Preparing for a job interview requires you to be ready to answer the basic as well as the tricky interview questions that a hiring manager could ask. If you are wondering about the type of QA Manager/Test Lead interview questions that could be asked in your next interview, then this post is going to help you. 

As a Test Lead, you are expected to show good leadership qualities along with proficiency in the technical areas of work. As a Quality Manager, you need to ensure that the quality of products, or services, or processes of an organization are properly maintained and meet the customer’s requirements. If you are planning to get ready for the big job interview, then here are the top 45 commonly-asked QA Manager/Test Lead interview questions covering both basic and advanced concepts.

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Top QA Manager/Test Lead Interview Questions & Answers

Here are the top QA manager and test lead interview questions and answers. This list contains both technical and scenario based interview questions for test lead and QA managers.

Q1. What do you expect out of this role?

Ans. This question measures your compatibility with the role. As you have applied for the role, you should have a good understanding of the major responsibilities associated with it and what you expect from it in the future.

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Q2. Did you handle a team of test engineers or QA professionals in your earlier role?

Ans. As you are interviewing for a test lead position it is evident that you have some amount of experience in handling a team or have similar experiences. You need to give a detail on how you coordinated with your team members and clients to deliver successful projects.

Q3. What do you think of test leads writing test cases?

Ans. The right answer is to say that you feel that the test lead should write test cases like any other member of the team.

Q4. How do you set your team’s objectives?

Ans. If you prefer to set individual objectives for each member of the team, mention that you set them according to the knowledge and experience levels. This is how we can handle the project more efficiently as a team.

Q5. How familiar are you with the industry-standard testing practices?

Ans. Explain all the proper practices that you follow in your existing organization and how will you handle it similarly for the organization that you are interviewing for.

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Q6. What are the ways you ensure that the team members receive proper training?

Ans. Get feedback from all the team members on their strengths and weaknesses to make a note of what type of training is necessary for the team. Also, new members who join the team should be trained on time so as to be inducted as quickly as possible.

Q7. What will be your criteria for hiring team members?

Ans. The criteria for hiring team members are 1) his/her technical strength is as per project requirements, 2) his/her attitude towards the profile he will be hiring for, and 3) will he/she be a good fit with the rest of the team members?

Q8. Which testing tools are you familiar with?

Ans. This is one of the most important Test lead interview questions. As a test lead, you should be familiar with some of the most popular testing tools. You need to explain how you use it and what are its advantages as per the project requirements, cost of using the tool, and ease of use.

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Q9. Are you familiar with automation and what do you think of it?

Ans. Automation is becoming an important part of software testing nowadays and you can get away without having any knowledge of it. You should be well-prepared for this Test Lead interview question and make it a positive answer as automation is going to be the future.

Q10. Do you know what Requirement Traceability Matrix is? What are its uses?

Ans. This is one of the commonly asked test lead interview questions. The Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that links requirements to test cases. Its uses are 1) to ensure that all the application requirements are tested in the verification process and 2) to check test coverage.

Q11. What is a Test Plan?

Ans. A Test Plan is a document detailing the objectives, resources, and processes for a specific test and contains a detailed understanding of the eventual workflow.

Q12. Name the different types of Test Plans?

Ans. There are three types of Test Plans: 1) Master Test Plan, 2) Testing Level Specific Test Plan and 3) Testing Type Specific Test Plan.

Q13. What are the risks that should be avoided for a testing project?

Ans. One should avoid the following risks during a testing project: 1) human resource risk (resource crunch), 2) project schedule risk (missed deadlines), 3) strategy risk (exceeding allocated budgets) and 4) project definition risk.

Also Read: Top Manual Testing Interview Questions and Answers

Q14. What are the good practices that you follow?

Ans. Some of the good practices for a successful project are proper documentation process, high standards of reviewing, recognition of outstanding performers, focusing on team building, and making sure there is a continuous scope of learning.

Now, let’s move on to some more QA interview questions.

Q15. Have you been involved in test estimation? What are the techniques that you use?

Ans. If yes, explain how you come with the test estimation scenarios and the techniques that you follow to improve the processes over time.

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Q16. What are your key achievements in your current organization?

Ans. Have you completed a project well before the deadline or have you managed a difficult project with great efficiency? Mention all your achievements no matter how insignificant you think it is.

Q17. What is the difference between Agile and Scrum? Which one do you prefer?

Ans. Scrum is actually a type of Agile framework but does not provide detailed instructions on what needs to be done; rather most of it is dependent on the team. The Agile methodology supports incremental and iterative work cadences known as Sprints.

If you prefer that there is a leader who maintains the direction by assigning tasks then Agile is perfect otherwise Scrum provides the advantage of adjusting the project’s direction based on completed work.

Q18. What is Configuration Management?

Ans. Configuration Management covers the processes used to coordinate, control, and track test artifacts.

Q19. Explain the Configuration Management Process.

Ans. The Configuration Management Process helps establish a product’s baseline. It also helps manage any changes over time. The process consists of 5 disciplines:

  1. Planning and Management
  2. Identification
  3. Control
  4. Status Accounting
  5. Verification/Audit

Q20. What are the informal reviews? Do you document informal reviews?

Ans. An informal review is a process of checking defects without running the code. No, informal reviews do not require documentation.

Q21. What is a three-point estimation?

Ans. This is one of the important scenario-based interview questions for test lead.

In a three-point estimation, three different values are calculated based on previous experience. These are 1) the best-case estimate, 2) the most likely estimate and 3) the worst-case estimate.

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Q22. What are the key challenges of software testing?

Ans. This is one of the commonly asked Test Lead interview questions. Some of the key challenges of software testing are:

  • Testing the entire application: It is difficult to test the entire application as there are many test combinations. It will lead to a delay in shipping the product if you test all the combinations.
  • Communication with developers: Developers or testers may not always agree with each other on some points.
  • Regression testing: Managing the changes in current functionality and previous working functionality checks could be difficult.
  • Time constraint: You may have multiple tasks related to quality that need to be completed within a specified time.
  • Priority: With time constraints, it sometimes becomes difficult for the testers to decide which test to execute first. 

Some other challenges include deciding on the right process and identifying the non-testable requirements.

Q23. What steps are followed to create a test script?

Ans. Below are the steps to create a test script:

  1. Understand the Application under test by reading the requirements related documents other references, such as the previous version of the application.
  2. Make a list of the areas to test for the AUT. In this step, you will identify ‘What’ to test. 
  3. Determine ‘How’ to test them.  Write various steps on how to test a particular feature, determine the data that will be entered, and the expected outcome.

Also Read: Software Testing Interview Questions & Answers

Q24. Why testing is necessary?

Ans. Testing is an important step in the software cycle as it helps to identify defects, mistakes, and bugs before the delivery to the client. Testing ensures the quality of the software and produces a more cost-efficient end-product. 

Q25. What is PDCA Cycle?

Ans. This is one of the frequently asked test lead interview questions. PDCA stands for Plan Do Check Act. The PDCA Cycle is a 4-stage problem-solving technique for conducting a quality check. It focuses on the continuous improvement of processes and products. In simple terms, it is a continuous loop of planning, doing, checking, and acting that is useful for testing improvement measures.

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Q26. What is a bug?

Ans. A software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, or failure in software code that makes it produce an unexpected or incorrect result instead of executing properly.

Q27. What are the key elements in a Bug Report?

Ans. A good bug report must be concise and specific and should have: 

  • Title 
  • Unique and clearly specified bug number/name
  • Steps to reproduce the bug
  • A summary describing the defect and the observed failure
  • A description that explaining the steps to follow to reproduce the defect and the expected outcome.
  • Date and time when the defect occurred or reported
  • Bug Priority / Severity
  • Platform & Version
  • Attachment/evidence of the failure to help the reviewer to understand the defect better

Q28. What is the difference between Retesting And Regression Testing?

Ans. The differences between Retesting And Regression Testing are: 

Retesting Regression Testing
It is planned testing. It is generic testing.
Retesting focuses on testing a specific feature of the software. Regression Testing focuses on testing a general area of the software.
Retesting is done to confirm the test cases that failed in the final execution. It is carried out to check that the defects are fixed. Regression Testing is done for testing software that was working but might not be working now due to updates.
It is done based on the Defect fixes. It ensures that new code changes should not adversely impact the existing functionalities.
Test cases cannot be automated for Retesting. Automation can be done for regression testing.
It is carried out only for failed test cases. It is carried out for passed test cases.
The Priority of re-testing is higher than regression testing, thus it is done before regression testing. It can be done parallel with Re-testing.

Q29. What is Exploratory Testing?

Ans. Often described as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution, Exploratory Testing is an approach that involves testing software without any specific plans or schedules. It is carried out when there an early iteration is needed. It requires minimum planning and maximum test execution. During software testing, the tester discovers and learns novel things that when combined with experience and creativity produce new good tests to run.

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Q30. What are the severity and priority of a defect?

Ans. Defect Severity means how adversely the defect has impacted the functionality of an application. 

Defect Priority refers to the order in which the defects will be fixed. It is the urgency of the defect from the business point of view. If the impact of the bug will be higher on the business, then a higher priority will be assigned to it. Bugs could be under different priority and severity combinations

  • High Priority and High Severity
  • High Priority and Low Severity
  • Low Priority and Low Severity
  • Low Priority and High Severity

Let’s take a look at some more frequently-asked Test Lead and QA interview questions.

Q31. How would you choose a Testing tool for your project?

Ans. The steps to select the right testing tool for a project are: 

  1. Identify and understand the requirement for the project
  2. Evaluate the tools and vendors that meet the requirements
  3. Consider budget and estimate cost and benefit 
  4. Make the final decision

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Q32. Explain the difference between Smoke testing and Sanity Testing.

Ans. The differences between Smoke testing and Sanity Testing are: 

Smoke Testing Sanity Testing
The objective of Smoke Testing is to confirm that the critical functionalities of the program are working properly. It verifies and validates the conformity of the new functionalities in the existing code.
It ascertains the stability of the system.  Sanity Testing ascertains the rationality of the system.
This testing is performed on initial builds. This testing is performed on stable builds.
Smoke testing is carried out by the developers or testers. Testers carry out Sanity Testing.
It is documented or scripted. Usually, it is not documented or scripted.
Smoke testing is a part of basic testing. Sanity Testing is a part of regression testing.
It is usually carried out whenever there is a new build. It is a planned activity that is carried out when there is not enough time for in-depth testing.

Q33. What do you think is the best approach to start QA in a project?

Ans. The best approach to start QA is from the beginning of the project. This will help the team to do proper planning of the processes that need to be followed. It will ensure that the end product meets the customer’s quality expectations. QA also helps in starting communication between different teams.

Q34. What are some of the software quality assurance best practices?

Ans. Below are some of the software quality assurance best practices:

  • Continuous Improvement
  • Two-Tier Test Automation Approach
  • Metrics
  • Shared responsibilities
  • Teamwork
  • Run a regression cycle

Also Read: 10 Best Software Development Frameworks and Tools 

Q35. What soft/people skills should a Test Lead/QA Manager have?

Ans. Besides technical expertise, Test Leads and QA managers must work on their ability to create and work with a creative test team where each member is equally valuable for the organization. This would require them to have the following soft skills:

  • Effective communication skills 
  • Ability to solve problems effectively
  • Adaptable and influential
  • Strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to motivate team members
  • Team Player

Q36. What are the different ways to manage or mitigate risks in a Test Project?

Ans. The following are the four ways to manage or mitigate the risk: 

  • Avoidance: avoid the risk factor that is involved
  • Acceptance & Sharing: Accept the risk and develop a planned budget for the risks involved and collaborate with others to share responsibility
  • Reduction: Develop a mitigation plan to decrease the impact of risks
  • Risk transfer: Transfer the risk to another resource or party

Q37. How can you determine the quality of the test execution?

Ans. You can determine the quality of test execution by: 

  • Defect rejection ratio: (No. of defects rejected/ total no. of defects raised) X 100
  • Defect leakage ratio: (No. of defect missed/total defects of software) X 100

A smaller value of DRR and DLR indicates a better quality of test execution.

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Q38. What are the best practices for test estimation?

Ans. This is one of the frequently asked Test Lead interview questions.

The following are some of the best practices for test estimation:

  • Add reasonable buffer time: It can help you to deal with a delay caused due to unexpected reasons. 
  • Account resource planning in estimation: Make realistic estimation after considering the important factors, like the absence of a human resource.
  • Use the past experience reference: It will help you to prepare good estimates and avoid all the possible obstacles that are most likely to happen.
  • Stick to your estimate: Your estimation may go wrong also. Therefore, you should re-check and make modifications when needed.

Q39. What is the difference between Assert and Verify commands in test automation?

Ans. Both Assert and Verify commands are used to check if the code conditions are true. The difference is what happens next. There are some differences between Assert and Verify:

  • If the Assert condition is true then the program control will execute the next test step. If the command fails, the execution will stop and further test steps will not be executed. There are two types of assets, namely Hard and Soft Asserts.
  • When a Verify command fails, the test will continue executing the rest of the code and logging the failure. The Verify command is used to check non-critical things.

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Q40. What is the difference between functional and non-functional testing?

Ans. Functional Testing

Functional testing tests the system against the functional requirements and specifications. It is concerned with the result of processing. Each functionality is tested by providing a test input, expecting the output, and comparing the actual output with the expected output.

Non-functional Testing

Non-functional testing verifies the non-functional requirements of the application (all the aspects which are not tested in functional testing). It tests whether the behavior of the system is as per the requirement or not. It tests various aspects of the software such as load times, stress, and overall performance.

The table below lists some of the major differences between Functional and Non-functional testing:

Functional Testing Non-functional Testing
Tests the operations and actions of an application Verifies the behavior of an application
Based on customer’s requirement. Based on customer’s expectations.
Easy to execute manually. Difficult to execute by manual testing.
Carried out using the functional specification. Carried out by performance specifications.
Examples: Unit Testing, Smoke Testing, Regression Testing Examples: Load Testing, Performance Testing, Stress Testing

Q41. What is the difference between Beta and Pilot Testing?

Ans. The differences between Beta and Pilot testing are:

Beta Testing

Beta testing is done when the project is about to release. The application is given to the end-users to check whether the application meets the user’s requirements or not. It is done before the final release when the development and testing are essentially completed. The Beta version is released to a limited number of end-users to obtain feedback on the product quality. The purpose of Beta testing is to identify defects and improve the quality of the application.

Pilot Testing

It is the real-world testing that is performed by a group of end-users before an application’s full deployment. A group of users uses the application in totality before the final launch. The purpose of Pilot testing is to evaluate the feasibility, time, cost, risk, and performance of the project.

The following are some of the differences between Beta and Pilot Testing

Beta Testing Pilot Testing
Performed to minimize failure risks. Performed to verify the entire system.
Done after Pilot testing. Performed before Beta testing.
Done in a development environment. Done in a real environment.
Performed by end-users. Performed by selected users.

Q42. Explain bug leakage and bug release.

Ans. Bug leakage is when the bug is discovered by the end-users and not detected by the testing team while testing the software.

Bug release is when the software or application is released with a set of known bug(s). These bugs usually have low priority and severity. It is done when the company can afford the existence of a bug in the released software rather than the time or cost for fixing it in that particular version. Typically, these bugs are mentioned in the release notes.

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Q43. What are the different states in a Defect/Bug Life Cycle?

Ans. Below are the different states in a defect/bug life cycle:

State Description
New It is the first state of the Bug Life Cycle. Any new defect identified by the tester will fall in the ‘New’ state.
Assigned When the defect in the ‘New’ state is assigned to the development team for resolution, the status of the bug changes to the ‘Assigned’ state.
Open In this state, the developer team works towards fixing the bug.
Fixed After fixing the identified bug, the developer team marks the state as ‘Fixed’.
Pending Retest After fixing the defect, the developer team passes new code to the testing team for Retest. The new state becomes ‘Pending Retest’.
Retest The tester checks if the defect is fixed by the developer or not.
Reopen After Retesting, if the defect is identified again, then the status of the bug is changed to Reopened. It will go back to the Open state and go through the life cycle again. Once again bug goes to the ‘Open’ state and goes through the life cycle again.
Verified If the tester does not find any kind of defect, it is assigned the ‘Verified’ status.
Closed If the bug has been resolved and it does not persist, the state is changed to ‘Closed’.

Q44. What is Bug triage?

Ans. Bug triage refers to the process of prioritizing each bug based on its severity, frequency, and risk. The QA team validates the severities of the bug, makes the required changes, finalizes the resolution of the bugs, and assigns resources.

Defect/Bug Triage Process:

  1. Defect Review
  2. Assessment
  3. Assignment

Q45. What is the difference between Verification and Validation?

Ans. Verification involves checking if the software achieves its goal without any bugs. On the other hand, Validation checks if the software product is up to the mark. Below are some of the major differences between Verification and Validation.

Verification Validation
Verification evaluates the steps during the development phase and determines if they meet the user requirements. Validation evaluates the product after the development process to determine if it meets the specified requirements.
Verification is performed before validation. Validation is performed after verification.
It includes checking documents, design, code, and program. It tests and validates the actual product
Verification does not involve executing the code. Validation involves executing the code.
Verification used methods, such as reviews, walkthroughs, inspections, and desk checking. Validation includes methods such as black-box testing, white box testing, and non-functional testing.
It finds the bugs before the development cycle. It finds the bugs after the development cycle – the bugs that the verification process could not detect.
Verification conforms to the requirements specified in the SRS document. Validation checks whether it meets the specified requirements or not.
Its focus is on – Are we building the product right? Its focus is on – Are we building the right product?

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We hope this guide on QA interview questions and Test Lead interviews questions will help you prepare for your next interview. If you want to brush up on your QA and testing skills and knowledge, then do check out the popular QA and Testing Courses.

Test Lead & Quality Manager Career FAQs

Q1. What does a test lead do?

Ans. A Test Lead leads a team of testers to meet the product goals to achieve the organizational goals. A Test Lead is expected to show good leadership qualities along with proficiency in the technical areas of work.

Q2. What does a Quality Manager do?

Ans. A Quality Manager ensures that the quality of products, or services, or processes of an organization are properly maintained and meet the customer’s requirements.

Q3. What soft skills should a Test Lead or a QA Manager have?

Ans. In addition to technical expertise, Test Leads and QA managers should have the following soft skills: Effective communication skills, Problem-solving skills, Adaptability, Strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills, Ability to motivate team members, Team Player.

Q4. What are the responsibilities of a Test Lead?

Ans. The responsibilities of a Test Lead are: Defining the testing activities, Test planning, Determine if the team has all the necessary resources, Prepare the status report and progress report of testing activities, Communicate with customers, Provide testing guidance to product teams, Follow up on all pending testing.

Q5. What makes a good Test Lead or QA Manager?

Ans. Test Leads and QA managers must work on their ability to build and work with a creative test team where each member is equally valuable for the organization. Therefore, in addition to technical expertise, they must also have people skills, such as effective communication skills, adaptability, listening skills, and negotiation skills.


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