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Educational IT Jobs Thread, What sort of technical tests? in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; I am trying to find out what sort of technical tests do hiring managers use if any and if you ...
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    What sort of technical tests?

    I am trying to find out what sort of technical tests do hiring managers use if any and if you have had to take a test for a job what sort of format did it take any examples would be welcome

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Never really had anything practical, usually just a written example, and often combined with a prioritisation task. e.g. you arrive at work at 8.30 and have 3 emails, one from the Deputy Head saying email is not working, one from last night saying the backup failed ...etc. What would you do? Explain reasoning.
    Others might be simple asked like 'How would you go about troubleshooting an issue whereby a teacher cannot access a certain website'.

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    I've had

    - 5 xp machines at the login screen. Why won't they login - the user & pw are correct. Answers were - dialup checkbox selected, spaces after username, ethernet disconnected etc etc
    - here's a domain password (gulp!). Put this machine on the network. Needed to know about the proxy server / copy it off another machine.
    - what's the difference between a hub and and a switch?
    - here's a schematic (of the sumps & pumps as it happened). Tell me how it works (not a specifically IT job but showed general intelligence). Had to spot low and high level floats energising relays which started pumps.

    I've forgotten some..


    Hth.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    One technical test I had asked all sorts of questions

    Identify the following symbols (then it showed USB, Ethernet, VGA, etc)
    What is a pict bridge
    Name as many types of expansion cards as possible
    What does the refresh rate mean

    Things like that, questioning if I knew my items and such like.

    Then a bit of a tougher test

    Variety of CMD prompt commands and what they do
    What order does Crossover Cables go in terms of colours, and straightthrough cables.
    Difference between Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a
    Difference between OM1, OM2, OM3

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Interviewed for a new techie here recently, we have one PC that we had broken in a variety of interesting ways (which I'll not detail too much cos I want to use it again!) but it was along the lines of: a teacher has come to you saying they want to play an audio CD on this machine in half an hour and it's not working. Fix it. There were various HW & SW bits we had sabotaged, and whilst it wasn't too challenging for any reasonably competent person to complete, it did reveal some interesting patterns for us with regards to how people approached problems.

    Special exception was the final candidate, who not only failed to repair the PC, but actually broke it more by managing to sweat onto the mobo, and blue screening the machien so badly it didn't even have time to write the text up, just turn the screen blue. Not a winning result for a practical test, that, to break the machine more than it already was.

    When I interviewed for NM I had a paper test instead of practical - stuff like name the 7 layers, how would you deploy a software package that had no MSI etc. I hate paper tests for their complete unrealism. There is no problem I wouldn't ask Google about, and if I couldn't ask Google about it because the internet was broken, then I'd be fixing that instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    3 emails, one from the Deputy Head saying email is not working
    Was that the trick question?

  7. Thanks to eddiebaby from:

    Chris_ (2nd November 2011)

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    The best question and quite often asked at an interview - why are manhole covers round?

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiebaby View Post
    Was that the trick question?
    Yeah! i was making them up. Though i have had many a private email to say, school email wont work.

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    In the IT jobs I have applied for a majority had a technical and written test.

    e.g.

    Computer broken fix it - ram loose, network cable loose, sata cable loose, bios (hd needs config). Login and add to domain and set a proxy. Setup a projector and connect to a smartboard.

    Written test consisted of prioritisation and how I would deal with a variety of scenarios e.g.

    CEO secretary cant remember her password, projector and screen needs setting up for 30 minutes, an application has failed meaning 30 students can't work. Or leisure center booking system has failed meaning no one can come in or book.

    One test asked me about various names like what does RAM, ROM, OSI model stand for.

    In one interviews students took me round on a tour. Their opinions of me counted slightly in the interview process.

    If it was me interviewing I would have a written test, spoken test and practical test with several levels of difficulty to seperate the men from the boys.
    Last edited by Jiser; 2nd November 2011 at 03:57 PM.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    We have a written test, student panel, formal interview and an informal interview.

    Written test is some tech questions, priority ordering, fault finding processes, acroynms, security questions. We not only look at if they are right or wrong but how they have answered. A one word correct answer may not be as useful as a fuller more reasoned slightly wrong answer.

    Student Panel is very revealing. They come up with some questions that are approved and just chat. They then give the answers and impressions back to a member of staff.

    Informal interview is me jsut chatting asking some questions 1to1. Get a bit of a feel for the person & their strengths or weaknesses.

    The formal interview is the big one with the Head and Department head.

    Seems to have worked out fine so far.

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    Usually a priority test as above really, your first in school and have three problems what do you do etc.
    Basic technical test which resembles a true situation in the daily duties i.e. projector wont turn on, memory fault etc.


    Not really into theory tests, unless it relates to the daily tasks / roll - someone can be totally amazing in their theory about how to program a Cisco product because they have CCNA but when it comes to applying that knowledge or carrying out a simpler task they could be useless etc. in my opinion experience counts more than a piece of paper.

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    It depends on the role and how much time we have to set up but for practical stuff it generally involves piling pressure onto the candidate to see how well they cope.

    At $other_job they used to detonate smoke bombs inside cases if they needed a tie-breaker to see how well the tech responded when (it appeared) that they'd just let the magic smoke out of the computer they'd put back together.



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