1. List some steps to follow if you receive an application outage ticket?

☛ Inform the stake holders that the issue is being worked upon.
☛ Login to server to see if its responding.
☛ Access Application and Web Server logs to see if the application is receiving requests.
☛ If not, Involve the appropriate Network Team.
☛ Inform the stakeholders regarding the progress.
☛ Bounce the web / application server instance , if required.
☛ Close the ticket with the steps taken to resolve the problem.
☛ Complete the RCA ( Root Cause Analysis ) and submit the report to stake holders.

2. What do you know about this organization?

You have to do your homework prior to the job interview. Doing the background work will help you stand out. Find out who the main players are, have they been in the news recently? You are not expected to know every date and individual, but you need to have a solid understanding of the company as a whole.

3. Have you ever faced any problem due to caching?

Yes, sometime I receive issues related to outdated pages being rendered to the user. In those cases I clear the cache and then try to investigate the reason for that. Sometime the issue is due to comparatively high refresh interval. In those cases I reduce the cache refresh interval.

4. What is your greatest weakness as production support analyst?

I am a perfectionist and therefore, I rarely believe in anyone who can work as well as me. As a result, I am afraid to delegate important tasks to others. This approach has a weak side as that if you are not clever, you will cause the employer to believe that you are cheating him.

5. What have you done to improve your Production support knowledge in the last year?

Employers look for applicants who are goal oriented. Show a desire for continuous learning by listing hobbies non-work related. Regardless of what hobbies you choose to showcase, remember that the goal is to prove self-sufficiency, time management and motivation.

6. What have you learnt from mistakes on the Production support field?

Here you have to come up with something or you strain-credibility. Make it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.

7. What are your responsibilities after the ticket has been closed?

I inform the stakeholders regarding the resolution and steps taken for it. I updated the ticket notes and link it with the master/related tickets. RCA is done for the high priority and critical issues and a report is submitted.

8. Do you use command aliases while doing your work?

Yes, I have created many aliases and saved them within my profile file so that the system loads them, the each time I logs onto the server.

9. What would you do if the issue is related to Database server?

I involve DBA and try to solve it through them. By the time they are solving it , I keep the stake holders informed regarding the progress.

10. What all caching has been used in your application?

I am using Akamai as web server cache in my application.

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11. Have you done any sort of automation in your system monitoring tasks?

Yes, I have created System as well as Log monitoring scripts to keep track of exceptions. I am also using a tool that will inform the stake holders if an exceptional event occurs with the system.

12. How would you monitor your logs while investigating a high severity problem?

I try to look for errors in the last n minutes when the issue occurred. If the issue is still occurring intermittently, I tail the logs for different application server instances to see the error snippets coming in the live logs.

13. How would you monitor the server resources if inadvertently high traffic is reported?

I use SAR command for that purpose. I also have GUI system monitoring tool to keep real time check of requests, load and memory usage.

14. Explain application/server architecture being used in your project?

I am using cluster of Web servers and Application servers. Load Balancer is used to manage the load between them. Down the layer I have middleware server and then DB server to access database.

15. What skills do you have or need to acquire to be good at production support?

Multi-tasking, analytical and problem solving skills, outstanding verbal and personal communication and ability to work under pressure are the basic key elements of a production support personality.

16. Which web and application server is being used by your application?

We are using Apache 2.3 and Tomcat 5.6 by our application.

17. Do you think team work is an important part of the production support job?

Not if production support specialists work alone. But in many cases the specialist either directs or is part of a support team. Within a team, the specialist is able to provide motivation and coordination.

18. What personal characteristics define you as a successful production support specialist?

A combination of technological expertise and people skills. I am able to listen to a client, understand him/her and come up with a solution to the problem.

19. What are your qualifications as a production support specialist?

Degrees in subjects like IT, computer science, computer engineering. Moreover, the job often requires prior experience in support and customer service.

20. What is a system security?

System security means preventing viruses and hackers from reaching the computer system. It is achieved by various strategies, like antivirus and firewall installation, crypting, restricting user online activity, etc. Another way to enhance security is to have system and data recovery means ready and up to date.

21. What would your previous colleagues say about you?

This is not the arena for full disclosure. You want to stay positive and add a few specific statements or paraphrase. Something like "Joe Blogs always mentioned how reliable and hard working I was" is enough.

22. Tell me about yourself?

This is probably the most asked question in a interview. It breaks the ice and gets you to talk about something you should be fairly comfortable with. Have something prepared that does not sound rehearsed. It is not about you telling your life story and quite frankly, the interviewer just is not interested.

23. Why are you looking for another job?

This appears to be a simple question, yet it is easy to slip. I would suggest not mentioning money at this stage as you may come across as totally mercenary. If you are currently employed, you can say it is about developing your career and yourself as an individual.

24. What is a production support person?

A production support person is responsible for the receiving incidents and requests from the end users, analyzing these and either responding to end user with a solution or escalating it to the other IT teams. These teams may include developers, system engineers and database administrators.

25. What is production support?

Production support is the practices and disciplines of supporting the IT systems/applications which are currently being used by the end users.

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