5 interview questions all good DevOps candidates should know

Been offered an interview for the perfect DevOps position? Great, but do you know the answer to these 5 interview questions? Spoiler alert: you should!

If you’re reading this article you more than likely already know what DevOps is, but for the sake of those that don’t – here’s a quick explanation from www.newrelic.com.

“DevOps is a combination of software development and operations—and as its name suggests, it’s a melding of these two disciplines in order to emphasize communication, collaboration, and cohesion between the traditionally separate developer and IT operations teams.”

As DevOps is ever evolving it is challenging from a HR and management perspective as the different roles themselves are constantly being redefined. This makes finding top DevOps talent difficult – but armed with the right questions and answers recruiters and candidates alike can interview in confidence.

Here are our top 5 interview questions (in no particular order) all good DevOps candidates should know:

What have you been doing for the last 1-2 years?

It’s good practise to start an interview with a general question. This will relax the candidate in to the interview and open up room for discussion. This question in particular is ideal as it should give you an indication of the candidate’s recent professional activities and from a candidate’s perspective – should be an easy one to talk about.

This question will help you to understand with what specific tools and technologies the engineer has been working over the past few years and if they engaged with a team or flew solo. If the prospect does not mention the exact tools that they currently use, follow up with questions about those tools and tasks to get a good feel for his or her ability. A good candidate should be able to demonstrate a deep understanding in the field of their operation.

How do you deploy software?

It is critical that you test the candidate on his / her ability to deploy software. You should be able to pick up on if the candidate has an understanding of code deployment and how the continuous integration and DevOps tools impact this. If you have a drawing board available, let him or her build a diagram for you.

Describe the worst-run/best-run outage you’ve been a part of. What made it bad/well-run?

No employer wants to hear about how faultless you are and hear the generic no weaknesses spiel. There’s no shame in talking about past failings provided that you can explain what you learnt from these. This demonstrates that you can learn from mistakes.

Describe the Linux boot process

A strong understanding of the Linux boot process is essential when choosing the right candidate. A good candidate should not only be able to explain the correct order the stages involved but also be able to expand on why each stage is important.

What is the purpose of a post-mortem meeting?

A candidate should be able to explain exactly why a post-mortem meeting is crucial for learning from mistakes and be confident in explaining how you can get the most from such meetings. This should clearly demonstrate decision-making abilities.

Are you looking for DevOps positions? Integrity IT Solutions can give you access to positions that are off the radar of other recruiters. And as the ‘right fit’ is fundamental to our approach, we’ll only recommend roles that we think will work for you – and our clients. Contact us here to discuss DevOps opportunities or indeed any IT or Tech positions.


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