DevOps and SRE are less of a specific skillset and more of a cultural set of tools. These “tools” are things like values (automation, reliability, repeatability, data-driven decision making, etc.) and processes (blameless postmortems, 4-golden-signals monitoring, interdisciplinary project groups, often some Agile/Scrum workflow, etc.).

There are some common tools (git, CI tools) or artifacts (infrastructure as code) but they aren’t set in stone.

General Advice for DevOps Interviews

Show that you have a good grasp of proper automation and common “devops” practices. Be ready to tell stories that demonstrate your experience with this.

Have a philosophy about testing changes (code or infra — any change to a system). Talk about isolating the change, testing it, communicating about it as necessary, integrating it with other changes if necessary, and then moving it to staging/perf before rolling out in production.

Good, deep Linux/OS understanding (less focus on trick questions, but still be prepared for common ones).

Have good programming chops.

Have a good, positive attitude.

Common DevOps and SRE Job Interview Questions:

Discussion / Behavioral Devops Questions

  • How do you feel about on-call rotations as part of your work? What needs to happen for on-call to be better? If you were able to wave a magic engineering wand to make on-call better, what underlying issues would be fixed, and how?
  • What’s your current split of project work to interrupt/on-call/reactive work?
  • What has been your biggest win in your current role?
  • How would you achieve no downtime deployments?
  • What was the hardest/longest to track down issue you ever faced? What did you learn/would you do differently?