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Rackspace Windows Systems Administrator II Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Oct 24, 2013
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Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II
San Antonio, TX

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Rackspace in October 2013.

Interview Details – Cold application online. Had phone contact within a week. One phone interview with a Recruiter that was of a technical nature. Second phone interview with a Lead Tech that was pure technical. Brought in for a face to face which consists of 3 rounds of 2 interviewers with varying levels of technical content. All the typical stuff to feel you out as a person, as an employee and as an purveyor of IT skills.

**Important item to note, in the end they place people based on test results. You will be quizzed on knowledge items from a script that is directly related to their environment and to which position you are applying. The environment is quite well segmented so the line of questioning will be very specific. The point being there are defined metrics used to place a new hire in a position rather than using intuitiveness and conversation to find out if a person has the knowledge and isn't communicating it or has the ability to produce said information without requiring a month long training course. An example that didn't happen to me but I could see occurring would be if you were asked to rattle off a sql select statement to delete records older than X days in a table. Not being a DBA this isn't usually on the tip your tongue but if an individual was able to communicate the general structure of a statement or even describe the administration interface for SQL, default databases and their use, default accounts and some permissions, tables, setting up jobs, any of that I would consider them knowledgeable enough to solve the issue in short order. At RS that would be anywhere from a 50-0% because the question was not answered and that could mean the difference between you getting a Level4, Level 3 or Level 2 position.

This seems to work out well though for RS. Tons of applicants, tons of jobs, tons of growth. But something else you need to ask about during the interview process is the promotion process. You have to test up into the next level. Testing opens 2x a year in the summer and winter. But you aren't necessarily allowed to test, you have to be granted the opportunity. You also have to be in a position for a year before you can test up even though the officially they say 6 months. No-one I have spoken with knows of anyone doing it in less than a year. Depending on on your hire date you could be in a position for nearly 1.5 years before being able to promote. Not good to start low just to get in the door.

Interview Question – Sell yourself. Sell Sell Sell. They ask all the typical q's about bad customer support, good customer support, difficult coworkers or customers, etc etc. A lot of "why should we hire you?" "why do you want to work here?"   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Very Corporate so salaries are scaled to job titles. IE: If you qualify for a Linux Admin 3 slot but feel you deserve $100k be prepared to not get that as a base salary. So shoot for the stars, find out your job title, then work it from there.

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Neutral Experience

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II

I applied online and interviewed at Rackspace.

Interview Details – Was contacted by a recruiter at first. Went over basic questions. Then they scheduled a break/fix which was a remote desktop session with an engineer watching everything you do. They allow you to use Google to look things up, so it was not that difficult. Was then scheduled for an in person interview. It was 3 hours long with each hour consisting of 2 members of the team.

Interview Question – tell us a joke   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Rackspace in January 2009.

Interview Details – It took me three interviews to get hired, it did seem a little unorganized. They run through a lot of web hosting related questions and systems administration questions i.e. acronyms and ports. There is also a break fix with regards to IIS, MS SQL and active directory. They are also very concerned about company culture and examples of going "above and beyond" for customer service.

Interview Question – They ask a lot of nuanced technical questions that you typically know but not always memorized i.e. the 5 fismo roles of a domain controller, DNS A records etc.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Fairly simple I was looking to move to San Antonio and they made me a great offer over what I was looking for so I accepted the first offer.

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II

I applied online and interviewed at Rackspace.

Interview Details – Went though the first phone interview with HR girl. She said everything went fine and they would call back. No call back HR girl seemed a little dingy

Interview Question – The difference between pop3 and imap   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Rackspace.

Interview Details – Initial communications were great, the team was very open and friendly to speak with. The on-site interview was another story. They scheduled for a 4AM departure from my home city, landing at the HQ in San Antonio at 1PM only to sit in the hotel lobby they set me up in for 3 hours until my interview time the same day at 4PM cause the Hotel's checkin was at 4-5PM I was not able to eat or freshen up prior to what turned into a five hour interview. Easily the most exhausting/frustrating experience in my life.

One thing to note: The background screening. The company they hired botched that beyond all expectations. Fail at an epic level doesn't come close to describe it. I had whoever this company was call me and start grilling me about someone else's history, after telling them for 15 minutes they had the wrong history they asked if I was not the person's name from the person's address and the last 4 of the person's social security number.

Since then there have been several internal customers who require additional screening to handle their accounts which I opt out of. It was embarrassing.

Interview Question – Very few unexpected questions or difficult. I found the people conducting the interview to be very awesome.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – "Rackspace: We'll offer you this much." "Me: Ok"

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II
Austin, TX

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Rackspace in May 2013.

Interview Details – Step 1 was to submit resume to rackspace.com. After that I was contacted by a full time in house recruiter who was very friendly and qualified me for the position by asking 14 tech questions on the position.

After passing the "test" I was contacted by an HR person to schedule a 3 hour interview. This interview process involved six total "rackers", two at a time in back to back to back 1 hour interview sessions.

Hour one was lightly technical, heavy on personality filtering. Tests your arrogance, your ability to work on a team, your communication prowess. I was asked to tell them a dirty joke at the end, just to see how i'd react and what I would be willing to say in an interview situation!

Hour two was entirely technical - Everything from telnet to SAN layout using whiteboards to demonstrate.

Hour three involved meeting the prospective actual team lead & manager to see how the fit might be. Questions like "Do you get enjoyment out of completing 50 tasks in a shift or do you prefer to tackle very difficult projects that take many hours?" Resume was scrutinized, and questions about if hired, where I wanted to be within the company in 5 years type questions.

In the end I was made an offer and declined but the interview process was unique, positive and if the pay were better I would of been excited to accept.

Interview Question – "Tell me a dirty joke right now."   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Very low base salary offered with too many unpredictable bonuses and profit sharing. I was hired by another company a few days later for quite seriously more than DOUBLE what Rackspace offered in base salary. I think this is the rackspace pay policy - offer 4+ weeks of PTO a year, free soda, a positive environment and pay people half industry rate. Didnt appeal to me, but may appeal to many.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II
San Antonio, TX

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Rackspace in February 2010.

Interview Details – 1st phone interview was from HR asking basic questions, 2nd phone interview was from the department manager, asking more detailed basic quesitons and then explanation of what the job was in more detail. in person interview was done by 8 people, two at a time, last about 3 hours.

Interview Question – was a easy interview technically.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – no moving on pay offer, or amount of vacation days

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II
Austin, TX

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Rackspace in March 2012.

Interview Details – The first step is an initial discussion with who'd be your boss and a technical quiz. The quiz is fairly easy, and consists of questions like What's the default port for FTP (21), what are the Active Directory roles and so on. This isn't meant to be open book, it's meant to see what you know off the top of your head. Time won't be given for Google.

The second step is a break-fix. You will log into a Windows 2008 R2 server and perform a series of tasks. Some include making modifications to MSSQL, IIS, and Windows NTFS permissions or group policies. It's time limited but it's open book so you can Google all you want.

Finally it's a panel interview that will last about three hours. You will interview with no only your future manager, but other members on the team. They'll test your knowledge of Rackspace, why you want the job, situational scenarios, and eagerness.

The best advice is just be yourself. Don't try to BS your way through. If they sense any insincerity at all you won't pass.

Interview Question – Several questions that test how you think under pressure.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II
San Antonio, TX

I applied in-person and the process took a day - interviewed at Rackspace in December 2011.

Interview Details – One technical interview, very difficult. One management interview.

Technical interview was very difficult and is used to help determine your level. for a Windows interview, study basic Windows information (of course), but also SQL, and network security.

Management interview is to determine how well you would fit into the company and the culture. Just be yourself, they really want to see the 'true you'.

Interview Question – Name all the DNS record types you can think of and explain what they are used for.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation was available. I asked for more and was denied almost immediately.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II Interview

Windows Systems Administrator II
Austin, TX

I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Rackspace in March 2012.

Interview Details – The Company is a dream to work and I still want to be a racker...I was not accepted because I have some accent on my pronunciation, the hiring manager is really a cool guy and God will help me to work for this company in the future

Interview Question – Are you flexible in your decisions   Answer Question

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