Top DevOps Engineer Interview Questions for Recruiters To Ask

March 16, 2022
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DevOps engineer interview questions should focus on today’s must-have skills in the IT environment

Looking for the right DevOps engineer for your company? What are today's must-have skills you need to look for in applicants? Here are the top DevOps engineer interview questions you should ask to help you find the right fit for your company. 

DevOps Engineer Interview Questions: Must-Have Skills

The latest Upskilling DevOps Skills Survey (2021) from the DevOps Institute saw a surprising shift in ‘must-have’ skill domains for DevOps teams. This shift was largely caused by COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders which moved teams from physically being at work to working from their homes. Consequently, a great demand for workflow automation rose within businesses and IT systems. According to the survey, these are the most important skill categories for DevOps teams today:

  • Automation Skills - 72% 
  • Human Skills - 69% 
  • Technical Skills - 65%
  • Specific Automation Tool Knowledge - 57%
  • Functional Knowledge - 56%

These are followed by process skills and knowledge (55%), business skills (29%), and certifications (26%). Crafting DevOps engineer interview questions around these must-have skills is a great way to assess a candidate’s capability in handling the current demands of the job in this unprecedented time. Below are some sample DevOps engineer interview questions around each skill category. 

Automation Skills and Specific Automation Tool Knowledge

Automation has become the number one desired skill in DevOps as it minimizes risk and physical contact necessitated by manual tasks. A strong DevOps engineering candidate must be able to demonstrate that they possess adequate knowledge and experience of automation tools and software. Candidates must also be aware of automation risks such as security breaches and how to minimize them. Additionally, interviewers should probe candidates’ experience with specific automation tool categories including Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, DevSecOps, and others. 

Sample Questions:

  • Tell me about automation tools and software you have worked with.
  • Have you used automation to transform company workflows in the past? 
  • What are the benefits and risks of automation? 
  • How familiar are you with _____? (ex. Continuous Deployment, Continuous Operation, and Support, DevSecOps, etc.).

Human Skills

COVID-19 has added immense pressure to teams and stretched demands for collaboration, flexibility, empathy, and discipline. Ask candidates about their previous interactions as well as their expectations in their new workplace. 

Sample Questions:

  • How would your previous teammates describe you?
  • Who on your team would you involve in developing and implementing new policies for innovating a business process?
  • Tell me about your approach to managing work-related tasks and responsibilities at home during this time. 
  • What gives you the most fulfillment in your role as a DevOps engineer?

Technical Skills

According to the most recent “xx” survey, CIOs and CFOs prioritize digitization and technology investments such as IT automation, IoT, and serverless computing among others. DevOps engineers need to be able to demonstrate critical technical skills to successfully transform digital businesses. 

Sample Questions:

  • What is your experience with cloud computing platforms? (ex. Google, AWS, Azure, etc.)
  • What factors are necessary to successfully perform container orchestration?
  • How do artificial intelligence and machine learning optimize DevOps?
  • What can you tell me about modern computing technology and architecture? (ex. containers, serverless, etc.)
  • What is your experience with application technologies? (ex. React, REST APIs, etc.

Functional Knowledge

Knowledge of 1) IT operations and 2) IT infrastructure were named as the top two must-have functional skills. Aside from these, candidates need to exhibit sound security practices, knowledge in app development and design, and mastery of architecture as part of their functional knowledge. 

Sample Questions:

  • How would you rate your knowledge of IT operations and IT infrastructure?
  • Tell me about a time you solved a problem in application development and design.
  • What security practices have you implemented in a previous DevOps project?
  • Describe your expertise in cloud architecture.

DevOps requires more than just up-to-date knowledge and technical skill. It also demands readiness to support fellow team members as well as agility in project implementation. With the added challenges of COVID-19 and workplace restrictions, the right candidate must be prepared to successfully enable businesses to adapt quickly to the new normal. 

Leverage Skill-Based Hiring for Your Technical Recruiting Needs

Filtered’s end-to-end technical hiring platform complements DevOps engineer interview questions with task simulation challenges designed to test skill and aptitude. It offers best-in-class simulation environments for code, front-end, SQL, data science, and DevOps challenges so you can observe candidates' expertise and performance in job-specific scenarios. Filtered also enables live video questions, paired programming, and whiteboarding exercises to provide a holistic assessment of skills and deeper, subjective candidate insights that cannot be obtained during an in-person interview.

What's more, Filtered is equipped and ready for seamless integration with existing applicant tracking system platforms that other hiring services may not support. Compared to its competitors, Filtered is the only platform that supports integration with Beeline, SAP Fieldglass, and Zapier ATS platforms. 

Filtered is a leader in skill-based, data-driven recruiting technology. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions.  We’ll help you automate hiring while also applying subjective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo.