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What do you ask in an interview?

By jc2it ·
Ok this question is for everyone.

I have always fell into my jobs in the past, usually because of networking. So I have never paid much attention to the interview process.

We are looking for an "IT HELP DESK TECHNICIAN" at my place of business. This would basically be someone that I could train to do most of my time consuming helpdesk support tasks. We are not looking for a lot of experience, in fact those that submitted resumes that had more than about four years of experience were immediately rejected (as overqualified and requiring to much compensation for this job).

Since I have never interviewed anyone in particular, I would like to go to the experts. Meaning You!

If you have interviewed prospective employees in the past. What do you look for? What do you ask them?

If you have been interviewed for a job like this recently. What questions did you answer that you felt made a differance? What did you think was stupid? If you were conducting the interview would you have do something differently?

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I hope not.

by Too Old For IT In reply to Age Discrimination is Unp ...

"The high paying days of IT are over."

I hope not. I saw all thos whiz-bang hot-shots get all the great jobs during the dot-com era, and had hoped corporate America would get around to wanting people with real-world experience.

I'd go most anywhere for a 6-figure salary, a big fat sign-on bonus, the keys to the company Porsche and a foos-ball table in the break room as long as they were hring us guys with grey temples.

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High Paying Days of IT

by jj014747 In reply to I hope not.

I'm increasingly frustrated by hiring managers who look at the
alphabet soup on a person's resume rather than their real-world

As a customer service professional in IT, the brunt of these
hiring decisions impacts my effectiveness. When I or my staff
have to argue daily with sys admins with runny noses that,
contrary to what Microsoft says, something bad wrong is INDEED
happening on client machines, then someone just made a really
bad business decision.

Give me a person in his or her 50s with some experience outside
of MCSE certification testing any day of the week.

I tell you now: corporate america is painting itself into a corner.

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me too.

by balloonchaser In reply to I hope not.

I feel the same way...But honestly, I would probably do the same for a high 5 figure salary and relocation. They can keep the porsche. I have been unemployed for several years. I just wish a company would believe in what I can do instead of thinking I forgot everything since I havent worked in awhile.

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by James Speed In reply to You might want to go back ...

Sometimes companies overlook individuals that would be a GOD SEND. Hiring "Overqualified" people doesnt always mean super high pay.

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by James Speed In reply to You might want to go back ...

Sometimes companies overlook individuals that would be a GOD SEND. Hiring "Overqualified" people doesnt always mean super high pay.

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Competency Based interviewing

by haggis_the_dog In reply to What do you ask in an int ...

The technique I use when inteviewing helpdesk technicians for my department is known as "competency based interviewing". The goal of this technique is to ask questions that encourage the interviewee to "tell stories" from their experience that demonstrate what they have done in their previous roles. Key phrase to look for is "I did xyz" rather than "We did xyz".

I have a team of 5 helpdesk consultants supporting 300 employees directly (30% remote workers) and a further 3000 within the EMEA region. During the 6 years I've been here, I've only had one person leave, and two transfer to back-office teams. In my opinion, the technique works!

I recommend staying away from leading questions or standard questions that have a "right" answer. These are really easy quesitons to prepare for and dont really tell you anything about the qualities and character of the candidate. One thing I have learned during my time managing teams is that it is a lot easier to teach someone about a technology than it is to train them for the right attitude or outlook.

Lots of good (and free) information on Competency Based interviewing can be found doing a quick search on Google for the term.

Wish you luck!

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In Addition to "Competency based interviewing"

by BigAbe In reply to Competency Based intervie ...

I agree with haggis. I used this form of questioning in addition to troubleshooting questioning, where not one answer is correct, but its how you get to the problem.

My favorite question was troubleshooting Non System Disk Error at boot up. Although it could be many things, the most obvious is a disk in a drive. But you go to a follow-up question, ?OK, I checked and there is no disk, what next?? Do they go straight to replacing the hard drive? Or do they sys the c drive? Or do they check the IDE cables? Although all could be the problem, what steps will they walk a user through?

Basically, questions like these will give you a good idea how they are going to troubleshoot a user's issue, smartly, or by wasting time and money.

Always have a list of questions prepared. You never want to sit there thinking what do you ask next.

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by rubensds In reply to What do you ask in an int ...

Hi jc2it

Besides general appearance, politeness and pesentation, the candidate must be able to prove his/her achievements. In other words, if he/she worked on a successful project, what were the factors that contributed to the project being a success? Budget, resource planning, customer satisfaction and how were these measured? Do not look for the technical stuff but methodology and approach.

One of my favorites is to ask where the candidate sees himself/herself in 2-3 years time. The answer may give you some indication of what type of person you are dealing with in relaton to the job.

Lastly, I feel it is vital that the candidate has a good understanding of the position he/she is applying for and the company/organisation they 'potenially' will be employed by.

Hope this helps

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by The Wookiee In reply to Proof

I always ask about outside activities, hobbies. This way you can see if the person has a life and how this may affect there working life.

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dont be stupid

by gr6120 In reply to What do you ask in an int ...

Hire the first person you think might be smarter than you so you dont have to train them

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