
  3. Enhanced interview performance: Sharing and discussing interesting interview questions can help you develop a better understanding of the types of questions that may arise during interviews. By engaging in conversations about how to approach these questions, you can refine your thought processes and improve your ability to provide thoughtful and effective responses.
  4. Give back to the community: Engaging with other members and their responses creates a supportive and collaborative environment. You can exchange advice, share encouragement, and learn from each other’s experiences.
1 Like

My steps to prepare for an interview:

  1. Recall all testing and programming knowledge according to my CV. It can be Java and Python basics, automation, processes, algorithms, data structures, etc.
  2. Do coding exercises at LeetCode and get used to solving easy challenges on time
  3. Prepare a set of STAR-like examples from my experience
  4. Research a profile of companies I will have interviews with.
  5. If possible - add up-to-date projects on my GitHub
  6. Get sleep well before an interview to get a good mood
  7. Do not forget to reflect after each interview - what were the questions, and did I answer all of them (in written form)

The most interesting questions from interviews:

  • I got a repository with badly written code and was asked to improve it
  • got a piece of code and got asked to explain possible problems or weaknesses in it
  • got a task and was asked to develop and test it during the interview TOGETHER with the whole team
4 Likes

Before starting my preparation for job interviews I would do the following

Assess my current state as in

What I like about my current job and what I don’t so that it will help me reflect as to what positions I should apply for and the firm I should look out for or the domains I want to work in etc.

After this is done I would prepare a schedule or plan to work upon that has a topic to study or prepare, duration and resources to look in to plus my time to read and comments

This might have some deviations too.

I will not be hard on myself.

I will also double-check my CV or Resume. Do a round or preparation in front of the mirror.

For a company or position-related research,

I will use Glassdoor, Linkedin, and Indeed and also take the help of company employees if I know any.

For all the positions that I have applied for, I will maintain an Excel with all details

For each interview that attended I make a note of questions and reflect upon them so that it would help me in my upcoming interviews.

I also share these sometimes so that it could help someone with what areas they need to focus if they are targeting similar positions or roles.

As for interesting questions I remember in an interview I was asked to do a spontaneous role play as to how I would handle a situation which got me nervous. But after I did it I laughed a lot.

To avoid nervousness I carry a bar of chocolate and some water wherever I go. This had helped me reduce panic.

3 Likes

Hello from me. When i have to wait an interview call, i do the following:

  1. I visit the company’s site to learn more about such as services, customers, e.t.c
  2. Reviews in Glassdoor site as well as Google reviews,
  3. If the job is on site, i look on maps.google.com in order to see the company’s position,
  4. I collect my portfolio items related to job description.

That’s all about my point of view.

2 Likes

I have a few steps I follow when I preparing for interviews

Before the Interview

  • I research the company I’m interviewing for

  • I spend sometime reflecting on what I do in my current role, write down some success stories, challenges I’ve faced & how I have overcome those challenges

  • I do a similar activity of reflecting on my previous roles too (I don’t spend as much time on this as the previous step)

  • Practice coding exercises on different sites like Leetcode, HackerRank, Exercism etc

  • Prepare a basic test automation framework so I can extend on it when a take home exercise is given to me

  • Update my linkedin profile to reflect my latest experience

  • Based on the research from step 1, write down some questions that you want to ask the interview panel. This is very important because it shows your interest in the company & the advertised role

  • Get a good night’s sleep to be fresh & functional for the interview

  • Just before the interview starts, I take 15mins to do some mindfulness deep breathing to calm my nerves & have clear thinking

I’ve been asked Interesting questions along the way. Here are some that stand out:

During the Interview

  • I was asked to code review some code, to check if I could catch badly written code/ coding errors

  • I was given a website & asked to do some exploratory testing. Since exploratory testing is quite a wide area (check the UI/UX, functionality, performance, Cross-browser functionality etc) & because of time constraints, they wanted to know what were the different aspects I would test. They also wanted to know if I use some exploratory testing heuristics.

  • I was asked to write a Web UI automation & API automation framework & some tests. Interesting question from the exercise included which locator strategy I prefer & why, what is my favourite automation framework & why

Here are some of the steps I take after the interview:

After the Interview

  • I relax for about 15mins, just to get rid of the interview nerves

  • Then I reflect on the interview in general to understand how I feel about it

  • Do a detailed analysis of the different tasks & questions that were asked. It’s important for me to do this not only for me to learn from my mistakes but also look at the positive points & remember to use it again in upcoming interviews

I’m 25 applying to any company that would have me so I could move to London. I’ve been testing for about two or so years. At this point in my career (a very long time ago! :sweat_smile:) I’d not had many interviews.

I got to the final stage and was interviewed by the CEO. Real nice bloke who was just interested in learning about where I grew up and what I enjoyed. Questions about my family and hobbies. We eventually got talking about boats. And then he asked with a deadpan look on his face.

How many boats do you think there are in the UK?

I froze a bit as it came from nowhere. I replied smugly that I’d google it. He told me I don’t have access to Google and he’d like to know how I’d work it out. We did some maths together and explored some ideas. I even asked to borrow his posh pen and paper to scribble some calculations. I bloomin’ hate maths and completely forget how to do long division and multiplications. Anyhow, I gave him a number. He then talked through how he’d do it. I got the job and stayed for five years and built a brilliant QA team for the UK’s largest online real estate property portal. :smile:

The interview left a huge impression on me. And I used his style when interviewing candidates. It was a good way to get to know someone in a short timeframe and I’d also use the “how many…” question during my days interviewing at the same company. Would I use that style of question now? I dunno, maybe. I reckon there are better ways to discover how someone solves a problem – particularly in a way that suits how the person prefers to work.

I think it’s important to remember a few things when interviewing for a job, the most important being: It’s not just them looking at you, but you looking at them. Once you realize that you are an important part of that dynamic, you can start to relax and really let your general preparations for the interview reveal themselves in a natural way, as well as let your own personality come through. Fear is the mindkiller, and relaxation allows for best recall and just a better experience. Don’t forget to smile!

Yes, you should utilize things like Glassdoor, Google searches on the company and their aims, and other info gathering techniques to refer to during the interview. But, you are selling yourself here, and I can guarantee with some degree of certainty that they are more interested on what you might bring to the company, rather than what the company does without you. So focus more on prepping for examples of when you showed your own tech prowess, willingness to help, desire to self-improve, etc etc. Those are more valuable additions, and are much more worthy of your time and preparation.

I am also a firm believer in getting a good night’s rest, but with my anxious mind, that nearly never happens. That’s why I try to schedule interviews more in the early afternoon if possible to maximize my energy levels. For those of you with the same issues, this might be a worthwhile ask within the scheduling process.

And lastly, I am a big believer that you should take a few moments to decompress after an interview. Wether that is taking a 20 minute walk, sitting in a quiet room for 10-15 minutes, or whatever strikes your fancy, and just let the moment pass without judgement. Taking a moment or two to breathe and reflect in a non-judgemental way is always valuable.

My steps for an interview are:

  • Review the job description. Make sure that I can speak to my skills that match what’s in it. Look up terms or methods that I don’t know.

  • Read all interview information repeatedly. Reach out to the scheduler with any questions.

  • Review company website–1. Match my personal stories to their company values using the STAR method 2. Read some articles to find questions to ask

*For virtual interviews, create a Zoom environment (clean, neat office), check my tech, and use a wired headset only to avoid lag, distortion, and background noise

*Also for virtual interviews, set up an interview computer desktop. This includes a timer for responding to interviewers, a note document, reminders to smile, etc.

  • Take notes, including the names of the interview panel. This allows you to thank everyone individually. Thank you notes are a great place to make a final pitch. If the team has doubts about you, give them some thought and respond in the thank you with why you’re the perfect addition to their team.

Correct! Conor’s video on interviewing mentioned making decisions from a confident space (as opposed to a desperate one). Learning why joining a specific company is beneficial to both of you gives you the confidence to interview well.

I like process questions like this one! They can be fun if they’re used to discover how a candidate works (not just to see someone sweat).

1 Like

I like the way you reply.I learn a lot from it.How to reply specifically and make your content precise.

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Job Specs

First, I will copy and paste the job listing to a document (or I like to use Notion) and highlight the key points to get a clear understanding of what they are looking for and what I have to offer. This allows me to annotate it and is helpful to have as a reference in case the listing gets removed or deleted. Something I am taking away from Day 11: “Lessons From Both Sides of the Interview Table” is to distinguish the “Must-Haves” from the “Nice-to-Haves” in order to know which strengths are more valuable to focus on.

Company

Before I apply, I will have done a little research to make sure it’s even a company/industry I’d want to work in. Once I get a response and have an interview scheduled, I will do more in-depth research about the company’s specific values and take note of keywords to focus on and highlight during the interview. This gives me a better idea of the company’s story, mission, and culture. From there, I will formulate questions that target what interests me.

Stories

The next step is preparing for the behavioral interview questions, which has always been the most daunting part for me. In addition to the STAR method, a helpful tip I have learned is to develop 7-10 solid stories, each of which can be used to answer multiple questions. The point is to have examples that demonstrate a well-rounded and diverse set of skills and qualities (successes and failures) instead of memorizing answers for specific questions.

Something else I am trying out is a technique I’m calling “Interview Comics.” As I gather notes on testing-based scenario questions, I will draw a sort of storyboard to give me quick visual cues of how a process might go. This a) makes the preparation process more fun and creative and b) offers a simple way for me to recall since I am a visual learner.

Interviews

I always prepare questions before and take notes during my interviews. Once I get into the final round of the interview process, I will create a mind map dedicated to my notes on the company and people, as well as what I learned from previous rounds. It makes it easier to digest and segment all the information and prepare questions related to specific topics or people.

For interviews with multiple people, a tip I really like is to be specific about the questions you ask each person. For instance, if I am going to talk to an Sr. Engineer, Product Manager, and QA Lead, each person will have different insights and perspectives in relation to the testing process, so tailor questions that show interest in their unique point of view or expertise.

Mindset

Another thing I have to keep reminding myself is that I should be determining their fit for me as much as they are determining my fit for them. Rather than feeling like they have the upper hand, going in with confidence about what you want and what you have to offer is key. It’s just about having clarity on what those things are and being able to present them, and that is simply a matter of practice and preparation.

5 Likes

I don´t have enough experience with interviews, but I remember one in particular. The things that I did before the interview were to recall some concepts about programming and prepare some answers for possible questions, but I always get nervous when I have an interview, so when the day came, I forgot everything that I had been preparing.

I read all the posts above and I think I´ll take note of all the experiences and tips in order to be prepared, especially the ones that involve to relax before an interview.

1 Like

My interview preps tends to be these:

  • Review the company and their identify, what their core values are, what are they about - Do they align with mine.
  • What product / service do they offer / How do they make money
  • What is their tech stack
  • Who are the owners, if i find the CEO / CTO - find out some info about them. Do they have talks, any articles on them. Any recent news on the company, sometime you might find they recently got a new big contract or product.
  • check if i know anyone working there via linkedin
  • what roles / products i’ve done which might be useful for working with them
  • practice coding challenges - hackerRank or google.
  • ask the recruiter some base questions: What is the team size, Do they have an existing test team or new team or no team, Details of their interview process.
  • come up with a list of things i’m looking for in my next role. Mainly to see if they tick some of during the interview. Often get asked about this. Why do you want to work for us type question.
  • Create notes of my findings, write questions that popped up during my prep or things i want to know more about, the role, the company, their projects
4 Likes

I take 2 different interview preparation the interview I give for relocation is different from my country’s interview. In Bangladesh, when I am sitting for an interview

1-> I learn about the company
2-> I have a list of QA interview questions that I go through 2-3 days prior if local and abroad interviews I take a week time to prepare for the interview really well along with the company culture
3-> I understand my country’s interview perspective well so I know the type of questions that are likely to be asked I myself have taken interviews for hiring Junior QA in my current workplace but for abroad interviews I go through behavioral questions, and how to answer properly using STAR method, get system design basic interview questions idea, I solve some basic problems from leetcode, I go through CTFL course once again as mostly the questions come from there and some companies share their interview procedure what they ask so I go through their interview resources as well

I have had several interesting experiences, one of the was while I was attending my interview at Ionic a german company. I liked the fact the QA head asked what type of work environment I am comfortable working with, this made me really happy cuz these types of questions are barely asked. The same thing happened when I gave an interview for Perlego a UK start-up. I also got an opportunity to attend an interview at Tik Tok’s office in the Singapore headquarter. The question I got asked was when the user logs in what happens, sadly I didn’t understand at that time I was supposed to explain it from a system design perspective and this is a common interview question. And one interesting question I got asked in an interview at a US startup where the tech team is located in Bangladesh, there the interviewer asked me to guess the number he was thinking of, I didn’t know I was supposed to use the divide and conquer method to guess the number as the interviewer gave me 5 chances only to get the right answer and later I have also found out that this interview question is quite common too.

I started my career in 2016 by just completing my undergrad in 2015 December back at that time I as in my early 20s and now I am in my early 30s I had many more interesting experiences, currently I can’t recall them. Will add more to it once I recall them :blush:

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Wow indeed this is a unique interview question, I never got asked such question, The CEO seems to be a cool guys

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Made for interesting read. I recall, one of my customers mentioning about a question she was asked when she was applying for a role - ‘How many beauty parlors are there in Leeds’. I think its the thought process that matters here and how creative you can get. Thanks for sharing Simon.

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