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					                                           Interview Questions
Here are 10 questions that can help you pinpoint flexibility and character. Including these questions in your
interview should add only about 20 minutes to your current routine and will tell you a great deal about each
candidate.

1. Can you work this weekend?

This is a great question to ask early in the interview. Watch closely for an initial reaction. Obviously the
candidate will be surprised. You haven't even offered the job and now you want to know about this weekend.
Since most help desk analysts have to work odd hours, you want the candidate's first response to be a
resounding yes. Something like "I've actually already promised to work at my current job for some of this
weekend." "When exactly do you think you need me?" is good, too. What you don't want to hear are excuses
that explain why the applicant isn't available.

2. Tell me about your current job. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?

This is another good question for weeding out those applicants who just won't want to deliver. While "heads
down" programmers are great, the help desk needs analysts who enjoy talking to users. Avoid candidates whose
favorites have more to do with the systems than the users. Good answers indicate that the applicant enjoys
talking with users or investigating tough problems.

3. What kind of people are your current users? Do you like them?

This sounds like a dumb question. Who's going to say they hate their current users because they're terrible
people? Actually, I've known that to happen. The applicant had little patience for needy users and didn't mind
telling people. Patience is a virtue desperately needed on a help desk.

4. What was your best subject in high school?

Don't let cliché questions put you off. Just because people expect a question doesn't mean you can't learn a lot
from their answers. Obviously the applicant wants to impress you and may say something like "computer class."
That's not a bad answer, but people who liked math should be quite good at problem solving even non-math
problems. Also, applicants who admit to liking English will have the communications skills you seek.

5. What operating system do you prefer and why?

You probably don't really care what operating system anyone prefers. However, you do care that anyone you
hire knows about operating systems and is able to articulate why one or another is preferable.

6. What role do you think computer support analysts should play in the company?

There are a lot of good answers to this question. The important thing here is that the candidate mentions the
needs of the users in his or her answer and not just the systems.

7. Assuming you have to work for a living and all jobs pay the same, describe the job you want (don't say
this job).

Question seven is similar to question two in that you're looking for an answer that includes people. Support
analysts must deal with users day in and day out. The job is a lot easier for someone who actually likes to work
with people.
8. I would like to set up a second interview with our evening supervisor. Can you come back this evening
at 7:00?

Once again, this is not about the evening supervisor. The answer should help you judge how flexible the
candidate is and how well he or she handles less-than-ideal situations. Obviously, you should only ask this
question if you are giving second interviews and you have someone available at 7:00.

9. Write a paragraph explaining how DHCP works.

This task is good for both experienced and inexperienced candidates. It seems like a test of knowledge, but
actually it's a test of communication skills. If the candidate admits no knowledge of DHCP, explain it to him or
her and then request the paragraph. If the candidate returns a well-written explanation, this person could be a
good support analyst.

10. Complete the following word problem.

At 7:00 A.M., a train leaves Palo Alto, CA, carrying 30 passengers with laptop computers and a lot of work to
complete before they are due at their respective offices. At 7:15 A.M., the train arrives at the San Jose station
(20 miles away). During that time, eight passengers completed their work. Of the remaining 22, 10 completed
40 percent, eight completed 50 percent, and four completed 80 percent. How much further must each group
travel before they have enough time to complete the work they each have due?

And the answer is...

Not a lot of people are going to be able to answer question 10 correctly, but that's not really important. The point
is for the applicant to see the humor in being asked a train question on a job interview. Not being ruffled and
giving the correct answers would be great as well, but not any more important. In case anyone needs to know,
group one only completed 40 percent of its work and must travel 30 miles further. Group two completed 50
percent and must travel 20 more miles and group three completed 80 percent and have five miles to go.


Ask away

Obviously each manager is going to have his or her own interviewing technique that shouldn't be replaced.
These questions should be used in addition to those that you have developed over the years. The combination
and a lot of patience should make the search for the newest member of your team a great success, and maybe
even a little fun. To share your thoughts about this article, please post a comment below.
                                   Questions used for Work Study / Interns
Name                                     Date                             Interviewed by



Tell us a little about yourself…



Classes taken to this point related to information systems, networking or programming:



What are your personal strengths and weaknesses?



Are you more likely to fix something yourself or ask for help?



When you are faced with a problem, how do you acquire the knowledge to solve it?



Which word best describes you? Doer Influencer Relater Thinker



What do you see yourself doing in five years?




When you find yourself in an ethical dilemma, how do you respond?



Tell me about your current (or recent) job. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?




What was your best subject in high/college school?




What platform / operating system do you prefer and why?



What is the OSI model?
 What role do you think helpdesk support should play in meeting the needs of schools?
 What experience have you had in the following:

     Web development


     Training/teaching


     Troubleshooting


     Project management



 Complete the following word problem.

 At 7:00 A.M., a train leaves Palo Alto, CA, carrying 30 passengers with laptop computers and a lot of work to complete
 before they are due at their respective offices. At 7:15 A.M., the train arrives at the San Jose station (20 miles away).
 During that time, eight passengers completed their work. Of the remaining 22, 10 completed 40 percent, eight completed
 50 percent, and four completed 80 percent. How much further must each group travel before they have enough time to
 complete the work they each have due?




And the answer is...

Not a lot of people are going to be able to answer question 10 correctly, but that's not really important. The point is for the
applicant to see the humor in being asked a train question on a job interview. Not being ruffled and giving the correct
answers would be great as well, but not any more important. In case anyone needs to know, group one only completed 40
percent of its work and must travel 30 miles further. Group two completed 50 percent and must travel 20 more miles and
group three completed 80 percent and have five miles to go.


 What interests do you have outside work?



 Why should I hire you?




 What questions do you have of us?
Complete the following word problem.



At 7:00 A.M., a train leaves Palo Alto, CA, carrying 30 passengers with laptop computers and a
lot of work to complete before they are due at their respective offices. At 7:15 A.M., the train
arrives at the San Jose station (20 miles away). During that time, eight passengers completed
their work. Of the remaining 22, 10 completed 40 percent, eight completed 50 percent, and four
completed 80 percent. How much further must each group travel before they have enough time
to complete the work they each have due?
                              Questions used in Hiring Regular Staff
Interviewee                                               Date

1. Tell us a little about yourself…



2. What interests do you have outside work?



3. What are your professional strengths and weaknesses?



4. Which word best describes you? Doer Influencer Relater Thinker



5. What do you see yourself doing in five years?



6. What goals do you have for the coming year?


   Personally



   Professionally



7. When you find yourself in an ethical dilemma, how do you respond?




8. Why should I hire you?




9. What questions do you have of us?




                                                            Interviewer
                                         Technical Skills Inventory


Name                                                                     Date

Check all that apply and indicate years of usage.



Yes       Platform          # yrs    Yes        Platform                            # yrs           Yes      Platform            # yrs
          UNIX                                  DEC/VAX                                                      OS/2
          MS DOS                                Windows 3.X                                                  Tandem
          Macintosh                             Windows 95/NT                                                Others
          AS/400                                MVS


Yes   Programming            # yrs   Yes       Programming               # yrs      Yes      Programming                          # yrs
      C                                        RPG                                           Lotus Notes
      C++                                      TSO/ISPF                                      PowerBuilder (IEF)
      Visual C++                               Assembler                                     Perl
      Basic                                    Java                                          CGI
      Visual Basic                             Pascal                                        Delphi
      COBOL                                    TAL                                           PIC
      CICS                                     HTML                                          Other
      JCL                                      SAS


Yes       Database          # yrs        Yes          Database              # yrs         Yes         Database                # yrs
          DB2                                         Oracle                                          Informix
          Access                                      SyBase                                          IMS/DB
          Paradox                                     SQL                                             Other
          FoxPro                                      Dbase


Yes Software                                          # yrs    Yes Software                          # yrs    Yes Software         # yrs
      CAD/CAM                                                       Communications                                    Graphics
      Spreadsheets (Project Workbench)                              Desktop Publishing                                Other
      Word Processing


Yes    Hardware                      # yrs       Yes          Hardware               # yrs          Yes      Hardware            # yrs
       Installation/Setup                                     Upgrad--Mac                                    Repair
       Upgrade--IBM                                           Networks                                       Other
Yes    Networking               # yrs   Yes   Networking             # yrs   Yes    Networking                  # yrs
       Banyan VINES                           Novell                                WAN Protocols
       Windows NT                             LANtastic                             Bridges/Routers
       IBM Lan Server                         LAN Manager                           Other




Yes Types of Positions              # yrs Yes Types of Positions             # yrs Yes Types of Positions         # yrs
      Programming                             Desktop Publishing                       Telecommunications
      Application Development                 Graphic Design                           Finance
      Systems Analysis                        Systems Testing                          Quality Assurance
      Technical Management                    Financial Services                       Human Resources
      Networking                              Technical Training                       Project Management
      Operations                              Business management                      Product Management
      Database Management                     Secretarial/Clerical                     Industrial Engineering
      PC Maintenance/Assembly                 Human Factors Engineering                Web-Site Design
      Help Desk--Mainframe                    Manufacturing                            Other
      Help Desk--PC/LAN                       Accounting
      Coding--Cobol                           Data Communications
      Design--Object Oriented                 Voice Communication

				
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