As someone who interviews a lot of people (mostly for the web development positions though, not system administration), I’m always looking for more ideas on what to ask the candidates. Today I came across “10 Favorite Job Interview Questions for Linux System Administrators“, which has a few of bits that I liked.
First of all, this GitHub repository is super awesomeness. It also links to a few other resources with more questions and ideas. Not only for sysadmin interviews.
Then, this one is funny, yet somewhat challenging:
2. Name and describe a different Linux/Unix command for each letter of the alphabet. But also, describe how a common flush toilet works.
It also checks that you know the alphabet.
9. Print the content of a file backwards.
“I like broad questions where each person could give a different answer depending on their depth of knowledge. My personal answer is 8 characters not including the filename.” – Marc Merlin, Google.
This one caught me by surprise. My immediate thought was “tac some_file“, but that’s obviously not enough. tac only prints the lines in reverse order. Which is not the same as reversing the file. Perl to the rescue, but I wonder what’s the most elegant way to do it without the scripting language.
As always, interview questions are not only useful for the interviews. They are a good measure of your own knowledge gaps and habit pitfalls. This time was no exception.