Re: Toronto Testing Meetup, October Workshops

Posted by Albert Gareev on Oct 30, 2015 | Categories: CommunityWTToronto

It’s past 4th Wednesday in October – time for the report on monthly workshop of our testing meetup! In fact, there was another one on 2nd Wednesday – and you’ll see why.

Job Finding Club

Our leadership group dedicated this month almost solely for this strategic direction. One of the ideas we’ve been pondering about was a holistic experience – from resume and application to the interview with HR and hiring manager. With support and feedback on each stage. After I figured out the main logistic problems I brought up the opportunity to our leadership group. Everyone voted up for the project and we started.

I may have a separate blog post on our preparation process. It’s been very interesting and learning experience, and the “framework” we worked out might be of value for others.

We also gathered members for a general discussion on the same topics. As we’ve learned from the past workshops, Lean Coffee is an excellent approach to build an agenda and address most hot topics for everyone.

Practice Interviews Project


Providing support, feedback, and coaching for testers in professional presentation – resume, application, interview as a holistic process.


  • Human Resources specialist or Recruiter (HR)
  • QA Manager or Lead – hiring manager (HM)
  • Candidate

We had 4 workgroups in this project this time.

Process milestones

  • Resume review and feedback; 1-2 resume improvement cycles
  • Selection of 1-2 real jobs by the Candidate; providing Job Descriptions (JD) to the HR and HM
  • JD review and feedback; discussion of match; possible re-selection of JD to apply
  • Application: preparing and sending Cover Letter by the Candidate
  • Interview preparation cycle
  • Interview: behavioral and technical
  • Feedback session afterwards. Includes resume, JD, CV, and interview performance

Timewise, it’s been 2 pretty intense weeks for all people involved. The candidates worked hard, and “HRs” and “HMs”, being in 2 workgroups, worked no less harder. I can only give the highest praise to dedication of the people who volunteered for this coaching at their personal time!

Apart from technical and process specific aspects, we wanted it to be GOOD experience – for everyone involved. We supported and covered for each other, and kept energizing our brave candidates. Employment is a sensitive question! It was a critical priority for us to ensure that the feedback delivered does good, not harm.

Special Thanks

  • Veronica Seeto
  • Kraig Lenehan
  • Serghei Costiuc
  • Niketa Patel

Lean Coffee


Topics Discussed

  • Job descriptions often ask for “general testing knowledge”. How can I describe this in a cover letter?
  • What are the HR’s expectations from an entry level candidate?
  • How to compare resumes?
  • Exploratory testing: how not to be lost in it?
  • Length of resume
  • Length of cover letter
  • Interviewing the company
  • Follow ups
  • How can I present a skill or experience which I did not learn or practice at the job?
  • Networking stories: getting a job without applying
  • Test Automation: how important for testing job?
  • I would like to get into the field of QA. Where to start?
  • What are the non-technical skills important for testers?
  • “Cold Calls”
  • What is the best resume format?
  • How to find and approach hiring managers directly?
  • Age discrimination in hiring

Resources and references

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.