Senior Tech interview tomorrow anyone got any tips!? not been for an interview in 2 years now!!!!
Lucky enough got a training day at work today... so 7 1/2 hours of flicking through a 500gig trainsignal hard drive brushing up on everything!
But know the interview will be alot different ....
Some non-technical tips drawn directly from the bad examples of people I've interviewed (and rejected) in the past:
- Wear a suit. Preferably one that fits. Look like you've made an effort to be presentable.
- Don't turn up late, blame the train, but then reek of cigarettes. (So, train late but you had time for a smoke during the 30-second walk from the station, eh?) In fact, now that I think of it, try not to smell of anything. If you are a smoker, just get some patches or something so you don't have to have a ciggy due to nerves. Call me a fascist if you want but it just doesn't give a good impression.
- When asked why you want to work for a school, don't answer "Well, I've applied to few businesses but not had much luck really." (ACTUAL QUOTE)
plus some personal tips that seem to have worked well for me:
- Research the background of the school, as already mentioned.
- Be informed on current trends (not just the blue-sky stuff you read about in the press, actual things happening in significant numbers of schools). Preferably things you have experience with.
- If you have a tour, pay close attention to how IT is integrated in the school and think about how you would look after it and how it could be improved. Refer back to #2 above and try to spot which things they aren't doing yet. That could very easily come up during the interview (it certainly does when I'm interviewing). Ask questions on the tour if you can, and make conversation with your guide (using knowledge from #1 directly above). Even if your guide isn't on the interview panel, their impression of you could make a big difference. Just seeming switched on will leave a good impression.
As others have said, and always seems to be true - wear a suit, turn up on time, relax (breathe deep, count to ten, etc), and be yourself.
This is very good advice. At my interview for this job I was given a tour and it was painfully obvious that two ICT suites of aging Elonex Prosentia 1000's needed upgrading. During the subsequent interview this came up as did budget management. I impressed them by a) refuring to the machines by model (demonstrating that I knew what I was looking at), and b) coming up with a sensible replacement strategy on the spot based on what I'd seen. Basically upgrade one suite last year, which we've done, use the RAM from the first suite to boost the second suite so they can survive until we upgrade them later this year.
- If you have a tour, pay close attention to how IT is integrated in the school and think about how you would look after it and how it could be improved. Just seeming switched on will leave a good impression.
Probably my best interview answer to date Along with designing a managed wifi system (that we won't be implimenting) as an answer to a question from their hired in technical guru.
Just quickly trying to remember some of the things which can go wrong so you can avoid them!
Try to think why the question is being asked before you try and answer it - sounds obvious but it so often isn't. An example would be the kind of question I've asked in the past to find out if someone can work as part of a team (typically "Deadline tomorrow; loads to do; how will you get it all done" kind of thing). Wrong answers are "I'll work till midnight" "I'll come in early" etc. Right answers are "I'll try and work out how we can spread the load among others in the team" "I'll look at what is less urgent so wecan meet this deadline" "I'll look at who else can help"
Don't be too narrowly focused; I had one interview where a candidate pretty much only talked about security. It's obviously important but it's not the only thing!
Don't get too technical unless they specifically ask you to - it's your job to understand the techy stuff but you're probably going to need to present to non-technical types.
As others have said, if you can say something which is directly relevant to the school then that's good - see if you can find their VLE.
Try to talk to each member of the panel - don't just talk to the person in the middle!
You'll almost certainly get asked if you have questions; you can ask stuff directly related to IT ("what plans are there for a 10Gbit backbone") but it may sound better if you ask more "learning" focused stuff ("how much use is made of the VLE"; "how do users access the network from home", "what renewal programme do you have for desktops/laptops/servers")
how did the interview go?
Hope your interview went well! :-) how did you get on fella?
Well never got the job, pretty certain the internal cand. got the job! as he turned up in jeans and shirt knew everyones name and they gave that impression on the phone!
Funny thing is the feedback that was given to me (said only reason i never got it.... and was very close)was I did not have enough server experiance!!! they have 3-5 servers, i currently support over 27 across 20 different sites and they asked me one question on servers:
How would you lock down sercruity on our network? said quite a abit the usual Group Policy stuff anti virus ect... dont know how they can judge me on that!?
Tech test was based on excel spreadsheets and searching for folders in XP.... and explaining how I would do things in excel i.e insert a vlook up table!!! not what I thought a tech test would be for a senior, spent most of my time brushing up on AD, vmware, hyper V, terminal services ect!
Job spec asked for ITIL... passed it a while back. They dont even use it! why ask then???
Dont mean to slag them off, and seem angry I never got the job but think im better off where I am really....
You dont realise what you have at work sometimes.... air con office, nice big desk! work van... mobile phone, laptop....
Thanks for all the input from everyone helped alot in the interview....
Ask for feedback again including what skills did the successful candidate have that you didn't so that should similar jobs come up in the future you would have a better chance.
Sorry to hear you were unsuccessful Richie.
Darn right that was some weird kinda interview...
But I suppose the Excel/filing stuff is important -to test your mettle for all the extra paper-pushing involved in higher-up positions :P :P
*nods* Certainly you're a better catered for Techie than I! Enjoy whatcha got! ^_^
Unfortunately this sounds very much like a show interview, i.e. they had to interview someone as an 'alternative' to the internal candidate they plan to give the job to anyway. Saw an awful lot of them in my last school, always felt bad for the people whose time they were wasting.
It is a sad side effect of 'fair-hire' rules that require a post to be supposedly put up for all possible contenders because heaven forbid they just promote the suitable candidate after a reasonable aptitude test (assuming that its possible to provide one of course :P ) - and then hire for the now open junior post.
It really is the worst kind of tick boxing - worse when its not even being properly disguised, I mean they might as well grab a sixth former and ask them to do the application for work experience practice and not cost time & money for everybody.
Ah well - chalk it up to interview practice and move on.
Many places require you to do open adverts for posts even when you think you've got a good internal candidate but, if the process is done properly then it should be fair. As a manager, you want to get the best person; you know that your internal candidate is good but you want to measure them against outsiders.
It's always going to be hard being that outsider but don't give up hope. I've been on panels where we the internal candidate lost out. We started off thinking "even if no decent external turns up then internal person X is good enough" but appointed an external person because they were so much better.
Interview dress code is always fascinating. I spent 10 years as a manager in an FE college. I never wore a suit for interviewing and always told internal candidates (and any externals who phoned saying "what should I wear") that they didn't need to wear a suit. I think the official interview invite letter even said something like "dress comfortably" - we wanted candidates to feel at ease. Some people are comfortable in a suit but some aren't and we didn't want to disadvantage any one.
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