50 SharePoint 2013 Interview Questions – Administrator And IT Pro

Planning on hiring a SharePoint 2013 Administrator / IT Pro?

I have compiled a list of SharePoint 2013 interview questions for you to use, based on an interview I did today. Most of these are specific to SharePoint 2013; there are broader stroke 2007/2010 SharePoint interview questions here.  Another series will be coming up that highlights the questions to use for a developer.

It’s always funny when I interview for positions I generally get the questions that I write :p

1) What are the three user authentication methods that SharePoint 2013 supports?

  1. Windows claims
  2. Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based claims
  3. Forms-based authentication claims

2) Out of the available authentication methods, which one would is considered the recommend according to Microsoft?

Claims-based authentication methods are recommended.

3) What protocol does server-to-server authentication extend?

SharePoint 2013 extends OAuth.

4) SharePoint Store and App Catalog Access SharePoint resources on behalf of a user using?

OAuth 2.0.

5) What Business Data Connectivity (BDC) connections types are supported in SharePoint 2013?

  1. WCF
  2. SQL Server
  3. NET assemblies
  4. Open Data Protocol

6) What are some examples of technology that OData leverages?

  1. HTTP
  2. Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub)
  3.  JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)

7) What types of authentication does Business Connectivity Services support?

  1. Anonymous
  2. Basic
  3. Windows
  4. Custom authentication to OData services when it is used with the Secure Store Service

8) What does a BDC model do?

Describes which tables to read, which items from those tables are of interest, and which operations to perform on them.

9) How is the BDC model in SharePoint 2013 more streamlined than in SharePoint 2010?

Visual Studio 2010 is able to connect to the OData endpoint through Business Connectivity Services and read the OData source. Visual Studio 2010 will then automatically generate the BDC model.

10) How is the BDC model used after being built?

Imported into the Business Data Catalog as a farm-scoped external content type, or be included in an app for SharePoint.

11) What Is An Event Listener in SharePoint 2013?

The event listener includes an event subscriber. The subscriber receives notifications from the event publisher (on the external system side) on changes to the data and then initiates predefined actions when changes occur.

12) How is an event listener useful?

Enables SharePoint users and custom code to receive notifications of events that occur in an external system.

13) With an event listener, what are the supported connections for an external system?

  1. OData
  2. SQL
  3. WCF

14) What are apps for SharePoint?

Apps for SharePoint allow addition of functionality to a SharePoint site by using the self-contained app for SharePoint.

15) What is the primary benefit of using apps for SharePoint?

Each app for SharePoint is isolated from the rest of the system.

16) How are BDC models and apps for SharePoint related?

BDC models can be scoped to apps for SharePoint and connection information is defined and stored separately from the app-scoped BDC model in BDC connections.

17) What is eDiscovery in the context of SharePoint 2013?

Introduces a new site for managing discovery cases and holds. The site allows one to access discovery cases to conduct searches, place content on hold, and export content.

18) What are some examples of some things you can related to an eDiscovery case?

  1. Sources
  2. eDiscovery sets
  3. Queries
  4. Exports

 19) What is an in-place hold?

Content that is put on hold is preserved, but users can still change it.

20)  What the content can be included with SharePoint eDiscovery export?

  1. Document
  2. Lists
  3. Pages
  4. Exchange objects

21) In terms of enterprise-wide eDiscovery, what actions can be taken by an authorized user?

  1.  Create a case, define a query, and then search SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, and file shares
  2. Export all of the content that was identified.
  3. Preserve items in place in SharePoint Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2013.
  4. Track statistics related to the case.

22) What are the different types of mobile views offered in SharePoint 2013?

  1. Contemporary view
  2. Classic view
  3. Full screen UI

23) What is the Microsoft Push Notification Service?

Supports applications on mobile devices that should receive notifications from a SharePoint site.

24) What field type would be used when working location specific SharePoint applications?

Geolocation field type

25) What is Site-based retention?

You can create and manage retention policies in that will apply to SharePoint sites and any Exchange Server 2013 team mailboxes that are associated with the sites.

26) What does a retention policy contain?

Generally what causes a project to be closed and when a project should expire.

27) What are some improvements in Excel Services in SharePoint 2013?

  1. Field list and field well support
  2. Calculated measures and members
  3. Enhanced timeline controls
  4. Application BI Servers
  5. Business Intelligence Center update

 28) What is the In-Memory BI Engine (IMBI)?

The In Memory multidimensional data analysis engine (IMBI), also known as the Vertipaq engine, allows for almost instant analysis.

29) What does the Power View Add-in for Excel do?

Power View (“Crescent”) enables users to visualize and interact with modeled data by using highly interactive visualizations, animations and smart querying.

30) Can PerformancePoint be displayed on iPads?


31) What is the Analysis Services Effective User?

Eliminates the need for Kerberos delegation when per-user authentication is used for Analysis Services data sources. By supporting Analysis Services Effective User feature, authorization checks will be based on the user specified by the EffectiveUserName property instead of using the currently authenticated user.

32) What are Community Sites in SharePoint 2013?

Community Sites offer a forum experience to categorize and cultivate discussions with a broad group of people across organizations in a company.

33) What is the primary change with MySite document libraries in 2013?

Users can specify permissions for a specific document without having to understand the inheritance model.

34) What are Image renditions?

Image renditions let you display different sized versions of an image on different pages.

35) How are multilingual sites implemented?

Variations, integrated translation service, cross-site publishing

36)  What is Cross-site publishing?

Cross-site publishing lets you store and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections, and display this content in one or more publishing site collections.

37) What is Managed navigation?

Managed navigation lets you define and maintain the navigation on a site by using term sets.

38) What are Category pages?

Category pages are page layouts that are used for displaying structured content such as catalog data.

39)  What is the Content Search Web Part?

Displays content that was crawled and added to the search index.

40) What are Refiners and faceted navigation?

Refiners are based on managed properties from the search index. With faceted navigation you can configure different refiners for different terms in a term set.

41) What is the Analytics Processing Component?

Runs different analytics jobs to analyze content in the search index and user actions that were performed on a site to identify items that users perceive as more relevant than others.

42) What does the Workflow Manager do?

High Density and Multi-Tenancy, Elastic Scale, Activity / Workflow Artifact Management, Tracking and Monitoring, Instance Management, Fully Declarative Authoring, REST and Service Bus Messaging, Managed Service Reliability.

43) What is a ranking model in SharePoint 2013 search?

A ranking model determines recall (which items are displayed in the search results) and rank (the order in which search results are displayed).

44) What actions can a query rule specify?

  1. Add one or more result blocks
  2. Change ranked results
  3. Add Promoted Results (formerly called Best Bets) that appear above ranked results

45) What are Result sources?

Result source allow you to restrict queries to a subset of content by using a query transform.

 46) What is a Continuous crawl?

Eliminates the need to schedule incremental crawls and automatically starts crawls as necessary to keep the search index fresh.

47) How can you remove items from the search index?

Using the crawl logs.

48) How can you specify which entities to look for in the content in relation to SharePoint search?

Create and deploy your own dictionaries

49) What does document parsing functionality do?

Document parsers extract useful metadata and remove redundant information.

50) Is Visual Upgrade available in SharePoint 2013?



Outgoing Email In SharePoint 2013

It is essential that you have the right configurations in place for outgoing email when you are going to implement email alerts & notices. The outgoing email feature relies on outbound SMTP to relay those alerts successfully. The email features will include: 

As the site collection grows larger, it is essential to have a good method in place to allow users to stay current on all of the updates for discussions, libraries, and lists. The use of alerts can be an efficient means of helping them to stay on top of things. Alerts can be set up for changes to documents and so much more. What areas of a given collection site that you would like for there to be alerts of can be specified. In order to set up alerts, all users must have at least View Permissions.

Site administrators can set it up to get notified when a user requests access to a site or when they don’t have any more available storage capacity. By setting up the outgoing emails, the site administrators are able to receive notifications for various issues automatically.

The use of outgoing email support can also be enabled for the server farm and the web application. It is possible to set up different settings for each of them on a given web application. The outgoing email settings of the web application will override any that are set up on the server farm level.

You must have the SMTP service in place to relay email alerts and notices. This has to be done before you can configure the outgoing mail. There are several elements that have to be considered when you are planning this including:

  • SMTP service for relaying email alerts and notices. The DNS name or IP address of the SMTP will is needed.
  • An address for use in the header when an alert message goes out that will successfully identify the sender.
  • Reply to address displayed so that a user knows who they will be replying to in regards to an alert or notice.
  • A character in place for the body of alerts.

 The component of IIS (Internet Information Services) is derived from SMTP. It isn’t enabled though by default. Instead, it has to be enabled by going to the Control Panel and selecting Add or Remove Programs. Once the SMTP server to use is determined, that server has to be configured to allow for anonymous access.

This allows email messages to be successfully relayed. The SMTP server also needs to have internet access so that the ability to send messages to external email addresses is there. More information on how to configure, install, and manage SMTP is in the help section.

Only a member of Farm Administrators Group is able to successfully configure the SMTP server. The user also must be a member of the local Administrators Group on the sever.

You will need to configure two addresses for the outgoing mail:

  • From
  • Reply to

The alerts and notices are sent on the server farm via an administrative account. It isn’t the one though that you want to have displayed in the FROM field of the email message. What is displayed doesn’t have to even be an actual email account. You may select to have it say SITE ADMINISTRATOR in the FROM address field.

The REPLY TO is the address that displays when a user is sending a reply back to an alert or notice. This should be a monitored account so that you can make sure end users receive feedback promptly for any issues they may have. An alias that is parallel with a help desk works very well here.

When you are configuring the outgoing email, you need to specify the character set that will be used in the body of any emails. The character set refers to a set of mapping characters and the code values they identify with. The default character set for outgoing email is Unicode UFT-8. This allows the combination of characters to be found in a single document, including bidirectional text.

Most of the time, the default setting of UTF-8 works successfully. The exception is East Asian languages which require their own character set. It is important to select a specific language code so that it will be configured for the reader.


User Profile Database Architecture In SharePoint 2013

When creating a User Profile service application, there are three databases offered for storing that information in SharePoint Server:

  1. Profile Database Storing user profile information
  2. Synchronization Database – Storing configuration and staging information for the profile data from external sources including AD DS.
  3. Social Tagging Database Storing social tags & notes created by users. Each of them is associated with a  specific profile ID.

All three of these databases can be accessed by Team Sites, My Sites, and other sites within SharePoint. Access points depend on the User Profile service application so that they can have a personalized experience. 

There are other relating service applications in place that the User Profile service application relies upon. This allows for the full range of social computing features that are offered from SharePoint Sever to be accessible. There are several related service applications offered including:

  1. Manage Metadata Service This allows for managing metadata and share content types to occur. It can be done across web applications and site collections.
  2. Search Service Application This is necessary for the people search to be enabled so that a user can gather more information.
  3. Business Connectivity Services This allows for populating properties of existing user profiles from a business system through profile synchronization.