Network Administrator Job Interview Questions

network administrators at work

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When interviewing for a network administrator position, be prepared to answer questions directed toward your technical expertise, previous experience, and system capabilities. Employers must see that you can communicate technical requirements and needs in an easy-to-understand manner, but you must also demonstrate that you have the technical competency required to perform the job well. In today’s job market, it’s crucial that you project to employers that you are the desired candidate.

Network Administrator Job Interview Questions

While it is unlikely you will be asked every single one of these questions, it's better to have a prepared answer for each one than to be caught by surprise and flounder at your interview. Take the time to review and practice your answer to each question. 

  • How do you remain current with your technical expertise and skills?
  • Do you belong to any online user groups?
  • Describe your greatest technical adversity and how you handled it. Is there anything you would have done differently?
  • What’s your experience of configuration management?
  • What is your home network set up like?
  • How do you archive your network?
  • Explain the differences between a hub, switch, and router.
  • How would you diagnose a DNS issue compared to a network issue?
  • What is the difference between TCP and UDP?
  • What is a VLAN?
  • What is a TCP three-way handshake?
  • What is used for?
  • When would you use a crosslink cable?
  • What will happen if you leave the default gateway information empty while manually configuring TCP/IP?
  • How can you access a shared folder from a remote computer? Name at least three methods.
  • Do you find it arduous to work for long hours in front of a computer?
  • How do you perform system maintenance? Walk me through your preferred process. 
  • What's your background in operating systems and maintenance?
  • What is DHCP?
  • What is the difference between a workgroup and a domain?
  • What are the main differences between Windows Home, Windows Pro, and Windows Server?
  • How would you recommend we support our virtual employees?
  • What auditing tools or approaches do you prefer? Why?

More Interview Tips

Just because you're applying for a very niche technical position doesn't mean you'll be given a pass at the most common job interview questions about your employment history, education, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, goals, and plans. Take some time to prepare your answers to those questions and to review the most common interview mistakes in order to circumvent those as well.

Interview Dress Code

While information technology industry jobs tend to have a more relaxed dress code than most other industries, you'll still want to plan your interview outfit in advance to ensure it is appropriate and clean. Do your research ahead and know whether the job is in a manufacturing or corporate environment.

It's also a good idea to prepare a list of appropriate questions for your interviewer to answer and to be mindful about what you would like their responses to be. Your interview is also a good time to find out more about the network you will be responsible for. This will help the interviewer take you seriously as a prospective candidate and aid you in determining if the company is actually a good fit for both.

Inappropriate Interviewer Questions

If your interviewer asks any illegal or inappropriate interview questions, you are certainly allowed to decline to answer and should seriously reconsider working for that organization. Occasionally such questions are asked because the interviewer isn't familiar with interviewing guidelines because their primary job is in IT, not recruiting.

In other cases, it could be indicative of company culture. How they respond to your refusal to answer, if you choose not to, such questions will likely indicate whether the question was due to a terrible work culture or simply due to not being familiar with interviewing guidelines. 

The Panel Interview

In today’s competitive technology job market, networking administrator candidates should be prepared for the possibility of a panel interview. Panel interviews often comprise the director of human resources, VP of the Information Technology department, and possibly the corporation's CEO. When this hiring process is followed, it also may lengthen the decision time. There may be one to three rounds of interviews to follow, so patience and a calm demeanor are essential. If you are fortunate enough to make it this far in the interview process, this is an excellent sign. 

Regardless of the job for which you're interviewing, it's always a smart idea to ask specific questions about the company culture and work environment and to show you took the time to do your homework about the company. Present yourself as the preferred networking administration candidate and be prepared to explain why you are.