Consider Debriefing Auditions

I spoke at Boston SPIN last night, and facilitated the hiring initiative roundtable before the main presentation. One of the roundtable participants explained that he was looking for entry-level testers. And, since no one (okay, not quite no one, but almost no one) teaches testing in college, he wanted to develop an audition to see if people would like testing. He doesn’t want to hire people as testers who don’t want to be testers.

I suggested he ask candidates to sit down with the product and test. Give the candidates a pencil and paper and blank defect reports. Let the candidate test for 20-30 minutes. At the end, debrief the candidate.Some debriefing questions:

  • What did you notice about the testing?
  • Some (or all) of these questions:
    • What did you find challenging about the testing?
    • What was easy?
    • What did you enjoy the most?
    • What did you enjoy the least?
  • What issues did your testing raise?
  • Can you see yourself testing each day? In what circumstances?

These questions follow the The Art of Focused Conversation: objective questions, reflective questions, interpretive questions, and decisional questions.In this case, it’s not the audition that’s tricky to develop, but debriefing the audition. But, especially if you’re considering hiring entry-level people for roles they haven’t considered, debriefing could be a critical part of the audition.


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