A whole pile of preposterous questions in this list, except for this one :
“Emacs or vi?”
Why wouldn’t that be a good question? It should invoke an emotional response and the answer for most environments I have been in is:
Emacs or vi? vi of course, because it is on nearly every system by default, where as emacs is not. You can not, most times, go around installing your favorite editor on every system you have to admin.
If you need emacs, or some other editor/ide/whatever for large coding projects which you do on your local workstation, notebook, or management server… fill your boots.
If you need to make a quick change to /etc/fstab on a random server in the datacentre, you had damned well better know how to drive vi adequately to do that.
Knowledge of ssh, screen, and rsync are also absolute requirements, as also is the ability to “think right”.
Looks like I will have to think up one of my past ‘interesting’ problems that I have had to solve and use that as a way of probing a candidates thinking abilities tomorrow, when they show up for their 2nd interview (I wasn’t in the first one). Something like this problem someone had with Macs and Lotus Notes.