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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Job Interview Tips & Advice in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Thanks guys...
  1. #16

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Thanks guys

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Regards priority.. what webman said.. its the question(s) that get asked all the time, and well the priority will always be making sure that education of the students comes first cause ultimately isnt that what the school is there for.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Tips for priority:

    1st Priority: Something effecting whole school (i.e. internet down, server crash, e-reg problems, etc)
    2nd: Something effecting a large number of users (i.e. an entire class), this could be a problem with teachers laptop, when they are trying to teach, etc.
    3rd: Something effecting admin staff stopping them from doing their jobs
    4th: Something effecting a single user i.e. a password change

    as other have said something from SLT/SMT, although only effecting a single person would jump in higher becasue the give you the budgets, etc and you need them on-side. If you want to sugar-coat that last bit something like "they lead the school so a problem they may have is in effect hindering many people", just like cutting the head off a snake.


    The test you will likely get are fairly basic, it's not going to be a mis-configured DNS server or anything like that. Check things are plugged in, make sure cables are in the right way (upside down IDE cables on a floppy are difficult to spot). If its a projector, check it;s on the right input, etc. Check simplist things first (and a proper check), nothing worse than giving a quick glance at a network cable and saying its fine if isnt quite in enough to connect.

    You sound tech-savy, try not to be too nervous, and show a bit of personallity.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings
    Ask questions but don't worry about being quiet some of the time (particularly on tours of the school etc). Don't come across as a know it all.
    Strange that you say this - our tour of the school is used especially to see how outgoing someone is - if a person was quiet when I was giving a tour then I would put them lower down the list. But then, as you say, if someone is too in your face it can be just as bad.

    The trick with the tour is to show that you are comfortable in the school environment and ask enough questions to show that you are interested in what is going on. Do not use this part of the interview as an excuse to show off what you know - it rarely fits in to the flow of the conversation and can be awkward - unless it is very subtle such as "Ah - I see you use x for doing y" - which shows you know the software at a glance, and then maybe make a comparison such as "it is better than z" or "personally I prefer z - but not for any real reason, I think I just learnt it first!"

    And make sure you mention the students, because ultimately that is why you are there - to help give them the best education possible. So many times I have interviewed and techies talk about the system but never the users and how the system serves them.

    As steve has already suggested - read the Ofsted, pick out one thing they are marked as good at and work it into the conversation "Just from walking around it is obvious you are good at....".

    A more risky move could be to find something negative in the Ofsted report, refer to it and then talk about an IT solution that could help solve it. This can put you head and shoulders above the rest, but can also go really badly if you do not phrase it right - it can sound like criticism and sound like you are a bit arrogant, you really have to play it by ear and see whether you think it will help. If you are unsure then do not try it - and if you are then it works better in an informal chat rather than the formal interview.

    For the practical test it is a question of staying calm and thinking clearly - do not be afraid to try all the obvious things first. They will be more interested in someone with a methodical approach than someone who has a lucky guess at what is wrong.

    Other than these, just look smart, be punctual, act interested in everything and try to repeat things they have said during the day and no not be afraid to be honest about your abilities - as jcollings said, they probably will not be expecting the finished article but will want someone they think they can work with.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    As for asking questions at the end...

    Ask for a tour, particularly for where you will be based. I didn't when I went for an interview as I assumed that there would be a room provided. I was wrong, I worked in the class. I have since moved, but if you are going to spend your working life somewhere, make sure your happy to know what your letting yourself in for. Reading posts on here, you can see that Techs aren't always thought of first when planning locations.

    Ask the structure of the IT staff. They may be interviewing for a Tech Post, but if there are no other people there you can find yourself running the school network. You should be clear in your head that you know what the job is. If there is a IT support team in place, ask if there is training provided(and that you are willing to do it). More and more schools are introducing Multimedia into the classroom, if you have a little knowledge or show willing to learn these things it can reflect well as this can have a direct impact on pupils learning. This is something which can be easily seen by teachers who may find it difficult to understand why you getting a CCNA would benefit Joe in year 8.

    Ask why the position has become available. Is it because someone has left, been promoted, retired, workload etc.

    Remember Interviews are as much for you to get information about where you may be working as they are for the school to get information about you. And a little information goes a long way, get some info on the school before you go to the interview and show you are a keen individual.

    As you will be dealing with people with various knowledge of computers your communication skills will be highly sort. Being able to explain things to people clearly and concisely is what they will be looking for, tech skills can be learnt.

    Oh yes, I forgot...Good luck

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    thanks for all the advice guys!

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Good luck big guy and remember... the worst that they can say is yes... i mean no..... oooow i dont know

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    [quote="limbo"]
    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings
    Ask questions but don't worry about being quiet some of the time (particularly on tours of the school etc). Don't come across as a know it all.
    I think I was saying what you say - that there is balance to be struck between outgoing and in yer face. I've had people on tour basically tell me how I should be doing the job which doesn't go down well.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    As others have mentioned - important not to get anyones back up.

    Be relaxed and don't be too eager or too laid back. If you really have got no questions to ask - don't try and think something up on the spot. Better to make observations ' i see you've got the new 20inch intel imacs... ' use what you've observed as a chance to demonstrate a little of what you know. Better to keep them talking and for you to show an interest in what they're saying. Important thing is to show you're not arrogant but also that you've got some confidence. Nothing worse than taking on some smart arse who'll want to tell you how to do your job but nor do they want someone who is too timid - they don't want to be holding your hand for however many weeks or months.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Try and get into the school for a look around before the interview and talk to the ICT staff if you can, including ICT teaching staff. This shows you are keen & can give some useful hints about where the issues are & where you may make a difference. It may also scare you off (as happened to me with a CC3 site).

    Think about why you want the job at the school, assuming you still do after being shown around. Think about what you can bring to the school that sets you apart from the competition; you may have to 'interview' your fellow candidates to get an idea of what they know & what sort of people they are. Watch out for seemingly simple questions like 'Why do you want the job....... or Why should we offer you the job?"

    Take your time answering the questions, don't blurt out the answers before thinking. Engage brain before opening mouth. Avoid yes/no responses, but if you must, qualify why you answer yes/no if you can.

    Try and relax, but don't slouch in the chair, with your feet up!

    A little light humour can sometimes help, but avoid flipancy, be truthful (but not too truthful); by that I mean think about why you are being asked the question, and what sort of answer the questioner is expecting. Don't lie, but tell them what they want to know

    Good luck

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    I don't know when your interview is Z but good luck with it in any case. I think most of the good info has been said here already. Aside from all the other usual stuff, make sure you are smart as, although it is not a requirement of a techie, it does give off a good first impression. An organised looking techie is likely to be organised in the real world. (how did i get my job!!! oeerrr).

    Be nervous but not too nervous, be confident but not over confident. Enjoy your tour of the school but keep your eyes of the female students (or the male for that matter.... they are OUT OF BOUNDS) Focus on what your guide is saying and showing you as they are likely to be pertinent to the school and will probably find questions relating to it later. Keep your head as clear as possible and be honest to yourself and the school. If you start blagging it will be obvious.

    Topics to look up on:

    DNS... I always throw in a question on this and it is amazing how many people do not know what DNS is or does.

    The prioritisation is always there and will normally be asked in the form of the head making a request for something of a low priority and a lower member of staff asking for something mission critical, it is always a case of deciding on the task and its overall effect rather than the individual making the request irrespective of who does your budget.

    You have to remember with a position like this is that while you know a lot of stuff, someone else will know more, you will learn lots from them but I am sure they will also learn from you. Remember there is no I in TEAM.

    Damn that sounds sad....but i believe in that. I learn lots from my two techies we work together ...for the good of the school.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Once again thanks guys, I have taken all your information inboard and i will be using your advice. The interview is on the 6th November, next week I will be doing some reading at the weekend and on Monday (have a day of my current job) to refresh my memory incase they ask any questions.

    as ctbjs be always throws in a question about DNS what else are the typical questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by ctbjs
    Enjoy your tour of the school but keep your eyes of the female students (or the male for that matter.... they are OUT OF BOUNDS)
    Will do or Won't whatever way you look at!

    Thanks again.

  13. #28

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Oh, here's another quick one, make sure you have a pen with you (if possible a nicer one!) as if you're asked to fill anything in, it looks more professional if you have your own pen. Yeah I know silly thing, but bet you've never thought about it! I've felt embarresed having to ask for one before because I didn't have one with me.

    Also turn your mobile off. Infact I tend to leave mine in the car if possible after yes it's happened to me, thought I'd turned it off, and it rang in the middle of the interview; Very un-professional. Mind you mobile phones are more accepted now than 4 years ago when that happened.

    Mike.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    A pen i didn’t think of that one, good suggestion.

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    Re: Job Interview Tips & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ctbjs
    I don't know when your interview is Z but good luck with it in any case. I think most of the good info has been said here already. Aside from all the other usual stuff, make sure you are smart as, although it is not a requirement of a techie, it does give off a good first impression. An organised looking techie is likely to be organised in the real world. (how did i get my job!!! oeerrr).

    Be nervous but not too nervous, be confident but not over confident. Enjoy your tour of the school but keep your eyes of the female students (or the male for that matter.... they are OUT OF BOUNDS) Focus on what your guide is saying and showing you as they are likely to be pertinent to the school and will probably find questions relating to it later. Keep your head as clear as possible and be honest to yourself and the school. If you start blagging it will be obvious.

    Topics to look up on:

    DNS... I always throw in a question on this and it is amazing how many people do not know what DNS is or does.

    The prioritisation is always there and will normally be asked in the form of the head making a request for something of a low priority and a lower member of staff asking for something mission critical, it is always a case of deciding on the task and its overall effect rather than the individual making the request irrespective of who does your budget.

    You have to remember with a position like this is that while you know a lot of stuff, someone else will know more, you will learn lots from them but I am sure they will also learn from you. Remember there is no I in TEAM.

    Damn that sounds sad....but i believe in that. I learn lots from my two techies we work together ...for the good of the school.
    I can't believe you said 'there is no I in team'. Who do you think you are, David Brent ?

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