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Network Technician Interview Questions

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  1. What is bus topology, and what are its main advantages and disadvantages when designing a local area network? See answer
  2. What’s the purpose of a switch on a local area network? See answer
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wireless network? See answer
  4. If you were notified of a problem where employees at a company were having trouble accessing the internet, what are the step you would take to troubleshoot the network? See answer
  5. What is the difference between a full mesh topology and a partial mesh topology?
  6. What is VPN, and how it is used on a local area network?
  7. What experience do you have installing computers?
  8. Do you know how to debug?
  9. Can you detail the steps you take to configure a network?
  10. What is your familiarity with data migration?
  11. How would you explain an IP release and renew to someone with no technical background?
  12. Do you know how to configure BIOS settings?
  13. What kind of cable would you suggest for a campus environment, and why?
  14. Can you tell me the advantages of star topology?
  15. Can you tell me about a time you experienced a conflict with a co-worker and how it was resolved?
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6 Network Technician Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What is bus topology, and what are its main advantages and disadvantages when designing a local area network?

A:

Bus topology connects many work stations to a few servers using one or more coaxial bus cables that connect each computer or device to the LAN. A network technician should be able to easily define this type of network. The main advantages include lower cost and better security compared to a wireless network. Disadvantages include more difficult maintenance and deployment. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of network topologies
  • Ability to clearly communicate technical information
  • Understanding of pros and cons of various design options

Example:

“A bus topology uses one or two main physical coaxial cables that branch off to each computer on a network. The main advantage of a bus network is lower costs, but replacing the cables or adding new computers to the network can be time-consuming.”

Q:

What’s the difference between a full mesh topology and a partial mesh topology?

A:

The easy answer to this question is that a full mesh ensures that each device on the network can connect to every other device on the network, but a partial mesh doesn’t. A candidate should be able to discuss what this means in practical terms. A full mesh network usually means every device is wireless. A partial mesh network is a mixture of wireless and wired devices. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of mesh network topology
  • Experience with how mesh networks are designed
  • Ability to communicate technical information clearly

Example:

“A full mesh network is fully wireless, meaning every computer and device can connect to others through a wireless access point. A partial mesh is a mixture of wired and wireless devices.”

Q:

What’s the purpose of a switch on a local area network?

A:

Any network technician should have a thorough knowledge of switches. These are the network devices that handle the routing of communications between each computer on the network, which makes a detailed understanding of their setup and operation critical to network administration. Asking this question will give you a chance to gauge their communication skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of network switches
  • A detailed answer without hesitation
  • Ability to communicate with non-technical employees

Example:

“A network switch is the central device that connects all the computers together on the network. It allows us to control which connections are allowed or not allowed. For example, we could use a switch to prevent some computers from having internet access.”

Q:

What is VPN, and how is it used on a local area network?

A:

VPN stands for virtual private network. It’s a protocol that allows remote users to log into a local area network and get access to its computers as though they were connected physically. Its primary use is to allow employees to add themselves to the LAN from home or while traveling. The protocol is considered to be a secure way to connect to a LAN over the internet. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of virtual private network protocol
  • Experience with the practical uses of VPN
  • Ability to communicate technical information

Example:

“VPN is a way for employees to securely access the network over the internet. It’s important to make sure only authorized users are able to do this to maintain network security.”

Q:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wireless network?

A:

Wireless technology makes local area networks more convenient for users and administrators. Adding new computers to a wireless network doesn’t involve adding more cable connections, and troubleshooting connection problems is much easier than cabled topologies. Mobile devices like tablets and laptops can operate on wireless networks, too. The major disadvantage is that network security is easier to compromise because wireless signals can be picked up from any antenna within range. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of working wireless network technology
  • Experience with wireless network security issues
  • A clear explanation of the pros and cons of wireless networks

Example:

“Wireless technology makes creating and using networks much easier. It also makes it possible to connect mobile devices, and a LAN can be scaled up or down quickly. The main problem of wireless networks is security.”

Q:

If you were notified of a problem where employees at a company were having trouble accessing the internet, what are the step you would take to troubleshoot the network?

A:

This question is beneficial in helping you gauge an applicant's problem-solving skills. An ideal candidate will demonstrate a willingness to help and an ability to effectively summarize his or her steps. A person who is qualified for the responsibilities of a network technician will display the skills needed to quickly diagnose and resolve the issue. Additionally, this question affords the candidate the opportunity to showcase his or her depth of knowledge and technical abilities.

The candidate's response should focus on:

  • Confidence in abilities
  • Strong communication
  • Problem-solving ability

An answer to this question may look something like this:

Example:

"Although there are a series of different routes to take, depending on the specific issue, the first step in troubleshooting is to gather as much information as possible as quickly as possible from the users. Once I identify the symptoms I can typically develop a theory and try to duplicate the issue to test and try to confirm if I have located the problem.

Some other tools I can consider using are command-line tools to see more specific information about the network. To help with a quick diagnosis and solution, I am familiar with several standalone applications, like Port Scanner and Wi-Fi Analyzer, which can further assist me in determining network status. Lastly, I can implement some actual hardware, like light meters and ohm meters, to help in the diagnosis."

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