System Administrator Interview Questions

Find your next A-list System Administrator with these sample interview questions. Add any questions that test specific software development skills useful to your team.

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System Administrator qualifications to look for

System Administrators are the bread and butter of operations when it comes to your IT systems. They typically head up your hardware, software and network to make sure it’s running without any issues.

Your top SysAdmins deal with tech-related issues like backing up and recovering data, so it’s important your next hire has broad experience with technical issues. 

Keep an eye out for candidates who have:

  • Excellent troubleshooting-skills
  • The ability to explain technical issues to non-tech people
  • Strong knowledge of IT systems best practices
  • A desire to continuously learn

It’s a good idea to test your candidates’ skills to better evaluate how they would handle their role in your company. 

Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.

Problem-solving interview questions

  • What instructions would you add to a quick guide to help employees understand how to use the internal server? 
  • How do you help an employee who is working from home and has issues joining a video call? 
  • What steps would you take to identify an issue if employees complain of slow internet speed? 
  • If we had a virus in our system, how would you handle it?

Role-specific interview questions

  • What’s your role during network infrastructure implementations?
  • What are the steps to a data backup and recovery process on a Mac? How is the process different from a PC?
  • What determines a server capacity? Why and how often do you need to upgrade a server?
  • Explain Forests, Trees, and Domains. What are their biggest differences?
  • Walk me through the install and configuration of a printer in Windows 10?

Behavioral interview questions

  • When have you used your knowledge of operating systems to optimize a network? How did it help your department or organization?
  • How do you prioritize your time when you have to juggle different tasks to meet a deadline?  
  • How do you stay motivated with repetitive tasks? 
  • If you run into an issue you can’t resolve, how do you manage it? 
  • During your last challenging project, did you work with a team or on your own? How did the project turn out? What would you do differently? 

What resources do you use to stay current with IT developments?

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