SQA – Technical Interview Questions

Here is list of questions you may be asked during the technical interview of SQA Job.

What are Application Testing Methodologies

This is a well-known and well discussed aspect; there are only 3 universally accepted methodologies;

  • Black Box: In black-box testing, the AUT is validated against its requirements considering the inputs and expected outputs, regardless of how the inputs are transformed into outputs. Testers are least concerned with internal structure or code that implements the business logic of the application. There are four primary techniques to design test cases for black box testing;
    i. BVA (Boundary value Analysis)
    ii. EP (Equivalence Partitioning)
    iii. Decision Tables
    iv. State Transition Tables (and diagrams)
  • White Box: Primary focus of this methodology is to validate, how the business logic of application is implemented by code. Internal structure of the application is tested and the techniques available to do so are;
    i. Code Coverage
    ii. Path Coverage
    Both the above listed techniques contain several other strategies that may be discussed in some other article. Some techniques are discussed in ‘Test Case Design Techniques’ topic.
  • Grey Box: Practically speaking, this is a mixture of black box and white box. In this methodology, mainly the tester tests the application as in black box. But, for some business critical or vulnerable modules of application; testing is done as white box.

List down some widely used Functional Testing tools.

1) HP QTP (Quick Test Professional)
2) Selenium
3) IBM Rational Robot
4) Test Complete
5) Push to Test
6) Telerik

What is Software Test Plan (STP)

For any activity, some planning is always required and same is true for software testing. Without proper plan there is always high risk of getting distracted during the testing. If this risk becomes a fact, the results could be horrible.
Following are the 5 main parts of a good Test Plan:
a. Scope
i. Overview of AUT
ii. Features (or areas) to be tested
iii. Exclusions (features or areas not to be tested) with reason
iv. Dependencies (of testing activities on each other, if any)
b. Objectives: This section describes the goals of testing activity e.g. validation of bug fixes, new features added or revamp of AUT etc.
c. Focus: This section describes what aspect of application will be included in the testing e.g. security, functionality, usability, reliability, performance or efficiency etc.
d. Approach: This section describes what testing methodology will be adopted for which areas of AUT. For example, in the STP of an ERP application; the approach section may contain the information that black box testing will be approach for payroll. On the other hand, for reports the approach will be grey box testing.
e. Schedule: This sections describes that who will be doing what and where on the AUT, when and how. Schedule section is, in fact, a ’4Ws and H’ of the STP. Normally it is a simple table, but every organization may have its own customized format according to their own needs. Once the test plan is ready and application is under development; testers design and document the test cases. In the “Application Testing – Methodologies” section above, I have listed the TC design techniques.

What are Application Testing Cycles

Once the AUT is ready for testing, the practical phase of testing cycle starts in which testers actually execute the test cases on AUT. Keep in mind that here the testing cycle is discussed regardless of Testing Levels (Unit, Module, Integration, System and User Acceptance) and Testing Environments (Dev, QA, Client’s Replica, Live).
a. Smoke Testing: The very first testing cycle that is wide and shallow in approach. The purpose of smoke testing is to verify that there are no crashes in the application and it is suitable for further testing.
b. Sanity Testing: The second testing cycle that is narrow and deep in its approach. Its purpose is to verify that a specific module is working properly and is suitable for complete testing.
Tip: Usually there is not ample amount of time available to run these two cycles separately. So, a mixture of both these cycles is adopted in practical.
c. Functional Testing: The proper and full fledged testing of application is performed in this cycle. The primary focus of this activity is to verify the business logic of the application.
d. Regression Testing: This is the final cycle of testing in which the bug-fixes and/or updates are verified. Moreover, regression testing also ensures that there is no malfunctioning in other areas of AUT due to fixes and changes.
Bugs are logged in every testing cycle. There is no distinct border line between the testing cycles. For example, in Regression the Functionality is also verified and it may also require smoke, sanity or their merger first.

What can be best testing practices

There are  just 5 tips for best testing practices.
1. Plan Properly
2. Test Keenly
3. Log the bugs Clearly
4. Do Regression Test Efficiently
5. Improve above four skills Continuously

What will be included in Functionality Testing of a website

Test for – all the links in web pages, database connection, forms used in the web pages for submitting or getting information from user, Cookie testing.

Check all the links:

  • Test the outgoing links from all the pages from specific domain under test.
  • Test all internal links.
  • Test links jumping on the same pages.
  • Test links used to send the email to admin or other users from web pages.
  • Test to check if there are any orphan pages.
  • Lastly in link checking, check for broken links in all above-mentioned links.

Test forms in all pages:
Forms are the integral part of any web site. Forms are used to get information from users and to keep interaction with them. So what should be checked on these forms?

  • First check all the validations on each field.
  • Check for the default values of fields.
  • Wrong inputs to the fields in the forms.
  • Options to create forms if any, form delete, view or modify the forms.

Cookies testing:
Cookies are small files stored on user machine. These are basically used to maintain the session mainly login sessions. Test the application by enabling or disabling the cookies in your browser options. Test if the cookies are encrypted before writing to user machine. If you are testing the session cookies (i.e. cookies expire after the sessions ends) check for login sessions and user stats after session end. Check effect on application security by deleting the cookies. (I will soon write separate article on cookie testing)

Validate your HTML/CSS:
If you are optimizing your site for Search engines then HTML/CSS validation is very important. Mainly validate the site for HTML syntax errors. Check if site is crawl able to different search engines.

Database testing:
Data consistency is very important in web application. Check for data integrity and errors while you edit, delete, modify the forms or do any DB related functionality.
Check if all the database queries are executing correctly, data is retrieved correctly and also updated correctly. More on database testing could be load on DB, we will address this in web load or performance testing below.

What is Usability Testing and what need to be covered in it for a website

Test for navigation:
Navigation means how the user surfs the web pages, different controls like buttons, boxes or how user using the links on the pages to surf different pages.
Usability testing includes:
Web site should be easy to use. Instructions should be provided clearly. Check if the provided instructions are correct means whether they satisfy purpose.
Main menu should be provided on each page. It should be consistent.

Content checking:
Content should be logical and easy to understand. Check for spelling errors. Use of dark colors annoys users and should not be used in site theme. You can follow some standards that are used for web page and content building. These are common accepted standards like as I mentioned above about annoying colors, fonts, frames etc.
Content should be meaningful. All the anchor text links should be working properly. Images should be placed properly with proper sizes.
These are some basic standards that should be followed in web development. Your task is to validate all for UI testing

Other user information for user help:
Like search option, sitemap, help files etc. Sitemap should be present with all the links in web sites with proper tree view of navigation. Check for all links on the sitemap.
“Search in the site” option will help users to find content pages they are looking for easily and quickly. These are all optional items and if present should be validated.

What is Interface Testing

The main interfaces are:
Web server and application server interface
Application server and Database server interface.

Check if all the interactions between these servers are executed properly. Errors are handled properly. If database or web server returns any error message for any query by application server then application server should catch and display these error messages appropriately to users. Check what happens if user interrupts any transaction in-between? Check what happens if connection to web server is reset in between?

What is Compatibility Testing

Compatibility of your web site is very important testing aspect. See which compatibility test to be executed:

  • Browser compatibility
  • Operating system compatibility
  • Mobile browsing
  • Printing options

Browser compatibility:
In my web-testing career I have experienced this as most influencing part on web site testing.
Some applications are very dependent on browsers. Different browsers have different configurations and settings that your web page should be compatible with. Your web site coding should be cross browser platform compatible. If you are using java scripts or AJAX calls for UI functionality, performing security checks or validations then give more stress on browser compatibility testing of your web application.
Test web application on different browsers like Internet explorer, Firefox, Netscape navigator, AOL, Safari, Opera browsers with different versions.

OS compatibility:
Some functionality in your web application is may not be compatible with all operating systems. All new technologies used in web development like graphics designs, interface calls like different API’s may not be available in all Operating Systems.
Test your web application on different operating systems like Windows, Unix, MAC, Linux, Solaris with different OS flavors.

Mobile browsing:
This is new technology age. So in future Mobile browsing will rock. Test your web pages on mobile browsers. Compatibility issues may be there on mobile.

Printing options:
If you are giving page-printing options then make sure fonts, page alignment, page graphics getting printed properly. Pages should be fit to paper size or as per the size mentioned in printing option.

What is Performance testing

Web application should sustain to heavy load. Web performance testing should include:
Web Load Testing
Web Stress Testing

Test application performance on different internet connection speed.
In web load testing test if many users are accessing or requesting the same page. Can system sustain in peak load times? Site should handle many simultaneous user requests, large input data from users, Simultaneous connection to DB, heavy load on specific pages etc.

Stress testing: Generally stress means stretching the system beyond its specification limits. Web stress testing is performed to break the site by giving stress and checked how system reacts to stress and how system recovers from crashes.
Stress is generally given on input fields, login and sign up areas.

In web performance testing web site functionality on different operating systems, different hardware platforms is checked for software, hardware memory leakage errors

What is Security Testing

Following are some test cases for web security testing:

  • Test by pasting internal url directly into browser address bar without login. Internal pages should not open.
  • If you are logged in using username and password and browsing internal pages then try changing url options directly. I.e. If you are checking some publisher site statistics with publisher site ID= 123. Try directly changing the url site ID parameter to different site ID which is not related to logged in user. Access should denied for this user to view others stats.
  • Try some invalid inputs in input fields like login username, password, input text boxes. Check the system reaction on all invalid inputs.
  • Web directories or files should not be accessible directly unless given download option.
  • Test the CAPTCHA for automates scripts logins.
  • Test if SSL is used for security measures. If used proper message should get displayed when user switch from non-secure http:// pages to secure https:// pages and vice versa.
  • All transactions, error messages, security breach attempts should get logged in log files somewhere on web server.

What is Penetration Testing?

It’s the process to identify security vulnerabilities in an application by evaluating the system or network with various malicious techniques. Purpose of this test is to secure important data from outsiders like hackers who can have unauthorized access to system. Once vulnerability is identified it is used to exploit system in order to gain access to sensitive information.

Causes of vulnerabilities:
– Design and development errors
– Poor system configuration
– Human errors

Penetration Testing Types

1) Social Engineering: Human errors are the main causes of security vulnerability. Security standards and policies should be followed by all staff members to avoid social engineering penetration attempt. Example of these standards include not to mention any sensitive information in email or phone communication. Security audits can be conducted to identify and correct process flaws.

2) Application Security Testing: Using software methods one can verify if the system is exposed to security vulnerabilities.

3) Physical Penetration Test: Strong physical security methods are applied to protect sensitive data. This is generally useful in military and government facilities. All physical network devices and access points are tested for possibilities of any security breach.

Penetration Testing Techniques:
1) Manual penetration test
2) Using automated penetration test tools
3) Combination of both manual and automated process
The third process is more common to identify all kinds of vulnerabilities

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