Job Description Example: Systems Test Engineer

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As the world’s leader in serving science, Thermo Fisher Scientific is a driving force in healthcare research. When you join us, you’ll be part of a smart, driven team that shares your passion for exploration and discovery. We give our people the resources and opportunities to make significant contributions to the world by helping our customers in finding cures for cancer, protecting the environment, and moving forward with thousands of important projects that improve millions of lives.


  • Participate in creating product requirements with the product development team
  • Review product requirements and develop test cases from those requirements
  • Validate and track backward compatibility of new releases/bug fixes/enhancements with existing releases of hardware, firmware, and software
  • Identify failures during test execution and log appropriate information needed to allow the developer to understand, reproduce, and address the issue
  • Assist in root cause investigation for hardware/software integration and system issues in the field
  • Compile and maintain test plans and reports for new system releases and incremental updates
  • Exercise good judgment determining the priority and severity of defects
  • Develop and communicate test schedules

Minimum Qualifications (must have):

  • Demonstrated ability to troubleshoot issues and determine the root cause of software/hardware defects
  • Experienced with software testing concepts and systematic testing approaches
  • Proficiency in Agile/SCRUM product development principles and application to commercial software development
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Windows-based operating systems
  • Demonstrated risk-based mindset when evaluating and communicating test results and status
  • Strong oral, written, and presentation skills
  • Ability to work in a cross-functional team environment
  • Ability to work in a lab environment and lift at least 25lbs
  • 5+ years of experience with BA/BS Computer Science or Electrical Engineering

Preferred Qualification (nice to have):

  • Advanced knowledge of statistical analysis and experimental design approaches
  • Experience with one or more programming languages (C#, C++)
  • Working knowledge of complex multi-tier software architectures
  • Working knowledge of flow cytometry, fluorescence microscope, and/or quantitative images and analysis

Predictors of Future Performance

Why Selected?

Cognitive Ability

How well the candidate can solve problems, organizing, and planning.
The job requires the ability to troubleshoot complex systems in order to find failure root causes. In addition, Planning is key to determining and prioritizing test schedules to provide accurate timelines to business management. As well as, accurate and well-organized test reporting is crucial to job success.

Detail Orientation

How well the candidate pays attention to the details and is methodical in their work.
The job requires the candidate to act as a quality check before releases. Product quality is strategic to business success. Attention to detail can translate into a candidate’s ability to identify small problems that are not immediately obvious but can turn into major issues.

Growth Mindset

How well the candidate strives for continuous improvement.
The biotech industry is constantly evolving and developing new products. The company culture promotes innovation as a core value. Therefore, the job requires the candidate to constantly learn about new technologies, skill-building, and process improvements.


How the candidate is a team player, reacts in situations, and reacts to changes in direction.
The job requires a lot of cross-functional coordination. The test engineer needs to work effectively with hardware, software, project management, operations, and customer support people in order to achieve common business goals. The company culture promotes teamwork.

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Recruitment Sources

Recruitment will first be done internally since the job requires an experienced professional with knowledge of testing complex systems. Filling the position internally provides in-depth past job performance data from reliable sources. The data can be aligned with the predictors mentioned before in order to determine future performance and culture fit of the candidate in that position. It also reduces the on-boarding cost that an external hire would generate. In addition, hiring internally increases employee morale and retention since it shows employees a career growth path within the organization.

However, if there are no qualified candidates, recruitment will go externally. Externally recruiting will provide a larger group of applicants that can bring new ideas, diversity, and energy to the organization. This is critical where innovation is needed. Another advantage is the external hire can bring in different perspectives and talent that can increase the overall performance of the team.

The following recruiting sources will be utilized.

  1. Internal job posting on the HR website
  2. Employee referrals through the HR website
  3. External job posting on the company website
  4. External job posting on LinkedIn and Indeed career websites

In order to get a diverse slate of applicants, the recruitment team will make diversity part of every conversation focusing specifically on identifying one’s own biases. Recruitment ads placed on career websites will be reviewed for language that unconsciously discourages different races or sex to apply. In addition, the interview process will use structured questions where every candidate gets the same question in the same order and scored in real time.

Selection Process

  1. Applicants will be required to complete a small test when submitting their resume. The test will assess the candidate’s culture fit, as well as, their cognitive ability. Each question will be scored and the candidates that score above the threshold will move to the next step.
  2. Resume review would proceed with candidates that pass the online test. In this step, the selection team will review the resumes and highlight skills that meet the basic qualifications listed in the job description. The top candidates will then move to a phone interview with the company recruiter.
  3. Phone interview with the company recruiter will confirm genuine interest in the position and company. They will also access the basic skill level of the candidate based on core requirements. The recruiter will also guide them through the process and be their main point of contact for questions.
  4. Phone interview with the hiring manager will be a deep-dive into the candidate’s experience and skill level. In addition, the manager will assess the culture fit of the candidate.
  5. An on-site interview will be conducted by multiple team members. The focus of these interviews will be mostly to assess the candidate’s fit within the team. Since the team members will be working directly with the potential hire they need to be sure the team’s culture will not be negatively affected. The on-site visit will allow the candidate to see the company first hand and to evaluate it from their own needs/wants.
  6. The decision panel will consist of the HR manager, recruiter, hiring manager, and team members that interviewed the candidate. During the meeting, the HR manager will lead the discussion to ensure objectivity and company policy is followed. Selection will be based on data collected by the test, resume, and interview. In addition, panel members will need to justify their reason for saying yes or no about a candidate.

Online Assessment Test:

The following questions will be asked to the applicant when they submit their resume for the job. The weights given to each answer are in parentheses next to the answer. (Source: Questions came from various online resources.)

  1. The fear of making a mistake effect many of the decisions I make.
    Not At All (3) | Rarely (5) | Sometimes (4) | Often (2) | Very Often (1)
  2. When faced with a problem, I try to look at it from different angles in order to come up with the best solution.
    Not At All (1) | Rarely (2) | Sometimes (3) | Often (4) | Very Often (5)
  3. I have complete faith in my capabilities/skills.
    Not At All (1) | Rarely (2) | Sometimes (3) | Often (5) | Very Often (4)
  4. I like learning new things.
    Not At All (1) | Rarely (2) | Sometimes (3) | Often (4) | Very Often (5)
  5. I’m the type of person who thinks “outside the box”.
    Not At All (1) | Rarely (2) | Sometimes (3) | Often (4) | Very Often (5)
  6. I enjoy trying new things.
    Not At All (1) | Rarely (2) | Sometimes (3) | Often (4) | Very Often (5)
  7. I strive to look at problems from different perspectives and generate multiple solutions.
    Not At All (1) | Rarely (2) | Sometimes (3) | Often (4) | Very Often (5)
  8. After my solution is implemented, I relax and focus again on my regular activities.
    Not At All (5) | Rarely (4) | Sometimes (3) | Often (2) | Very Often (1)
  9. Change, in general, makes me uneasy.
    Not At All (5) | Rarely (4) | Sometimes (3) | Often (2) | Very Often (1)
  10. When faced with a difficult problem I tend to get discouraged easily.
    Not At All (5) | Rarely (4) | Sometimes (3) | Often (2) | Very Often (1)
  11. Your work team has recently encountered a problem similar to the one you confronted in the past with another company. The solution you came up with at your previous job ended up working out really well. However, while brainstorming together with your current team, they end up coming up with a completely different solution, one that you’ve never thought of before- and aren’t sure will work. How do you react?
    a. I insist that they user my old solution instead since it was successful before. (1)
    b. I ask my team members to seriously considered solving the problem the way my team did in the past. (2)
    c. I’m concerned about the possibility of failure of their new solution, but I accept that there may be more than one way to solve the problem. (3)
    d. I feel good about this new idea and look forward to seeing how it will turn out. (4)

Summary of Findings

Overall, I have found that the recruitment and selection process is very time consuming and costly. Perfecting the system to eliminate bias, increase diversity, and ensure culture fit are all important elements to recruiting and selecting the right person for the role. As well as, the best fit for the company does not mean hiring someone that is the same as the existing workforce. Instead, it is hiring someone that contributes something that is otherwise missing.

I believe that the assessment test of the selection tool is beneficial since it weeds out candidates early streamlining the process that is both time consuming and costly. In addition, it allows for more objectivity in the hiring process since common biases (race and sex) are unknown. The personality questions were beneficial in determining how the candidate will culturally fit in the company. However, the logic questions at the end of the test were not intuitive in how the candidate choose their answer. A change I would make is to have the candidate write a brief summary of their reasoning behind the choices they made. This would provide more insight into their thought process plus highlight their communication skills.

After completing this exercise, I would not change the overall process laid out for recruitment and selection. The initial assessment testing allows for a more efficient process by removing least-suitable applicants before proceeding with the more costly personalized aspects of selection. I would continue looking for opportunities within the process to remove bias in order to create a more diverse workforce.

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