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Technical Test for job interview

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Paolow, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Paolow

    Paolow Bit Poster

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    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post on certforums. To cut a long story short, im trying to get my first entry level job in the industry and im studying for the following certs:

    A+
    N+
    MCSA
    MCSE

    Ive been applying for various jobs without any luck as I have no experience,until the other day i got an email asking to attend a three hour interview for a trainee support and development role. The technical tests involve the following:

    • A Programming test

    You will be given a simple program in the language of your choice. It is not very interesting or well written! (It starts out with around 14 lines of code in VB).
    You will have to add some features and functionality to this, by adding code, or by re-writing parts.
    If you have limited coding experience, you can complete the task by writing ‘pseudo-code’ – describing in English what you’d like the code to do.


    • A Data Processing test

    Our company gathers lots of information about its users and user base.
    You will be given a set of 10,000 records, as an Access database, and as an Excel spreadsheet (containing identical data).
    We will ask you to interrogate and provide statistics on various aspects of the data.
    (You may use Access query designer, Standard SQL queries within Access, Excel, or any other tools you wish.)


    • A User Support test

    The support team deals with hundreds of support requests, you will be given some examples of typical support requests and asked to write emails / instructions explaining how to solve the problem.
    (These may or may not be relevant just to our business)


    As you can see there is quite alot of stuff to prepare for and im wondering if a may be a little in over my head. I have not used Access and Excel for a while, but im currently working through both of these programs as part of my course. And as far as programing i have no knowledge at all. My cv shows that im on the networking path, but they must have seen something they were interested in. Im in need for help so any comments would be apreciated :ohmy .
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+ MCSA MCSE
  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi and welcome to CF:) and happy chrismas too. Now with regards to your post you'd be better off learning the basics of what the test would entail as the questions would be phrased in a way that would test your troubleshooting, analytical, and communication skills.

    In a nutshell make sure you are comfortable with the person spec skills outlined as requirements. However, am sure they're not looking for an expert as the role is a trainee position. Best wishes and go and give it your best shot.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  3. Paolow

    Paolow Bit Poster

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    Thanks onoski for the advice, Merry Christmas.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+ MCSA MCSE
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you're just starting out, I'd recommend the A+, Network+, and MCDST... but no other certifications until after you've built up a bit of real-world IT job experience.

    Best of luck! :)
     
    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!
  5. Toadeh

    Toadeh Nibble Poster

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    I have done many programming tests. There nothing to difficult, they generally ask about the StringBuilder class if its .Net. With it being VB code its not going to be that heavy, there will be bits that you can't but if they wanted someone who could do everything they would advertise for a senior member of staff. They are more than likly trying to make sure you have some technical nouse about you.
     
    Certifications: BSc(Hons), MCTS Web Development
  6. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    My advice for this would be to find yourself a piece of VB code on the Internet, and study it to see if you can find out how it works, normally codes are VERY logical in structure, and with a bit of effort you should be able to work out how to read what its doing. have a look, this is possibly the best prep you can get for this part, then you will be able to roughly read the code your given and should be able to describe what you would do to add to the code, depending on how much study time you put in you might even suggest how you might do it in pseudo-code.


    Learn Excell sort, filter, charts, statistical functions
    Learn access sort, filter, reports, queries

    should be fairly quick and easy to learn.

    apart from general troubleshooting knowledge not much prep you can do here, try to ensure that your instructions when you write then could be understood by a child, remember some people are scared of computers, if your allowed to play with your own computer as you answer each question to check your not missing anything out in each process, if you are not offered a computer, make a note at the bottom that you would check these procedures on your computer before sending the reply.

    if you don't know, don't just leave the answer space blank, mention that you would seek help from Internet, colleges, books, and other sources
     
    Certifications: MCSA, N+, A+(Tech), ECDL
    WIP: 70-294, 70-298
  7. Paolow

    Paolow Bit Poster

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    That breaks it down nice and simple Manic:biggrin. Whish me luck you guys, I will keep you posted.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+ MCSA MCSE
  8. Paolow

    Paolow Bit Poster

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    Has anyone else got any suggestions. What are the do's and dont's of the interview. What questions do i ask as this is my first ever IT job interview:ohmy
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+ MCSA MCSE
  9. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    "Is £40k ok and what holidays do I get?"

    Seriously though, just ask something that you need to know that *hasn’t* been covered in the interview. (e.g what are the opportunities to progress in the company etc...)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. Paolow

    Paolow Bit Poster

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    This test seems a bit heavy, three hours. Is there any practice tests i can do to get to grips with VB and the data processing?
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+ MCSA MCSE
  11. Toadeh

    Toadeh Nibble Poster

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    Take a look at the MCTS practice tests for VB.Net (70-536).

    They are a bit heavy but from what you have mentioned they will just want to know that you are not a numpty and the 3 hour limit is prolly just to give people a fair amount of time.

    I personally hate it when I go for a technical test and they give you 20 mins to do it in because it just isn't enought time. (I also object to having to hand write these things, I don't hand write anything these days so it chuffin hurts to write that fast :)).

    As for questions, one of my faves is "What sort of training opportunites are there within the company?" leading to "Are there options to site professional certificates?" You might get some for free :)
     
    Certifications: BSc(Hons), MCTS Web Development
  12. Paolow

    Paolow Bit Poster

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    Anyone else got any suggestions?
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+ MCSA MCSE

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