Office 365 Administrator Interview Questions & Answers

There are several system administrators that keep businesses running, each of them as vital as the next. They keep systems operational and functioning allowing all of us to continue to do our jobs, including Office 365 admins. Office products have long dominated much of the business technologies that are used across industry and department lines. The individuals responsible for their maintenance and upkeep have a lot they are responsible for.  In today’s blog post, we are kicking off a series where we go over Office 365 Administrator Interview Questions and Answers.

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These interview questions allow you to get a sense of how well your candidate is versed in the things needed to keep your Office systems running smoothly. Whether you are looking to bring an admin in house, or looking to a managed services provider or other outsourced IT firm, it is vital that they be able to provide you with what you need in terms of Office 365 support. After all, most likely these are the systems that support your email, documents, spreadsheets, and company collaboration.


Office 365 Administrator Interview Questions & Answers

In this first post of the series, we are going to focus on Office 365 licensing, admin functions, and PowerShell.

Office 365 Interview Questions: Licensing

What is the difference between E1 and E3 licensing?

Same applications, but E3 comes with fully installed applications, the ability to have the applications on up to 5 devices, and an unlimited inbox.

Can different plans be combined to meet specific needs?

Yes, but only within each of the three plan groupings: small business, midsize business, and enterprise.

Which Office 365 subscription plan provides live phone support 24/7 and includes enterprise voices capabilities, which plan meets these requirements?

Office 365 E5 Plan

How many partner access licenses (PALs) per tenant are included with an Office 365 subscription for midsize businesses and enterprises?


For more information about Office 365 Licensing, check our interview with our Director of Service Delivery about Office 365 Licensing.

Office 365 Administrator Tasks Interview Questions

What are the levels of Office 365 Administration and what functionality does each level provide or limit?

  • Global Admin: has access to all admin features
  • Billing Admin: makes purchases, manages subscriptions, manages support tickets, monitors service health
  • Password Admin: resets passwords
  • Service Admin: manages service requests and monitors service health
  • User Management Admin: resets passwords, manages user accounts, user groups, and service requests
  • Exchange Admin: has administrative access to Exchange Online through the Exchange admin center
  • SharePoint Admin: has administrative access to SharePoint Online through the SharePoint Online admin center
  • Skype for Business Admin: has administrative access to Skype for Business through the Skype for Business admin center

*Ask them what Administrator experience they have, and at what Office 365 Administrator role

Who can assign permissions in Office 365?

  • In Office 365 Enterprise, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business, and Office 365 Business Premium, only global admins can assign an admin role
  • In Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium, any Office 365 admin can assign admin permissions to other Office 365 users.


What are the three main identity models Azure Active Directory users to manage user authentication in Office 365?

  • Cloud Identity
  • Synchronized Identity
  • Federated Identity

*A good follow up question would be to ask what the benefits of each are, and if they have experience in any of them

What servers are needed to accommodate single sign on (SSO) aka Federated Identity?

  • ADFS 2.0 Proxy Servers (minimum of 2 for redundancy)
  • ADFS 2.0 Servers (minimum of 2 for redundancy)
  • DirSync Server

Do these servers need to be installed in a particular order?

Yes, ADFS and federated ID need to be configured first and then Directory Sync Server can be installed.

How do you reconcile a user with disconnected Cloud and on-Premise identities?

“SMTP matching” or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol matching matches on-Premise accounts to the Office 365 account

What is the Compliance Center and who can access it?

The Compliance center manages compliance activities across Office 365, Exchange Online, and SharePoint Online. It can be accessed by the Global Admin. This includes: archiving, data loss prevention, device management, eDiscovery, import, permissions, retention, search

You need to determine whether someone other than the mailbox owner most recently accessed a specific Office 365 user’s mailbox. What should you do?

Run a non-owner mailbox access report in the Microsoft Exchange Control Panel

What should you modify in order to prevent users from initiating remote wipes of mobile devices in the Office 365 portal?

Exchange ActiveSync Access settings

Office 365 PowerShell Interview Questions

How familiar are you with PowerShell scripting commands?

What is your favorite Exchange Online PowerShell one-liner?

Your company has an Office 365 subscription for midsize businesses and enterprises. You need to create a user account. Which PowerShell cmdlet should you use?

New MsolUser

How would you evaluate the expression “2+2=4” from the PowerShell command line?

type in 2+2 <ENTER>

How would you get a list of all cmdlet available? 

Get-command, or gcm

If you are looking for an answer in Help, how will you know if a command is optional? 

It will be enclosed in square brackets. These are rarely used.

Stay tuned for our future posts in which we talk about SharePoint Administrator Interview Questions, and Office 365 Migration Interview Questions.

By | 2017-03-24T13:47:38-04:00 March 1st, 2016|Technology Tips & Tricks|

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