Following are examples of common interview questions for review. Think about how you would answer the following interview questions to prepare for your next interview.
General Interview Questions
Following are examples of "general" interview questions. To help prepare for an interview, think about how you would answer the following questions:
- Tell me about your current job. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?
- What operating system do you prefer and why? (The operating system is of minor importance, unless the job requires a thorough knowledge of it. Rather, this question probes general knowledge of operating systems and their relative merits.)
- What do you know about our organization and what we do?
Behavioral Interview Questions
- What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made? How many people were affected by it? How did you find out about it? How did you recover and what did you learn?
- Tell me about the most difficult IT problem you ever faced and how you handled it. In retrospect, would you handle it the same way now?
- How do you stay informed about your profession? (This answer should go beyond daily duties. Do you say you have a test network at home? Do you read publications or visit IT Web sites?)
- Tell me about your relationship with your current end users? (Are you a people person? How do you interact with others?)
- Tell me about a time when you were working alone and needed to motivate yourself. What were the circumstances, and how did you do it?
Problem-Solving Interview Questions
Here are some examples of IT-based problem solving interview questions. If the position you are interviewing for is not an IT position, you will want to think through the answers to similar questions for your specialty.
- What precautions would you take before replacing a keyboard, hard drive, or network card
- Turn around so you can’t see me. Now explain to me how to tie my shoelaces using only vocal instructions. (Things to think about: do the interviewers shoes have shoelaces? Can you describe the process? This kind of question helps the interviewer test communication skills needed by help desk candidates, for example, or others who support remote users.)
- Your network is experiencing periods of slow response, and you are asked to find a solution. What troubleshooting techniques would you use? Hardware or software solutions are okay, and budget is not an issue.
- In many problem situations, it is tempting to jump to a conclusion in order to quickly build a solution. Describe a time when you resisted this temptation and thoroughly researched the problem before reaching a decision.
- Write a paragraph explaining how DHCP (LANs, WANs, WEPs, whatever) works. (This question sounds like a technical question, but will also show how you communicate technical information.)
General Interview Questions – Motivation, Goals
Having a clear vision of your career goals is important to characteristic to many interviewers. Here are some sample interview questions that deal with motivation and career goals.
- What is the single most rewarding thing you have accomplished in your career, and why do you cite this above all your other accomplishments?
- Describe for me a risk you have taken in your career and the results of the decision to take the risk. Would you do it again?
- What role do you think computer support analysts (or whichever position you are interviewing for) should play in the company?
- What special skills or knowledge can you bring to our organization? Why would this be valuable to us?
- Within this organization or not, where do you see yourself, and your career, in five years?