35 Test Lead Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 February 2023

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.

Performing well in a job interview allows you to demonstrate to hiring managers why you are qualified for the position and how you could benefit the organisation. It is important to prepare yourself to answer questions related to the job you are pursuing, especially because interviewing to become a software test lead may require answering technical questions. Reviewing potential interview questions can help you practise your answers to ensure you provide focused, accurate answers. In this article, we provide examples of test lead interview questions and share a selection of sample answers.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

10 General Test Lead Interview Questions

Many hiring managers begin with general test lead interview questions. These questions allow them to learn more about your personality, skills and interest in the position and organisation. This may also help you feel more comfortable speaking with the interviewer, allowing you to feel more at ease and prepared to answer more complicated questions.

Some examples of general interview questions include:

  1. Tell me about yourself.

  2. How did you hear about this position?

  3. Why do you want to work with us?

  4. How would your coworkers describe you? Your manager?

  5. What are your long-term career goals?

  6. What are your three greatest strengths?

  7. What is your biggest weakness?

  8. Do you enjoy working as a team?

  9. Why should we hire you?

  10. What do you find most exciting about this opportunity?

Related: Interview Question: 'Tell Me About Yourself'

10 Experience And Background Interview Questions

Interviewers ask questions about your experience and background to understand how well your qualifications and work history meet the job requirements. They may ask if you have experience with certain situations or tasks you may encounter in the job. When possible, include specific examples or data when answering these questions to best contextualise your achievements.

Using the STAR method is helpful for answering questions about your work history. This interview response technique makes it easy to explain problems you solved in a simple storytelling format. Begin by explaining the situation, then define your unique task or responsibility related to it. Discuss your actions to resolve the problem, and finish your answer with what the result of your actions was.

Some examples of interview questions about your background and experience as a test lead include:

  1. Tell me about your responsibilities in your previous position.

  2. Describe a time you resolved a conflict at work.

  3. Do you have any previous experience in management positions?

  4. Describe your process for beginning a new project.

  5. Have you used Agile project management techniques?

  6. What is your proudest accomplishment in your career?

  7. How do you balance client and company priorities fairly?

  8. Are you comfortable working with clients directly?

  9. What testing and QA processes are you most comfortable using?

  10. Describe your relevant qualifications for this position.

Related: 7 Experience Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

10 In-Depth Interview Questions

In-depth interview questions for test lead jobs evaluate your abilities, skills and practical knowledge. These questions often relate to the technical aspects of this career, and it is important to understand how to discuss concepts, processes and applications well to demonstrate your qualifications. Sharing specific examples and using the STAR interview response technique may also be useful for these questions.

Here are some examples of in-depth interview questions for a test lead:

  1. How do you use test estimation?

  2. If a client is dissatisfied, how do you respond?

  3. Which QA processes are appropriate to automate? Which are best left as manual?

  4. If senior leadership asked you to release a defective product, how would you respond?

  5. What is the difference between inner and outer joints?

  6. Describe how to run a query in SQL.

  7. What is a requirements traceability matrix?

  8. What tools do you use when testing a project?

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

  10. Define configuration management.

Related: Top 101 Software Testing Interview Questions (With Answers)

5 Interview Questions With Example Answers

Reviewing interview questions with example answers may help you better prepare for how you want to answer the questions yourself. It may also be useful to understand why hiring managers ask certain questions so your responses align with want they want to learn. Here are some examples of test lead interview questions with sample responses:

1. What makes a good test lead?

Interviewers ask what you think the qualities and qualifications are of a good test lead to assess how well you understand the role. Discuss what you believe to be the characteristics of an effective tester, and consider including some of your own goals, priorities or skills that make you a good tester. It is also important to demonstrate that you understand the role of a tester within this particular organisation. Review the job posting before your interview, and look for skills, requirements or responsibilities mentioned that you can incorporate into your response.

Example answer: "I think a good test lead is someone adaptable, detail-oriented and a good problem solver. Adaptability can help them respond to new project requirements or navigate client requests. Attention to detail makes it easier to spot errors and ensure quality delivery. Problem-solving can help them respond to QA concerns quickly and effectively, making it possible to complete their assignments within the estimated time frame."

Related: 38 Thought-Provoking Interview Questions And Sample Answers

2. What does PDCA stand for, and how do you use it?

Interviewers often ask questions that evaluate your understanding and practical knowledge of technical processes and testing models. It may be helpful to review information about Test Process Improvement (TPI) methods and testing strategies prior to your interview. This may help you feel more confident in your answers and enable you to respond accurately, best showcasing your abilities.

Example answer: "PDCA is a TPI method that stands for plan, do, correct and act. In the first stage, testers plan improvements and incorporate client requests into their set target, then they execute their plan, focusing on improving implementation and timeline management. In the correct phase, testers determine the effectiveness of their improvements by checking results and evaluating the success of their efforts. Finally, in the act stage, testers learn from their results so they can improve their future processes and implementation strategies as they repeat the cycle."

3. What are some risks you might encounter when testing a project?

An interviewer may ask about the risks you anticipate when testing a project to understand how you prepare for and respond to challenges. It is important to consider risks so you can prevent potential complications, provide accurate estimates and create effective testing strategies. Focus your answer on highlighting the main types of risks you expect and briefly defining how they may affect the project.

Example answer: "In testing, we often encounter risks that can affect our timelines, resources, strategies and understanding of project requirements. These can create concerns, and it is important to consider them at the beginning of a project. Timeline risks can affect the project's schedule, so it is always important to be aware of potential delays.

Resource risks might come from team concerns like the team's skills, experience or individual workload capabilities. Strategy risks can affect budgets and client relationships. Project requirement risks might include challenges concerning the project's scope or desired outcomes."

4. Have you ever disagreed with a team member? How did you resolve the disagreement?

The interviewer may ask you about disagreements or workplace conflicts to understand how well you work as a team. Provide an answer that demonstrates your maturity, interpersonal skills, professionalism and communication skills, and avoid speaking negatively about others. Consider using the STAR method to share a specific experience concisely.

Example answer: "When I first started at my last company, I had a coworker who routinely approved defective work, then blamed me for the errors if the client noticed. I presented a new testing strategy to my manager, so both of our work would undergo one more approval step before we delivered it to the client. By implementing the final QA step, we could catch the errors and document their source. This helped me correct the placement of blame and, as an added benefit, it improved our ability to deliver quality work to our clients."

Related: 25 Behavioural Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

5. How do you ensure quality estimations on tests?

An interviewer may ask about estimations to learn about your work habits and preferences. They may evaluate your response to determine how well your current processes and knowledge aligns with their organisation's processes, allowing them to evaluate your ability to adapt to its workflows. Answer the question honestly and confidently., and include details that demonstrate why you use this particular process.

Example answer: "To ensure quality test estimations, I usually try to consider every potential factor, such as resources, team capabilities and potential risks. I almost always give myself some extra time, that way I can exceed expectations and represent the company well to clients. Now that I am more experienced, I have an adept sense of how long certain processes take. By considering team capabilities and needs, and always staying flexible and receptive to new information, I can ensure my estimates remain as accurate as possible."

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