Widespread digital transformation and remote working have increased our reliance on tech support.

Never have we needed reliable, functional, and secure tech to such a degree.

In the event of glitches, spinning discs or missing files, helpdesk analysts are the emergency service we call on when the “turn it off and back on again” approach has failed us!

The different levels of Help Desk Analyst.

Typically, these IT help desk professionals fall into one of three categories or levels of experience.

  • 1st line support analysts are the first point of contact for callers and offer basic technical support.  This is the entry point. These IT professionals are often at the start of their careers and will have limited IT experience.
  • 2nd line support analysts have a less customer-oriented role.  They focus more on closing tickets and making sure issues are resolved. At this level, your candidates will need general experience in common IT issues.
  • Tier 3 support analysts are more senior IT professionals who can solve complex IT issues. They deal with strategy and reporting. These professionals will need a strong tech background and be able to evidence significant strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Your approach in an interview will need to be adapted depending on the tier level you are hiring for.  For example, if you are interviewing for a tier 1 help desk analyst, you will probably focus on communication skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure.

Help Desk Analyst Interview Questions.

Here are some questions that will help you discover which of your Help Desk analysts have all the skills to succeed.

Your Help Desk Analyst will need to demonstrate strengths in both technical and non-technical areas. Here are some questions to help you identify their Soft Skill strengths.


Tell me about the approach you took when you had to help someone with no computer knowledge with a problem.

For help desk analysts, helping a non-technical colleague or caller can be very challenging.  The interviewee should be able to walk you through their process for dealing with a non-technical audience and how they were able to break down the steps for the caller.  Their answer may include steps like asking additional questions and adapting the language so it’s easier to understand.

Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer.

Technology problems are frustrating, especially when you don’t understand the issue. Frustration often presents itself as anger and so your help desk analyst has probably had to deal with an angry customer frequently. Candidates should talk about active listening, allowing the customer to speak without interruptions, remaining calm and showing empathy.

What is your preferred method of communication?

Candidates should understand that as a help desk analyst, this role will involve written as well as verbal communication methods.  A strong candidate will be able to talk about the benefits of both methods as well as when each is necessary and suitable.


Help desk analysts work as part of an extended team. They will collaborate with colleagues across departments as well as with other tiered help desk analysts.  Here are some questions to help you work out identify the candidates who have the skills to work effectively as part of a team.

What are the qualities that make you a good team player?

A great candidate should be able to talk about listening and communication.  They should talk about collaboration and contributing to solving problems.  They should be able to extend their answer and give you examples of when they have worked as part of a team and the effect of their contribution to the team’s outcome.

How would you react to criticism or feedback from managers or colleagues?

Whether this comes from a manager or a colleague, team working requires individuals to have the ability to handle a critique of their approach.  Your interviewee should show the ability to learn from feedback and accept when another’s approach may be better than their own.

Customer Service.

Whether your help desk analyst is offering external or internal support, they will need to evidence impeccable customer service. Patience, empathy, and going the extra mile are all qualities you’ll need in a first-class help desk analyst.

Tell me about a time when you experienced excellent customer service as a consumer.

Your interviewee should be able to identify the qualities that make up good customer service. This may include things like speed and efficiency, or it could look like an understanding of the issue or how it made them feel.  Being able to identify these qualities elsewhere will let you know what they think is important. These qualities are likely to affect their approach while dealing with your customers.

Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer.

Great help desk analysts will always strive to go the extra mile to resolve a problem. This ensures happy customers and makes sure your team hit their KPIs. The answer to this response will let you know how important your candidate thinks this is, and if they will offer a thorough and complete service rather than the bare minimum.

Problem Solving.

One of the core skills required from a help desk analyst is the ability to think critically and solve problems. Use this question to identify your candidate’s approach to problem-solving. Ask for some real-world examples and the steps they took to get to the bottom of an issue.

Tell me about a time when you were presented with a problem and how you worked to fix it.

Technology questions.

The tier of your help desk analyst will dictate the depth and intricacy of your technology questions. However, there are some questions that help you uncover your candidate’s interest in technology and its advances.

What tech sites do you visit regularly?

Those with a true passion for technology will make it their business to know about the advances within the sector and the new tools on the horizon. Look for candidates who visit tech sites such as Stack Overflow and The Verge. Blogs and tech influencer social media feeds will also identify those who are looking to learn. Ideally, you are looking for candidates who evidence an engagement with the tech world.

How would you explain technical concepts such as cloud technology, blockchain, or cybersecurity to a non-tech person?

Questions like this distinguish those with a secure grasp of tech from those that regurgitate information. The former will be able to explain these terms without tech jargon while the latter will use buzz words when talking about these concepts.

2022 questions – remote working.

Help desk analysts in 2022 will need to be able to support remote and WFH colleagues as well as those on site.

Tell me about your experience with remote support.

A lot of IT support work requires remote access to the user’s device. Perhaps your candidate has worked with remote access systems before, such as RemotePC or Zoho Support.

What tools have you used when supporting colleagues remotely?

Candidates should be able to talk about ticketing systems and remote login tools. You could also follow up by asking about any system or network monitoring applications they’ve used, if they have any favourites and why they like them.

Help Desk analyst jobs will become more in demand over the coming years. Our reliance on tech is increasing at every turn as human touchpoints get fewer and fewer.

Digital alternatives are now a feature in our every-day. From how we shop, to how we order, or how we pay a bill in a restaurant, our need for reliable tech has gone beyond the ‘nice to have’.

Are you a candidate looking for your next help desk analyst job? Our clients are looking to scale up their IT support teams and we have roles to suit every level and tier. So whether you are new to the IT world and looking for an entry IT position, looking to progress, or for your next tier 3 help desk analyst opportunity, we can help.

Read our recent blog, The Lowdown. Help Desk Analyst for all you need to know about this critical IT job or reach out now!

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