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failed job interview because of this one question

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by steve_p1981, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

    Hi Guys,
    I had a job interview for my first "professional" IT role today. I had a test that was 15 mins long and I had 11 questions. These were based on Server 2k3 OS but i have no experience with this system so was a little stuck to start with. The question that caught me was this one.

    The internet is down: fix it.

    Here's what i done in no particular order.device manager, IPconfig and pinged the IP address that was given to me, pinged all ok, checked that i was getting and sending data through the network option in control panel, repaired the connection just in case, found users and computers on active directory and also the policies section. Checked terminal services (didn't really know what i was looking for there if i'm honest). don't know why the browser wouldn't find google. Oh and i checked the services part of the adminstration tasks and couldn't see anything there. Any help would be great. I didn't have time to check firewall permissions as the alarm sounded. can anyone advise me?
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  2. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

    The question is quite vague, is it about server 2003 hosting the connection not getting access, or client machines unable to, is it networked? or single machine?

    I'd of left out things like AD, policies, and terminal services - cos that doesn't really have alot to do with the internet if it had been working

    My first thing i would of checked would be the actual router itself in the server room, if it's on and lights indicating connections - move onto the switches, then onto the server etc

    Did they provide you with a general enviornment this is running in? i.e was it a networked domain, or just a few computers connected together, and could all of them not get any access to the internet? or just one of them unable to access?

    For each enviornment is a different answer for troubleshooting, not really easy to answer "The internet is down: fix it."
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    You could have said by default server 2003 isn't setup for internet access but if this system was supposed to be then I would have done the following.

    I would have checked the cables and sockets first
    IPCONFIG / all second (make sure gateway etc was working)
    Ping third if gateway etc seemed ok.
    pathping or tracert Google fourth to see where breakdown was.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    I'd always go for simple first.
    Loose, snagged or crimped cables are a bugger - you always assme they can't 'just' come loose, but they can.
    Then I'd check with my broadband provider. We used to have murder with BT - sometimes it was down completely and others it was S L O W.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

    Me too, ping the router first of all, then ping the BBC website, (I always have the address to hand) if I get a reply, then stick the IP address into the browser window, if I get a ping and not the website then DNS could be the problem

    I will always try to isolate the problem as quickly as possible in this situation ping is your best tool.

    If nothing works above then try to understand the scope of the problem, is the internet down for one machine, a group of machines or the whole site, if it is the whole site then have they paid their bill (No Joke), if it is a group of machines identify what they have in common, maybe in the same vlan, check the routed interface for that vlan and ping it.

    If it just one machine then is could be a range of issues, work your way up from layer 1 to layer 7.

    Spend as much time questioning the on-site people before even touching the kit, the last thing anyone needs is a hero in the comms room.

    But the question is very broad, maybe they meant the internet is down for the whole world and it's your job to figure out why :D

    Keep trying it'll happen good luck
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  6. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

    if the connection seemed fine I'd check proxy settings, if it was DNS or sth serious you probably wouldn't be able to fix it...
  7. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Difficult one mate but you can try a few basic steps to cut out some troubleshooting:

    1) Ping an external IP address. This will quickly check to see if you have external access.

    2)If that works then type nslookup at the command line and then type www.google.co.uk. If that works then you have DNS working.

    3) Check IE for a proxy setup. If it does have a proxy try pinging it, if you get a response then the proxy is up but may not be able to proxy web requests. Take the proxy out and then try browsing the web.

    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    The question clearly states *The Internet is down*
    I would ring the ISP and find out what is going on.
    If the question stated *you have no Internet connectivity* then what the other guys have said stands :)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  9. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Interesting question, i think maybe they were looking to see you using a methodical approach to troubleshoot, and maybe seeing how you gauged more info from the users, as others have said, was it one machine or the entire network.

    The key to troubleshooting is to isolate an issue at every step, as something like this could be a dozen things.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  10. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    I've given this question, or variations of it, on dozens of tests for first/second line people. Invariably the answer I am looking for, first off the bat is 'check the network cable is seated properly'. All the rest of it is pretty methodical (ping a local address, ping the firewall/router, ping an external ip address, ping an external web address, check proxy settings, check the switch, check the router etc. etc.).

    However, I've never seen it given as a practical test in this manner - when you know that the network cable is seated properly because you can ping other internal addresses. I can only assume, with a very vague piece of information like you were given, that they were looking for you to check proxy settings, then the windows/host firewall on the server, then run nslookup to make sure DNS was OK. I can't imagine they'd expect you to look at vlans and firewall configs.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  11. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    I'd want to know how they knew the internet was down. Before coming to that conclusion there must have been troubleshooting steps taken so I'd like to know what they were. Figuring out the scope of the problem would have to be the first thing, there's no point troubleshooting the PC (other than to verify intranet resources can be reached) if it's affecting everyone.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  12. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

    cheers every one, as stated i pinged the loopback ip, done ipconfog and pinged the number that the screen gave. I Checked the properties of the connection and it said i was sending and recieving data. I don't know how to check the DNS stuff (i've only just got my A+). the question was literally the net 's broke fix it. I assume they done somthing simple but the fact i was getting responses from the ping test shows that the cables were connected etc. I couldn't remember the IP address for google so i was a bit stuffed there. They said that the other questions would need the net to research answers but they weren't hard questions as i knew most of the answers like create a share folder and make drive d: a volume shadow copy etc. I assume that if you knew how to fix the net problem then the other's would need research anyway. is there something in the software that would stop it working assuming it's not a DNS problem (although now it's been mentioned, i'm sure i saw DNS in the title bar somewhere when it said it couldn't conenct to the internet)?
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  13. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

    Hmm.. is a vague question but youd start all basic then. You can go multiple pathways to troubleshooting.

    I wont list steps id take as many of you have above but I think the test is a case of a moving in on the likely problem with a methodical approach to troubleshooting. This showing you know what you are doing as you go along. Order would be important in some of the steps, but again this shows a thorough understanding of the workings.

    Quick DNS test ..
    Ping can be turned off (ICMP packets through local f/w or on servers/etc,) but assumed a basic standardish environment ..

    Heres a basic DNS test for you to remember -

    check DNS connectivity - `ipconfig /all` and ping the DNS server listed

    flush the local dns cache `ipconfig /flushdns` (local machines cache)
    `nslookup google.com` (or ping would resolve one ip but give less info)
    If there is a reply with a list of IPs then DNS is talking to your machine ok.

    Maybe DNS server was down and you missed that? If it wasnt then (check above would of caught it)..
    On the local machines, provided you have got local net connectivity (First step) -
    If browser wont work it could be the proxy settings are not setup proper.
    The local Firewall can be setup to stop outgoing requests, as well stop ongoing ones (would stop return traffic) but you said DNS works ok although that fw rule could be setup ok.

    So on a local box - 1st id check proxy settings 2nd I would go with firewall outgoing setting are wrong.

    This is local machine only of course, the list could go on. You could go on but keep it basic for now. ie. if its applying across the domain it maybe a policy has been altered for proxy, firewall etc..

    But hey dont worry about it, chalk it up to experience .. :)
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    I find it difficult to believe that they wouldn't give you a job based on this especially as this is an entry level job, someone coming into the industry isn't expected to know everything but have a good idea on what to do.

    Either your face didn't fit or they had someone they interviewed earlier on and decided to give it to them but didn't want to stop the interview.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  15. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

    Completely agree with you buddy. Unfortunately I think that a lot of interviews are mostly about face fitting. You win some you lose some but then again, how did you answer the other questions?

    With that one I wouldn't of rambled too much and would of just effectively bullet pointed it:

    • Single or all users?
    • Single: Checked Cable, Pinged server, Pinged website etc
    • All users: Checked Network Connectivity then switch or routers (depending on access) and then gone from there.
  16. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    There could be many questions asked to try and find the answer like was this a new installation of server 2003 as I pointed out earlier win2k3 doesn't allow net access by default so it could look as if the internet was down to some people.

    Then if the system was setup was net access but isn't getting it anymore then all the above questions and answers from people would be valid.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  17. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

    pathping thats a new one, used tracert plenty of times. Just looking at it, looks more powerful :)

    I think it was an actual computer exam from how I read it? I agree lots of it is face fitting, and/or interviewers who are clueless.

    Steve- the positive is you have come and discussed/researched any problems you had and every exam/interview and the like is another learning experience :)
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  18. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Pathping is like a combined version of ping and tracert.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  19. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

    yeh cheers :) just looking at the cli options now
    Yet to do ipv6 in its entirety, so hopefully would of come across
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  20. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I use it regardless of wether its ip4 or 6 it gives more thorough results.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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