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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Technical competence test in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Hello, I have an interview next week at a university as a network support assistant. There will be an interview ...
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    Technical competence test

    Hello, I have an interview next week at a university as a network support assistant. There will be an interview and a technical competence test. Just wondered if anyone had an idea what I might be asked?
    Cheers

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Could be anything - I've had everything from practical tests connecting broken PCs up - to theory tests so over complicated that I didn't even understand the question. let alone know the answers.

    Good luck!

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    Cheers mr. monkey, i will keep an open mind Any other ideas edugeekers?

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    My competency test was as simple as "here is a pc, here are some components (a spare HD and Ram), some are broke some arent, make the PC work and document what you do" 15min timelimit.....

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    Potato-Peeler (12th February 2010)

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    When I went for my techie job I was given a paper test for half an hour (I always get these and I hate them - when have you ever worked without Google? ) and a practical for half an hour, which was basically "here is a broken PC, find out what is wrong with it and replace the CD-ROM drive". It was fairly obvious stuff like leads disconnected, crap shoved inside the old drive to stop it working.

    I would do some basic brushing up on network stuff - 7 layer model, which protocols you'd use, cabling, wireless security etc. - and you should be ok with the written test. As for the practical troubleshooting part - well, if you're capable of the job you're capable of doing that. I wouldn't worry about it overly, it just weeds out the ones who are blatantly pretending and have no clue. If you've ever opened a computer case you should be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    When I went for my techie job I was given a paper test for half an hour (I always get these and I hate them - when have you ever worked without Google? ) and a practical for half an hour, which was basically "here is a broken PC, find out what is wrong with it and replace the CD-ROM drive". It was fairly obvious stuff like leads disconnected, crap shoved inside the old drive to stop it working.

    I would do some basic brushing up on network stuff - 7 layer model, which protocols you'd use, cabling, wireless security etc. - and you should be ok with the written test. As for the practical troubleshooting part - well, if you're capable of the job you're capable of doing that. I wouldn't worry about it overly, it just weeds out the ones who are blatantly pretending and have no clue. If you've ever opened a computer case you should be fine.
    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.

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    Potato-Peeler (12th February 2010)

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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.
    i would have trouble with this as if in a future interview as i would be thinking about our current head - deputies. they dont care that 35 others are having problems getting on, they need to print off their emails to read them and they need to do that nowwww!

    also whats the admin staff member doing/job roll, if they are the sims person and its report time they are bloody important. if they dont need computer urgently and can do some photocopying???

    what if i am busy, as in really busy, doing urgent stuff.

    this is why i hate these stupid questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibbo_ap View Post
    i would have trouble with this as if in a future interview as i would be thinking about our current head - deputies. they dont care that 35 others are having problems getting on, they need to print off their emails to read them and they need to do that nowwww!

    also whats the admin staff member doing/job roll, if they are the sims person and its report time they are bloody important. if they dont need computer urgently and can do some photocopying???

    what if i am busy, as in really busy, doing urgent stuff.

    this is why i hate these stupid questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My descriptions of the problems are prolly wrong but generally it would be

    1. Full class of students who can not login and or do anything - as its an educational establishment the students would come first especially considering its a full class

    2. admin staff because half the time its a password reset but obviously depends on the situation

    3. Head master as am sure his problem can wait 30 mins to an hour because there is a full class down

    Although there is no right or wrong way because you could put 2 before 1 because it takes 10 seconds to reset a password assuming it was a password as long as you explain your reasoning as to which order you put it around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    My descriptions of the problems are prolly wrong but generally it would be

    1. Full class of students who can not login and or do anything - as its an educational establishment the students would come first especially considering its a full class

    2. admin staff because half the time its a password reset but obviously depends on the situation

    3. Head master as am sure his problem can wait 30 mins to an hour because there is a full class down

    Although there is no right or wrong way because you could put 2 before 1 because it takes 10 seconds to reset a password assuming it was a password as long as you explain your reasoning as to which order you put it around.
    I'd go about differently again - headmaster needing a document printing urgently would be first because it is no doubt something very important and last minute (as ever!) and it would likely be a case of dropping a spare printer off quickly or getting the document from his home directory and printing it out yourself to hand to him. Not too time consuming, and off the record keeping the boss happy is always a worthwhile endeavour.

    Class of kids would come next - especially as all 30 in one room implies a larger problem with the network connectivity. Ideally I'd have another techie investigating this whilst I dealt with the head, doing some basic troubleshooting before we both put our heads together. Obviously the fact that they need to be taught lends a certain urgency to this, although most teachers should be capable of occupying a class for ten or fifteen minutes by talking while you fix (SHOULD)

    Admin staff last because it sounds like a small issue and isn't priority in comparison to the other two, unless, as said, reports or census or similar are going on.


    I think the point is - there isn't really a right and wrong answer - they just want to see that you CAN prioritise based on certain justifications. Saying "admin staff first cos their office is nearer" is obviously not a good way of organising your workload, but thinking through the repurcussions and what your role in school is (i.e. supporting learning) should get you through fine.

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    machin05's Avatar
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    The job priority test is a good one that is becoming more and more popular.

    We set a practical test of setting up a data projector to a laptop, then to a pc using a video splitter. Another test we set was the NumLock on a laptop trick.

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    Potato-Peeler (12th February 2010)

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    I once went for interview - well it was actually a pre-interview interview - with a major blue-chip UK company. The whole session consisted of a 45-minute 'aptitude test' - designed to filter the candidates so that the interviewers only got to see people who knew what they were talking about....
    .......brilliant, I thought - I'll be able to show them what I know.

    What was the test? Bleedin' algebra. Not a single question about computers. At the bottom of the paper I wrote, "I thought I was applying to be a network manager, not a maths teacher". For some strange reason I didn't get the next interview.

    The company was sold a year or two later and taken over by some foreign outfit who promptly sold everything off and made everybody redundant. Serves them right.

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    @all:

    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.
    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.

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    I had an interview just over a year ago which included a written test: all the questions were lifted from an MCSE coursework book....for Windows 2000! Haven't touched 2k for at least 5 years so I got most of them wrong (e.g. questions about the interface which have totally different answers in XP). They didn't even have w2k on any of their systems either. Durrr.

    The job was rubbish anyway...

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    Potato-Peeler (12th February 2010)

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    Thankyou people, this was most helpful

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potato-Peeler View Post
    Thankyou people, this was most helpful
    I forgot to say good luck in my post


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