5 Interview Questions About Operating Systems (OS) (With Answers)
Operating systems are important for many IT jobs, like systems administrators, server engineers, software developers, and more. So, at your next IT job interview, you should be ready to talk about operating systems. Even if you are just starting out, you might need to know a little about operating systems to do your job well. This article will help you get ready for an interview by showing you some sample questions and answers about operating systems.
What does it mean to say “operating system”?
An operating system is a strong piece of software that lets other software and hardware do their usual jobs. Operating systems control many important hardware functions, such as access to internal and external storage, input and output devices, and network connectivity. Software needs memory to run, and the operating system gives it to it. Without an OS, most computer programs won’t run and you won’t be able to do the usual things you do on a computer.
Enterprise businesses need operating systems that are more complicated and have features like server operating systems. This is so they can meet the unique needs of the business. Operating systems that work well and are optimized are important for business production in all fields.
Common questions about operating systems asked in job interviews
If you want to move up as an IT professional, you should know a lot about operating systems. Interviewers may ask you the following questions because of this:
- Give an example of how a computer and its operating system work together.
- What do you know about RAID and redundant disks?
- How many different kinds of operating systems are there?
- What does it mean to multitask, and why would you want to?
- Show how to start up an operating system.
1. Tell me how computers and their operating systems are related.
This question gives you a chance to show how well you understand how operating systems work and what they do. Talk about a time at work when you had to deal with an OS failure and how it affected the hardware.
“The operating system is available as soon as the computer starts up. It supports the main functions of the hardware, such as I/O devices, internal and external storage retrieval, and more. Both the computer and the server need to work.
As the IT manager at Team Calico, I helped a client whose server stopped working when the operating system crashed. I was able to fix the problem because they had backup systems that I just had to turn back on. They didn’t have to deal with a lot of downtime because of this.”
2. Tell what you know about RAID and redundant disks.
RAID means a group of disks that all work on their own. By answering this question, you show the interviewer that you have real-world experience with OS disk redundancy and optimizing server performance.
IT professionals use RAID to improve the performance of networked servers and storage devices. The same information is stored on more than one disk. This means that fewer people will have to get information from the same disk. It can also be used as a backup for the system in case something goes wrong.
There are different levels of RAID, from 0 to 6, which show what they do. At RAID 3, you can start to get your data back.
If you can, tell us about a time when RAID helped you fix a problem with an operating system.
“As the IT manager at Team Calico, I was recently asked to find an OS disk redundancy and recovery solution that would cost less than off-site housing. I set up RAID 3 for everyone in our company. It was a good way to recover lost data, and it also cut our IT costs by 5%.”
3. How many kinds of operating systems are there?
Different kinds of operating systems are used by businesses and by people. Answering a question about OS types shows that you know more about the subject than just how to use it for basic consumer tasks.
Right now, these are the most common types of operating systems:
- System for running in groups
- Desktop operating system
- OS that is used in many places
- Handheld operating system
- Running more than one program on a batch system
- Operating system for more than one CPU
- Real-time operating system
- An easy-to-use operating system
- Sharing time through an operating system
If you can, give an example of how any of these operating systems could be used.
“At 12 Forests Tech Consulting, I was asked to find a solution for a client who needed both scalability and redundancy. I helped the client set up a network of computing nodes with a distributed operating system. Even though the network is complicated, new nodes can be added to help it grow. The network also met the client’s need for redundancy.
4. What does it mean to “multiprogram,” and what are the benefits of doing so?
An operating system that lets more than one program run at the same time on the same CPU is called “multiprogramming.” If your interviewer asks about multiprogramming and operating systems (OS), you can explain how a multiprogramming OS is different from other systems.
One way to show that you understand the benefits of multiprogramming is to use a real-world example. By giving an example of how you used multiprogramming to get such benefits, you show that you’ve worked with a system that the interviewer might find important.
Example: “As a consultant for 12 Forests Tech, I was told by a client to find a better way to use the CPU. I did this by making an operating system that can run more than one program at the same time. Multiprogramming at work not only led to the result that was wanted, which was more use, but it also led to more throughput, better use of memory, and better use of resources.
5. Tell me how an operating system gets started.
“boot” is short for “bootstrap,” which is the name of the program that tells the operating system what to do when it starts up. “Booting” is the term for starting a computer from the kernel. This happens most of the time the first time you turn it on. It can also happen if the computer is broken and you have to put it in safe mode or restart it as if it were a new CPU.
Starting up an operating system is an important task that can be used in many different work settings. If you work with computers as an IT professional, you will probably have to start up both new and old computers. How you answer this question shows the interviewer what you know about operating systems in general.
“Booting is what happens when the kernel turns on a CPU.” This could happen when the machine is turned on for the first time or after fixing a problem. As someone who works in IT, I’ve seen critical CPU failures that could only be fixed by rebooting.
So that the software problem wouldn’t happen again, I started the computer up from the kernel and set it up as if it were a new computer, without restoring from backups. Customers hate losing their information, but most of the time they’re just happy to have a computer that works.
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