How to Network for a Job Interview: Top 36 Questions and Answers
You need a certain set of skills and a certain background to get a job in computer networking. During the interview, you’re likely to be asked questions that test how much you know and show more about who you are. If you know what kinds of questions you might be asked at your networking interview, you can be better ready for it. This article has a list of common networking interview questions and sample questions and answers to help you prepare your own answers.
How do you network?
Networking is the process of connecting two or more computer devices. A network administrator makes sure that computers can connect and share information in a safe and efficient way. They will not only set up the network, but also keep an eye on it to make sure it works well. Networking is important to the way businesses in many different fields work.
Most of the time, an interviewer will ask you a few questions about yourself and your past to learn more about you. You might be asked some general questions like:
- Where did you go to school?
- What did you like most about where you went to school?
- What fun book are you reading right now?
- When did you first become curious about computers and networks? How did it begin?
- How do your best qualities help you work with networks?
- What is your biggest flaw, and what are you doing to fix it?
- Where do you want to be in your career in five years? What are your career goals?
- Why did you want to work here?
- How do you feel about spending long hours in front of a computer?
- How does your computer at home work?
Questions about the network’s past and what it has done
The next set of networking interview questions will help the employer learn more about you and your past. They will use your answers to decide if you have enough experience for the job and if your values match those of the organization.
- How can you make sure you know what’s new in networks and technology?
- What jobs have you had before that are the most like this one?
- What’s the best thing you’ve done with technology and networking?
- Show me how you like to keep systems running or how you did it at your last job.
- Talk about a problem you had at your last job and how you solved it.
- Do you have any certifications or extra training? Describe what they are and how they affect a network administrator’s job.
- How do you deal with the parts of being a network administrator that you don’t like?
- Do you belong to any computer-related clubs or groups?
- There are people who work for us from home. How can we help them and make their jobs a little easier?
- How do most people figure out what’s wrong with DNS? What about the network problems?
They want to know more about your experience, goals, and what you know by asking you these questions. Examples include:
- How well do you know about configuration management?
- Can you explain the differences between a hub, a switch, and a router?
- What is a virtual private network (VPN), and when should you use one?
- How can I use a computer far away to get to a shared folder?
- Give some examples of different network topologies and the benefits of each one.
- How do you know if a network is working?
- Can you briefly explain what encryption and decryption are and how they work?
- What auditing tools and methods do you like to use, and why?
- What happens if you don’t fill in the default gateway when setting up TCP/IP by hand?
- What is a crosslink cable, and when should you use one?
Examples of interview questions and answers for a network job
Here are some examples of questions you might be asked and some possible answers at a networking interview. The best way to use these examples is as a guide to help you think of your own answers. Interviewers want you to give personal, well-thought-out answers, not ones you have memorized.
- How should a business use a VPN?
- What skills do you think a good network administrator should have?
- What are the differences between a hub, a switch, and a router?
- On the office network, we have a Workgroup set up. Is this how you should do it?
- Have you ever used a proxy server? If you did, how did you keep them safe?
- How do you know when to use straight cables and when to use cross cables?
1. How should a business use a VPN?
Since many companies now let their employees work from home, they will probably ask you about VPNs.
Example: “VPNs make it safe for people to connect to the network of a company. Many people at my last job worked from home or while traveling. To protect all of our data, I set up VPNs on all of our remote computers. We couldn’t have kept our business safe without this private network.”
2. What do you think a good network administrator needs to have?
Employers want to know that you have the same values as them. By answering this question, you can show that you know what it takes to be a good network administrator.
Example: “I think a good network administrator should have a few things. First, they should be good at finding solutions to problems. At my last job, I needed to be able to quickly figure out what was wrong with our network and fix it. Also, they should like to learn new things.
Since technology is always changing, you need a network administrator who stays up to date on both new technologies and new threats. Because of this, I try to read the most recent tech journals and go to conferences every year. Lastly, network administrators should have good communication skills so they can work well with the rest of the team and let them know what’s going on with the network.”
3.What are the differences between a hub, a switch, and a router?
Employers use this question to find out how much you know. Since it’s a simple question, you should be able to answer it clearly during your interview. This will not only show how well you know things, but also how well you can explain them.
Example: “Hubs, switches, and routers are all pieces of hardware that are used to link computers together. A hub is easy to use because it sends data to all of its ports at the same time. They are usually the least expensive, but they are also the least safe. Switches are more complicated than hubs because they only send data to the port that requests it. Routers are like small computers that safely and quickly send information where it needs to go.
At my last job, I had to buy things for the office. I had to figure out how to keep us safe with the money I was given. In the end, I went with a router because they put security first.”
4. Our office network has a Workgroup set up. Is this how you should do it?
The point of this kind of question is to see if you know how to keep an office safe. This question could be a way to see if you know the best way to do something, or it could be a request for help.
Example: “A Domain setup would be better for a computer network in an office. When I got to a job I used to have, they were already using a Workgroup setup. In a Workgroup, all of the computers are the same, which makes it less safe.
Workgroup setups are also less useful because they work better at home than at the office. To fix this, I changed the networking to a Domain set up. With a Domain set up, I could see how the other computers were set up for access and security. This centralized system made it easier to stay safe and made things run more smoothly.”
5. Have you ever used a proxy server? If you did, how did you keep them safe?
Proxy servers are another way for companies to keep their online activities safe. A good network administrator will know how to keep them safe and when and where to use them.
Example: “We used proxy servers at my old job to keep people who weren’t supposed to be on our network from getting on it. To keep it safe, we limited the number of proxy servers, limited where the proxy service could be used, and turned it off when we weren’t using it. It was also my job to look for problems in the proxy server’s logs on a regular basis.”
6. Tell me when you would use straight cables and when you would use cross cables.
This is a common question to see if you know the basics. Use it as an opportunity to show how much you know.
Example: “I know a lot about both straight and cross cables because of a job I used to have. There, the company needed to connect many different kinds of computers, routers, and hubs. I used cross cables to link hubs to each other or computers to each other. I used straight cables to connect a computer to a hub, router, switch, or modem. There were a lot of wires lying around, but in the end, I got everything where it should be.”