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Educational IT Jobs Thread, "Hands on tasks" for interview day in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Spanning tree, edge switch ports and troubleshooting pxe booting? "30 students are taking an online exam, but they don't have ...
  1. #16


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    Spanning tree, edge switch ports and troubleshooting pxe booting?

    "30 students are taking an online exam, but they don't have the room printer mapped correctly. They need this fixed ASAP. You can't interrupt the exam or get them to logon/off or reboot. Write a script to fix this quickly with the least disruption to them."

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Spanning tree, edge switch ports and troubleshooting pxe booting?
    "
    Hang on a minute, I don't know how to do that!

    (reminds me of the "do you mean an African or a European Swallow?" in Monty Python)

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    AXE
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    Ask them to make up a Cat6 patch cable.
    Giving them all the right parts, a wiring chart and a 5 minute time limit.

    Ask them to repair a pc with an UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME.
    (I wrote a small app that would set this up. )

    Ask them to install 1GB memory in a pc.
    Give them 10 modules, mix of types and sizes, only one correct.

    Ask them to troubleshoot the network connection of a pc.
    With the subnet mask set at 255.255.255.252

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    Ask them:
    A teacher has asked you to take some photos of some pupils doing a charity event and make sure they can be put on to the schools website. What things would you need to think about to perform this task? The answer being putting pictures of children on the website may have legal implications (getting the parents permission etc) but also make sure they mention .JPG etc and a suitable file size. Ask them to type this up in Word but remove the shortcut so they have to find it.

  5. Thanks to visioN from:

    BatchFile (22nd May 2009)

  6. #20
    BatchFile's Avatar
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    ... I suppose I could set that BSOD screen saver up on the PC, too

  7. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    Hang on a minute, I don't know how to do that!
    Lol, I think you probably need to reiterate the level of technician you were looking for!

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_ View Post
    Lol, I think you probably need to reiterate the level of technician you were looking for!
    9 hours per week, initially supervising the after school IT club too! (but with scope for the role to grow)

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    I read recently (maybe here) of a PC Mag that did a survey around a town to "test" PC fixers. All they did was to unplug the C: HDD drive power connector. Surprising number failed to find it, one tried to charge $$$ to fix it, and recommended scrapping the PC.

  10. #24
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    Attached are a couple of old ones used in the past, pretty much what is covered above. A lot depends on what you are looking for and how much time you give them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    9 hours per week, initially supervising the after school IT club too! (but with scope for the role to grow)
    If thats the case, I would definately look into knowledge of equipment used. What kind of things do you cover in the IT club? If the role is to supervise the club couldn't you use some of the tasks carried out there to use as a test for the applicant?

  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcshammer_dj View Post
    Attach a machine to a network port using a cross over cable and ask them to diagnose the problem
    Just make sure you set the swtich up not to autodetect and fix that....

    Quote Originally Posted by mossj View Post
    Aand/or network cable (simply unplug it) and/or change domain drop down box
    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    not have the network cable seated in correctly so it is in but it does not click and see if they can establish why there is no connection.
    Worse break the network cable (either with the bend radius method or cutting and recrimping a connector on incorrectly or with one of the internal cables shorter so it dosn't work) so they can't do the "click" test on the network cable.

    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Also different terminology, what they stand for, what DNS does, what DHCP is and does etc etc

    Also identification of computer items ie hard drive, motherboard, processor , ram etc
    Ooh i got asked those terminolgy questions when we were doing my TAFE RPL stuff... then the person randomly asked me "how many active satellites are there in the GPS operating constellation" well apprently there are 31 active and 2 spares (Global Positioning System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    For the mother boards find two differnt ones (try aim for one older and newer) and see them try to work out what that ISA socket is.


    For fun you could show them differnt ip addresses and ask them to indicate what class they are, put something differnt in there and ask them to id a Class D or E addresses (Classful network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Or ask them a subnetting question such as "you have 200 computers, work out what class address and subnet you would need" or "you are given a class a of 10.0.0.0/24 work out the following (the answeres are out of a old book so most likely wrong since i can't do subnetting):
    1. What is the subnet mask for this network?
      1. Dotted decimal 255.255.255.0
      2. Binary 11111111.11111111.11111111.00000000
    2. How many usable subnetworks are there?
      65534
    3. How many usable hosts are there per subnet?
      254
    4. What is the host range for usable subnet sixteen?
      10.0.16.1-10.0.16.254
    5. What is the network address for usable subnet sixteen?
      10.0.16.0
    6. What is the broadcast address for usable subnet sixteen?
      10.0.16.255
    7. What is the broadcast address for the last usable subnet?
      10.255.254.255
    8. What is the broadcast address for the major network?
      10.255.255.255

  13. #27
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    Well I'd be terrified to apply after some of the suggestions!

    Crossover cables? Subnetting? That's Cisco stuff! I doubt for a small part time job you'll get someone Cisco qualified. Although some of the rest of the suggestions are more common sense.

    Mind you, troubleshooting when you have the theory behind you does help. I'm talking about starting at physical layer of OSI model and working up...ie. cabling first, ip addressing etc...

    Now back to my little part-time job...

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by zdenka View Post
    Well I'd be terrified to apply after some of the suggestions!

    Crossover cables? Subnetting? That's Cisco stuff! I doubt for a small part time job you'll get someone Cisco qualified. Although some of the rest of the suggestions are more common sense.

    Mind you, troubleshooting when you have the theory behind you does help. I'm talking about starting at physical layer of OSI model and working up...ie. cabling first, ip addressing etc...

    Now back to my little part-time job...
    Cross over cables and subnetting are not cisco! they are standard networking, without subnetting you can not set up proper functioning ip addressing schemes.

    For example did you know cross over cables are for connecting "like" devices where as stright though cables are connecting "unlike" devices?
    Last edited by p858snake; 23rd May 2009 at 12:38 AM. Reason: early morning

  15. #29
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    most of the tasks should be sorting out what the little kids like doing

    1.unplugging network cables
    2.turning brightness down on monitors
    3.changing mouse cables around/unplugging them
    4.turning off print servers/printers
    5.putting computers in hi contrast mode (if they can they will!!)
    6.messing with power cables unplugging
    7.switching projector inputs (if they can reach panel)

    General stuff like this maybe get them to change a toner on a printer or find out how much ink is left etc

  16. #30
    AXE
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    Standard networking. Damn right; An understanding of TCP-IP was essential for my candidates. Running a multi site network with many remote servers on dial up connections. Well designed subnets were essential, as were scripts to force the correct routing tables. This was something my successor never understood. I implemented, 3DES and IPSEC over IPV6 in the week before I left, he tried to claim it was sabbotage.

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