Three questions to ask yourself before interviewing a junior software tester

Ministry of Testing launched a LinkedIn newsletter at the start of 2023. Each newsletter article has got a lot of attention which is awesome. Each one celebrates someone in the community who has produced something that’s been published on the MoT platform. Written by me or Sarah Deery – based on our own interpretations and experiences.

So I thought, why not bring them onto The Club to spark conversations, share ideas, celebrate and debate? Here’s the first one that’s helpful for anyone new to software testing.

Hiring a junior software tester is exciting. A person new to the industry can bring energy and a fresh perspective. Yet, before you jump in and start advertising, consider these three questions.

1. What does the junior software tester role look like?

Before advertising the position, be sure to agree with key stakeholders on your definition of a junior software tester. Are years of experience helpful? What key testing activities should they be able to demonstrate? Note down all the skills, knowledge and experience you would expect someone to have in order to be successful and grow in their role. What must the candidate be able to demonstrate from the outset vs what are you happy for them to demonstrate during the probation period? How does this role fit in with the bigger picture? What space and support does the role have to evolve?

2. What would stop you from making an offer?

Capture upfront the things that would help you decide not to move forward with an offer. It might sound back to front, yet it’ll help you refine all the things that are important to you and your team. And when you’re ready to make an offer, it’s a handy checklist to refer to.

3. What have you learnt from your past interview experiences?

Take a moment to think back to the early days of your career in tech. You might be a dev/engineering manager hiring a junior tester for the first time, hoping they learn and teach you. Or perhaps you’re a seasoned testing professional and leader. Either way, reflect on your experience of applying for jobs and interviewing at the start of your career in tech. How might that influence the approach you take to hire someone now? What would you do the same/differently?

Ready to move to the next stage? @cassandrahl shares a treasure trove of tips for interviewing junior software testers. :crown:

How about you? What three questions would you ask yourself before interviewing a junior software tester?

1 Like

I’m going for the three things I think will make the best difference, based on the interviews I have been in and given:

  1. Am I a racist, sexist, ageist, heightist, sizeist, judgemental, egotistical person and how will that influence my decision making?
  2. Do I know the first thing about testing, and am therefore in a position to evaluate a candidate?
  3. They will be nervous, and have to answer questions without the benefit of contextual understanding that I have, so how do I bring out the very best in them to give them the best opportunity to show me their knowledge and potential, even if they are nervous, shy, timid or uncertain?

bonus: do the questions I ask require context I don’t know?
bonus 2: am I actually going to see them test and work with people and do stuff I will ask them to do later on?