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Desktop Support Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

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I love to interview people from different industries and write pages to help readers.

When you apply for a desktop-level job, besides asking general questions about yourself, the interviewer will also ask you questions that test your technical proficiency.

Desktop Support Engineers are required to have deep understanding of basic as well as intermediate level concepts. The interviewer can ask you to explain the concept of OSI model or TCP/IP model, or ask you fact-based questions to test your memory power. They can ask you questions on Desktop or Server level issues.

List of Probable Questions

  1. Who is a desktop support engineer and what are their duties?
  2. Why do you want to join the IT industry?
  3. What are the types of operating system?
  4. Give examples of NOS (Network Operating System) and SOS (Server Operating System).
  5. What is the difference between FAT and NTFS?
  6. What is DNS?
  7. What is reverse lookup in DNS?
  8. What is forward lookup in DNS?
  9. What are enhancements in Windows 2003 from Windows 2000?
  10. What does DHCP stand for and why it is necessary?
  11. What are enhancements in Windows 2003 from Windows NT?
  12. What is Active Directory?
  13. List types of firewall.
  14. Define scope and superscope with respect to IP addressing
  15. What is a default gateway
  16. What is the difference between hardware and software firewall?
  17. Name the seven layers of OSI model.
  18. How to enable Firewall in Windows XP?
  19. How to disable Firewall in Windows XP?
  20. What are the minimum system requirements of Windows XP, Vista, 2003, and 2008?
  21. List out some versions of Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
  22. Explain ping command.
  23. Explain cookies.
  24. What is an .exe file.
  25. What is is .msi file.
  26. How do you boot the computer in Safe mode?
  27. Why is ipconfig command used for?
  28. What is tracert command?
  29. Define operating system
  30. Define VPN server
  31. What is POP server
  32. What is a SMTP server
  33. What is a RIS server
  34. What is the key difference between a desktop OS and server OS.
  35. What are the types of printer?
  36. What is a safe mode in Windows OS
  37. Explain last known good configuration.
  38. What is disk clean up, disk defragmentation, device manager, and system restore?
  39. Explain the differences between USB port and Firewire port?
  40. How do you install a printer in Windows XP?
  41. What is a browser and name any 5 browsers?
  42. What is a Serial port
  43. What is a parallel port
  44. What is the difference between a serial port and a parallel port?
  45. What is an A record?
  46. What is a PTR record?
  47. Define RAS server
  48. What is a port number?
  49. Where is the HOSTS file located?
  50. Explain different RAID levels.
  51. What is an IAS server?
  52. Explain APIPA, IP address, and Subnet mask.
  53. What is packet data?
  54. Explain the difference between IP v4 and IP v6.
  55. Explain a group with respect to network administration
  56. Explain child domain and its uses.
  57. What is an organizational unit with in terms of a domain?
  58. Expalin rights, policy and permission in network administration.
  59. What is a domain controller?
  60. Explain what is additional domain controller
  61. What are the types of active directory partitions.
  62. Difference between default gateway and a router
  63. Expalin SCSI
  64. How do you remove a virus from a computer?
  65. How do you make a computer run faster?
  66. What is attrib command?
  67. What is edit command?
  68. How do you copy a file or folder using copy command?
  69. How do you format the hard disk using command line utilities?
  70. Explain mkdir, rmdir, and chdir commands.
  71. What is the path of host file in Windows OS?
  72. Explain the types of hard disk.
  73. What is a router?
  74. What is a bridge router?
  75. What is the difference between primary and secondary partition?
  76. What is a backup?
  77. What are the types of backups in Window OS?
  78. Explain the differences among differential backup, incremental backup, and copy backup.
  79. What is remote desktop?
  80. What is the difference between recovery console and automated system recovery?
  81. What is NTLDR file?
  82. How do you tackle "missing NTLDR file" error?
  83. How many bytes are there in MAC address?
  84. Name the range of Class A IP address.
  85. Name the range of Class B IP address.
  86. Name the range of Class C IP address.
  87. What is the default subnet mask of Class A, Class B, and Class C IP address?
  88. What is BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) and how do you overcome it?
  89. What is the difference between preferred DNS and alternate DNS server?
  90. What is the transmission speed of T1 carrier?
  91. List out some ports that are available on a computer
  92. What are some common types of LAN cable?
  93. What is a social engineering attack?
  94. What is a phishing attack?
  95. What is Denial of Service attack in hacking
  96. What is eavesdropping with respect to hacking
  97. What is virus with respect to computer technology?
  98. What does it mean when a program is x86?
  99. What is SysWoW64 Folder in Windows?
  100. Difference between x86 and SysWoW64 folders

I could go on and on forever writing questions and you could also go on and on searching for "Desktop Support Engineer Interview Question," but the fact is that if you are going for L1 (level 1) positions, you only need to do your basics well.

Answers

You have had the training, practicals, and stuff like that, now answer the questions in your own words. Simply mugging up the answers will a be a recipe for disaster.

A quick Google search of the question will reveal all the answers. Surf for the answers and in the process you'll learn, and once you learn you won't forget at the time of the interview.

Practical Demonstrations

Besides fact-based questions you will also be tested on your practical skills. They could ask you to do the easy task of installing the operating system in front of them or even ask you to solve a problem faced by a user right there.

Last Word

Get properly dressed and don't excessively stare at the receptionist (lol).

Download the Questions as a PDF file

Some Objective Type Questions From the Above List

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What are the types of Operating System
    • Real-time, Multi-user and Single-user OS, Multi-tasking and Single-tasking OS, Distributed
    • 32 bit, 64 bit
  2. Give examples of NOS (Network Operating System) and SOS (Server Operating System)
    • Windows XP for NOS and same can be said for SOS
    • Windows Server 2003, Linux, Mac OS X, and Novell NetWare for NOS and same for SOS
  3. Types of Firewall?
    • Hardware and Software Firewall
    • Windows Firewall and Network Firewall
  4. Types of Firewall
    • Dotjet printer, Laserjet, ink-matrix printer
    • Inkjet printer, laser printer, dot-matrix printer and thermal printer
  5. What is attrib command?
    • Attrib allows a user to change the properties of a specified file. That is we can make it read only, archive, hidden
    • Attrib is used to open a file, folder etc.
  6. What is edit command?
    • Edit allows a user to look up a specific file on the drive
    • Edit allows a user to view, create, or modify their computer files.
  7. Types of Hard Disk
    • PATA, SATA, SCSI, SAS
    • 40 GB, 80 GB, 160 GB etc.
  8. Range of Class A IP Address
    • 0 - 127
    • 128 - 191
    • 192 - 223
  9. Range of Class B IP Address
    • 192 - 223
    • 128 - 191
    • 0 - 127
  10. Range of Class C IP Address
    • 192 - 223
    • 128 - 191
    • 0 - 127
  11. Identify the IP Address Class - 167.125.126.252
    • Class A
    • Class B
    • Class C
  12. Identify the IP Address Class - 10.125.126.35
    • Class A
    • Class B
    • Class C
  13. Identify the IP Address Class - 202.211.192.11
    • Class A
    • Class B
    • Class C
  14. 255.0.0.0 is the default mask of
    • Class A
    • Class B
    • Class C
    • None of the above
  15. What is the default subnet mask Class C IP address
    • 255.0.0.0
    • 255.255.255.255
    • 255.255.255.0

Answer Key

  1. Real-time, Multi-user and Single-user OS, Multi-tasking and Single-tasking OS, Distributed
  2. Windows Server 2003, Linux, Mac OS X, and Novell NetWare for NOS and same for SOS
  3. Hardware and Software Firewall
  4. Inkjet printer, laser printer, dot-matrix printer and thermal printer
  5. Attrib allows a user to change the properties of a specified file. That is we can make it read only, archive, hidden
  6. Edit allows a user to view, create, or modify their computer files.
  7. PATA, SATA, SCSI, SAS
  8. 0 - 127
  9. 128 - 191
  10. 192 - 223
  11. Class B
  12. Class A
  13. Class C
  14. Class A
  15. 255.255.255.0

How to appear for an Interview

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2010 Aarav

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Comments

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Thank you.

Arvind Chaurasiya on May 31, 2018:

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JT on September 28, 2015:

Great questions if this was the 1980's. I have been a tech for over 25 years and now a manager of the IT Dept. I couldn't rattle most of those answers off in an interview setting. The most important thing is work habits and accountability. You can teach a monkey the technical stuff and I am not saying not to pose technical questions but much of the questions noted above are not relevant in a real world situation. Your best bet is to find old tickets that your IT Dept worked on, base your questions off those. How would the candidate handle those situations. Most common complaints of an IT Dept is customer service.

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