8 DHCP Interview Questions (With Example Answers And Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In fields of work related to computing, such as networks, it is important to know about things like DHCP. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a useful network management tool for automating device configuration. If you are applying for a job that involves working with this, knowing some common interview questions and how to answer them can be quite useful. In this article, we present you with eight examples of DHCP interview questions and the best ways to answer them, along with some additional tips.

8 DHCP interview questions and how to answer them

Below are eight DHCP interview questions, together with examples of good answers for each:

1. Please explain what DHCP is and what it does

This question is typically more common earlier in the interview and allows the interviewer to determine if you know the basics. For this reason, try to keep the answer simple and factual. Remember that they are probably going to ask more detailed questions later.

Sample answer: 'DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. This is a network protocol which can automatically assign IP addresses. It can do this either automatically or dynamically from a defined range of numbers, which is its scope.'

Related: Popular Jobs In Networking (With Duties And Requirements)

2. What types of scope exist for Windows DHCP?

This is a common follow-up question that asks for more detail. If you mentioned scope in an earlier question, this might cause the interviewer to ask this question to check if you know what it means. A structured answer with clear definitions is typically best here.

Sample answer: 'A DHCP scope defines the range of possible IP addresses that the server can assign to clients. There are two of these, namely a multicast scope and a superscope. A multicast scope assigns IP address ranges for a Class D network, so it does not have subnet masks, other TCP/IP options or reservations. A superscope is a group of scopes that function together, allowing you to either enable or disable them altogether as one entity.'

3. Please define a MAC address

Questions on closely related matters are quite common. In this case, the interviewer wants to see your ability to recall information and explain it clearly. Try to just give a definition and description, as more detail might be the subject of another question.

Sample answer: 'MAC stands for media access control. This is an address for identifying a computer that has an Ethernet interface. It is made of 12 digits including numbers and letters, sometimes separated by colons or full stops. The DHCP server can request a MAC address to uniquely identify the computer, although it cannot tell you where its location is, unlike IP. Other names for this are an Ethernet address or IEEE MAC address.'

Related: Top 50 Network Interview Questions And Answers

4. Which ports does DHCP use?

This is another simple follow-up question that is common earlier in the interview. In this case, you just remember two numbers for the answer. The interviewer wants to check your basic knowledge and your ability to recall information. You can also add a little more information to impress the interviewer.

Sample answer: 'The DHCP uses two ports. These are ports number 67 and 68. Port 67 is for server replies and port 68 is for requests.'

5. What are the benefits of using DHCP for administering TCP/IP-based networks?

This is a slightly more in-depth question that tests your knowledge of the subject matter. The answer is more open-ended, so you can take a few seconds to consider your answer. This allows you to give a succinct answer to the question, which can demonstrate organised and structured thinking to the interviewer.

Sample answer: 'The primary benefit of using DHCP is that it automates everything. This means that there is no possibility of human error when typing the values manually for every computer. It also means that there are no conflicts from using previously assigned IP addresses for new computer configuration. All of this can also save a lot of time, as there is no need to regularly configure and reconfigure computers in the network.'

6. How would you install a DHCP server on AD infrastructure?

Another more in-depth question would be to ask you how to install it on Active Directory (AD) infrastructure. It is important to break this down into steps, so take a few seconds to organise your thoughts. Assume that the interviewer knows nothing about it and explain the steps clearly and simply.

Sample answer: 'To install a DHCP server, the first step is to open the Windows Components Wizard. Under the components, if you scroll down you are going to find something called "Networking Services". Click on "Details." Then, under the "Subcomponents of Networking Services", select "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol" and click on "OK." You can then click next and see if there is a prompt. If there is, then type in the path for Windows Server 2003 distribution files, and click "Next" again. This is going to copy the necessary files to your hard disk.'

7. How does DHCP integrate with DNS?

Another in-depth question might involve asking about the interaction between DHCP and DNS. This question is meant to test your knowledge of the subject matter and how it applies in the real world. It can be helpful to start by explaining the respective role of each, then talking about integration.

Sample answer: 'Whereas DHCP assigns IP addresses to computers in a network, the Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for mapping a domain's name to its IP address. This allows the user to search the internet based on a name, rather than knowing an entire address. If DHCP changes a client's IP address, it does not automatically update DNS. So, you can integrate the two by registering with DNS if your server is running Windows Server 2008 and DHCP. This allows both of them to cooperate and maintain consistency.'

8. What is DHCPInform?

This is another definition question that interviews might ask. The purpose of this and others like it is to see how clearly you can define something without using excessive detail. It is also appropriate to briefly outline its functions.

Sample answer: 'DHCPInform is a message that DHCP clients can use to obtain options. This works for Windows 98 and Windows 2000 remote access clients, allowing them to get DNS server IP addresses, domain names and WINS server IP addresses. A remote access server can only forward a DHCPInform message if it is configured with a DHCP relay agent.'

Tips for answering interview questions

Below are some tips and best practices that you can use to better answer DHCP interview questions and others:

Use the STAR method

The STAR method allows you to answer competency-based questions, which can occur when the interviewer is asking about your previous experience. STAR is an acronym that stands for situation, task, action and result. For instance, if the interviewer asks you how you resolved an in-work problem in the past, you first describe the situation in which the problem took place. You then explain what was necessary to resolve the problem and what your responsibilities were. Next, you can describe the actions you took to resolve the situation, before concluding with the results of your action.

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

Use examples

If you can cite an example in any answer to an interview question, this is usually better than a simple theoretical answer. This is because an example can demonstrate that you have relevant experience in the subject matter. Example usage can also demonstrate that you understand how certain principles and systems actually work in practice. If you want to know what examples to prepare in advance, look carefully at the job description and identify key topics. You can then think of possible questions and prepare your examples accordingly.

Have a practice interview

If you know someone who is knowledgeable regarding the subject matter of the interview, such as a colleague who works in networks or similar, you can ask them to have a practice interview. They can look at the job description for the position you are pursuing and develop mock questions to ask you in a simulated interview. It is important that you ask an appropriate individual to do this, as someone like your current supervisor might be reluctant to help you find a job with another organisation.

Related: Interviewing Techniques To Help You Succeed In Interviews

Repeat the question

A good technique for answering any question is to repeat it out loud. This means that you can break down the question into its component parts and check that you have understood it correctly. In some cases, you might find it beneficial to rephrase the question to ensure this. This can also demonstrate your active listening skills to the interviewer. When you repeat or rephrase the question, try to understand what the interviewer specifically wants to hear, thereby allowing you to remain on-topic.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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