Describe a time when you went above and beyond of what was expected of you.


Three people in a job interview for desktop support, illustration pictureMany desktop support specialists sit in their office, doing nothing, waiting for a call.

Nothing bad about that, really, since what you are supposed to do is advising, consulting, and troubleshooting. If nobody asks for your assistance, if everything works as it should work, there’s nothing to do for you on a given day.

Or is there, after all, something you can do?

An exceptional job candidate does not like to sit in an office, doing nothing. They follow a proactive approach, and try to use their time in work–every fraction of it–to bring some value to their employer.

If there is nothing to troubleshoot, you can:

  • Work on your knowledge, or browse forums to learn how to address various issues.
  • Implement new software or utilities that help other employees to work more effectively.
  • Do random desktop checks to identify upcoming issues up front, and solve them sooner than they actually pop up.


Sample answer

I remember a few weeks when we had nothing to do in the office. All desktops worked as they should, and we could just relax. But I still did something. I arranged a meeting with every employee in the office, and asked about their desktop, if it was fast, if they experienced any problems.

This was not on the list of my working duties, but I did it as I believe that once you are in an office, you should spend your time working, or learning. You should not just sit and wait for the phone call.

What to say at the end?

In my experience, most applicants for desktop support jobs have decent 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 a new eBook I wrote, the Desktop Support Interview Guide. I will show you how to win your interviewers over, and how to turn your weaknesses to strengths in an interview. Thank you!


Matthew Chulaw, author of the content, your personal interview coach.