One of the most critical questions that may arise in a software tester interview is, “Why should we hire you as a software tester?”.
This might sound like a tricky question, but it’s an excellent opportunity to convince the interviewer that you are a good fit for the tester role.
During my QA experience, I have been on both sides of this question as a candidate for a tester role and interviewer.
This article aims to help you prepare for the next time you get asked to explain why you should be hired. I’ll share a quick overview of the topics you should cover in your answer and dive deeper into how you should prepare the answer based on your own experience.
The short answer to why companies would want to hire a tester is; Companies want to hire software testers that are passionate about testing, about finding faults in their software, and who bring constructive criticism for delivering great products.
Now that we have highlighted the primary qualities you should touch on, let’s dive deeper into each of the items and list some practical examples of what I think would be good answers.
Reasons Companies Would Want to Hire you for Software Testing
Here are some of the reasons I love testing. Maybe not all apply to you, but you can use these examples fitted to your motivation and elaborate on during an interview:
Passion for Software Testing
Showing your passion for testing in an interview will give the interviewer confidence that you have great potential and that you’re not looking for a job for the sole purpose of making more money. Wanting to earn more money is a perfectly valid reason, but you should make it clear that’s not the only reason you want the job.
I have always loved solving puzzles and analytical problems. Testers who love problem-solving also love finding bugs and finding a root cause of problems. By mentioning this quality, you show that you are willing to put in extra effort to learn how systems work, what problems can happen, and why they happen.
As a tester, you can interact with many stakeholders, such as developers, product owners, other testers, or any stakeholder from your project. Show that you are a team player and not just looking to test and find bugs. Team players help anyone unblock problems, such as clarifying requirements with product owners and assisting developers in reproducing bugs. Show the interviewer that you like to get involved in anything that can help the team be more productive and deliver quality products.
Customer Focus and Satisfaction
Testing is not only about finding bugs; you only have excellent products if your customers are happy. I always test with the end-user in mind. When trying a feature, you should think if it makes sense for your customers. Sometimes even the requirements can be wrong, so the test scenarios can be working as expected, but the experience may not be great. Always give your feedback to product owners to help improve the customer experience.
Taking Time to Help Others
Great teams deliver great products. Another excellent quality to show is that you feel good about helping others. Show that you like to teach and mentor other testers. Many teams have a go-to tester, and usually, this is just a genuinely helpful person that keeps up to date on requirements and status. Show that you’re that type of person. Whenever you see that you can help someone in difficulties or even need a quick, simple tip, go to them and help out. If you can help everyone on the team do a good job, it makes your job easier, making you valuable.
Out of the Box Thinking
Looking at the big picture is why I prefer testing versus development (I also like to program). While a developer focuses on a specific task, feature, or platform, I get to look at the big picture as a tester. I like to know how the whole system works and what the product ambitions are. While developers can spend days focused on a specific technical challenge, I like to think of how customers use our products and how it behaves. If you work on a niche with known competitors, study them, see what they are doing better and what your product can do better.
Not all testers know how to program, but you should mention it as one of your motivations if you do. I never wanted to be a full-time developer, but I love programming and creating scripts or tools to make life easier for the team. If you also like scripting or automating to help with tedious tasks, this is a great skill to mention.
Activity in Testing Communities
I like to attend QA conferences, keep in touch with QA communities, and do freelance testing projects. Let the interviewer know what testing related activities you participate in in your spare time. Being active in the testing community shows that you keep up to date with testing topics and are passionate about testing.
Emphasize your Best Skills
If you didn’t make it clear during the interview what your best skills are, this is the moment to do it. Think of your day to day activities; what tasks do people ask you for help with? If someone goes to you for help, it probably means you’re better than others at something.
Here are some examples of valuable traits.
When you are fully aware of the product goals, specifications, and end-user experience, you can be a great help at analyzing requirements and helping your development team. Testers often have more time to explore requirements and experiment with different features. If you have previously helped your fellow developers clarify requirements, this is valuable and worth mentioning, showing that you are a go-to person.
I always strive for honesty, accountability, and delivering my work to expectations. Let your interviewer know to expect quality work and dedication from you.
Productivity is an excellent example that not many people mention. I see myself as an experienced tester with broad knowledge and technical skills. But I have worked with less experienced testers that test much faster than me. That’s a great skill! If you are faster than your peers at testing and raising bugs, that’s a good reason to get hired. If you are quick at testing, mention it; “I’m fast at testing and raising bugs early on.”
Not all tester roles require a deep level of technical understanding, but if you do have the technical knowledge or programming skills, don’t be afraid to mention it, even if it’s at a beginner level. In my first interviews, I wouldn’t say I had technical skills or knew how to program because I didn’t want to give big expectations, but what I was doing was underselling my abilities. Don’t be afraid to talk about your basic skills; just be honest about them.
Having self-taught skills is always a good first impression. It not only shows you are interested in what you do, but it also indicates autonomy and that you will look for answers when you need them instead of waiting on someone to support you every time you need help.
What Value do you Bring to the Company?
The last part of answering why a company should hire you is to link your traits to the company’s needs and how they will benefit from hiring you.
You should read through the job description of the role you are interviewing for and highlight the items you are good at. This way, you can directly address qualities you know they are looking for since it’s on the job description.
During your interview, you should ask the interviewer about the test process at the company. How is the test team organized? What are the biggest challenges they currently face? Knowing about the testing challenges will allow you to mention how you would help solve some of the problems.
For example, if the interviewer mentions they are in great need of testers because they are overloaded with testing cycles, and you are fast at testing, say that you would be a great help in this scenario to help complete test runs quicker.
Even if you cannot answer helpful solutions on a first interview, you will gain experience and give better answers in future opportunities.
Example Answers to the Question “Why Should We Hire you?”
I’m a passionate tester, and if you hire me, you will see that I am always motivated to do a great job. I have always enjoyed problem-solving, and with a testing role, I feel I can do that every day. I’m also involved in online tester communities and participate in other testing projects in my spare time.
I’m a team player. I think the most important thing is to deliver according to expectations. I will help with whatever is needed, helping the product team document requirements, helping developers with reproducing bugs, testing documents and reporting, or going the extra mile to complete testing.
I think my experience will help other testers evolve. I am very good with people, and I love helping. I would do a good job teaching and mentoring other testers to help build a great team and culture.
I like to think out of the box when I’m testing and focus on our customers. I don’t look only at the available requirements. I want to think about how customers would use our products and what the competition is doing to add valuable feedback to our product team.
From your job description, I see that you are looking for test planning and reporting skills. I am very good at preparing test plans and presenting test results to stakeholders.
I strive to have a great work ethic. You can always expect honest feedback from me, and I’ll go the extra mile to achieve successful project deliveries.
I’m very productive and autonomous. I am focused when testing, and usually one of the first to finish my tasks. I’m sure I will be valuable in helping with testing tasks.