IT Hiring Tests

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Fortunato, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    I'm looking for a source of tests to use in evaluating candidates for IT positions in my company. Ideally, these tests would be able to be administered by a non-IT staffer and should test skills related to Microsoft operating systems from Windows 95 to present, basic networking, basic hardware troubleshooting, etc.

    Any suggestions?

  2. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    Ah, another employer who cannot decide for himself/herself whether a job applicant has the background necessary to make a positive contribution to the organisation.

    There are testing sites out there but as an employer you should really get your HR staff to track down such testing sites.
  3. eric.brown

    eric.brown New Member

  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Sure -- just add MCSE and A+ to the job requirements.

  5. lspahn

    lspahn New Member

    I have actually had people use Test King questions for A+, CCNA, and Microsoft tests during an interview. I would recommend this. i am assuming that you track trouble tickets. Look at some trends in the tickets, and know solutions. Use what is common to your enviorment to determine what skill set you need to look for. Then design some scenerio type question and solicite responses. None are really correct, but it will give you a good idea of where they would go to correct a problem. In my experiences this has helped us ID the "BS" factor in alot of IT hiring. If you ask, most could walk on water if the job required it.....
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I like to ask questions like-
    I draw a small network and explain our product. I ask, if the workstation cannot communicate with the server, what would you look at. What ever they say (providing it is right) I say, that is OK, what would you look at next. This will help you see if they know the book answers vs. some good networking/troubleshooting skills.

    I do that for several things like backups, connectivity, hard ware, etc. Hope this helps.
  7. siersema

    siersema Member

    The best questions are those asked by existing IT staff. If you have current staff make them come up with questions related to various job postings, or just have them in as part of the interview!

    As a job applicant having a ton of people in the interview can be intimidating but often you soon discover that they're just IT geeks like yourself so you actually become more comfortable. Plus having co-workers as part of the interview helps both the possible employee and employer determine if the person would be a good fit within the team.

    I agree with the above comment of just adding the certs. The 'test king' question method, while interesting, wouldn't always provide questions that are actually necessary for that job, and they may just give the 'Microsoft Answer'... I took the Microsoft Networking test when I was doing my MCSE, there were questions such as. 'You're using Windows 2003 as a Router for these subnets and blah blah blah' The entire time I just wanted to hit the comment button and put "Why the hell would I use Windows as a router when buying a low end real router would be cheaper than the PC and a License for Windows'.. and good real world response, but not a good test response :)

    Also I think for the specific skills you're looking for if you go with a cert then MCP, MCDST, and/or A+ would be the best. I"m also a brainbench fan, though haven't used it as an employment tool.

    Then there's the evil method my employer sometimes uses that you could try to do. Assuming these are entry level jobs (with the skills they look like they might be). Work with some local high schools or colleges and get some interns to work for very little or nothing, then just hire the ones that work out the best for you. If they're in school they can usually get credit for being an intern.

  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Re: Re: IT Hiring Tests

    You say evil, I say clever. I love that idea!

  9. siersema

    siersema Member

    Perhaps evil is to strong, but my biggest problem with it is that qualified candidates that just can't work for you for you for free are never considered. You could end up loosing out on good people because they have another job and can't quit to be an intern. It does have it's strong points though, we've hired a few people like this, and we knew ahead of time if they would be a good fit. When it's only used for entry level, and not used all of the time I'm ok with it.

    I'd be 100% for it if it was used more as a learning tool for the student, and not just free labor/hiring practice for the employer. If it was setup with an outline and a syllabus it could be great. Perhaps we'll change more towards that over time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2006

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