As a result of some previous happenings and goings on, there is now a technical test attached to any IT position at the college. This was instigated when the last Senior Technician was appointed, and has thus far been used on all interviews since. Some questions are quite open, some questions are simply true/false, some require a sense of imagination (and humour). My question is how would you feel going to an interview and being given a technical test. Would you take it in your stride, or would you consider it to be beneath you (which has happened). The Tech test doesn't make or break the applicants chances, but it provides us with some paper proof of knowledge and an idea as to how they approach problems where very little info is provided (as can often be the case).
With us advertising this week for a new Senior Technician and a new Junior Technician, I'm wondering what other peoples thoughts are on there being technical tests as part of the interview. Do you consider it par for the course, or abnormal. Opinions please!
I had to do one for my job nearly 3 years ago. I did think some of the questions were a bit beneath me and many were open to interpretation. Apparently i didnt get 100% but still got the job. After seeing the list of answers i had to argue the case against some of them.
While candidates may see it as below them, you have to remember you are the ones advertising the job. Whatever hoops you make them jump thorough along the way are there to ensure you hire the right person.
Do you hesitate to ask them for an interview. They could argue why should they have to justify themselves to you? You have their CV and can see their qualifactions!
I havn't created a cast iron 'answer' list. A lot of the questions are copied from actual faults on our database. What I want to see is really how they will deal with a problem, how their brain operates. My favorite question is the last question. Which I won't post here right now in case anyone on these boards applies.
As for arguing about justifying themselves... It's 10-20mins of their time that could secure them a job I assume they actually want. The only time I've ever felt bad about the technical test was interviewing a young chap last year. He was incredibly nervous and I felt very bad. Mostly because I felt the same way when I applied to Tewkesbury School for my first Educational IT job. It was my first real 'on the front lines' support job. Most of the previous experience had been in small computer shops, private work, and on helpdesk.
I worked for Tiny (via a third party company). Please don't hurt me.
that was my point, they attend an interview bcs they "hopefully" want the job. A technical test, if they're prewarned when invited for interview or even send the JD & JS, will be ok.
As for feeling bad about interview the nervous guy, dont! The test will give him the chance to put his knowledge on paper. We've all been given interview questions (or at least i hope we have otherwise it's just me!) where the mind goes blank and you go erm... for a minute before the brain kicks in. A test is far less daunting than an interview.
I once helped write a test for $company as a friend was working there ... and we had it checked over by a few other people we knew ... since then my friend has moved on to $Govt and imagine our amusement when another friend had been at a job interview for a bank only to find that the test I had helped write ... that he had helped validate ... had become a standard test for recurits from a particular agency. It had been snaffled by a HR person who had left to join an agency and was being used quite a bit.
I jokingly went for a job interview and got 98% on the test ... apparrently I should correct my own punctuation mistakes that were still on it ... it comes across as cocky.
But yes ... a technical test is good ... make it 2, one written and one practical.
I think a tech test is vital to be able to work out if the person is up to the job. My personal favorite is to do it online but leave the workstation un patched and see how long it takes for the candiate to work out that the lack of internet it due to the patch lead sitting next to them :twisted: .
The tech test for my first educational IT job was just an unplugged molex power connector on the hard drive.
I also spotted that the power LED and HDD LED connectors were not plugged into the motherboard with the correct polarity, and there were several screws missing in various locations, which I think was embarrassing for the existing network manager!