Well I thought that with the number of test cases you would also specify what actually would you test.....
Jake I named it a excellent question as this question could tell you about the analytical and logical abilities of the tester you are about to hire....
Joe I was asked this question by a trainee who was learning testing and he wanted to know that If we come across such questions what and where should be the focus....
I definitely replied him but never gave him a exact number instead pointed out some negative scenarios that I would like to test
E.g. Specifying two different destination folder for same ID
Actually I don't agree that it is excellent at all because:
1) A number is useless (as has been pointed out). You need actual test case descriptions. (My count is 720,608 so far so I win)
2) To ask a question like this you really should have a list of test cases you worked out yourself to compare answers to (we are testers after all so we need baselines right?)
3) The majority of respondants have probably not even seen the Rules feature. It is too specific to be fair for all interviewees. (try something like the File Menu in Word instead.
4) If you are going to ask a question like that you really should provide some requirements and/or data. In this case, a print screen of the File menu would be appropriate (or a print screen of the Rules GUI if you persist)
A preferable questino might be:
"What are the 5 highest priority negative Test Cases for the Rules wizard in Outlook 2003"
No THAT will tell you about analytical ability, logical thought,
AND ability to prioritize,
AND will help spot the best testers because THEY will say something like:
"Of those I can think of on the spot, these are the top 10, but if you give me a bit more time I will probably think of something that should be in this list"
I have to agree with Martin on this. My first reaction was "Why do you care about Outlook Express? I had never used Outlook in any form until six months ago." Then it was as a user. Don't use it at home and not at work until January.
Unless all your candidates are absolutely aware of the Rules for Outlook Express, I find the question to be far from "excellent." Sorry.
WEll the idea was to ascertain the analytical abilities of a candidate ......anyway the rules feature in outlook is similar to the folder options feature provided by yahoo rediff and other such mail services.....