Quality Manager Interview Questions and Answers 2024

Quality management is a cardinal function and a key instrument to uphold the efficacy of the product or service offering and certify its viability to the end user. It is an inherent element of the iron triangle in project management and forms the crux of the delivery model in any organization. Quality management interviews can get very challenging due to the nature of work and accountability the role expects – in this quality manager interview questions and answers guide, not only will you see questions related to quality fundamentals, six sigma, quality engineering & improvements, and cost of quality but you will also get strategies to answer situational, tricky and intriguing interview questions for facing the quality manager interview for beginners, intermediate and advanced roles. We are confident that this guide will be your one-for-all reference for quality management interviews, and you can use this to ace your dream role in the organizations of your interest.

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Beginner

This question is an icebreaker and allows the interviewer to set the tone as well as understand not only the candidate's experience and skills but also their presentation, body language, choice of words and most importantly their fitment for the role and the value the candidate will bring into the organization. To answer this effectively, the candidate must ensure to focus on the most relevant experiences while providing an overview on their career, highlight key achievements, call out data as much as possible and keep the answer crisp to ensure the answer does not elongate into too many details/experiences.

By this question, interviewers try to get an understanding of what the candidate's vision regarding their career and learning is. Not that they need a precise answer to what the candidate may do 1825 days from now, but their thought would be to understand the short-term as well as the long-term goals of the candidate and how one intends to pursue and achieve those goals. To answer this question, candidates need to focus on giving an insight specific to the role/domain along with giving the interviewer a glimpse into their professional growth, education goals, leadership goals and personal development. Providing an overview of this will help the interviewer understand the direction that the candidate is looking at and what kind of expectation-setting they will require and do pursuing a role in the organization.

Even though the answer to this question relies heavily on the job description and opportunity open in the organization, the interviewer tries to assess the lookout of the individual and their understanding of the organization, role, job description by this question. While both individual contributor (referred to as team contributor popularly now) and team player are different in nomenclature, both roles are part of the team and involve looking at the overall project responsibilities; the difference is that in case of an individual contributor role the focus is on resource efficiency while in case of a team player role the focus is on flow efficiency. Nevertheless, individual contributors also contribute to the team and may have different reporting structures but overall accountability and responsibility to the project/organization.

A quality manager role just like any other role must possess technical, interpersonal and convincing skills to ensure work is done as planned. Apart from these the quality manager must possess, the following skills: 

  • Negotiation tactics 
  • Influencing, Motivational skills 
  • Analytical & problem-solving abilities 
  • Ability to maximize the work done by the team 
  • Statistical abilities 
  • Decision making abilities

An interviewer asks this question to understand how the interviewee as a person seeks to spend their time pursuing their passions and becoming an all-rounder. To answer this question, focus on mentioning specific areas of interest, identifying activities that you like to do and how this helps you grow as a person and as a professional. It is always good to give specific examples of your areas of interest and it is not wrong if you have liked to do or have just started with something, but always good to be specific than generic while answering this behavioral question.

A Quality manager is fully responsible for the quality management process at the organization. This role involves but does not limit to: 

  • Formulating the quality procedures, benchmarks, and parameters 
  • Establishing thresholds for defining, implementing, and tracking quality metrics 
  • Setting up and maintaining controls and managing documentation 
  • Defining guidelines for tracking issues, service-level agreements, and tolerance limits 
  • Establishing standards for overall quality as well as health, safety, wellbeing 
  • Defining training procedures and implementing learnings to enhance quality processes across the organization 
  • Ensuring customer requirements are met in the right way and at the right time to increase customer satisfaction 
  • Constantly monitoring performance by procuring data in the form of trends, statistics, metrics, 
  • Establishing controls for the change management procedures, reducing wastage, and reusing assets/processes 
  • Establishing methods of actively engaging teams, customers, and stakeholders to drive quality 
  • Defining entry and exit criteria for all levels to ensure built-in quality and regular customer feedback

The Quality manager's role is centrifugal in the organization as it employs functions, responsibilities, and techniques that uphold customer trust and satisfaction in the organization. While this role is dependent on the domain for knowledge of specific tools & techniques unique to that particular domain or department; it is foremost across every department, domain, and function of the organization. Hence it would not be wrong to say that the quality manager's role depends on the domain but is not specific to the domain as quality is to be built-in for all the engagements of the organization.

A quality manager, also known as a quality assurance manager, is responsible for the product's or service's functionality, operability, and usage for the end customer by way of a quality management system across the department as well as the organization.  Quality assurance is a function that an organization strives to imbibe in its day-to-day functions and with the importance, this activity plays in the organization, the quality assurance manager role involves: 

  • Establishment and implementation of the quality management system 
  • Identification of potential problems, their root causes, and ways to overcome them 
  • Close collaboration with various stakeholders, departments, and functions of the organization 
  • Scheduling quality reviews, managing various levels of validations, and reporting on their statuses 
  • Triaging issues, planning hotfixes, updating regression suites, and collaborating with development teams 
  • Analysis of results, continuous improvement, and reducing timelines, gaps, and wastage 
  • Maintaining documentation, training teams, liaising with external stakeholders/parties

This is one of the top-rated quality management interview questions - a quality manager may use a suite of tools to manage the verification and validation of products/services but they need to be clubbed with some inherent qualities that such a person must possess - being able to: 

  • Pay attention to the detail 
  • Experience with Quality Management Systems 
  • Critical thinking skills 
  • Statistical Analysis 
  • Passion to identify and achieve the best possible outcomes 
  • Soft skills - communication, collaboration, and convincing abilities 

Some of the tools quality management practitioners use include: 

  • The 7 basic quality tools - Stratification, Histogram, Check sheet (tally sheet), Cause and effect diagram (fishbone or Ishikawa diagram), Pareto chart (80-20 rule), Scatter diagram, Control chart (Shewhart chart) 
  • Graphs, Total Quality Management models, Quality tracking tools (Rally, Jira, VersionOne, etc.) 
  • Checklists and quality how-To's or manuals 

Source

Yet another commonly asked but tricky quality management system interview questions and answers for a quality manager - Though both bugs and defects are used interchangeably in the software development life cycle (SDLC), there are some differences between them, and these differences can vary based on the QA process followed in the organization: 

Bug
Defect

Software error or issue 

Product flaw  

Results in software malfunction 

Reduces usability or value of the product 

Can be caused due to coding issues, environment issues, data issues, etc. 

Can be caused due to incomplete or missing validations, integrations with other systems 

Found by the team during testing 

Found by the customer while using the product 

The cost of fixing a bug is relatively lower 

The cost of fixing a defect is relatively higher 

Bugs are easy to find and fix 

Defects are hard to find and often require a hotfix/workaround 

A P0 (P-zero) also known as a priority zero defect is a classification convention used for critical issues to define the order of prioritization or resolution of the defect. Priorities are discussed and decided on the bug triaging meetings between the team during the project execution and P0 defects assume the highest priority as they signify the most critical features/areas of the application under test that need to be fixed with the organization-defined service level agreements (SLA's). In general, below is the priority classification that is followed: 

  • P0 - Critical 
  • P1 - High 
  • P2 - Medium 
  • P3 - Low/Cosmetic 

It is important to note that this classification is also applicable to test cases in the same way as defects, to determine the order of execution of test cases. 

Non-functional quality analysis, also called non-functional testing, aims to validate the non-functional requirements or attributes of the system such as performance, load, security, reliability, and scalability of the application under test. Non-functional testing aims at identifying and satisfying the parameters that make the application more usable, and reliable and aid/enable the efficiency of the application for the end-user. Non-functional requirements (NFRs) play an important role in the definition of done (DoD) for the user story. NFRs are always validated after functional testing is completed. This is one of the other very important QA manager technical interview questions that are commonly asked to the candidates.  

Risk-based testing (RBT) is a software testing technique that evaluates the probability of risk based on several factors such as edge-case scenarios, business impact, effort complexity, and dependencies,... RBT involves identifying those scenarios or test cases that fit into the above factors to determine the most critical or sensitive scenarios to be validated in times of crunch or shorter QA cycles. To summarize, risk-based testing involves testing the functionality which has the highest impact and probability of failure.

Severity and priority are 2 important parameters to triage and evaluate defects. Severity is the degree of impact a bug or defect has on the application under test while priority is the order in which the defect will be fixed. A critical or high severity means the failure resulting from the bug/defect has a larger impact, while a higher priority means the bug/defect will be prioritized for resolution. A quality engineer determines severity while a developer determines the priority; to balance both severity and priority to avoid conflicts, the same are reviewed in the defect triaging meeting which involves reviewing open bugs/defects and determining their order of resolution considering both these attributes along with other attributes such as team-capacity, environment availability, etc. To summarize the context, priority is associated with scheduling the issue while severity is related to functionality/operating procedures.  

The Moscow method is a prioritization technique used across various domains to understand how work needs to be prioritized for completion. This popular acronym represents four categories of priority for the product/team: 

  • Must have - requirements that are critical or non-negotiable and mandatory 
  • Should have - requirements that are not vital, but are important and add significant value 
  • Could have - requirements that are nice to have and have the least impact if not done 
  • Won't have - requirements that are not a priority and can be done to add some/little value if time permits (also known as Would have or wish to have requirements) 

Moscow aims at creating a hierarchy of requirements based on factors that define priority such as: 

  • The business value of the delivery 
  • Release priority 
  • Effort complexity 
  • Budget constraints 
  • Team skill set 
  • Organizational priorities/goals 
  • Cost-benefit analysis 
  • Product ranking 
  • Stakeholder inputs 

These along with other factors that may be specific to the organizational processes help in determining which requirements fit into the MoSCoW prioritization to be picked up for the roadmap planning exercise (or development or testing).

Cosmetic defects are defined as ostensible or superficial defects that do not involve any major impacts on functional or nonfunctional system aspects. These defects are focused on improving the usability of the system and do not involve any major code changes/fixes as they are trivial and can allow user function and accessibility without any impacts. Cosmetic issues in rare cases may involve urgent fixes but are otherwise scheduled low per the team's capacity and existing assignments for resolution.

Nice-to-have (NTH) requirements are those requirements that do not assume an active priority in the product/sprint backlog but are desired or augment the product functionality, usability, or end-user experience. NTH requirements are negotiable and assume priority only when other must-have requirements are completed; even among these, not all nice-to-haves may be accomplished and purely depend on the team and customer discussion, bandwidth, and budgets available to complete.

This is one of the most frequently asked Quality Manager Interview questions.

Verification and validation are two important aspects of any testing activity and complement each other to complete the entire testing process. Verification is performed to check whether the developed product/application under test meets the pre-defined requirements. It involves static testing to verify whether "we are building the product, right?" 

Validation is the process of certifying that the product meets the user's needs and requirements apart from having the intended functionality. Validations involve dynamic testing to determine whether "are we building the right product?". Validation methods often involve testing the actual product to review features that improve the reliability of the end product. 

Quality management is a tedious process, especially during the current times when more and more organizations are going agile in their ways of working. This adds a major burden on the quality management system as teams look for continuous quality improvement in shorter and iterative development cycles demanding more regression efforts along with the inherent challenges in Agile due to late delivery to QA, release cycles, CI CD pipelines, etc. Some of the major challenges that quality manager faces in their career can be categorized: 

  • Prioritization challenges 
  • Back-to-back releases/deployments 
  • Less time for Adhoc testing 
  • Frequent scope changes 
  • Regression suite maintenance 
  • Tool challenges 
  • Resistance to change 
  • Lack of training and development 

Capacity planning in QA is just like any other capacity planning activity done for agile teams - it accounts for the demand vs supply to align resources and optimize efficiencies in the QA team. Suppose as a functional or line manager you are handling a large pool of QA talent catering to various internal/external projects in the organization, you may want to understand what is the pipeline of activities for QA. Availability of QA resources, their leave plans, and organizational/project alignments and then perform allocation of resources accordingly to avoid under or over-utilization. Capacity planning helps facilitate the decision-making process to align QA resources to respective projects and also focuses on hiring, backfills, and proactive engagement of team members.  

Quality assurance in sprint follows a typically iterative process as the role is integral to the success of every project, delivery, and team. QA starts with the refinement activities in the backlog refinement and calls out any dependencies, challenges, and activities on the respective user stories. They then are a part of sprint planning where overall team commitment is discussed, decided, and finalized - ensuring QA has a say in the story point assignment and release level planning. With this the QA starts off the sprint by authoring test cases, adding scenarios to the regression test suite, and pairing with the team members to ensure a test-first strategy as well as built-in quality right from the start rather than having it come toward the end. QA also ensures that the feedback is constantly incorporated into the test suite from each sprint review session and seeks to actively reduce gaps in the delivery process by way of the retrospectives to ensure inspection, and adaptation of points from the team/stakeholders.

Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality Control (QC)

Focuses on preventing defects 

Focuses on identifying defects 

Emphasis on project processes 

Emphasis on the product 

QA involves monitoring and verification of processes followed for creating deliverables 

QC involves monitoring and verification of deliverables against quality standards 

Proactive process 

Reactive process 

Takes precedence i.e., should be done before QC 

Supersedes QA i.e. can be done only after QA 

Impetus on Quality management 

Impetus on Quality verification  

Owned by all team i.e. everyone's responsibility 

Owned by the testing team 

Tools involve - Quality Audits, compliances, reviews, quality metrics 

Tools involve - Testing techniques and types, testing metrics, test reporting 

A popular area where most of the data quality management interview questions are asked is Six Sigma. Six sigma (6

Six sigma focuses on the reduction in variations, defects, and simplification of processes to contribute to improvised operations. Some of the foundational principles of this statistical mechanism include: 

  1. Customer Focus - to have an unequivocal focus on quality from a customer perspective 
  2. Data Usage - Gathering process data in an error-free manner to draw insights and reduce variation to improve processes 
  3. Continuous improvement - Strive to continuously improve, eliminate waste in the processes and avoid complacency. 
  4. People involvement - Involving a cross-functional team will yield true benefits, reduce silos, and sort processes faster 
  5. Flexible yet Thorough processes - Process improvements bring change and change acceptance should not create hindrances, processes should be flexible to allow acceptance yet thorough in terms of measuring and reducing variations. 

The Pareto principle (coined after the Italian economist - Vilfredo Pareto) is based on the hypothesis that 80% of the problems will emerge from 20% of the causes i.e. most of the problems/issues in the processes are due to just a few causes. Six sigma utilizes the Pareto principle to identify those common problem areas causing most of the process problems and improvise on them. This principle aims at reducing the scope of analysis to fix the problems that cause the most disruption thereby reducing the time spent on identifying and fixing variations.

DPMO - Defects Per Million Opportunities is a six sigma quality metric focused on representing a ratio of the number of defects/flaws in a million opportunities. This involves reviewing how many times a defect/flaw was made every time there was an opportunity to make one. DPMO is a critical metric of six sigma and is used to review the process performance based on statistical data. It is calculated using the following formula: 

  • DPMO = Total Defects Observed / Total Opportunities * 1 million 
  • I.e. Total number of Defects / Total number of opportunities * 100000 
  • DPMO is also referred to as Nonconformities Per Million Opportunities (NPMO) in certain areas. 


Expect to come across this popular question in Quality Manager Interviews. Here is how to answer this -

Six sigma has multiple tools to reduce defects and improve quality - some of them include: 

  • Control Chart and Run chart 
  • 5-Why Analysis (Check sheets) 
  • Cause and Effect diagram 
  • Scatter diagram and correlation analysis 
  • Pareto chart 
  • Data stratification and Flowcharts 
  • Histograms, Frequency diagrams 

Regression analysis is a statistical technique that helps draw inferences and trends from data. It is based on the principles of quantification and relationship mapping. Using regression analysis it becomes easier for data scientists or data engineers to make predictions about data. Regression analysis techniques may be simple such as linear regression or advanced such as multiple regression. Such techniques help determine the strength and character of the relationship between one variable (dependent variable) and a series of other variables (independent variables).

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a process analysis technique that defines a step-by-step approach to identifying possible failures in a product or service. Failure modes as the name suggest mean how the failure may occur; effects analysis involves understanding the consequences of those failures. Once this analysis has been performed, failures are prioritized per their impact, frequency, and ease of detection. The objective of FMEA is to identify, prioritize and eliminate or reduce the failures in the order of priority. FMEA is also known as potential failure modes and effect analysis or failure modes, effects, and criticality analysis (FMECA).

Intermediate

Functional quality analysis also referred to as functional testing or black-box testing is a type of software testing that validates the software system following the requirements specified and documented i.e. the business requirements documentation. The primary analogy of functional testing is to test every area of the software by providing the appropriate inputs and validating the outputs to ensure that the software system meets the requirements. It is also called black box testing as it focuses only on the application under test without concerning the backend layers/systems/methods. The functional test cases may be either manually executed or automated to save time on validations.

Advanced

Change control is a tricky process if not well planned and managed as it can cause several disruption and revenue leaks by allowing scope creep and unwarranted changes flowing through the system. It is the process of documenting, identifying and authorizing changes and the process of handling those changes in the organization. A change control process aims at standardizing the change management activities, follow ups and ways of making changes in the organization. A standard change control process aims at basically answering the below questions: 

  • What kind of change is being introduced? 
  • What is the priority of the change? 
  • What changes will it make in the existing system? 
  • Who will approve the change? 
  • Does it require to run through a change control board? 
  • How much time will be required to research and implement the change? 
  • What are the impacts of changes to other components of the system (schedules, cost, resources, etc.)? 
  • Does it fit into the budget threshold or does it require an exceptional approval? 

Quality manager plays an important role in answering the above questions and directing the change in for reviews and approvals. 

A quality Management system is the set of processes, procedures, guidelines, plans, and actions that an organization constitutes to achieve its quality objectives. A quality management system comprises QA - a quality assurance process, QC - a quality control process, and CI - a continuous improvement process; clubbed together these form the 3 pillars of the quality management system. A QMS is the foundation of customer service and satisfaction and no project, delivery or process is complete without QA and QC while organizations strive for interminable continuous improvement to uphold the value.

Quality audits are activities associated with verification methods such as inspection or examination to ensure process, requirements, standards compliance, and performing activities within the governance model/limits. Audits are an important way of ensuring efficiency and independent inspections of processes from time to time. Audits are of various types and may be full-fledged i.e. across the organization, or limited to a particular process, project, or department. 

Audits are classified as: 

  • Process Audit - 
  • Product Audit 
  • System Audit 

Audits – both internal and external assess the effectiveness as well as efficacy of the processes and help get rid of redundancies, complacencies and bottlenecks. They increase productivity in the organization to result in higher product/service output, reduction of errors or waste, and optimum utilization of resources. 

Quality certifications for an organization are an important yardstick to judge the maturity of an organization's systems by comparing them to the best industry practice. They instill confidence in the organization's performance, processes, and products or services. ISO which stands for International Organization for Standardization and CMMI which stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration are two such quality benchmarks established for organizations. Let us look at some of the conceptual differences between the two: 

CMMIISO

CMMI is a process model 

ISO is an audit standard 

Best practices related to product engineering and software development 

Certification for businesses that meet defined quality standards 

Applicable only in the software industry  

Applicable to all manufacturing, IT, and Non-IT industries 

Focus on engineering and project management practices 

Focuses on all processes and quality standards 

Compares existing processes to industry best practices 

Require tuning of existing processes to confirm specific ISO requirements 

A must-know for anyone heading into a Quality Manager interview, this question is frequently asked in Quality Manager Interviews. Here is an answering approach -

Product quality and process quality complement each other in a successful outcome to satisfy customers and uphold the organizational value. 

  1. Product quality is focused on verifying the degree to which the product meets the specifications while process quality is focused on the degree to which the process meets the specifications. 
  2. Product quality ensures that the functionality of the product is verified and its usability and value to the user create customer delight; process quality ensures that the process is efficient and results in cost savings, quality, and profitability in creating the product and ensuring product quality. 
  3. Product and process quality go hand in hand but product quality tends to be short-lived in nature whereas process quality has long-term perspective and benefits. 
  4. Product outcomes may be tangible whereas process outcomes are intangible. 
  5. Product quality is validated whereas process quality is verified 

Quality manager technical interview questions often revolve around understanding tools, techniques and processes – one such tool is the control chart which is basically a quality control analysis tool used to understand and analyze how a process changes over time; it is one of the several graphical tools that quality control analysis uses. It is also called a statistical process chart or SPC chart and it helps gauge causes of variations as well as process improvements made from time to time. Control charts are instrumental in process improvement and tracking those improvements. A control chart has 3 essential elements: 

  • Visual time series graph - to show data points at defined intervals 
  • Horizontal control line - to visualize trends and variations 
  • Upper and Lower control limits - limits above and below the control line defining the thresholds 

Control charts help QA understand the trends, and problem areas and focus efforts towards these alongside filling gaps in the process loopholes. They thereby help minimize the risk that teams would otherwise encounter and spend resources fixing. 

It's no surprise that this one pops up often in Quality Manager Interviews.

Six sigma has 2 majorly popular and widely used methodologies - DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify) which aim at the elimination of waste and reducing the variations from processes. Both DMAIC and DMADV are Lean six sigma principles and while DMAIC focuses on improvements in current processes, DMADV focuses on improvements in the design of new processes, products, and services. 

The objective of the DMAIC methodology is to improve an existing process by performing the following phases: 

  • Define - Defining the problems, outputs, customers, and processes associated with the problem 
  • Measure - Data collection to establish a benchmark for improvements 
  • Analyze - Analysis of data to find the root cause of defects 
  • Improve - Develop, test, and implement solutions to improve the processes 
  • Control - Establish process controls to sustain improvements 

The objective of the DMADV methodology is to design a new product, service, or process by performing the following phases: 

  • Define - Define the process and design goals 
  • Measure - Identify and measure the CTQs (Critical-to-quality) attributes 
  • Analyze - Perform data analysis to determine the best design 
  • Design - Design and validate the product, service, or process 
  • Verify - Perform verification and validation methods to evaluate the output 

In certain cases organizations also use an alternate methodology that adds a phase of optimization to the DMADV making it DMADVO which strives to optimize the design post-implementation. DMAIC, DMADV and Six Sigma techniques are important areas candidates must understand before appearing or preparing for the quality manager round interview questions. 

Static testing is a type of software testing methodology that focuses on finding defects in the software system without executing the application or running the system. It is a type of testing performed in the early stages of software development to avoid failures as defects can be easily found using static testing techniques and are much cheaper and easier to fix at this stage of the software development lifecycle. Static testing employs 2 major techniques detailed as follows: 

  • Reviews - involves reviews of requirements, design, and code and can be done using 
    • Informal discussions 
    • Walkthrough of documentation 
    • Peer Review of documentation/code 
    • Inspection 
  • Static Analysis - involves tool-based evaluation of code written by engineers 
    • Data flow 
    • Control flow 
    • Cyclomatic complexity 

Cyclomatic complexity is a static analysis technique that is used for static testing of the application under test. It determines the complexity of the code or functionality. This technique aims at evaluating the application under test (AUT) by answering the following questions: 

  • Is the feature/program testable? 
  • Is the feature/program understood by all team members? 
  • Is the feature/program reliable enough for the user? 

Post this initial evaluation, cyclomatic complexity is used to determine the level of testing required on the AUT. It is calculated using the output from a control chart and takes into account the nodes and edges from a control chart. Higher the value of cyclomatic complexity, the more testing required, and the lower the number, the QA scope on it may be limited. To summarize, cyclomatic complexity helps understand the complexity of the AUT and thereby determine the level of testing needed on it to align the QA scope, resources, and planning accordingly. 

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a managerial methodology that seeks to improve team performance by eliminating resource waste and defects. It is a unison of six sigma methods and techniques with lean manufacturing theoretics. Lean Six Sigma is based on the foundational belief that anything that does not deliver value to the end customer is considered to be a waste and should be eliminated. LSS aims at highlighting the processes that are prone to waste, minimizing variations with the end goal of improvement in the organizational processes. LSS techniques involve: 

  • Kanban - to reduce work in progress and promote continuous improvement 
  • Kaizen - to step up self-development and ongoing improvement 
  • Value Stream Mapping - Identification of areas to eliminate waste and optimize process steps 
  • 5S Tool - Create an efficient, safe, and productive work environment 

Six sigma as a quality certification is considered to be globally recognized for operational excellence and process improvement. Having a six sigma certification for any professional proves their commitment to improving their business acumen and analytical abilities alongside improving the business workflows and processes. This certification involves six levels ranging from a primary end user to a master black belt showcasing growing levels of operational maturity, caliber, and responsibilities: 

  • White belt - Introductory knowledge; supporting teams in problem-solving 
  • Yellow belt - Participate as a project team member to carry out process improvements 
  • Green belt - Lead process improvement projects (Green belt projects); analysis of black belt projects 
  • Black belt - Lead problem-solving projects; Training and coaching project teams 
  • Master Black belt - Train and coach Six sigma black belt, and green belt professionals; functions at the six sigma program level 
  • Six Sigma Champion - Lead initiative, mentor master black belts and create a culture of lean six sigma 

A data collection plan typically comes into the picture in the measure phase of the DMAIC six sigma methodology and is an activity done for gathering baseline data as well as other data to help understand variations and root causes of problems. 

A data collection plan is established to understand 

  • Purpose of data collection, 
  • What type of data needs to be collected, 
  • Where to collect the data, 
  • How to plan the collection, 
  • When to collect the same, and 
  • Who would be responsible for collecting it 

The plan is thoroughly thought through and includes details on the operational definition of the measure for data collection as well as the relevant sampling plans. So essentially a quality manager will be involved in streamlining the data collection per the above points to fulfill the measure phase of the DMAIC methodology. 

A common Quality Manager question for an interview, don't miss this one.

A quality manager's role is often entrusted with the responsibility of continuously improving the tool suite of the organization and contributing to the betterment of the quality management system. While pursuing this goal the quality manager often faces an uphill task of evaluation when asked to select a particular testing tool or choose a particular tool over the other. Here are some of the criteria that are required to be considered when choosing such a tool for usage across the organization or by the team: 

  • Flexibility and ease of usage 
  • Training and support for the team/organization 
  • Support for the end-to-end test management functions 
  • Real-time data reporting and dashboard capabilities 
  • Support for test automation 
  • Integration with other tools 
  • Customization abilities 
  • Export and other common function capabilities (documentation, data archival, etc.) 

Defect triaging or defect sorting meetings (also known as bug triaging meetings) are important discussions that happen between the QA and development teams to provide a handshake on the defects raised by the testing team and also align both sides on the severity and priority of the defects (or bugs). This meeting is led by the Quality manager where there is a discussion on the defects, understanding of the impact of the defect (severity), and the order in which the defects will be taken up for resolution/validation (priority) and act as an important event to reduce the friction between the two teams as well bond over to resolve issues and move swiftly during the project timeline. Defect triaging meetings usually involve getting an answer on: 

  • Whether the defect/bug is a valid issue or not? 
  • Understanding the steps to reproduce the issue 
  • Understanding the impact of the issue on the overall project 
  • Understanding the impact of the issue on the testing team 
  • Determining the priority of fixing the issue 
  • Providing a tentative/conclusive ETA to fix the issue 
  • Determining action items/next steps on the issue fix 
  • Determining the assignee of the defect 
  • Reviewing workarounds to reduce risks due to the issue 

Definition of done, also known as DOD is an important agile term that specifies the minimum requirements the user story must adhere to for the team to call it complete. It is an important criterion that has to be fulfilled for the user story or the Epic or the sprint to be marked done or completed. It is important to note that the acceptance criteria on the user story consist of the requirements or test specifications that have to be confirmed to call the story to be working as expected. However, the definition of done supersedes the acceptance criteria (AC) which specifies conditions that are important from a functional perspective while DoD also specifies the non-functional perspective which contributes to the user value and quality. To call the product increment done, both the definition of done as well as the acceptance criteria need to be completed and done.

Static and dynamic testing are types of testing techniques that spotlight errors and the source of failures in the application under test (AUT). Both these types are important to certify the quality of the AUT and can be done manually or can be automated but have different techniques/goals:

Static TestingDynamic Testing

Done without executing/running the application under test 

Done by executing/running the application under test 

Reviews requirements, code, documentation 

Reviews inputs and outputs executing code 

Performed in the early stages of SDLC 

Performed in the later stages of SDLC 

Aims at preventing defects 

Aims at finding and fixing defects 

Less costly & faster 

More costly & time-consuming 

Utilizes checklists to accomplish testing 

Utilizes test cases to accomplish testing 

Techniques - reviews, static analysis 

Techniques - system, integration, acceptance tests 

One of the most frequently posed Quality Manager Interview Questions, be ready for it.

As a popular saying goes, "What cannot be measured or what cannot be tracked cannot be improved" quality metrics play a very important role in the life of a quality manager. Quality metrics are essentially those numbers that are tracked to understand, gauge, and improve the quality aspects of the product, process as well as project. Though the metrics to be tracked depend on the quality management system of the organization, some of the common metrics any QM may track include:

  • Customer Problems 
  • Customer Satisfaction 
  • Net Promoter Score 
  • Defect aging 
  • Test case completion Percentage 
  • Definition of Ready Percentage 
  • Backlog Readiness Rate 
  • Mean Time to Failure 
  • Defect Density 
  • P0,P1,P2 issues 
  • The cyclomatic complexity of a feature
  • Blocker Percentage 
  • Average response/resolution time 
  • QA vs UAT defects 
  • Test coverage 
  • Cost of Quality 
  • Slippage rate 
  • Commitment to Completion Ratio (Say-do ratio) 
  • Lead time and Cycle time 
  • Audit and 

Test-driven development (TDD) is an important quality process by which test cases are written before writing the code that validates those test cases. TDD depends on a small and iterative development cycle and by this technique, automated unit tests are used to define and build the design to ensure a decoupled development approach to proceed without hiccups in the development cycle. TDD involves the following steps: 

  • Authoring the test case by understanding the requirements and the acceptance criteria. Executing the test cases one by one. 
  • Authoring the code to ensure the test case is passing successfully. 
  • Executing the test cases again. 
  • Refactoring a code to remove duplication 
  • Ensuring coverage of integrating scenarios and covering any other test cases 
  • TDD acts as a very good technique where the dependent function is a predecessor of the current function and the developer need not wait in this case but can continue using this strategy. 

Walkthroughs and inspections are both static verification techniques and have the following differences:

WalkthroughsInspections

Informal sessions  

Formal sessions 

The author initiates a walkthrough 

The team initiates an inspection 

Unplanned activity 

Planned activity with clearly demarcated roles  

The author provides an overview - participating members may provide feedback 

Reader/Moderator provides an overview - everyone inspects and shares feedback 

The author has ownership of recording feedback/defects 

The recorder has ownership of recording feedback/defects 

Informal session - no moderator involved 

The moderator moderates the meeting to keep the discussion on track 

Test planning and Test stratification are important aspects of quality planning activity following the guidelines established by the quality management system of the organization. While both work in tandem and complement each other, they have different goals. 

  • Test Strategy has a wider scope and is mostly created at the organizational level which demonstrates the overall approach of the testing for the entire project or a set of projects, while the Test plan depicts how the testing should be performed for a particular application, falling under a project. 
  • Test plans specify how to test and what to test, while test strategy documentation defines the techniques and methods of testing. 
  • Test plans can change whereas test strategy once formulated cannot change (except in certain scenarios). 
  • The test strategy provides guidelines and methods while the test plan narrates the testing specifications. 

Test case authoring involves reviewing and verifying quite a few documents to ensure accuracy, completeness, and coverage of all scenarios for the application under test. The main artifacts used include: 

  • Functional requirements document (Business/Product requirements document) 
  • High-level test scenarios drafted 
  • Use Cases 
  • Wireframes 
  • User Stories 
  • Acceptance criteria 
  • Test strategy documentation 

A staple in Quality Manager Interview Questions, be prepared to answer this one.

Test automation is a major boon for any Quality Assurance team or manager. However, an incomplete or not well-maintained or groomed test suite can make the quality manager's life a nightmare; leading to high costs, incompetencies to change, and failure to achieve ROI. Test automation suite maintenance is an important activity that every QA manager should prioritize and frequently perform. Some of the best practices that can be used are: 

  • Investing thoroughly in a good automation test design to yield benefits 
  • Prioritizing test data management and data cleanup tasks frequently 
  • Performing a regular health check of the test automation suites 
  • Performing an impact analysis and updating the automation suite whenever there is a change in the application 
  • Writing more automation at the API level than at the UI level 

A quality manager needs to be able to make quick decisions and act on them.  In such cases where that the defect rate is suddenly surging or showing such trends, one should analyze the type of defects/bugs being raised, consider the logs and review recent changes, triage the defects with the development team/leads, isolate the most recent updates to the application/code with the help of developers, perform and document the root cause analysis (RCA) along with actions taken to ensure planning such outcomes in future as well

To ensure qualitative test estimations, every quality manager must consider the knowns as well as the unknowns and thereby factor in the resources, team capabilities, potential risks, and a buffer to come up with a near-to-real estimate on the test item. Estimates need not be accurate to the point but they should reflect a true understanding of the test item and scope in any challenges the team may face in executing or validating the tests. While considering the above factors, the quality manager must ensure to use of a proven estimation technique that can just help in such scenarios: 

  • Function Point Analysis 
  • Delphi method 
  • Planning poker 
  • Three-point estimation 
  • PERT technique 
  • Work breakdown structure 

These techniques aim at achieving granularity to ensure the right estimates for the right work. 

A successful quality management system includes both manual and automation testing. The only concern is to determine which type of test needs to be carried out and this depends on several factors such as: 

  • Time factor 
  • Team capacity 
  • Tool understanding 
  • Nature of tasks 
  • Priority of the feature/user story 

In general the quality manager should always consider the flexibility required, project duration, testing scope and usability features in mind when asked to make a choice between manual vs automated quality assurance on a product or service. 

This along with other similar questions for quality manager interview is a regular feature in these interviews, be ready to tackle it.

As per the traditional waterfall model and even the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the quality assurance phase comes after the development i.e. implementation and coding phase; this however has changed along with the introduction of agile testing and also with the way teams are set up in the modern-day software development. For best results and to avoid the higher cost of training, validations, and rework, it is best to engage the QA team members right at the start of the project and involve them right alongside discovery to ensure thorough planning, avoiding communication and work-related silos, time for environment setup, thorough test authoring and reviews, and awareness of milestone aligned delivery schedules among other benefits.

Interviewers ask this question to see how inquisitive the candidate is and also get an assessment of their understanding of the domain and organizational aspects. To answer this question the candidate can focus on 

  • Getting the required project and process know-how 
  • Exploring opportunities in onboarding and existing processes and documenting them 
  • The understanding application landscape of the organization 
  • Understanding delivery mechanisms, and milestones, coordinating teams, and projects 
  • Adding impact to existing processes and challenges 
  • Collaborating with team members, across teams and participating in knowledge-sharing sessions. 

A quality manager's role has supervisory responsibilities included and a supervisory function has an implicit quality of confidentiality following the organizational policies, ways of working, and culture. Handling confidentiality at work relates to work integrity and not conceding information from team members or management. By this question, the interviewer tries to address the thin line of difference between the two to understand the leadership maturity and behavior of the individual.

The interviewer is looking to validate the honesty and integrity of the candidate and candidates should ensure to not sugar-coat or give diplomatic answers like they do not have any areas of improvement or not that I can think of. This question helps the interviewer understand really of how much you as a candidate know and aspire to improve yourself. If domain knowledge is something you are starting to learn – indicate that; tie this question back to your goals or where you want to be in the future to help answer this.

The idea behind this question is to understand the leadership and communication style of the candidate. Candidates must answer this by showcasing real-life situations of conflict resolution and always remember to never speak negatively about anyone or any past organization but politely explain the scenario and the techniques used to diffuse the situation and resolve the conflict.

A linked list is normally accessible only from its head node. From there, you can navigate from node to node until you reach the node you're looking for. So access is O(n). Similarly, searching for a specific value in a linked list requires iterating over all elements until that value is found. So the search is O(n). Inserting into a linked list requires the previous node (the node before the insertion point) to point to the inserted node, and the newly inserted node to point to the next node. So the insert is O(1). To remove from a linked list, the previous node (the node before the removed node) must be respecified as the next node (the node after the removed node). So cancellation is O(1).

It is O(1). Note that there is no need to insert at the end of the list. Inserting at the beginning of a (unidirectionally linked) list is both O(1).Stack contains 1,2,3: [1]->[2]->[3] Push 5: [5]->[1]->[2]->[3] Pop: [1]->[2]->[3] // returning 5.

To convert a singly-linked list to a circularly-linked list, set the next pointer of the leaf node to the head pointer. Make a copy of the head pointer. Let it be temp. Loops through the linked list to the terminal node (last node) using a temporary pointer. Sets the next pointer of the leaf node to the head node. temp->next = head.

Inserting a node in the middle of a linked list assumes you are already at the address where the node should be inserted. Indexing is considered a separate operation. So the insert itself is O(1), but getting to that intermediate node is O(n). So when appending to a linked list, no traversal is needed as long as the reference is known.

You can add two numbers represented by a LinkedList the same way you add two numbers manually. Iterate over the linked list, appending the appropriate elements, preserving the carry as you would when adding numbers by hand, and adding the carry from the previous addition to the running total. One of the most annoying parts of this problem is the number that is sent. If each pair of nodes sums up to a number less than 10, don't worry about "carrying" the number to the next node. However, adding a number such as 4 or 6 causes a carry. Even if one list is longer than the other, the nodes of the long list should be added to the solution, so the test should continue as long as the node is not null. This means that the while loop should execute as long as list 1 is not null or list 2 is not null. 

Description

How to Prepare for a Quality Manager Interview?

As an aspirant for the quality management role, the candidate should understand that the role demands having an overall understanding of the quality domain, getting hands-on with quality techniques, understanding the nitty-gritty of the role in the day-to-day work, having a passion for leadership, and getting things done and finally, being receptive and open to feedback. Once the candidate has understood these aspects, focusing on the specifics in each area and going through this thorough set of interview questions for a quality manager will help them ace the interview and bag their dream role. Keep a copy of the quality manager interview questions and answers PDF handy to revise concepts. You must also explore the top courses for Quality Management with the experts while reviewing these top quality manager interview questions for quick help. 

Typical Job Roles for a Quality Manager

Typical job roles that a quality manager can pursue in this field of work include: 

  • Associate Quality Manager 
  • Quality Manager 
  • Senior Quality Manager 
  • Line Manager 
  • Functional Quality Assurance Manager 
  • Production Manager 
  • Project Manager 
  • Quality Control Manager 
  • Quality Lead 
  • Quality Supervisor 
  • Quality Auditor 
  • Quality Control Executive 
  • Quality Engineer 
  • Quality Systems Engineer 
  • Quality Technician 
  • Quality Representative 

Top Companies to find Quality Manager Jobs

Quality management is an imperative role across every industry, organization, and domain. Some of the top companies in which interested candidates can find such opportunities include: 

  • MAANG companies (Meta, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) 
  • Product-based companies – Alphabet, Salesforce, Microsoft, Adobe, Flipkart, Cisco, Uber, PayPal, etc. 
  • Manufacturing companies – BMW, Sony, GM, Godrej, Tata conglomerate, Aramco, etc. 

The list can go on and so intensive is this function for any and every organization as they strive to achieve customer satisfaction and higher brand value in these times of fierce competition making this list of QMS interview questions a must-learn.

Tips to Crack the Quality Manager Interview

Quality management system interview questions and answers are the right way to start your preparations. But some expert tips never do any harm. Candidates aspiring to get an opportunity or look for a  new opportunity in the quality management field should always keep the following points in mind: 

  • Showcase understanding of the project, domain, and organization (domain, and organization mandatory if you are seeking an entry-level role) 
  • Showcase understanding of tools, techniques, methods 
  • Enhance your career with relevant quality certifications from time to time 
  • Focus on delivering an understanding to the interviewer on what specifics of quality you specialize in and will bring to the table 
  • Showcase an understanding of the critical scenarios, way of handling triage meetings, post-production steps, and team/customer negotiations. 
  • Display expertise in data management, reporting, and knowledge-sharing activities. 

What to Expect in a Quality Manager Interview?

Quality management interviews just like any other management interviews are going to be focused on: 

  • Leadership roles played in the past, 
  • Domain knowledge, 
  • QA experience and situational know-how, 
  • Metrics and reporting, 
  • Interpersonal relationships 
  • Management style 
  • Handling tough situations 
  • Hands-on with various methodologies 
  • Delivery management 

Summary

In any organization – large, mid, or small-sized management plays a very crucial role in the productivity, culture, and ethos of the organization. Hence hiring a good quality manager with a positive lookout and attitude is very imperative for the organization as it sets the direction for the project, team, and organization itself. To a role so important, no doubt aspiring candidates and professionals keep themselves abreast with the latest in the industry as well as the domain. Quality may be an independent or a shared service for many organizations; where it is an independent service, organizations rely on quality teams for direction and having a candidate who can drive the delivery in such a role becomes very compelling. Teams or projects where quality acts as a shared service also transform depending on the leadership and process that the quality manager brings in.

With such an onus on the role, quality managers should be adept at their skills, carry sufficient process knowledge, and learn the subtle art of negotiation with the teams, customers, and stakeholders along with driving delivery and efficiency in critical scenarios. To do this, quality managers must keep constantly learning and upgrading themselves with the latest happenings in the quality field. Quality interviews these days do not merely focus on the evaluation of the transactional knowledge or experience of the candidate but go beyond in understanding if the candidate is a good fit by getting a glimpse of their career history, types of roles chosen, past organizations, team size handled, types of projects worked on, behavioral skills, interpersonal and soft skills, ways of working and knowledge of latest in the industry alongside other skills specific to the job role. This article can also act as a reference for questions to ask a quality manager during an interview.

Now to step up on their front quality managers can refer to this comprehensive list of generic, situational, behavioral, and technical set of questions for quality manager interview to overcome some of the constraints or can use it as a quick reference at their end to prepare for the quality manager interviews or discussions. Knowing what the hiring manager may ask can help the candidate feel confident during the interview and share how they can be a good fit on all scales and benefit the organization. Along with the knowledge that the candidate may possess in the quality field, having training and certifications in specialized methodologies like six sigma, risk-based testing, domain-based certifications, project management certifications, etc. will help the candidate be ahead of the curve to ace the interview. Find out the best training for Six Sigma from the experts today. 

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