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DevOps Engineer

Best interview questions for your hiring process

DevOps Engineer Interview questions

A good DevOps engineer can greatly boost the productivity and efficiency of a development team. They’re fluent in multiple coding languages, meaning they can quickly test and debug code, as well as give guidance on how to ensure the same bugs are ironed out in the future. They’ll work hard to streamline any repetitive processes and procedures, including providing advice on automating certain tasks. That’s why asking the right DevOps interview questions is essential, to ensure you find the right person for the role.

When hiring a DevOps Engineer, these are the qualities you should be looking for:

  • Deep understanding of a development team’s workflow.
  • Excellent inter-team communication skills.
  • Fluency in a number of coding languages, including Javascript.
  • Precise attention to detail.
  • Lightning-fast problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to identify security weaknesses and patch them.
  • Drive to stay up to date with development trends and changes.

Dependent on the software and coding languages you use within your business, more specific knowledge is likely to be required.

Interviewing a DevOps Engineer

With the right DevOps hire, you’re guaranteed to boost productivity in your development team to new heights. Because this role can have such a huge impact, knowing what DevOps interview questions to ask and answers to be on the lookout for is a critical part of hiring a candidate. So, we’ve put together a questions guide for you to follow.

It’s important to remember, these questions are written to be asked early in the interview process to establish quickly whether to progress into later stages. In the later stages, more specific DevOps interview questions for experienced candidates can be used to test skills.

How to open the DevOps job interview

Pre-interview jitters can quickly knock a candidate’s confidence, no matter how senior of a role they are applying for. This means that if you want to get a true overview of their personality and skills, it’s a good idea to put them at ease before jumping right into the more serious topics.

This is a simple thing to do, as you can ask a few more light-hearted questions to ease into the conversation. One or two fun and positive questions will go a long way into settling a candidate’s nerves!

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our DevOps Job Description here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What has your development career journey been like so far?

What’s the most exciting DevOps project you’ve worked on so far?

Behavioral Questions

When working on multiple development projects at once, each with different stakeholders, how do you prioritise and stay on track of these?

A huge part of a DevOps role is organisation. Therefore, it’s good to know that a candidate has the skills and experience with juggling this type of workload. It will also demonstrate their origination skills.

What do you think the most important KPIs are when working in DevOps?

Here you’ll get an idea of how deeply the candidate understands the DevOps engineer role, and how well they’ll fit into your team.

What does an ideal work environment look like for you?

While all candidates should be adaptable, this question will give you an idea of how well the individual will fit in with your team and into the working environment you have.

When collaborating with a stakeholder whose technical knowledge is limited, how do you ensure they understand the task or data you’re presenting them with.

This will be a situation DevOps Engineers are frequently in, so knowing that their communication and collaboration skills are up to scratch is essential.

Soft Skills

If our team of developers are struggling to keep up with heavy deadlines, how would you help them?

As one of the DevOps Engineer’s tasks is to help streamline processes and increase efficiency within the development team, this answer will test their collaboration and teamwork skills. It also gives them a chance to display some of the techniques they founded in previous roles.

Why do you think a team needs a DevOps Engineer?

This is an opportunity for the candidate to show off their confidence in their role, as well as calling on experience to highlight what skills and improvements they will bring.

How do you keep up to date with the latest changes and trends in the development industry, as well as keep your skills fresh?

This is a DevOps interview question that will highlight the candidate’s passion for their role and give you an idea of how dedicated they are to their industry. An ideal candidate will be able to name a few blogs, podcasts or sites they check regularly.

If a team member submitted code which contained a number of flaws or inconsistencies, what would you do and why?

An important element of having a DevOps Engineer is that they can quickly debug code. But, something that is equally important is that they are able to streamline processes and communicate with their teammates to help improve things going forward.

Hard Skills

Which DevOps tools are you most familiar with?

This will give you an idea of how well their experience fits with your team’s current processes and how much training they would need if you were to bring them into the team.

Which programming languages do you enjoy working with the most?

Asking at least a couple of DevOps coding interview questions will ensure that they have relevant technical knowledge.

What is continuous integration, and why is it so important?

As DevOps Engineers work as part of a larger team, it’s important that they have the technical knowledge needed to collaborate effectively and to understand the importance of this collaboration, too.

What skills do you have that make you a good DevOps Engineer?

Here, you give the candidate the chance to express what areas they are most confident in and list some of the greatest skills they can bring to your team.

What is your experience with Resilience testing?

This is an especially important question if your DevOps Engineer will be working with a development team working on a client or customer-facing products, as it will show they have the technical knowledge needed to test and improve the application.

How does DevOps and Agile methodology differ?

Here the candidate gets the chance to show how intricately they understand their role, and how well they know what benefit they can bring to other teams in the business.

Operational / Situational Questions

Describe a time when you have helped to automate a process that was previously being done manually?

Helping to automate processes is a sure-fire way to save time and energy in your team, if this is an experience an engineer has had before then they will be a valuable asset in the business.

Tell me about a time when a stakeholder has been causing blockers in the development team, and how you resolved it.

Clear and effective communication, as well as understanding the importance of deadlines, is an excellent trait to have in a DevOps Engineer. This question aims to establish these qualities.

How would you deal with receiving pushback from a teammate on a process you wanted to implement?

Knowing that the candidate can handle and take on board constructive criticism, as well as place value in the opinion of others, is great comfort in such a collaborative role.

Tell me about a time when you weren’t satisfied with a project you and your team worked on, and what you did to help with this?

Your candidate should be able to analyse and improve their own work, as well as create a plan to improve processes in the future.

Walk me through your organisation process if you have multiple deadlines occurring in the coming weeks?

Getting an insight into a candidate’s organisation process lets you know if their working strategy works for your team.

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