[nSLUG] Interview questions

Jon me at jonwatson.ca
Mon Oct 22 15:34:52 ADT 2007


Ian Campbell wrote:

> Good questions:
> - Can you tell me about a project you're particularly proud of, did
>   particularly well, etc. Ask questions to whatever level of detail
>   you want.
> - I have a mixed network of Linux and Windows machines. How would you
>   back them up? I have a website setup, what would you do to improve
>   performance?
> 
> All of those are pretty open-ended questions, but they let the
> candidate demonstrate how deep their knowledge of a subject area is,
> their competence, and their communication abilities. If they don't
> know the answer to a question, ask them where they'd go from there.
> Get them talking and it will both put them at ease and likely make it
> pretty easy to judge how good they are.

This a good. I started writing this email a few times and then gave up
because I couldn't voice it properly like Ian has. Open ended questions
about real-world situations offer the greatest insight into a person's
skill set.

I would also add that 'problem' questions like:

* new employee is unable to log in to their account
* printer doesn't work
* user can't access certain files

Are good. Not because there's really any right answer to the approach to
fix them, but questions like this should elicit some knowledge of the
log files, how permissions work, and maybe modules and CUPs...etc.
They're kind of open ended, but a little more pointed in the technical end.

FWIW, the CompTIA Linux+ and LPIC I exams ask these types of questions.

My 0.02

Jon



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