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Got an interview for system admin position tomorrow....

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Rockets34Life, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Rockets34Life

    Rockets34Life Bit Poster

    Lucked out to get an interview for a sys admin position while I'm at my current job....

    The guy from the agency told me even though the job description says they are looking for certain things, he told me to not worry about my lack of sys admin experience and that this is a Jr.-to-Midlevel/"eager to learn, make it up by giving your all" type of system admin position. I'm like yeah right.....I'm going to get grilled for stuff I don't know, but it's an opportunity I don't want to pass up career wise.

    But before the interview, I had to take 3 exams so they can see where my knowledge was for Server 2003, Exchange 2007, and Active Directory. So not to cheat myself, I went through all exams without surfing for the answers. Active Directory, I did whatever I could knowledge wise with my class time and work experience. Was average with that. For Server 2003, whatever I could remember from class and just guesses. Exchange exam, all guesses. I saw the scores and I thought they were crap.....but the guy from the agency said I scored average which was fine to the employer to grant me an interview.

    So here's what the guy at the agency sent me to prep for the interview (my answers in bold):

    1) They will start off the interview asking you about your background and go over your resume. Be sure you are aware of everything listed on your resume so that you can be sure to articulate and elaborate in detail. This is fine, I can do my best on this.

    2) They will ask you about your virtualization background. They use Hyper-V. Heard of this, don't know squat about it and haven't worked with it.

    3) They use Service Desk Plus as their trouble ticketing system. Experience with your background using ticketing system and working through resolution. This is no problem to me since I've worked with ticketing systems for 10 years

    4) Experience with Monitoring Software- They use Op Manager Don't know squat about it and haven't done it before.

    5) They will ask the typical top strengths and weaknesses interview question. Be prepared to expound upon that question I can mention strengths, but what are good weaknesses I can mention that can make them think that they are also strengths?

    6) Explain your comfortability level doing Windows Server Administration and using Active Directory. Active Directory, I have worked with a lot in the past 1 1/2 years from my last job and this job, but only working with user accounts and groups. Windows Server Administration - don't know what they mean by this.....I'm thinking building, designing, implementing servers, which I haven't done before. I have remoted to servers to setup printers, manage directories/permissions, disk space issues, etc. but that's about it.

    7) Discuss your scripting experience Don't know squat about it and haven't done it before.

    8 ) Why you want to work there? What have you guys said in your interviews for this question?

    9) Explain your experience with Dell Hardware and Switches. Don't know squat about it and haven't done it before.

    He told me the pay was $50K, full-time, perm (he said he will try to knock up the $ a little more, but I doubt he'll get anywhere with my background - dude wants to get paid!).

    I understood the pay and I told him before even saying yes to the interview that to not expect much since I haven't done much with sys admin work (I know I'm belittling myself, but I've been burned before from one of my previous jobs and I don't want to go into a situation where I'm going to screw myself if the company doesn't want to invest/train me for skills I'm lacking that I have brought upfront). He said that's fine and to do my best in the interview.

    What do you guys think? Any advice?

    Sorry for the long post.... :)
  2. j1mgg

    j1mgg Kilobyte Poster

    Good luck with the interview but from your answer to hisbquestions it is good you are taking it in your stride and not getting carried away.
    Certifications: Comptia A+, ITIL V3 Foundation, MCDST, 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: 70-291, security+ and SSCP
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Well you still have time to read over the areas you don’t know about so you do have something to say.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  4. Rockets34Life

    Rockets34Life Bit Poster

    Thanks, j1mgg, but I need more elaboration for my post on what can I do for tomorrow's interview.
  5. Rockets34Life

    Rockets34Life Bit Poster

    I'm currently reviewing over 70-290 as I post this. Once I feel like I can go into detail on what I've learned to what I've worked with, I'm good. The others which I have no clue on, I'll just have to get a summarized version on what each is memorized.
  6. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Yeah, you do have time to have a quick look over what Hyper-V is and also Ops Manager.

    In regard to the question “Why do you want to work here?” perhaps you could mention Hyper-V and Ops Manager as you haven’t had much exposure to them but you are interested in learning new products\technologies. Kinda turn a negative into a positive if you know what I mean.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  7. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    I echo what others have said... I also understand what you're saying in terms of what to review. It's hard to say what to review because you don't know what they are going to ask you. I would review what each product does and go from there... If you understand to some extent of what the product does, not necessarily the technical aspect, they could see a potential in you.

    The idea, is for them to see enough potential in you, to want to hire you. An employer knows, that they will not find someone that does everything they want, as long as you portray a good understanding and willingness to learn, you'll have a good chance at getting the job. I recently landed a job and there is technology that the company uses that I never used, I read up on it, told them I understood what it is and what it does and that I would learn it given the opportunity and they liked the answer.

    It's all in how you say things and how you portray yourself.. The recruiter wants you to get hired because he wants to get paid.. but at the same time you also want the job because it's a great opportunity so it's a win win situation, don't be hesitant about the fact that you don't have much experience, if you were honest on your CV and during the interview, you have nothing to worry about. I got my current job through a recruiter as well and believe me, I know exactly what you're saying.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  8. lifeisshortmove

    lifeisshortmove Bit Poster

    I am not an experienced IT guy. But I am going to tell you some of the questions I have faced in interviews that may help you. Usually, it's better to think about what questions they may ask and try to prepare answers (some questions are not related directly to IT, they just want to know how would you deal with a certain situation).

    Ok, let me tell you some of the questions:

    1 - Tell me a difficult troubleshooting scenario you have faced in real life and how did you deal with it?
    2 - Tell me if you have any conflict with one of your peers in your team
    3 - Why do you think we should hire you?
    4 - Why do you want to leave your current workplace?

    About technical questions, they asked me some direct and scenario based questions. For example, what is AD logical and physical structure? what is a site? Those are direct questions (I guess they want to make long story short if you could not answer basic questions you won't be able to answer advanced ones).

    Scenario based questions maybe something like a server is acting to slow what will be your procedure to know what is the problem? A user cannot access a shared folder on a file server what could be the reason of this? The guy who makes the interview will walk with step by step to see your troubleshooting methodology. For example, failure to access a shared folder on a file server. I would say, go and check access permissions on the shared folder. He'll tell you ok, let's assume that I checked it and the user is on the ACL of that resource, what would you do then? I may say ping the file server to check connectivity ...etc

    I hope that helps you a little bit.

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