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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Network Manager Job Interview in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; I have an interview for a secondary school network manager next week. I have worked in schools for 6 years ...
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    Network Manager Job Interview

    I have an interview for a secondary school network manager next week. I have worked in schools for 6 years now. but it has always been primary schools.

    In the interview i have to sit an exam (i need 50% to get to the interview stage). Has anyone any idea what is likely to be on the exam? I am assuming it will be MCSE related questions.

    Also what legislation am i likely to need to know?

    Any help would be great.

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    Talking network manager interviews

    Hi there, In my experience it varies from place to place. Some places i have been to have had me do a "test" and it consisted of installing ram in a laptop, desktop and replacing a failed hard disk ! Other places go into networking fundamentals and policies but the key factor i have noticed is the salary banding ! if the job is worth 25k + then expect a little of everything, if its 30-35k + then expect more management type questions for lower paid jobs 15-20k expect basic tach questions and what would you do in this situation questions.

    If it helps i earn 30k and had to give a presentation on network management, policies, law, data protection, backup solutions, team leadership and finance management ! and then a 2hr grilling ! (all good fun)

    so as you can see it can vary a hell of alot but bear in mind that i work for a company in a school not directly for the school.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    The best advice I can give would be to be natural, confident and "yourself"!

    They might have adopted the new trend of scoring responses to interview questions as well as the exam. So looking confortable and answering positivly will only do yourself favours!
    On the other hand (and if it's a school in the South West or North!) the "exam" might just be a scenario set up my a technician - like a replicated PC problem - dodgy DNS or something disabled etc)

    On legislations etc, you're probably already familar with in Primaries stuff and how it links to secondary education so comment on that. Show you understand where you've come from, but also know where you want to be!
    Fit in references to the Every Child Matters agenda, 14-19 reform, Online Reporting to Parents, Parental Pngagement and Preparing for Home Access, and how you think they are all key to improving overal standards and attainment, and you'll knock the socks off the management!

    Post back here and let us know how it goes (and what the test was all about!)
    Last edited by mb2k01; 6th March 2009 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Poor spelling and grammar! (Should really preview first!)

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    I think I may also be trying to get the same job as yourself! I have noted on the attached letter that it's going to be a "Written Technical Test" - This really scares me!!!

    What I'm also scared of is I am currently managing an RM CC4 network and this potential job is purely Vanilla XP/Vista based. Do i stand a chance of getting this?!?! How much difference actually is there? I'm quite young and since University I've only been on RM networks 2.4/CC3/CC4!!
    Last edited by RobFrain; 7th March 2009 at 04:37 PM.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    On the surface RM = colourful and friendly. If you stick to the RM tools and aren't very proficiant with Active Directory or any other MS server tools, and simply re-image stations when there is a problem, then you might be in for a shock.

    With that said, I've probably had 40% of my career managing RM networks, and can hand on heart say.... if you get the non-RM job you should end up loving it (and progress on to bigger and better things if you want to)

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    I would say I use the AD quite alot (You have to with the way CC4 is at the moment!!). I've got good experience with Exchange 2003. What tools are you talking about on the servers - see if I'm using them or not!!

    I think what I'm most nevous about is where to go if I cant fix a problem?! Do vanilla based networks have support contracts with anyone?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobFrain View Post
    I think I may also be trying to get the same job as yourself! I have noted on the attached letter that it's going to be a "Written Technical Test" - This really scares me!!!

    What I'm also scared of is I am currently managing an RM CC4 network and this potential job is purely Vanilla XP/Vista based. Do i stand a chance of getting this?!?! How much difference actually is there? I'm quite young and since University I've only been on RM networks 2.4/CC3/CC4!!
    I think we might be as you are in the same area as me.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Smile

    Before I talk about schools I better cover myself - I've never used CC4! I have used everything from Connect 2 (yep - original 2!) to 2.2, 2.4 and 3!
    The colourful / friendly comment was meaning the GUI's that RM put together to try and make things "easier" to manage - bascially any tool on your start menu with RM in the title!

    If you have good experience in Exchange then you'll probably have done quite a bit in AD and/or troubleshooting traffic, replication, dns etc, so you'll be decently proficiant.

    The support question will be really down to who was there doing the job before you. One of the major positives of having a vanilla network is not having to be dependant on ringing up RM and getting dodgy support (if you've paid your renewal), and having the freedom to implement something else instead. If anything does go seriously wrong and it's vanilla you have access to hundred of thousands of resources made for similar networks, not just the ones with an RM logo on the top of them.

    I wont go in to too much detail (theres more on my profile) but when I started work it was Connect 2 and RM support. If something went wrong and we didn't know what to do we'd ring them and work blindly under their instructions. The problem was, there instructions didn't resolve issues and we were never learning anything. We changed to a vanilla system instead of going to CC3 and have never looked back.
    We lost the safety net of being able to call someone to help, but without loosing that safetynet we'd never have developed and learned what we have.
    The school will hopefully have decent warranties on equipment and active support contracts on third party management tools that might be used.
    If it was me going to interview, these are probably questions I'd be asking them (but not looking scared, just being interested in where they have come from, and whether they are in a good position or looking for you to come in and be the person that stands up and says "we need to change things")

    Don't be nervous - go in knowing the skills and ability you have, and make them feel that they NEED those skills and abilities!

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    RobFrain's Avatar
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    Thanks Mark

    Just the written exam I'm concerned about! But hey we'll see what happens!

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    I had to sit one of these on an interview, I had and now set something similar when I interview for a Technician, the Technical test involved some some stuff I have seen on MCP tests.A couple of questions on Terminology things like what is DHCP, DNS, DFS, TCP/IP etc.

    Their were also some common sense questions such as setting a Scenario:

    1. The Heads printer isn't working.
    2. Interactive Whiteboard isn't working in a Classroom.
    3. You are installing various Software.
    4. Their is a problem on the Server that is causing an issue with all users.

    Then something like Prioritize these and why.

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    RobFrain's Avatar
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    Did you get it then?! It wasnt me! Sadly the lack of a vanilla network let me down on that test!!!

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    nc-
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobFrain View Post
    Did you get it then?! It wasnt me! Sadly the lack of a vanilla network let me down on that test!!!
    out of curiosity what did you have to do for the exam?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobFrain View Post
    Did you get it then?! It wasnt me! Sadly the lack of a vanilla network let me down on that test!!!
    I didnt no. Was very close. They went off the test results to seperate me and the person who got the job, he has 1 point more then me

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    Maz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_Cleaver View Post
    I had to sit one of these on an interview, I had and now set something similar when I interview for a Technician, the Technical test involved some some stuff I have seen on MCP tests.A couple of questions on Terminology things like what is DHCP, DNS, DFS, TCP/IP etc.

    Their were also some common sense questions such as setting a Scenario:

    1. The Heads printer isn't working.
    2. Interactive Whiteboard isn't working in a Classroom.
    3. You are installing various Software.
    4. Their is a problem on the Server that is causing an issue with all users.

    Then something like Prioritize these and why.
    Out of curiosity what order would you prioritize them and why?

    For me it's the kid's education that should come first - after all, they're the reason we're employed by the school.

    Then I'd solve the problem with the server.

    Then the Head's printer, this can also be moved to number 2 depending on how important it is.

    Installing software can be done at any time. I'd aim to deploy new software outside of normal user hours anyway unless it is neccessary and requested by the head / SMT.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    It's an interesting question!
    The one they are definately looking for at Intervew is kids first (although don't say kids - generally everyone senior in education hates that terms - it's young people or learners!)

    In reality, if you get the job and one day the Head calls you becuase his printer is broken, no matter what you have on you make sure you slip him close to the top of the list (maybe delegate and get your technician up there while you're on something more important!)

    It's one thing being able to prioratise, but it's another being able to keep Leadership happy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maz View Post
    Out of curiosity what order would you prioritize them and why?

    For me it's the kid's education that should come first - after all, they're the reason we're employed by the school.

    Then I'd solve the problem with the server.

    Then the Head's printer, this can also be moved to number 2 depending on how important it is.

    Installing software can be done at any time. I'd aim to deploy new software outside of normal user hours anyway unless it is neccessary and requested by the head / SMT.

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