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Computer or Network Specialist, Systems Administrator Job Interview Questions

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Recently we helped a high profile staffing company prepare one of it’s candidates for the position of computer or network specialist. Below are some of the network engineer and systems administrator job interview questions we used to help prepare this candidate.

Depending on the company and industry, Network Specialists may also be called:

  • application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design engineer
  • computer engineer
  • computer hardware engineer
  • engineer, computer hardware
  • engineer, telecommunications hardware
  • fibre-optic network designer
  • hardware circuit board designer
  • hardware design engineer
  • hardware development engineer
  • hardware engineer
  • network systems engineer
  • network engineer
  • network test engineer
  • systems designer – hardware
  • technical architect – hardware
  • wireless communications network engineer

Network Specialist or Computer Specialist Job Interview Questions

As a Network Engineer, tell me about a time when you led the implementation or provided advice on the design, development, selection, modification and implementation of major computer or network software and/or hardware system.

Answer:  

I have had the responsibility of designing networks from the ground up in the Mining Industry. I have also been part of implementation of ERP systems as well as taken part in several large scale migration of e-mail systems from Exchange to Office 365, the largest of which was with the usdirectory.com group and was well over 5700 users. I have also helped to grow several small companies into large and thriving organizations.

What is your greatest achievement in your career as a Systems Administrator so far?  Why

Answer:  

I would have to say that my greatest achievement was growing an Company called ABC. When I started with the company there were approximately 30 computers users which grew to over 900 when I left over seven years later. I was involved in several network upgrades, and was involved in the implementation of the CIBC ERP system as well as leading a team of 4 junior techs who reported to me.

List 5 traits of a good network specialist.  Which of these are you most weak?

Answer:  

1. Troubleshooting network outages.
2. Proactively planning for growth.
3. Testing and verifying communication with dissimilar hardware.
4. Ensuring that there is enough bandwidth for good performance company wide.
5. Ensuring that all devices are properly updated with firmware, fixpacks etc.

If I had to choose, point 4 would be the most difficult for me, it changes on a quarterly basis and needs to be revised frequently.

Describe your level of knowledge in the following areas:  routing protocols, firewall, Cisco 65 routers, VPN3,Sniffer, site to site VPN, DMZ,SNMP, VPN, OSPF, BGP, QoS, ASA, CSS, Load balance, HSRP, Failover, Wireless and Network design technologies.  Where do you feel you are most strong?  Where are your opportunities for improvement?

As a Network Engineer, what was the most challenging computer or network problem that you have handled?  Describe the problem, your considerations, and recommendations.

Answer:

I recently finished an Office 365 migration at ABC.com This project was interesting because it really involved two subsidiaries of the company, ABC.com in Canada and DEF.com in the US. Both companies were running different email systems, google mail and Exchange which led to some challenges which were overcome. The second one was a migration form Windows 7 to Windows 10 of approximately 400 devices. I found this interesting because of the great cloning software used.

Do you hold a bachelors degree in Sciences or a related discipline?  What kind of vendor supplied training do you have as a Systems Administrator?