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How do you do....it? Thread, Practical test for an IT Manager in Technical; My former boss (now promoted to be a complete paper pusher) is looking for an IT manager at his high ...
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    Practical test for an IT Manager

    My former boss (now promoted to be a complete paper pusher) is looking for an IT manager at his high school as a replacement.

    He's got the general questions sorted in what to ask interviewees, e.g. why did you apply, what experiences will you bring with you etc.

    However, he hasn't a clue what practical test to set for the day and what IT specific questions to ask. He's asked me as he can't ask his technicians, both of which have applied for the post and will undoubtedly be called up for the interview. So, I come to you all to find some suggestions.

    Answers and suggestions on a postcard please!

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    What sort of level are these questions expected to be at (does he want to know the IT manager can still find the 'any' key and plug USB leads in correctly or does he want to test if a prospective manager can think strategically?) How will he evaluate the answers if he's not qualified to set the questions himself?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    do scenarios with your bosses best case and worst case answers etc. IE server failure, redundant backup failed, what do you do.

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    Personally, I'm not sure a practical test can tell you a lot for a IT Manager role. It works for technician roles where your testing entry level compitences and problem solving skills, anyone applying for a higher level post should be able to demonstrate those skills in their CV/Application - mainly through previous job roles.

    As for technical questions - From my interview they revovled mostly around Active Directory and Networking. What are GPO's? How do you back up Active Directory? that sort of thing. Depending on the environment questions on storage arrays, virtualisation, or database management might be in order.

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    Rather than a practical, I'd set a few question around strategic issues as a written test. These might be; cloud services, virtualisation, network & wireless development or even more nebulous - customer engagement, service development, professional development of staff etc. Ideally the questions should reflect what you expect them to be developing over the next 3-5 years.

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    I didn't do a practical test when hiring my replacement at my last place, instead I focused on hypothetical technical problems to find out what someone would do to resolve them.

    Such as the following:

    Your school has a filtering system that can provide different rules by IP address/range of IP addresses. You are asked to block a single website for a single roomin the school, however, the room in question doesn't have a specific computer. Instead, there are various computers on trolleys which are wheeled into rooms and plugged into a specific network socket.

    How do you go about blocking this site in that room?

    (That was based on a real situation there)

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    Some really good stuff there guys. I just got off the phone to my former boss and he, along with the SMT at his school, have decided to go down the route of having a presentation and not a practical test.

    The presentation will be about how to take the school forward with IT over the next 3 years.

    What they're looking for is BYOD, 1:1 devices, WiFi etc, which they already have in place so I'm not really sure as to what they will particularly get out of it, but what do I know.

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    been for a couple of interviews for management positions and on both occasions the main focus was more on strategy for ICT in the school rather than can you do this and that.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    It really depends on how the school intends to use you. Some schools have someone at the equivalent level of "director" of IT who deals with strategy and the NM then deals with technical implementation of that strategy.

    Others expect the NM to deal with both aspects.

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