+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31
How do you do....it? Thread, Interviewing potential new staff in Technical; Hi everyone, I am interviewing potential new staff soon and I am wondering how do you all go about it ...
  1. #1
    soapyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    179
    Thank Post
    49
    Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    12

    Interviewing potential new staff

    Hi everyone,

    I am interviewing potential new staff soon and I am wondering how do you all go about it ? I am thinking a chat and a discussion with regards to the job requirements and there experience etc as you would with another position.

    I am wondering if a practical test is suitable and if so what level of difficulty I should aim for. I understand that I should be testing relevant skills for the position but I also am very keen to find some one that has an passion for IT and wants to develop a career in computing in the long term as I feel they will be more self motivated to learn without needing to be spoon fed all information, I do see that this will take some time for them to be able to do this so its underlying personality traits I am trying to identify rather than just technical ability.

    The role is as a first line support officer

    If anyone has any suggestion they would be very welcome, thanks

  2. #2
    clareq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Doncaster
    Posts
    593
    Thank Post
    46
    Thanked 166 Times in 104 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    When we interviewed for first line support we set up a role play, having them deal with a technically incompetent member of staff on the telephone (played perfectly by our ICT co-ordinator). The ability to deal patiently with a difficult user is probably the hardest thing about first line support - the technical stuff can all be learnt, but knowing how to keep your cool, and when to pass a caller onto second line, and admit you don't know the answer, that's down to someone's personality.

  3. #3


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    4,657
    Thank Post
    350
    Thanked 789 Times in 710 Posts
    Rep Power
    344
    In my last place I used to recruit techy's based on having an informal chat with all of the candidates to get a feel for their general character in a group setting, provided a theory based technical test (which is secondary to the interview), and a formal interview where you can get to grips with their interpersonal and non techy skills.

    Hasn't let me down yet

  4. #4
    soapyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    179
    Thank Post
    49
    Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    12
    interesting, I was thinking about interviewing them individually so they they did not feel under peer pressure and it prevents me from having to think up question for each of them !

  5. #5


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    4,657
    Thank Post
    350
    Thanked 789 Times in 710 Posts
    Rep Power
    344
    Oh yes, interview them individually.

    I meant that previously we made a morning of it, having them all turn up for 8:30am, have an introduction from a member of senior team (normally my boss) and myself, followed by a tour of the college and then an informal chat with me and them in the staff room over coffee and nattering away. I then dished out the techy tests and started interviewing so whilst not being interviewed you could be doing the test or chatting amongst themselves and by the end of it you get a good mixed feel for the people.

    Of course it depends very much on the type of role you are seeking to appoint for.

  6. #6
    soapyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    179
    Thank Post
    49
    Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    12
    yeah I was going to explain to them that the practical test is not something to worry about and that its just designed to allow us to assess where there skills lie.

  7. #7
    soapyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    179
    Thank Post
    49
    Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    12
    We are a very small team and I really need someone that is self motivated and able to not just diagnose issues and report back to us but also able to troubleshoot them and Google and read up so they are able to resolve them rather than jut escalate them up the chain. I understand that this could take them time to skill up to a level where they can do this but I plan to assist them and develop them as much as I can, I just need to get someone with the potential......I guess thats what we all want really !

  8. #8

    john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    10,439
    Thank Post
    1,468
    Thanked 1,035 Times in 908 Posts
    Rep Power
    299
    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    Oh yes, interview them individually.

    I meant that previously we made a morning of it, having them all turn up for 8:30am, have an introduction from a member of senior team (normally my boss) and myself, followed by a tour of the college and then an informal chat with me and them in the staff room over coffee and nattering away. I then dished out the techy tests and started interviewing so whilst not being interviewed you could be doing the test or chatting amongst themselves and by the end of it you get a good mixed feel for the people.

    Of course it depends very much on the type of role you are seeking to appoint for.
    That is very much how we interviewed people for my techys vacancy, and it worked well And I got a great techy out of it and he was even a member on here before I got him and he used us for research on stuff we use at work, so a clued up one @silver_uk;

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,144
    Thank Post
    113
    Thanked 518 Times in 447 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    121
    As @clareq; says, the role play type thing is brilliant for judging personality. I know this is horribly stereotyping, but it's likely that most of your candidates will be men and some of them will be poor at dealing with women who have technical problems so if you can make your role player a woman it's good to find out what they really think of users :-) In the past, we've done the phone call with someone who can't print (and that's all the candidate is told - getting them to ask the questions to diagnose the fault is good) or can't get on the internet (again, that's all they say - the fault could actually be that they can't get a particular page on the intranet!)

    Do have formal interviews with fixed questions - if nothing else it will help if someone tries to allege you were unfair; you can say that they were all treated the same.

    Set practical questions which they're unlikely to know the answer to but should be able to google (eg "DFS replication has stopped working on one server; the error message says .....")

    If you've got some spare machines, set up a virtual domain (just one workstation and server) and ask them to do something (make a user account, log on to the machine using it, deploy an MSI package using group policy) - you can give them hints and they've got the whole internet. Watch what they're doing - as you say, you want someone who knows how to find things out and get things done and watching them deal with something unfamiliar is really helpful.

  10. #10

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,064
    Thank Post
    1,681
    Thanked 2,022 Times in 1,496 Posts
    Rep Power
    673
    My main recommendation is not a technical one: Do the CWDC Online Safer recruitment Course: Safer recruitment in education - e-learning | CWDC

    It's FREE, takes about 4 hours and you can stop and start it as you need. the certificate lasts for 5 years. I did it a few months ago and never thought I'd end up using its content so much. It's been very useful.

    Definitely one to add to the list.
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 24th June 2010 at 09:43 AM.

  11. Thanks to elsiegee40 from:

    soapyfish (23rd June 2010)

  12. #11

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Posts
    9,881
    Thank Post
    1,316
    Thanked 1,738 Times in 1,087 Posts
    Blog Entries
    19
    Rep Power
    563
    Previously (when in a school) I break it down into 5 areas.

    1) Individual tour of the school to try to impart how the school works, some of the school ethos, some real world facts and seeing how comfortable they are just wandering round corridors and into rooms. I usually drop in key facts, projects we have done which they may make reference to in their formal interview (allows them to play to their strengths).
    2) Written test ... I have in the past done a many question test covering a wide variety of areas but asked them to only answer the 3 questions which most reflect their strengths. It gives the formal panel something as an ice breaker as well as another chance to sell themselves. I usually put the instruction at the top of "READ THE WHOLE PAPER FIRST AND FOLLOW ANY INSTRUCTIONS" and after the last question "NOW ANSWER THE 3 QUESTIONS MOST RELEVANT TO YOUR SKILLS". It is a nasty trick ... but also a real eye opener.
    3) Short technical test. Do they understand windows? DCHP and IP Addressing? Cables plugged in? Some very basic A+ stuff and more looking for common sense. No tricks ... all real world issues that can be solved simply.
    4) Panel of students - they set the questions.

    There is also time to eat lunch with the other members of the team, meet key members of staff, have a chance to share war stories as a group (very important ... the first one to mention the 4 Yorkshire men sketch gets a bonus prize of some of my chocolate!)

    5) formal interview.

    Constant 2 way conversation is the key, something very beneficial when apply safer recruitment procedures.

  13. 3 Thanks to GrumbleDook:

    john (24th June 2010), kmount (24th June 2010), soapyfish (23rd June 2010)

  14. #12


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    4,657
    Thank Post
    350
    Thanked 789 Times in 710 Posts
    Rep Power
    344
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Previously (when in a school) I break it down into 5 areas.

    1) Individual tour of the school to try to impart how the school works, some of the school ethos, some real world facts and seeing how comfortable they are just wandering round corridors and into rooms. I usually drop in key facts, projects we have done which they may make reference to in their formal interview (allows them to play to their strengths).
    2) Written test ... I have in the past done a many question test covering a wide variety of areas but asked them to only answer the 3 questions which most reflect their strengths. It gives the formal panel something as an ice breaker as well as another chance to sell themselves. I usually put the instruction at the top of "READ THE WHOLE PAPER FIRST AND FOLLOW ANY INSTRUCTIONS" and after the last question "NOW ANSWER THE 3 QUESTIONS MOST RELEVANT TO YOUR SKILLS". It is a nasty trick ... but also a real eye opener.
    3) Short technical test. Do they understand windows? DCHP and IP Addressing? Cables plugged in? Some very basic A+ stuff and more looking for common sense. No tricks ... all real world issues that can be solved simply.
    4) Panel of students - they set the questions.

    There is also time to eat lunch with the other members of the team, meet key members of staff, have a chance to share war stories as a group (very important ... the first one to mention the 4 Yorkshire men sketch gets a bonus prize of some of my chocolate!)

    5) formal interview.

    Constant 2 way conversation is the key, something very beneficial when apply safer recruitment procedures.

    Be about right with you in our county, I wonder where I picked up some of this stuff ...

  15. #13

    witch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    10,405
    Thank Post
    1,106
    Thanked 2,094 Times in 1,474 Posts
    Rep Power
    651
    Please be careful not to fall foul of the employment laws - if you take someone on with some 'prefered' skills rather than essential, you must be ready to defend your case in other ways - if someone is qualified for the post and they do not get the job they can cause a lot of trouble if you favoured someone else purely because they had a skill which wasnt deemed necessary for the position


    *agee with Grumbledook except for the panel of students - dont see how they could understand the job at all and it is fairly irrelevant unless there is to be a lot of interaction with said students (the rest of your interview system will soon let you know if they can communicate or not)
    Last edited by witch; 24th June 2010 at 09:02 AM.

  16. Thanks to witch from:

    soapyfish (24th June 2010)

  17. #14


    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the server room, with the lead pipe.
    Posts
    4,534
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 752 Times in 590 Posts
    Rep Power
    218
    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    agee with Grumbledook except for the panel of students - dont see how they could understand the job at all and it is fairly irrelevant unless there is to be a lot of interaction with said students (the rest of your interview system will soon let you know if they can communicate or not)
    It's not the questions that are important, it's how they interact with the kids / what the kids think / feedback.

    Here, candidates are shown around by the Head Boy and Girl (so responsible kids) and we ask them afterwards what they thought of each candidate, what the candidate asked, how interested they seemed and how the tour went etc. This isn't a pass/fail test, but it's very much taken into consideration when determining "fit".
    Last edited by pete; 24th June 2010 at 10:20 AM.

  18. #15

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,064
    Thank Post
    1,681
    Thanked 2,022 Times in 1,496 Posts
    Rep Power
    673
    GD's plan is pretty much exactly what we do at this school and what is done at the school where I'm governor.

    For teachers, the observer has a chat with the class members after the lesson to find out their views. For non-teaching/senior appointments, a small panel of students is assembled to interview candidates as a group.
    The last panel that reported back impressed me greatly as they had determined in 20 minutes pretty much exactly what we had found out during the course of the day!

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Advice please on potential vlp
    By chrbb in forum Virtual Learning Platforms
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 5th February 2010, 02:10 PM
  2. Potential Funding for Schools
    By AngryITGuy in forum General Chat
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 13th January 2009, 01:01 PM
  3. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 1st November 2008, 09:02 PM
  4. Potential Problem - 2 domains
    By robbied69 in forum Windows
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21st January 2008, 05:31 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •