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Top PowerShell Interview Questions You Should Prepare

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PowerShell interview questions are set to evaluate your proficiency in the command-line shell and the associated scripting language. You must thoroughly practice basic and advanced PowerShell concepts. Introduced 15+ years ago, PowerShell continues to prominence in today's tech world. Top tech companies, including Netflix, Target, and DoubleSlash, have deeply integrated PowerShell into their architecture and design.

Read ahead to discover the important PowerShell interview questions and answers for interns, experienced software engineers, and tech leads. Going through these PowerShell interview questions will help you self-assess your preparation and give you insights into the most anticipated questions in the technical interview rounds.  

If you are a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! 

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Here's what we'll cover:

  • Basic PowerShell Interview Questions and Answers
  • Advanced PowerShell Interview Questions for Experienced Professionals
  • Sample Interview Questions on PowerShell for Practice
  • FAQs on PowerShell Interview Questions

Basic PowerShell Interview Questions and Answers

If you are a DevOps professional or a system admin, you will come across PowerShell listed in the job description. The following Shell interview questions and answers will help you get well-versed in the basic PowerShell concepts before your next DevOps interview.

Q1. Briefly explain what PowerShell is and what its uses are.

PowerShell is an extendable, cross-platform command-line shell. It is a scripting environment built on the .NET framework.

Multiple system administrators depend on Powershell's command-line tools to manage, simplify, and scale tasks in operating systems and processors. Microsoft introduced PowerShell to make system tasks automatic, such as batch processing. The PowerShell language is similar to Perl and provides different ways to automate tasks. 

Q2. What are the prominent features of PowerShell?

PowerShell interview questions often require you to elucidate one of the following features: script debugging, tab expansion, error handling, background job, scheduled job, steppable pipeline, constrained run spaces, remoting, and network file transfer. The primary features of PowerShell are as follows:

  • It is object-based and not text-based.
  • PowerShell commands are customizable.
  • Users can uncover PowerShell's attributes by using cmdlets.  
  • It allows admins to execute remote operations on one or numerous computers, utilizing technologies like Windows Management Instrumentation and WS-Management. 
  • Commands can be connected via pipelines.  
  • Pushing the Tab key once executes the cmdlets, properties, and parameter names. 
  • Another essential feature, Script debugging, can be used to examine the commands, functions, scripts, and expressions when executing PowerShell. 

Q3. What are the various types of execution policies in PowerShell?

Execution policies are recruiters' favorite topic for PowerShell interview questions. Execution policies control the conditions under which PowerShell loads the configuration files and executes scripts. The six types of execution policies are as follows:

  • AllSigned: It only executes the scripts signed by a trusted publisher with a digital signature.
  • RemoteSigned: It will execute any script written on a local computer but a script downloaded from the internet requires the digital signature of a trusted publisher.
  • Restricted: It doesn't allow execution of any script but individual commands. The policy is available by default for the Windows client computer.
  • Undefined: When no execution policy is defined in the current scope.
  • Bypass: It is for configurations wherein a PowerShell script is built into a larger application. It does not provide any warnings or prompts.
  • Unrestricted: It is the default policy for Non-Window computers that executes unsigned scripts.

Q4. What is the PowerShell pipeline? Explain its use. 

A series of statements connected by the pipe '|' operator is referred to as a PowerShell pipeline. So, whenever you have to join two command statements, you require the PowerShell pipeline technique. In such a case, one command statement's output becomes the second command statement's input, and thus, each pipeline operator sends the output/result of the preceding command to the next command. The syntax of a pipeline is as follows:

Command-1 | Command-2 | Command-3 

Q5. What are the drawbacks of PowerShell?

You should be prepared for PowerShell interview questions on merits and demerits. Consider the following points while enumerating the main drawbacks of PowerShell:

  • PowerShell requires a .NET framework.
  • It is object-based, and with most shells, text-based commands are used. 
  • It can create some potential security risks.

Q6. Explain the significance of PowerShell brackets?

PowerShell brackets fall into the following three categories:  

  • Braces brackets {} used in the blocked statements.
  • Parenthesis brackets () are used for required arguments.
  • Square brackets [] are used to define the optional items.

Q7. What is a PowerShell variable? How would you declare and create a variable?

A variable is a unit of memory used to store the data in PowerShell. It can contain integers, strings, and objects. 

Declare: You can declare a variable using the $ (dollar) sign at the beginning of the variable name as represented below: 

$ <variable_name>  

For example: $var

Create: You can create a variable by using the assignment operator to assign the value to a variable. The syntax to create a variable is as follows: 

$ <variable_name> = <value>  

Q8. What are the different types of variables in PowerShell?

The three main types of variables in PowerShell are:

  • User-Created variables: These are created and maintained by the user. These variables exist only while the PowerShell window is open and are deleted when the PowerShell window is closed. You will have to add it to your PowerShell profile to save it. 
  • Automatic variables: They store state information such as the details of a customer and the system, PowerShell settings, and default and runtime variables. Common automatic variables are $$, $?, $^, $_, $args, $Error, $foreach, $Home.
  • Preference variables: The set of variables that enable you to customize PowerShell's behavior as they work like the options in GUI-based systems.

Q9. What are the different types of PowerShell operators?

The different types of operators in PowerShell are:

  • Arithmetic operator: They (+, -, *, /, %) calculate values in a command or expression.
  • Assignment operator: They (=, +=, -=, *=, /=, %=) assign, change, or append values to variables.
  • Comparison operators: They compare values. The four comparison operators are: –eq( equal to) for declaring variables, –ne (not equal), -gt ( greater than ), and –lt (less than).
  • Logical operators: They (-and, -or, -xor, -not, !) are used to connect conditional statements into a single complex condition.
  • Redirection operators: They (>, >>, 2>, 2>>, and 2>&1) are used to send the output of a command or expression to a text file.
  • Split and Join operators: They divide and combine substrings.

Q10. What do you understand about loops in PowerShell?

You should be prepared to answer PowerShell interview questions on different types of loops. The concept of loops is useful in PowerShell when you need to execute the block of commands or statements several times. Following are categories of loops in PowerShell:

  • While loop: It is also called an entry-controlled loop. It sequentially executes commands in a block when the given condition evaluates to True.
  • Do-While: It is also called an exit-control loop. It executes a block of commands at least once as the condition is checked after the block. It executes the command if the condition is true; else, the loop terminates.
  • For loop: It executes commands or statements one by one when the conditions return True; else, the loop terminates.
  • ForEach loop: It is used to access the array or a collection of objects, strings, and numbers. 
  • Do-Until: It is also an exit-controlled loop that executes a block of commands at least once because the condition is checked after the block. The commands are executed if the condition is False; otherwise, the loop terminates. 

Advanced PowerShell Interview Questions for Experienced Professionals

Here is a list of advanced PowerShell interview questions for DevOps engineers and other software developers. 

Q1. What is the use of cmdlets?

The commands written in a .NET language such as VB or C# that return the object of the Microsoft .NET framework to the next commands in the pipeline are referred to as cmdlets. They follow the verb-noun pattern, like get-help, set-Item.

Q2. What is Powershell Get-command?

The Get-Command cmdlet acquires all commands performed on the computer. It includes functions, cmdlets, applications, aliases, filters, and scripts. It fetches the commands from other PowerShell modules and commands imported from other sessions.

Q3. How would you make PowerShell scripts to deploy components in SharePoint?

If you have constructed a web part using VS 2010, you can deploy it with the help of ctrl+f5. You can document a PowerShell script (.ps1) to activate the web part component and run it after deployment.

Q4. What is the significance of PowerShell's Get-ServiceStatus function?

The Get-ServiceStatus function allows filtering of window services. PowerShell takes note of the services' Running' and 'Stopped' during scripting. When the Get-Service is operated without parameters, all the local computer's services are returned. You can obtain only certain services by selecting the display name or service name, or you can pipe service objects to this cmdlet.

Q5. What is Variable Interpolation?

PowerShell changes the name of a variable through its value when it is added to double-quoted strings. This PowerShell feature is known as variable interpolation.

Learn How to Become a DevOps Engineer with expert tips.

Sample Interview Questions on PowerShell

Need some more PowerShell Interview questions for practice? Here are some common questions that you can expect in your upcoming interview.

  1. How would you run a PowerShell script in SharePoint?
  2. How can you map a network drive in PowerShell?
  3. How is PowerShell different from CMD?
  4. What is the use of hash tables and arrays in PowerShell?
  5. What command would you use to get all child folders in a specific folder?
  6. What are the different ways that PowerShell uses 'Select'?
  7. What is PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment?
  8. Being a software developer, why would you choose PowerShell?
  9. State differences between WMI and CIM.
  10. What are PowerShell scopes? Explain the differences between various scopes.
  11. What are the two ways of extending PowerShell?
  12. What are the methods by which the input of the pipeline works?

Practice these PowerShell interview questions and get enrolled in mock interviews to learn from hiring managers of FAANG companies and nail your next tech interview.

FAQs on PowerShell Interview Questions

Q1. What topics should I prepare for PowerShell interview questions?

You should have complete knowledge of pipelines, execution policies, operators, cmdlets, and loops in PowerShell. You can also find the most important topics from the key requirements section of the job description of the position you are applying for. 

Q2. What job positions entail PowerShell interview questions?

Job positions that require PowerShell fall into three main categories: administration, scripting, and engineering. PowerShell scripting positions are the most common ones in top companies that need custom code to get PowerShell work on their systems. 

Q3. Are PowerShell interview questions hard?

PowerShell interview questions are comparatively easier than questions on other technical frameworks because PowerShell is one of the easiest languages. If you go through the important concepts and practice the most frequently asked PowerShell interview questions, you will be able to ace the interview rounds with perfection.

Q4. What popular tools integrate with PowerShell?

Microsoft Azure, .NET, Microsoft SQL Server, Linux, Starship, Azure Cognitive Search, and ConEmu are popular tools that integrate with PowerShell.

Q5. How much does a PowerShell developer make?

The average salary of a PowerShell developer in the United States is $112,250 per year or $57.56 per hour. While entry-level positions begin at $99,750 per year, experienced workers make up to $127,975 per year (source: talent.com).

Nail Your Tech Interview With IK

Preparing for technical interviews, especially the challenging ones, steers you on the path to becoming a better software professional with improved coding, problem-solving, and behavioral skills. You become more confident at taking and cracking interviews. 

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