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Educational IT Jobs Thread, "Hands on tasks" for interview day in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; I'm involved in the interview process for a small part-time technician post that we're interviewing for on the Monday after ...
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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    "Hands on tasks" for interview day

    I'm involved in the interview process for a small part-time technician post that we're interviewing for on the Monday after half term and I've been asked to prepare a couple of "hands on" tests for the victims (cough) candidates to attempt

    any ideas what I can set for them?

    I realise that, this being a public forum, the candidates could see it and get an advantage... but tbh signing up for Edugeek is one of the first things I'm going to get the succesful candidate to do in any case, so if they see it here, good on em!
    Last edited by BatchFile; 22nd May 2009 at 12:48 PM.

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    Fridge's Avatar
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    Maybe diagnosing a simple problem in a PC. Open up a desktop and take out a power cable or unseat the RAM, something to that effect and then get them to fix it/tell you why it isn't working.

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    mossj's Avatar
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    Ask them to write a letter explaining to a member of staff that there is a virus on his machine and how to prevent it in the future, but on the computer you ask them to do it on play with the monitor settings and/or mouse (remove mouse ball) and/or network cable (simply unplug it) and/or change domain drop down box and anything else basic that common sense should be able to fix (or to the level of ability you expect the cadidate to have).

    P.S thats what they did for my interview, here
    Last edited by mossj; 22nd May 2009 at 11:50 AM.

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    If you want to be cruel...then tell them to write down the 12 things wrong with this PC. But make sure there are less than 12...LOL Maybe 3 or so.

    The one who gets 3 is the winner. The others may still be going long after the interview is over!

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    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.

    Also prioritizing between tasks ie

    member of staff A has a class room of computers down

    member of staff B has reports that need sending off in a week

    member of staff C has a printer that is not working

    etc etc

    please prioritize the above list into the order in which it should be done ( may have to re arrange the list so its in the wrong order )

    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

    For the most part it depends on what there job description entails because if they are only doing data entry with a specific piece of software then the above is not relevant where as if they will be doing hard ware repairs and not dealing with a room of computers being down or the networking then they may not need to prioritize or deal with the networking side which would count out wireless, dns, dhcp etc.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTSM View Post
    If you want to be cruel...then tell them to write down the 12 things wrong with this PC. But make sure there are less than 12...LOL Maybe 3 or so.

    The one who gets 3 is the winner. The others may still be going long after the interview is over!
    1. It's a PC
    2. It has windows and is still a PC
    3. It is a pc

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    mossj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    1. It's a PC
    2. It has windows and is still a PC
    3. It is a pc
    NO! I am a PC!

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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTSM View Post
    If you want to be cruel...then tell them to write down the 12 things wrong with this PC. But make sure there are less than 12...LOL Maybe 3 or so.

    The one who gets 3 is the winner. The others may still be going long after the interview is over!
    +1 rep

    Quote Originally Posted by mossj View Post
    Ask them to write a letter explaining to a member of staff that there is a virus on his machine and how to prevent it in the future, but on the computer you ask them to do it on play with the monitor settings and/or mouse (remove mouse ball) and/or network cable (simply unplug it) and/or change domain drop down box and anything else basic that common sense should be able to fix (or to the level of ability you expect the cadidate to have).

    P.S thats what they did for my interview, here
    +1 Rep
    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.

    Also prioritizing between tasks ie

    member of staff A has a class room of computers down

    member of staff B has reports that need sending off in a week

    member of staff C has a printer that is not working

    etc etc

    please prioritize the above list into the order in which it should be done ( may have to re arrange the list so its in the wrong order )

    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

    For the most part it depends on what there job description entails because if they are only doing data entry with a specific piece of software then the above is not relevant where as if they will be doing hard ware repairs and not dealing with a room of computers being down or the networking then they may not need to prioritize or deal with the networking side which would count out wireless, dns, dhcp etc.
    Yeah... that's the sort of thing I was thinking, even just a pile of stuff (tower, monitor, keyboard, mouse, network cable, printer...) to put together to make a computer that works...

    Like the "glossary" idea, think that'll go in too, possibly combined with the identification test.

    I think prioritising will mainly stay with me.

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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    1. It's a PC
    2. It has windows and is still a PC
    3. It is a pc
    which leaves the nine that aren't wrong with it:
    4. It's not a Mac
    5. It's still not a Mac
    ... and so on

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    Maybe a bit of a search task, i'm sure the majority of you guys here use the internet to solve problems? Why not set a simple task of finding out how to do something,

    "We are experiencing printer problems, a fuser error keeps appearing on a printer but the 'faulty' one works in another printer, what can we do to rectify this problem"

    Then find a similar task where the printer manufacturer recommends a firmware upgrade. I'm sure there are plenty of examples that require such a process. To be honest that is how i solve any new problems i come across, and that is the process needed to be a successful technician, not neccesarily knowing EVERYTHING but being able to apply knowledge to find what you need.

    Shrug!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    which leaves the nine that aren't wrong with it:
    4. It's not a Mac
    5. It's still not a Mac
    ... and so on
    6. It's McDonalds?

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    Get them to log on with a lowercase password but put CAPS LOCK on?

    Print something out (with no paper in the printer.)
    Send an email
    Setup a computer (with no power cable)
    Connect a projector up to a laptop
    Write a bullet point document of how to do any of the above.

    Just trying to think of the most obvious questions I get asked all the time. You can then see if the candidate is willing to ask for additional information/equipment(such as a missing power lead) I think you are betting finding out if they can troubleshoot and ask relevant questions rather than just have the tech knowledge.

    If it is for a part time post I would imagine it would be just as usefull to check documentation skills? I would think it is quite important to know that all jobs are done when allocated or the job log is updated to indicate what actions had been taken so someone else can finish while they are off.

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    leave then in a class of children and a typical teacher and switch the mouse and keyboard(assuming that it is PS2).

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    Attach a machine to a network port using a cross over cable and ask them to diagnose the problem

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    associate *.exe files with a program and then remove the program!!

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