Session 11 - Interviewing testers - Lesson plan

Last updated 5 months ago

Learning objectives

By the end of the session students will be able to:

  • Describe different processes for conducting interviews

  • Define different types of questions to investigate the candidate’s knowledge, skills, experience and attitude.

  • Demonstrate how an interview will take place

  • Carry out testing puzzles/challenges as part of interviewing

Before the session

Students will be recommended to view the following videos:

  • Being interviewed - To be built

  • Interviewing testers - To be built


Start time

End time


Mentor notes




Introduction to the session

  • Ground rules

  • What we are covering tonight including covering before session learning material

  • Other business




Small group discussion

Groups will get together and share experiences of being interviewed for tester roles and interviewing testers

  • What was the role?

  • What was the structure of the interview?

  • What questions did you ask? And what questions where you asked back?

  • Did the interview go well? What criteria did you use to know whether it went well or not?

Focus on asking about what questions they asked or were asked within the interviews.

If the students have all answered or aren’t willing to, share your own experiences of interviewing




Big group debrief

Clinic hosts will invite groups share some experiences and comments they made in theirs groups

Encourage a student to debrief by raising points that were made by students in the small group discussion and inviting them to elaborate on them

Whiteboard, whiteboard pens



Food break



Whiteboard session

Clinic hosts will discuss and whiteboard:

  • What to consider when preparing for an interview

  • How they conduct interviews for tester roles

  • What knowledge, skills, experience and attitude they look for from the candidates (and how this triggers conversations to uncover information on the candidates suitability for the role)

  • How to handle interview situations with inexperienced interviewers

Provide your input into the conversation, but please refrain from dominating the conversation.

Whiteboard, whiteboard pens



Exercise – Mock interview session

Break back into small groups.

  1. Group will select a scenario from one of the interviewing scenarios provided to set a scene

  2. One student is interviewed by a mock panel of interviewers containing the mentor and remaining students

  3. Student has 5-8 minutes to be interviewed before rotating to the next student (previous student will move to the panel)

Control the timer for rotating students.

Each scenario will offer the interviewers different skills to ask about the type of questions you want to ask.

Ask questions based on the previous small group and white-boarded session discussions.

For each student, try and use different questions (perhaps think of different contexts for the tester roles) and take notes on their answers.

Pen and paper



Small group debrief

Mentors and students remain in the small groups to debrief on the mock interviews.

Revisit your notes from each student and provide feedback on the mock interviews




Big group discussion

Testing puzzles during interviews…

  • Are puzzles or challenges useful?

  • What are the benefits?

  • What information do you discover from the candidate?

Provide your input into the discussion, but please refrain from dominating the conversation.

Whiteboard, Whiteboard pens



Exercise – interview testing puzzle

Break in to the small groups again.

The testing challenge is as follows:

“How many golf balls can you fit onto a yellow school bus?”

Mentors, let the students conduct this challenge together as a small group.

Although this puzzle appears to be a logic puzzle, the objective of using this puzzle in a testing interview is to test the candidate’s lateral and critical thinking skills.

The expectation is that the students will ask lots of questions and point out as many risks as they can regarding the objective of squeezing as many golf balls onto a bus.

Hopefully the students will discuss the variables of what “golf ball” means (there are many types of golf balls), and what is meant by “bus” (there are many types of school buses too, which vary even by location). Even the properties of the inside of a bus can be challenged (number of seats, thickness and durability of the windows, number of people on board, are any doors/windows open, is the bus parked on a slope, etc).



Big group debrief

Clinic hosts will ask groups to share their experiences and comments relating to the exercise.

Ideas and comments will be captured on the whiteboard

Encourage a student to debrief by raising points that were made by students in the small group discussion and inviting them to elaborate on them

Whiteboard, whiteboard pens



Wrap up

Hosts will wrap up the session and offer additional activities to carry out after the session on the Ministry of Testing Club forum