What's the best task you had at a job interview?

I’m wondering what is the best task you had while doing interviews for software testing jobs? For me, the best one was when the interviewer asked me (in the technical part of the interview) to show them how would I conduct a short exploratory testing session. So, I opened up a mind-map tool, and made a short charter using Explore it! and showed them how I take down notes, observations, concerns, etc.

My least favorite tasks are the infamous take-home assignments, it’s not a big deal if they just want something symbolic, like writing a test case or making a skeleton of an automation framework - especially for more junior roles, but, some companies really take it to far and give you an assignment which requires a few workdays to finish which is a ridiculous waste of the applicants time, in my book!

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That’s a good question, commenting mainly to follow the answers :stuck_out_tongue:
But my answer is when they give you a logical exercice or kind of riddle to solve.
Lot of fun, when you try to express the way you think.

one interview they game me balls, some requirements, you have 3 attempts to know the weight of them I forgot the details, but I solve it at that time.

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The classic task is actually the only task I’ve gotten so far.
Where someone would ask ’ how would you test this? ’ and the answer should just be “what do you want ‘this’ to do?”

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Good question!

For me, there were two tasks - both were the stage in one interview.

  1. You got a repository with tests that were written by developer. Your task is to analyze the tests and the code, improve it (as you can) and also - to write and explain your further steps in improving the codebase.

  2. At the video-call interview, I got a piece of code - and my task was to read it and explain all bugs or problems that I see in the code. Some kind’a of code review (but in terms of testing or vulnerabilities).

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I like problem-solving tasks unrelated to the position I am attending for a first look.
For example, How many trains do we need for running Prague Metro?

It was that good that I started using these kind of questions in my interviews as well :slight_smile:

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This is an excellent question, @mirza.

It reminds me that I wrote about this topic in the following post: What one interview question have you been asked that sticks in your mind?

For some reason, my learning style doesn’t resonate with abstract puzzle-like questions that I can’t connect to the reality of my day-to-day work. So I prefer practical task like questions where I could demonstrate some of my skills for reals.

Great to hear you got the opportunity to show how you would conduct a short exploratory testing session. I’ve never had the chance to do that in an interview and would absolutely love it! :grinning:

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Actually, I think I have great examples for this thread.
I was interviewed quite a few times, and most part of those interviews are predictable and boring, just ISTQB questions, boring scenarios, catchy phrases etc., which I find so strange, but it is what it is :smiley:

Some of the best tasks I have been given are:

  • Imagine you are testing a Vending machine. What is your approach, how do you report, what is your criteria for well working vending machine(fun fact: long answer and dedicated work I put in this question actually got me hired in my current company)
  • LOVE logical questions, logical premises, tasks that trigger logical thinking and some of them were:
    • If I roll two dice at the same time, what is the probability that I will get a six on the second dice?
    • Jane’s mother has four children. The first child’s name is Spring, the second child’s name is Summer, and the third child’s name is Autumn. What is the fourth child’s name?
  • Actually had been asked several times about math skills (also great approach if you ask me), for example
    • third square root of 27
    • 5^3+5^0
    • triangle surface area, rectangle surface area…
  • You have 5 minutes to test login form - what is your approach

those were the most interesting ones that got my brain working. All other tasks were classic general knowledge and endless questions about theory of testing.

Great question and I am looking forward to reading more answers about other testers experiences.

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“Jane’s mother has four children. The first child’s name is Spring, the second child’s name is Summer, and the third child’s name is Autumn. What is the fourth child’s name?”

The answer I’d like to hear would be “Winter. Jane is her second name.”

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Dope! That sounds like something the Riddler would ask Batman in an interview! :smiley:

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When I interview Junior Testers I usually give them a Coffee machine to test and tell them they have 30 mins to write as many test cases as possible. People often look at me dumb considering they are applying for a software job but its a really good opportunity to see the ‘type’ of tests they write. Do they use different testing techniques like Equivalence partitioning, Boundary value analysis or decision tables. I also like to see some out there tests, like what happens if I press two buttons at the same time or turn the machine off half vend :slight_smile:

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That is a good approach, I like it!