ITIL provides a set of practices that have helped organizations across the world to improve their business service. It helps improve service delivery and customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and so much more. To help kick-start your ITIL career, this article will cover some of the most important ITIL interview questions that will come in handy. 

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1. What is ITIL?

ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a set of practices highlighting the best ways it can deliver the highest quality IT services. ITIL also helps with: 

  • Managing business risks
  • Strengthening customer relationships
  • Establishing cost-effective practices
  • Creating a stable IT environment and much more

2. What is ITSM?

ITSM or Information Technology Service Management is the act of taking the support of people, processes, and technology to deliver IT services and support internal customers.

3. Explain the phases of the ITIL Lifecycle?

itil lifecycle

The different stages of the ITIL life cycle are:

  • Service strategy: It provides a plan/ strategy for the overall life cycle of the project. In this stage, it ensures the strategy to be in sync with the business’ objectives to ensure that the customers can derive value from the customers.
  • Service Design: This stage involves the design of services and additional components that need to be introduced into the live environment.
  • The next phase is the Service Transition. In this phase, IT services are built and deployed. It also ensures that changes to the service and service management process happen in a coordinated manner.
  • Service Operations focus on making sure that the expectations of the end-user are met, making sure that costs and potential issues are managed.
  • Continual Service Improvement involves quality management to learn from previous losses and successes. With this, the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes and services can be improved.

4. What are the 4 Ps of ITIL?

People: These represent the individuals who are associated with the processes and procedures.

Processes: The company’s ability to implement processes are focused on.

Products: These focus on the service itself, along with its underlying technology. 

Partners: The partners who work with the IT organization to ensure that the service works properly.

5. What are the benefits of ITIL?

  • Build a connection with your customers and make sure they are happy with the services you provide.
  • Cost-effective through making greater use of the resources available
  • Management of the risks associated with the company and service outages
  • Supports both gradual and rapid changes in the business environment

6. Explain the Service Value System?

itil service valve system

The service value system describes the different components and activities that synergize to create value. These include inputs, elements, outputs, and other components that are relevant to service management. 

  • Guiding principles: These are recommendations that can help an organization in any scenario, regardless of the aim, goal, strategy, type of work, management, or structure.
  • Governance: It offers a structure that’ll help the organization establish and maintain control over its direction. It aims every investment the organization makes to create value and to ensure that they meet business objectives. 
  • Service Value Chain: It is a model used for creating, delivering, and continually improving services. It involves six activities, all of which can be combined in different ways to create multiple value streams.
  • Practices: These are a collection of organizational resources that focus on performing some specific work or on fulfilling an objective.
  • Continual Improvement: Focuses on the improvement by improving the service’s effectiveness and efficiency, reducing the cost of services, resources, and other IT management practices.
  • Opportunity/Demand: Opportunity refers to the organization's options to deliver value to its stakeholders and improve. Demand refers to the need/ desire for products among internal and external customers. 

7. What are the Guiding Principles in the Service Value System?

We design the guiding principles to guide the organization's decisions and actions to make sure they can make the most of ITIL. These principles work regardless of the scenario, objective, goal, strategy, type of work, management, or structure. The seven guiding principles are: 

  • Focus on value
  • Start where you are
  • Progress iteratively with feedback
  • Collaborate and promote visibility
  • Think and work holistically
  • Keep it simple and practical
  • Optimize and automate

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8. Explain the objective of ‘Design and Transition’ on the Service Value Chain.

itil design and transition

The service value chain consists of 6 activities that enable the creation of value. The design and transition component will help organizations ensure the products and services are up to the quality, cost, and other requirement standards set by the stakeholders. 

9. Why do we need to ‘Engage’ as part of the Service Value Chain?

itil engage

The engage component provides an understanding of the stakeholders' needs, ensuring transparency, regular engagement, and a favorable relationship with the stakeholders. 

10. Explain the role of Service Operation in ITIL.

In this stage, we measure the value of IT Services. They also help: 

  • To deliver and support IT services at a satisfactory level for everyone involved in the process.
  • To act as a point of contact, in the form of the service desk.
  • To identify activities that need to be completed within the service catalog.

11. What are the measures of IT Service Management?

ITSM helps manage and control outcomes along with service operations, there are four measurement layers.

  • Progress: This layer deals with the progress of the current service operations.
  • Compliance: This layer focuses on existing industry processes and market standards.
  • Effectiveness: This layer makes sure that it maintains the effectiveness of the service.
  • Efficiency: This is the layer that focuses on maintaining the workflow and performing service maintenance.

Let’s continue having a look at some ITIL interview questions.  

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12. Explain how Availability, Agreed Service Time, and Downtime are related.


  • Availability: It is the ability of an IT service or any of the other configuration items to perform its expected functions when required.
  • Agreed Service Time: It is the expected time during which the service is to be operational.
  • Downtime: It is the time during the agreed service time that your service isn’t operational.

13. What is an SLA?

SLA or Service-Level-Agreement is an agreement between the client and the service provider. It highlights the quality of service that the client expects from the provider, the metrics that make up the success being a success, and the penalties or remedies that the service provider would have to deal with if the service isn’t of the expected quality.

14. What are the types of SLAs?

  • Corporate SLAs cover the issues relevant to the organization. These are the same across the organization.
  • Customer SLAs refer to issues specific to the customers.
  • Service SLAs deal with issues relevant to a specific service (in relation to the customer) that can be covered. Applies to all customers that contract the same service.

15. What are the Service Portfolio, Service Catalog, and Service Pipeline?

  • The service portfolio is a repository of all the information related to the IT services in the organization.
  • The service catalog consists of links to active services with the help of their service design package.
  • The service pipeline includes references to services that are still not live yet. These plans could be proposed or under development.

16. What is a Service Request?

A service request is a request for IT service access, changing a standard, information, or advice. The service request usually covers things that have already been approved by company policy and don’t require any new additional permissions. 

17. What are the types of Service Providers?

  • Internal Service Providers: These represent the dedicated resources of a business unit and deal with organization management internally.
  • External Service Providers: These providers provide services to external customers. They handle specific and special scenarios based on market standards.
  • Shared Services: These are autonomous special units that act as internal service providers.

18. Explain the difference between an End-User and a Customer.

  • End-user: A end-user is someone who directly receives or uses the product.
  • Customer: A customer is someone who defines the requirements of service and may or may not be able to choose between products or suppliers.

19. What is a Standard Change?

Standard change refers to a change that’s been implemented in the form of a service request. 

20. What is a Configuration Item?

A configuration item is a component that needs to be managed to deliver an IT service. It records information about these CIs into the configuration record, within the configuration management system. These items could be IT services, hardware, software, buildings, people, and other formal documentation. 

Let’s take a look at some more ITIL Interview questions. 

21. What is a Warranty?

A warranty is an assurance provided by the service provider to the customers/stakeholders that their products/services meet the agreed-upon requirements. It focuses on ‘how the service performs’ and to find whether services are ‘fit for use.’ It typically focuses on the service's availability, security, capacity, and continual ensured working. 

22. What is the Service Desk?

The service desk acts as a point of contact between the service provider and the users. It acts as a communication point where users can report operational issues, queries, and other requests. For the service desk to be successful, the service desk needs to have great customer service skills like empathy and emotional intelligence. 

23. What are the responsibilities of a Service Desk?

  • To ensure that it restores normal operations in the event of a disruption.
  • To detail the steps to improve user awareness regarding IT issues and to encourage them to use IT services, components, and resources.
  • To assist other IT Service Management processes and functions by escalating requests.

24. What is an IT asset?

An IT asset represents any component that’s financially valuable that eases the delivery of an IT product or service.

25. What is Problem and Problem Management?

problem in problem management

A problem is a cause of conflict or incident which is still unknown. Problem Management is a process that manages the life-cycle of problems. Detecting and providing solutions or workarounds are considered a success to ensure the organization's impact is limited and doesn’t recur.

The phases of problem management are:

  • Problem identification
  • Problem control
  • Error control 

26. Differentiate between proactive and reactive problem management.

As the name suggests, proactive issue management seeks to avoid occurrences altogether by looking for any weaknesses or mistakes in the IT system. In contrast, reactive management usually seeks to identify and eradicate the underlying causes of those that arise.

27. What are the outcomes in ITIL?

Outcomes are results obtained after performing an activity, following an activity, providing a service, and more. It is used to compare the intended and actual results. Outcomes are both qualitative and quantitative. We measure outcomes based on the perspectives of the people who are using the service. 

28. What is a Utility?

A utility refers to a product/service's functionality to meet a particular need in the market. A utility focuses on what a particular service does and finds if the service is ‘fit for its purpose.’ 

29. Explain how incidents, problems, and known errors are different from one another.

  • Incidents: These are parts of the process that were not expected during the planning phase and not were supposed to be part of the standard operation.
  • Problem: It is a cause of conflict or incidents which is still unknown.
  • Known errors: A known error is a problem that’s already been diagnosed, and a workaround or a permanent solution has already been found.

30. What is a Workaround?

A workaround is a temporary solution that resolves issues temporarily. In this case, the issue’s reason has not been identified. The time frame for a workaround isn’t usually defined and could range from a few seconds to many years.

31. What are some workaround or recovery options?

Recovery options are divided into three categories:

  • Fast recovery: This recovery takes place within 24 hours (hot standby).
  • Intermediate recovery: The recovery process is completed within 3 days (warm standby).
  • Gradual recovery: The recovery takes place in a matter of days/weeks, but always after 24 hours.

32. Explain the 7R’s of Change Management?

Change Management in ITIL enables organizations to deploy changes without causing any downtime or any other disruption.

The 7 R’s are:

  • Who RAISED the change?
  • What is the REASON for the change?
  • What RETURN will the change deliver?
  • What RISKS are there if the change isn’t carried out?
  • What are the RESOURCES required to perform the change?
  • Who is RESPONSIBLE for this change?
  • What is the RELATIONSHIP between this and other changes?

Moving forward in this article on ITIL Interview Questions, we’ll cover topics like emergency changes, change enablement, PDCA cycle, PIR, and so on. 

33. What is Emergency Changes?

Emergency changes are changes that need to be incorporated as soon as possible. The changes, in this case, aren’t tested, and it makes certain decisions balancing risks and rewards

34. What is Change Enablement?

It is the method that aims to maximize the number of IT changes that are successful by ensuring risks are assessed properly; it allows changes to proceed, and to manage the change schedule.

35. What’s the difference between a Change Request and a Service Request?

  • A change request is a formal proposal to make alterations to a product/system made by a service user/ stakeholder.
  • A service request is a request for IT service access to change a standard, information, or advice. These are things that are already approved by company policy.

36. Differentiate between service and product

When it comes to the distinction between a product and a service, a product is anything that can be purchased, consumed, or otherwise used; however, service comes from the production of one or more persons. However, it may seem that the major difference between the two conceptions is based on their tangibility, which is not necessarily the case. Services are usually intangible, while goods are not necessarily physical.

37. What does a Known Error mean in ITIL?

A known error refers to a problem that has been analyzed and has not been resolved. 

38. Explain the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.

plan-do-check-act pdca

Businesses use the PDCA cycle for the control and continuous improvement of products and processes. The parts of the cycle are: 

  • Plan: In this stage, the improvements are planned. Here the measure of success is measured. After performing gap analysis, it makes a plan to reduce the gap through improvements
  • Do: This stage involves the implementation of improvements. It is in this stage that we take steps to close the gaps determined in the previous phase
  • Check: This stage involves monitoring, measuring, and reviewing. The results obtained here are compared to the factors that make up success, discussed in the planning stage
  • Act: In this stage, the improvements identified are completely implemented

39. What is the Post Implementation Review?

The post-implementation review or PIL is an evaluation and analysis of the final working solution. After a change request is made, the review takes place and checks if the change and its implementation were successful. PIL helps answer questions like:

  • Did the change solve the problem it aims to address?
  • In the case of failure, did the back-out plan work?
  • Did the change impact the customers?
  • Were resources allocated effectively through the process?
  • Was the change implemented based on a budget and in a timely manner?

40. What is the RACI model?

The RACI Model is a tool that helps identify different roles and responsibilities with ease during a project. It stands for:

  • Responsible: The people who perform the work to complete the task. Depending on their tasks, responsibilities are assigned to them.
  • Accountable: The person or people responsible for the thorough and correct completion of the task.
  • Consulted: The person or people who provide information about the task and are consulted as it progresses. This usually involves back-and-forth communication.
  • Informed: These people are kept informed regarding how the task is progressing. Communication, in this case, is usually one-way.

41. What is Incident Management, and what are its objectives?

Incident management is part of the IT Service Management that ensures normal service is restored as soon as possible. The objectives of incident management are: 

  • Reporting and resolving the incident with the IT service as soon as it happens.
  • Focusing on the satisfaction of customers and users.
  • Ensuring that approved and regulated methods are applied to all processes.

42. What is Service Request Management?

This practice focuses on the service's agreed quality by managing service requests in an effective and user-friendly manner. These depend on processes and procedures to maximize the efficiency of the practice with the help of tracking and automation tools

43. What is the purpose of Supplier Management?

This form of management makes sure that the organization’s suppliers and their performance are properly supported to ensure continuous quality products and services. The objectives of supplier management are: 

  • To maintain the supplier contracts database
  • Maintaining the supplier relationship
  • Negotiating and establishing contracts with suppliers

44. What is the Continual Improvement Model?

This model defines a series of steps for implementing improvements. The Continual Improvement model is known for using techniques like a SWOT analysis. It also uses balanced scorecard reviews, and maturity assessments. It provides a high-level guide to support improvement initiatives. With this, the chances of the ITSM initiative to be successful are improved. It places a stronger focus on customer value and making sure improvements match the organization’s vision.

45. Name some knowledge management systems related to ITIL.

  • CMIS (Capacity Management Information System): A Capacity Management Information System, or CMIS, collects information regarding IT infrastructure usage, capacity, and performance. The data is gathered in a consistent manner then stored in either a single or series of databases.
  • AMIS (Availability Management Information System); The AMIS is a virtual repository of all Availability Management data and is usually stored in multiple physical locations.
  • KEDB (Known Error Database): Known Errors are managed by the Problem Management process, with the details of each known error recorded in a Known Error Record, which is in turn stored in the Known Error Database (KEDB).

46. Why do we need Relationship Management?

Relationship management ensures that the organization's suppliers and their performance are managed appropriately to support seamless, quality products, and services. Its major objective is to establish and nurture the links between the organization and its stakeholders 

47. Why do we need Information Security Management Systems?

Information Security Management Systems help align business and IT security while also ensuring information is handled effectively across services and service management activities. These ensure that:

  • Information is available and can be used when required. It also plays a role in ensuring that these systems can resist, recover, or prevent failures.
  • Access to information is only for individuals who have the right to know it.
  • The information is complete, accurate, and safe from unauthorized access.
  • We can trust information exchange or business transactions.

48. What is the purpose of the deployment management practice?

The deployment management practice is used to move new or changed hardware, software, documentation, processes, or any other component to a live environment. They can also involve it in deploying components to other environments for the process of testing and staging.

49. What is the difference between Utility and Warranty?

The utility is the ability of a service or product to fulfill a certain requirement. Perhaps utility responds to the question of 'what the product accomplishes' or if the service is 'up to standard'. In contrast, a warranty is a guarantee that a service or product will satisfy agreed-upon specifications. Warranty addresses if a product is 'fit for use' or 'how well the service operates.

50. What is the significant difference between ITIL v2 and ITIL v3?

When compared to ITIL V2, which focuses on services generated by the firm, the process of creating them, and the persons who utilize them, ITIL V3 focuses on the partners who are involved in the project. In addition, ITIL V2 is a process-oriented strategy, while ITIL V3 is a lifecycle-based essential part Of project management.

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What’s Next for You?

This article on ITIL Interview Questions covered some of the most important concepts you must know to ace your next interview. Think you need to learn a little more?

Check out our course ITIL 4 Marketing Professional which will give you better clarity on the subject. We’ll cover key concepts and dimensions of service management, ITIL service value system, ITIL guiding principles and practices, and much more! 

Have any questions for us? Let us know in the comments section of this ITIL Interview Questions article, and our experts will get back to you as soon as possible! 

About the Author

John TerraJohn Terra

John Terra lives in Nashua, New Hampshire and has been writing freelance since 1986. Besides his volume of work in the gaming industry, he has written articles for Inc.Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well as software reviews for ZDNet. More recently, he has done extensive work as a professional blogger. His hobbies include running, gaming, and consuming craft beers. His refrigerator is Wi-Fi compliant.

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