Incident Management Interview Questions With Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 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.

Incident managers work in the information technology (IT) industry and resolve IT service incidents or issues to restore business operations. As the position requires strong critical thinking and troubleshooting skills, employers look for candidates with specific qualifications, capabilities and experiences during the recruiting process. By understanding the type of interview questions you are likely to encounter, you can prepare better and improve your chances of getting a job offer.

In this article, we compile a list of the frequently asked incident management interview questions and review sample answers that you can use to model your own for your job interview preparation.

12 general incident management interview questions

At the start of the job interview, the interviewer may ask you the following incident management interview questions to put you at ease and get a better idea of you as a person:

  1. What made you decide to become an incident manager?

  2. What do you know about our company?

  3. What made you decide to leave your previous job?

  4. Can you briefly outline your experience in incident management?

  5. What do you like the most about working as an incident manager?

  6. Where do you see yourself five or ten years from now?

  7. What do you do for personal development?

  8. What unique value would you bring to the role if we hire you?

  9. What is your greatest strength as an incident manager?

  10. What is your biggest professional weakness, and what have you done to resolve it?

  11. Do you prefer working on your own or with a team?

  12. What are some professional achievements that you are most proud of?

Related: How To Prepare For A Job Interview

12 questions about incident management experience and background

After the general questions, the interviewer may ask you the following types of questions to assess your incidence management experience and background:

  1. As an incident manager, how do you describe your management style?

  2. What is your method of handling incident escalations?

  3. What is the most complex incident management process you have managed so far?

  4. What is the incident management software that you regularly use?

  5. What steps do you take to keep yourself updated on new IT industry and software developments?

  6. What is your experience leading a technical team to investigate an IT incident?

  7. What are some of the qualities that can help an incident manager succeed in their career?

  8. Can you share an example of how you multitasked in a fast-paced, high-stress environment?

  9. What experience do you have with handling cybersecurity incidents?

  10. Which are the pen testing methods that you know?

  11. What do you do when you cannot manage a technical situation?

  12. How do you handle an outage on an operation-critical system?

Related: How To Become An Incident Manager: A Complete Guide

12 in-depth interview questions about incident management

Once the interviewers have determined whether you can fit in with their company culture and the available position, they may ask you the following in-depth questions about incident management:

  1. What are some examples of commonly occurring IT incidents?

  2. Can you list some incident management best practices?

  3. How would you manage recurrent incidents?

  4. What steps can you take to prevent incidents from happening?

  5. When would you implement an incident management system?

  6. What is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library?

  7. Which document do you need to restore a failed IT system?

  8. Are firewalls better with filtered ports or closed ports? Why?

  9. What steps would you take to eliminate an insider attack?

  10. What are some security breaches that you commonly encounter in your job?

  11. Why is port scanning necessary?

  12. How do you identify a security incident in a cloud?

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

Sample interview questions and answers on incident management

You can refer to the following sample answers to incident management interview questions to prepare your responses:

1. Why is incident management important in the IT industry?

It is a common interview question that interviewers ask to assess your understanding of the role of incident management in information technology. You can respond by briefly explaining the benefits of incident management.

Example: 'Incident management is important in the IT industry as it ensures that the disruption caused by an incident does not negatively impact business operations. You can restore service operations quickly and provide the required service quality levels. Along with increasing business productivity and efficiency, it can lead to higher user satisfaction and trust. Additionally, through incident management, you can improve analytical reporting.'

2. Can you explain the difference between an incident and a service request?

Interviewers often ask this question during an incident management interview to gauge your understanding of the basics. You can answer by first defining an incident and a service request. You can then list some of the differences between them.

Example: 'A service request is a pre-defined and pre-approved request that a user might make, whereas an incident is an unexpected and unpredictable event that interrupts the delivery of IT services. While you can consider an incident to be critical, a service request may be comparatively less urgent. When users make a service request, they may expect the service delivery within a reasonable time. For example, a user might order a product and expect its delivery within a week or two.

In case of an incident, there is a service level agreement usually to specify the response time frame. As incidents are unplanned and can disrupt IT services, they require an immediate response to restore operational efficiency.'

3. Can you explain the difference between incident resolution and incident closure?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience in resolving incidents and ensuring customer satisfaction. You can demonstrate your understanding of incident resolution and incident closure in your answer and give a few differences between them.

Example: 'An incident resolution occurs when you find a temporary or permanent solution for the issue and restore services. The user can then review your resolution. If they find it satisfactory, the next step is incident closure. The user may close the incident or it may auto-close after a while. Sometimes it is not possible to fix the issue at once, and, in that case, you can examine it through the problem management process.'

4. How can you detect incoming threats?

The role of an incident manager involves detecting threats and taking actionable steps to prevent them or mitigate their impact. Expect to respond to these types of questions during a job interview for an incident management position. Your answer can demonstrate your experience in dealing with potential threats to the IT system.

Example: 'To detect incoming threats, it is necessary to regularly review alerts, firewall logs or responses from the security information and event management software platform. After you identify and confirm suspicious or malicious activities that could compromise the network, you can work with the incident management team to investigate the matter. You can then determine the correct response and escalation procedure to prevent the threats from exploiting existing vulnerabilities.

At my previous workplace, I was responsible for conducting a thorough risk assessment of all our devices, systems, networks and data stores. I performed the risk assessment activities at least twice a year. Aside from installing anti-virus software and threat detection logs, I implemented included penetration testing and automated monitoring systems. I ensured all our software and operating systems were up to date and developed a data backup schedule to prevent data loss.**'

Related: How To Become A Cybersecurity Engineer (Salary And Skills)

5. What is a cross-site scripting attack?

As hackers can use cross-site scripting attacks to exploit vulnerabilities, it is essential for incident managers to understand how these threats work and how to respond to them. When a job interviewer asks you this question, they may want to test your ability to explain how the attack occurs and its effect. Try to keep your answer uncomplicated so that even people without a technical background can understand you.

Example: 'A cross-site scripting attack is a cyber-attack in which the attacker enters malicious scripts and code into dynamic website content. Since browsers cannot distinguish between legitimate and malicious scripts, they deliver the compromised content to the target's browser. The malicious code can then inflict damage by modifying the target's website and extracting their data.

At my previous workplace, we took the preventive measure of installing a web application firewall. It can protect you from cross-scripting attacks since it can filter bots and malicious activities. We were able to block attacks before the attacker was able to execute the script and prevented a potential data breach successfully.**'

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