System Administrator Interview Questions and Answers (MS) | Top 20

Top 20 System Administrator Interview Questions and Answers (MS)

Top 20 System Administrator Interview Questions and Answers (MS)

Are you a System Administrator? If you are a person with a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering, looking for top system administrator interview questions and answers, you are at the right place.   The following questions are essential to get aware of you. All but first questions are in random order, and eye-catching answers specifically worded to make it as easy as possible to understand them clearly.

System Administrator:

A system administrator is responsible for managing a multi-user computing environment, such as a local area network (LAN). The responsibilities of the system administrator typically include installing and configuring system hardware and software, establishing and managing user accounts, upgrading software, and performing backup and recovery tasks.

The primary responsibilities of a system administrator are:

  • Active Directory management (adding and configuring new workstations and setting up user accounts to provide authorizations)
  • Installing and updating system software
  • OS patching/upgrades
  • Preventing the spread of viruses and malicious programs
  • Allocating mass storage space
  • Reviewing system logs
  • System security management
  • Creating a backup and recovery policy
  • Performance monitoring and optimization

Top 20 System Administrator Interview Questions and Answers (MS)

1. Tell me about yourself?

To answer this question accurately, only provide the information related to the system administration position. For example, you can talk about your experience, education, certifications, etc. And avoid speaking about the things which are not relevant to your subject, like speaking about your hobbies. Explain enough to give a proper idea of yourself.

2. What is a Windows Domain?

A centralized location for user accounts, computers, printers, and security features as part of a database controlled by a domain controller is a Windows domain. Authentication takes place on domain controllers. Windows domains are typically using on large networks such as WAN.

3. What is Active Directory?

Active Directory (AD) is a Windows OS directory service. Active Directory provides centralized control for network administration and security. It is used for user and computer authentication within a Domain and allows administrators to assign policies and deploy and update software.

4. The Active Directory database is located where?

Using filename NTDS.DIT; Active Directory (AD) is located in the %SystemRoot%\ntds folder. The active Directory uses the symbol folder.

5. What is the SYSVOL folder?

On each active Directory, the system volume (SYSVOL) is a particular directory. A directory that houses a copy of domain files founds on a local hard drive within Domain Controller. All AD databases are stored in an SYSVOL folder. It’s only created in an NTFS partition. The AD database is stored in the %SYSTEM ROOT%NDTS folder.

6. Explain RAID?

It stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. It is a strategy for building fault tolerance and increase storage capacity. Basically, in case of a drive failure, the RAID is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to protect data. It can utilize to improve read/write performance across the server by using a striping configuration.

7. What is Group Policy?

It provides centralized management and configuration of operating systems, applications, and users’ settings in an Active Directory environment. Group Policy settings are contained in Group Policy objects (GPOs), which are linked to the following Active Directory service containers: sites, domains, or organizational units (OUs).

8. Explain GPOs (Group Policy Objects)?

Group Policy Objects (GPOs) are a collection of Group Policy settings that control the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. There are two kinds of Group Policy objects: 

  • Local Group Policy objects (stored on individual computers)
  • Nonlocal Group Policy objects (stored on a domain controller, are available only in an Active Directory environment)

9. Which commands are used in CMD to test network connectivity?

To test network connectivity, “ping” and “ipconfig” commands are used.

Ipconfig: Command ipconfig is used and also is used to renew the client’s IP address if a DHCP server provides it.

Ping:  The ping command is used, to check the connection between the local computer and any of the other computer devices on the network, 

10. What is LDAP?

LDAP (Light-Weight Directory Access Protocol) is an industry-standard directory access protocol to lookup for the information from the server, e-mail, and another program. It makes Active Directory widely accessible to management and query applications. Active Directory also supports LDAPv2 and LDAPv3.

11. What is Garbage Collection?

Garbage collection is the online defragmentation of the Active Directory, which happens every 12 hours. It is a form of automatic memory management.

12. What does IntelliMirror do?

IntelliMirror assists in managing user data, computer information, applications, and settings as a part of Windows Server OS. It helps to reconcile desktop settings, applications, and stored files for users (especially for those users who move between workstations or works offline).

13. What is a Virtual Machine?

An emulation version of the Operating System having multiple copies of Windows Server running on a single hardware platform.

14. Explain if it is possible to connect Active Directory to other 3rd party Directory services?

Yes, By using dirXML or LDAP to connect to other directories, you can join other vendor’s directory services with Microsoft version.

15. Explain DNS and which port does it use?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is used to resolve human-readable hostnames like into machine-readable IP addresses like DNS uses port 53 TCP if former is not accepted or UDP port 53

16. What are the main E-mail Servers, and which are their ports?.

E-mail servers are of two types:

  • Incoming Mail Server (POP3, IMAP, HTTP)
  • Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)

The main e-mail ports are:

  • POP3 – port 110
  • IMAP – port 143
  • SMTP – port 25
  • HTTP – port 80
  • Secure SMTP (SSMTP) – port 465
  • Secure IMAP (IMAP4-SSL) – port 585
  • IMAP4 over SSL (IMAPS) – port 993
  • Secure POP3 (SSL-POP) – port 995

17. Explain the difference between a forest and a domain?

A domain is a logic-based group of computers, users, and devices within Active Directory. A tree is a collection of Domains, in case there are multiple trees formed a forest is created.

18. Differentiate a thread and a computer process?

  • Computer Process: A running program in execution is called a process. The process runs in separate memory spaces.
  • Thread: A thread is several executable programs that work together as a single process using shared memory spaces.

19. Mention how many types of queries DNS does?

The two types of queries DNS does are:

  • Iterative Query
  • Recursive Query

20. Why should we hire you as a System Administrator?

It is your last chance to impress a potential employer. Talk about any other experience that you may have related to this job. Mention things any employer could ask from their associates; for example being dependable, hardworking, and being a team player.

Friends, I know it can be hard to prepare for an interview and frankly nerve-wracking, but try to relax and answer all questions with confidence. This article gives you an idea of topmost system administrator interview questions and their related answers. 



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