17 Network Operations Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a network operations manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

As a network operations manager, you’re responsible for the day-to-day operation of the company’s computer networks. This includes ensuring that all systems are running smoothly, troubleshooting any issues that may arise, and making sure that all data is backed up and secure.

In order to land this in-demand job, you’ll need to be able to answer some tough interview questions. We’ve gathered some of the most common questions and provided sample answers to help you prepare.

Common Network Operations Manager Interview Questions

Are you comfortable with managing a team of IT professionals?

The interviewer may want to know if you have experience managing a team of IT professionals. This question can help them determine your leadership skills and how well you work with others. Use examples from your past experience to show the interviewer that you are comfortable working with a team.

Example: “I’ve been managing my own IT department for five years now, so I am very comfortable leading a team of IT professionals. In fact, I find it quite rewarding to see my employees grow in their careers and develop new skills. I also enjoy helping my team members solve problems and learn new things. I feel like I’m able to provide valuable insight and advice when they need it.”

What are some of the most important qualities that a network operations manager should have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you possess the skills and abilities that are most important for this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of these qualities and explain why they’re important.

Example: “I believe some of the most important qualities for a network operations manager include problem-solving skills, communication skills and attention to detail. Network operations managers need to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills because we often troubleshoot issues with our clients’ networks. We also need good communication skills so that we can effectively relay information to other IT professionals on our team. Finally, I think it’s important to have an eye for detail since we may notice small changes in our client’s systems.”

How would you handle a situation where multiple employees are complaining about slow network speeds?

This question can help interviewers assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work with a team. Use examples from past experience where you helped resolve network speed issues or other problems that affected the company’s productivity.

Example: “In my last role, I had multiple employees complain about slow network speeds during peak hours. After investigating the issue, I found that our firewall was blocking some ports, which slowed down the network. I worked with IT support to create a new rule for the firewall so it wouldn’t block those ports anymore. This allowed us to increase network speeds by 20%.”

What is your experience with managing software licenses and upgrades?

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with managing licenses and upgrades for software, which is a common task for network operations managers. Use examples from past projects to explain how you handled this responsibility and what strategies you used to ensure that your team was using the correct licenses and upgrading their systems as needed.

Example: “In my last role, I managed all of our software licenses and upgrades. This included working with vendors to upgrade our licenses when necessary and ensuring that we were always within our budget for these expenses. I also worked with my IT team to create an inventory system so that we could track which computers had which software installed on them. This helped us avoid any issues where employees might have been using software they weren’t authorized to use.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to troubleshoot a technical issue on a user’s computer.

This question can give the interviewer insight into your technical skills and how you apply them to solve problems. Use examples from previous jobs where you used your knowledge of networking, computers and software to help users fix their issues.

Example: “At my last job, I had a user who was having trouble connecting to our network. After troubleshooting with him for about 20 minutes, we determined that his computer’s wireless card was not working properly. He needed a new one, so I ordered it for him and he returned to work once it arrived. This is an example of when I applied my networking skills to resolve a problem on a user’s computer.”

If you could only choose one, which would you consider to be more important: security or accessibility? Explain your answer.

This question is a common one in the IT industry. It’s designed to test your knowledge of network security and accessibility, as well as how you prioritize tasks. In your answer, explain why you chose one over the other and what steps you would take to ensure both are maintained at all times.

Example: “I believe that security and accessibility are equally important. If I had to choose just one, it would be security because without proper security measures in place, there’s no way for users to access the network securely. To maintain both security and accessibility, I would implement regular updates and patches on the network servers and work with my team to create an effective backup system.”

What would you do if you noticed suspicious activity on the company’s network logs?

Network operations managers are responsible for monitoring network activity and ensuring that their company’s networks remain secure. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary to protect their organization from cyber threats. In your answer, explain how you would use your technical knowledge to investigate suspicious activity on the network. Explain what steps you would take to ensure the security of the company’s data.

Example: “If I noticed any unusual activity on the network logs, I would first check with my team to see if they had seen anything similar. If not, I would then begin investigating the source of the activity. I would start by checking the IP address of the device where the activity originated. Then, I would run a background check on the owner of the IP address to see if there is any reason why they might be accessing our network. After completing these checks, I would report back to management about the situation. From there, we could decide whether or not to contact law enforcement.

How well do you understand the differences between TCP and UDP?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of networking and how it works. It also shows the interviewer that you have an in-depth understanding of network protocols, which can be important for this role. In your answer, try to explain what TCP and UDP are and why they’re different from one another.

Example: “TCP and UDP are both transport layer protocols, but they work differently. TCP is connection-oriented while UDP is connectionless. This means that TCP requires a handshake before data transmission begins, whereas UDP doesn’t require any handshakes. TCP is more reliable than UDP because it checks for errors during transmission. However, UDP is faster because it doesn’t check for errors.”

Do you have experience working with data center infrastructure?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with the infrastructure of a data center. Data centers are important for businesses that need to store large amounts of information, so an employer might want to know if you have any relevant experience working in one. If you do, share what you did and how it helped the company. If you don’t, explain why you haven’t worked in a data center before and how you would approach learning about its infrastructure.

Example: “I’ve never worked in a data center, but I am familiar with the basics of how they work. In my last role as network operations manager, I had to manage several servers at once, which gave me some insight into how data centers operate. I think I could use this knowledge to help me understand the systems within a data center.”

When performing system audits, are there any areas that you focus on in particular?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your technical skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When preparing for your answer, think of a time when you performed a system audit and what you focused on during that process.

Example: “In my previous role as network operations manager, I regularly performed system audits to ensure our company’s IT systems were running smoothly. During these audits, I always focus on security protocols because they are so important to maintaining an efficient network. For example, if I notice any areas where we can improve our security measures, I will make sure to address those concerns with my team.”

We want to ensure that our employees have access to the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. How would you go about fulfilling this goal?

An interviewer may ask this question to gauge your ability to manage a team and ensure that they have the tools, training and support they need to succeed. In your answer, try to highlight your interpersonal skills and how you would use them to help your team members feel supported and valued.

Example: “I believe it’s important for employees to feel like their opinions matter and that they can come to their manager with any questions or concerns they have about work. I would make sure my team knows that I am always available to talk if they ever need anything. I also plan on having regular meetings with each member of my team so we can discuss their goals and objectives.”

Describe your process for performing system upgrades.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach a project and your ability to manage multiple tasks at once. Use examples from previous experience to describe your process for performing upgrades, including how you plan ahead and communicate with team members.

Example: “I start by identifying which systems need upgrading and when I want them upgraded. Then, I create a timeline of all projects that will be affected by the upgrade so I can ensure my team has enough time to complete their work before the system goes offline. Finally, I meet with each member of my team to discuss the upcoming upgrade and provide training on new features.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that qualify you for this role. Focus on what makes you unique from other candidates and highlight any transferable skills or certifications you have.

Example: “I am an expert in network security and I hold two CISSP certifications. This shows that I know how to protect sensitive information and keep systems safe from cyberattacks. In my previous position, I also managed a team of IT professionals who helped me develop my leadership skills. I believe these skills will help me succeed as a network operations manager.”

Which operating systems do you have the most experience with?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with operating systems. It can also show them which ones you prefer to use and why. When answering this question, list the operating systems you have worked with in the past and explain what made you choose those over others.

Example: “In my last role as a network operations manager, I primarily used Windows Server 2012 R2 for managing our company’s servers. This was because it is one of the most stable operating systems on the market today, so it was easy to use when troubleshooting issues. However, I also had some experience using Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu and CentOS.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of system administration?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the field and how you prioritize tasks. Your answer should include a specific skill or task that you think is most important in system administration, along with why it’s so important.

Example: “I believe the most important aspect of system administration is communication. When I first started working as a network administrator, I was responsible for communicating with my team about any changes we made to our systems. It was challenging at first because I didn’t have much experience speaking in front of large groups. However, over time, I learned how to communicate effectively with my team members and other stakeholders. Now, I make sure to always communicate clearly with others when making changes to our systems.”

How often should you perform hardware maintenance on computers and other devices?

Network operations managers need to know how often they should perform maintenance on their network’s hardware. This question allows you to show your knowledge of the industry and what best practices are for maintaining a network. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that there is no set schedule for performing maintenance on computers or other devices. Instead, you should do so when necessary.

Example: “There is no set time frame in which you should perform maintenance on computers or other devices. However, I would recommend doing so when it becomes necessary. For example, if a computer starts running slowly or stops working altogether, then it may be time to perform maintenance.”

There is a bug in the software that you use to perform system audits. How would you handle this situation?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills and ability to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the steps you would take to solve the issue and how you would communicate with other team members during the process.

Example: “I would first try to fix the bug myself by researching the software’s documentation and troubleshooting guides. If I was unable to find an answer, I would contact my supervisor or another IT professional who has more experience using that software. They could help me figure out what needs to be done to fix the bug. In either case, I would document the steps I took to resolve the issue so that I could refer back to them in the future.”


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