MS Outlook is the web-based personal information manager and suite of webmail, tasks, calendars, contacts and more services from Microsoft. MS Outlook has a lot of real-life relevance. For instance, it can be used as a standalone application, or it can be made to work with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server for multiple users in an organization, like shared mailboxes and calendars, Exchange public folders, SharePoint lists, as well as meeting schedules.
To maximize its use, Microsoft has also released mobile applications for popular mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android. Developers create their own custom software that works with Outlook and Office components using MVS or Microsoft Visual Studio. Furthermore, Windows Phone devices can synchronize almost all Outlook data to Outlook Mobile.
Since Microsoft is a major brand in the tech world and as many users still make use of MS Outlook as an email application, there are many competitive job openings where interview questions are based on various aspects of MS Outlook.
So, here is a list of common questions on the basics of MS Outlook, which might be asked in an interview for any post or designation.
MS Outlook Interview Questions
1) What is the IMAP protocol?
IMAP is the abbreviation of Internet Message Access Protocol. It is a standard client/server protocol for using or rather accessing email service from the local server of the user. The email is received and stored for the user by the Internet server. Since this protocol only requires a small amount of data transfer, this protocol works fine even over a slow data connection, like a modem. A specific email is downloaded from the server only when the user requests it.
2) What is POP3 protocol?
POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol 3. It is a protocol, which offers an uncomplicated way for the users to use mailboxes as well as download messages to their computers. It lets the users download emails from the mail server into the local server and enables them to read the email even when they are offline.
3) What is the SMTP protocol?
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is an Internet standard protocol for email transmission. It is the protocol, which is in widespread use today as it uses the process of a store and forward and works with MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) to deliver the email to the recipient email server.
4) How is MS Outlook different from MS Outlook Express?
Even though both are email clients developed by Microsoft, MS Outlook is more advanced than the Express version. The most important difference is that MS Outlook supports integration with MS Exchange Server and the user has complete integration between the email, calendars, as well as contacts. However, in case the user is an individual who needs basic email and the functions associated with it, Outlook Express is probably all they would need.
5) How can one back up the data of MS Outlook?
There are many ways to back up emails or data of MS Outlook like manually copying the Outlook file or relocating the entire Outlook file. Importing and exporting the mail folders to any designated location is also useful. Personal Folders Backup is also an automatic process, which creates backup copies of the PST files at regular intervals and saves them to a designated location. Going for a third party software is also a popular option. In fact, it is warranted in situations where the user has to deal with multiple clients.
6) What does PST mean? What do the PST files contain?
PST stands for Personal Storage Table, which is a personal folder file in Microsoft Outlook. In case of Outlook, the storage limit for a user’s .pst file is 2 GB. It is an open proprietary file format, which is used to store copies of messages, calendar events, as well as other items within Microsoft software such as Microsoft Exchange Client, Windows Messaging, and Microsoft Outlook.
7) How is cache mode useful when the configuration is an Exchange Server Client?
Cached Mode enables a better experience for the user while using an Exchange account. In the cached mode, a copy of the user’s mailbox is saved on the computer. This copy saved on the device provides quick access to the user’s data, and it is frequently updated with the server that runs MS Exchange.
8) What is the process that must be followed to purge deleted messages mechanically in MS Outlook?
In order to automatically purge the deleted emails in Outlook, the user must open the folder in the IMAP account, which he or she wants to set up for automation purging. From the main menu, one can select purge options and select ‘Purge’-> ‘Edit’ in order to ensure the purging of items when ‘online’ is checked.
9) How can one create recurring meetings in MS Outlook?
Creating recurring meetings is quite simple in MS Outlook. In order to achieve this, the user must select ‘New’ from options in the main window. Clicking the right arrow and selecting ‘Meeting Request’ from the drop-down menu results in options. Among the given options, the user must click on ‘Recurrence’ and then choose the type of details from the given options. Once the user is satisfied, he or she can click ‘OK’. The only remaining step is to enter the mail address of the recipient and send.
10) Explain the latest updates in MS Outlook 2013.
The major updates in MS Outlook 2013 include previewing messages in the list and quicker response with inline replies. With the previews, the users can figure out the messages from the list itself without having to go through the details. Ignoring as well as responding to the emails is quicker and easier with this feature. Another update, which makes replying to the mail sender faster is related to inline replies. This acts like a real-time chat and directs the user to the new box with just one click.
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