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Microsoft Test Engineer Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Test Engineer interview at Microsoft, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Microsoft was written by on December 1st, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

What soft skills do you believe are important for a Microsoft test engineer to possess?

How to Answer

It should be obvious that Microsoft test engineers need certain technical skills to perform this job effectively. However, there is also a portfolio of soft skills required to be effective in this role. Knowing these and describing them to the Microsoft interviewer will validate your qualifications and persuade them to consider you as a serious candidate for the job.

Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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Microsoft Test Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

  • Direct

    1. What soft skills do you believe are important for a Microsoft test engineer to possess?

      How to Answer

      It should be obvious that Microsoft test engineers need certain technical skills to perform this job effectively. However, there is also a portfolio of soft skills required to be effective in this role. Knowing these and describing them to the Microsoft interviewer will validate your qualifications and persuade them to consider you as a serious candidate for the job.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "There are several soft skills I possess that allow me to be successful in the role of a Microsoft test engineer. These include my analytical skills and attention to detail, my ability to collaborate with other teams from across Microsoft, my focus on deadlines and ability to work under pressure to meet them, and how effectively I communicate complex technical topics to audiences with both a strong technical or no technical background."

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

  • Discovery

    2. What specific duties do you perform in your role as a test engineer?

      How to Answer

      By asking this question, Microsoft interviewers seek to understand the daily activities and duties you performed in the role of a test engineer. They use your answer to validate the information you provided in your resume and determine if your experience matches the Microsoft job requirements. Carefully reviewing the job posting and your resume before the interview will help you answer this question to the interviewer's satisfaction.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "While each day is different in the job of a test engineer, there are some common duties I perform regularly. These include developing test cases and the resources needed to execute them, verifying and validating the tests I use, finding ways to automate the testing, creating documentation for the tests procedures and test results, and collaborating with the design teams to help them develop more effective products. I also allocate some time each day to learn new processes and procedures and mentor my team."

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

  • Discovery

    3. Can you describe some of the software testing tools you have used in your previous jobs?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers are interested in hiring candidates who not only have the right skills and experience for the job but can quickly assimilate into the Microsoft team. They will ask you about your experience with testing tools to determine if you are familiar with the tools they currently use and can begin contributing to their test requirements soon after joining the organization. Learning as much as you can about the organization's tools will help you respond to this question effectively. You may also want to consider a strategy of recommending tools you've used in your previous jobs to help Microsoft improve its operations.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I have used several different software testing tools in my previous jobs. The ones used by virtually every organization I've worked for include Selenium, HP Unified Functional Testing (UFT), IBM Rational Functional Tester, CA Technologies Application Test, and the Tosca Test Suite. I have also used other tools for specific situations and test cases, including TestingWhiz, Worksoft Certify, Sahi, Watir, and Katalon Studio."

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

  • Discovery

    4. Please describe what you believe are the job responsibilities of a Microsoft test engineer.

      How to Answer

      Microsoft interviewers will ask this question early in the interview to begin the conversation, learn more about your background, and collect information they can use throughout the interview. By asking you to describe the responsibilities for this job, they learn about your understanding of the position and whether it aligns with theirs. You can easily answer this question appropriately by reviewing the Microsoft job posting and researching the organization to learn more about its operations.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Discovery

    5. Tell me about an effective test strategy you have used in your career.

      How to Answer

      Being able to describe effective test strategies you have used in your career demonstrates your qualifications for this job to the Microsoft interviewer. Microsoft likes to hire individuals who come to the job prepared to contribute on day one. They also look for candidates who can help improve their operations by using their previous experience and the success they've had in their other jobs. Answering this question will confirm your ability to do this.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Discovery

    6. What is your strategy for staying up-to-date with developing technologies in your field?

      How to Answer

      Professionals who engage in any type of technology must have current knowledge of new developments in their field. This requires a great deal of effort and a strategy for learning new technologies, processes, and procedures. Describing your strategy to the Microsoft interviewer will confirm your ability to do this and demonstrate that you will stay up-to-date on developments in software testing after Microsoft hires you.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Operational

    7. What steps would you take to learn about a new Microsoft product you will be testing?

      How to Answer

      The more you know about a product that you will be testing, the more effective you'll be at developing and running the test cases needed to verify the product's functionality and identify any bugs or issues it may have. Employers like Microsoft expect you to learn as much as you can about a product before you begin testing it. This requires prior experience with similar products, collaborating with the Microsoft product development team, and quickly learning new things. Your answer should reflect your abilities in each of these areas.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Operational

    8. Have you ever cut corners to save time on testing, and if so, what was the result?

      How to Answer

      While cutting corners to save time or accelerate a software testing cycle may seem to make sense, doing this may compromise the integrity of the testing or another element of the software development project. While you may do this when performing the job, you should never admit it to the Microsoft interviewer. Their primary interest is ensuring that the software testing is accurate and effective. The interviewer may press you on this and ask follow-up questions. It is best to keep your answers consistent and emphasize your commitment to the integrity and accuracy of the testing above all else.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Situational

    9. Have you ever experienced a software developer disagreeing with your test results? How did you manage this?

      How to Answer

      This is a behavioral question. Behavioral questions present you with a scenario and then ask how you would respond. The purpose of these questions is to see how well you will fit into Microsoft's culture and how you handle typical situations such as conflicts, failures, and communicating with people outside of your organization. You can structure your answer to a behavioral question using the STAR format. Describe the Situation, define the Task you had to complete, talk about the Actions you took, and then discuss the Results you achieved.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Situational

    10. Please describe a time when your testing strategy and methodology conflicted with one your supervisor preferred and how you resolved the conflict.

      How to Answer

      During an interview with Microsoft, you will be asked a mix of technical, operational, general, situational, and behavioral questions. Recognizing these and framing your answer appropriately will help you navigate the interview and demonstrate your qualifications for the job. Having a framework makes it easier for you to construct your answer, especially if you were unprepared for the Microsoft interviewer's question. Since this is a behavioral question, you should use the STAR framework for your response.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    11. Tell me about a time when you collaborated with a team of developers to successfully launch a new application.

      How to Answer

      There was a time when the quality assurance process and the work done by test engineers conflicted with the goals of the software development team. It resulted in identifying errors and bugs in the software at the end of the development process, which caused more work for the development team. However, the new paradigm is that the software development team and the test engineering team are partners and need to collaborate to develop processes that result in high-quality products with little to no rework or bug fixes. Processes like agile, lean, and waterfall identify critical issues at each stage of the process before they have a larger impact later on. You should have several examples of when you collaborated with the dev team to launch a new application.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    12. What are the elements of a defect report?

      How to Answer

      While each organization uses its own version of a software bug or defect report, there are some common elements across the board. The best way to answer this question is to define some of the elements you've used in your previous roles, even if they span different organizations. This will make sure that your answer to the question is comprehensive. The Microsoft interviewer is very likely to ask you a follow-up question about one or more of the elements you discuss.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    13. What are some of the challenges you encounter in software testing?

      How to Answer

      Every job has its challenges, and Microsoft software test engineers are no exception. When an interviewer asks you about challenges, they expect you to identify significant, complex barriers to your work that you have encountered in the past and can overcome if hired by Microsoft. When answering this question, a mistake would be identifying trivial challenges or nuisance items that are part of the job and which you are expected to deal with as a test engineer.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    14. How are the severity and priority of a software defect defined?

      How to Answer

      This question can serve as a follow-up to the one you were asked earlier in the interview with Microsoft, or it can stand on its own as a separate question if this is the first time the interviewer has asked about this topic. Your response should align with industry standards in either case since determining the severity and priority of software defects is a standard process used by any test engineer. If possible, provide metrics for these, which will help the Microsoft interviewer more easily understand your methodology.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    15. What does the term 'smoke testing' mean, and how does this differ from sanity testing?

      How to Answer

      Smoke testing and sanity testing are two terms that may be unfamiliar to someone outside of the test engineer profession. Like retesting and regression testing, these terms are similar but not identical. As a prospective Microsoft test engineer, you should be aware of this and be able to describe their differences. The Microsoft interviewer is likely to ask you about several different types of tests during the interview. Reviewing all the tests used in your profession to refresh your knowledge is a good practice before any interview.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    16. How do retesting and regression testing differ from each other?

      How to Answer

      These are two terms that sound similar to somebody outside of the test engineering profession, but which are very different from each other. Each of these tests has a specific function, and the Microsoft interviewer will expect you to know this and be able to describe it. You can immediately recognize this is a technical question since it asks you to define and compare two terms used in this job. The best way to respond is to first define each term and then discuss their differences. You may also be asked a follow-up question.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    17. Can you discuss the differences between quality assurance, quality control, and software testing?

      How to Answer

      Individuals from outside of the field of software testing may consider quality assurance, quality control, and software testing to be synonymous. However, as a test engineer, you understand that each of these practices is distinct and has its own set of characteristics. Describing these to the Microsoft interviewer will demonstrate your qualifications and your experience as a software test engineer. As with any question, keep your answer brief and anticipate a follow-up question if the interviewer needs additional information or wants to explore this topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    18. How would you proceed with a software test if proper documentation was not available?

      How to Answer

      This question is a bit tricky because you can respond to it in two different ways. The first is to describe how you would proceed with the testing even though the proper documentation was unavailable. This may involve turning to your previous experience, seeking documentation similar to what you would expect for this product, or simply making your best effort despite the lack of documentation. You could also respond by saying that you would not proceed with the software testing and would instead seek to obtain the documentation necessary for the testing. Most employers like Microsoft prefer the second option since they try to maintain standard procedures and are sometimes governed by rules and regulations requiring them to produce documentation upon request.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    19. What are the items you believe should be addressed in a Microsoft software bug report?

      How to Answer

      If this question looks familiar to one that the Microsoft interviewer has already asked you, it may be. Interviewers often ask similar questions in different ways to correlate the information you are providing them and determine if you are being consistent throughout the interview. This is one method they use to discover if any of the answers you have provided were fabricated or inaccurate. Keeping your answers brief and to the point and never fabricating an answer will help you be consistent throughout the interview. If you don't know the answer to a question, let the interviewer at Microsoft know this and then describe how you would locate the information they are asking you about.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    20. How do you go about creating a software test script?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is asking you an operational question to learn more about how you go about performing this job. They could also present this question in the form of a case, where you would be asked to create a sample script based on a set of criteria provided by the Microsoft interviewer. When preparing for a test engineer interview with Microsoft, you should anticipate both operational questions and cases. These allow interviewers to confirm the information in your resume and test your ability to perform the job.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    21. What is meant by the term 'defect cascading'?

      How to Answer

      The Microsoft interviewer is asking you about a term specific to the test engineer profession and quality assurance process. Being able to adequately define this term and explain its meaning will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are qualified for a test engineer role at Microsoft. Since this is a technical question, keep your answer brief and to the point.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    22. What are the differences between verification and validation software testing?

      How to Answer

      While verification and validation seem to be similar terms that can be used interchangeably, they are very different in the context of software testing. Knowing this and describing each term as software test engineers use it will validate your qualifications and verify that you are well suited for this position with Microsoft. As with any technical question, start by defining each term, then describe the differences between them.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    23. What are defect life cycles?

      How to Answer

      To anybody other than a software test engineer, the concept of a defect having a life cycle would seem strange. However, as a test professional, you understand that defects pass through various stages during a software development and testing process. You will convince the Microsoft interviewer that you have experience in this area and are qualified to do the job by answering this question. Since this is a technical question, keep your answer brief and to the point and anticipate a follow-up question that the interviewer will use to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    24. Can you discuss some of the different methods used in software testing?

      How to Answer

      Several different test methods are used to validate and verify software as it moves through the development process. Microsoft will select the processes that enable them to develop products that function effectively and are free of defects or bugs. While you should be aware of all the testing methods and be able to define and discuss them, you may want a limit your answer to a few which Microsoft likely uses. You can discover those in the job description and by speaking with current and former Microsoft software engineers.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    25. What are the criteria that distinguish a symptom from a cause when executing a test?

      How to Answer

      This question addresses the topic of root cause analysis. Distinguishing the symptom from a cause allows the Microsoft test engineer to identify the issue that needs to be addressed. Once the appropriate root cause has been determined, the development team can begin to resolve it. Once the issue is resolved, and the software is retested, the symptom should disappear, indicating that the cause has been addressed and resolved.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    26. Can you discuss the SDLC methodology and how test engineers employ this in their work?

      How to Answer

      Every Microsoft test engineer should be intimately familiar with the software development lifecycle, or SDLC. This process enables engineers to develop test cases appropriate for each cycle stage and collaborate with the Microsoft software development teams at the appropriate times, minimizing the impacts of the defects they identify. Software development lifecycles are relatively standard and vary little from organization to organization.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    27. What sort of documentation do you create when testing a software product?

      How to Answer

      You can anticipate a question about the type of documentation you use and produce in an interview for a Microsoft test engineer role. The interviewer is interested in confirming that you know the typical kinds of documents used in this profession and that the documents you use align with Microsoft processes. The best way to answer this question is to be honest and describe the documents you've used in the past. These will very likely align with the organization's documentation requirements.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    28. Do you have experience working with object-oriented programming languages?

      How to Answer

      While test engineers do not develop or write application code, they need to be familiar with software programming languages to understand how the code was developed and where errors or bugs may be. Microsoft developers prefer object-oriented programming languages due to their ease of use and extensive libraries of pre-developed code. As a software test engineer, you should be familiar with these languages and be able to discuss some of their features with the Microsoft interviewer.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    29. What are the software testing life cycle phases?

      How to Answer

      The software testing lifecycle, or STLC, has been standardized across the industry, and there are several default steps within the STLC that every organization, including Microsoft, and test engineers use. You should be familiar with these and be able to name them and discuss each phase in detail. Since this is a technical question, keep your initial answer brief and to the point. You can be sure that the Microsoft interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need additional information.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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  • Technical

    30. What are some of the test cases you would write for a mobile application?

      How to Answer

      Software test engineers use test cases to quickly develop testing procedures to identify specific issues and lead to their resolution. Once a test case has been created, it can be repurposed to test similar products for similar problems. This makes the work of a test engineer more effective and drives consistency within the testing process. Interviewers at Microsoft are interested in both of these outcomes. Answering this question appropriately will demonstrate that you're qualified for this role at Microsoft.

      Written by William Swansen on December 1st, 2021

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