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First job in I.T, your experiences in interviews and everyday scenarios

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by tysfoot, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    Hi :biggrin

    I know this has probably been asked loads of times but there are a few questions i would like to ask as iam trying to get my first job in I.T support, im looking for information on entry level jobs and 1st line support roles

    I would like to find some straightwardawrd information to help people like me and others who dont have a job in I.T but wanteing to get their first job in I.T and dont know what to expect

    What technical questions usually get asked in both the telephone and face to face interviews ?
    It would be great if you could remember some that you got asked or perhaps some you struggled on

    Also what does you current job involve, things like What day to day problems do you solve ranging into specifics


    It would be great if people who have a job in 1st line support and havent been there long what there day to day experiences are, what you have to do and how you cope and learn from mistakes etc



    Now that i finished my A+ last year am currently studying towards both my N+ and MCDST combined, im looking for my first job so im writing down all questions i might get asked in interviews and finding and creating scenarios that i would come arcross in the real world


    Things like
    A Customer cannot connect to the internet, what do you do ?
    How do you change a password in active directory ?
    How to you manually assign an ip address ?
    I cannot ping a pc, what should i do ?

    If anyone would like to add anything to everyday scenarios you get upto at work that would be great
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Questions that relate to the tasks that would generally be performed by someone taking the position. Every position is different.

    Do you want to know what all of OUR current jobs involve, or what an entry-level tech's job would typically involve? Someone with 5 years in IT will likely be doing something different than someone with 2 years in IT would be doing, who will likely be doing something different than someone who is just starting out in IT would be doing.

    Even in the case of entry-level techs, each job is different. Some entry-level techs work as part of a help desk team, taking calls and assisting people with problems, and escalating problems when necessary. Some entry-level techs do basic desktop support work, installing hardware and/or software. Some entry-level techs are even allowed to do basic user account administration. It all depends on the job.

    Learn from your senior techs. They will help you gain experience, while pointing out possible mistakes and pitfalls. And when you mess up, don't take it hard - everyone does. Treat it as a learning experience.

    Most importantly, use the tools that are available to you... primarily Google. Learn to research problems on your own before asking the assistance of your senior techs. They'll know if you've done your research before asking them, I promise you. ;)

    We could give you a blue million scenarios... but you're not going to be able to fully appreciate them until you experience them for yourself. That's why real-world experience is so important in IT... learning about it in a book or reading about it on a forum is *entirely* different from experiencing it for yourself.

    During interviews, be yourself. If you don't know the answer, don't make up one... a good interviewer will be able to spot that from a mile away. If the job is meant to be yours... if you are indeed the best candidate for the job... the job will be yours.

    Okay, how would YOU answer these questions? If we just answer them for you, it's not YOUR knowledge. ;)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    I know there are alot of differnces in types of jobs but i was just talking about peoples first jobs in I.T like 1st line support and help desk

    It would be great if anyone had there day to day experiences to share so people like me and other people wanting to get into I.T what to expect

    Cheers michael that was a great first post reply to my questions
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+
  4. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    What Michael said.

    Also IT is not about knowing it all. It's about knowing where to find the information you require.
    Nothing irritates me more than entry level IT wannabies that can't even do a quick search on Google.

    Also as Michael mentioned, when you experience some problems yourself, as opposed to reading about them, you learn a lot more and what's more important, even if you don't remember the answer/solution, next time you'll come across same issue you will know where to look for the solution.

    If you're trying to get into IT and you spend less than 2 hours a day reading (books, googlotron, forums), you're doing IT wrong. (see what I did there? :) )
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  5. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    What can you use Active Directory for?
    What would you do if a user phoned up stating they have a virus on their machine, which is connected to the network?
    What would you do if a user phones up from their desk and they can't access the Internet?
    What can you use group policy to do?
    If a user phones up and they're unable to login to their work machine, stating username and password is incorrect, how do you proceed?


    The questions would depend on if you go into Enterprise support, supporting network users or consumer users, you would support both differently, dependant mainly on what sort of machine they're using and what sort of network it connects to.

    As for day to day stuff, I'm very privileged I feel as it's my first enterprise support job, just did local computer shop really before, but I do everything from password resets to resolving third party software issues, networking issues and then all the way up to completely rewriting a 1500 user site's group policies. Only thing I don't do is onsite stuff like changing toners and replacing projector bulbs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  6. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    I think your missing the point im trying to make, im not looking for people who have been in I.T for years to tell me to search google and reads books, i know that, thats all im doing to gather all the information i need
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+
  7. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    Great post, i can learn alot from this, Its nice to know what people get upto on a day to day basis rather than reading the job spec of a particular job
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    We're not telling you to search Google and read books to prepare for the interview... we're telling you to search Google and read books when you get into the job. ;)

    There's not really a good way to prepare for the interview. It's not something you can study for. You're either well suited for the job, or you're not. Good thing is, if it's truly an entry-level job, they don't expect you to have experience... they simply want someone with a good base of knowledge, a desire to learn, and the ability to troubleshoot on their own.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  9. Rachael_B

    Rachael_B Nibble Poster

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    When I was interviewed for my first IT role, I found that in both the telephone and face to face interview, alot of the focus was on my customer service ability due to the fact that the job is a helpdesk/1st line support role. I wasnt asked any question specifically based on technology (thats not to say this is always the case).

    I was also asked to provide examples of when I had helped resolve a tricky issue both in my personal life and my work life. It didnt necessarily have to be IT related but I presume was to help show what my problem solving skills were like.

    I did have to carry out a skills test which I was given after the telephone interview. This focused on Maths and English skills.

    In the face to face interview I had to carry out a role play with one on the interviewers. I can say this has to be the one of the most awkward/awful moments of my life. The interviewer played an irate (incredibly irate!) customer and I was the servce desk employee. It actually went ok but still, I didnt enjoy it.


    Hopefully this is of some help :) As Michael said an a previous post however, every position and employer is different so what applies to one interview could be very different in another.

    Rach
     
    Certifications: A+, ITIL v3 Fdn, Network+
    WIP: 70-680, 70-685
  10. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    and did you get that first job
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+
  11. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    when your on helpdesk support do you have time to search the internet to look for fixes while the user is on the phone or do they expect you to know most stuff from memory

    See these questions may seem silly but i have no idea what the 1st line support enviroment is like as i have no experince

    The more i know the more i can prepare when the day comes so i dont find myself in difficult or embarrassing situation as im maget for this in my life anyway :oops::biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+
  12. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    It depends, if it's something new you've never come across, you should be able to do a quick google search that should point you in the correct direction whilst you're on the phone to the customer, but just remember to get as much information as possible about it and find out exactly what the customer does when leading up to the issue they're having. You should also be able to pop them on hold and talk to a colleague and do a little brain storming as well with your colleague.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Again, it depends on the employer. Each employer will have different rules, requirements, and expectations. It's not something you can plan for. Whatever the employer expects of you, do that.

    The more experience you get, the less you will have to rely on searching for things on the Internet. That's not saying that searching on the Internet is a bad thing... in fact, I *still* use Google on a daily basis to research things. But over time, your experience (not just your knowledge, your experience) will help you have an idea of what the answer is, which will help guide you so you search for the right things.

    So stop worrying about it. Get your first IT job so you can get that experience.

    The point I make is this: if you're applying for an entry-level job, which, by definition, requires no experience, then the employer won't expect that you already know what 1st line support is like! Follow me? :)

    Dude, you can't really prepare for it more than you are. Just learn all you can through your certification studies while looking for a job. When you get your first IT job, THEN the true "learning"... called experience... begins.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    It varies a lot across different companies. Some companies limit 1st line staff responsibilities to absolute minimum. Reading from a script is a must and anything not covered is escalated. In smaller businesses you tend to get more exposure to various technologies and more administrative rights.

    I sometimes tell my users that I need 10 mins to research the problem and I'll call them back. But every department is different.
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  15. Rachael_B

    Rachael_B Nibble Poster

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    Yes, sorry I should have stated that I did. I am currently still working in the same role. My responsibilities and knowledge have grown overtime. I thoroughly enjoy it.


    I get queries via different sources - either by email, phone or somebody actually turning up at the desk. If its via email I reply and advise its being looked into, and then have some time to research the issue (if I dont know the fix). Sometimes I am able to find a resolution myself and resolve there and then. Other times I raise a call and its goes up to a senior engineer to investigate. The key thing there, I guess is, regardless of the route the issue takes, keeping the customer informed is key.
     
    Certifications: A+, ITIL v3 Fdn, Network+
    WIP: 70-680, 70-685
  16. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    I did phone support for DSL customers at my first IT job. I am currently looking for another entry-level type job because I left the industry for a while. I can give you some input from my particular experience but of course every jobs is going to be different. Service level agreements will be different, technologies supported will be different etc... We had a pretty good reference available to us on the intranet with step by step instructions and screen shots for the systems we supported. We made use of the internet as well. we could put the customer on hold to seek advice from another tier 1 tech or one of the tier 2 techs or a team lead. We could put the customer on hold to go test something on a Mac OS or to one of the machines not on the domain and attached to the router we supported. Most of the issues we encountered could be solved quickly so if you were on the for longer than 8 minutes or so someone would be by to check on you before too long and see if the customer's computer is just taking to long to reboot or if you really should escalate the issue. Most issues I dealt with became second nature very quickly and I didn't have to look much stuff up.

    I really enjoyed doing the 1st line support and I learned a lot especially over the first few weeks. after I had been there for a few months I started to doing some of the escalation call backs and soon moved to a team focal role working with the team lead. Basically if the hold times weren't bad for the calls coming in then I walked around and helped other techs or I made call backs. It was really fun doing the escalation call backs because we had no time limits and you could really spend some time troubleshooting and researching.

    I think BM's advice to stop worrying about it is very good. Just study hard now and when you get that first job will you learn quick enough what is expected of you.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  17. tysfoot

    tysfoot Byte Poster

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    wow, that is a fantastic post, im currently applying for a few ISP 1st line support type roles and your insight into your day has really helped me understand how the job works, thanks :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCDST, N+

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