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  1. #1
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    Often during an interview, companies want to know about your experience with the specific tools (Test Automation tools, Load testing tools, Bug Tracking tools, etc) that they are currently using.

    1) Let's say you haven't used those particular tools before, but have used others in that category. How do you answer?

    2) Let's say not only haven't you used a particular tool, but you haven't used any in that category (for example, Web Services Testing tools). How do you answer?
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  2. #2
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    I explain that I used to be a programmer and so was used to learning tools very quickly and give some examples - VB6, Visual Studio,SQL Server Management studio

    though first I have to get past the agencies with their buzzword checklist and try to explain it to them



    ( in a positive and not a negative way )

  3. #3
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    ...with a positive spin and sprinkled with a dash of confidence.
    "I have experience testing web services manually with the help of development resources but I have not had an opportunity to use 'tool xyz'. It will be great to have a tool to assist me with testing in this area. With a brief tutorial, I am certain I will be able to use it effectively."
    C~

    Avatar courtesy of the DOW Chemical Company: http://www.dow.com/Hu/

  4. #4
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    I've run into this many times and finally come up with what I feel is the best answer IFF you now the product.
    Also, non-tech interviews (where you usually get these type of questions) are just to see who you are and so most questions they ask at these interviews can be easily answered even if you have no clue of the "correct" answer. Here's what I mean...

    Let's say the tool is QTP.

    1) Let's say you haven't used those particular tools before, but have used others in that category. How do you answer?

    First ask/confirm what the question is exactly. (Gives you time to think) Here you show what you know by saying something like "that's the rec/play tool that Mercury uses and I have used rec/play tools before and find they are useful for GUI testing when the GUI is stable and doesn't change." Then depending on the "feeling" you can go into other things you know about that type of tool and end it with "so I haven't used that exact tool, but since it's similar to the other tools I've used it wouldn't take long to be proficient with it".

    2) Let's say not only haven't you used a particular tool, but you haven't used any in that category (for example, Web Services Testing tools). How do you answer?

    This is tougher, but the same thing here except you ask more questions which give you time to think more and you learn (which is also a good thing for them to see you doing). Also, there will be related areas that you are familiar with so you can talk about those. If there's no related areas you know about, then it's probably not an important question (ie. it's cutting edge and they don't expect anyone to know about it or something like that) and you should just keep it short and end up with "no clue" (or maybe this isn't the job for you)
    Cheers,
    B^2

    "Imagination is more valuable than knowledge." (AE)

  5. #5
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    1) Let's say you haven't used those particular tools before, but have used others in that category. How do you answer?

    Note relevant experience with tools that fall into that class. Focus on your approach to solving testing problems through use of automation, illustrate frameworks you've built or been exposed to using the other tools. If you ramp up quickly, highlight that. If you think you would need some training, be honest or you'll potentially get hired into a position in which you will flounder and hate.

    2) Let's say not only haven't you used a particular tool, but you haven't used any in that category (for example, Web Services Testing tools). How do you answer?
    Be honest. Answer that you don't have experience in that category, but try to shift focus back to areas where you are strong and can see being an asset to the team you are trying to join. Give examples of how you would go about ramping up on the subject and cases where you've done so in the past.
    Drew

    Actual quote from an email I received from a product manager:
    "I want to tell all our customers to go to it (site) on Monday next week. I especially want to make sure the forums work right. Can you test every feature you can find?"

  6. #6
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    In two separate interviews I have had both questions asked of me, Joe.
    [ QUOTE ]
    Joe:
    1) Let's say you haven't used those particular tools before, but have used others in that category. How do you answer?

    [/ QUOTE ]My answer consisted of the following:
    A. I feel confident that I can master any tool in a short period of time. This includes the particular tool you are using. (Robot for one interview and QTP for the other). I understand this follows the WIN paradigm and is generally used in the same ways as other tools of this class.
    B. Do you use “tool” in ways not generally intended?
    C. Do you ever use it as a combined utility and test tool? I mean that you would use it to set up data via your applications for other tests and while doing so, you are in fact testing the necessary pieces/parts of the app needed to setup data in the first place. I routinely do this and use those utility/test components as pieces of a larger framework and/or smoke/sanity test.
    D. What version do you have? How is it implemented? I will attempt to get an evaluation copy and brush up on the “tool”.
    E. What are some of the challenges you have with this tool? Can we explore how I might help you overcome those? Do you have someone on your team who can join us and speak to some frustrations?
    .
    .
    [ QUOTE ]
    Joe:
    2) Let's say not only haven't you used a particular tool, but you haven't used any in that category (for example, Web Services Testing tools). How do you answer?

    [/ QUOTE ]I haven’t met a tool that has mastered me versus me mastering it. <smiles and a does of my warped humor usually> What sets this one apart from others in your mind? What would you like me to understand about it that would make it unique in your case. (Then I would include appropriate questions from the lettered list I posted above).

  7. #7
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    Excellent Jake. Now dat's what I'm talkin' bout. Ask questions! And I think one of the things that you must do before you get to this point is prepare in anyway you can. Try to find out what tools the company uses and study up if you need to. Often times when I go through a recruiter I'll get them to ask for me. That one of the few times a recruiter can actually help.
    Cheers,
    B^2

    "Imagination is more valuable than knowledge." (AE)

  8. #8
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    Thank you Bryan. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Actually there were 3 instances as opposed to the two I mentioned above. In one of these I ended up instructing Robot and had a follow-on opportunity for Roland (a member and moderator here). While we did the preliminary work (estimates, etc.) the deal never materialized for various good reasons from the client perspective.

    My advice to others as was advice given to me...

    If one is confident in one's abilities, take command of the interview such that it is you asking the questions - not to be a jerk or a distraction, but to create an interview atmosphere where you can actually showcase your abilities and willingness to face challenges. As you do this you are actually gauging their capabilities as well, and - in doing so you are learning how well you scale with their team tool knowledge.

  9. #9
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    Re: If you don\'t have knowledge of a specific tool

    Personally, I consider knowlege of a specific tool to be a small part of the problem. Most of the tools are easy enough to pick up - there's record/playback, maybe creating scripts from scratch using a familiar looking language, etc. Not having any experience with a tool might mean it takes a little longer to ramp up, but over time it has little effect. The real barrier to create good automated tests is the ability to come up with good test cases and create an architecture that will be provide actionable results and be easy to maintain.

    My answer would be along those lines - tools I've dealt with in the past were relatively easy to pick up, so I'm confident I can learn tool X and build on what you already have pretty quickly. The big problem is coming up with good test cases and architecting a maintainable framework - for example, when I was working with WinRunner I ran into problem ____ and solved it by doing ____.

 

 

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