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I find this type of question process less than useful, since the answers are a 10 second Google query away, memorizing useless information is just that, useless.
Instead, seat the candidate in front of a network connected machine, and ask them to perform a task. For example, install and configure a caching DNS server for a subnet, or move the non-system userids/passwords on one system to another.
In this what they can demonstrate actual ability. If they ask questions like "What's a subnet?" or "What are the userid passwords?" (for the above examples), then you know that the candidate isn't well versed in common administrative tasks.
If you have multiple good candidates, select the faster of the two or the one that works most independently (e.g., answers their own questions with Google).
You should hire the one that shows more potential obviously, but don't overweigh good computer skills.... people need to know how to think on their toes, solve problems, and work with people.
I've worked support/admin on a trading desk for 5 years. I couldn't install a caching DNS server if my life depended on it, but could probably move the non-system userids/passwords pretty quickly with a perl script. I don't even know what Radius is. I can, however, think while people are literally screaming at me and pounding their desks... a skill employers traditionally pay for. Honestly... for about 80% of the other stuff, there is the manual and google.
On that note, I would ask very basic problem-solving skills unless you really need a hack to this job... doesn't sound like it though, or you'd have very specific questions.
Last edited by GaijinPunch; 06-16-2005 at 01:24 AM.
Hi Friends, Just I searched for interview questions and
then came to this page, Tomorrow i have to attend an ineterview in a Company they are using Fedora, And I decided to cover DNS and non-system userids/passwords, too,
I found both arguments are sensible but this is a place where u can find information about linux. Its not just answering questions ... if you know the answer you stop thinking about it because its closed, As cj_cheema mentioned this forum consists lot of stuff that even answer your question indirectly. Our attitude must be always towards learning, helping and motivating.
In my opinion, you shouldn't worry too much about the things you don't know during an interview. Often they just invite you for an interview to see who you are. They probably have seen your resume. Maybe there will be questions regarding the topics in your resume. If not, then you are not dealing with smart people as they could have read in your resume that you don't no anything about about that particular subject and if it is that important to them that you have this knowledge, then why inviting you for an interview since you don't know anything about this.
It is more important that they can see that you learn quick, that you are resourceful, that you know where to look for the information required and those kind of things. In an interview it should be about checking if the knowledge that you say you have, you really have and to see if you fit in the company.
So I don't think this topic should need a seperate forum. That's not the goal of linuxquestions.org and, indeed, you can find enough information when you read the articles on this forum.
Well, let's see now...maybe I shouldn't even be relating this here, but here goes...
Ten months ago while I was interviewing at my present employment, HR Rep asked me, "Out of the 5000 applicants that we have for the 3 positions that we have open at our company, tell me, why should we hire you?"
(Oh, GAWD, I hate that question)
Before I even thought of what I was saying, I replied, "I can give you 50 reasons not to hire me!" The look on his face was priceless. *Then* I realized just what I had said and I quickly backtracked and saved the interview.
Once you are on the jobs market, school is finish. You shouldn't have to pass test or technical exam. You are a professionnal and you already learned at school and got your diploma. You are tag as qualified by your diploma.
If someone ask me to validate my knowledge, it will be by mutual understanding of the term and vocabulary and philosophy of problem resolving. Like: I see that you setuped a DNS at that company, did you have to administer the MX record and configure a round robin for redundancy? If I don't know what he is talking about, it means that I can't do what they intended me to do. If i understand, I will explain what I did in that other company context and validate my knowledge. It should never be like an exam.
Personnally, I would not work for an employer that make me pass an exam for the following reason:
1- It cans mean that he didn't read my CV
2- It could means that my CV is not good and he couldn't validate my knowledge from it.
3- It could means that he has found no good candidat for the position and he is desperate and doesn't trust you at first but have no choice than to try you out. (that you fail or succeed will probably change nothing, just perform better than the other candidat if you really want that job ...)
4- The management asked for the TI department to conduct the interview and the people at the TI department doesn't know how to make an interview.
In an interview, I always been asked to tell about what I did in my previous experience and to detail some technical just to see if I feel confortable to talk about it.
You shouldn't prepare for an interview like you do for a school exam.
No company expect you to know everything (except maybe very small business but management is usually bad as well, so why should you be perfect huh?). They expect you to team up with the other employee and to work together helping each other with your strengh and weakness.
In a good interview conduct by good people, the technical side is the less important. If you are there it's because you already qualify for the knowledge. What they will look at is your attitude, personality and the way you handle the pitfall question they throw at you. Will you panic? Will you be over stress? Will you be honest *very important*?
If you want to perform at the interview,
- Smile, calm down, adopt an open body language (no cross arm, legs, leg not bind under the chair, back straight but not too much you are not military. Just make yourself politely comfortable.
- Take your time to answer every question, most question are link to each other, without over thinking try to think about the question before and try to find pattern that might help you oversee the next one. You should just be aware and not force for it, it should ask no effort and come naturally just by being aware. If you feel uncomfortable, ask for a pause, ask for water or any normal excuse. (bathroom is not a right excuse and should be avoid because it shows lack of self control and planning)
- Keep always a positive attitude, if they ask question about negative context, try to see the most awesome positive context out of it. If it is not possible, answer politically correct, (should at worse be neutral).
The challenge in an interview is not the technical side. It's to succeed in staying yourself while meeting their expectation. The only way to perform is to always try to become better as a person and socially. Technical side, you can always learn while doing the job with the help of your colleague and it's always easier when the colleague like you.
Out of the 5000 applicants that we have for the 3 positions that we have open at our company, tell me, why should we hire you?
I would smile and answer something like:
You got 5000 applicants and you chose to interview me, that means I already stand out from the crowd!
At this point they should smile, possibly rephrase the question, you've earned some bonus points, plus you've earned some extra time to find something interesting to answer.
I always thought that was a stupid question. I always wanted to answer something like, if you don't know why did you call me.
You are right... it is a dumb question. But like most questions, it has a purpose. It's supposed to make you feel pressure. And the central idea is that it is a sales-lead question: "what are the product benefits?"
One thing I suggest to anyone who is facing a tech interview is ... "Always remember that you are a person. Any bit of techo-trivia can be (and should be) looked-up in a manual. But the personal and professional qualities of a person can only be found between a pair of ears. And so, that is what you are selling. And, selling is why you are there in the first place."
It used to be that, in high school, you were taught a bit about "selling." Today it is an enterprise that is seldom taught and often scorned, critical and vital though it continues to be. Selling can actually be fun, and in any case, in an interview situation, that's what you are doing. There are plenty of "short books" on the art of selling, and perhaps you should peruse a few of those. For one thing, it will help you to consider the hiring proposition from the point-of-view of the person (and the company) on the other side of the desk.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-11-2011 at 09:28 AM.