We currently have a candidate for a junior testing position who seems to be a good fit. No testing experience but we would be willing to send him to courses. Now all I want to do is make sure that our gut feel that this guy will take on a task, make it his own and spend time learning on his own is correct. What I'm thinking is giving him some sort of small "project" - have him do some reserch and write up some sort of report. One idea was to give him a couple of sites to research (e.g. softwareqatest.com and ask him to write some test cases. Anyone have any other ideas?
Depends on what do you want him to do most. If you need person who writes a lot of reliable test cases and nice reports – this is exactly what to do. Also: if your company create web sites only.
If you want him to be able find bugs – this is not the best choice. Any existing site has little of the bugs that are normally present in code what is passed to tester.
I would give him any of your old projects at the stage where it was just passed to testing: with all of the defects that you know are there. See how many of defects you know he will find and how much more (that you never found.
One more option to consider. I have created a small application having a lot of (10) bugs “implemented” in it. I give it to anyone and ask to test it for 1 hour. It is enough for experienced tester to detect at least 8 out of 10 bugs. Trainee on average found 6 of them (from 3 up to 9 actually). You could create something likely implementing bugs most typical for you technology/language/programmers.
thanks Ainars - due to limited time we decided to scrap this idea. I think my next round of interviews, I may go with the triangle program for aptitude tests tho what w were looking for this time was to find out more about his drive and dependability. Turns out his references were able to provide that info.