Three pairs of eyes focus on me the moment I enter the room; like hungry wolves eying a helpless rabbit.
I stagger until I reach a black chair.
The man in front of me politely points toward the chair, so I obediently sit down.
“Nick Armond, right?”
I answer through my dry throat.
The man marks something on a printed page, most likely recording my attendance.
“Nice to meet you, my name is Charles. These are Dan and George.”
Charles introduces the two elderly men sitting beside him. The two men only nod, one of them also throws me a thin smile.
“Let’s begin, tell us a little about yourself.”
Charles immediately cuts to the chase.
I take a deep breath and conquer my nervousness.
This is just another interview.
Just another job interview.
My opening speech has already been practiced and polished many times. Even if I’m nervous presenting myself, I can still pull it off like a robot.
I throw a weak smile as I scan every of the three interviewers in order.
I begin introducing my background, focusing on my accumulated knowledge and experience.
Firstly, I briefly cover my studies in high school and university.
I focus mainly on my attained knowledge in computer science and the practical projects in which I was involved
Next, I speak of the previous company I worked for. I deliver practical examples of tasks and responsibilities I have experience with.
They all stay silent, while attentively listening to a speech which I have practiced to death.
“And now I’m here.”
I smile as I look at each of them. After delivering my usual speech without fail, my tension is gradually replaced by confidence.
“In other words, you have only two years of practical experience as a QA.”
The man to my right touches his glasses as he observes my reaction.
“Regrettably so. The company I worked for was bought by Google and the QA team was replaced.”
The man retreats peacefully, without bashing my inexperience further.
So far so good.
“Why do you seek this specific job?”
The man to my left asks with a stiff expression.
“Honestly, I tried a few other places as well. But working in Anomalia sounds like the most challenging and innovative.”
I try to speak casually to warm up the atmosphere, but it’s not very effective on this old golem; his face remains dead serious.
“Innovative? In what way?”
“Well, it’s about testing androids which aren’t even sold in the market right now. When they are released, I believe they’ll become next big thing. This job is like taking a part in redefining the future or something.”
Two of the men crack a short laugh, but the man to the left doesn’t say a thing.
“You were a QA in your previous company, weren’t you? Is being a QA your aspiration?”
The man in the middle, Charles, poses another question.
“Yes, I do hope to build my career as a QA."
"What inspired you to be a QA, of all the things you could do in the hi-tech industry?"
He struck me from an unexpected direction.
If I were to answer honestly, would they look down on me? Would my motivation appear childish and fragile?
“It’s... basically, you could say I have a rather bad luck.”
Very vague wording, but it’s probably still better than admitting the real reason.
It would be best if they just skip to the next question as soon as possible.
Charles opens his eyes in interest. No doubt he expects an impressive, convincing answer.
Did I just dig my own grave...?
“Well, you see...”
The best I can do is to keep my wording vague, hoping that they won’t inquire further.
“Throughout my life, I have constantly run into products which had problems and flaws in them. At some point, it became a bad habit to actively search for flaws in whatever I use."
Charles nods in response and turns to his colleague.
"Sadly that's not a shocker, with everything being made in China these days, haha."
The two of them chuckle.
The interview continues in such a manner.
Most of the questions dive into my mentality and personality, less so into my knowledge. Probably because I have already taken a technical exam before even reaching this very interview.
They do tackle my QA knowledge once or twice, but these questions feel watered down when compared to the personal questions.
Everything goes smoothly as I calm down and answer honestly. Or at least as honestly I as I can, without staining my image.
The man to the left speaks again. Out of the trio, he’s the only one who has remained cold and serious throughout the whole interview.
“What do you think is the most important quality for a QA tester?”
... I don’t know.
I have never thought about it.
I slowly avert my eyes from the golem and try to think.
If I don’t give a quick answer, it might end the interview on a sore note.
The quality most important for a QA... being knowledgeable? Responsible? Social?
Surely he’d want me to follow up with an explanation; I could give an argument or two for each of these answers.
They are all important qualities, but none of them strikes me as the most important.
If I were to use my personal experience to attest, then it would be...
“Determination... is what I think counts the most.”
I try to sound confident about the answer, not sure if I successfully delivered that impression.
“In my experience, the main difference between the developer and the tester - is the determination. Developers do testing, but they don’t really want to find their own faults. They only try to confirm that their latest update works.
On the other hand, the QA tester needs to doubt the product. He needs to be determined enough to pursue every corner of the product in order to find flaws, even in places which were previously tested.”
The arguments end and I look at the interviewers.
They stay quiet as they exchange some glances.
... was it a mistake? I thought the answer was pretty solid...
My body stiffens as the silence continues, I can feel my heart beating faster and faster.
The golem nods; I can’t determine his real opinion about my answer.
“Not a bad answer, I like it.”
The smiling man to my right also nods.
Charles says nothing, but nods in agreement with a friendly smile.
“That’s is it for today. We’ll contact you in a few days regarding the result.”
Charles ends the interview with these closing words.
He writes something down on the paper in front of him, but I can’t see what it is.
I shake hands with him and the other interviews, then I take my leave.
Did I give a satisfying performance? Was I accepted?
I have no idea.