Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is booming—and, what better time to kick start your career in this field? If you’re an RPA developer with good hands-on knowledge about its workings and various tools and looking for help in preparing for your interview, you’re in the right place.
We’ve compiled a set of commonly asked RPA questions in interviews to help improve your chances of getting the job.
Generic RPA Interview Questions
1. What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to handle high-volume, repetitive tasks that previously required humans to perform. Some of these tasks include:
- Addressing queries
- Making calculations
- Maintenance of records
- Performing transactions
2. What are the applications of RPA?
- Open mail and attachments
- Fill in forms and move files and folders.
- Follow if-then decision rules.
- Connect to system APIs
- Extract structured data from documents
- Make complex calculations
- Monitor manual processes and learn how to automate them
- Copy and paste
- Read and write to databases
- Scrape data from documents
- Login into web/enterprise applications
3. What are the advantages of RPA?
- Reduces costs - One of the important advantages of RPA is the quick reduction in costs. By automating tasks, an organization can save up to 30 percent of their total costs because software robots cost less than a full-time employee.
- Reduces operational risks - Some companies prefer to outsource busy work to third party organizations, and this comes with the risk of human errors and inefficiency. RPA offers a better solution—because the work stays in-house, there is less operational risk.
- Quality and accuracy - Processes with a high risk of human error can be automated using RPA systems. These bots are reliable, consistent, and can work tirelessly.
- Scalability - With the help of RPA, companies can make adjustments based on changing conditions and can easily scale up or down operations as needed.
- Reduced workload - Automating tasks like report-making can significantly reduce the workload on employees, allowing them to focus on other critical tasks.
- Improved customer satisfaction - Since accuracy is increased and operational risk is minimal, customers better quality content.
- Improved business results - Since employees are focusing on activities that add more value to the company, robotic process automation enables businesses to achieve better overall results.
4. What are some industries that can benefit from RPA?
- Banking and finance
- Human resources
- Insurance agencies
- Marketing and sales
5. What are RPA tools?
Popular RPA tools help professionals configure tasks and build bots to automate them. These include:
- Blue Prism
- Automation Anywhere
6. Explain how RPA works
Robotic process automation includes four core stages:
- Planning - In this stage, the processes to be automated are defined, which includes identifying test objects, finalizing the implementation approach, and defining a clear roadmap for the RPA implementation.
- Design and development - In this stage, you start developing the automation workflows according to the established plan.
- Deployment and testing - This stage typically includes the execution of bots. Any unexpected outages will be handled during the deployment. To ensure accurate functioning, testing these bots for bugs and errors is crucial.
- Support and maintenance - Providing constant support helps to better identify and rectify errors.
7. What is the difference between traditional automation and RPA?
Traditional automation leverages application programming interfaces (APIs) and other tools to integrate different systems. The developer must have a good understanding of the target system.
On the other hand, robotic process automation mimics the actions of a user at the user interface (UI) level. As long as the bot can follow the steps, the developer doesn’t need to worry about the underlying complexities.
8. What are the three types of RPA?
1. Unattended/Autonomous RPA
Ideal for reducing work like completing data processing tasks in the background. They don’t require any human intervention. These bots can be launched using:
- Specified intervals
- Data input
2. Attended RPA
These bots live on the user’s machine and are triggered by the user. They can be launched:
- When embedded on an employee’s device
- Automatically based on predefined conditions
- Leveraging an RPA client tool
3. Hybrid RPA
This is a combination of attended and autonomous bots. These bots address front- and back-office tasks in the enterprise
9. What are front- and back-office bots?
- Front office bots – Bots whose deployment is in the user’s control and require human intervention. These bots work from the same desktop as that of the user. They can only be triggered by local machines manually and cannot run remotely.
- Back office bots – These bots can run on locked machines from the orchestrator. The user may not be actively involved. These bots can also be triggered remotely by servers.
10. What are some features of RPA?
- Rich analytical suite - RPA monitors and manages automated functions from a central console. This console can be accessed from anywhere and offers basic metrics on robots, servers, workflows, and more.
- Simple creation of bots - RPA tools enables the quick creation of bots by capturing mouse clicks and keystrokes with built-in screen recorder components.
- Scriptless automation - RPA tools are code-free and can automate any application in any department. Users with less programming skills can create bots through an intuitive GUI.
- Security - RPA tools enable the configuration and customization of encryption capabilities to secure certain data types and defend against the interruption of network communication.
- Hosting and deployment - RPA systems can automatically deploy bots in groups of hundreds. Hence, RPA bots can be installed on desktops and deployed on servers to access data for repetitive tasks.
- Debugging - Some RPA tools need to stop running to rectify the errors while other tools allow dynamic interaction while debugging. This is one of the most powerful features of RPA.
11. What are the major differences between Blue Prism and UiPath?
Blue Prism offers a trial version. It’s available in two options, either on the cloud or on the local device
Offers free edition. Both trial and license versions are available
Based on C#
Based on SharePoint, Kibana, and Elasticsearch
Enables you to design, create, edit, and test business processes from the Visual Business Object (VBO)
Acts as a visual process designer with developer-friendly options
Browser-based access only
Provides mobile and browser accessibility
Offers back-office automation only
Offers front and back-office automation
Comes with a macro-recorder, enabling faster process mapping
12. What is Citrix automation?
Any automation solution built using a virtual desktop or built to work in virtual desktops is called Citrix automation. It plays an important role in small to large companies like BPO and contact centers where applications are being accessed remotely because of security considerations.
13. What are activities in UiPath?
System Activities Pack contains all the activities needed to create automation projects. These activities enable the robots to:
- Manipulate data tables by adding or extracting necessary information
- Directly interact with directories and files on your system, performing any action a human user would
There are other types of activities in this pack that help you to create and execute automation projects themselves, such as logical operators and expressions.
14. What is a sequence in UiPath?
A sequence is a simple linear representation that flows from top to bottom and defines which activities will be performed.
In the example below, the message “Hello” is displayed first, followed by the message “Welcome”.
15. What is scraping in UiPath?
Scraping can be done in two ways:
- Data scraping is a technique with which structured data is extracted from the web or any application and saved to a database, spreadsheet, or .CSV file.
- Screen scraping is the process of collecting screen display data from one application and translating it so that another application can display it.
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16. What is UiPath studio?
This platform enables you to create automation bots. It encompasses hundreds of activity templates and ready-made components to drag and drop. UiPath studio consists of:
- GUI Dashboard: Offers a visual dashboard with activities like “Send email”, “Display message”, and more
- Types of Recorders: UiPath studio provides various types of recorders to record actions on multiple platforms
- Logging and exception handling: Offers various options for debugging and exception handling such as Debug, Open Logs, Slow Step, etc.
- Reusable components: The user can create reusable components to publish them together as libraries
17. What are UiPath robots?
UiPath robots run the automated task you create with UiPath studio. There are two types of robots:
- Attended robots: They work with you to speed up the service desk and help desk, and are used for activities where human involvement is key.
- Unattended Robots: These operate without human touch, maximizing cost savings and performance for a wide variety of back-office tasks.
18. What does the UiPath Orchestrator do?
It’s a centralized robot management dashboard where you can easily deploy, secure, and manage your UiPath Robots at scale.
First, you create the bot. The project is then published as a process for further use. Once a process is created, it’s assigned to a specific robot to execute in a specified environment. This collectively constitutes a job.
19. How is exception handling done in UiPath?
Exception handling is one of the error-handling methods in UiPath. The error-handling activity offers four options:
- Rethrow - By using this activity, the robot throws an exception that was caught previously while executing the workflow. For this activity, we don’t need to provide any specified message.
- Terminate Workflow - This is a mechanism where you ask the robot to terminate activities. This activity is mostly used when there is no data to process. To use it, you may need to provide the exception message so the bot can log in the error log file. It can then be referred by the developer/business to get more details about the run.
Throw - A mechanism wherein if a bot fails to execute the mentioned activity, it throws an error with a specified error message to help us understand where the bot failed.
- Try Catch - This activity has three parts. The Try block executes, and if there were any errors, they would be caught in the “Catch” Section. After executing the Try block, the robot will execute the “Finally” block in any condition.
20. What are breakpoints in UiPath?
Breakpoints are used to intentionally pause the debugging process on an activity that may trigger execution issues.
You can place and modify a breakpoint on any activity as follows:
- From the context menu, right-click an activity and select Toggle Breakpoint
- By selecting the activity and clicking the Breakpoints button on the Debug tab
- By pressing F9 while the desired activity is selected
21. What is macro-recorder?
A macro-recorder enables you to record mouse and keyboard activities to generate automation scripts. The activities are arranged based on the sequence of actions being performed on the screen. This sequence is saved in your workflow, which you can use later to play back the recorded actions.
22. What are user events is UiPath? Mention a few.
User events in UiPath specify the actions performed when certain events occur.
- On Click Element - Monitors click events on a specified UI element. The mouse button (left, right, middle) is used for the click action. By default, the left mouse button is selected
- On Keypress Element - Monitors keyboard events on a specified UI element. Special keys are also supported, and you can select them from the activity drop-down list. This field supports only strings and string variables
- On Click Image - Monitors the image defined by the target UI element for mouse input
- Monitor Mouse - Monitors a specified mouse-key combination in a system-wide event
23. What are the different activities performed by UiPath?
- Core activities: For all of the automation processes
- Cognitive activities: For any language translations
- Terminal activities: For retrieving data from the terminal
- Web activities: For performing SOAP and HTTP requests to any web APIs
- Salesforce activities: Makes provisions for automating salesforce activities
- Testing activities: The package allows you to easily test the systems
- Python activities: For invoking Python scripts and methods
- Word activities: For automating activities in MS Word
- Credential activities: For enabling the addition and deletion of credentials
- Database activities: For executing queries, transactions, etc.
- Excel activities: Facilitates the automation of MS Excel tasks
- Intelligent OCR activities: For digitization and scraping
- Mail activities: For working with IMAP, POP3, SMTP, Outlook, etc.
- PDF activities: For data extraction from PDF files
- FTP activities: For performing functions in the FTP server
24. What does the control room in Automation Anywhere do?
The control room is a web-based platform that controls Automation Anywhere. The control room deals with:
- User management
- Source control: The code for the bots is managed by the control room
- Dashboard: It gives complete analytics and performance of Automation Anywhere bots
- License Management: Ensures that the licenses purchased for Automation Anywhere are configured in the Control Room
There are two types of Licenses in Automation Anywhere:
- Dev License: Allows you to create, edit, and run a bot.
- Run License: The user can only run the bot and cannot make any changes.
25. What is a bot runner?
The bot runner is the machine where you run the bot, and you could have multiple bots running in parallel. You only need the Run License to run the bots. The bots report back the execution status (logs/pass/fail) back to the control room.
26. What are task bots, meta bots, and IQ bots?
- Task Bots - These bots automate a rule-based, repetitive task, in areas like document administration, HR, claims management, IT services, and more.
- Meta Bots - These bots are the automation building blocks. They’re designed in such a way that with application updates or changes you need to make minimal edits to the bot.
- IQ Bots - These are advanced tools. They can learn on their own and perform a task accordingly. IQ Bots offer automation using highly advanced cognitive technology.
27. Is robotic automation similar to screen scraping or macros?
Screen scraping is done by applications to capture the screen. Depending on the information captured, you proceed towards processing it.
Robotic process automation is much more capable and robust and can integrate with Windows applications, Java applications, or web applications. RPA does incorporate screen scraping when dealing with automating mainframes, but that's just a part of it—it does not govern RPA in any way.
28. What are thick and thin clients?
- Thick clients: The thick client is the application that requires certain attribute features using RPA tools (e.g., computer, calculator, Internet Explorer)
- Thin clients: The thin client is the application that never acquires the specific properties while using RPA tools. It mainly involves automating tasks done on a browser like opening the browse, navigating to a website, etc. t
29. How is a chatbot different from RPA?
A chatbot is a bot programmed to chat with a user like a human being, while robotic process automation is a bot programmed to automate a manual business process of executing a task or an activity within a business function.
A chatbot can be used as a medium to feed input to the RPA bot, but it cannot replicate the features of an RPA system.
30. What is the Process Studio in RPA?
The Process Studio is an interface that enables you to develop the business workflow in order to automate it. It leverages control loops, variables, business logic, and more, to be sequenced and tested in a visible business flow. It basically implements the software robot’s logic.
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RPA Interview Questions - Multiple Choice Questions
1. What provides instructions to the robot?
a. Process recorder
b. Robot Controller
c. Developer Tools
2. What is the topmost layer in the layered design of RPA?
- Component layer
3. What publishes data to the master repository?
- Process Recorder
- Process Developers
- Robot Controller
4. Which of the following is the SMTP port number for Gmail?
5. Which type of recording is best suited for automation in local machines?
- Desktop recording
- Screen recording
- Basic recording
- Citrix recording
6. Which of the following is not an error handling method?
7. Individual screen components are handled by?
- Presentation layer
- Component layer
8. What is the master repository of jobs?
- Robot controller
- Software robot
- Developer tools
- Process recorder
9. What does RPA enable?
- Cost-based reduction
- 24/7 operability
- Reduces delivery risk
- All of the options
10. What are the business benefits of RPA?
- Flexibility and scalability
- Improved accuracy
- Improved employee morale
- All of the above
11. Which of the following is not an RPA tool?
- Blue prism
- Automation Anywhere
12. RPA tools with thinking and decision-making capabilities are known as _________ RPA.
13. How can we use keyboard shortcuts during the automation process?
- Use Send Hotkey activity
- Manual attempt
- Using different activity to acquire end result
- Select item activity
14. Which of the following options is used to stop a running process?
15. Why do we use Try Catch Activity?
- For better efficiency
- For code readability
- To get fewer errors
- To perform a set of actions in case errors occur
Learn RPA using the advanced UiPath platform with the Robotic Process Automation certification training course.
Need to Brush up on Your Skills?
If you are serious about your career in RPA but not sure you’re ready to ace an interview for a more advanced position, consider enrolling in Simplilearn’s Automation Anywhere Certified Advanced RPA Professional Training course or our Robotic Process Automation using UiPath Certification Training course today. What are you waiting for?