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General Chat Thread, Interview from the how to NOT appoint an ICT Network Manager book! in General; The person spec for my job makes me look like more of a hero than I am - although I ...
  1. #16
    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    The person spec for my job makes me look like more of a hero than I am - although I am an absolute hero.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhyte85 View Post
    I think some places don't want people who are too capable and who'll potentially rock the boat - from experience of a few interviews since handing my notice in. You're obviously very capable, maybe you wouldn't stand for complacency?

    People who are too able, too pro-active, have ideas and want to get things good might pose a problem for a weak SMT - alot of schools just want to know it works, forget about it rather than to continually improve... or so it seems with some of the state schools.
    Some valid points here, but scary ones also.

    1.) No, I will not stand for complacency but I believe this to be a positive attribute!
    2.) I believe the Position of Network Manager should be a member of the SMT as is the case in the Private Sector.
    3.) Any school that is not looking to continually improve would not be an organisation I would waste my time with.

  3. #18
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djm968 View Post
    2.) I believe the Position of Network Manager should be a member of the SMT as is the case in the Private Sector.
    i don't know how many private sector companies you've worked in, but it's not a hard and fast rule that the 'network manager' is part of the senior mgmt team, even if you are able to pin down an equivalent to network manager role.

    3.) Any school that is not looking to continually improve would not be an organisation I would waste my time with.
    equally, maybe the school isn't wasting time beating itself up over not having offered you a job, because they believe the candidate chosen to be capable ? IF anything it sounds a wee bit like you were 'complacent' yourself in expecting them to make you a job offer.

  4. #19

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Heh, makes me laugh - like they think CC3 or 4 is complicated. With half an attention span a child could administer the basic bits. Within 6 months of exposure to CC3 and CC4 I was giving advice to senior managers about it. A timescale means nothing compared to the actual ability of the applicant and it often means people like us have to be our own salespeople as well as ICT technicians or managers. The amount of times I've had to point out things like "No, I don't have an MCSE or CCNA but I have twice the ability of the average MCSE holding individual - heres a list of x people to whom I act as a consultant" is shocking, almost as bad as the amount of people who wont even look at you unless you have letters after your name which means you can theoretically do something rather than actually do something.

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    dwhyte85 (4th December 2010)

  6. #20
    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    i don't know how many private sector companies you've worked in, but it's not a hard and fast rule that the 'network manager' is part of the senior mgmt team, even if you are able to pin down an equivalent to network manager role.

    equally, maybe the school isn't wasting time beating itself up over not having offered you a job, because they believe the candidate chosen to be capable ? IF anything it sounds a wee bit like you were 'complacent' yourself in expecting them to make you a job offer.
    I think if you re-read, the issue was more that emphasis on CC4 wasn't explicit before getting to the interview and it was a waste of time as they were unwilling to consider alternative experience... not that he should have got the job, more that it was a bit pointless inviting for interview if they already knew his skillset and weren't willing to consider it. It looks a bit dodgy but it could be just as said earlier it could be that they just think this is the most important thing in the world when recruiting for the role.

    But of course, everyone's entitled a view - it's an open forum.
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 4th December 2010 at 05:27 PM.

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    There are also other factors that come in to play when recruiting though. It's not all about actual IT experience or qualifications. Whenever we interview we're also looking for that person who will fit into the team and the organisation. The last round of recruitment we did there was 1 guy - very experienced, very qualified but every panel they met with said the same thing - that he would have put staffs backs up in days. That became apparent throughout the day. On paper he was brilliant but sadly his attitude let him down and we appointed someone else who was less experienced and held fewer qualifications but he had enough of both to to do the job and more importantly the right personality. As it turns out he has fitted brilliantly into the team and quickie acquired any technical skills he was missing.

    I wish to make it clear by the way that I am not having a go at the OP. I don't know them or the circumstances of the post he went for.

    Lack of CC4 experience may just be an excuse as they didn't want to discuss it further.
    Last edited by jcollings; 4th December 2010 at 05:36 PM.

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  9. #22
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    Fair point... that comes into it too. It can be just a matter of... they wouldn't fit in, and I think that goes back to what I said in the first page... it depends what they have expectation wise of a network manager, some schools have the mentality of a NM being seen and not heard...

    It is a reflection of the school as well as the applicant... they may just want IT working and leave it at that and really not care about future state, improvements etc.

    Nobody will ever know though
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 4th December 2010 at 05:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    i don't know how many private sector companies you've worked in, but it's not a hard and fast rule that the 'network manager' is part of the senior mgmt team, even if you are able to pin down an equivalent to network manager role.



    equally, maybe the school isn't wasting time beating itself up over not having offered you a job, because they believe the candidate chosen to be capable ? IF anything it sounds a wee bit like you were 'complacent' yourself in expecting them to make you a job offer.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion yours is unfortunately very misguided. I can’t stand time wasting, I probable should’ve guessed what I was about to walk into but I’m just too polite to be rude and walk out informing them that I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

    The point that I want to make is that in this instance and on many other occasions where I been a candidate for what is a in my opinion a KEY appointment at a School, the interview – in fact the entire recruitment process in many case is flawed, outdated and poorly executed!

    I’m actually pleased they didn’t offer me the position, as I would have had to think of an excuse to turn it down! Oh wait a minute I had a perfectly good one “I HAVE NO CC4 EXPERIENCE”

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    There are also other factors that come in to play when recruiting though. It's not all about actual IT experience or qualifications. Whenever we interview we're also looking for that person who will fit into the team and the organisation. The last round of recruitment we did there was 1 guy - very experienced, very qualified but every panel they met with said the same thing - that he would have put staffs backs up in days. That became apparent throughout the day. On paper he was brilliant but sadly his attitude let him down and we appointed someone else who was less experienced and held fewer qualifications but he had enough of both to to do the job and more importantly the right personality. As it turns out he has fitted brilliantly into the team and quickie acquired any technical skills he was missing.

    I wish to make it clear by the way that I am not having a go at the OP. I don't know them or the circumstances of the post he went for.

    Lack of CC4 experience may just be an excuse as they didn't want to discuss it further.
    I would suggest that your recruitment process is well developed, conceived and executed.

    Interestingly, for the roll I currently hold, I didn’t have an interview, I stepped in on short term contact to cover holiday leave and the FD offered me the vacant IT Manager position. Obviously must have seen some potential beyond one application package!

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwhyte85 View Post

    not that he should have got the job, more that it was a bit pointless inviting for interview if they already knew his skillset and weren't willing to consider it
    yes, but you don't know for sure that they weren't willing to consider what else he had to offer.

    maybe the emphasis was on CC4 specific experience as a deal breaker, in which case having that in the 'essential' column may do a better job in not 'wasting people's time' and shortlisting candidates with a good chance.

    i'm not sure about the whole waste of time thing either. It all adds to one's experience in interview situation, even if the process/outcome isn't acceptable to some. although i don't think there's anything inpolite in immediately indicating that your not sure the role is suitable, based on information gleaned in the initial stages of the interview. I don't think it is, but maybe it isn't ?

    anyway, i don't want to but heads with the OP on this one, he's entitled to feel miffed/put out, but i stick to what i said in response to assumptions that were made ie private sector network managers are part of senior mgmt. that wasn't a 'misguided' comment from me, probably more a correction.
    Last edited by torledo; 4th December 2010 at 08:15 PM.

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    Good point, well made. Sometimes the applicant just doesn't fit the dynamic of the team.

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    I honestly don’t think my expectations were too high, I just hoped to see a professionally organised recruitment campaign, with a job description/person specification that was fit for purpose and an interview that didn’t follow the same old cliché “You have a student who needs X; A class that needs Y and the Head has asked you to do Z; How do you prioritise?” type questions.

    I have heard it all before and been on enough interviews in my 42 years not to need the experience.
    I suppose it didn’t help as the School was actually closed due to adverse weather conditions and you can never get the feel for a place if there isn’t the buzz of usual school life. I would have also liked to have met with the Technicians briefly, after all these are the people who you would be working most closely with.

  16. #28

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    It happens ... I know that the recent interview panels I have sat on to help schools appoint IT staff would probably not appoint me because I don't have enough recent hands on experience on the technical side, in spite of being like most good geeks, can pick things up darned quickly with very limited support and training.

    What you could do is re-apply, but get the shopping list of CC3/4 functionality and translate it to other systems you have experience of. When you get challenged about this you can always throw back at them that schools are meant to be about skills and concepts, not about single applications!

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    Hmm.. we don't know whether it was the true reason, but they very likely didn't have a fraction of the clue required to assess whether the OPs skills were right and good for them, and lets face it the presence of a CC3|4 is a very strong indicator for IT cluelessness... in fact, so are the words "public sector".

    It's annoying when you're on the receiving end of that (I've got a few of those t-shirts), but what can you do? And yes, do you really want to work somewhere like that? OK that meme can be little more than a sticking-plaster for injured pride, but I've been very serious about it in some similar circumstances: Working in a job where they don't understand your skills and their value can get extremely frustrating, very quickly.

    I honestly don’t think my expectations were too high <snip> in my 42 years
    Haven't those years taught you anything?!?

    I know that the recent interview panels I have sat on to help schools appoint IT staff would probably not appoint me because I don't have enough recent hands on experience on the technical side, in spite of being like most good geeks, can pick things up darned quickly with very limited support and training.
    Hadn't refreshed and seen your post, but if that is the case then what is the point of you being there? And more generally, how do we get that perfectly valid point across to these nitwits?

    --
    Reminded of an interview at a Uni where the 100% Peter Principle bureacrat on the panel really started laying into how, despite the other impressive stuff, little formal training there was on my CV. Pointed out how rarely I needed it and rattled off the names of a couple of well-known company commercial training courses that had used or referenced some of my stuff.. but she looked cross and gamely struggled on, so I asked to stop the interview. And on the way out, sitting outside the office was someone I'd met earlier who worked there already and they revealed that they'd been asked to apply for the job...
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 4th December 2010 at 11:59 PM.

  18. #30

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    I have to say, although having been to about 7/8 interviews for jobs (2 of which i got offered) as a 19 year old with no qualifications in the IT field I have felt the need to turn then both down (and a couple of which i wouldn't have taken if i was offered) due to the fact the people I was interviewed by didn't have a clue either about the technical side of IT or just IT in general. I have to say even I don't know everything which I will freely admit (who does?) which is why i am currently taking courses to learn extra bits. Although I can manage to resolve most problems to do with Exchange, SQL, windows server 2003/2008 and also ubuntu linux (with either the help of you guys or google ) hence why my current employer is moving me up to senior technician (over people with the qualifications that actually don't know what they are talking about - one of them MCSE qualified) taking presure of the my boss(who also has many more responsibilities then it which take up more of his time then the it does!) because at the end of the day life isn't about the qualifications that are on paper. Without shooting my own trumpet a few of the jobs i have had interviews for i could have probably walked into and done very well but because i didn't have a degree/MCSE or similar then I wasn't even considered as a proper candidate.

    I have spoken with both the people that offered me jobs which i turned down and both where highly surprised at the technical knowledge I had without any qualifications, at which point i did say about the fact that beucase I don't have things on a certificate saying i can do things doesn't mean I can't!

    But i think the problem is people without the knowledge of IT during interview cannot ask proper technical questions because simply they don't know/understand the answers which means it is more a case of ticking boxes with regards to qualifications then it is to seeing what actual knowledge they have.

    But this is just my 2 pence

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