Interviewing guides

Interviewing Systems Administrator
A Systems Administrator’s primary role is to ensure the stable operation of a company’s computer systems, networks, and servers. They will be responsible for the configuration, installation, and maintenance of hardware and software resources along with ensuring optimal security and performance.

Skills Required for the Role:

  • Proficiency in network administration using Windows and/or Linux-based systems.
  • Experience with TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP, and network troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with scripting and automation tools like PowerShell, Bash, or Ansible.
  • Good understanding of virtualization technologies such as VMWare or Hyper-V.
  • Knowledge of cloud computing services like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical abilities.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.

Interview Plan for Systems Administrator

Round 1: Phone Screening (30 minutes)

Objective: Assess the candidate’s overall experience, previous work history, and communication skills.
  • Provide a brief overview of your previous experience as a Systems Administrator.
  • What are your preferred scripting languages, and can you provide an example of their usage in your daily tasks?
  • What network troubleshooting tools do you commonly use?
  • How do you ensure consistent hardware and software maintenance?
  • Can you explain how to configure DNS and DHCP in a Windows or Linux environment?
  • Expectations: Candidates should demonstrate proficient communication and interpersonal skills, along with an understanding of the role’s requirements.
  • Round 2: Technical Interview (60 minutes)

    Objective: Evaluate the candidate’s technical knowledge and problem-solving abilities in depth while testing their understanding of Systems and Network Administration concepts.
    • How do you manage patching and updates across a large network?
    • Explain a situation where you had to troubleshoot a complex network issue, and how did you resolve it?
    • Describe the process of setting up a virtual private network (VPN).
    • How have you implemented security measures to protect an organization’s network?
    • What are the key factors to consider when monitoring system performance and resource usage in a cloud environment?
    • Expectations: Candidates should display strong technical expertise in system & network administration, showcasing their skills in problem-solving, and providing detailed examples of their previous work.

    Round 3: Hands-On Interview (90 minutes)

    Objective: Assess the candidate’s practical skills and experience by having them work through a real-world simulation or scenario related to the role.
    • Provide the candidate with an environment where they can demonstrate their ability to install and configure a server, along with setting up necessary networking components.
    • Ask them to create and configure a virtual machine and then migrate it to another host.
    • Present a network issue simulation, and have the candidate walk through their troubleshooting steps and resolution process.
    • Have the candidate implement a basic security setup to protect network devices from unauthorized access.
    • Expectations: Candidates should efficiently apply their technical skills, showcasing depth in understanding and ability to perform various tasks required in the Systems Administrator role.

    Important Notes for the Interviewer

    • Ensure that you are using a secure platform for conducting hands-on interviews, possibly a test lab or sandbox environment.
    • Consider including a short written or verbal explanation of the candidate’s reasoning behind their actions during the hands-on simulation to ensure clear communication and intentions.
    • For remote interviews, prepare a screen sharing solution to observe the candidate’s hands-on work in real-time.
    • Customize the interview plan to match your organization’s specific requirements, infrastructure, and preference for a certain operating system or toolset.


    By following this tailored interview guide, you can efficiently evaluate a Systems Administrator’s technical proficiency, thought process, and problem-solving capabilities, ensuring a solid fit for your organization’s networking infrastructure and requirements.
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