Top Systems Administrator Interview Questions with Example Answers [2020]

Prepare for your Systems Administrator interview by going through these most asked Systems Administrator interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: What is group policy and what are they used for?
  • Question Overview: This question tests candidates' knowledge of Windows.

    Sample Answer: Group policies are a way to configure multiple computers at once. For example, you can set a policy that automatically installs the latest updates on all computers in the company.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A correct definition
    • - An explanation of how group policies are used
    • - A mention of security

  • Question: What will your colleagues say about you when you leave?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to find out what your candidates think of their coworkers.

    Sample Answer: My colleagues will say that I'm a hard worker who gets along well with others. I'm always willing to help out and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A positive answer
    • - A mention of teamwork
    • - A mention of the candidate's ability to work with others

  • Question: What is a hash table?
  • Question Overview: This question tests candidates' knowledge of basic computer science concepts.

    Sample Answer: A hash table is a data structure that stores information in a way that allows for fast retrieval. It's used in databases and other applications that need to store and retrieve large amounts of data.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A correct definition
    • - A mention of hash collisions
    • - A mention of the use of hash tables in databases

  • Question: Would you be open to relocation for this position?
  • Question Overview: This question gives you insight into candidates' willingness to relocate.

    Sample Answer: I would be open to relocation. I have a lot of experience with computers and would be able to learn the new systems quickly.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A yes or no answer
    • - A willingness to relocate
    • - A willingness to travel occasionally
    • - A willingness to travel regularly

  • Question: What is your experience with troubleshooting hardware and software in a domain environment?
  • Question Overview: This question gets to candidates' hard skills.

    Sample Answer: I've worked with Active Directory since it was first released. I've used the tools Microsoft provides, such as ADSI Edit, to troubleshoot problems. I've also used third-party tools such as the Quest AD Management Shell. I always document what I've done and why.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A mention of specific tools
    • - A walk through the process
    • - A mention of the importance of documentation

  • Question: What do you know about our company?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to see how much research candidates have done on your company.

    Sample Answer: I know that you're the leading provider of cloud-based storage solutions. I also know that you have offices in New York and Chicago. I've read about your CEO, John Smith, and I'm excited to meet him.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A mention of a specific product or service
    • - A mention of a specific department or location
    • - A mention of a specific person

  • Question: How do you deal with difficult customers?
  • Question Overview: This question gets to candidates' soft skills. It's important for systems administrators to be able to deal with customers in a professional manner.

    Sample Answer: I always make sure to listen to customers and understand their needs. I also make sure to be polite and professional. I've learned that it's important to keep a calm demeanor and not let my emotions get the best of me.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Acknowledgement of the importance of customer service
    • - Acknowledgement of the importance of being polite
    • - Acknowledgement of the importance of listening

  • Question: How would you define group policy user rights?
  • Question Overview: Technical skills are important in systems administrator jobs, and this question tests candidates' knowledge of a specific technology.

    Sample Answer: Group policy user rights are the permissions that determine what users can do with their computers. The most important ones are "Back up files and directories," "Restore files and directories," and "Take ownership of files or other objects."

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A definition that matches the one in your documentation
    • - A mention of the user rights that are most important to your business
    • - A list of the user rights that are most important to your business

  • Question: Example: How do you grow logical volumes in a Linux LVM environment?
  • Question Overview: This question tests candidates' knowledge of Linux and their ability to think on their feet.

    Sample Answer: I would use the lvresize command to grow logical volumes. The syntax is lvresize -L +size VG/LV.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A correct answer
    • - A mention of the command's syntax
    • - A walk through the process

  • Question: What will you contribute to the team?
  • Question Overview: This question lets you assess candidates' soft skills.

    Sample Answer: I'm a team player who's always willing to help others. I'm also a good communicator, able to explain technical issues in layman's terms.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - A mix of technical and soft skills
    • - A mention of teamwork
    • - A mention of customer service