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I have an SDET interview upcoming in a week. I have been preparing for a long time. It is a good company. I am working as SDET for two years. I wonder what questions I should ask my interviewer regarding testing and other things.

I would appreciate your help if you give me some sample questions that I should ask my interviewer during the interview. Some of them I thought are:

  1. What type of testing methodologies do you use?
  2. Do you have triage meeting everyday?
  3. What percentage of code coverage is done by unit tests?

I do not find these questions to be more effective. I would appreciate if somebody could help me out in coming out with better questions.

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6 Answers 6

Remember interviewers arent looking for you to just ask about the job, think up a few questions about the business too to show you are interested in more than just doing a 9 - 5.

Asking about what methodologies they use would be good, also maybe asking about what sorts of projects you would be working on shows interest in your work.

Also ask about the people you will be working with, like will you be working alone on some projects? is it all team based etc?

Just show a general interest in the business, they will tell you everything you need to know so just ask questions that demonstrate an interest in them and what they do.

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1  
It is great when a candidate wants to work for our company and not just looking for a pay cheque. Those candidates are usually the ones who can pick up the context of what we ask of them much faster than those who just program. The best way to show that sort of interest is to ask good questions about the product and the process to make that product. –  smithco Feb 28 '11 at 0:08

I cannot give you specific questions but I can tell these questions are usually not considered for an evaluation of interviewee formally. However, interviewers are not machine so you can give them a good impression by asking something that shows you know the area very well and you have very good insight about the job. So if you wanna impress them you probably want to ask them very detailed question rather than throwing general question like you listed unless you really want to know that stuffs. You might think you can show that you are interested in the job by asking them a lot of general question but it is usually taken as you haven't done your home work.

I hope it helps.

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In order to come up with really great questions to ask in the interview, you'll need to do some research about the company, the company culture, the industries the company is in, and where that industry will be in the next five years.

The more you research about the company, the more basic questions you'll answer on your own. But most importantly, the more questions you answer on your own, the more advanced, targeted questions you'll think of that only a member of the company can answer.

If you ask these questions, you'll demonstrate that you're more than just another mindless coding-drone. Your future employer wants to hire someone who will be capable of growing into other roles in the organization, and this involves the ability to think about the goals of the business as well.

Remember, people love to talk about themselves. So if you can get your potential employer to talk about the interesting future direction of the business and actually have a conversation about it, the interviewers will likely like you and respect you. These attributes may help differentiate you from an equally qualified technical candidate, and they could even differentiate you from a candidate with more technical skills than you!

Additionally, ask questions specific to your career growth. Ask questions that imply you're looking to stick around for awhile and that you are really interested in being a part of the organization for the next few years.

Example Questions

  • What options for growth do I have as an SDET in this organization? I see myself moving into a management position in the next 5 years, and was wondering what the career path looks like?

    This question could either preempt the "Where do you see yourself in 5 years question?", or it could be the answer to that question. By asking a question yourself, it helps you take control of the conversation. If you're in control, you're likely to make a better impression on the interviewer that you're a leader and not just another follower.

  • If you're building software for car dealerships: I saw some research that said that by the year 2015, one in five cars will be purchased online through the mobile network. Does this company have any plans to move into mobile development? If so, what type of mobile testing strategy have you considered?

    This is a great, industry-specific question that demonstrates you've done your homework. It also relates to your field of testing and demonstrates that you're interested in the company's future. It's not a question that you can necessarily answer yourself just by Googling the company. Finally, this question could spark an interesting conversation where you can make some suggestions for how to approach the problem in the future.

Example Bad Questions:

  • How many employees work here?

    Only ask if you've researched it and cannot find the answer. For companies like Google and Microsoft, and other public companies, this information is available in their public annual reports.

  • Do you use JMeter/Selenium/HTMLUnit/INSERT TESTING TOOL HERE?

    In general, try to stay away from questions that involve simple one-liner answers. Instead, look for questions that incite conversation, such as the "Where will we be in 5 years question in terms of mobile testing".

Remember, employers are looking for a wide variety of skillsets, and technical skills are but one of many that they consider important. Employers want to hire people who can think for themselves and who can get out of their own way.

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My favorite question to ask is roughly:

How long have you worked here, and what do you like most about working here?

I think this is excellent for multiple reasons:

  • It shows interest in both the interviewer and the company.
  • It's not necessarily an atypical question, but it's not some canned question from an interviewing manual, and has always seemed to me to be really engaging and builds good rapport.
  • The answer is actually useful and relevant to you. Remember, they're not just interviewing you, you're also interviewing them, and trying to get a picture of what the company is like actually as an employee.

My other favorite is also along the same lines:

What is your typical workday like?

The answer to this is also useful to you, especially if you're going to be working in a similar role or on the same team with the person interviewing you, as it gives you insight into what your own workday would be like if you joined.

An added benefit of these two is, while they may put the interviewer on the spot, you can read body language from them, and if they seem uncomfortable answering them, there may be some issues with the company that you may want to give further consideration to.

That said, they're probably most applicable for peers or close-to-peers; if you are interviewing with the CEO, they might not be the best. Be sure to read the situation.

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Actually, I like the idea of asking the CEO what he or she likes about working there. As the leader of the organization, he or she sets the tone. If the CEO doesn't have good reasons, that can be extremely worrying. +1 for the two questions. –  jmort253 Feb 28 '11 at 5:49

In addition to "What do you like most about working here?" which was already proposed by Sdaz, you might want to ask, "What do you like least about working here?" or "If you could change one thing..." This may seem like a bold question, but as Sdaz said you are interviewing them too. If you are feeling comfortable, these questions will make the interviewer think and hopefully provide you with an honest answer. This way you will know what to expect from the company, both good and bad.

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And be wary of answers that sound like a reply Smithers would give (e.g. "Nothing, this company is amazing and I love working here!") –  Wayne M Aug 4 '11 at 15:22
    
Those are great questions...it's important for you to know if you'd like the company's culture, as well as having a dialog that might show how you fit into the culture as well. Be sure to ask for examples! –  Craig Villacorta Nov 18 '11 at 15:50

My sincere advice. Don't spend much time thinking on this and rather prepare for the routine technical round. In my experience (as interviewer and as interviewee), these questions are little dangerous. If you ask good one, it does not make much difference but if you ask a bad one it may go very much on -ve side. Be careful. If you are asking just for the sake of asking then just go with the routine like "How is the work environment?". Don't dig too deep.

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"Routine" is not what I want on my team. I want someone who stands out from the crowd and who has the intestinal fortitude to ask some really compelling questions about the company. I don't want to hire someone whose hand I'm going to have to hold at each step and who I'm not going to have any respect for. I like what P B and Sdaz said, you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. So dig. Dig very deep! –  jmort253 Feb 28 '11 at 5:53
    
@jmort - You need to decide the person is routine or not depending on the performance in technical round, and not the questions asked about the company. –  Manoj R Feb 28 '11 at 7:57
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Technical skills are important, but it takes a special kind of person to be able to answer technical questions and be proactive enough to demonstrate leadership ability, showing that he/she isn't just another cog in the machine. That's the person I want. –  jmort253 Mar 1 '11 at 3:26

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