How to Choose the Right Employee for a Quality Assurance Position

Quality comes in many forms: products, services, procedures, or a combination of these.  It varies from product to product and from service to service.  One of my previous positions, as a quality assurance manager for a privately owned company, was to specifically hire top talent from searches that turned down poorly qualified candidates.  We followed a strict search process that worked for us, finding great candidates that could make significant contributions.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality can mean different things to different people depending on the industry and position for which you are applying.  It is important to know what you are looking for-the objective of the position, the problems you encounter, and the needs of your organization-before you even start a job search.  Otherwise, you may find yourself applying for what you don’t really want, and not what you are capable of doing.

Office politics can get in the way of quality assurance.  You can be friendly with the President of the company or the CEO, but if you show thermometer accuracy issues in documents or online conferences, you can negate any benefit of having friendly relations with certain people in the company.

Consider Your Culture When Hiring a Quality Assurance Team Member

An examination of the corporate culture in the company you are applying to shows exactly who is chosen ahead of others.  Is it based on favoritism?  Is there a gender gap at your company?  If you see two or more of these types of appointments, you should consider the time periods they have been in place and make a judgment about whether or not you want to work for that company.  Before you go into an interview, you should have an idea of the culture of the organization and its political leaning.  If you don’t, you won’t be prepared for difficult questions that are asked of you during the interview.

People sometimes don’t tell you the entire story during an interview.  They may say one thing about their qualifications, but they might not be fully forthcoming about the political climate of the company.  Take this into consideration every time you interview.  If your political listening postures are not presenting a positive impression of your personality, it is time to do some political monitoring during the interview.  Try excluding the fishy ones, and concentrate on theappy ones.

Quality Assurance Courses and Certifications

You will also want to see if the candidate has taken any quality assurance courses or certifications. They don’t need to come from the most prestigious school but they will need to be continually learning. There are many online schools now, such as Spin Career, that offer Quality Assurance courses for an affordable price. 

Consider Their Body Language

We have long realized that body language is important to communication.  Changes in shoulder placement, tremor,flattens eyes or placed hands, are all indicative of a person’s emotional state.  perceived body language is far more weighty than anything that is actually communicated through text.

Begin with observing the person in front of you.  As they scheduler, take note of their posture, gestures, coloring of their face, door opening and the like.  Always remember that body language can be read by what you’re looking at, so jog your memory about what you’ve noticed in the past.

Try to analyze the type of responses you get from your interviewers.  Often times the subject matter is highly uncomfortable for the person being interviewed.  In these instances, the interviewers avert their gaze from the interviewee when giving their answers, which may not be the most comfortable for the person receiving the information.  If you notice their eyes glazing over or looking away during any of the question and answer segments, consider screening those individuals before your interview.  Their answers are not for you, they are for the potential recipient of the information.  If you don’t want to alter your approach, simply acknowledge any nervousness you may have with the questions you are asked and request additional time until the interview can be conducted.

Role Play

One way to get the feel of the interview process is to role play.  Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and imagine what the interview will be like.  How does the candidate enter the room?  What kind of questions will they ask?  What kind of responses will they receive?  What sort of initial interactions will take place?

The person who is being interviewed has the complete responsibility of ensuring that the interview process goes as smoothly as possible.  If there is a need for additional information, the interviewers will provide it.  However, some interviewers have the tendency to ask questions whose answers are not asked because they don’t need them to be told.  They simply want to see how the interviewee handles the situation.