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System Engineer interview questions and answers

These sample System Engineer interview questions can help you identify qualified candidates with software management skills required for this position.Similar job titles include System Administrator.

Christina Pavlou
Christina Pavlou

An experienced recruiter and HR professional who has transferred her expertise to insightful content to support others in HR.

system engineer interview questions

System Engineer Interview Questions

System Engineers are responsible for optimizing and maintaining in-house information systems that support core organizational functions. They oversee software design and development to ensure high levels of system performance, security and availability.

Ideal System Engineer candidates should have a solid technical background with excellent troubleshooting skills. During your interview process, include questions to discover their experience with automation software and scripts that you use. It’s equally important to identify candidates who can provide effective solutions for your system malfunctions in a timely manner. You could, therefore, consider including an assignment to better evaluate your candidates’ skills.

In addition to strong software management skills, candidates with a continuous interest in industry trends should stand out. Your ideal System Engineer is a professional who researches, suggests and implements new applications to enhance existing systems and improve effectiveness and user satisfaction.

Computer Science questions

  • How does DNS work and when should you have backup DNS?
  • What are the pros and cons of using cloud applications?
  • What is a disaster recovery plan?

Role-specific questions

  • How do you ensure technical documentation is up-to-date?
  • What was the last piece of software you installed on a server?
  • If a website is slow, how do you troubleshoot the problem? Describe your approach step-by-step.
  • How do you manage system configuration?
  • Are you familiar with virtualization and containerization? Mention any experience you have using tools like VMware or Virtualbox.
  • Describe your tasks concerning a SQL server deployment.
  • What tests would you run to ensure an application runs smoothly?
  • How can you debug a program while it’s being used?
  • What do you know about the Java Scripting API? Can you think of a use case
  • What’s the best automation software for Windows?
  • If we’re deploying a new system, who do you need to collaborate with to ensure system development, testing and implementation?

Behavioral questions

  • What resources do you use (e.g. forums, websites and books) to keep up-to-date with engineering trends?
  • What types of problems have you encountered most often in operational systems after deployment?
  • Describe a time when you had to make a presentation. How did you manage to explain technical details to a non-technical audience?
  • What’s your biggest engineering challenge you have faced so far?

Source and recruit skilled engineers with Workable’s Boolean search cheat sheets.

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