Let’s Talk About Tech Baby! 10 Technical IT Interview Questions & Answers

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Are you looking to get into the world of IT and unsure of where to begin preparing? Of course you’ve already prepared the common interview questions, but you know there’s more technical questions that you’ll be asked in the interview as well. Have no fear, here are 10 technical IT interview questions and answers for you to prepare with.

  1. How do you keep yourself updated with technology, considering that technology is constantly changing?
    The only wrong answer to this question is if you say “I don’t keep up with technology.” Use this time to talk about the websites you read, the blogs you go on, online IT communities you’re part of, the Google alerts you receive, and any newsletters you subscribe to. Namedrop any of these 41 tech resources and blogs all tech experts use as well.
  1. What are the necessary components to an IT disaster recovery plan?
    Technology is not perfect, and there always needs to be a plan in place in case things take a turn for the worst. According to Information Systems Security, there are ten tips for a successful IT disaster recovery plan. These include devising the plan, monitoring the implementation, testing the plan, off-site data back-up and storage, data restoration tests, back-up laptops/desktops, redundancy, theft recover, and regular virus pattern updates. If the organization is small, a managed services provider may be a good thing to invest in as well. Technology is not perfect, and there always needs to be a plan in place in case things take a turn for the worst. 
  1. Tell me of a time you used your technical knowledge practically.
    Did your tech knowledge help you with a group project in college? Did it help you build a website? Has it helped you install a new hard drive or antivirus? Helped someone do all of the above? Tell the story of how it happened. These are all practical aspects that not only show that you do have technical knowledge, but shows that you use your skills to your advantage as well.
  1. Which network security features have you implemented and managed in the past?
    Security is a main concern in the technology world, and you can almost guarantee that you will be asked about this. Think of which network security features you’re the best at, and say those. Talk about how you executed and maintained it, and how you feel it bettered the technology installed on.
  1. What was the last utility you downloaded to make your work more productive? How long ago was this?
    Yesterday I downloaded this and it’s changed my life!” is only an appropriate answer if you did download something yesterday. Don’t lie because the hiring manager will check. This question is so the hiring manager can see how often you updated yourself in new, advanced technology. Tell the truth, and if it has been a while, ensure that it’s something on your to-do list.
  1. What have you done in the past to ensure consistency across unit, quality, and production environments?
    Be sure to say a good example that shows off your abilities, as well as includes some of the requirements of the job. Additionally, if applicable, some factors you may want to remember while answering are adding an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to your website to encrypt information for security purposes, minimizing loading time of the page, and implementing a responsive design. 
  1. Describe the difference between optimistic and pessimistic locking, and when you would use each.
    Locking prevents uses from different transactions from causing data conflicts. Optimistic locking assumes that several transactions can be completed without interfering with each other, whereas pessimistic is when you lock the record solely for your use. Optimistic locking is mostly used in high-volume systems and three-tier architectures, and pessimistic locking is used when you have a direct connection to the database or an externally available transaction ID that has the availability to be used independently.
  1. How much time is spent on unit testing?
    Naturally one company may spend 99% of their time on this, whereas other companies may spend 10%. In this answer it’s important to note that the amount of time depends on several factors such as quality level, product size, the type of product, and your personal coding ability. Give an example of each of these factors (if there is a project you saw the company has coming up use that as an example) and roughly calculate a percentage.
  1. What are the most important database performance metrics, and how do you monitor them?
    There are many important metrics such as error rates, memory utilization, and CPU utilization that allow you to evaluate the health of the database/server. Monitor.us shares “essential server performance metrics you should know, but were reluctant to ask” to give you even more information and metrics to answer this question.
  1. What are transaction logs, and how are they used?
    A transaction log is a history of all actions executed by a database. Transaction log backups restore a database to a specific point in time, however this alone is not enough to restore a database. Therefore, a backup of the file(s) is required as well.

Of course during this interview the hiring manager will ask you even more specific technical interview questions as well to test your knowledge such as to compare and contrast REST and SOAP web services, what is a SAN and how is it used, and if you’ve ever used eclipse or visual studio. Read what the required skills and experiences there are for this job, and make sure that you know of all the programs and systems needed. Furthermore, be sure you know these great technical skills. Want to take things to the next level? Have some of these technical conferences under your belt.

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Michelle is a proud Fordham alum who has currently found herself in the midst of the nonprofit world doing all social media and event planning for The Parent-Child Home Program. When she is not glued to twitter, you can find her on her third iced coffee of the day, arguing about sports, or pretending she's in Greece.

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