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Old 10-19-2007, 07:15 AM   #1
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Smile Have to write a linux exam for job candidates!


I have been tasked with writing 25-30 questions for a position we are recruiting for (UK) but no one will tell me what skill level the person needs to have, which got me thinking..... Whats the best and worst questions to put in a recruitment exam. How about this for starters:

Apache can be run as a proxy server, discuss.

Any other ideas?
Old 10-19-2007, 10:56 AM   #2
Harry Seldon
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I'd ask about scripting skills and whether they can create packages and install software via source files.
Old 10-19-2007, 11:05 AM   #3
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I would look through the objectives of something like LPIC to get ideas for questions.. (I would not use their sample questions though)

Scripting, kernel compile, system troubleshooting and information gathering, soo many topics to choose from.
Old 10-21-2007, 06:01 AM   #4
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1. Explain your Linux related work in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.

2. You administer a productive Linux system and you make a terrible mistake. What would you do?

3. What would you charge to install a Linux server, Linux desktop if you are a freelancer? Would the fees differ, if the customer uses Windows?

Old 10-21-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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Ask about some file permissions stuff. This topic is very important if people are to administer systems in a secure way... it's a basic skill. Make sure they know what the sticky bit is and what it does... and what suid bit is and does... and what the umask is. Check they understand about the permissions on directories too...

Make sure they understand the difference between a symbolic link and a hard link, and check they know a hard link cannot span partitions.
Old 10-23-2007, 02:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, difficult to know how to pitch it though plenty to go on. Probably wouldn't have put complilation and file permissions in to start with but good points to have in.

Might be easier if someone would tell me how much they will be getting paid
Old 10-25-2007, 05:03 PM   #7
Caesar Tjalbo
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The worst questions:
- "KDE or GNOME?"
- "VIM or EMACS?"
and to weed out the really bad applicants immediately:
- "Would you take advice from a paperclip?"

Seriously, if you don't know the skill level then making up the questions is a bit useless. Actually, it may be easier to just provide a (virtual) machine and a CD ROM and let the applicant set-up a LAMP server or desktop when you want to test skill. You'll see soon enough if (s)he pays attentions to security or configuration.
Old 10-26-2007, 09:37 AM   #8
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Good suggestions, may put the paperclip one in

The lab would be a great idea if I can get it past the boss. They want to keep things the same as for the windows guys applying for equivelent roles....
Old 10-26-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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"Is it 'Li-nux' or 'Lee-nux'?"
"What odds would you give a death match of Stallman vs Torvalds - explain."

Last edited by oskar; 10-26-2007 at 04:25 PM.
Old 10-26-2007, 04:55 PM   #10
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in General and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 10-26-2007, 05:25 PM   #11
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what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Old 10-26-2007, 05:44 PM   #12
LQ Guru
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Originally Posted by matthewg42 View Post
what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
European or African unladen swallow?
Old 10-27-2007, 08:47 AM   #13
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Interesting thread.

When I interview people for IT positions I try to ask vague-ish questions to see if they get the point which is that it is all about business and keeping our hotel guests connected. Too many of the ones who apply for jobs just want to sit in an office IMing their buddies and playing games online.

You did not give any details about your business or requirements, but if it supporting people then here's my two cents.

Sample questions:

"How do you think that FOSS will make us more productive"
"How would you manage a transition to FOSS office applications"
"Could you explain to a died-in-the-wool Windows using boss the advantages of using Linux/FOSS in a *positive* manner?"
"How would you handle the permissions of a senior employee (i.e. me!) who has enough command line skills to be dangerous yet useful?"
"How do you see the release of Vista and OS X Leopard affecting office computing habits?"
"What do you think should be the minimum specifications for a secretary's workstation now and in two years?"
"What do you feel about password policies, how often should they be changed and should employees be able to set their own passwords?"

"Discuss and compare the films 'The Big Lebowski' and 'V For Vendetta' in 10 words or less"

(The last one is the kicker, if the answer is "LOL" the guy/gal is hired on the spot)


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