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Interview Question

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by JackBauer24, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. JackBauer24

    JackBauer24 Bit Poster

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    Hello, really need help with my situation...

    I've been working for 10+ years in IT in TX. I was with one company for 9 years, left that company and I just worked another job, which only lasted 3 months.

    The problem I have is with the 2nd job. When I interviewed for the job, I explained my skill set during the interview and they explained the position. The position was for a field engineer. They never mentioned anything about training for the job, but I just assumed it since I explained I can only do so much during the interview. Eventually, I got hired on and the 3 months were the worst of my IT career. I was on a team of 4 and each one of us had 15 clients under us. We were the main IT support (doing help desk, desktop support, server administration, network administration, consulting, etc.) for each client. My background of my first job was just doing help desk and desktop support and that's it. I tried to get some help/training from my team and the internal help desk, but they were useless. They kept telling me to just google the problems, which I did and I picked up a lot, but not enough, according to the employer. After 3 months and receiving no training for the job, I was let go. They're reasoning was that I didn't have the skill set for the position and I didn't pick it up fast enough to their liking. I was pissed because it felt like they were just covering their ass on a bad hiring. But in a way, I was also relieved because they were throwing everything at me and I just couldn't handle the load. It eventually became a termination, which doesn't look good for prospective employers.

    Now my problem. When I apply for a job, during the initial process and the interview, how can I explain to employers in the most positive way of what happened to my last job so they can still give me a chance? I feel like when they hear termination, they think I did the worst of the worst when really it wasn't a good fit for me and the employer.

    Can anyone help me with a statement that I can give to prospective employers?

    The only thing I can come up with is I can tell them that the position was eliminated because of budget cuts. Then I say that since they eliminated it, I was offered a position on the help desk, but I refused because I didn't want to go back to doing help desk and I just eventually left the company. It sounds pretty good, but the gamble I'm taking is that the HR person might blab extra details to the prospective employer, even though I left on good terms with her.

    Can anyone help!??!
     
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    First things first, don't ever lie about previous work because it will come back and bite you on your ass.

    Secondly, three months is a fair amount of time to pick things up and if I were in your shoes I would have spent every spare moment I had improving myself. Sorry for sounding harsh but 10 years in IT and you are still only good for service desk and desktop support? come on man (or woman) in 10 years you had plenty of opportunity to improve your skill set, hell in just over 12 years I have managed to gain 2 MCSE's. a CNE, CCNA and 3 MCITP's, each and everyone of them was self purchased.

    You have to want to improve yourself and I am sorry to say but with what I can see here you haven't and don't.

    You have two choices, either go back into doing service desk\ desktop support work and live with it or buckle under and self study and improve yourself.
     
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  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You're right, that won't look good. Thing is, IT's a tight-knit field. People know people. And if you list that position, they will call your previous employer... and if they mention that you were terminated, there's not much you can do to escape it.

    Unfortunately, there's no easy fix. What's done is done.

    It might sound good, but you'd be lying to them. If the employer finds that out, then no matter how much you've impressed them up to this point, all trust will go out the window (along with that job opportunity). Not worth it, in my opinion.

    By all means, if you want to say you were terminated, but not give them a reason why, do that - simply don't show all your cards. But don't lie... that'll likely come back to bite you.

    Okay, now for the tough(er) love...
    You've been in IT for 10 years, Jack. It's long past time you moved out of help desk and into a more advanced job. The first thing I'd question isn't whether you were terminated... it'd be why you haven't moved into server and network administration already after 10 years in IT.

    Few employers are gonna train you to do the job. IT's been like that for as long as I can remember. Those who learn on their own, survive; those who don't, don't. And the "Google it yourself" method is the way successful techs learn - by figuring things out on our own, not by being led by the hand or by being told what to do. If you're not good at it, get good at it. Google is the absolute best friend a tech can have. I wish Google were around when I started out as a tech!

    I would recommend that you apply for desktop support jobs, preferably at a place where you can start to get server administration experience. If I were hiring for a job like that, I would not be completely put off if you told me, "I was hired to do a job that was way beyond my current experience level, so now I am pursuing a desktop support role where I can start getting some basic server administration experience." And if/when you get a job like that, avail yourself of learning as much of the next level of your career (typically, server administration) as you can. As you've seen, you're gonna need that experience to survive.

    Hope this helps, and I wish you well on your job search!
     
    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+
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  4. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I agree with what the box of toys have said above. I doubt you can deny that you have coasted through your IT career (although perhaps not all of it). You went for the next step and found it was a step too far. To be fair to you, if you have told the truth as you always should in your career, the person who hired you for the 3 month job needs to brush up on their skills too!

    As above I recommend you go back to 2nd line (easier said than done in this market) only this time make a concious effort to push yourself. Do some self study and build up your knowledge. You don't state your age but if you have 10+ years in IT I think you will agree its sink or swim time. Will you be a slow dependable plodder? OR will you be someone with ambition? A driven professional with a can do attitude. The choice is yours alone but I think you will find, people who are the latter, tend to be more successful, better paid and more satisfied with their careers.

    My 2 cents, 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
  5. JackBauer24

    JackBauer24 Bit Poster

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    Noted.

    I understand where you are coming from, it sucks to see everyone pass me by. When I started my 1st job, I was just coming out of college and it was with a great company with great benefits. I thought with hard work, I would be moving up to better positions. But instead, the dept I was in was crap, didn't want to pay for certs, and didn't care about improving our skillsets while we were on the job. Plus, it was more of office politics/kissing asses/knowing someone higher up than doing your best on the job to be promoted. I just became a loyal employee, enjoyed the benefits of the company and it benefited my family. I know it sucks after 9 years and 3 months I'm coming to a realization that I needed to improve my background to move somewhere. I don't want to be pigeon-holed as a help desk/desktop support troll. That's why I'm currently studying for my certs and hoping to be a systems administrator or network admin.

    But now after that, can I get some suggestions on what to say to my prospective employers about my last job in a positive light instead of them thinking I'm just a lazy bum who couldn't handle the job?
     
  6. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Just been through a similar situation!

    Do you know some people in the previous 'good' employment that can give you a reference? If so then great! Just don't mention the bad employment and refer to the previous one as a 'contract' role that came to an end and then you had a break (Holiday) in Sydney, Australia. Simples!

    As for the lying and and all the other BS, well I've been lied to by all PLC companies that I worked for and it didn't do them any harm!

    Like Bill Clinton, just be economical with the truth. In this world, honesty does indeed get you nowhere (and that does not mean that I approve of that policy either).

    It's not the end of the world...and Phoenix will certainly confirm that too!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  7. JackBauer24

    JackBauer24 Bit Poster

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    I understand. I'm just in a tough spot on what to say to prospective employers.

    Can I get suggestions on what to tell them without showing all my cards?

    Like I was telling SimonD, I just fell into the trap of the glitz and glamour of the 1st job. Benefits were great, but I never thought of my career. Then just got screwed throughout my time within the company and now I'm paying for it. After 9 years and 3 months, I'm coming to a realization that I needed to improve my background to move somewhere. I don't want to be pigeon-holed as a help desk/desktop support troll. That's why I'm currently studying for my certs and hoping to be a systems administrator or network admin.
     
  8. JackBauer24

    JackBauer24 Bit Poster

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    I'm currently in my early 30s and it feels like sink/swim time. I'm really focused on trying to get my certs and hoping to get out there in the workforce and hopefully someone will give me a chance after my last job. It's just tough to have a good explanation on what happened in my last job. I just want to be shown a good light to prospective employers along with another chance to prove my worth.
     
  9. JackBauer24

    JackBauer24 Bit Poster

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    Whoa, that's a different perspective. You think if I told prospective employers that I was on a contract and that role came to an end, that would work? Wouldn't the prospective employer ask my previous employer if I was on a contract? And if they said no, that wouldn't look good on me, would it? I have previous good employment references and I think I can get a reference from the last employer also, but I'm just afraid of the phone call the prospective employer will make to the previous employers.
     
  10. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Why not just say you found field work wasn't for you? Its not a lie, you weren't great at it. I wouldn't think it was strange if a person said to me they left their last role because they were on the road too much. If they phone this firm and ask you were you fired, you'll then have to explain the lack of support etc impacting upon your performance and how the role involved a lot of technology you had never supported before. You can only try your best and see how you get on. If its not working come back on here and discuss it, see where you are at
     
    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
  11. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Your prospective employer SHOULD ask you for references! It's down to YOU what names, addresses and numbers you give to them - you have total control over this! I have NEVER given the Human Resources Dept or Personnel Dept details to prospective employers! I always gave the details of THOSE that respected me and those that I did a good job for (I always made sure they were senior managers or section Directors). So if you have friends in the previous 'good' employment, now is the time to drop them a line to ask them for their permission to give out their details. It ain't your fault that the new employment went tits up and I understand that many will advise that you come clean...but the chances are that 1 out of 100 will take onboard your view! So my advice is to just BYPASS it all together and make no mention of it!

    I made many good friends in the previous long term employment. I recently let them know that the new job wen tits up. They've agreed to just give an assesment on my performance etc but not comment on my employment conditions. My advice to you is to get on the phone or visit your previous customers in order to get their support.

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  12. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Mate, be honest with them, the last thing you want to find is that they know someone who knows someone, the next thing you know you're out of work and labled a liar. Tell them that you bit off more than you could chew, be a man about it and accept that some people will appreciate that, if you lie about it and it comes out you will be far worse off.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  13. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    You talk like there is this huge database of 'bad' employees...and also like these people go down the pub and all swap info on employees that ommited info! Total nonsense! My previous employment lasted two weeks. They LIED to me about the duties and the job description! Can you let me know about the Liar Employer's Database? And there is nowt to be 'man' about when the dude has bills to pay...the employer was certainly not 'man' enough with him.

    The guy made a mistake...he can delete that previous employer just as easy as they can delete him!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Mate, the sooner you realise that IT is a small world the sooner you will realise that you can easily get caught out.

    Personally speaking I like to tell the truth on what's happened at previous positions, whether that's good or bad.

    Just looking on sites like Linked In shows you how small IT is, I worked with someone nearly 2 years ago for 2 months, looking at my contacts 4 of them have links to that guy, 2 of them weren't working at the same place I was at the time I was working with the first one.

    But hell, if you want to go telling little white lies to potential employers you go right ahead because it won't bother or impact me.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
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  15. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Simon, you centre around this 'lies' nonsense. If the dude doesn't mention it then it is not a lie! You can personally do what you want, but I suspect that you've never been in the situation...in fact judging by your response I KNOW you have never been in this situation!

    Also, anyone in there right mind NEVER posts up career stuff on Internet sites as you never know what is around the corner!

    I've been out for beers with some very experienced and very qualified people and the 'car crash' scenario jobs that they have told me about is shocking! Jobs that they've walked from within an hour too! But they are still employed! And why? Well regardless of who is right and who is wrong, they've never mentioned it! Get it? It's pointless to mention such things in an interview because you then turn from SELLING yourself into ARGUING your corner!

    They are TWO sides to every story...as soon as you let the interviewer know of ONE side it is game over! The interview should be POSITIVE and nothing else because the next gimp will be far more positive then the previous MR HONEST who normally gets nowhere!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  16. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Oh and please...don't tell me what I need to realise! I've been round the block buddy!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  17. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Mate, you misunderstand me, the OP was talking about telling lies on his interviews making things up about his previous role, if it's never mentioned then great, but if it is he has to be honest about it.
    As far as being in the same situation, well actually yes I have, and like you mentioned, if it's never raised I don't have to say anything about it, if it is raised then I am honest about it (and yes, if they are short duration contracts then they can be dropped).

    I disagree, sites like Linked In are a great way of keeping in touch with old colleagues and also finding out about potential new ones. When interviewing people I have been online to see if I can find anything out about them and it can pay off quite well (I know guys who have been hired just on the recommendations from Linked In).

    Again I have been in the car crash scenario, I have also been in roles where I was paid a decent wedge to just sit down and surf the internet all day, infact they were shocked when I didn't renew (and yes, the job is on my CV and yes I explain why I left if asked). We all have horror stories to tell but the one thing to do is always keep it honest, don't lie on the CV\Interview. You must understand that, surely? and yes, as I mentioned previously, if you don't mention it and they don't ask then no harm, no foul.

    Mate, you misunderstand me, the OP was talking about telling lies on his interviews making things up about his previous role, if it's never mentioned then great, but if it is he has to be honest about it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  18. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah, and so have I, longer and harder buddy!
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  19. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Simon, I do not condone the OP lying about his previous role and I would not advise the OP to do such a thing. I missed that and please accept my apologies. I hope I didn't cause you any offence.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  20. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Yeah you're a few years more than me...I may PM you for some advice! :biggrin
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5

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