Screening interview questions

In most cases, your interview for a job of a Desktop Support Specialist, Technician, or Assistant will start with a couple of personal (screening) questions. Hiring managers will try to understand your motivation to do the job, the reasons why you chose their company, your goals, and your communication skills (which are pivotal for the job). To typical screening questions for desktop support belong:

  • Why do you want to work as a desktop support specialist (technician, assistant, etc)?
  • Why do you want to work for us, and not for one of our competitors?
  • Why do you think you can become a good desktop support specialist (technician)?
  • Can you tell us something about your working experience? Can you walk us through your resume?
  • Why did you leave your last job, or why do you want to leave your present job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
  • What do you consider your greatest weakness when it comes to desktop support?


Do not underestimate the screening questions

This interview is not only about your technical skills. Many other things matter for the interviewers. Try to speak with enthusiasm, to demonstrate your motivation, and to show them a clear reason why you want to work for them, and not for some other company.

Some job seekers have a tendency to underestimate the screening part of hiring process. But you should not make the same mistake, knowing that most companies will screen out at least fifty percent of job applicants in this stage of the hiring process. The screening interview can be conducted online, over the phone, or face to face, or it can simply form a first part of one long interview session in which they combine all questions.

Regardless of the technical skills and experience of the job applicants, companies do not want to hire employees who lack motivation, or whose answers to basic interview questions indicate wrong attitude to job, or some other issue that will restrain them from delivering an excellent customer service.

Young man in a shirt and suit looks at the interviewer. They are talking together.

Behavioral and situational questions – the second obstacle

After the screening interviews, most hiring managers will proceed to behavioral questions. Your answers to these questions help the interviewers to understand your attitude to various work-related situations and problems (dealing with an angry client, helping someone who lacks even basic technical skills, dealing with pressure and multitasking, etc).

Their logic is simple: An employee who reacted to a certain situation in a certain way (in their last job, or during their studies) will likely react in a similar fashion to the same situation in the future.

To show you an example: An employee who panicked under pressure, and experienced health issues because of the pressure, will likely experience the same health issues and panic in their new job, especially if they experience the pressure again…


To some of the common behavioral questions asked in desktop support interviews belong:

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
  • Talk about a conflict you had with your colleague, and how you addressed the conflict.
  • Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service (for a person who called you seeking assistance while facing some technical issue).
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry client. What was your reaction to the situation, and how did you manage to help them calm down?
  • Tell us about a time when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. What did you do in this situation?
  • Describe a time when you struggled with motivation in work (because you felt tired, because experienced personal issues or conflicts with your colleagues, or simply because of boredom and repetitive nature of the job).
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a client (for example guiding them in a process of addressing some issue they faced with their computer). How did you eventually manage to get your message over?
  • Tell us about the last mistake you made in work.
  • Imagine that you are already back home from work, and a client (based in a different time zone) calls you, having a serious issue with their desktop, seeking your help. What would you do?

Special Tip: Many great technicians and communicators struggle with behavioral questions, and fail to get the job because of that. If you are also not sure how to answer these questions, or feel anxiety before your interview, have a look at the new eBook I wrote for you, with a help of a tech expert: the Desktop Support Interview Guide.

Multiple great answers to 30 most common interview questions for desktop support (including difficult behavioral & technical questions) will help you streamline your interview preparation, quickly get ready for each challenge you may face in this hiring process, outclass your competitors, and eventually get the job. Thank you for checking it out!

A picturte taken in a behavioral interview in a big corporation. A couple of HR managers sit opposite the job candidate.

Your attitude matters

Whether you apply for your very first job, or have been working in this field for twenty years, your attitude plays a pivotal role for the hiring managers.

Big companies run their training programs, and they will teach you everything you need to know to handle your job (bearing in mind that you posses the basic technical skills required for the position).

If they have to choose between an inexperienced applicant with right attitude to conflict situations, to deadlines, pressure, to success and failure, and between an experienced technician who knows how to troubleshoot everything, but who doesn’t have the right attitude to work, they will always hire the inexperienced person with the right attitude.


Practical (technical) questions for desktop support interview

The third part of a typical interview process consists in practical questions. If you apply for a job in a small, or middle sized company (in a company that doesn’t have a training program for new hires, or a working manual for the desktop support specialists), the technical part will form an important part of the interviewing process.

Your answers to the technical (practical) questions reveal the level of your readiness to do the job, your ability to jump on board and start helping the clients from day one, without a need of supervision, training, or mentoring.

The exact technical questions you will get depend on the job you try to get, and the company you want to work for. Anyway, you can test your technical skills with the short selection below:

  • Your task is to install the same operating system on twenty computers, all of them in the same network, all of them having the same basic configuration. Define the main steps you will take to carry out the installation with as little interruption of the workflow as possible.
  • One of the users calls you complaining that their computer has been extremely slow for the past 48 hours. Define the process of troubleshooting, step by step.
  • Imagine there is network of fifteen computers and your task is to add a new user to this network. How will you proceed?
  • You have the administrator account and one of the users forgot their password. How will you reset their password? What will you say to the user? How will you instruct them?
  • One of the users complains that every time they run their web browser, the screen says it can not load the homepage, because a virus was detected, or a malware. How will you proceed in troubleshooting this particular problem?
  • Is it possible to disable firewall in Windows 10? If we can disable it, how will you do it, and in which cases will you proceed with disabling the firewall?
  • One of client’s PCs needs a reinstall. But you need to back up all emails in their Outlook account. How will you do that, bearing in mind that the Windows will not start?
  • Can you make the desktop icons in Windows 10 larger?
  • What is the command prompt to check an IP address of a computer? Any other command prompts you regularly use?
  • What will you do to secure Windows server files, dealing with an operation that can result in losing these files?
  • Define the steps of installing a printer on user’s desktop.
  • You can not boot your Windows 10, because some files are missing. What will you do in this case?


Conclusion, premium answers to all questions

You success or failure in an interview for a desktop support position depends on various factors:

  • The level of motivation and commitment you manage to show when answering screening (personal) questions.
  • The attitude to various work-related situations you present while answering behavioral (situational) questions.
  • The readiness for the job that you demonstrate while dealing with technical questions, and short case studies.
  • The number of people who compete with you for the job, and their qualities (logically it is easier to succeed if you compete with three other people instead of twenty).
  • Whether you can convince the interviewers of the value you can bring to their team, whether you can win them over.

We hope that this article has helped you to understand each of the points. If you are still not sure, however, of feel anxious and unsure about your interview answers, or basically want to get rid of interview headaches and streamline your interview preparation with one material only, have a look at the eBook I wrote for you, the Desktop Support Interview Guide.

Multiple great answers to 30 most common interview questions for desktop support job applicants will make everything much easier for you, and help you stand out in this competitive interview.

Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you good luck in your interview!


* You can also download the list of 30 questions (including technical questions) in a simple, one page long .PDF document, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

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Matthew Chulaw
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