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Technical Support Interview Questions

Illustration of an IT representative sitting behind a computer screen. A floating screen with a separate individual hovers above the IT reps screen. A frustrated expression is on the client's face. Text reads:
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Technical support specialists provide assistance to customers experiencing technical, software and/or hardware problems. Technical support duties and responsibilities typically include answering customers’ technical questions via phone and email, and diagnosing and troubleshooting various technical issues.

When hiring a technical support specialist, look for ​​basic software skills such as CRM and Microsoft products, creative problem solving skills and the ability to explain complex topics to people who aren’t tech savvy. Great candidates for your technical support role may also have customer service experience, strong interpersonal skills and basic to advanced troubleshooting skills.

Ask 5-10 of the following interview questions to get a better sense of a candidate’s technical support skills and experience.

  1. What made you get into technical support? See answer
  2. What is your troubleshooting process? See answer
  3. Why did you want to work in our IT department?
  4. What makes you qualified to provide tech support?
  5. Describe a time when you went above and beyond to help a customer and how your behavior impacted the situation.
  6. Is technical knowledge or customer support more important? Why do you think so?
  7. How do you communicate with customers who aren’t tech-savvy?
  8. Are you comfortable using imaging software?
  9. How would you help a customer if they were unhappy with the speed of their computer?
  10. What does BOIS mean and what role does it serve in computer networking?
  11. How do you communicate with customers who aren’t tech-savvy?
  12. What are the steps you would take to put together a PC?
  13. Explain the purpose of software drivers and describe how they work.
  14. How do you decide when to escalate a ticket to higher-tier support staff? What would you tell a client if you needed to escalate their support request?
  15. What strategies do you use to reassure a stressed or frustrated client?
  16. What would you do if a client could not access a file and needed it right away?
  17. What are the seven layers of the OSI web architecture model?
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8 Technical Support Interview Questions and Answers


What made you get into technical support?


This question can help you gain a better understanding of the applicant’s individual motivations. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate has a passion for technical support
  • The candidate comes off as honest and sincere
  • The candidate understands the bigger purpose of technical support

“I decided to go into technical support because I’ve been fascinated by technology all my life, and I also love working with people. I want to use my technical know-how to directly solve issues customers are having. I want to be the person that makes life easier and more enjoyable for folks who’ve run into a problem.”


Why did you apply to our company?


This question helps you measure employee commitment. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate understands your company’s mission
  • The candidate shows how working for the company aligns with career ambitions
  • The candidate knows about specific endeavors your company is undertaking now

“I applied to your company because your team is making life easier and more enjoyable for millions of people. The scale of your work is tremendous, and I feel like my work here can have a real positive impact. I also love the company culture and how there’s a focus on teamwork and collaboration.”


What makes you qualified for this job?


With this question, you can hear about the applicant’s education, experience and other qualifications and skills in more detail. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate demonstrates how they stand out from other applicants
  • The candidate shows how they can be a valuable asset to the company
  • The candidate shows what specifically makes them a good fit for the company

“I feel that I’m qualified because I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science. I have advanced skills with customer support tools like Zendesk. Also, I have five years of experience as a technical support specialist in the software industry. I know your company operates on global scale, and I can provide support in both English and Spanish.”


What is your troubleshooting process?


The goal of technical support is to provide help and advice to customers about products. You must understand how applicants go about solving customer issues because it’s crucial to customer retention and business success. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate goes through the troubleshooting process correctly (from fact gathering and diagnosis to solutions)
  • The candidate has a thorough yet adaptable troubleshooting process
  • The candidate emphasizes solving customer needs as quickly and effectively as possible.

“I first gather info and facts from the customer, then identify and verify the issue. Next, I try common quick fixes. If that’s not successful, I use additional resources to research the issue. Once a solution is found, I perform appropriate repairs or replacement if necessary. After the solution is implemented, I test thoroughly to ensure everything is OK.”


Describe a time when you went above and beyond to help a customer.


Many situations require more help than just a quick fix. You should want applicants that can recognize and solve new or unknown problems. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate is willing to go the extra mile for customers
  • The candidate has the ability to look at a problem from many perspectives
  • The candidate can work with others to develop a new solution or fix

“At my previous company, I remember one customer had an issue that kept happening. The common fixes we were using were only temporarily solving the problem. After doing a bit of research, I was able to design and develop a new solution. I called the customer personally and implemented the repair.”


Is technical knowledge or customer service more important?


Technical support specialists must have the right mix of technical and people skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate uses reasoning and logic (there is no correct answer, as it’s an opinion question)
  • The candidate views both skills as important, even if they choose one skill over the other
  • The candidate understands how both skills play a role in the job

“First, let me say that customer service skills are very important. You must be able to empathize with people and address needs. Good communication is crucial. With that said, I have a technical background, and I understand the amount of knowledge you need to actually solve issues. Technical skills are more important because, without in-depth knowledge of the hardware and software, you won’t be able to efficiently do your job.”


Where do you see yourself in five years?


With this question, you can understand career goals. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate is proactive and willing to learn
  • The candidate is excited about the job at hand
  • The candidate sees your company as part of their future

“In this position, I plan to add skills and experience. Honestly, I would like to move into a management role in technical support within five years. What I really like about this company is how they actively develop employees. I feel like I can consistently improve here and move into bigger roles for your organization.”


How do you communicate with customers who aren't tech-savvy?


A technical support representative interacts with clients of different skill levels and may need to provide troubleshooting instructions to people who aren't familiar with computers and technical jargon. Successful technical support resolves complex computer issues with basic instruction and attentive customer service. This question assesses a candidate's strategies for explaining concepts to their clients and guiding people through the troubleshooting process in an effective, direct way. A successful response should demonstrate:

  • Empathy and respect for clients at all skill levels
  • Patience and self-awareness when determining an approach
  • Creative problem-solving abilities
A successful answer could look like:

"When I interact with clients, I always use simple, clear language that the average person would understand. As I guide them through the troubleshooting process, I ask specific questions about what they see so that I can interpret their problem myself. Throughout the process, I make them feel comfortable by narrating the actions I take and explaining why we are taking each step. If a customer still doesn't understand, I re-phrase my requests in different ways until I find an approach that works with their communication style."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021