IT job interview on Monday...tips?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Maffy29, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Maffy29

    Maffy29 Active Member

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    Correction, Tuesday.


    Going to my first interview for an IT job. Its for a Tech Support/Customer support job. Anybody who has been in an IT job interview have any tips? I'm confident in my tech support skills. What kind of questions were you asked?
     
  2. optendo

    optendo The next generation of console gaming!

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    Everytime I went in for an IT interview it was more of...what have you done and what are your interests. Do you have experience with whatever programs they use on a regular basis.
     
  3. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Read their website (not just the job listing).... KNOW what they do. I always asked an interviewee if he knew what the company did for work. If he said no I continued on and evaluated him on his other merits but it always stuck in my head that he didn't take 10 minutes to learn even that much. If he gave me the wrong answer he was done. If he gave me the right answer (and had the qualifications) he had a better shot than the guy who said "I don't know."

    Write up a list of questions you think you may be asked. Stand in front of a mirror and read the question out loud and answer it, out loud. You'll feel like a moron doing it, but it will help. Give short, clear, concise answers. Be ready to expand on an answer if s/he asks.

    Pause before answering a question to:
    a) make sure the interviewer is done talking, and
    b) think about your answer for a second before speaking.
    Maybe it's just me but it bugged me when I said "Give me an example of how you taught using a hands-on approa...." and got cut short by someone starting an answer with "Oh! I taught using uummmmm.......... I taught by doing ahhhhhhh.... I taught by taking (finishes with a decent answer)." Relax, take your time, listen, think.

    Have two questions for the interviewer. Again, it always struck me as odd when someone applied for a job and sat for the interview and didn't have a single question when we were done. It made it seem like they didn't really care. I say have two questions because the interviewer may answer one of them and you'd seem foolish asking the same question again.

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
     
  4. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

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    Excellent advice, 7960.:bowdown:
     
  5. fr00t

    fr00t New Member

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    Be honest. Know about the company and what they do. Assure them that the skills you claim to have, you really do have. Act enthusiastic to work for them (my favorite is dropping in a phrase like "I definatly want to work here").

    If you don't get on personally with your interviewer, you won't get the job. So be friendly!
     
  6. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    As an interviewer, at best that would have been ignored (of course you want to work here, you're interviewing here!) and at worst it would have come across as a shallow attempt to appeal to me personally, usually because you are lacking something somewhere else.

    If you said "I definitely want to work here *because*......." and listed specific things:

    -"...I have a friend who works here and he is always talking about the company" (best possible answer, btw)
    -"...I read that article in the Boston Globe that said you're one of the top 5 companies in NE to work for" (excellent, shows you did your homework)
    -"...I was doing research at my school's post-graduation employment office and this company kept coming up as an excellent place to work" (again, you're going the extra mile)

    Something like that would move you to the top of the list (again, provided you have the skills we need).
    This is somewhat true. Unless you are so completely over the top skill-wise, they will take personality into consideration. You're going to have to work with other people so if you can't get along with an interviewer for 15 minutes then how are you going to be to work with every day?
     
  7. fr00t

    fr00t New Member

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    You're right. But I do find it useful to use a phrase like that to assure interviewers that you really do want to work for them, and havn't just sent out a hundred emails hoping to interview with someone.

    That said, without a reason for wanting to work for them, as you said, the comment is pretty worthless.

    I'm not an interviewer, but if someone gave you a statement like that, wouldn't you probe them for their reasoning?
     
  8. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    I've had people say that (or something similar) and I've asked "why?" and you'd be surprised how often the answer is "because I really want a job" or "because it's close to my house." It's hard to keep a straight face when the answer is essentially "I don't know anything about the company but it's convenient for me."

    At least have something that makes it seem like you really care......"because you have a respected IT department", "because everyone here seems happy", "because you ad in the newspaper made it sound like a great place to work"......ANYTHING that doesn't scream "I only care about me."
     
  9. IAMwhitey

    IAMwhitey New Member

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    What company are you interviewing at? perhaps I knoew someone there..
     
  10. Maffy29

    Maffy29 Active Member

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    I'm interviewing with the State of Pennsylvania (in Harrisburg).
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I recited my favorite existentialist quote for my current boss, back when I was interviewing. He liked it.

    "something something something...to know that one person breathes easier because you have lived -- this is to have succeeded."
     
  12. Schproda

    Schproda New Member

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    Good luck with this. Two things I suggest: Don't be arrogant and think you know it all and don't be afraid to ask questions. The best tech/administrator/analyst doesn't know everything.

    Ask about insurance, evaluations and advancement. Tell whomever that you've always been interested in electronics and the more you get into computers the more you like to learn.
     
  13. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    7960...thanks for posting....that's very interesting and helpful information.

    I'm going to be 40 when I graduate and I've never had to look for a "real" job. When I graduated at 26, I had a friend of the family hire me, the transfered to a family company where I worked for 9 years. So here I am at 40 having very little professional interview experience. That seems strange to me but it's where I am.
     
  14. GOGZILLA

    GOGZILLA Double-Uranium Member

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    as far as tech support goes i would say one of the most important skills to have is being able to break down a technical subject into simple terms that non technical people can relate to. Think of an example when you have done that. The more technical the issue you have helped with with the more nontechnical person the better. Telling your grandma over the phone how to set up a RAID server for instance.
     
  15. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Bah. There are some things in life that aren't worth having if you don't need them. Security clearances are one example.

    If you've managed to live a comfortable life AND do something that's useful to someone, for almost twice as long as I have, without ever needing to endure a corporate interview, then you've found a good niche and you should be happy that you never needed to fight for the privilege to pay your bills.
     
  16. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I wasn't saying I was unhappy with where my life is....not at all. I've been fortunate enough to return to University to pursue a career that I'm truly passionate about. I know many people that would love to be in my shoes right now. I'm very happy how things have worked out and I look forward to reentering the workforce....and getting paid. :)

    It's just kind of wierd to me that everyone I know has had more interview/job hunting experience then me. Oh well, I'm about to jump into the fray head first!
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Fair enough.

    Don't forget to mention, if necessary, that while you may interview like someone right out of college, you have about 15 years more experience than they do.
     
  18. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    This guy is going to be a company's wet dream. He's going to have 15 years experience and be a little more seasoned than a 22 year old (fewer monday hangover sick days) but he's coming from college so he's going to start lower on the payscale than if he'd been working for these 15 years.

    If he can smile, say hi, and show what he's done for work, he's got a job.
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    lol...I've been told that by a lot of ppl.

    I started at the bottom and woked my way up to an officers position. This was for a company that was sold for $250 mil but 2 years later was resold for ~$400 mil. I have loads of project management, accounting and administrative experience. I personally used to account for a little over $8 mil each month. What I don't have...is interview experience.

    But I can smile and smooze pretty well.
     
  20. Maffy29

    Maffy29 Active Member

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    Had the interview today. I think I did REASONABLY well. They are hiring for 3 very similar positions. Difference is they are just in different offices.

    I'm going to Wal Mart tomorrow. Would it be too much to pick up a couple of Thank You cards for the interviewers?
     
  21. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Yes it would. In fact, Thank You cards would show that you're taking the interview personally -- they don't want to see that. They want to see that you know how to keep business and friendship separate. Mixing the two causes really nasty conflicts of interest that are always better to avoid.

    It's worth keeping in mind that your impression of the interview means almost nothing. Everybody has good days and bad days, and they know that. What they're looking at is whether you will fit well into the specific need that they have, which you know almost nothing about. You may know the type of skills they need, but you don't really know anything about the projects that they need those skills for, both current and future. You also don't know what their long-term business plan is; they might be looking to expand into the field you specialize in, or they may just need someone with your skills to help them do other kinds of work more efficiently. It's impossible to find all that out in an interview, even one that lasts for several hours.

    If you get a second interview invite, that is the good omen -- of course, getting a job offer without a second interview is even better.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2006
  22. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Send a follow up letter, but don't do it in a Wal Mart card.
     
  23. Maffy29

    Maffy29 Active Member

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    Good info. I know how the hiring process works and there won't be a second interview. Recommendations are sent up to the state's HRO. I guess its just a waiting game now.
     

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