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Fellow IT Pro's: Please critique my interview speech

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by TIMSPEED, Apr 2, 2015.

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  1. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    This is specifically for people who know about IT...
    I'm applying for a "Network Admin" job, similar to what I've done in the past (So similar in fact, that this school district is logistically the same! 2 Elementarys/1 Jr High/1 Highschool; as well as using the SAME applications I used)

    Here is the job description, and below it, I'm pasting what my first question reply will be (Obviously the first question is always: "What experience makes you the most qualified for this position?")
    Obviously, they're also going to ask other questions; targeted specific answer questions (aka: "Which type of Fiber is used for long-distance runs?") but I just want to make a GOOD impression right off the bat. Please critique what I should add/take out, change up.
    Huge thanks!!!

    EDIT: I edited the original to the suggestions of posters...keep them coming!
    __________________________________________________________________
    DEFINITION
    Under general supervision of the Superintendent, assists with the planning, organization, and development of a data communication operations and wide area network; plans, organizes, and participates in the testing and evaluation of network hardware and software; provides computer and network application technical assistance, assists with analysis of computer and network hardware and software problems

    ESSENTIAL DUTIES
    1. Assists with review and analysis of computer and network processes to prepare user instructions concerning operation, log-on, and other procedures using computers.
    2. Tests hardware and transmission media including; computers, hubs, network adapters, cables and connectors, using a variety of diagnostic and test equipment.
    3. Prepares and recommends documentation concerning network changes.
    4. Develops network operating systems, network wiring, and data communication procedures.
    5. Reviews, evaluates and diagnoses data communication network interface with the server.
    6. Develops e-mail, fax, and Internet access application software.
    7. Provides technical assistance regarding operating platforms.
    8. Establishes and maintains WAN files, logs and records.
    9. Assists users regarding current and prospective needs for network requirements and services.
    10. Helps prepare technical specifications for bid request and quotation.
    11. Trains and in-services network and computer user personnel.

    QUALIFICATIONS
    Knowledge of: Methods, procedures, and techniques pertaining to a local and wide area network, hardware and software application systems; Information technology and local and wide area network industry, trends, practices and procedures; Information technology documentation and data communication standards; Basic computer programming elements, operating systems and a variety of computer hardware and software applications
    Ability to: Effectively and efficiently participate in the operation of a wide area network operation; Test, analyze, and interpret network to enhance network operations and correct operational faults; Design and recommend computer networks based on user specifications and needs

    EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
    Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and skill is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and skill would be:
    Experience: Two years of technical experience performing WAN system design and implementation functions.
    Education: Completion of a Computer Science Degree, 30 related college units or network certification. License Requirement Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    *As a Technology Systems Administrator for Whiskey Unified School district, the first thing I did was assess the current condition of technology, in order to increase efficiency and maximize productivity. I also formed a technology committee with staff from various sites & departments in order to discuss different solutions, and decide what would best suit the district. Some of the vendors that I worked closely with were: Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Aeries, eInstruction, Renaissance Learning, EduSoft, Eureka, Harris School Solutions, and Symantec.
    *By keeping up with the latest technology solutions, I was able to reduce the cost of replacing obsolete equipment by utilizing VMWare VSphere on only a pair of brand new servers as opposed to having to purchase numerous ones. The benefit to this was not only cost savings, but it also minimized network downtime.
    *I used various monitoring applications to keep track of our technology’s condition, such as: NAGIOS, LANSweeper, SolarWinds, and Dell Open Manage.
    *To be most effective on providing technical assistance, I relied on remote management applications such as: MS System Center, WSUS, and Remote Assist. I also relied on a service desk system. This allowed me to prioritize, catalog, document, and resolve issues. The particular one I used in Whiskey was MyTechDesk; however, I have experience with SchoolDude as well as HEAT.
    *After assessing the technology within the district, I set out to do preventative maintenance by optimizing what we currently had, and replacing obsolete equipment. For starters I collapsed the 5 child domains into the parent. Then I created a member server for each school site within the VM Cluster, not only to house their files, but to also serve as a DHCP and print server, to maximize efficiency. I also implemented roaming profiles with folder redirection for Desktop and Documents. I did this for both ease of use, and so the Documents folder would always be available to users. The main benefit to this was for user files to be stored in a secure, backed-up location.
    *Following the optimization the hardware layer of the infrastructure, I sought out to optimize the network layer. I upgraded all sites from 100Mb Copper to 1Gb Fiber between MDF & IDF, with no more than 3 hops from Client to Server. I also implemented a much needed ISP change from outdated T1 lines to 100Mbps via Charter Business, protected by a Cisco ASA Firewall, and filtered by an iBoss Content Filter.
    *Now, with a completely optimized infrastructure, I setup a backup scheme. I accomplished this utilizing a Symantec Backup Exec Client on each server, running differential backups Mon-Fri, with a full backup scheduled on Saturday; all of them backing up to two separate offsite NAS devices, alternating weekly to provide maximum data safety.
    *In addition, I implemented new technology for the food service department utilizing wireless touchscreen POS terminals for each cafeteria, which I setup with Auto-Login in Kiosk mode, for ease of use.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
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  2. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Here is my critique:

    You need to tell more about why you did the things you did and the benefits that were reaped by doing them. For example, the first sentence, why did you assess (you spelled assess wrong, BTW) the current condition of technology? Something like, "in order to increase efficiency and robustness of the IT infrastructure, the current conditions of technology underwent a thorough review and cataloging.

    You didn't mention anything about budget. I suggest you tell how you saved money and increased the user experience and made everyone happy.

    Instead of "I kept up on the latest technology solutions..." Instead "By keeping up on the latest technological solutions, I was able to implement a new ______ that saved the district $______ per quarter while decreasing downtime and reducing spam hitting our email boxes by 90%, reducing help desk resolution times from 2 days to 3 hours and response for backup restorations decreased from 4 hours to 30 minutes.

    My company gave us interviewing skills training and the one thing they emphasized over and over was to give actual examples of accomplishments. What you did, how you did it, and how it helped the company.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    My thoughts are: do you know who is interviewing you?

    The job description says "Under general supervision of the Superintendent" and if thats who is going to be interviewing you and not some IT whiz then a lot of what you want to say in what you want to say as far as your accomplishments and experience goes is just going to go over their head.

    What you instead might want to do is cover your education, summarize some of your experience and mention that your previous job was pretty much the same set up. Explain your accomplishments in terms of what they would understand: saving time, saving money and increasing efficiency. It sounds like part of this job is going to entail some basic technical support and if you are very wordy and confusing to the interviewer they could look at it like "Whats going to happen if Mr Rodgers in the PE room calls down because he can't log in to his computer and this guy answers the phone?"

    If you do want to list off all this stuff then what you might want to do is write it up as a summary, organize it and then print it out as something you can give them because unless they are taking notes at a mile a minute they aren't going to remember all this stuff (most of what you have here I would have summarized on a cover letter and under a skills section of a resume).

    And if you do have a handout what you can do to engage them in to reading it is by pointing things out to them as stuff like "this is one of my top accomplishments" or "by doing this one here we saved ___ dollars a year"

    I am just thinking this because a lot of your experience and accomplishments listed are probably only ones that another high level network admin will understand and if they have a network admin already then why would they be hiring you? So I would suspect that the interviewer might have some IT training, but not be a network admin, or be somebody like the superintendent
     
  4. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    just tell them you know your shit,get things done,yadda,yadda,yadda, you got the job...be bold
     
  5. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    Thanks! Yeah, I'm not trying to make it sound like I went in like a "Bull in a China shop".
    Also, I'm trying to add in EXACTLY why I did what I did..but I don't want to go 30 minutes on JUST the first question...trying to be concise...
    Thanks for helping! : )
     
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  6. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    Well, the Super will be in there, as well as their CURRENT Network Admin and also a Computer Tech (I'm assuming the NetAdmin is either retiring or moving on)
    Also, I HAVE put a lot of this on a Cover letter and/or resume..however, with other jobs, it's always as though they NEVER READ THAT SHIT. Because inevitably, the first question is ALWAYS "So tell us about your experience"...
    The goal of this speech is to have a balance of BASIC concepts that a layperson can understand, as well as technical concepts that a network admin can understand...
    I do like the idea of saying how I saved money by doing this, etc...
    Thanks!
     
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  7. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    I'll just roll in like this:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c
     
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  8. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    IT tards love buzzwords....teamwork, team player, implementation, infrastructure, utilization etc...and whatever you do, don't forget to mention "the cloud"....Good Luck!
     
  9. aaronw915

    aaronw915 Low-Roller

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    +1

    Throw in some nonsense about life cycles (take your pick) and methodologies too. They love that shit.
     
  10. fenway68

    fenway68 High-Roller

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    I agree with what has been said before me; the most glaring thing I saw was the overwhelming use of the past tense...I did , implemented, was etc...Sindely's suggestions are perfect for making things sound more "action" oriented, I think it will portray you more as "always thinking" "in the moment" rather than "in the past".

    When they ask you "Do you have any questions for us?" you should reply with "Is there any reason you wouldn't hire me for this position?" This will give them pause and review with you right then and there any concerns they have, which will give you the opportunity to defend yourself at the table.

    Basic interview skills, sit up straight, lean slightly forward, square yourself/align with the person interviewing you, find something you have in common with the interviewer and connect on that (common hobby??) good handshake to start and finish.
     
  11. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    Have you done any research on any of the schools current IT issues? These can be derived from keyword searches of public records, newspaper articles, etc. Maybe they have security, hacking, bullying on social network issues and if so and you don't know about it and another candidate does, you are toast. If they do, have a plan to address it.

    Successful candidates for jobs research the company they want to work for and the people they will interview with prior to showing up. That shows preparation. It's one of the filters we use to screen the good from the potentially great.
     
  12. BayouBengal

    BayouBengal VIP Whale

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    I work for a large consulting firm and our promotions are sort of like interviews. My mentors and now I stress to my mentees is always to focus on yourself and saying things like "I did this...." or "I am responsible for..." Hard numbers are excellent too. When I did my last promotion review I was able to state dollars figures on how much in sales I generated and the revenue I generated by billing. I also stated my 100% billing utilization which all together shows I am doing everything I need to justify myself and why I should be moving up since it was all stuff expected of the next level. The interview is a good time to be a little self centered. They'll ask questions about the details if needed so be sure to back it up.

    I should probably log off now and go deliver some value...
     
  13. vegas3

    vegas3 Low-Roller

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    Be yourself and don't use IT tard.
     
  14. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. Don't use terms just to use terms. When I'm interviewing and someone starts throwing around a lot of terms just to be able to use them, it's a red flag.

    Give specific examples of how strategies you've implemented benefitted previous employers both in terms of hard costs but also in terms of efficiency.

    It's good to show that you are up on the latest technology, so I think your VMware example is a good one.

    And I also agree that find out as much as you can about any potential employer before the interview. It shows that you are smart, resourceful and proactive.
     
  15. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    That was a joke.....I'm one of those "tards", developer turned project manager ;)

    Cheers!
     
  16. BayouBengal

    BayouBengal VIP Whale

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    I'm now an "architect". I draw lots of pictures with arrows and stuff. This thing will talk to this thing.......
     
  17. chitownjohn

    chitownjohn High-Roller

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    Less is more, focus on keywords and measurable accomplishments.

    In today's world it not what you know it's who you know. They will look at your linked profile more than your resume, make sure you have some co-workers in your current environment that will endorse/recommend you.

    and +1 to the cloud recommendation - it's overused and overrated but it sells! Good luck.
     
  18. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    Thanks everyone!
    on the subject of researching the stuff that the district uses/deals with...i do that! And everytime in the interview when I say "you use xxx software system, right?" it always seems like the look on their face is "WTF?!? How do you know that?!?"

    Also, there's no "linked profile", its just my resume, cover letter, certs, and letters of recommendation...
    I'm trying to keep the "about me" as short and concise as I can...in hopes that they just ask me targeted questions...
     
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