How do I identify fake Selenium testers?

There are things that can be done before the hiring interview, during the interview and after.


The tester gets a Java coding project from to be done in 30 minutes.

It does not have to be very difficult, even an easy one is good enough.

Such as finding all characters from an array that are duplicated.

Or checking if a sequence of ( and ) is well formed (each ( has a corresponding )).

The solution for this project should show if the tester understands the basics of Java and can write “easy to understand” code for a simple task.

If the solution is good, I ask for a GitHub repository (or a blog link) where the tester has sample Selenium automation code.

Looking at code that the tester wrote in the past shows you what code he may write in the future.

Good Selenium testers have sample code available for interviewing purposes so that they can prove before the interview how good they are.

When looking at sample code, I pay attention to
  • how the locators are designed
  • where are the locators stored (in the page classes, separate locator classes, property files)
  • if page object model is implemented
  • how page object model is implemented (to interact with the site’s features or to interact with HTML elements)
  • how short/long the page classes are
  • how many methods are in each page class
  • how easy to understand the test methods are
  • how long are the test methods
  • the automation framework’s layers
  • if utility classes are used as parent classes of the page classes (since utility classes are not following OOP principles)
  • if lots of static methods and variables are used (static and OOP are not going well together; also, static can be a problem for parallel execution)
  • if there are classes that implement functionality that already exists in the Selenium library (in other words, if the tester is interested in re-inventing the wheel)
  • how error handling is implemented
  • if there is duplicated code
  • if the code uses static delay


The phone interview is first.

This is an opportunity to understand how good the communication skills are.

And to assess more the programming skills by asking questions with different degrees of complexity.

The questions can be about the Selenium library and even more about Java.

Good Java knowledge is essential for good Selenium test automation.

This means much more than basic concepts since understanding of topics such as

  • polymorphism
  • interfaces
  • generics
  • predicates
  • annotations
  • streams
  • composition
  • code refactoring

is essential.

The in-person interview is next where the programming skills assessment continues.

I may show the tester some code samples and ask

  • what is correct
  • what is incorrect
  • what would he change and why


Finally, the practical test.

An end-to-end test needs to be automated with Java and Selenium WebDriver.

First, an automation framework should be created.

Second, the automation framework is used for the following end-to-end-test:
  1. open
  2. search for a keyword
  3. select a product that is available online
  4. add the product to the cart
  5. open the order basket
  6. choose to continue the checkout as a not-logged in user
  7. specify the user address info
  8. specify the payment type
  9. specify invalid payment info
  10. submit the order
  11. check that the correct error is displayed

I know, this process is complicated and time consuming.

But there are no simple solutions for complicated problems.

Better hiring processes are needed.

If not, you will keep hiring fake testers that are "professional test automation engineers" and either create a lot of bad code that will eventually be thrown away.

Or will create one test per month.

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2 Responses to "How do I identify fake Selenium testers?"

  1. And what the salary for a person who passes this kind of interview should be?!

    1. the salary should be similar to a developer's salary.