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IT Helpdesk interview Questions

Hi I am going for an IT Helpdesk job interview very soon.  I have few questions:
What is the best way to answer the followings:

1.      If a network user reports a virus, how would you deal with this situation?
2.      What is the best way to migrate to a new operating systems keeping the data intact?
3.      If the outlook is slow (users receiving emails late) how would you go about it?
4.     How do you add windows 7 to a domain?

Many thanks.
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faysal_ahmed
Asked:
faysal_ahmed
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8 Solutions
 
MarkieSCommented:
This sounds like cheating but it's using your initiative !-)

1.  Firstly disconnect from the network and make the machine standalone.  Then deal with any fall out.

2.  If it's Microsoft use the migration tools wizards (USMT for domains) - do a side by side upgrade then restore data.  If your in a medium size company there should be NO data on the local PC anyway.

3.  Trace the emails in your server email system (Exchange?) to see where the bottleneck is occuring. Receiving all emails late could be a delay at your ISP.  Recieving some emails late is likely a delay beyond your control - ie the sender ISP

4.  Computer Properties, Computer Name - Join Domain.  Or have the computer account added to Active Directory - you will need domain administrator access or equivalent - this can also be done through sysprep.inf, unattended scripts when building a machine automatically

Good luck with the interview..
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xmlmagicianCommented:
these are bullet points and i expect you to expand on them

Question 1:
a) immediately unplug pc from network
b) re-locate user to another pc if possible (or find other ways to minimize loss of productivity)
c)after that you should know (antivirus scan, malware scan etc)

Question 2:

this is a very general question depending if the PC is on a domain or stand alone. If in domain save all the files in the profile server make sure compatible with new operating system etc. If standalone say that you will create a list such as a) my document b) outlook pst file if not in exchange c) favourites and etc. Tell them that you will always consult with the user as they know what files need saving etc and then move them to a DVD/USB or/and network

Question 3:

again this is a very generic question as you need to know what type of system they have in place.

Question 4:

http://www.elmajdal.net/win7/Joining_Windows_7_To_Domain.aspx

REMEMBER that CUSTOMER SERVICE and the client is the most important for this position and your time management skills (possible) everything else you can learn and you should demonstrate eagerness to do so. in addition ask them some questions about the team you will be working with who will you be reporting etc if the information is not given to you. Do not ask about breaks, holidays and stuff like that.

A piece of advice and please do not take it the wrong way you need to be more pro-active when it comes to interviews. best of luck
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@Markie makes me wonder why he did not use that initiative to find the answers using google :)? Still though demonstrated initiative
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mrroonieCommented:
what i'd do:
question 1.
a. first take the PC off the network.
b. disable system restore.
c. look in Task manager processes for anything untoward - check anything that doesn't look right on another machine (google the exe) - kill the process(es) if nasty,
d. look in the registry HKLM & HKCU software\microsoft\windows\current version\run & run once & run once ex for anything untowards - again google anything you are unsure about.
e. clear out all temp files
f. if you have the virus name google for manual removal and follow instructions.
g. run a full system scan with currently installed antivirus software
h. download and run a scan of malwarebytes anti malware (copy from internet enable machine with usb stick - format the stick afterwards)
i. download a trial of another anti virus including the latest updates, copy over with usb stick run full scan
j. once you are satisfied its clean re-enable system restore
k. reconnect to network

question 2.
a. if XP to XP use file and settings transfer wizard (over the network for quickest results, or to an external drive),
b. if XP to vista, download the latest windows easy transfer to the XP machine and run it (again over the network for quickest results or use an external drive)
c. for anything to be transferred to windows 7, run the windows easy transfer wizard on the new Windows 7 machine, tell it this is the new PC and you need to install windows easy transfer on the old machine - windows 7 copys an easy transfer installer to a USB stick to install on the old machine, then run it.
for all the above - the transfer wizards DO NOT copy outlook PSTs, so you will have to manually copy them over

question 3.
a. check for network connectivity problems (open an internet browser and see if thats slow too - if it is Outlook is not at fault, its the connection)
b. check if other users are having the same problem - especially in an Exchange environment. if yes restart the data store service.also if yes probably a lack of RAM on server.
c. if connectivity seems fine check how often outlook is checking for new emails - change to every couple of minutes.
d. see if there is anything stuck in the outbox - this can impact incoming messages

question 4.
a. log in as local administrator
b. right click Computer>select properties
c. scroll down to 'Computer Name, Domain and workgroup settings.
d.click 'change settings'
e. next to 'to rename this computer or change its domain' etc click 'change'.
f. click 'domain' radio button and add domain name.
g. click ok, and enter in DOMAIN administrators credentials.
h. reboot when it tells you to
i. to log the PC into a domain user account click 'switch user' and in the user name enter 'domain\user' for the first login

good luck at the interview!
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MarkieSCommented:
@xmlmagician - Ahhh... Give the kid a break !  ;-)))))

I have found through teaching that searching for answers on the omnipresent interweb can be daunting if you dont know what you're looking for.

It's experience that allows us to discount the rubbish and head for the possible answers.

Type some of the above queries into google and you'll get washed away in the 5.5Tb of info!!

I have also learnt from my students that no question is a dumb question.  If you dont know, it's not dumb - It's just never been explained in a way you'll understand it.  Blame the teacher for that one.

Your final comments are probably the most relevant for this job position.

Customer Service - You may not know the answer off the top of your head but you know how to find out.
Pro-active - Customer facing does need the gift of speech - communication is king.


@MrRoonie Ahhh... Give the kid a break !  ;-)))))
He's gonna have to write all that down on the back of his hand and recite it all back in the interview?


All the best to all  - MarkieS
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mrroonieCommented:
>>He's gonna have to write all that down on the back of his hand and recite it all back in the interview?


lol - i'm like pringles, once i pop i can't stop!
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@MarkieS - that is why i am not into teaching...wing wing nudge nudge :-)
@MrRoonie - agree with Mark on this one, solid answer yet he will need a massive hand to write them down or as one of the people i interviewed said can i look at my notes and proceeded to take out of his bag a notebook which was equivalent to a volume of encyclopedia Britannica :)

Remember it is all about the customer and make them feel comfortable, respected and that someone cares. if you are successful come back and we have loads more advice for you such as one of my pet hates confuse the user with technical jargon when you have no clue what is going on.  
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@roonie you are like a fountain of IT knowledge :-)
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MarkieSCommented:
It's not just users!  You can do it to managers as well.  Technical or not!

"What was the problem?"

"We had an over load on the performance threshold so I had to lower the regain value on the transition gate manifesto.  It's OK to do this because the Microsoft federation you had us subscribe to last week have done the same!"
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@MarkieS God forbids if i hear anyone on my team talking to anyone like that :-)
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MarkieSCommented:
Hold on - Are we starting to sound like pompous techno-geeks?

Remind me to take the wife and kids out this weekend!  (I do have a life, I do have a life).
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mrroonieCommented:
>>confuse the user with technical jargon when you have no clue what is going on.

haha - i only do this to people that ask silly questions and they don't like the answer 'it just works'.
the more standard users i try to explain as if i'm talking to my mum - simple as possible but not condescending.


>>you are like a fountain of IT knowledge

more of a spurt than a fountain really...
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xmlmagicianCommented:
Yes we do but this is some solid advice :)
GF and dogs for me :)

P.S: another piece of advice work stays at work
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xmlmagicianCommented:
@roonie i liked the mum explanation and not condescending as you can get in trouble with HR

spurts can turn to fountains...there is still hope :)
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mrroonieCommented:
>>P.S: another piece of advice work stays at work

i wish someone would tell my mrs that.
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MarkieSCommented:
ROFL...   Take care all...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It is cheating.

Just hope that your Interviewer, doesn't subscribe to EE or search for your name on Google!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
On a more serious note, read up about ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) before attending your interview. They've not asked you this question but any good Helpdesk should apply these frameworks.
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SISAntCommented:
1.      If a network user reports a virus, how would you deal with this situation?
I'm guessing if you're helpdesk you won't be removing them from the network as you'll need to provide remote support (as I do with my clients) so you'd get in, hopefully get them to reboot to safe mode (F5 or F8 just after BIOS is loading) and then download and run a virus scan. something like trend housecall or malwarebytes. this should get rid of most, if things are worse then that you'll have to deal with each Virus on a case by case. Google is your friend.

2.      What is the best way to migrate to a new operating systems keeping the data intact?
Honestly it depends on what operating systems. the Windows easy transfer tool is your friend in most situations though if you can't do that, you can always make a system image and then just recover it to the new PC and then create a new partition with the remaining space

3.      If the outlook is slow (users receiving emails late) how would you go about it?
there could be plenty of different solutions to this issue, a few things I always check though is when these supposed "late" emails actually arrived on your server, to see if its an outside influence. Also, Outlook repair and scanpst.exe can help with some outlook issues (usually send recieve issues) on that note also check what his send/recieve settings are set to.

4.     How do you add windows 7 to a domain?
Find computer/my computer right click, click properties, click change workgroup/domain

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arnoldCommented:
For 2) make sure that EFS is not being used if on a stand alone or domain without a CA.
Patience and listening are as important. At times asking a user a question does not clear up the issue.  Letting the user explain what they mean, i.e what they were using, doing and what led them .....
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
> What is the best way to answer the followings:
HONESTLY.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@leew: agree
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FireW0lfCommented:
1.      If a network user reports a virus, how would you deal with this situation?
First thing is ALWAYS pull the network cable to isolate the machine
Then check for others experiencing the same
Find out how the virus got in - and inform the appropriate line manager to take operational (disciplinary if necessary) action
Inform other staff of the issue, and warn about the activity that caused the infection (eg: do NOT open email attachments from unknown senders, etc)
If possible supply the staff member another PC to continue their work on
2.      What is the best way to migrate to a new operating systems keeping the data intact?
Way too generic - if you're asked this in an interview, feel free to slap them a bit!
Migrating from what OS? To what OS?
What data??? Program data? User data?
3.      If the outlook is slow (users receiving emails late) how would you go about it?
Find out if this is manifesting on one user, a group of users, or everyone
1 user: Network problems? Settings within Outlook connecting only at set intervals?
A group of users: GPO (software settings)? Local Switch/hub not functioning correctly?
All users: Server / cloud side issue
4.     How do you add windows 7 to a domain?
Pretty much the same way you add an XP / Vista machine - Right click "Computer", properties. In Win7 scroll to the bottom and the options are there
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'll rephrase:

HONESTLY and to the best of your ability.  Otherwise, it becomes clear VERY quickly that you probably don't know what you're doing and you get fired.  Getting the job is nice... wasting people's time is not.

Either present yourself and your skills as best you can without cheating, or don't bother applying.
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SISAntCommented:
I massively agree with leew on this. Honesty is the best policy, when I was interviewed for my current job I got caught out because I got asked about APIPPA addresses.
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faysal_ahmedAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for all of your advice.

Question to mrroonie:

Why do you have to disable system restore ?
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arnoldCommented:
Not to step on mrroonie,
Some "system" files when missing are restored.  The other one is that at some point you may while trying to fix another problem go back to a prior date which might be the date when the virus was still  present.  By disabling it, you eliminate all past restore points.
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faysal_ahmedAuthor Commented:
Guys the questions I asked here are quite common IT questions which the interviewer asks (from what I know).  I just wanted answers elaborated, and this forum is amongst the best place to ask.  I have no idea what exactly questions I will be asked in the interview.  But I just want to be prepared and have my basics mastered.

Many thanks.
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faysal_ahmedAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone!
I really appreciate this.  As a beginner in IT field I have learnt a lot.  I will ensure that I put them in to practice.
Many thanks everyone.
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