36 Interview Questions About Active Directory, with Sample Answers
Active Directory from Microsoft can help you take care of your computer network and get the most out of it. During an interview for a job in network administration, you might be asked how networks are built and how they are used. If you know what kinds of questions are usually asked about this technology, you can do better at the interview and increase your chances of getting the job. 36 Interview Questions About Active Directory
In this article, we list 36 Active Directory interview questions and show you how to answer them so you can show how well you know the industry.
36 questions about Active Directory and the answers to them
Here are some common questions and answers about Active Directory to help you prepare for your interview:
First of all, what is the Active Directory?
IT professionals who run computer networks or take care of them need to know how to use Active Directory. You can show the hiring manager that you know how to use this technology in the real world with your answer.
“Active Directory is a technology made by Microsoft to provide a directory service for the different parts of a network of computers and servers that all run Microsoft Windows.” It keeps information about computers, printers, users, shared folders, and the network. It also manages this information and helps users and administrators access network resources. Active Directory lets me manage my network in the Windows domain using a centralized system of administration. I can manage my network safely because of how it lets me log in and decide who can use what resources.”
How would you react if a coworker said something bad about how you use Active Directory?
As a professional in network administration or network security, you will be expected to deal with conflicts in a professional way. Your answer should show the hiring manager that you can work well with others and handle disagreements. Based on how you act, you can say how you would handle this conflict.
Example: “If I disagreed with a coworker about how I used Active Directory, I would use my active listening skills to understand their concerns and show that I respect their point of view. Once I knew what was going on, I would talk to my team leader about the problem and ask for advice. My next step would be to find out if my coworker’s concerns about how I use Active Directory make sense. I would think about what I know about Active Directory from school and work, talk to people in my professional network, and check out Microsoft’s Active Directory support system.
Once I know why the pushback is happening, I would look at my workload, how I get along with my coworker, and what my boss says before making a decision that meets my professional obligations. Once I’ve made my decision, I’d ask my coworker to meet with me so I could talk about it and explain it. I would act professionally at the meeting, talk about the results of my research, and use the talk to get along better with my coworker.
What are the biggest changes to Active Directory in 2012?
Active Directory got some new features in the Windows Server 2012 version, which a good job candidate should be able to use well. Your answer should show that you know how this technology has changed over time. You can see what the big changes are in the 2012 version and how they affect how you use it.
Example: “In the 2012 version, there were a lot of changes to how Active Directory was built and how it was used. Through the Active Directory Administrative Center, there are many ways to use the recycle bin in the new version. This makes it easier to turn on the function for the recycle bin. The change to the fine-grained password format is another important change. It lets me set different rules for creating passwords in a single domain, which I couldn’t do in the previous version. This makes it easier to set up policies for fine-grained passwords, which could make it easier to keep the network safe.
The improved wizard in the domain controller promoter is another change that makes installation easier because I can now see all the steps and get detailed results. Using the new history viewer in the Windows power shell to look at the power shell commands, I can now keep track of what I did in the Active Directory Administrative Center. Another useful change in the new version is that the Active Directory Administrative Center now looks better. The new version is easier to use than the old one because parts like the exchange management console have been made better.
4. Explain what a tree, a forest, a domain, a schema, and an Active Directory domain controller are.
The ideal candidate should know how Active Directory is put together so they can use it well. Your answer should show that you know when and how to use these important parts of architecture. Explain each thing in a technical way.
“A tree is a group of domains set up in a hierarchy and using the same namespace.” Domains in a tree can talk to each other based on how much they trust each other. In a forest, there are many trees. A forest is a group of trees that share important things, such as a directory configuration, a directory schema, a logical structure, and a global catalog. Different things can talk to each other in a forest. Things in two different forests need to trust each other at the forest level so they can talk to each other. A tree and a forest are both things in Active Directory. They can hold a lot of different things.
Schema is the part of Active Directory that lists all the object classes that can be made in a forest. It shows the rules for the objects that can be stored in Active Directory’s database and the attributes that can be given to those objects. It can also be used to look up the objects and attributes that the technology uses to store information. In other words, a schema is a plan for what kind of information can be stored in the database and how it should be organized.
5. Describe LDAP and Kerberos.
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Kerberos are the main protocols that support Active Directory services. Your answer should show that you understand how these protocols work well enough to use them correctly. You can give a technical explanation for each protocol.
Example: “LDAP, which stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is a protocol that is used to make changes to Active Directory and ask questions about it. It’s a way for me to talk to Active Directory, which supports LDAP. The LDAP application protocol can be used with other technologies, like Apache Directory Server, that offer directory services that are similar to LDAP’s. LDAP looks for objects in Active Directory using Distinguished names and Relative Distinguished names.
Kerberos is an important part of Active Directory because it is the standard protocol that all network users use to prove they are who they say they are. Kerberos must be set up for it to be used by default in a domain or forest. This is done by setting up Active Directory Domain Services. By using cryptography with secret keys, it makes the authentication process more secure. Kerberos V5 encrypts data and gives out session tickets that can be used more than once. It is a better method of authentication than challenge/response or NTLM because, unlike NTLM, it doesn’t assume that all servers are real.
What is a PDC Emulator, and how can you tell if it’s working?
A Primary Domain Controller (PDC) Emulator is a very important part of Active Directory. You should show in your answer that you know how to use this element. You can explain what the PDC Emulator is, list its main features, and describe how you would test it to see if it works.
“One of the domain controllers in a domain is a Primary Domain Controller Emulator, also called a PDC Emulator. It handles unique functions. For example, any failed attempt to authorize is sent to the PDC Emulator, which has access to the latest passwords and can give users access even before a password change is sent out to the whole domain. This part also checks to make sure the time in a domain is right.
I would check if the time is synchronized across the domain, if user accounts are locked properly, and if updates are being downloaded for the Backup Domain Controllers (BDCs) of the Windows network to see if a PDC Emulator is working. I would also check to see if older computers with Windows from before 2000 can change their passwords, since all of these things need a working PDC Emulator. If these things aren’t happening, the PDC Emulator is probably not working.
7. What’s the difference between Authoritative restore and Non-Authoritative restore?
IT professionals often lose data by accident, so the best candidate should know how to get lost data back from Active Directory. Your answer should tell what the two ways to restore are and how to use them. You can show how each type can be used by giving examples.
“The Authoritative restore and the Non-Authoritative restore are two ways to get data back in Active Directory. The main difference between the two is that Authoritative restore can change the version number of an object’s attributes in the database. This makes that version the most important one in the directory as a whole. The framework’s default way to restore is through non-authoritative restore. It uses an Active Directory backup to get a domain controller back to the way it was when the backup was made.
8. Give examples of when you would use Authoritative restore and when you would use Non-Authoritative restore, and explain why you chose those options.
Example: “When using Active Directory with a single domain controller and a backup made before the data was deleted, non-authoritative restore works well. But you can’t use this method to update a domain controller in a domain with more than one domain controller.” In this case, when the process of restoring is done, the data that was restored will be deleted and the domain controller will be updated to match its replication partners.
To stop this from happening, I would use a Non-Authoritative restore followed by an Authoritative restore. After the Non-Authoritative restore is done, I would use the Authoritative restore on the part of the domain controller that needs it before starting the process of replication between domain controllers. Since the new version of the Active Directory element will be the official one, the next process will copy the restoration to all of the other domain controllers. In versions of Active Directory after 2008, I can also use the recycle bin to bring back a simple change to data, like a deleted user account.
9.How are the Enterprise and Domain Admin groups different?
In Active Directory, different rights can be given to different groups of people. A hiring manager might ask you if you know the difference between an Enterprise group and a Domain Admin group to see if you know how to use the program. Here’s an example of a possible answer to help you prepare:
Example: “All of the domains in a forest can be reached by members of the Enterprise Admin group. They can take ownership of files, force a system to shut down from a remote system, and control how a profile system works. Members of the Domain Admin group only have power over that domain. They can change how much memory a process can use, manage security logs, and restore directories and files with their administrator accounts.”
10. What does “RODC” stand for?
“RODC” is a term you may have heard if you work in IT and use Active Directory. Here’s an example of what you might say at an interview:
Example: “A domain controller that can only be read is called a RODC. Even operating systems made after 2008 make it easy to get. It is especially helpful for branch offices that can’t run their own domain controllers because it has parts of Active Directory Domain Services.”
11. Give me an example of a namespace.
You could start by explaining what a namespace is in general. You can name a few types to show that you know what they are, but you might want to go into more detail about one type to fully answer the interviewer’s question. Here’s a situation to consider:
Example: “A namespace is a set of symbols that are used to find and talk about objects, organize code into logical groups, and stop the same names from being used twice. Namespaces can be either flat or hierarchical. A hierarchical namespace is a way to name things that lets other people take care of namespaces. Hierarchical namespaces are often used in DNA namespaces and can be used on larger networks.”
25 more questions about Active Directory
Here are 25 more Active Directory interview questions you might want to prepare for:
- The SRV records for a domain controller can be found in which file?
- Why is KDC so important?
- How do subnets work with what you do?
- Have you ever had to deal with trust that only went one way or trust that went both ways?
- Name some of the Active Directory ports.
- Talk about why your work needs multiple-master replication.
- Explain the gpupdate /force command to me.
- Give me an example of when it would be helpful to have generic containers.
- Why is it so important to have the SYSFOL folder?
- Why would you need an application partition?
- How would you know how long a tombstone will last in your forest?
- Explain how Universal Group Membership Caching is set up.
- What does the Export-VM command do?
- Tell a client who doesn’t know much about IT what a schema is like.
- What is the purpose of a PDC emulator?
- List common RDN prefixes.
- What does WEB I and DSS stand for?
- How does the Active Directory Recycle Bin work?
- Why would the person in charge of a database want to use replication?
- What’s the difference between native mode and mixed mode?
- Does clustering have to be used by Active Directory?
- Put the main infrastructure in place.
- How are the physical and logical structures of Active Directory the same and how are they different?
- How would you handle things that keep happening over and over?
- Why is it important to give each thing its own ID number?