We will ask you a variety of personal, behavioral and technical questions, trying to assess your readiness for the job, and understand your personality and attitude to work.
You will compete with just a few other job applicants (typically less than five people) in your interview.
We may ask you to complete a practical task–for example troubleshooting a computer in an interview. And sometimes you will have to deal with a personality test (many big corporations ask every job applicant to complete the personality test, regardless of the job they interview for).
This website specializes in desktop support interviews, and we will have a look at the questions, analyze them, and show you some sample answers. My name is Matthew Chulaw, I have been working in recruitment since 2008, and today I will try to help you to succeed.
Personal questions – the “easy” start
Typical interview process for desktop support job starts with screening (personal) questions. We can interview you online, over the phone, or in-person in this stage.
Our goal is to assess your communication skills (very important for a desktop support workers, since they have to explain technical things in a simple language), your motivation to work for us, and to get a basic understanding of your education and experience.
Typically we will screen out fifty percent of applicants in this stage, or more (unless we received only a handful of applications), so you should definitely not underestimate the screening questions. Some of the questions we commonly use:
- Why do you want to be a desktop support technician (specialist)?
- Why do you want to work for us, and not somewhere else?
- Tell me a little about your experience.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What motivates you in work?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Once the screening stage ends, the interviews become more serious. We already know that you have decent communication skills, and meet the job requirements, in terms of your education and previous experience.
In this stage of the interviews, however, we try to understand your attitude to work, and how would you act in various situations that happen in the workplace.
Desktop support workers interact with many people in the office, and your attitude to colleagues, and to various situations that happen in a job, is very important to us. We will use some of the following questions:
- Describe a situation when you had to solve a difficult problem in a short time. What was the problem? How did you handle the situation?
- Describe a time when you had a conflict with other person. What was the situation and how did solve the conflict?
- Describe a situation when you were unable to solve a problem on your own. What did you do?
- Describe a time when you went above and beyond of what was expected of you.
- Describe a stressful situation from work. How did it affect you?
- Describe a difficult decision you had to make.
Once we understand your communication skills and attitudes, we will proceed to technical questions.
This stage of an interview (typically a final stage) can be led by a senior IT specialist, or other skilled technician from the company.
If an HR generalist leads the technical part, they will often ask you to answer the technical questions in writing (or they ask you to complete a short test), basically becasue they do not have the skills to evaluate your answers (someone else–a tech guy–will evaluate your answers after the interview).
Let’s have a look at some questions you can expect:
- Your goal is to update the OS in thirty computers in the same network. Describe the steps you would take to finish the task in the shortest possible time. It is possible to do this without interrupting the work of your colleagues?
- One of the workers gives you a call and tells his computer is very slow for the last three days. Describe the process of troubleshooting.
- What are the ways of resetting user passwords in Windows 10?
- You know the business activities of our company. What software products would you recommend us, to improve the efficiency of our work?
- One of the computers stops working and reports that the virus was detected. However, the virus scan shows no infections. What steps would you take? What could be the problem then?
- How can we disable the firewall in Windows 8? In what cases should we disable it?
- One of client’s PCs needs a reinstall. But you need to back up all received emails in Outlook. How would you do it?
- What command prompts do you know?
- What would you do to secure Windows server files in case of a need of an update?
- How would you monitor desktops in our company? Do you know any tools that can handle it? Which one would you recommend?
- Define the steps of installing a printer on users’ desktops.
- Describe me a configuration of your own computer. All details.
Soft skills can often let you down
In my experience, most applicants for desktop support jobs have good technical skills. They answer the technical questions with ease.
But we still have to choose just one person who gets the job. Since all shortlisted applicants know the answers to technical questions, it is an ability to answer the behavioral questions, and to connect with the interviewers and “sell” their skills, that often decides the winner in this interview.
If you would like to learn how to do that,have a look at my I Will Get a Job! recording. I will show you how to win your interviewers over, and how to turn your weaknesses to strengths in an interview. Thank you!
P.S. Since 2018, I’ve added answers to thirty most common personal and behavioral questions as a free bonus to the recording. I thought you might find it handy in your interview preparation….