1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Got my first IT job interview

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by JonT, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. JonT

    JonT Bit Poster

    10
    0
    9
    Hey guys.

    So with the help from a lot of advice I've read on here and various other places, I wrote a CV which seemed to have been a success with a company that I had applied for a job with. The position is for Trainee Systems Administrator for a company located about 25 minutes from my house. The lady in charge of the hiring has told me that 130 people had applied and I was 1 of 5 people to be chosen for an interview next week so I guess I've done something right so far!

    The job description said that no previous experience in a business environment is required and full on the job training would be required. From this I'm guessing that for my interview it won't entirely be based on my technical knowledge (although I do have a foundation degree in computing and networking and am currently studying for the MCDST and would consider myself pretty competent with computers).

    I have read a few threads on job interview techniques and have taken note of the things said in them but felt they were more aimed at people climbing higher up the ladder...

    Basically the advice I am looking for is how to handle this interview. Are all interviews into entry level jobs similar to this - more focused on the individual rather than their achievements and knowledge? I really want this job but how do I express this without sounding desperate?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
     
    WIP: MCDST
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    6,281
    85
    174
    Hi John,

    That's excellent news. Just hope you haven't been invited to a "training course interview" mate. Keep us posted.

    Simon
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    5,483
    354
    249
    Congrats. Best of luck and keep us informed. Jim
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  4. JonT

    JonT Bit Poster

    10
    0
    9
    As far as I can tell, I haven't! It's for a business travel management company located in Colchester, Suffolk :)
     
    WIP: MCDST
  5. Elhaj

    Elhaj Nibble Poster

    96
    2
    22
    Tell me about it, I just got one this afternoon!:rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: Bsc Economics, MCDST
    WIP: what's the point?
  6. pete.grant

    pete.grant Byte Poster

    150
    9
    37
    When I was interviewed for my Apprenticeship 5 years ago my employer asked questions like "how would you go about doing....." as opposed to "give an example of how you have.....". I would imagine that most interviews for entry level positions would be similar as you will have little or no experience. I was also given scenarios of specific processes and asked how I would improve upon them. Best of luck for the interview Jon.
     
    Certifications: A+ IT Technician, CCENT, CEH, CPTS, CIW Security Analyst, ITIL v3 Foundation, Master CIW Administrator, MCITP (Windows Server 2008:SA), MCSA on Windows Server 2008, MCSA:Security on Windows Server 2003, MCTS (70-648, 70-652), Network+, SCNS, Security+, Server+
  7. JonT

    JonT Bit Poster

    10
    0
    9
    Thanks for the advice pete, i'll let you guys know how it goes.
     
    WIP: MCDST
  8. daft_togger

    daft_togger Nibble Poster

    69
    1
    27
    Do you know if it's a competency based interview? Even with limited or no IT experience you can still prepare for these. My organisation for example used a very structured competency interview points system. So make sure you have examples and don't be afraid to take the examples into the interview with you (I did).

    So for example, if they ask you a Communication based competency, you'll have an example written down. When I worked on bla, I had to explain something complicated to a non technical person, I went about this by bla and as a result of my taking the jargon out, I as able to get the message and therefore understanding across.

    And another thing.....do not use "we"......anywhere.....they want to hear about what you did....what you contributed, what you added to the mix. So seriously don't be afraid to overuse "I"......It was the work that "I" performed that brought about the success....."I" came up with the solution........"I" did the anaysis....

    Nerves are fine and expected, but try not to panic, and go in with a positive attitude, a can do attitude.....if you don't understand a question, just relax and ask for it to be explained more rather than just guess at it's meaning and give an answer....last thing you want to hear from them is "perhaps I did not ask the right question, or worded it well enough", that in my experience means you did not understand it. So best to clarify and then give your answer.

    Last thing, you can use the same example in more than one question...but try to take in 2/3 for each competency.....

    Best of luck
     
    Certifications: 70-290, 70-620
    WIP: 70-291
  9. JonT

    JonT Bit Poster

    10
    0
    9
    Thanks alot for your input daft_togger, very useful. I'll be honest i've not heard the term competency based interview, the lady on the phone said to come in for a meeting with her and that I'd be meeting with the IT manager too.

    So it's OK to bring in a piece of paper with some notes on to the interview? I know I'd spend days memorising stuff and then forget it all when I get there, being nervous and that...
     
    WIP: MCDST
  10. daft_togger

    daft_togger Nibble Poster

    69
    1
    27
    I see no harm in taking in notes at all. It at least shows your taking it seriously. Just take in bullet points, ideally headings.....just for glancing at during interview.

    So I'd suggest writing out full examples for your own revision prior to interview and the bullet points/headings for the actual interview.....

    Just make sure you sell yourself....make sure that even if you don't tick all the boxes, you've ticked the can do attitude one....they might value that higher and give you the job over someone who may have more relevant experience, but failed on the attitude....just my view mate.

    But also bare in mind it's an opportunity for you to interview them, so don't be afraid to ask questions at the end.....find out if they will fund you through training or what ever you value important to taking any offer. I'd advise against asking questions like, "What could I be earning in 2 years"...steer clear of financial questions unless they ask your specifically. Again this is just my view.
     
    Certifications: 70-290, 70-620
    WIP: 70-291
  11. daft_togger

    daft_togger Nibble Poster

    69
    1
    27
    Sorry forgot to explain competency interview. It's a very common interview. It's basically just things like Communication, Collaboration, Finding Solutions etc. For example, if they ask one around collaboration, they might phrase the question like "tell me about a time you worked with people outwith your immediate team to achieve a goal".....so you'll glance down at your headings and pick one that you think best fits the question.

    The way you answer them is important, and I'd suggest using STAR (Situation, Task, Actions, Result)....so breifly describe the situation, then the task.....what actions you took and the end result. Remember plenty of I this and I that......they want to hear about you...no one else.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Certifications: 70-290, 70-620
    WIP: 70-291
  12. JonT

    JonT Bit Poster

    10
    0
    9
    Thank you for the help daft, will be doing some research on the company tomorrow so I have a few questions ready for the interview.

    On another note, although the title of the thread is 'first IT job interview' I did actually have another interview a few weeks ago but I never heard back, not even when I emailed them asking if the position had been filled so I just kinda dismissed the whole thing :oops:

    Turns out I get a phone call last night with the guy offering me the job! It was a first line support job, working on a helpdesk for a fairly large company.

    The dilema I have now is that I really want the other job as 1) It is closer to home, 2) It is more focussed directly on what i really want to be doing and 3) it pays 1k a year more, although to be honest i'm not too fussed, just getting a job at the moment is fine with me!

    I did let the guy on the phone know that I had an interview on Thursday and that I'd phone him in a couple of days to let him know my decision. I don't want to keep him hanging though, although if I turn it down and then don't get the second job i'm screwed :eek:

    Is it a good idea to mention in my upcoming interview about this situation and would it have an effect on how long it takes for them to decide who gets the job?
     
    WIP: MCDST
  13. daft_togger

    daft_togger Nibble Poster

    69
    1
    27
    This is a dilema indeed. It's a dog eat dog world out there and you have to think of yourself. So if it was me, I be tempted to perform the best you can in the interview and at the end state that you are more interested in their role, but that you hold the offer from another, and if they can't or won't come back to you soon enough, I think you may end up having to accept the first offer.

    If you have not started the role and the 2nd does offer it to you, you can still accept it and politely inform the first that you've had the better offer, not the best for them, but you need to do what's best for you.

    You'll be doing well in this climate to be faced with choices.
     
    Certifications: 70-290, 70-620
    WIP: 70-291
  14. JonT

    JonT Bit Poster

    10
    0
    9
    Yeah at the moment i'm just holding out for this interview and hoping the first job doesn't call me back until at least Friday. Hopefully I make a good enough impression tomorrow for them to make a quicker decision :D

    I am however, very grateful to be having these opportunities what with the job market being a bit of a mess at the moment!
     
    WIP: MCDST

Share This Page

Loading...