The Best 40 Help Desk and Desktop Support Interview Questions and Answers – SkillsBuild Training (2022)

Table of Contents
Question #1 – Why do you want to work as a desktop support specialist? Question #2 – Give us an example of a ticket that you resolved. What was the problem and what steps did you take to solve it? Question #3 – You receive a ticket in which a user’s monitor is not working. How will you solve this problem? Question #4 – What is Safe Mode? Question #5 – What is Active Directory? Question #6 – What is Blue Screen of Death and how do you fix it? Question #7 – A user complains that their system is running very slow. How would you solve this problem? Question #8 – Describe a situation where you had an angry client or user. Question #9 – A user is finding it difficult to configure a printer on their computer. How can you help them? Question #10 – How will you make sure that a system is not infected with a virus? Question #11 – What is PTR (Pointer Record)? Question #12 – What is a Logical Drive? Question #13 – What is the purpose of a Logical Drive? Question #14 – How do you get the MAC address for a specific NIC? Question #15 – How does a VPN work? Question #16 – What happens behind the scenes when you type “google.com” in the browser and hit enter? Question #17 – What is the single most important factor that must be present in your work environment for you to be successful, and happily employed? Question #18 – How does a router work? Question #19 – You are asked by the company CEO to make sure that no employee in the company is able to open Facebook. How will you implement this policy? Question #20 – What is a PST file and why is it important? Question #21 – A user complains that their computer clock resets every time they restart their PC. How would you solve this problem? Question #22 – How you can you backup Outlook emails? Question #23 – What is DHCP? Question #24 – Ok. Can you tell me, in a bit more detail, how DHCP works? Question #25 – What is SCSI? Question #26 – What is the difference between incremental backup and differential backup? Question #27 – You talked about DNS earlier in the interview. Can you explain what is DNS? Question #28 – What is Reverse DNS Lookup and Forward DNS Lookup? Question #29 – A user is unable to log in their computer even when they are typing their password correctly. How can you solve this problem? Question #30 – What is the difference between FAT32 and NTFS? Question #31 – What is IMAP? Question #32 – What is a Cross Cable? Question #33 – What is boot.ini and when do you use it? Question #34 – Explain Cookies Question #35 – What is the difference between serial and parallel ports? Question #36 – What is a phishing attack? Question #37 – What’s Your Biggest Weakness? Question #38 – What Are Your Salary Expectations? Question #39 – Why Should We Hire you? Question #40 – Do you have any questions? FAQs Videos

By A.P. Samuel | Apr 8, 2020

The Best 40 Help Desk and Desktop Support Interview Questions and Answers – SkillsBuild Training (1)

As businesses worldwide adopt IT and software systems, the demand for desktop support and help desk professionals is increasing. Millions of users face daily issues with their computers.

These issues affect productivity, so companies want to ensure that their IT systems run smoothly. That’s why they need desktop support and help desk professionals.

Desktop support and help desk interviews check your technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. The main focus however, is on your problem-solving approach, customer service, and communication skills.

If you have a desktop support or help desk job interview, here are the best 40 interview questions and answers you should use to boost your chances of getting the job.

Question #1 – Why do you want to work as a desktop support specialist?

Your answer should indicate that you have a real knack for solving problems.

Instead of just saying desktop support is my “passion”, try to be original and answer the question in such a way that the interviewer feels that you really enjoy solving computer problems.

So, a good answer would be:

I’ve loved solving computer problems since I was a child. I remember opening my childhood computer and toys to look at what’s going on inside them, and I tried to understand how they worked.

I think desktop support provides me an opportunity to refine my problem-solving skills in the area of IT.

Question #2 – Give us an example of a ticket that you resolved. What was the problem and what steps did you take to solve it?

This is a very common question in desktop support and help desk interviews.

Try to be genuine and give a real-life example of a ticket you’ve resolved at any point in your career.

The interviewer wants to know your problem-solving approach and your communication skills.

If you have never solved an IT ticket before, you can familiarize yourself with a few common computer problems and their solutions before going into the interview. You can use one of these examples to answer this question.

If you have solved an IT ticket before, here’s a good answer to this question:

In my previous company, I was assigned a ticket in which a user was not able to drag and drop anything on their desktop.

I contacted the user remotely, as they were located in a different office.

I asked them to restart their computer, but the problem wasn’t fixed.

I asked the user to look at their keyboard and make sure that no key was pressed.

It turned out that the Escape key on the keyboard was pressed due to some stickiness. Bringing the Escape key to its normal position fixed this problem.

Question #3 – You receive a ticket in which a user’s monitor is not working. How will you solve this problem?

I will first check the power cable and then the VGA or DVI cables and ports to rule out any hardware issues. After that, I will connect a spare monitor, if available, to the computer to make sure the monitor itself is not faulty.

I will also check the display drivers and video card.

Question #4 – What is Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is used to start a computer in the most basic state. In Safe Mode, the computer does not use autoexec.bat or config.sys files and most of the device drivers are also not loaded.

This helps in narrowing down the cause of a specific problem. If a problem is not appearing in Safe Mode, it means the default settings and basic files have no problem, and we should look elsewhere to diagnose the problem.

(Video) Best 40 Help Desk and Desktop Support Interview Questions and Answers

Question #5 – What is Active Directory?

Active Directory is a service by Microsoft that is used to manage, organize and run networks.

Active Directory makes it easier for system administrators to find and use information related to all the users and objects in a network.

An example would be using active directory to assign new policies to a specific group of users, restricting access to a printer for a specific user, or removing users from a network.

Active directory consists of different objects, like forests, domains, contacts, groups, sites, printers, and subnets.

Question #6 – What is Blue Screen of Death and how do you fix it?

The Blue Screen of Death is a critical error that occurs when the operating system cannot function, and it crashes. Mostly, BSoD problems are related to hardware, kernel, or drivers.

Blue Screen of Death errors often show an error code or stop code which we can be used to find out the cause of the problem.

To solve this problem, I will first restart the computer. If the computer restarts successfully, I will update all drivers.

If the problem persists, I will disconnect all unnecessary hardware to rule out the external causes. I will also boot the computer in safe mode to see if the problem occurs in this basic state as well.

Other fixes I can try include, checking the hard disk for bad sectors, system restore, installing updates if available, checking hard disk cables, and using the startup repair option from the boot menu.

Question #7 – A user complains that their system is running very slow. How would you solve this problem?

The primary reason behind a slow computer is usually lack of sufficient memory.

I will start by removing temporary files from the Windows folder. I will also, with the user’s permission, delete any unused files and programs that are taking up significant space on the hard disk.

I will also run defragmentation tools to optimize space on the hard disk.

If the user is facing slow performance while using the internet, I will delete cache from the browser.

As a last resort, I’ll explore the possibility of upgrading the hard disk to SSD, increasing RAM, or installing a more powerful processor.

Question #8 – Describe a situation where you had an angry client or user.

Try to answer this question in a way that shows you are always patient, and willing to listen to the customer no matter how angry or unfriendly they are.

The interviewer is trying to test your ability to solve problems in tough situations. For example, when a customer is being angry, impatient, irrational, or unreasonable.

The employer wants someone who is a good listener, problem solver, and has the ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes.

So, here’s how you should answer this question:

In my previous company, a user was extremely upset with his printer issues. When I contacted him to resolve the ticket, he started yelling and complained that this specific problem has reoccurred for the third time.

Without interrupting the user, I kept listening to him and when I got a chance, I ensured him that I understood his frustration and the effect that this problem is having on his productivity.

I also assured him that this time his problem would be resolved to his satisfaction and told him that his problem was my priority.

When the user calmed down, I started looking into the problem. It was an IP conflict issue that was disrupting the printer configuration periodically.

Question #9 – A user is finding it difficult to configure a printer on their computer. How can you help them?

After making sure that the printer is powered on, and the computer is connected to the printer, I will open the “Add Printer” wizard in Windows and select the required printer from the list of available printers.

I will use the ‘Add a Network, Wireless or Bluetooth’ printer option if we are operating in a networked environment.

I will also install and update printer drivers if necessary.

If the user’s computer normally fails to detect their network printer, I will enable ‘Network Discovery’ and ‘File and Printer Sharing’ options in the Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel.

Question #10 – How will you make sure that a system is not infected with a virus?

I will use a good anti-virus software to scan the computer for any viruses or malware.

I will also look for signs of virus-related problems, including unexplained slow speed, endless pop-ups and spam, functioning of .exe files, PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), unfamiliar programs, and unintended events.

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Question #11 – What is PTR (Pointer Record)?

A PTR record resolves an IP address to a full domain name.

PTR records are used to check a server’s association with the IP address from where the connection was initiated.

PTR is often known as Reverse DNS because a PTR associates an IP with a domain name, opposite to DNS which points domains to IP addresses.

Question #12 – What is a Logical Drive?

A Logical Drive is a virtual storage unit that exists on a physical hard drive but acts as an independent storage drive.

Question #13 – What is the purpose of a Logical Drive?

The purpose of a logical drive is to optimize storage performance by making contiguous storage units, allowing them to interact optimally without intervening with irrelevant or unrelated physical units.

Logical drives add abstraction in storage, making it easier for the operating system to read from memory.

Question #14 – How do you get the MAC address for a specific NIC?

We can use “getmac /v” in the command prompt dialog box, or we can also find it using the Ipconfig/all command.

Question #15 – How does a VPN work?

A VPN builds a private network over a public network with extra encryption to connect users to the private network’s resources.

A VPN masks the original IP address, identity, and location of the originator of a web request.

Question #16 – What happens behind the scenes when you type “google.com” in the browser and hit enter?

When Enter is pressed, the browser checks the cache of the browser, operating system, router, and ISP for the DNS record to find the corresponding IP address of https://www.google.com/.

If the IP address of Google is not found in these caches, the ISP’s DNS server will initiate a request to other DNS servers on the internet to find the IP address of google.com.

When my browser receives the appropriate IP address, it establishes a connection, usually a TCP connection.

Once the connection is established, the data transfer process will start.

The browser will send a GET request asking for the google.com web page.

The server on the other end receives the request and the request handler (usually, a program written in common web languages like PHP, ASP, or RUBY) reads the request to identify what exactly is being requested and starts to assemble a response in the required format.

The server response contains the required web page and other details like compression type, cache format, cookie information, and more.

The browser will render HTML and send more GET requests, if necessary, based on HTML tags. Complete rendering will take place, which includes CSS, JavaScript files, images, and more.

The Google.com webpage will then appear on the browser.

Question #17 – What is the single most important factor that must be present in your work environment for you to be successful, and happily employed?

There could be several responses to this question. But here are the most useful ones that would convey to the interviewer that you plan to stick with the company, are willing to learn new things, and are open to challenges.

Your answer should be something like this:

The most important factor for me would be an opportunity to learn new things and the freedom to think outside of the box.

To be given a chance to present new ideas for growth and productivity.

To be appreciated when I work hard to remove obstacles in the way of the company’s goals and success.

Question #18 – How does a router work?

Routers manage the flow of data to multiple connected network devices.

If a packet has to go from Network A to Network D. The router connecting the Network A devices will first identify the best possible path for the packet to get to Network D, or the closest network to the final destination. It does this by using a routing table to determine the best path based on the number of hops to the destination.

In simple words, a router sends IP packets to other networks using the best possible path which it identifies using routing tables.

Question #19 – You are asked by the company CEO to make sure that no employee in the company is able to open Facebook. How will you implement this policy?

There are several ways to do this, but the best one is to implement the restriction using the company’s router.

First, I will find the IP address of the main router by using the IPCONFIG command.

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I will type the IP address in my browser to open the router’s settings. I will then open the content filter section.

I will add the Facebook URL to the content filter option.

This will block Facebook for all users.

Question #20 – What is a PST file and why is it important?

PST stands for personal storage table. A PST file is a file format built by Microsoft that is commonly used to store copies of emails, messages, calendar events, and other data items for applications like Microsoft Outlook.

The biggest advantage of a PST file is that it provides you with the portability to transfer your important Outlook data from one computer to the next.

Question #21 – A user complains that their computer clock resets every time they restart their PC. How would you solve this problem?

The most common cause of this problem is a faulty CMOS battery which provides power to Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) chip. This chip stores key information like data and time.

Replacing the CMOS battery solves this problem.

Question #22 – How you can you backup Outlook emails?

The best option is to use PST files to take Outlook backups.

We can use the Export option in Outlook to get a PST file for Outlook data.

Question #23 – What is DHCP?

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. DHCP assigns unique IP addresses to hosts.

We use DHCP to automate the process of IP address assignments, so that we don’t have to manually assign IP addresses to computers or devices in large networks.

Question #24 – Ok. Can you tell me, in a bit more detail, how DHCP works?

Yes.

A computer runs the DHCP client and sends a broadcast message requesting an IP address.

The DHCP server sends an IP address to the computer.

The computer accepts the IP address by sending a message back to the server.

The server sends an ACK message along with subnet mask, default gateway and other network details.

Question #25 – What is SCSI?

SCSI stands for Small Computer System Interface. It’s a type of fast, parallel bus that is used to connect several devices within the computer, including hard disks, scanners, CD-ROM, and tape drives.

Question #26 – What is the difference between incremental backup and differential backup?

A differential backup only copies those files that were changed since the last full backup. For example, if I take a differential backup of my files today, the backup will copy everything that was changed since the last full backup.

The full backup copies all data.

An incremental backup copies everything that changed since the last backup. The last backup does not necessarily have to be a full backup.

Question #27 – You talked about DNS earlier in the interview. Can you explain what is DNS?

DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so that browsers can load internet and network resources for end users.

Question #28 – What is Reverse DNS Lookup and Forward DNS Lookup?

Forward DNS lookup converts domain names to IP addresses, while reverse DNS lookup converts IP addresses to domain names.

Question #29 – A user is unable to log in their computer even when they are typing their password correctly. How can you solve this problem?

After making sure that the user is entering the right username and password, I’ll check the network cables and connectivity to ensure that the user is connected to the network.

I will also check whether the user is added in the domain.

I can also use the “Manage User Account” option by signing in as an administrator to change the password of the problematic account and try signing in again.

Running a system file check using the SFC command also helps in fixing this problem. Sometimes corrupt files hamper the sign-in process.

Starting the computer in Safe Mode and trying to sign in with a local account, and doing a system restore or a complete reset of Windows can also help to solve this problem.

Question #30 – What is the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

FAT stands for file allocation table. It’s a relatively older file system that stores data in chunks of 32 bits. Its file size is extremely limited.

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NTFS stands for New Technology File System. It’s a modern file system that supports large file sizes, recovery features, file permissions and hard links.

Question #31 – What is IMAP?

IMAP is an email protocol. IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. It manages emails directly on the email server instead of downloading them on the end user device.

All modern e-mail clients and servers support IMAP.

Question #32 – What is a Cross Cable?

A cross cable is used to connect two devices of the same type. It is usually used when we need to connect two devices in the absence of an intermediary device, such as a switch.

Question #33 – What is boot.ini and when do you use it?

Boot.ini is an initialization file usually found on older Windows operating systems like Windows NT, XP, and 2000.

This file contains boot options for computers with BIOS firmware. It is located in the root directory of the primary hard disk drive partition.

Question #34 – Explain Cookies

Cookies are small text files used to track a user’s movement on a website.

They are used to save the user’s progress, remember their credentials, preferences, and other data items.

Cookies are stored on the user’s computer.

Question #35 – What is the difference between serial and parallel ports?

A serial port transmits data one bit at a time in serial order, while a parallel port transmits 8 bits at a time.

Question #36 – What is a phishing attack?

Phishing is a type of cyberattack usually masquerading as web links, emails, and forms.

When a user clicks on the malicious link, the attack initiates, or the user is asked to enter sensitive information like credit card data, passwords, or social security numbers.

Example: a user receives a link to sign up for a Bitcoin newsletter. When clicked, the link opens a registration form asking for the user’s Gmail ID and password. The user enters the credentials, giving away their secret information to the hackers. As a result, the user’s Gmail account is compromised.

Question #37 – What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

Sometimes I tend to be a perfectionist. I like to ensure that the outcome of my efforts are perfect. This could sometimes result in overthinking and exhaustion.

Question #38 – What Are Your Salary Expectations?

This is a highly subjective question. But the most important thing to note here, is that you should not shy away from this question.

It is totally rational and normal to mention your salary expectations. However, they should be realistic.

Data from Salary.com shows that the average annual salary for a desktop support job is around $52,000 US dollars.

If you have over 3 years of experience, you can mention that you are expecting a salary in line with your experience.

If you are already employed, you can say that your expectation is to receive an increase from your current salary.

Question #39 – Why Should We Hire you?

You should hire me mainly because I’m good at solving complex computer problems, and I work well with users.

I have a strong work ethic and I will be working sincerely for the satisfaction of the company’s clients.

Another reason is that I have a strong track record that proves that I am willing to work hard, I am a continuous learner, I work well within a team, and I’m flexible.

Question #40 – Do you have any questions?

This is your opportunity to prove to the interviewer that you have been paying attention, you know about the company, and you are genuinely interested in the job.

Never say that you don’t have any questions. This will leave a very bad impression.

Here are a few questions you can ask:

Yes. I was curious to know which incident management software your company uses for the IT department?

Yes. I wanted to know about the client base of the company. What types of clients does the company serve?

Yes. I wanted to ask how many people the company currently has in the desktop support department?

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And there you have it. Review these 40 questions a few times before attending your Helpdesk or Desktop Support job interview and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding IT career.

The Best 40 Help Desk and Desktop Support Interview Questions and Answers – SkillsBuild Training (2)

FAQs

How do I pass help desk interview? ›

HELP DESK Interview Questions & Answers! (How to PASS ... - YouTube

What are the questions asked in desktop support interview? ›

Common desktop support interview questions and answers
  • Tell me about yourself. ...
  • Why did you choose a career in desktop support? ...
  • Why are you interested in our company? ...
  • What is your troubleshooting process? ...
  • How do you start the OS in safe mode? ...
  • What do you know about NTLDR error?

Why should we hire you help desk? ›

SERVICE DESK INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ...

How do you answer a help desk call? ›

How to answer calls in a call center
  1. Answer with a professional tone. ...
  2. Use common terminology. ...
  3. Start and end the call with enthusiasm. ...
  4. Keep the conversation personal. ...
  5. Clarify the customer's issues and concerns. ...
  6. Don't Interrupt your customer. ...
  7. Don't belittle the customer's issues. ...
  8. Don't give incorrect information.
Jan 13, 2022

What is a Level 1 interview? ›

You may also hear them referred to as screening interviews, first-cut job interviews, or pre-interviews. Often, they're the first of multiple interviews. Your first interview may be your only interview for a job, followed by a job offer or a rejection. Or, it may be the first step in a sequence of interviews.

What is the best way to introduce yourself in an interview? ›

Begin by Greeting the Interviewer

First, greet the interviewer with a big smile and go for a handshake. Describe yourself stating your full name and a brief introduction. Just give a small detail about your family. Always keep your body relaxed with confident body language.

Why should we hire you example? ›

For starters, I have all the skills and experience listed in the job description, and I'm confident that I can make an immediate impact on your company. It's not just my background in leading successful projects for Fortune 500 companies, but also my passion for the industry that drives me to succeed.

What are the 5 hardest interview questions? ›

Here, Denham offers some advice on how to answer five of the toughest interview questions:
  • What is your biggest weakness? Strelka Institute/Flickr. ...
  • What salary do you think you deserve? ...
  • Why should I hire you? ...
  • What didn't you like about your last job? ...
  • Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
Jan 5, 2018

What are 5 to 6 interview questions you will be prepared to answer in the interview? ›

15 Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer
  • Tell me about yourself? ...
  • Why do you want to work for [insert company name]? ...
  • How did you hear about this job? ...
  • Tell me about something on your resume. ...
  • Why are you looking for a job? ...
  • Why should we hire you? ...
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jul 7, 2021

How long should interview answers be? ›

It may be best to elaborate for a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of four minutes. Your response may be short if the question is simple. For example, if the hiring manager asks you to describe your strengths, you might speak for 90 seconds to explain where you're proficient.

What are the three abilities of an ideal help desk person? ›

To ensure that you hire the best possible people in your help desk team, you should consider the below qualities.
  • Patience. Patience is one of the must to have qualities of a help desk agent. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Active listening. ...
  • Sense of urgency. ...
  • Good interpersonal skills. ...
  • Well-organized. ...
  • Speed and accuracy. ...
  • Creativity and flexibility.
Apr 23, 2016

How do you answer a question you don't know? ›

How to answer questions you don't know
  1. Take your time. ...
  2. Think aloud. ...
  3. Admit you're unsure. ...
  4. Use flexible thinking. ...
  5. Repeat the question. ...
  6. Ask follow-up questions. ...
  7. Offer to come back to the question later. ...
  8. Acknowledge the question's value.
Mar 17, 2022

What are the three abilities of an ideal help desk person? ›

To ensure that you hire the best possible people in your help desk team, you should consider the below qualities.
  • Patience. Patience is one of the must to have qualities of a help desk agent. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Active listening. ...
  • Sense of urgency. ...
  • Good interpersonal skills. ...
  • Well-organized. ...
  • Speed and accuracy. ...
  • Creativity and flexibility.
Apr 23, 2016

What motivates you for the help desk assistant job? ›

What Motivates You For The Help Desk Assistant Job? Answer : I like to communicate with people. Help desk assistant job is a type of job where you continuously interact with people and help them to solve their problems.

What to answer when asked why do you want to work here? ›

Delivering a smooth response to 'Why do you want to work here?'
  1. “I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company/industry, and I feel I can do so by/with my …”
  2. “I feel my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because …”
Jul 13, 2022

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