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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Technical competence test in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by bossman @all: I did actually get asked these questions in an interview and my answers were as ...
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    mossj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    @all:

    I did actually get asked these questions in an interview and my answers were as follows:

    1. The students who can't login as this is paramount to the schools student teaching and learning ethos this will be a network connectivity issue and probably mean that a switch is down through electrical fault or hardware fault once this has been identified which should take no more than 5 mins you can move on to request No 2.

    2. The Admin worker who probably does far more work than any other staff member and so this would impact other staff members.

    3. The Head teacher requiring an urgent document printing out as he could get the admin worker to print it out after you have sorted her problem.

    I was told afterwards in my feedback that the answers I had given were very good and that this had been a major part in being offered the position. I did decline the offer as I had been made a better offer previous.
    This is VASTLY different in a university...

    Who are you going to proritize? students who can't log in or a system that made 10 million last year? It's not a question you will have to ask yourself anyway uni's tend to have teams to deal with a specific area.. You trust them to deal with what they are entrusted with.

    For example I'm a Web/Systems Assistant in the business systems team. My job revolves around making sound technical business decisions, analyzing processes and training needs, administrating the business systems, and furthering the goals of my department (profit/prestige/customer service).

    I wouldn't for example play with the switch in my office nor would I log onto my computer with admin rights to install software.

    You need to look at your job description, try to find out what systems they use and work from there and remember a university at the end of the day is a business.
    Last edited by mossj; 12th February 2010 at 06:42 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I went for (and got) a job at Uni when I was studying there, as a first line support monkey. This involved simple things like replacing toner, topping up people's print budgets, diagnosing basic problems with people's email accounts and desktop accounts, and helping people who were trying to print. Very basic role.

    My interview involved a bunch of questions about how i'd narrow down an issue from the comment said by the customer to determining how to fix it - be that by myself, or by reporting to other teams.

    The questions were quite probing and detailed, even for a basic role - so I'd say expect to have quite detailed questions posed of you, ensuring you can handle the depth of the role.

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    mossj's Avatar
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    Oh and good luck!

    A university is truely an excellent place to work. Lots of advantages to it Gym, Library, night courses, Accommodation to name a few.

    You will find you gain knowledge in your team quite rapidly BUT you will find you unrelated knowledge gets old fast... hence why I always visit here in a attempt to keep up to speed.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossj View Post
    Oh and good luck!
    makes at least a few of us as I forgot to mention good luck stay calm

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    I'd go about the priorities question slightly differently myself...

    1) Log all on helpdesk so that another member of ICT support can pick up whichever of the calls you leave behind whilst you deal with the first...
    2) To get me in the good books, phone the Head (pref from mobile whilst on way to fix the classroom), ask for a quick summary of the issue, explain that you have a classroom down and will be round as soon as possible
    3) Phone the Admin worker (again from mobile, on way to fix classroom), ask for a quick summary of the issue, explain that you have a classroom down and that the head has a problem.
    4) Go fix the classroom that's down...
    5) Take answers from 2 & 3 and prioritise based on their responses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marci View Post
    I'd go about the priorities question slightly differently myself...

    1) Log all on helpdesk so that another member of ICT support can pick up whichever of the calls you leave behind whilst you deal with the first...
    2) To get me in the good books, phone the Head (pref from mobile whilst on way to fix the classroom), ask for a quick summary of the issue, explain that you have a classroom down and will be round as soon as possible
    3) Phone the Admin worker (again from mobile, on way to fix classroom), ask for a quick summary of the issue, explain that you have a classroom down and that the head has a problem.
    4) Go fix the classroom that's down...
    5) Take answers from 2 & 3 and prioritise based on their responses.

    Assuming those problems still exist because if it's a password issue u can mstsc into said server from either the heads laptop or a classroom computer and reset p/w for said users??? Obviously depending on which server ie admin or curric

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    The only other thing with the written tests that I have come across is to establish if the people taking the test are any good at prioritising ie

    whole room of computers that cant login stopping students from working

    admin member of staff who can't login to there computer

    principle / head master who needs a document printing off urgently

    something along those lines and you have to number them 1 to 3 or whatever and put them in the correct order.

    If the school ethos is along the lines of (it usually is), you exist to further teaching and learning, then students always come first. A room of computers that can't log on is likely to be a more serious problem than just 1 room. Whenever this happens to us, it's usually the whole cabinet in the building has gone offline. That means all the computers and laptops in the building disconnected! It's prudent to act on the possibility that the problem is more serious.

    I'd put the head next as he probably needs it for some important meeting, with parents, or external peoples.

    after that admin staff.

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    As @mossj has said, universities are very different from schools. I'd guess most people here working in a school are in a team of 2-3 people at most. The university I work at has about 250 people working in ICT and roles are very clearly defined

    Given that the job is defined as network support assistant I suspect that it pretty much won't involve anything to do with end users - it's about making sure that there's a functioning network.

    You need to look at the job description but if it mentions stuff like managing switches then it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to give you a switch and say something like "configure VLANS for xxx" or perhaps ask you to do something with DNS or DHCP on a test network (and it probably won't be using Windows!)

    One other thing - try and find out how their IT is structured. Some unis still work on the basis that every department does its own IT (so their will be separate teams in maths, physics, mech eng etc) whereas others have moved to a centralised model.

    Good luck!

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    The questions I hate is things like conflict resolution.

    I resolve conflict by not getting into one in the first place.

    7 years of working and the worst I've had is a stroppy teacher being an arse (she kept blaiming my equipment for her students being crap, where it was in fact her students that were crap!). At which point I promptly informed my Network Manager, that it might be best he should deal with any/all support calls with said teacher for the time being. This was further assisted by the fact that they refused to acknowledge my existence for about 6 weeks, including not emailing me when they had a problem, only my colleagues

    I tend to wind people up that way though, I'm not easily intimidated, or wound up, I tend to remain calm and quiet in most situations, which when someone is trying to spit fireballs at you, tends to increase their anger!

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