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General Chat Thread, IT Apprentice test for interview ideas... in General; Hi all, We are due to take on an apprentice very shortly but before I ring them to confirm dates ...
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    rpycroft's Avatar
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    Question IT Apprentice test for interview ideas...

    Hi all,

    We are due to take on an apprentice very shortly but before I ring them to confirm dates for interview I was wondering if anyone could possibly give us any ideas for a or some basic technical tests we could get them to undertake.

    I am hoping that they're going to take over usage of our websites (mostly using various content management systems) and undertake some basic admin stuff across our systems (paper in printers, toner change, password resets, etc) and then move onto more interesting stuff if they're any good...

    I was thinking something to do with getting them to knock up a basic webpage - but then wasn't sure whether this would display their ability to actually navigate and use a CMS.

    If anyone's undertaken anything like this before I'd be really grateful for any feedback on your experiences with it.

    Many thanks in advance for any help offered!

    Richard.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    show them what you do, and let them learn from it. Best way. If you want them to be any good, set up a test server, test machine, let them go at it. If they are any good but need pointers, then help them. Best way to learn is hands on.

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    I might be missing the point, but many years ago when I did my Telecommunications Technician Apprenticeship, the GEC (showing my age here, they dont exist anymore) gave me an aptitude test in general science type questions, a little maths and understanding/following instruction. Then they taught me through department placements (on the job training) and day release at college, I knew very little about telecoms before I started.

    Isn't that what being an apprentice is about, learning the job not necessarily having the skills before you start, but a general education you can build on gaining the skills as you work.

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    I thought that trainees and apprentices didn't have to have any skill, just be keen and happy to learn?

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    Why not set them a task prior to interview, along the lines of we use xxx cms for our website. Please prepare a 2 minute presentation on what a CMS is, how it is used and why it is useful to a school.

    It would show their ability to work alone and do research, how keen they are to work and how quickly they can pick up new knowledge and communicate it.

    Steve

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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    I was doing something similar a while ago - mine was for a very basic technician post some great ideas here: "Hands on tasks" for interview day

    In the end I did a "what do these acronyms mean" glossary type of thing for one test and a "type the answer to this question then print it in another room" (having first assembled the PC).

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    If you're using a test for comparison purposes - maybe you have a couple of options - then basic skills like spelling and maths are very important.

    If they can identify a few computer components it's a bonus! They are there to learn after all.

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    mossj's Avatar
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    Okay this is a bit extreme but shows common sense in the region of CMS.

    Setup a test site, with sample data. Then ask them to edit XYZ or add ZYX, BUT without telling them how.

    This will show you how there mind works and if there willing to at least try something without the knowledge, also do they ask for instructions or help? do they search the internet how to's?

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    Not quite on-topic perhaps,but I used the following test to good effect on several occasions.

    Set up a PC on the network and a temporary account with password. Now make the following changes;

    1 - disconnect monitor lead from base unit

    2 - disconnect network lead from wall

    3 - disconnect keyboard (I used to swap mouse/keyboard connectors when they were PS/2)

    4 - swap two keyboard buttons that are used in the password. the smart candidate will either spot that the keyboard config is wrong or try typing the password in the username box to confirm it is going in correctly.

    Give applicant the username/password and tell them to get the computer working. Watch what they do and you will see how logical/methodical they can be under a stressful situation.

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