MockQuestions

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. Technical Support Engineer Mock Interview

To help you prepare for a Technical Support Engineer interview at Palo Alto Networks, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Palo Alto Networks was written by and updated on September 7th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

The key components within a computer include the motherboard, CPU, and chipset. Can you discuss each of these, their function, and how they relate to each other?

How to Answer

Being knowledgeable about the components within a computer system is critical to the role of a technical support engineer. Each of these components can fail or cause issues with other components. You need to be intimately familiar with these to quickly diagnose issues and take the appropriate steps to resolve them. Interviewers at Palo Alto Networks will ask these types of questions to confirm your expertise in this area. They may also follow up with a question that provides a scenario in which one of these components fails and then ask you what steps you would take to resolve the issue.

Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

Next Question

List of Palo Alto Networks Technical Support Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    The key components within a computer include the motherboard, CPU, and chipset. Can you discuss each of these, their function, and how they relate to each other?

      How to Answer

      Being knowledgeable about the components within a computer system is critical to the role of a technical support engineer. Each of these components can fail or cause issues with other components. You need to be intimately familiar with these to quickly diagnose issues and take the appropriate steps to resolve them. Interviewers at Palo Alto Networks will ask these types of questions to confirm your expertise in this area. They may also follow up with a question that provides a scenario in which one of these components fails and then ask you what steps you would take to resolve the issue.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "The motherboard is the largest and most important component within a computer system. It holds all the other key components, including the CPU, the chipset, memory, and expansion cards. It also provides the connection to external components through the USB and other ports or interfaces. The CPU is the next most important component in that it is the brain of the computer. The CPU manages all the computer functions, the relationships between the other components, and the processes executed or managed by the operating system and applications. The chipset is a collection of components that are integrated directly into the motherboard. Each chip provides a specific function, such as communication, graphics, or control of the external components. All of these work together to make the computer function as it is intended to."

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

  • 2.

    What are some of the challenges do you expect to encounter in this IT support role here at Palo Alto Networks?

      How to Answer

      Every job has its challenges. The Palo Alto Networks interviewer will ask you about this to see what challenges you have encountered and gauge whether they are realistic or if you are challenged by minor issues or daily occurrences in this role. When responding to the question, you should identify significant challenges, but ones that you can resolve. You may even want to describe a situation in which you overcame a challenge using your skills and experience in this job.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "While I enjoy this job immensely, I do frequently encounter challenges. I can resolve most of these using the skills I've developed through my experience in this role. These include equipment issues, competing priorities, difficult end-users, and distractions within the workplace. I've developed a set of resources I can use to address these types of challenges. They include technical documentation, coping mechanisms, prioritization, and the support of my peers and our management team. When faced with a new or difficult challenge to overcome, I reach out to the team to see if they have resolved it in the past. This usually provides me the information I need to move forward. I anticipate that I will encounter similar challenges here at Palo Alto Networks and be able to resolve them in a similar manner."

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

  • 3.

    Can you discuss the differences between RAM and ROM?

      How to Answer

      During a technical support engineer interview with Palo Alto Networks, you will be asked various types of questions. Most of these will be technical. The interviewer will use technical questions to determine your qualifications for this role and your knowledge and experience in technical support. Interviewers also use these questions to gauge your ability to present complex technical concepts in simple and easy-to-understand language. This is a critical skill for a technical support engineer.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Both ROM and RAM are types of memory used by computer systems. The main difference between these is how each one manages the information it stores. ROM, which stands for read-only memory, is permanent and is used to store key information the system uses to operate, such as its Basic Input/Output System or BIOS. RAM or random-access memory is a volatile memory which the system uses to temporarily store information it needs for the programs the user is working with or other information the system needs to operate. ROM is typically included with the basic computer system and cannot be modified. Users can add additional RAM to their systems to increase its capacity and performance."

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

  • 4.

    What does it mean when you examine a device manager, and it contains a "˜?' sign?

      How to Answer

      During a technical support engineer interview at Palo Alto Networks, you may be asked to resolve specific issues which are likely to occur when performing this job. This specific technical question asks you about an issue that can occur within an end-user's system. Since you will not have the typical resources available when actually on the job, you need to provide the best answer possible. If you're unable to resolve the issue using only your knowledge and experience, carefully explain to the interviewer how you would do this and what resources you would typically have available when actually on the job.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 5.

    On average, how long does it take for you to resolve an end-user service ticket?

      How to Answer

      A common metric organizations like Palo Alto Networks use to measure the effectiveness of their technical support team is the average amount of time required to resolve a service ticket. Companies have developed complex algorithms that measure this considering the nature of the ticket, the difficulty of the situation, and the resources available to the technical support engineer. Having worked in this role, you should have a pretty good idea of your metrics and be able to provide the interviewer with an answer that demonstrates your ability to quickly resolve service tickets in a reasonable amount of time.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 6.

    What is the difference between an "˜A' record and an "˜MX record'?

      How to Answer

      Since there is no standardized manual for interviewing a technical support engineer, you're likely to get a wide variety of questions depending on who at Palo Alto Networks is interviewing you. Some of these will be straightforward and relevant to the work you do. Others may be more obscure. Sometimes interviewers like to see if they can trip you up and get you off balance. If you're asked something you are unfamiliar with, acknowledge this, and then describe to the interviewer how you would go about locating the information.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 7.

    Why was the Intel 8085 processor called an 8-bit processor?

      How to Answer

      Knowing the terminology of the components of a computer system is a critical skill technical support engineers need to have. This question is interesting because it refers to a technology developed roughly 40 years ago and is no longer used. However, a few of these systems may still be in use at Palo Alto Networks, so you need to be familiar with the terminology in what it represents. Additionally, having a historical perspective on the IT industry enhances your skills and makes you more valuable as a technical support engineer.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 8.

    What is an interrupt in the context of a computer system?

      How to Answer

      As a technical support engineer, you are expected to be intimately familiar with how a computer system functions. You should know about each component, its purpose, and its relationship to the other components. You should also know about the processes used to operate a computer and the common applications users in your organization employ. Refreshing yourself on these technologies and their functions will help you be better prepared. Practicing interview questions like these will also assist you in formulating answers on the fly during the Palo Alto Networks interview.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 9.

    What are the tools that will be helpful to you in identifying the problems and solving them if hired by Palo Alto Networks?

      How to Answer

      Technical support engineers use a variety of tools to perform their job. The Palo Alto Networks interviewer will ask you about these to determine which tools you use and whether they are similar to their technical support team's. You can respond to this question by describing general resources or detailing specific tools. Your answer will depend on how much information you gathered during your research before the interview. You can either align your answer with the technologies Palo Alto Networks currently uses or venture to refer to and recommend different tools and technologies which may improve their operations. While this later strategy is risky, it could distinguish you from the other candidates and enhance your chances of getting the job.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 10.

    During your career as a technical support engineer, what are some of your mistakes, and what did you learn from them?

      How to Answer

      Everyone makes mistakes in their career. Successful people learn from their mistakes and turn failures into lessons. An interviewer will ask this question to test your honesty and see if you are willing to admit to having made mistakes. They are interested to see if you can turn a negative situation into a positive one and thereby increase your ability to do your job going forward. In anticipation of this question, you should have several brief stories prepared which demonstrate your ability to learn from your mistakes and the benefit this provides to an employer.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 11.

    The user contacts you and says that their Windows 10 has a blank screen, but they can see the cursor. This happens every time they log in. What would you recommend they do to fix this?

      How to Answer

      Being able to walk end-users through resolving a problem is a typical task performed by technical support engineers. An interviewer at Palo Alto Networks will ask questions like this to understand your communication skills and how you work with end-users who may not be familiar with technical issues to resolve problems. When responding to this type of question, describe each step you would take, making sure to use nontechnical terms and providing specific instructions any end-user can easily follow.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 12.

    What would you recommend I do if my printer images are of poor quality or it leaves extra ink on the paper?

      How to Answer

      In addition to solving problems involving computer systems, operating systems, application software, and networks, you need to be familiar with the peripheral devices typically used in a business setting similar to Palo Alto Networks. These include various input and output devices, including mice, tablets, scanners, printers, projectors, and display systems. While it is impossible to know each of these systems intimately, you should generally know how they work, the problems they may encounter, and how to resolve these. As in any support role, you should also be able to quickly describe how you would research the information needed to resolve an issue you are not familiar with.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 13.

    Can you describe the different types of firewalls you may find in a typical network topology?

      How to Answer

      This question presupposes two things. The first is that you are familiar with networking and the systems and components it contains. The second is that your knowledge is sufficient to describe the different types of firewalls used within a network topology. As a Palo Alto Networks' technical support engineer, you are expected to know a broad range of computer systems, software, and technology. Since networks are a critical component of any organization's IT infrastructure, you need to be intimately familiar with the technology they employ and any issues that may occur that you will need to address. Suppose you don't already have this knowledge. In that case, it is highly recommended that you augment your expertise and experience by taking courses in networking, either online or at a certified training facility. Obtaining network certifications, such as those offered by Cisco, will further enhance your qualifications and ability to find a job.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 14.

    What other causes would you consider if a user contacted you stating that they can't see the display on their system?

      How to Answer

      During an interview for a technical support engineer's position, it is common to be provided with specific scenarios or problems you're likely to encounter and asked how you would go about solving these. While there is no way to prepare for every single scenario you may be presented, you should have a general knowledge of the types of problems you will encounter in this role and how you resolve them. If you do not know, the best response is to acknowledge this and then describe how you would go about researching the information needed to solve the issue.

      Written by Audra Kresinske on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 15.

    One of the issues we're struggling with here at Palo Alto Networks is overclocking our systems' CPUs. Do you use overclocking in the systems that you manage? If so, why?

      How to Answer

      During an interview, the Palo Alto Networks' interviewer may ask you about the processes you employ to manage an information technology infrastructure. These questions help them understand your expertise level and gives them information about how you manage systems. They are interested in learning if your methodologies align with the organization's or if you have innovative ideas that could help them improve their operations. By researching the job posting and the organization's processes before the interview, you will have some insight into whether your practices will fit those of the organization or if there is something incremental you can contribute.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 16.

    In your own terms, can you describe the role of a Technical Support Engineer?

      How to Answer

      This is a general opening question the interviewer will ask early in the interview at Palo Alto Networks. The purpose of this question is to begin the conversation, learn more about your background, and collect information they can use later in the interview. Ideally, before the interview, you researched the company and the position and are aware of the requirements for this job. Your answer should align with these requirements, so the interviewer begins to picture you in this role.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 17.

    What is a gateway, and what is its role in a network topology?

      How to Answer

      Computer networks used to be considered separate systems from the hardware infrastructure, which normally included servers, storage, and user workstations. However, they are now integral to an organization's technology infrastructure. Technical support engineers working at Palo Alto Networks need to be well versed in network technology, especially since these are the type of products the company produces, to support the equipment and understand how it integrates with other hardware and software systems.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 18.

    Is it possible to manually edit the BOOT.INI file? If so, how do you do this?

      How to Answer

      This is a follow-up question to the one you may have been asked earlier in the interview. The interviewer will ask follow-up questions to either explore a topic in more detail or ensure that you answer their questions consistently throughout the interview. If the follow-up question immediately follows the original question, they need more information. If it comes later in the interview, they are checking to see that your answers are consistent. As long as you don't fabricate answers, you should have no trouble with this.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 19.

    Can you describe the BOOT.INI file in Microsoft Windows and discuss what it is used for?

      How to Answer

      This question seeks to understand your knowledge of older operating systems. Many technical support engineers, especially those who recently graduated from a formal education or tech school, are more familiar with the most recent operating systems, hardware, and applications than older versions of these. However, many organizations like Palo Alto Networks still use legacy systems and software in their IT infrastructure. A technical support engineer needs to be familiar with a wide variety of IT assets. As with any question, if you're not familiar with this, admit it and then describe how you would go about acquiring the information you need to answer the question.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 20.

    Can you explain what the BIOS is and what function it performs in a computer system?

      How to Answer

      During an interview with Palo Alto Networks, you will be asked to describe the different components of a computer system, operating systems, software applications, or network hardware. The interviewer will request this to test your technical expertise and get a feel for how well you understand the IT systems you will be supporting. This particular question is relatively basic, and every technical support engineer should be able to respond to it. Other questions may be more complex or deal with components that you are unfamiliar with or don't have experience with. It would be best if you never tried to fake an answer or ad-lib. If you are not familiar with something, admit this to the interviewer, and then describe how you would gain the knowledge needed to support a particular piece of equipment.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 21.

    Here at Palo Alto Networks we use ghost imaging to replicate systems,. Do you use this, and if so, can you describe the process?

      How to Answer

      The Palo Alto Networks' interviewer asks this question to determine if you are familiar with the process they currently use and know how to execute it. This tests your technical expertise and understanding of processes and procedures that technical support engineers use. You should be able to describe this in detail. However, if you can't, you should readily admit this and then describe how you learn the process. You can also suggest an alternative if that is applicable.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 22.

    Can you discuss disk partitioning? Also, how many partitions can a hard drive have?

      How to Answer

      This question addresses a topic that any qualified technical support engineer qualified to work at Palo Alto Networks should be familiar with. During the interview for this role, you will be asked a great number of technical questions. These will range from very basic and easy to questions that are more complex and detailed. The interviewer will usually start with easy questions and progress to the more difficult ones. This indicates that they are gaining confidence in your capabilities and are willing to challenge you more. As with any technical question, keep your answer direct and to the point. The interviewer may ask you a follow-up question if they need more information or want to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 23.

    What is the function of cache memory?

      How to Answer

      There are many individual components within a computer system. Being familiar with each of these, their function, and their interdependence is critical for this job. The interviewer will ask you several questions about the internal components of hardware, software features, the functions of applications, and other questions related to the IT technology infrastructure. Since these can be the root cause of failures or issues within the systems, you need to be familiar with them. It would be best to address how you would research each component using tech manuals, vendor sites, and online resources.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 24.

    A user tells you they need to access a file on a shared drive, but they are unable to. How would you resolve this?

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer asks this type of question, they are not interested in a specific answer to the problem. They're really looking to learn more about the approach you use to solve the problem. By presenting a specific scenario, they expect you to walk them through the process you use to solve the issue they described. The best way to do this is to present an organized approach to problem-solving, briefly describing each step, its purpose, and the anticipated outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 25.

    Can you describe the differences between SDK and an API?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer will ask you this type of question to test your technical knowledge. During an interview for a technical support engineer role with Palo Alto Networks, you can anticipate that most of the questions will be technical in nature. The interviewer wants to ensure that you can handle a wide range of problems and have in-depth technical knowledge about the type of systems and software their organization uses. When responding to technical questions, keep your answers direct and to the point.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 26.

    Can you discuss the pros and cons of using imaging software to duplicate disk drives?

      How to Answer

      On the surface, this question appears to be asking your opinion on a specific topic. However, the interviewer is probably trying to determine your knowledge of the subject and your preferences and whether they align with those of Palo Alto Networks. Researching the company and the job before the interview will help you determine the correct response to this type of question and be prepared to answer them. It is OK if your preferences are different from those of the organization, as long as you can support them. Some organizations like Palo Alto Networks may be interested in whether you'll be able to improve their current processes.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 27.

    Can you walk me through the steps you use to troubleshoot an issue?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer will ask this question to check your process for identifying a problem and resolving it. Additionally, they want to better understand your attitude towards problem-solving. When describing the process you use to troubleshoot an issue, the most important thing is to collect the facts first. This will help you to quickly identify the problem. You then go through the steps needed to solve the problem. Describe a detailed troubleshooting plan that is comprehensive and flexible. The goal is to resolve the user's issue as quickly as possible and return them to productivity.

      Written by Audra Kresinske on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 28.

    What are some of the most common processors in the latest models of business computers?

      How to Answer

      By asking this question, the Palo Alto Networks interviewer is testing your technical expertise and knowledge. They want to make sure that you maintain the current understanding of the latest technological developments in the IT industry and are capable of supporting recently released systems. You should be aware of the latest processors, and if asked, you should be able to talk about them in detail, including describing the differences between them.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 29.

    In your opinion, what are some of the characteristics a Technical Support Engineer should possess?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer will ask you this type of question, typically early in the interview, for several reasons. First, it helps them understand your perception of what this job requires. They also expect you to describe characteristics that you possess. The final reason is that it gives them the information they can explore through additional questions. The best way to be prepared for this question is to carefully review the job description before going to the interview and read your resume in detail, so you are familiar with the skills and experience you have described and provided to the Palo Alto Networks interviewer. Your answer should contain the elements of both of these.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 30.

    Can you describe the specific duties a Technical Support Engineer performs?

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer at Palo Alto Networks asks this type of question, they are interested in learning more about your background, experience, and knowledge for this job. They also want to make sure that your perception of the tasks you will be performing aligns with the organization's. Make sure to research Palo Alto Networks and the processes and procedures it uses to support and maintain its IT infrastructure. You can obtain this information from the job posting, their website, and from speaking with current and former employees who perform this same job.

      Written by William Swansen on September 13th, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view