35 Test Lead Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Test leads prepare programs to evaluate new computer systems and applications. Preparing for the job interview for a test lead position requires you to research common interview questions and craft answers that may increase your chances of securing a job offer. Learning about the top interview questions can guide you on how you can demonstrate your skills and expertise during interviews. In this article, we discuss the top test lead interview questions, including sample answers and tips to help you perform well in your interview.

Related: 49 Top Technical Account Manager Interview Questions

General test lead interview questions

Interviewers typically start the interview with generic test lead interview questions to gain insight into your personality, work ethic and career goals. These questions can also help them determine if you're a good fit for the organisation's culture. Here are 10 questions you may get asked:

  1. Why are you interested in this role?

  2. How would you describe yourself in three words?

  3. Do you prefer working independently or in a team?

  4. Why do you want to work for our organisation?

  5. What do you think are your top three greatest weaknesses?

  6. What are your top strengths?

  7. Why should we hire you for this role?

  8. What are your career goals?

  9. How does this position align with your career goals?

  10. What motivates you to come to work?

Related: 21 Best Technology Jobs to Choose With Salaries and Duties

Interview questions about experience and background

The second set of interview questions is typically about your working experience and background. This enables interviewers to understand your skills and expertise. This helps them determine if you're a good fit for the position. Here are some examples of experience and background questions:

  1. What responsibilities did you have in your previous job?

  2. What are your qualifications for this position?

  3. Can you talk about an instance when you had to manage conflict at work?

  4. What's your proudest accomplishment?

  5. Do you have experience managing people in your previous jobs?

  6. How do you approach and plan for a new project?

  7. How comfortable are you talking to clients?

  8. Do you have experience using Agile project management techniques?

  9. What testing and QA processes do you have the most experience with?

  10. How do you effectively balance and prioritise company and client expectations and goals?

Related: 4 Steps to Emphasise Personal Strengths in an Interview

In-depth test lead interview questions

Test leads usually require technical skills and knowledge to perform well in their roles. Interviewers may ask you about concepts, applications and processes. You can consider sharing your personal experiences using applications and the benefits and drawbacks of different system processes. Here are some possible in-depth interview questions you might get:

  1. How do you use test estimation?

  2. How would you craft a reply to an unhappy customer?

  3. Which QA processes do you think should be manual and automated?

  4. How would you react if the senior management team tasks you to develop a defective product?

  5. Can you compare inner and outer joins?

  6. Talk about your process of running a query in SQL?

  7. Can you define what's a requirements traceability matrix?

  8. What are your most used tools when you run project tests?

  9. What are the three main types of test plans?

  10. Define and explain what configuration management is.

5 test lead interview questions with sample answers

To help you craft answers for your test lead interview, here are some common interview questions and sample answers you can refer to:

1. What do you think makes a good test lead?

Interviewers may ask this question to determine your understanding of the expectations of the role. It's important to share the skills and qualities that test leads typically have. When answering this question, mention details stated in the job description to showcase that you can meet the job requirements.

Example: 'I think a good test lead is a professional who can easily adapt to different circumstances and develop new skills to solve problems. High attention to detail is also important to ensure that test leads can understand client expectations and project details. Being detail-oriented also helps them produce high-quality work. It's also essential for a test lead to multi-task and organise their time well to complete projects ahead of the deadline.'

Related: How to Become a Technical Leader: Skills, Tips and Salary

2. What does PDCA represent and how do you use it?

Interviewers may ask you about common testing models to check your understanding of practical and technical knowledge. Test leads require knowledge of technical processes and you can revise Test Process Improvement (TPI) methods and other strategies ahead of your interviews. Keep your answers clear and succinct to showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities.

Example: 'PDCA is a type of TPI method that stands for plan, do, correct and act. The first step requires testers to decide on improvements and account for client demands in their goals. The second step involves executing their plan where they prioritise the implementation process and ensure that it meets the timeline requirements. For the correct stage, testers check the effectiveness of their improvements by reviewing results and evaluating the success of their results. For the final stage, testers review how they can improve their future processes and implementation strategies to make them more effective.'

3. Can you share some risks you might encounter during project testing?

Hiring managers may ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills. Understanding the different risks involved during project testing can help test leads to accurately estimate and design effective testing strategies. They can evaluate various methods and offer their recommendations on what clients or the organisation can consider. To answer this question, you can talk about the main risks and why they're important.

Example: 'During the testing stage, some risks that test leads may encounter include timeline, resource and strategy risks. This can affect the project's schedule, making it key to account for any potential delays and find solutions to prevent them. Resource risks can cause inefficiency if team members don't have sufficient skills or experience to handle the project expectations. Lastly, strategy risks can affect overall budgets and the project's progress. This can also affect client relations if test leads cannot achieve the desired outcomes.'

4. How do you guarantee quality estimations on tests?

Interviewers may ask you questions about your processes and methods to determine your habits and preferences. This gives them insight into your skills and knowledge so they can decide how much training you require to meet their expectations. To answer this question, briefly explain the steps you may take to guarantee quality estimations to show your familiarity with the job responsibilities.

Example: 'To guarantee quality estimations, I typically check and account for various factors like resources, risks and team abilities. With my prior work experience, I can better estimate how long processes take and adjust clients' expectations accordingly. This ensures that I can complete projects ahead of the set deadline. I consider my team's abilities in terms of their flexibility and adaptability to solving different problems. I also set aside time to process and understand new information when providing estimations.'

5. Talk about a time when you had a dispute with a team member. What steps did you take to resolve the dispute?

Besides asking about your hard skills and knowledge, interviewers also want to know about your soft skills and how you communicate with others in the workplace. Your answer can demonstrate how you handle disagreements and disputes. It also reveals your communication and interpersonal skills. This can enable interviewers to determine your suitability for a management or leadership position. You can answer this question using the situation, task, action and result method to show the steps you take to resolve disputes. This method keeps your answer clear and succinct.

Example: 'In my previous position, I worked with a team member who didn't perform regular checks on his tasks and pushed the blame on me if a client noticed any errors. Instead of just bringing this issue up with my manager, I decided that implementing an additional layer of checks and clearly dividing our tasks can show who caused the error. I communicated this strategy with my manager so that he can check the work and know who was responsible if he noticed any mistakes.

This improved the quality of work that we presented to clients and reduced the occurrence of this type of dispute.'

Related: Common IT Interview Questions: Example Answers and Tips

Additional interview tips

Here are some additional tips to help you perform well during the interviewing process:

  • Research the company. Research the company's website and browse through their past projects to understand their processes and structure. This can help you answer questions about why you want to join the company and how you can contribute to meeting their goals.

  • Study. Revise your technical knowledge and prepare scenarios to showcase your skills. Interviewers typically ask about concepts and principles so studying ahead enables you to give accurate answers.

  • Show up on time. Leave a good impression by showing up to the interview ahead of time. This can give you time to relax and get ready for the interview.

  • Dress professionally. Check the company's dress code to decide what to wear for the interview. It can be helpful to dress formally to look professional.

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