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Simulation & Gaming:
An Interdisciplinary Journal

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From  http://www.techrepublic.com.com

Use these selected questions to set job interview strategy

To make interviewing job candidates for IT support positions a little easier, weíve collected and categorized a number of interview questions submitted by TechRepublic members. You can use some of these questions as written but will need to modify others to match the job skill you are seeking. The questions you select or modify should be inserted into the accompanying Interview Questions Form to ensure that you uniformly and fairly compare candidates.

Our job interview questions fall into these categories:

         Preparation questions test what the candidate knows about your organization or the job you have advertised. Does the candidate meet the jobís basic requirements?

         Behavioral questions encourage candidates to discuss at some length how they work, problems they have solved, and how they think.

         Problem-solving questions present candidates with a specific issue they need to resolve.

         Big-picture questions assess how the candidate views his or her role in your organization.

         Off-the-wall questions should be avoided.

Preparation questions

1.       Tell me about your current job. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?

2.       What operating system do you prefer and why? (The operating system is of minor importance, unless the job requires a thorough knowledge of it. Rather, this question probes general knowledge of operating systems and their relative merits.)

3.       I know all these references are going to say nice things about you, or you wouldnít have listed them. Can you give me one that wonít say good things about you? (You arenít going to call, but you want to see and hear is how they react.)

4.       I would like to set up a second interview with our evening supervisor. Can you come back this evening at 7:00 P.M.? (How flexible is the candidate? How do they handle less-than-ideal situations? This question requires the possibility of a second interview with an evening supervisor.)

5.       What do you know about our organization and what we do?

Behavioral questions

1.       Whatís the biggest mistake youíve made? How many people were affected by it? How did you find out about it? How did you recover and what did you learn?

2.       Tell me about the most difficult IT problem you ever faced and how you handled it. In retrospect, would you handle it the same way now?

3.       How do you stay informed about your profession? (This answer should go beyond daily duties. Do they have a test network at home? Do they read publications or visit IT Web sites?)

4.       Tell me about your relationship with your current end users? (Is the candidate a people person? How does the candidate interact with others?)

5.       Tell me about a time when you were working alone and needed to motivate yourself. What were the circumstances, and how did you do it?

Problem-solving questions

1.       What precautions would you take before replacing a keyboard, hard drive, or network card? (This question should be altered to reflect the job description and skills.)

2.       Ask the candidate to turn around so he or she canít see you. Then ask them to tell you how to tie your shoelaces using only vocal instructions. (Does the candidate ask if your shoes have shoelaces? Can they describe the process? This kind of question will help you test communications skills needed by help desk candidates who support remote users.)

3.       Your network is experiencing periods of slow response, and you are asked to find a solution. What troubleshooting techniques would you use? Hardware or software solutions are okay, and budget is not an issue.

4.       In many problem situations, it is tempting to jump to a conclusion in order to quickly build a solution. Describe a time when you resisted this temptation and thoroughly researched the problem before reaching a decision.

5.       Write a paragraph explaining how DHCP (LANs, WANs, WEPs, whatever) works. (This question sounds like a technical question, but you will want to see how well the candidate communicates the technical information.)

Big-picture questions

1.       What is the single most rewarding thing you have accomplished in your career, and why do you cite this above all your other accomplishments?

2.       Describe for me a risk you have taken in your career and the results of the decision to take the risk. Would you do it again?

3.       What role do you think computer support analysts should play in the company?

4.       What special skills or knowledge can you bring to our organization? Why would this be valuable to us?

5.       Within this organization or not, where do you see yourself, and your career, in five years?

Off-the-wall questions to avoid

You should avoid using off-the-wall questions during a job interview. Some of the TechRepublic members who submitted the following questions said they rejected the job offer when questions of this type were asked.

1.       Why are manhole covers round? (This actually was the most popular ďtoughĒ question that TechRepublic members submitted. The answer should be that during removal or replacement, a round manhole cover cannot fall back into the hole.)

2.       Would you like a piece of cake? (The candidate is given a piece of cake but no fork. The purpose, allegedly, is to see the composure and ingenuity displayed by the candidate.)

3.       Iím going to sit here for 30 minutes and listen to you tell me about yourself. (The interviewer then starts a stopwatch, sits back, and stares at the candidate.)

4.       Where is the paring knife in your kitchen at home? (Apparently, the interviewer is supposed to be able to tell something of the candidate's organizational skills, neatness, and ability to communicate.)

5.       If you were a wild animal, what animal would you be?


From  http://www.techrepublic.com.com

Interview questions form (IT jobs)

Use these questions, or others from the accompanying potential interview questions list, to formulate your own interview of job candidates for a support or help desk position. This form can also be modified to fit other job categories. Use your version of this form for each candidate to ensure that the interview is fair and equitable.

TODAYíS DATE: ____/____/_____
CANDIDATE NAME: __________________________________________________________________
CONTACT INFORMATION:
Address: _____________________________________________________
                                          Telephone: ________________ (work)
                                                             ________________ (home)
                                                             ________________ (cell)
                                           E-mail: ______________________________________________________

POSITION DESIRED:
____________________________________
SALARY RANGE DISCUSSED:
$___________ to $____________
PROMISED RESPONSE DATE:
____/____/______
NEXT STEP:
_________________________________________________________________________

Major qualifications in a nutshell

Use this section to document the candidateís individual qualifications or interesting experiences.

The questions

Modify these questions to fit your particular circumstances and requirements. After you have made notes about the answer to each question, rate the candidateís response from 0 to 5. Then add up the TOTAL: ______

Tell me about your current job. What do you like about it? What do you dislike?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

What operating system do you prefer and why?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

What precautions would you take before replacing a keyboard, hard drive, or network card?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

Whatís the biggest mistake youíve made? How many were affected by it? How did you find out about it? How did you recover, and what did you learn? 0 1 2 3 4 5

 

What is the single most rewarding thing you have accomplished in your career, and why do you cite this above all your other accomplishments?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

Tell me about the most difficult IT problem you have faced and how you handled it. In retrospect, would you handle it the same way now?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

Describe for me a risk you have taken in your career and the results of the decision to take the risk. Would you do it again?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

What role do you think computer support analysts should play in the company?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

I know all these references are going to say nice things about you, or you wouldnít have listed them. Can you give me one that wonít say good things about you?  0 1 2 3 4 5

 

Ask the candidate to turn around so he or she canít see you. Then ask him or her to tell you how to tie your shoelaces using only vocal instructions. (This question can help you test communications skills needed by candidates who support remote users by telephone.) 
0 1 2 3 4 5


Steer clear of these 10 illegal job interview questions

From http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=229

Although HR departments should be aware of questions that are illegal to ask prospective employees, some hiring managers arenít so savvy.  Many illegal questions are easy for just about anyone with elementary social graces to avoid, but others might surprise you. In general, you should not ask interviewees about their age, race, national origin, marital or parental status, or disabilities.

Note that this list offers only some very broad guidelines and is not exhaustive. Check with your companyís HR department to see if your state or locality, or even your company, has additional restrictions on what you may ask.

#1: Where were you born?

This question might seem like small talk as you get to know a person, but it could also be used to gather information illegally about the candidateís national origin. Although it may seem more relevant, you should also avoid asking, ďAre you a U.S. citizen?Ē You can ask whether a candidate is authorized to work in the United States, but avoid asking about citizenship.

#2: What is your native language?

Again, the problem is that this question could be used to determine national origin. You can ask whether the person knows a language if it is required for the job. For example, if job responsibilities include supporting Spanish-speaking customers, itís fair to ask whether the candidate speaks Spanish.

#3: Are you married?

Hereís another question that would seem innocent in most settings, but definitely not in a job interview. Because you canít discriminate on the basis of marital status, this question is off limits.

#4: Do you have children?

This might sound like small talk, too ó an innocent question in most settings ó but not in a job interview. Itís covered by a general prohibition about discrimination over parental status.

#5: Do you plan to get pregnant?

In the past, employers sometimes asked this question to weed out women who might take a maternity leave. It has always been rude coming from a casual acquaintance, and now itís illegal as well.

#6: How old are you?

Some companies used to avoid hiring older workers for a variety of reasons, ranging from a fear of higher healthcare costs and absences to a social bias in favor of youth. But age discrimination is clearly illegal, and you should avoid this question. Donít try to get the information by asking when the person graduated from college, either.

#7: Do you observe Yom Kippur?

You canít discriminate on the basis of religion, so this question is illegal, as would be asking about Good Friday, Ramadan, or the Solstice. If youíre concerned about the candidateís availability, you could ask whether he or she can work on holidays and weekends, but not about the observance of particular religious holidays.

#8: Do you have a disability or chronic illness?

This information is not supposed to be used as a factor in hiring, so the questions are illegal. If the job will require some specific physical tasks, such as installing cables in walls and ceilings, you may ask whether the person could perform those tasks with reasonable accommodation.

#9: Are you in the National Guard?

Although some managers may find it disruptive when employees leave for duty, itís illegal to discriminate against someone because he or she belongs to the National Guard or a reserve unit.

#10: Do you smoke or use alcohol?

In general, you canít discriminate on the basis of the use of a legal product when the employee is not on the premises and not on the job.

Tip: To avoid asking the wrong questions, develop an interview form and use a copy of it for each candidate. It will document that you asked each interviewee the same questions. Failing to do so may establish a pattern that could seem discriminatory. For example, if you ask only women about their willingness to travel, thinking that the responsibilities of childcare would make them balk at business trips, you could establish a pattern of discrimination.



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Peace and survival of life on Earth as we know it are threatened by human activities that lack a commitment to humanitarian values.  Destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed, and a lack of respect for the Earth's living things... .  It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past, which resulted from ignorance.  Today, however, we have access to more information, and it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations.  Clearly this is a pivotal generation... .  Our marvels of science and technology are matched if not outweighed by many current tragedies, including human starvation in some parts of the world, and extinction of other life forms... .  We have the capability and responsibility.  We must act before it is too late.  Tenzin Gyatso the fourteenth Dalai Lama.