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top 23 automation testing interview questions and answers

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written byChief Editor, EPAM Anywhere

As Chief Editor, Darya works with our top technical and career experts at EPAM Anywhere to share their insights with our global audience. With 12+ years in digital communications, she’s happy to help job seekers make the best of remote work opportunities and build a fulfilling career in tech.

As Chief Editor, Darya works with our top technical and career experts at EPAM Anywhere to share their insights with our global audience. With 12+ years in digital communications, she’s happy to help job seekers make the best of remote work opportunities and build a fulfilling career in tech.

For any prospective quality assurance analyst or testing engineer, the technical portion of an interview is a challenge. Hiring managers want to assess and evaluate your skills, and they accomplish that by asking a variety of skill-based questions. Your answers will have a crucial impact on your odds of getting hired.

To help you land the job of your choosing, we compiled a list of potential interview questions for automation testing. Note that a typical automation QA interview will always contain questions specific to a required programming language, such as Java or Python. The following is a list of fundamental questions that will help you brush up your knowledge of the essentials.

Once you apply for an available remote automation testing engineer job on our work board, use the following answers to ace the interview.

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Basic automation testing interview questions

Since software testing covers a broad range of career paths, the automation testing and quality assurance interview questions below are likewise broad in scope. You can find in-depth QA interview questions and functional testing interview questions in separate articles if you want more detail.

To make sure that you are fully prepared, we will start with the basics and work up to more advanced automation tester interview questions.

1. When should tests be automated?

Not all tests benefit from automation; some rely on manual requirements. The following conditions determine if a test is a good candidate for automation:

  • The test executes frequently and is repeatable
  • Manual testing cannot provide a positive return on investment
  • Testing involves extended complexity
  • The tested feature requires minimal change
  • The tested feature has a high business priority
  • The test requires sets of test cases that run simultaneously

2. What kind of tests should not be automated?

The following conditions help determine if a test is better suited for manual operations:

  • The test feature changes frequently
  • Testing involves user experience and usability
  • Tests do not offer pass or fail conditions
  • Tests rely on the tester's discretion to determine results

3. What are the stages of the automated testing process?

The automated testing process has five standard steps:

  1. Primary test tool selection
  2. Defining the scope of the automated testing and its parameters
  3. Planning, design, and development of any automation test strategy and its required environment
  4. Test scripting and execution
  5. Test analysis, reporting, and continued maintenance

Remember that for some projects, the test planning phase is separated from the testing environment setup stage, resulting in a six-step automated testing process.

4. What are the benefits of automated testing?

Automated testing has numerous potential benefits, so this question gives you the opportunity to explain your personal testing approach and how you would leverage specific strategies to improve a company's key performance indicators.

Benefits include:

  • Increased speed of execution
  • Wider test coverage
  • Enhanced efficiency
  • Lower costs
  • Better data insights
  • Less human involvement and a reduced risk of error
  • Higher app quality and performance

5. Identify response code categories

When a user searches a URL, the client makes a HyperTest Transfer protocol (HTTP) request to the server. The server then provides a response code to indicate whether the request initiated successfully. To configure a website reading, it is fundamental that you understand the primary status codes for diagnosing problems. In the interview, explain each code category in detail.

HTTP code categories:

  • 1xx Informational
  • 2xx Success
  • 3xx Redirection
  • 4xx Client Error
  • 5xx Server Error

6. What is continuous integration?

When multiple engineers work on a single product and contribute separate branches of code, project integration is required. To ensure the smooth transition to the working mainline, developers send their working copies to a shared central repository. Automated testing occurs simultaneously to maintain efficiency, a practice known as continuous integration (CI). CI saves time, reduces the number of bugs, and leads to better application performance.

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7. What CI tools do you know?

Since automated testing is a core aspect of continuous integration, numerous DevOps tool providers now offer as-a-service offerings that can streamline your testing and automation. Sample tools include:

  • TeamCity
  • Jenkins
  • Bamboo
  • CircleCI
  • CloudBees CI
  • Semaphore CI

Use this automation testing interview question to explain the pros and cons of your preferred tool. If possible, give an example of how you used the service in a past project.

8. What is continuous delivery?

As developers merge new code into the main branch, automation prepares any changes for immediate production, creating seamless transitions into subsequent build stages for better deployment efficiency. Continuous delivery expands on continuous integrations because it takes new code changes into a test environment, so that multiple dimensions of testing can occur beyond the unit testing phase (UI tests, integration tests, load tests, API reliability, etc).

9. What version control systems do you use?

Version control allows development teams to track code changes. As development environments increase in deployment speed and complexity, tools that control the source code (and any collaboration branches) with a recorded history of changes make modifications simple. You can easily reverse mistakes by reverting to previous code versions.

There are many different types of control systems. In the interview, list the systems you prefer and why. Choices include:

  • Github
  • Beanstalk
  • Apache Subversion
  • Mercurial

10. Which XPath Axes do you know?

XPath is a syntax used to manipulate Extensible Markup Language (XML) data. XPath Axes are used to locate nodes related to those on the tree. There are 13 Axes in total. Naming at least a few of them, such as ancestor, child, namespace, or parent, and mentioning the results they produce, will help you score extra points at the interview.

11. What is TDD/BDD?

Test Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior Driven Development (BDD) are test-first approaches and programming practices for assessing the functionality of code. TDD checks smaller fragments of an application in isolation, with a written test case often outlined at the start of the test design. BDD operates as a team methodology that tests the performance of an application from the user's standpoint.

Automation testing interview questions and answers for experienced QA engineers

While automation engineer interview questions might start with the basics, if all goes well, the hiring manager will shift into more advanced questions that explore your abilities as a specialist. You might also encounter these when answering senior QA engineer interview questions.

Use the following automation testing technical interview questions to showcase your extensive experience.

12. How would you speed up an auto test suite?

Automated test suites engage in software testing cases with no manual intervention. Applications that require UI testing that interacts with multiple elements can slow testing. In the interview, list possible methods that you would employ to increase the speed of your auto test suite. Compare and contrast the benefits and drawbacks of the methods you identify.

Possible methods to improve testing speed:

  • Use API Layers
  • Improve your computing power
  • Leverage parallel execution
  • Employ efficient test setup and teardown

13. What test automation frameworks do you have familiarity or experience with?

A testing framework consists of the tools and practices used to design test cases. There are six common automation testing frameworks. In the interview, explain the differences, benefits, and drawbacks. For bonus points, share a previous project that demonstrates your experience with a favored framework.

Common automated testing frameworks:

  • Linear Automation Framework
  • Modular Based Testing Framework
  • Library Architecture Testing Framework
  • Data Driven Framework
  • Keyword Driven Framework
  • Hybrid Testing Framework

14. What is dependency management in Maven?

Dependency management is crucial for the effective completion of a project. A product generally relies on many different components, systems, and external libraries that are worked on by several teams, each with different schedules. Maven allows you to manage the dependencies for reproducible builds. As an automation tester, dependencies have great importance, since a slow service can ruin testability and destroy the positive flow of work.

15. How do you validate an XML file?

    Automation testers can find defects beyond functional performance through database testing. XML technologies offer an ideal method for database testing, where validating an XML file can ensure its completeness. To validate, create an XMLReader object containing an XML schema that describes the structure of an XML document— then ensure that the syntax verifies as well-formed.

    16. Compare Selenium WebDriver v3 vs v4

      Selenium is an automated testing framework that provides tools for the functional testing of browsers and platforms. Since it is open-sourced, new versions offer improvements to the architecture. Selenium v4 has enhanced stability and browser standards but, in the interview, compare and contrast the pros and cons of each version.

      17. What are implicit and explicit waits in Selenium?

        Automation tests rely on wait commands to locate and fix web elements that lag. Selenium has two types of waits: implicit and explicit. Explicit waits allow your code to halt execution until a specific condition resolves. Implicit waits poll the DOM (the structure of an HTML element) for a certain period of time, effectively delaying execution so that elements can have more time to load.

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        18. What are the advantages of the Page Object Model?

          In Selenium, the Page Object Model (POM) creates a repository that stores class files. Since you can store objects and web elements, development teams can be far more efficient with code. In particular, POM allows for changes at the method level, leading to better maintenance and code reusability.

          19. How do you validate API test results?

            Since APIs provide the instructions for communication between distinct systems and components of a web application, you will have to perform automation testing to ensure reliability and performance. The most common API testing technique is REST over HTTP, which involves validating the REST contract. In the interview, explain how you would compare test actions to specific response codes.

            20. When should you use the Gherkin language?

            Gherkin is a language that tests the behavioral performance of an application. It is a line-oriented syntax in plain English that defines tests in Cucumber (automated acceptance tests). Since Gherkin requires specific statements – "Give", "When", and "And" – it is best used in BDD testing practices.

            21. What keyword is used to fetch the URL of the current page?

            Selenium WebDriver can help you find the current URL of a page with the getCurrentUrl(). This method will find the URL of the open applications and result in a string. In the interview, be prepared to implement the code and demonstrate the proper output as a practical task.

            22. What are the QA challenges related to Agile software development?

            Agile software development takes an incremental approach to app creation, isolating app features for continuous integration testing as they are built. While Agile testing can improve project efficiency and team communication, it also creates several challenges.

            In some cases, test execution receives less focus than it should. The limited documentation might cause more errors. In addition, testers may take on development roles beyond their scope, and the rapid introduction of new feature tests can result in lower quality end products.

            Comparing development approaches in response to a QA automation technical interview question can really showcase how well you might fit within a particular company and its current development practices.

            Automation testing coding interview questions

            In addition to questions like those listed above, the hiring manager might ask a few QA automation coding interview questions. Even in a leadership position, you need to have considerable experience in practical coding matters. You might have to perform certain tasks in the interview to demonstrate your process and experience.

            Here is an example of a question you might have to answer and code for:

            23. How would you handle the alert popups in Selenium WebDriver?

              Selenium provides alerts if there are issues while you test. The pop-up interface allows you to handle the alert by switching the control to the pop-up, pressing the OK or Cancel buttons, and turning back to the source page screen. If asked, you would need to showcase the implementation as a task:


              Final tips

              The scope of QA automation interview questions is extensive. With appropriate preparation, you will be able to answer any theoretical queries and showcase your skills and abilities as a potential candidate. Use the automation testing interview questions listed above as a launchpad for further research.

              Ready to impress in an interview? Take a look at our technical interview questions guide and apply for one of our open remote jobs at EPAM Anywhere.

              written byChief Editor, EPAM Anywhere

              As Chief Editor, Darya works with our top technical and career experts at EPAM Anywhere to share their insights with our global audience. With 12+ years in digital communications, she’s happy to help job seekers make the best of remote work opportunities and build a fulfilling career in tech.

              As Chief Editor, Darya works with our top technical and career experts at EPAM Anywhere to share their insights with our global audience. With 12+ years in digital communications, she’s happy to help job seekers make the best of remote work opportunities and build a fulfilling career in tech.

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