Job interviewing: What I can and can't do

By tom_oftheplains ยท 11 replies
Sep 1, 2008
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  1. Hey, all. I could use some advice. I just recently got certified as an MCP, MCTS, and I'm one test away from getting my MCSA. I started looking for IT Support jobs, and I've got a couple of interviews in the next few days.

    The first place is an IT outsourcing firm: small companies hire these guys to do basic IT support - installing new machines, setting up people in Active Directory, managing their servers, etc. It might be a good experience for me, as I'll learn a lot from very diverse client's IT setups.

    The second place is a really cool, creative firm where they basically want one tech guru to handle everything for them: server administration, website management, IT Support, web design, etc. And they have a 1/2 Mac, 1/2 PC environment.

    I managed to land the interview at the second place basically because I convinced the guy that no IT guru is going to come into any job and know EVERYthing, much less if they're looking for someone to handle their company's website development and IT support.

    So, my question is: what do I do? I'm really overwhelmed by both of these interviews, and I know that whatever job I take I'll have a LOT of quick learning to do, but for those in the know, am I taking on an impossible task jumping into a MAC/PC environment when I've got limited experience with Macs, and am I also way over my head at the other place as well, having limited experience working as a server admin?

    If anyone has experience like this, where they were good at a couple things, but took on a job where they had to do a lot of studying to learn how to do their jobs, I'd appreciate it.

    Also, if you know of any resources where I should be looking to learn said things - website admin, Mac/PC compatibility, it'd be much appreciated.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I look at the role of the IT guy these days, as going to a new position (that you don't know everything about) Then learn as much as you can, once you have learnt all you can, then think about moving on to the next position!

    Now I know that sounds very cold, but it's just the way of IT people I feel. Always moving around, never staying in one position for too long.
    That being said, if you do find a position that suits you well, and you are very happy with the environment there, then you could just stay put (I tend to only look at this type of work myself, positions that I know I'd spend years at (probably comes with age and settling down and all)
  3. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    I have hired a good number of people for entrance level positions (NOT in this field But HEY!).

    What they want is Honesty and Capability. Tout your strengths, describe your learning curve and accomplishments, let them ascertain any weaknesses and agree that you can learn more if they point any out to you.

    You are selling hours of your life to them and in return they expect service and you expect compensation and 'hope' to also have some fun.

  4. tom_oftheplains

    tom_oftheplains TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Thanks for the responses. I am looking for a place I can settle down at (wife, mortgage, kids, etc.) so hopefully one of these places will offer new things for me to learn and be a comfortable working environment.
  5. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Why don't you go in with a written, 30-60 day action plan that involves you getting familiar with all of their equipment, discussing the needs and desires of relevant managers in the company, meeting vendors, scoping out new projects, etc., etc. A well thought out plan such as this can go a long way toward closing the deal during the interview process.

    I am not in the field that you are looking into, but if there is a job that I really want and I am one of the top three candidates, I use the action plan to win the offer (most times, anyway.)
  6. tom_oftheplains

    tom_oftheplains TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    That's a great idea. I was, in fact, formulating such a plan, but probably not going to write it out. Now, I just might.
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    If you aren't familiar with Macs, pass this time.

    This is a small industry really for people wanting to move up. Lie now and they pass it along.

  8. tom_oftheplains

    tom_oftheplains TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Point taken. It's moot, however, as they've hired someone else.
  9. BorisandBailey

    BorisandBailey TS Enthusiast Posts: 154

    Tom, the corporations and good money are attractive now and I'd go for it, but as you get on in years you may want to consider city or state work. The IT people I know on my state job have been there for years and enjoy the slower pace and the near absence of tyrannical supervisors and demanding clients. The pay is lower but you'll add years to your life.
  10. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    Dealing with interviews is a skill that can be enhanced. My advice is to google for "advice on interviews". You'll be surprised by how many effective tips you'll find.
  11. tom_oftheplains

    tom_oftheplains TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Well, that's taken care of, at least for now. I'm working for an IT consulting company, and learning as I go along. Thanks for the advice, all!
  12. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    I think that the second one would be a good choice to start....
    I was on that same situation when i first decided to join USRobotics.

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