8 Windows Server Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 March 2023

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Windows server administrators are essential to the information technology (IT) department because they install, manage and upgrade Windows-based systems and servers. When interviewing for a Windows server administrator position, you can expect some technical and behavioural questions. Learning more about frequently asked Windows server interview questions can improve your interview performance and increase your chances of getting hired for a desirable job. In this article, we review questions you are likely to encounter during a Windows server interview, outline why employers might ask them and give example answers to help you prepare your responses.

8 Windows Server Interview Questions

Here are some frequently asked Windows server interview questions and their example answers:

1. What is Active Directory?

Active Directory is a key concept in Windows servers because it helps IT professionals maintain and manage computer networks. You can use this question to show hiring managers your practical knowledge of using this technology. Keep your responses brief, but highlight its functions and specifications.

Example: ‘Active Directory is a Microsoft developed technology that helps create directory services for various computer or server network components. Windows server administrators use Active Directory for storing data associated with printers, network information, computers and shared folders. The Active Directory manages this data and provides network users and administrators access to network resources. In my previous job, I used Active Directory to manage the network in the Windows domain using a centralised system of administration. The authentication process for logging in enabled me to safely work and manage my network safely.'

Related: What Are Active Directory Management Tools? (With Benefits)

2. What are Group Policy Objects (GPOs) and name their different kinds?

This is one frequently asked question in Windows server interviews. An interviewer might ask this question because the GPO represents the setting that controls the work environment of users and computer accounts. When answering this question, clearly explain what it means and briefly describe its three types.

Example: ‘Group Policy Objects is a collection of Group Policy settings that help define what a system looks like and how it might behave for a particular group of users. GPOs help define the security options, registry-based policies, software installation and folder redirection and script options. The three types of GPOs are local, non-local and starter GPOs. A local GPO is a collection of Group Policy setting that applies specifically to local computers.

A non-local GPO applies to one or more Windows computers or users. These GPOs apply to Windows computers when linked to Active Directory objectives, such as domains and sites. The starter GPOs represent the templates for Group Policy settings. This GPO enables an administrator to use a pre-configured group of settings to create future policies.'

Related: Interview Questions For System Administrators (With Answers)

3. What commands might you use to check TCP/IP configurations?

Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) is the underlying structure of a computer system and defines how a computer communicates with other computers. This is a more in-depth question that tests your knowledge of Windows servers. When answering this question, list the commands you might use for checking a computer or server's TCP/IP configuration.

Example: ‘Two frequently used TCP/IP configurations commands are Ipconfig and ping. Ipconfig command checks the IP setup of the computer and provides details about the host computer's TCP/IP configuration. If you use Ipconfig/all, it gives you detail about the complete configurations related to TCP/IP configuration, such as Ethernet adapter, gateway router, domain name system (DNS) and dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP).

Ping is another TCP/IP command that helps computers communicate with each other over the internet. The command uses two choices to make a call to another computer over the network. It can either use the computer's name or the IP address. The function of this command is to place the call to some other computer over the network.'

Related: How To Use A Command Prompt (With Definition And Tips)

4. What is IntelliMirror?

IntelliMirror is a critical Windows server process and knowledge about this can help professionals shift their workstations without losing their files and data. When answering this question, briefly explain what it means and how it can help an administrator access applications and data from a different client location.

Example: ‘IntelliMirror is a Windows 2000 client/server application that helps a user create a smart backup copy of Windows 2000 on the server. It helps reconcile computer or desktop applications, settings and stored files for users. IntelliMirror benefits users who regularly shift their workstations and those who work offline. It allows a crashed computer to be quickly restored and enables mobile users to access applications from a different client machine.

With IntelliMirror, users have constant access to information and software, regardless of whether they connect to the network. This provides safe maintenance of data and ensures it is readily available.'

5. What is the primary objective of installing DNS servers?

The DNS server helps keep the IP addresses inside a company network private. When answering this question, explain what a DNS server is and provide the benefits it offers to a Windows server administrator.

Example:A DNS server is a server that comprises a database of public IP addresses and their associated host names. Upon typing domain names, such as in.indeed.com, into the web browser, DNS helps find the correct IP address for the website. The browser then uses that address to connect with origin servers and ensure users' access to website information. The DNS server helps match website host names to their corresponding IP addresses.

The primary objective of installing a DNS server is that it helps in avoiding memorisation of long numbers in IP addresses and automatically translates website names into numbers to allow the server to load the correct website page.'

Related: 7 DNS Interview Questions (With Explanations And Answers)

6. What are the key changes in the 2012 version of the Windows server?

The Windows Server 2012 introduced various improvements to the technology. An employer might ask this question to understand whether you stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. Your answer shows you know how this technology developed. When answering this question, identify the significant changes in 2012 and specify how these changes might affect the usage of Windows.

Example: ‘The 2012 version of Windows server introduced major changes in usage and technology. This server boasts a new interface, resilient file system, improved Hyper-V, PowerShell, enhanced performance and simpler licensing. Server 2012 uses PowerShell version 4 and has over 2300 commandlets. Through PowerShell, developers can now manage every OS and companion server aspect, such as structured query language (SQL) or Lync.

Windows 2012 offers four licensing versions: foundation, essential, standard and data centre. Foundation and essential versions are ideal for the small business market, whereas the standard and data centre focus on a larger application. Interestingly, the new resilient file system runs much faster and requires no reboot.'

Related: 10 PowerShell Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

7. Explain what is INODE in the Windows server.

INODE stores information about directories and files, making it an important concept. Apart from behavioural questions, an interview might ask this question to gauge your technical knowledge about Windows servers. When answering this question, briefly describe the use and purpose of INODE.

Example: ‘INODE is an index node and serves as a unique identifier for a specific piece of metadata on a file system. It is a unique number allocated to a file in a UNIX-like operating system. An INODE cannot store the file information, name or content. It simply helps in pointing to a specific file or directory.'

Related: 60 Examples Of UNIX interview Questions (With Answers)

8. How do you work under pressure?

Every job comes with unique tension and stress and working as a Windows server administrator is no different. When asking this question, interviewers want to know your capability to perform under a hectic schedule. During your interview, show how you handle stressful work situations. Wherever possible, give examples from your past job.

Example: ‘While working under pressure might be overwhelming for many people, I see such situations as a motivation to excel in my job. When the work gets tough, I push myself at a quicker pace to accomplish my goals. Even when my team feels the pressure of stringent deadlines, I try to remain calm and understand the situation before concluding. I try to overcome pressure by prioritising and working on one task at a time. In my previous job, when the Always On VPN setup failed to connect clients to the internal network, I did not lose my calmness and tried to understand the root cause of the issue. Upon troubleshooting, I found that an invalid virtual private network (VPN) certificate was causing the issue.'

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

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