Applied for a job in IT support and got through to the interview stage? Read our in-depth interview tips designed to help you land that role. If you are still at the application stage, why not read our guide on how to write an IT support cover letter.
Technical IT support interview questions.
1. What is one of the latest Computer Processors (CPU)?
The Intel Pentium Quad Core Intel I3, I5, and I7 processors.
2. What does USB stand for?
Universal Serial Bus – the current version is 2.0. It allows the
connection of peripherals without the need to shut down the computer.
3. Which desktop operating systems are you familiar with?
You will need to have familiarised yourself with the system used by the organisation you are hoping to join. Focus your answer on those systems, but also mention other systems with which you have experience.
4. What are the disadvantages of using imaging software?
This question is designed to test your familiarity with imaging software. Describe image testing and the attributes of particular software to show your familiarity with imaging.
5. Define Hard-Disk Partitions.
Hard disk partitions divide the hard disk drive into smaller segments to enable
better space management. Each partition on the disk can then be considered as a separate disk allowing different file systems to be used on each.
6. What is the difference between RAM and ROM? RAM stands for Random Access Memory.
It is used for the temporary storage of data that is being worked on. ROM is Read-Only Memory and is used for permanent storage of data that should never be changed, like BIOS for example.
7. If the audio for your computer is not working, what would you check?
Check the following:
- Speaker volume
- Cable connections
- Power to the speakers
- Device drivers.
8. What are the lights on a Modem/LAN Card and what do they indicate?
The lights are:
- Power light - indicates if the power is on
- Link light - indicates if the modem is receiving broadband or internet signals from the ISP
- Data light - indicates if the internet is working
- Connectivity light - indicates if the modem is connected to a computer
9. What are some of the Ports available on a computer?
Common ports are:
- PS/2 ports, for keyboard and mouse
- USB ports
- Sound ports
- LAN or Ethernet ports
- VGA ports
10. What does DHCP stand for and what is its purpose?
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol – it assigns dynamic IP addresses to network devices allowing them to have a different IP address each time they are
connected to the network.
11. What does DNS stand for and what is it used for?
Domain Name Service (or System or Server) – it translates domain names into IPaddresses.
12. List five Microsoft Office applications.
- MS Word
- MS Excel
- MS PowerPoint
- MS Outlook
- MS Access
13. What are some versions of Windows XP?
- XP Professional
- XP Home
- Media Centre
- Tablet PC and Mobile
14. What components are needed to set up a Basic Home Network?
- LAN cards
- LAN cables
15. What is the purpose of BOOT.INI?
Boot.ini is used to decide which operating system options are displayed during the start-up process.
16. Identify a few Firewalls.
There are two basic types of firewall – network layer, which makes decisions based on source and destination addresses, and application layer, which are hosts run on proxy servers and allow no direct traffic between networks. Comodo and Zone Alarm are two commonly used firewalls.
Personality based IT support interview questions.
1. How do you feel about your abilities as a manager?
Focus on how you achieve resultswhile maintaining good staff relations. Use examples of your successes and how you have learned from mistakes. Emphasise your energy and experience.
2. What is your style of management?
Tailor your answer to the management style of the company to show that your style will complement it. A good maxim to remember is ‘task needs, group needs and individual needs’. You might also mention motivation and delegation.
3. What qualities do you look for when you hire people?
Mention ability and experience and interpersonal skills. You should also mention initiative and future potential.
4. In our industry, what are some important trends that you see?
This question is intended to test your knowledge of the industry. You will need to have done some homework. You might look at topics like technological developments, economic challenges and changes in the market.
5. What are your reasons for leaving your previous/present job?
Be honest and brief but avoid answers suggesting personality conflicts or that you were dismissed. Try to present the move in a positive light.
6. Have you ever had to fire someone? If so, why did you have to do so, and how did you approach the situation?
Mention that the task was not pleasant but that you got through by explaining the position and reasons for dismissal to the individual and being as sympathetic as possible.
7. Your resume shows that you may be over-qualified for this position. What is your opinion of this?
You hope to work long term with the company and hope that good work performance will open up new opportunities within it. You can mention that strong companies always need well-qualified staff and that with your qualifications the employer will see a good and rapid return on his investment.
8. What, in your opinion, is the most difficult aspect of being a manager or executive?
Identify one of the most difficult tasks as being the motivation of staff in trying circumstances.You can include planning and completing objectives on time and within budget.
9. What do you feel is an appropriate salary for this position?
Salary is a delicate question. You can answer in several ways. You can give a figure based on industry norms for the position or else you could say that you cannot give a realistic answer until you know more details of the job. Do not undersell yourself - you will regret giving a figure that is too low. Equally, if the figure is too high, you will put off the employer. It is best to avoid being too specific but do not give the impression that salary is unimportant.
10. How do you remain abreast of new developments in technology?
You could mention seminars, courses, trade journals and technology magazines. You could also mention the value of social networking.
11. Describe yourself professionally in a few words.
This is not an invitation to give your life story. Give a brief mention of your highest education level, say where you have worked and your role focusing on your most recent position and then refer to your future goals. You should devote no more than one sentence to each aspect.
12. If your previous manager was in the room with us, what do you think he would have to say about you?
Always try to be positive. Give answers like: “ They would say that I was an enthusiastic, hard worker” or “ I was the most reliable and efficient member of the team’ or “I was an excellent problem solver.”
13. What are some questions you would ask to help isolate a user’s problem?
This question examines your problem-solving ability. You could say that you would ask the following questions:
- Describe the problem. Was there an error message? If so, what?
- Have you had a similar problem or other problems before? Give details.
- What were you doing when the system failed?
- Has any new hardware been added to the system?
- Has any new software been added to the system?
- Have you downloaded anything from the Internet?
- What, if anything, have you done to fix the problem yourself?
- Are you the only user who has access to the system?
14. What is your favourite aspect of desktop support?
The question is a test of motivation. You need to match your answer to the job. Mention aspects like the challenges of working with new systems and meeting new people.
15. How capable do you think you are at handling stress?
Here you need to acknowledge that sometimes work and life can be stressful. You need to show what techniques you use to reduce and control stress – careful time management, exercise, time out, setting priorities are all methods you could discuss.
Scenario based interview questions and answers.
1. A customer complains that his computer is working slowly. What things should you check?
Check the following:
- Is start-up time longer than usual?
- Is it slower with one particular application or slower overall?
- Are there any viruses, malware or spyware?
- Available Hard Disk space.
2. What is your troubleshooting process?
The basic troubleshooting process is:
- Identify the problem
- Consider likely causes
Test theories to localise the cause
- Formulate and implement a plan to solve the problem
- Verify that the problem is solved and take steps to prevent it happening again
- Record your findings, what action you took and the outcome
3. What is your least favourite aspect of desktop support?
This is designed to see how well you will fit with the present team. A good answer would be along the lines of being unable to solve a problem due to factors outside you control, like hardware failure for instance.
4. Describe a situation where you have had to deal with a difficult person and how you handled it? Do you think you should have done anything differently?
This question is best answered by reference to a successful outcome to a difficult situation that you have encountered. In general terms, you could say that you understand the frustration of end users and that good communication often goes a long way to resolving issues.
5. Would you describe yourself as a problem solver? If so, why? Can you give any example
You should obviously give a positive answer. You should give examples that show that you can think critically and highlight your skills.
Company based IT support job interview questions.
1. What do you know about our company and our products?
To answer this question, you must have done your homework and to show it. You will need to know what the company does and something about its products. You will also need to be aware of recent developments and know a little about the leading figures in the company.
2. Why do you want to work for this organisation?
Let the interviewers know that you have done some homework by saying that in your job search their company stood out from the rest because “….” You should also mention the company’s history, products, philosophy, reputation etc.
3. What are your reasons for wanting to work with us?
From your research on the company, you should be able to spell out what has attracted you to apply for the position – perhaps they focus on an area of research that you enjoy or would like to become involved with; maybe they offer opportunities that competitors do not; or possibly they are active in a field that interests you. Be careful, though, do not pretend to have an interest in something that you do not – your deception will be noticed.
Career IT & desktop support interview questions.
1. What are some things that you look for in a job?
Tailor your answer to the interviewers’ company. Talk about challenges, job satisfaction, opportunities and work environment.
2. For what period of time do you expect to stay with us?
Say that you are looking for a career in the organisation but will need to remain challenged.
3. What long-term goals do you have?
Relate to the job description and the company and describe what progression you would like to see in that environment.
4. So far, how successful do you feel have you been?
Here you need to give an air of quiet confidence. Say that your career progression to date has been quite good (give examples of how you think you have been successful).
5. Describe three of your accomplishments over the past few years that you are most proud of.
Identify three of your best achievements and say why you are most proud of them – you can consider the difficulties, the outcomes etc.
6. In two or three years from now, what do you see yourself doing?
This is a test of your ambition and possible loyalty. You should be clear about what you hope to achieve and could ask the interviewers if your objectives are a possibility with their company.