Software Testing Interview Questions and Answers
Software testing means the process of assessing a software product for quality. It is a comprehensive process that forms an integral part of the software development life cycle (SDLC).
Owing to the exponential growth in software development and web apps' emergence, more and more people are focusing on learning software testing. This allows them to bag lucrative roles in the domain of software testing, ranging from software testers to testing leads and managers.
Software testing is a comprehensive domain that involves more than a few concepts, tools, approaches, methodologies, etc. Breaking into software testing or advancing in the same requires a good knowledge of so many concepts about the craft of software testing.
Software Testing Interview Questions and Answers
Here is our pick of the top 50 software testing interview questions and answers that will help you gain a role in software testing or, at least, let you gauge your preparation and progress thus far:
Question: What is the Software Testing Life Cycle?
Answer: Software Testing Life Cycle refers to the systematic process of software testing. STLC defines the entire thing, from the start to the end. It is composed of several sub-processes called phases, which are:
- Requirements Gathering
- Requirements Analysis
- Test Planning
- Test Case Development
- Environment Setup
- Test Execution
- Test Cycle Closure
Question: Please explain the various strategies of software testing.
Answer: There are three types of software testing:
- Black Box Testing - Based completely on testing requirements and specifications. Demands no knowledge about:
- Internal paths,
- Code structures, or
- Software implementation.
- White Box Testing - Necessitates advanced programming skills. This testing strategy builds upon the internal paths, code structures, and software implementation.
- Grey Box Testing - This software testing strategy falls between the domains of black box and white box testing strategies. Here, the internal details of the software under testing are little-known.
Question: Can you name the various levels of software testing?
Answer: Usually, software testing starts with unit testing and sums up with acceptance testing. The hierarchy followed is; unit testing -> integration testing -> system testing -> acceptance testing.
Question: What do you mean by Bug Life Cycle?
Answer: Bug Life Cycle explains the various phases of a software bug or defect's entire lifetime. It starts with detecting a bug and sums up when the same is closed, and it is ensured that it will not reproduce. It’s various phases are:
- Reopened (goes to the Active phase)
The Bug Life Cycle, also known as Defect Life Cycle, varies according to a range of factors, most notably organization policy and the SDLC methodology used, such as agile or RAD. Other Defect Life Cycle shaping factors include project timelines and team structure.
Question: Could you define a test case?
Answer: A test case can be defined as that particular set of conditions and/or variables under which a software tester determines whether the system/software under testing works correctly and satisfies the specified requirements or not.
Question: Please compare functional and non-functional forms of testing?
Answer: Following are the important differences between functional testing and non-functional testing:
- Based On - While functional testing is based on customer requirements, non-functional testing is based on customer expectations.
- Defines - Functional testing describes what aspect of a software product. Non-functional testing, on the other hand, defines how the aspect of a software application.
- Order of Performing - Non-functional testing follows functional testing.
Question: State the difference between validation and verification in software testing.
Answer: While validation is a dynamic analysis technique, verification is a static analysis technique. We execute the code invalidation, whereas no code execution takes place in verification.
Inspection, reviews, and walkthroughs are examples of verification, while functional and non-functional testing comes under validation.
Question: Please explain the various categories of defects?
Answer: Following are the three primary categories of software defects:
- Wrong - Results when there is a deviation from the given specifications. This type of defect occurs when requirements are implemented incorrectly.
- Missing - Happens when customer specifications are missed, i.e., they are not implemented. Might also happen when customer requirements are not clear but implemented.
- Extra - Caused by requirements that are implemented but are not provided by the customer(s). Although this type of defect is variances from the customer specifications, they might be desired by the end-users.
Question: What do you need to prepare the acceptance plan?
Answer: We need the following for making the acceptance plan:
- Requirements Document - Specifies the needs of the customer.
- Customer Input - Gained through discussion, emails, et cetera.
- Project Plan - Finalizes the acceptance test.
Question: Please define coverage and its types.
Answer: Coverage is the parameter that specifies the extent to which the source code is tested. It is of the following three types:
- Statement Coverage - Ensures that every line of the source code is executed and tested.
- Decision Coverage - Ensures that every decision-making part of the source code is executed and tested.
- Path Coverage - Ensures that every possible execution path of the source code is executed and tested.
Question: Can you list some advantages of automation testing?
Answer: There are several benefits of employing automation testing. Some of the most notable ones are:
- Allows parallel execution.
- Makes unattended execution possible.
- Reduces human error.
- Saves money and time.
- Supports testing a big test matrix.
Question: What are the benefits of employing Selenium?
Answer: Selenium is an open-source automation testing tool that has several perks, including:
- Allows testing on macOS, Linux, and Windows platforms.
- Continuous testing is made possible by integration with Docker, Jenkins, etc.
- Extensive web browser support, such as Firefox, IE, Google Chrome, and Safari.
- Integration support for other tools, such as JUnit, for test case management and report generation.
- No licensing costs.
- Support for a wide range of programming languages for writing test scripts, such as C#, Java, PHP, and Python.
Question: List the various components of Selenium?
Answer: Various components of Selenium are:
- Selenium Grid
- Selenium IDE
- Selenium Remote Control (RC)
- Selenium WebDriver
Check out the 50 best Selenium interview questions.
Question: Please define XPath.
Answer: XPath stands for XML Path. It is meant for querying XML documents. XPath consists of a path expression paired with certain conditions. One can leverage the XPath script or query to locate a webpage element conveniently. XPath also produces reliable locators.
Question: What Do you know about Absolute XPath and Relative XPath?
Answer: Absolute XPath is a direct way to reach a webpage element. Relative XPath, on the other hand, starts from the middle of the HTML DOM structure. Unlike Absolute XPath, Relative XPath starts with a double forward slash, //.
Question: Please explain the relationship between environment reality and test phases.
Answer: The importance of environment reality increases with the progress in software testing. It is low during the early testing phases and highest during the final testing phase.
Usually, environment reality is required to be only about 10% real during the phase involving unit testing, i.e., the earliest software testing phase. However, the same is almost 100% real by the time the acceptance testing phase kicks in.
Question: In your opinion, what will happen to the cost of a software product in which a defect that could have been removed during the initial stage of testing is removed/fixed later?
Answer: The right-hand thumb rule for software testing is that the later the defect is removed, the more costly it’s removal becomes. The best phases to remove the defects are the requirements and design phases.
Defects escaping the design and requirements phases can become as much as:
- 5 times costlier to remove in the execution/development phase,
- 8 times costlier when removed during the testing phase,
- 10 times costlier to remove during the implementation/deployment phase, and
- 20 times costlier when removed during the maintenance phase of the software product.
Question: Could you explain confirmation and regression testing?
- Regression Testing - Software testing about checking for a code change's impact on the existing features.
- Confirmation Testing - This is software testing about whether a defect that was earlier encountered properly taken care of or not.
Question: Please explain boundary value analysis.
Answer: Boundary-value Analysis, a.k.a. BVA, comes under the black box test design techniques. It is applied to check whether bugs/defects present at the boundary of the input domain.
Question: Can you define random testing?
Answer: Random testing involves generating and using random data. This is done by using a tool and/or automation. Once the random input data is generated, it is then tested and observed.
Question: Why do we write black-box test cases first and not white box test cases?
Answer: Black box test cases are typically written first, followed by white box test cases, which require a good level of architecture clarity. This is unavailable during the early stages of the project; hence, it is impossible to write white box test cases early.
Unlike white box test cases, black-box test cases, demand requirements document, and design/project plan. These are available early in the project. Hence, we write black-box test cases first.
Question: Please enlist the various basic components of the defect report format?
Answer: Following are the various basic components of the defect report format:
- Defect detected by.
- Defect detected on.
- Defect ID and Name.
- Defect resolved by.
- Defect resolved on.
- Module Name.
- Priority and Severity status.
- Project Name.
- Defect Snapshot.
Question: What test cases can we automate?
Answer: We can automate the following test cases:
- Complex calculation,
- Regression, and
Question: Can you name parameters that give out the efficiency of automation testing?
Answer: We can use the following for assessing the efficiency of automation testing:
- Defect detection ratio.
- Execution time.
- Time is taken to release the product.
- The degree of labor and cost reduction.
Question: What do you understand by exploratory testing?
Answer: Exploratory testing refers to the approach of software testing involving less planning and more test execution. The planning in exploratory testing includes creating a test charter that defines:
- The scope of a short time-boxed test effort,
- The objectives, and
- The testing approaches.
In exploratory testing, the test design and test execution go hand in hand with testing. This means that there is little to no documentation of test conditions.
Question: Please explain the traceability matrix?
Answer: Software testing leverages a document that shows the relationship between test cases and testing requirements. This is called the traceability matrix. It is actually a technique used in black-box testing.
Question: How does the test matrix differ from the traceability matrix?
Answer: The test matrix documents actual quality, effort, test plan, resources, and time required to go through all software testing phases. Traceability matrix, on the contrary, is related specifically to black-box testing for mapping customer requirements with test cases.
Question: What do you understand by equivalence partitioning testing?
Answer: The equivalence partitioning testing method decreases the time required for performing software testing. This technique involves dividing the application input test data into several partitions to derive test cases.
Question: Can you differentiate between dynamic and static testing?
Answer: Static testing is accomplished using software documentation. No code execution takes place in this type of testing. Dynamic testing, however, requires code execution.
Question: What is a test plan composed of?
Answer: The test plan document details various testing activities for delivering a quality product. It is derived from the Product Descriptions, SRS, or Use Case documents and prepared by a Test Lead or Test Manager. A test plan details the following things:
- Features that are meant to be tested.
- Features that aren’t meant to be tested.
- Pass/fail criteria.
- Scope of the test.
- Software risk and contingencies.
- Software testing approach.
- Staffing and training needs.
- Test case identifier.
- Test deliverables.
- Test items.
- Testing approach and strategy.
Question: How will you resolve issues encountered while testing?
Answer: There are three important ways to manage testing issues:
- Control - Define the issue management process.
- Record - Log issues found while testing.
- Report - Report the issues found to the senior.
Question: How is a test case different from a test script and a test scenario?
Answer: A test case is a document that specifies steps to be followed when performing software testing. A test scenario, on the other hand, refers to functionality that needs testing. It is sometimes also referred to as a test condition or test possibility.
Unlike a test case, a test script is a short program or the actual code that helps test a software product or part of its functionality that is meant for testing.
Question: Please explain a latent defect?
Answer: A latent defect is a type of defect that, although existing in the system, doesn’t cause a failure or issue with the software product. A defect remains latent until all its conditions are fully met.
Question: What are the parameters that we use for gauging the quality of test execution?
Answer: Two parameters are there that can give us some info about the quality of test execution. These are:
- Defect Rejection Ratio - Pertains to the total number of defects rejected to the total number of defects raised.
- Defect Leakage Ratio - This refers to the total number of defects missed to the total number of defects in the software.
Question: What do you know about the software testing tool Phantom?
Answer: Phantom is used for Windows GUI automation scripting language. It is a freeware that allows users to control Windows and its functions automatically. Phantom can simulate any combination of keystrokes, mouse clicks, menus, lists, et cetera.
Question: Please explain test deliverables.
Answer: Test deliverables refer to the set of documents, tools, etc. that must be produced and maintained for supporting testing. Each phase of the SDLC corresponds to different test deliverables.
Question: What is the purpose of mutation testing?
Answer: Mutation testing intends to check the usefulness of a set of test cases or test data. This is done by intentionally making changes in the code, introducing bugs. Then, the original test cases/data are subjected to retesting with the purpose of bug detection.
Question: What things should you consider before choosing an automation testing tool?
Answer: There are a galore of factors that you need to consider before performing automation testing. These are:
- Application stability.
- Execution across environments.
- Level of complexity.
- Reusability of automated testing scripts.
- Size of the application.
- Technical feasibility.
- Test data.
Question: Please mention the steps followed for conducting risk analysis?
- Find the score.
- Prepare a profile.
- Change the risk properties.
- Deploy the resources.
- Make a database.
Question: Can you explain the various categories of debugging?
Answer: Following are the various categories of debugging:
- Brute force.
- Cause elimination.
- Fault free analysis.
- Program slicing.
Question: Please explain configuration management.
Answer: Configuration Management or CM is a process of systems engineering. It is intended to maintain:
- Computer systems,
- System resources,
- Software, and
- Product performance.
Configuration management records all the changes made to the system and ensures that it performs as per the expectations despite future changes or modifications. Typically, we use tools for configuration management, such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.
Question: What are some best practices for effective software quality assurance (SQA)?
Answer: Important SQA best practices are:
- Continuous improvement.
- Involvement of experienced SQA auditors.
- Leveraging Tools.
- Use of Metrics.
Question: What is the difference between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC)?
Answer: Quality Assurance ensures the prevention of defects in software making. It involves process-oriented activities. Quality Control, on the other hand, refers to executing a software application or code for identifying defects in the same. It involves product-oriented activities.
Question: Can you explain test closure?
Answer: Test closure refers to the note prepared just before the testing process is formally complete. It contains the total number of:
- Defects found,
- Defects fixed,
- Defects not fixed,
- Test cases,
- Test cases executed,
- Bugs rejected, etc.
Question: Explain the various tasks related to testing closure activities.
Answer: All test closure activities can be grouped into 4 main categories:
- Test Completion Check - Ensures all tests should either run or be intentionally skipped. All known defects should be either fixed or deferred for some future release or accepted as permanent restrictions.
- Test Artifacts Handover - Ensures test cases and test environments are handed over to those appointed for performing maintenance testing. It also ensures that known defects, whether accepted or deferred, must be well documented and passed to those meant to use and support the system's use.
- Lessons Learned - Analyzing testing for knowing changes required for future releases. Ensures keeping up good practices and dropping poor practices.
- Updating Configuration Management System - Archiving logs, reports, results, etc. in the configuration management system.
Question: What do you understand by the pesticide paradox?
Answer: When the same software test cases are repeated repeatedly, there comes a time when doing so will yield no more new bugs. This is called the pesticide paradox. To overcome it, test cases need to be reviewed and updated regularly.
Question: Can you explain decision table testing?
Answer: This type of testing is used for functionalities featuring logical relationships between inputs. Here, we have different combinations of inputs. In the decision table testing terminology, inputs are called conditions, and outputs are called actions. A Decision Table is also called a Cause-Effect Table.
Question: What do you understand by the workbench concept?
Answer: The workbench concept is an efficient way of planning how a particular activity will be performed. Each workbench has the following five tasks associated with it:
- Production output
Question: Please explain defect cascading.
Answer: Defect cascading is the phenomenon when a defect results in yielding other defects in a software product. This happens when software testing fails to identify defects in a particular phase of the STLC.
Question: Can you explain LCSAJ?
Answer: LCSAJ means Linear Code Sequence And Jump. It consists of three parts:
- Start of the linear sequence of executable statements,
- End of the linear sequence, and
- The target line to where the control flow is transferred post the end of the linear sequence.
That completes our list of the best 50 software testing interview questions. I hope you find it helpful in advancing your software testing career. If software testing interests you then you may want to check out software testing courses and certifications as well. You may want to check out Manual Testing Interview Questions here.
Which questions were the most difficult for you? Let us know via comments. All the best!
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