System Engineer Interview questions

Find your next top-hire Technical Support Engineer with these sample interview questions. Add any questions that test specific software development skills useful to your team.

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System Engineer qualifications to look for

System Engineers optimize and maintain in-house information systems that support core organizational functions. They also oversee software design and development to bolster high levels of system performance, security and availability.

Your top System Engineer candidates will have a solid technical background. They will research, suggest and implement new applications to enhance existing systems and improve system effectiveness and user satisfaction.

Keep an eye out for candidates who have:

  • Excellent troubleshooting-skills
  • Effective problem-solving skills 
  • The drive to take ownership of problems
  • An appetite for learning new technologies
  • The ability to explain technical issues to non-technical people

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.

Role-specific interview questions

  • What do you think is the best automation software for Windows? Why? 
  • Who do you need to collaborate to deploy a new system? What is your role?
  • How do you keep technical documentation up-to-date? When do you audit it? 
  • Walk me through how you installed the latest piece of software on a server?
  • How do you troubleshoot a slow website? Describe your approach step-by-step.
  • Walk me through how you manage system configuration.
  • Explain how DNS works and when a  backup DNS is required. 
  • Walk me through the pros and cons of using cloud applications. 
  • Explain a disaster recovery plan. When should a company put one in place? When should it be audited?
  • Can you explain virtualization and containerization? Mention any experience you have using tools like VMware or Virtualbox.
  • What are your tasks concerning a SQL server deployment?
  • What tests need to be run to ensure an application runs smoothly?
  • Walk me through how you debug a program while it’s being used.
  • Explain the Java Scripting API. Can you think of a use case?

Behavioral interview questions

  • What’s your biggest engineering challenge you have faced so far? What was your role and how did it turn out? What did you learn?
  • What are some common problems you encounter in operational systems after deployment?
  • How do you explain technical details to a non-technical audience in a presentation?
  • What resources do you follow to keep current with engineering trends?

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