I have decided post some more some basic Exchange questions on my blog and share with all my students and friends.I have been interviewing people for where I work since last couple of weeks. Most of the positions are for senior Windows administrator and Senior Exchange administrator positions located in Washington DC.I have to be honest, I am surprised to know most people seem not to know even basic stuff related to Active Directory and Exchange server, mostly Exchange 2003.
Normally interview starts with another classic question,
- Where do you see yourself, your skill set in Active Directory 2003 environment?
- If you have to rate your own skill from 1 to 10 what score would you think you would give it to yourself?
I have been hearing people rating themselves as minimum 8 in Active directory and 8 to 9 on exchange 2000 and 2003.Honestly it is always exciting to hear these high scores , however I understood quickly , most people has very little knowledge in general but very generous in rating themselves. Here is my golden advice to those who is missing Active Directory basic knowledge. Go to link below Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy) And watch and listen all webcast series at least three times, I think Murphy is one of the best ever,
I have enjoyed every single webcast series he has done, incredible web cast library, great and smooth teaching technique. What more to say could say , he is terrific and passing his knowledge to all of us .
Most of my questions on the real life oriented and come out of same concept as the active directory webcast series
Here is some advice,
When someone ask precise questions, give short answer back
For instance, I often find myself asking to a person who has 8 years Active Directory experience
- Question: What is active directory?
- The answer should be as follows
- Answer: It is a database
- What is Domain? The answer should be
- Answer: Boundary of authentication, Boundary of DNS name space (watch or Listen Michael Murphy)
I often see people in front of me spending, at least 6 minutes to explain what an active directory is, and not getting a solid answer.
I see people are not being able to tell me the difference between HUB and Switch, or spending more than 5 minutes to explain
- Check this one out; when I was interviewing a person I have asked, what is the difference between Hub and Switch? Person response follows as below.
- Hub is slow, switch is fast. I said great, if I give you a hub 100Meg/sec and give you a switch 100Meg/sec
- What is the difference now?
- Person said you can configure switch for internet. It is okay not to know, it is not okay not to pay attention and learn basic stuff .
- What is an IP address
- What is Subnet Mask?
- What is primary function of subnet mask?
- IP address class range
- Private IP range
- What is Active Directory?
- What is Domain?
- Difference domain controller and Stand alone server
- I love this answer, Stand alone sits by itself , I am sure he is very lonely (-:
- How to install Active directory
- Here is the hard one, where AD database gets installed by default
- What is the name of the database ( here is my thinking, if a person telling me , he or she has 10 years AD experience, and has not idea about NTDS folder, or Ntds.DIT database, I assume that person has never done, DCPromo, or slept the all times, Either way the person it not qualified in my eyes.
Let's move on
- What is Schema?
- What is an attribute?
- How many partitions in AD 2000 database?
- How many partitions in AD 2003 Database (I told you watch Michael Murphy)
- Here is the link again
- Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy)
- Operation masters? FSMO Roles
- Pay attention to PDC emulator, Michael won't mention a lot on Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy); believe it is on 4th one.
- Name FSMO roles, why we need them
- How may Frost wide
- How many of them Domain Wide
- If you have 12 domains how may FSMO roles do you will have in your Forest (38 Roles)
- Now Exchange
- Versions Exchange 2003
- How many databases each version support?
- Where are log files located?
- Installing exchange, what is prerequisite
- Why or why not you install exchange on Domain controller?
- How can you convert a server into Domain controller, where exchange is running on top? )-: Tricky one
- Can you rename Exchange server? Why or Why not?
- what is different online and offline defragmentation
- what is Eseutil
- what is Isinteg?
- What is the difference speaking of ISinteg and EseUtil ?
- Now here is the hard one
- What is online defragmentation (when does this happen by default)
- What is offline defragmentation
- What event log shows up on the Exchange servers, shows available white space (1221)
To be honest if a person can hang in so far, he or she very well deserve the position in my opinion