Test To Give When Hiring or Interviewing a Junior Linux System Administrator

Discussion in 'Linux Basics' started by LinuxDotOrg, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. LinuxDotOrg

    LinuxDotOrg Administrator

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    Hiring a junior Linux System Administrator can be a challenging task, especially if you are interviewing for someone who is above your own Linux skill set! How do you know for sure that they are going to be any good at what they say they can do? What are the best interview questions to ask a junior Linux System Admin?


    In our experience, the best way to gauge an employees skill set is to put them in front of a command line interface and have them execute a number of straightforward tasks. Oftentimes, candidates will say that they have strong skills in Linux, but when confronted with an actual problem, they don't have the "tools" to fix it themselves. So, what we look for is a candidate's ability to use tools, rather than their ability to fix a particular problem.

    Employers are typically looking for candidates with the following skill set.
    Amit_*nix likes this.
  2. DILIP S

    DILIP S New Member

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    Also I think a good Linux System Administrator must have Relevant Project experience/work experience in the System Administration. If hiring a fresher/newbie, I think the best way to interview is Give him/her a problem, Give him the list of tools available and tell him/her to solve the problem. If hiring experienced Professionals, I think best way is to give a problem in his/her domain and examine on how well he/she solves the same within some time. Once in an interview, the interviewer asked me to name a particular command for some task. I think thats not the way to interview, Instead he/she should have given a problem and tool and observe on how well I solve it.
    Amol Patil likes this.
  3. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Active Member

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    You might want to ask the candidate to name 5 linux distros. Most will know RedHat and Ubuntu. Some will know a few others. The best can name a dozen.

    Also, a few questions about fundamentals - what's the "init" process? What's "version magic"? Run levels? How do daemons get started? - Things like that.
  4. ryanc

    ryanc New Member

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    Ask them to name and explain 5 command line options for ls. If they have plenty of experience they will rattle off 5 easily. If they don't have experience but the right attitude then they will mention the man pages. If they do neither they have neither experience or the right attitude (or a job offer from you).
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  5. prdpadd

    prdpadd New Member

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    Good info
  6. Virneto

    Virneto Member

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    very nice ideas in here!!
    ;)

    I would actually put my candidate in a command line interface and (with no particular demand) just see how he would move thruh the system.
    Can you figure the system logs?...Users?...Processes?...Network?...etc? etc?
    DevynCJohnson likes this.

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