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Old 02-02-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,440 posts, read 15,934,552 times
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I am looking for some tough interview questions for a mid to upper level technical side (systems administrator) computer job. I have never really been an interviewer, as I am a team member and not a manager or department head. However since we will be hiring my teammate, I am trying to figure out some good questions that will expose information about the candidates character, skills, etc. I am not looking for the technical type questions but more open ended, general questions, stuff like "Tell me about an experience you had where everything went haywire and how you resolved it?" How can we figure out how someone works under pressure.... has good organizational skills, etc.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
4,898 posts, read 10,596,944 times
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One question I got asked and later used in my interviewing was "Describe for me your perfect job". I got a lot of interesting answers, but it really showed me a person's character.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I often asked, "What are the most important qualities for a (insert position here) to have?"
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:18 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 4,462,693 times
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Well, my job requires someone to be very detail oriented. So when I was interviewing, I would ask someone to plan a vacation to Paris, and asked them to walk me through what they would do and focus on the details that they think would be important. This gave me a good idea of how people's mind thinks and what they consider to be important or not.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,608 posts, read 10,895,712 times
Reputation: 9737
During my last interview, they described a situation and asked me if I'd ever dealt with it before and how I handled it. They asked me for a specific example of how I handled a situation that they thought I'd encounter in their workplace.
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,877 posts, read 3,541,414 times
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It sounds as though you are looking for Behavioral Interview Questions. Many employers are using these types of interview questions as it really narrows down who has the experience you are looking for and requires individuals to draw on past experience, not just theory. You may want to google “behavioral interview questions”. There a some at this website that you may be able to alter specifically to the position. Your local state job center office may be able to assist as well.
http://www.buffalostate.edu/offices/cdc/interview-behave-ques.html
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
43 posts, read 150,321 times
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Since this person would be a co-worker think about what personal qualities you possess that make you good at the job. Is it detail orientation, persistence, good problem solving, the ability to work well within a team? Once you have a list of 4 or 5 personal qualities you can fashion situational questions designed to probe for these characteristics.

Here is a link to a list of questions grouped by characteristic. http://www.emurse.com/blog/2007/05/21/complete-list-of-behavioral-interview-questions/

If you're asked to interview more than one person, ask each person the same questions. That will make it easier to compare candidates when deciding on the best choice.

On last thing. Remember that when interviewing you are selling the candidate on the company and the position as well as making a determination about the candidate's suitability. Communicate in a friendly but business like way and be prepared to give an example of what ‘a day in the life’ is like.

Hope that helps. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,334 posts, read 23,922,046 times
Reputation: 6447
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe moving View Post
I am looking for some tough interview questions for a mid to upper level technical side (systems administrator) computer job. I have never really been an interviewer, as I am a team member and not a manager or department head. However since we will be hiring my teammate, I am trying to figure out some good questions that will expose information about the candidates character, skills, etc. I am not looking for the technical type questions but more open ended, general questions, stuff like "Tell me about an experience you had where everything went haywire and how you resolved it?" How can we figure out how someone works under pressure.... has good organizational skills, etc.
Ok, first of all, most of the people applying for a mid to upper level position are going to be familiar with those 'behavioral' type of questions and are going to come prepared to answer them. Their answers may or may not be BS.

Umm, you want to expose information? Are you going to conduct an interview or an interrogation?

You will have the person's resume and cover letter. Base your questions on those; So, you did X for Company Y. Tell me more about that. You have an impressive list of skills here, which do you feel is your strongest one. Etc.

The candidates skills should be listed on the resume, and if they are not then that resume should be in the trash.

Keep in mind that you are looking for someone to fill a position, not be your best friend. While every company has its own quirks and 'personality' asking questions that are designed to bring out, or 'trick', a certain answer are a no-no and quite unprofessional (and in certain cases, illegal). Some people can interview really well, but turn out to be lousy employees while people who are lame at interviewing turn out to be really good employees. And a person's personality should peek its way through sometime during the interview.

Last edited by K-Luv; 02-02-2009 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 18,344,053 times
Reputation: 4736


Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
Ok, first of all, most of the people applying for a mid to upper level position are going to be familiar with those 'behavioral' type of questions and are going to come prepared to answer them. Their answers may or may not be BS.

Umm, you want to expose information? Are you going to conduct an interview or an interrogation?

You will have the person's resume and cover letter. Base your questions on those; So, you did X for Company Y. Tell me more about that. You have an impressive list of skills here, which do you feel is your strongest one. Etc.

The candidates skills should be listed on the resume, and if they are not then that resume should be in the trash.

Keep in mind that you are looking for someone to fill a position, not be your best friend. While every company has its own quirks and 'personality' asking questions that are designed to bring out, or 'trick', a certain answer are a no-no and quite unprofessional (and in certain cases, illegal). Some people can interview really well, but turn out to be lousy employees while people who are lame at interviewing turn out to be really good employees. And a person's personality should peek its way through sometime during the interview.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:47 PM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,789,519 times
Reputation: 43773
I have a question that I always ask in interviews, because it is open-ended, gives no clues to the interviewee about what answer I'm looking for, but the answer tells me a whole lot about them.

"On a scale of one to ten, with one being a person who checks in with their manager maybe once a month for input and guidance and ten being a person who checks in multiple times a day, where would you fall on that scale?"

The replies usually give me a clue about how independent the applicant is accustomed to being, and whether or not they're likely to be the needy sort of employee who'll want reassurance and encouragement for every last little thing they do. That's not the only criterion in my decision, of course, but it adds an important piece to the picture.
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