Tech & Work

How to answer two potential interview questions

How to answer two big interview questions about tech expertise and personality traits


Think about the job interview you had for your latest support position. What types of questions were you asked? Were you nervous? Think how much it would have helped to know the questions before the interview. Here’s your chance to help budding support pros do just that. TechRepublic is putting together a list of 50 popular IT support interview questions, and we need your help to make this happen.

Here are some examples of potential questions for an IT support position. At the end of the article, please take a minute to share with us the questions that you remember from your latest interview.

Prove that you have the technical knowledge to do the job
Successful help desk techs must have adequate technical knowledge. The level of this knowledge will depend upon the position, but there are basic skills that all support personnel should have. Tom M. offered the following questions and the answers:
  1. Your network is experiencing periods of slow response, and you are asked to find a solution. What troubleshooting techniques would you employ to resolve the problem? Your solution can involve hardware or software and has no budgetary restrictions.
    Answer: Your answer should include the use of network monitoring and performance utilities, the use of protocol analyzers to isolate network congestion, and periods of high bandwidth utilization, as well as innovative solutions in moving to Fast Ethernet, switched topology, or reduction of LAN protocols to preserve bandwidth.
  2. Explain the purpose of the Office Profile Wizard.
    Answer: The Office Profile Wizard provides a quick and easy way to take a "snapshot" of a user's settings so they can be restored later.
  3. You recently applied SR-1 and/or installed Project 2000, and now your users are complaining that their Office 2000 programs are quitting immediately after they start. Why is this happening?
    Answer: This problem stems from an incorrect or corrupted Product ID registry key. To resolve it, you'll need to rename the key and restart an Office app (in order to reenter the correct Product ID).
  4. Utilizing NT 4.0, how can you determine the logon server?
    Answer: Windows NT Diagnostics | Network | Logon Server

Is your personality a good fit for the job?
While technical skills are critical, most employers also want to know about an applicant’s personality. To do this, they often ask broad, open-ended questions focusing on your achievements and self-perception. TechRepublic member Charlie Y., who runs an e-mail customer service department for a large international corporation, submitted the following questions that interviewers might ask:
  • How would you rank yourself for overall performance on a scale of one to 10?
  • What would it take to move you up one point?
  • What would you do if someone asked you to do something unethical?
  • What gives you joy?
  • What do you think you owe to your employer?
  • If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?
  • What's the most important thing you have done in the past three years?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What's the most rewarding workday you've had this year? Why?
  • Tell me how you've persuaded others to take actions you wanted.

Share your experience
What were you asked during your last IT support job interview? Were you grilled with technical scenarios or asked about your greatest accomplishments? Post a comment or send us a note and help others prepare for an IT support interview.

 

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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