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Palo Alto Networks, Inc. Quality Assurance Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Quality Assurance interview at Palo Alto Networks, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Palo Alto Networks was written by and updated on September 7th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Can you describe and compare some common types of testing, including stress, load, and volume testing?

How to Answer

Comparing and contrasting different types of quality assurance testing methods demonstrates your knowledge and experience with these and indicates which of the tests you may have a preference for. Palo Alto Networks will also have preferences, and the interviewer may be seeking to understand if your preferences align with theirs. This is also a good way to test your communication skills and your ability to describe testing procedures to someone who may not have a quality assurance background.

Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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Palo Alto Networks Quality Assurance Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Can you describe and compare some common types of testing, including stress, load, and volume testing?

      How to Answer

      Comparing and contrasting different types of quality assurance testing methods demonstrates your knowledge and experience with these and indicates which of the tests you may have a preference for. Palo Alto Networks will also have preferences, and the interviewer may be seeking to understand if your preferences align with theirs. This is also a good way to test your communication skills and your ability to describe testing procedures to someone who may not have a quality assurance background.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Load testing, stress testing, and volume testing are the most common quality assurance procedures used in software development projects. Each of these has a different methodology and benefits in identifying errors in the code. Load testing places the application under a heavy load near the software's specified limits. This may simulate a large volume of users, data, or transactions. Stress testing is a methodology that exceeds the maximum recommended load to determine the limits of the application. Finally, volume testing verifies how the software will perform when processing standard amounts of data, user requests, and other loads."

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

  • 2. Can you discuss how the Assert and Verify commands differ in the context of test automation?

      How to Answer

      Quality assurance engineers use a wide variety of commands to perform their work. Interviewers at Palo Alto Networks will ask you about these commands and expect you to be familiar with them. Your answer should include a definition of the command, what it accomplishes, and how it differs from other similar commands. As with any technical question, keep your answer brief and to the point and be prepared for a follow-up question.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "While these commands are similar in that they both check if the code conditions are true, they differ in their subsequent actions. If you're using the assert command and it fails, it will stop executing the code, and the test will be stopped. The verify command continues to execute the code even after it has identified an error. You can choose the appropriate command depending on the test plan."

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

  • 3. Can you describe an incident where you missed an error in code and discuss what happened?

      How to Answer

      Nobody is perfect, even quality assurance engineers. The Palo Alto Networks interviewer knows this and will ask a question like this to ensure that you recognize your imperfections, but more importantly, take actions to correct them. This is a behavioral question, so you can use the STAR format for your response. Describe the Situation, discuss the Task you needed to accomplish, talk about the Actions you took, and then provide the interviewer with a brief description of the Results you achieved.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "During my career, there have only been a small number of instances in which a bug slipped through my quality control process. The most recent one involved a database call. The command was supposed to result in a list of customers over 30 days behind their payments. However, instead of using 30, the programmer entered a value of 3. This was discovered during the test since the dataset I used was small. However, when the program went into production, it resulted in a much larger list of overdue invoices. Once the bug was discovered, we immediately corrected it. What I learned from this and can apply to my work here at Palo Alto Networks was to pay special attention to the values used in specific calls and to increase the size of the data set during quality assurance testing."

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

  • 4. In your opinion, at what point during the software development process here at Palo Alto Networks should the quality assurance testing begin?

      How to Answer

      This is an operational question that the Palo Alto Networks interviewer will use to better understand your approach to quality assurance testing. Each organization has a different procedure for quality assurance. The interviewer wants to see if your methodology aligns with the one they use at Palo Alto Networks. The best way to prepare for this type of question is to research the organization before the interview. You can find information on the job posting, their website, and talking with their quality assurance team. This will help you to better align your answers to their current practices.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 5. In your work as a quality assurance engineer, do you use the terms Test Strategies and Test Plans interchangeably?

      How to Answer

      Different organizations use different terminology in their quality assurance operations. The Palo Alto Networks interviewer is asking you this question to determine your understanding of these two terms. They also want to see if you understand the difference between these. The best way to respond to this question is to define each term and discuss how they differ. In this case, one may be a subset of the other. As with any technical question, keep your answer brief and to the point.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 6. Do you believe that quality assurance engineers should be involved in resolving production issues?

      How to Answer

      This question addresses the scope of a quality assurance engineer's role. Organizations like Palo Alto Networks address this issue differently. Some companies may limit the QA role to simply testing the software and producing reports or recommendations. Others view quality assurance as more strategic to the organization's mission and will involve the QA engineer in a wide variety of activities in addition to software testing. Researching Palo Alto Networks before the interview will indicate which approach they take so you can align your answer to their practices.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 7. Please detail the difference between functional and non-functional testing.

      How to Answer

      Quality assurance professionals use many different testing procedures to ensure that software development projects produce programs that function properly and provide the results the end-users expect. This question asks you to compare two of the procedures. As a QA professional, you should easily answer this question. One way to be prepared for this and other questions is to review the processes and procedures you use before the interview with Palo Alto Networks. Practicing questions like this also will help you better formulate your answers during the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 8. Please describe for me the components of the quality assurance testing life cycle.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer at Palo Alto Networks will ask this question to confirm that you understand each step in the quality assurance lifecycle. As with other operational questions, they are also curious whether your perception of the quality assurance lifecycle aligns with theirs. Researching the organization, understanding their operations, and being familiar with their processes will help you demonstrate your qualifications and fit for their organization.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 9. Can you explain the differences between severity and priority?

      How to Answer

      This question is not directly related to the quality assurance process or practices but can be applied to any job which involves problem-solving. The question addresses your organizational and time management skills. Knowing the difference between severity and priority helps you determine which issues you will address and when you will address them. This is important to the Palo Alto Networks interviewer because they want to ensure that you work well in an environment with minimal oversight.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 10. How are test drivers and test stubs used in the software quality assurance process?

      How to Answer

      As an interview with Palo Alto Networks progresses, the questions you will be asked will be progressively harder. This indicates that the interviewer is gaining confidence in your capabilities and is willing to challenge your qualifications. Even though the questions are more difficult, you should continue to provide answers that are to the point, using simple language that even non-technical individuals can understand. The interviewer will ask follow-up questions if they need additional details or to explore the topic in more depth.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 11. What is Ad Hoc testing, and why would you use this?

      How to Answer

      As a quality assurance engineer, you should be familiar with every type of quality test available. While you may not use each of these, being familiar with them and describing their use is important, especially during an interview. Whenever you describe something during an interview, you should assume that the Palo Alto Networks' interviewer may not have as much knowledge about the topic, and therefore use plain and simple language. If they need additional information, they will ask a follow-up question.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 12. Why is configuration management important in the software development and quality assurance process?

      How to Answer

      By asking why something is important, the Palo Alto Networks' interviewer assumes you have knowledge of the topic and can describe it in detail. The best way to respond to this question is to briefly describe the term you are being asked about and then answer it by detailing its importance. Finally, you may want to give an example of how the concept is used and its impact on the project's outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 13. Do you use thread testing when executing a quality assurance process, and if so, can you describe what it involves?

      How to Answer

      During the interview for a quality assurance engineer's role at Palo Alto Networks, the interviewer will ask you many different questions about your knowledge, expertise, and experience. These will include questions about specific processes and procedures you use to do your job. You can prepare for these questions and anticipate them by first reviewing the job posting to fully understand the requirements and the description of the responsibilities they provide. You should also review your resume before an interview so you're familiar with what the interviewer knows about your qualifications. In addition to researching Palo Alto Networks, the last suggestion for preparing is reviewing how you go about performing your job and what methodologies you have used in your most recent and former positions.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 14. Can you describe what a 'USE' case is and what elements it should include?

      How to Answer

      As a quality assurance engineer, you need to understand the software development process, as well as the programmers and coders do. This will enable you to better identify the root causes of errors and bugs, especially if they recur frequently. This may extend to understanding individual programming languages and the techniques programmers use when developing applications. As with any profession, the better you understand the material you are working with, the more effective you will be at your job with Palo Alto Networks.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 15. While the primary purpose of quality assurance is to identify software errors, it can also prevent these. What recommendations do you have to achieve this?

      How to Answer

      One of the key responsibilities of a quality assurance engineer is to make recommendations on preventing recurrent problems in the software development cycle. Discussing how you do this, and giving specific examples, will help the interviewer understand how you can reduce the costs and time associated with developing software applications for Palo Alto Networks. You should anticipate this question and have some specific examples prepared before the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 16. Here at Palo Alto Networks, we use both Quality Assurance (QA) processes and software testing. Can you discuss the difference between these?

      How to Answer

      This is a general question the Palo Alto Networks' interviewer is likely to ask early in the interview. The purpose of this question is to begin the conversation, explore your background and knowledge, and collect information the interviewer can use throughout the interview. Knowing the difference between the QA process and software testing is integral to this role. Any qualified quality assurance engineer should have no trouble answering this question.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 17. What are some of the tools you plan to use as a Palo Alto Networks' quality assurance engineer?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer will ask you about the tools you use to see if they are the same tools that Palo Alto Networks uses. Hopefully, you have done your research and learned about the company's processes and procedures before the interview. This should allow you to learn about what tools they use and whether the ones you are familiar with are the same. If the tools you use are different, this may be an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to improve the Palo Alto Networks' operations. You should ask the interviewer a clarifying question before suggesting any improvements to see if they are open to this.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 18. How do you go about developing a quality assurance automated test plan?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of an operational question. Operational questions are similar to technical questions, but they specifically address the processes and procedures you use to perform your job. A Palo Alto Networks interviewer will ask you an operational question to ensure that you know how to do the job and see if your processes align with their organization's. As with technical questions, you should keep your answers to operational questions brief and to the point. You may sometimes need to break the operation down into distinct steps, describing these in simple, non-technical language. As with technical questions, you should be prepared for follow-ups.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 19. Can you define a Test case and describe how it is used in the quality assurance process?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of a technical question. Technical questions ask you to define the terminology, concepts, or other elements of the profession and describe how they impact the job you are interviewing for. The best way to answer a technical question is direct and to the point. Keep your answer brief and anticipate that the Palo Alto Networks' interviewer will ask follow-up questions to dig deeper into the topic. This indicates that the subject of the question is important to the interviewer and the organization's operations.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 20. What is Agile testing, and how does it relate to the Agile development process?

      How to Answer

      Agile development is one of the key methodologies used in the software development process. Virtually every organization incorporates the Agile methodology in some way. Any quality assurance engineer needs to be aware of the process and how it impacts their work. You should anticipate being asked about Agile during an interview for the role of a quality assurance engineer.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 21. Can you discuss some of the elements which make up test plans?

      How to Answer

      When you provide an answer to the Palo Alto Networks' interviewer's question, you should be prepared to dig deeper into the topic. Interviewers will ask questions ranging from very casual to very in-depth. These depend on the specific topic and how important it is to the operations of Palo Alto Networks. The best way to prepare for an interview is to review the job posting to completely understand the requirements and duties you are expected to perform. You should also research the organization and learn as much as you can about its operations. Sources for this information include the Palo Alto Networks' website, current and former employees, and industry publications. The more you know about the organization, the better prepared you will be for the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 22. Can you discuss what branch testing and boundary testing are and how these apply to the quality assurance process?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of a follow-up question. Follow-up questions have two purposes. One is to explore a topic in more detail when you have already provided the interviewer an answer to their question. These usually occur immediately after you've answered the interviewer's question about the same topic. Another is to determine if you're consistent with your answers throughout the interview. In this case, the follow-up question will be asked much later in the interview. You should always be prepared for follow-up questions during an interview.

      Written by Audra Kresinske on September 13th, 2021

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  • 23. Can you list some of the common quality assurance tests performed during the software development process?

      How to Answer

      Quality assurance processes for software development projects differ between organizations. They are also dependent on the type of software being developed. Software to be used internally by organizations may have fewer quality assurance requirements, whereas those to be released for commercial purposes, such as the ones Palo Alto Networks produces, may be put through more stringent testing procedures. Knowing the variety of tests available to a quality assurance engineer and discussing how each one is executed is critical for this role. If you are not already familiar with these, you should review and be able to discuss them before going into the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 24. What are some of the elements of a quality assurance test strategy?

      How to Answer

      As a quality assurance engineer, you should be able to identify the elements of a QA strategy quickly and easily. The assumption is that you've created these strategies yourself or have executed strategies created by other QA personnel. Providing an answer to this question will confirm to the Palo Alto Networks interviewer that you have experience in this area and have performed this job in the past. Not being able to do this will be a red flag which the interviewer will use to disqualify candidates.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 25. Can you walk me through the steps for the bug identification and resolution cycle you will use if hired by Palo Alto Networks?

      How to Answer

      When a Palo Alto Networks interviewer asks you to walk them through a process, they are trying to determine your knowledge of the specific process and whether you have executed this before. The best way to respond to these questions is to briefly discuss each step in the process using clear and non-technical language. You should be prepared for follow-up questions which the interviewer will use to expand on the topic or collect more information about a particular step in the process.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 26. What do the terms bug leakage and bug release mean, and how do they impact the quality assurance process for software development projects?

      How to Answer

      During an interview for a quality assurance engineer role at Palo Alto Networks, most of the questions you will be asked will be technical or operational. Technical questions address the terms and other aspects of this job you should be familiar with. Operational questions are related to the processes and procedures used in this role. The best way to prepare for these types of questions is to review the job posting to thoroughly understand the requirements and job description. You should also review the terms, processes, and procedures commonly used in your job. Practicing questions like this will help you to be better prepared for the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 27. In your experience, what are the challenges related to automating the quality assurance process?

      How to Answer

      The software development quality assurance process is highly dependent on automation. This allows quality assurance processes to run in the background with little to no intervention from the QA team. It also standardizes the process and removes any bias based on the individual quality assurance engineer preferences. Knowing the challenges related to this will demonstrate your qualifications for this role at Palo Alto Networks and confirm that you've participated in quality assurance projects in the past.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 28. What are the differences between the build and the release identifications of a software development lifecycle?

      How to Answer

      The software development lifecycle has several different phases. It begins with a statement of requirements and includes design, build, testing, and release. Software development projects can cycle through each of these phases repeatedly before releasing the product into production. The quality assurance process occurs throughout each phase to ensure the product is being developed correctly and to identify any problems before they impact the later stages of development. Each product has a number that identifies it. This number changes as the product moves through the development lifecycle.

      Written by Audra Kresinske on September 13th, 2021

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  • 29. What is Testware, and how does that contribute to the quality assurance process?

      How to Answer

      As with any job, several terms and phrases are used in this role that the quality assurance engineer should be familiar with. The Palo Alto Networks' interviewer is likely to ask you about these throughout the interview. These questions normally are in the form of requesting a definition of the term and then describing how it is used in this role. It will help if you review the general terms and phrases used for the job before the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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  • 30. In your opinion, what are the key functions a software quality assurance engineer performs here at Palo Alto Networks?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer will ask you this type of question to better understand your perception of this role and how you perform the job. Most applicants will rattle off what they've done in the past or what they think the job involves. A better approach to answering this question would be to carefully review the Palo Alto Networks job posting to be familiar with the requirements and the functions it describes. You can even bring this document to the interview with you with these key elements highlighted. You may also want to contact current or former employees who perform the same job to learn more about what they did and gain some insight into the company, the job, and possibly even the person you are interviewing with.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

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