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Tech support interview questions are as varied as technical support jobs themselves. Some interviews may feature on-the-spot troubleshooting or role-playing scenarios; others may emphasize behavioral interviewing. No matter what type of interview you face, you can expect to encounter some of these common interview questions for tech support roles.

Why Did You Apply to This Job?

Although you might hear this question at any job interview, it’s very important when looking for work in technical support. Hiring managers don’t want to hear that you’re looking to get a foot in the door before moving up after six months or that you aren’t able to find any other jobs. Before your interview, take a few moments to review the job posting and reflect on the aspects of the job that call to you. Be prepared to draw on those details during the interview so your answer will sound genuine rather than generic.

What Skills Do You Think You Need in This Position?

You need more than know-how to succeed in these roles; you also need the ability to transfer your knowledge to the general public, whether that means helping grandparents log-in to their email or explaining to CEOs why they can’t torrent movies on their corporate laptop. Companies want to know that you understand the dual nature of a tech support job before hiring you. Make sure your answer covers the importance of technical and soft skills.

Can You Tell Me About a Time You Were Unable to Help a Customer?

Not all customers are easy to help. Some might demand more assistance than you’re able to give or ask you to break policies just for them. At times, working in technical support means knowing how to say “no” to the person you’re trying to help. This means you need the ability to be firm but polite as well as emotional resilience to move onto the next customer. When answering this question, emphasize what you were able to do for the customer and how you handled your own emotions.

Can You Tell Me About Yourself?

According to Monster.com, his question is frequently asked in interviews yet frequently answered incorrectly. Despite the casual phrasing, your interviewer doesn’t want to hear about your favorite video games or look at pictures of your cat. This question is really asking about who you are as a professional. You should give a short, 30-second summary of your career and what led you to apply for a job as a technical support expert. Steer very clear of potential minefields like your marital status, age, religious affiliation and whether or not you have children. An interviewer may subconsciously discriminate against you if you reveal this type of personal information.

What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

A good answer to this question would mention skills with limited relevance to technical support. For example, you could mention that you are chronically clumsy, terrible at written communication or find yourself bored without human interaction. However, you don’t want to settle for merely good answers. Instead, use this question to show how you’ve tackled a former weakness. Talk about something that used to hold you back, the plan you made to improve, and where you’re at now. In other words, instead of answering “What is your greatest weakness?” consider answering the question “How did you overcome a former weakness?”

Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company?

Zappos.com is well-known for its over-the-top customer service. According to Forbes, the online shoe retailer has deliberately built this reputation by encouraging customer service representatives to deliver an amazing experience on every call. Zappos.com even offers a full month’s salary to any new hires who reach the end of training and despite the company’s culture isn’t a perfect fit. While most companies can’t provide such a generous offer to every trainee, hiring managers still want to hire the best staff for the company’s culture. In a busy call center, this might mean staff who prioritize efficiency; an internal help desk position may be better suited for an employee who loves to build relationships. If you want to dazzle your interviewer, do your research. Learn the company’s culture and core values. Explain why you hope to get this tech support job instead of another one.

What Experience Do You Have in Tech Support?

If you’ve ever worked in a tech support position before, provide a short, positive summary of your job. Don’t mention why you left or discuss the problems you had with your supervisor. Focus on what you learned and the type of service you provided to customers. If you’ve never worked in tech support, draw on informal experiences helping a family member install a software program or teaching your friends about the differences between Linux and Windows.

Do You Have Any Questions?

Before heading to your interview, prepare a few short questions to ask. Unfortunately, American business norms discourage asking about the position’s salary or benefits. Your questions should be focused on the job you will perform, not the compensation you’ll receive. Try asking about a typical day in the role, what your interviewer likes about working for the company or how successful employees spend their first month on the job.

As a tech support specialist, you’ll need to use research and analytical skills to solve problems for your customers. Use those same skills when preparing for your interview, and before you know it, you’ll be sitting behind the help desk, ready to start your career as a technical expert.

Related Resources:

What is Technical Support?

Is There a Difference Between Tech Support and Customer Support?

Do Many Companies Allow Their Programmers to Work Remotely?

Is it Better To Specialize in One Area or Being Competent in Multiple Areas? 

What is the Best Format For My Resume as a Programmer?

What is a Typical Starting Salary for a Programmer?