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How do you do....it? Thread, Practical Test for Interview in Technical; thanks a lot guys, this really could be anything then. iv also got a written test, just so worried about ...
  1. #16

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    thanks a lot guys, this really could be anything then.
    iv also got a written test, just so worried about it all!

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    If it's a practical assesment, just go at it logicaly. Determine the nature of the fault then work through the process of diagnosing the route cause.

    If there's a written test, then look at the job advert which should give you some pointers.

    And remember , the other intervieies are not gods.

    Just do your best, pay full attention on the tour to glean information to put back into your interview questions.

    Rob

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Last time I did this (interviewer, not -ee) we had 4 machines we'd broken in the same way, one for each candidate... to copy and paste liberally from the txt file we wrote for the occasion:
    Intro: it is reported that this PC is "not working". It is needed to play a CD in a classroom in half an hour.

    power plug fuse. they should ask for a new plug

    cd drive - molex power cable physically unplugged

    cd drive - disabled in bios

    bad network cable

    bad static IP (same as Matt's PC) 186.240

    Audio driver uninstalled... Assuming it doesn't reinstall it boringly automatically without asking for driver to be supplied. Give driver on memory stick when requested.

    Ask them to plug in speakers and check sound is working. Speakers will have black cable so less than 100% obvious.
    (4 separate PCs as uninstalling a driver can be a dog, was safer to set 4 up in advance)

    The power plug and network cable were a chance to see how they approached it; we figured some might try and look clever by reterminating the network cable, when (given the stated time window in the brief) I'd rather they threw it out and picked up another network cable - we have hundreds lying around after all.

    Just keep calm and troubleshoot in a normal fashion; chances are the majority of things set up are simple and straightforward, as your interviewers know you're not going to have all that much time and they want to see how clearly you think, not that you know how to flash the BIOs on a motherboard you've never seen. However broken the machine is, they will have had to do that damage themselves, so it won't be anything too drastic.

    Try not to stress out as well - when we ran that test above, one candidate failed rather miserably... got too stressed, started sweating, and a bead of moisture apparently ran down his face, off his nose and onto the motherboard, at which point the computer completely refused to boot up at all. When fixing a machine for a practical, it's not a good idea to break it permanently...

    Written test: revise your OSI model. People love to ask about that.

  4. 2 Thanks to sonofsanta:

    foxboro89 (16th July 2012), Oaktech (16th July 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Written test: revise your OSI model. People love to ask about that.
    I've just been reading up on that, been a long time since i studied that one at uni, probably 2/3 years.

    please do not throw sausage pizza away

    thanks for that tip. thank you all infact. gonna need it tomorrow!

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    januttall's Avatar
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    make sure you check jumpers on drives ect one we had recently was to install a dvd drive but the jumpers had been played around with so that it wouldn't work if you just plugged it in. also primary and secondary IDE drive ribbons reversed, so the computer dose not boot. just have a good look around. sensibly trouble shoot and don't assume anything.

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    Just had a second thought.

    If I was being really evil, I'd make you explain DNS to a teacher.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Easy DNS is just like a phonebook.

    Ben

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Easy DNS is just like a phonebook.

    Ben
    More specifically, like your mobile's address book. When you want to send a text you look up the person's name and your phone translates that into a number. When you want to go to a website your computer looks up the address and gets the number back.

    People might have multiple phone numbers, but each mobile number only belongs to one person and is unique. A person can change their mobile number but as far as you're concerned they're still called "Dave", and you're barely cognizant of the changed number behind the scenes.

    DHCP is then like disposable PAYG phones: everytime someone (some computer) needs to send a message, it gets randomly assigned a phone number/IP address. When it's done it throws it away until the next time, when it's assigned a new number/address (I know that the same address is often reassigned in practice, but cut me some slack)

    URLs are like addresses in the sense that the most specific part comes first, and the later, general parts are shared by many (so country = TLD, county = domain, town = subdomain).

    Subnet masking, though... that one's a dog to explain

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Easy DNS is just like a phonebook.

    Ben
    You'd think that, but you haven't met the teacher I'd use. It's not so much a technical test as "how far can we push them before they assault the end-user?"

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    ARP is a little more complicated or try a routing protocol. best yet describe Active Directory, or MDT. also assaulting the end user is not normally a good thing, but your rite i don't know the teacher.

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    ARP's easy.. ask everyone if they have an IP address, if they do then match their MAC to that IP.

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    I got asked to determine, from a subnet mask how many IPs would be available to dispense... Gulp. My working out on a scrap of paper was sound though.

    Variously, over the years I've been asked to:

    Make users in both RM and AD,
    Take helpdesk calls with only the most rudimentary info about the network,
    Fix a printer that wouldn't pick up paper (the idea was to see who would say, sorry it's worn out, and who would have the gumption to turn the rubber on the roller round)
    Connect a laptop to a projector (with a deliberately broken VGA cable - Hsync pin missing)
    Diagnose a crashed hard drive,
    Install windows XP standalone from a CD (and on a machine that was not set to boot from it's cd drive)
    Prioritise a list of helpdesk calls and justify my reasons for doing it.
    given a PC and google and asked to spec a new laptop for the CEO
    sort out a 'whats wrong with this picture' image of a messed up AD configuration.
    given a task to do a hypothetical 'money no object' revamp of the serverside and network infrastructure going into as much detail as possible in the 30 minutes available (feel a bit pissed of about this one, as I didn't get the job, and 3 years later they were doing exactly what i'd suggested!)

    Oh, and the worst one by far, a grilling from an interview panel of 12 governors.

    An AV tech job interview I went to was some of the above things plus, "this is the school big band, please mic them up, as best you can, to play live, you have 20 minutes before they want to soundcheck" once i'd done that they then said, "so sound check them" Arrggghhhhh... quick, remember how this digital mixing console works!

    So, I feel your pain, be as calm as possible, and take comfort in the knowledge that the worst that can happen is you say you don't know how to do something. Always end with, "if you gave me some more time I could work it out" they may give you some time, or they may not. I've got a job by emailing in a textbook complete technical answer to a question a couple of hours after an interview! The point being that the ability to find an answer is almost more important than knowing the answer.

    Good Luck!

  14. #28

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    Prioritise a list of helpdesk calls and justify my reasons for doing it.
    This is always a good one - I love using it myself - and the answer is always (or should always be) "teaching and learning comes first". If a classroom can't access something and the head can't print at the same time, well the Head is going to have to walk to another printer, because the kids come first. It's the reason you're all there.

    (of course, if the request is "the sound isn't working from our Shrek DVD" that's a different matter entirely)

    Child protection will likely come up as well, in which case the answer is report it. Tell the right person. Don't let yourself get into any sticky situations or any that could be interpreted in a sticky manner. Certainly don't keep anything quiet to prevent their embarassment, and remember it's often your professional protection as well as their child protection.

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    I set 3 last week for some interviews

    Basically I set up 4 computers "A" "B" "C" and "D" - This is so the candidate can move on to another task if they get stuck on one.

    "A" had onboard VGA and graphics card VGA - All the candidate had to do was identify the VGA was plugged into the onboard VGA rather than the graphics card VGA

    "B" did not power on - I removed the "Power_SW" cable from the motherboard HOWEVER the candidates were given a sheet stating specifically "B" and "D" were under 5 years old and covered by a 5 year warranty so they just needed to maybe try a different kettle lead then book a service call - None picked up on this and all ended up reconnecting the Power_SW!

    "C" would successfully login to domain with some provided credentials however "D" would not login with same credentials - Network connectivity was fine but "D" needed adding to domain via System properties (Local admin accounts were provided)

    Then a helpdesk priority exercise.

  16. #30

    plexer's Avatar
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    To be honest what they did for B I would class as the correct result.

    Why wait for a service engineer when the issue can be solved easily?

    Ben

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