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El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 12 hours
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.80
Hello to my fellow W's! I was hoping some of y'all can help me out. I've been unemployed the past several months, and I recently got a call from the Dell Call-in Tech Support Centre here in Ottawa. I went in for the assessment, and nailed it down very well.

The problem is, next week they want me to come in for an interview. Usually, I'm very good at interviews (my main problem is usually GETTING to the interview), but I'm very nervous about this one. It's probably my best chance so far at a decent paying job, which is something I've never had before and would enjoy VERY much. Thus, I am INCREDIBLY nervous.

Do you guys and gals have any tips for interviews like this? And to the tech oriented amoung us here, you guys have any tips for what I should learn for a tech support job (other than the basics of hardware/software)? And how do I stop worrying/be nervous about this?



To celebrate the passing of the Troll Amnesty (and for otherwise no reason at all), I present to you the very best of Trolling here on The W. This Troll Moment of the Week is brought to you by;

"Tha Puerto Rican" , who brought us such pieces as wisdom as: "The WWF Sucks! Okay! I'm sick and tire of the net hinting at that. I'll just fucking say it. IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS WORSE THAN IT DID IN THE EARLY 90's! IT'LL NEVER GET BETTER AND THE WWF WILL BE OUT OF BUISNESS BY 2003! THE WWF SUCKS! SUCKS! SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! There, I feel better now."

Click Here (The W) to read the rest of it!

BXVI
Promote this thread!
TalusMZ
Tocino








Since: 21.11.02
From: Los Angeles, CA

Since last post: 1325 days
Last activity: 655 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
I can't necessarily give any advice on the interview process itself, I'm not sure how tech support people do things, but, I can offer this bit of advice:

Many people tend to forget that this isn't tech work, this is tech support. You're helping other people. Accordingly, you'll need to remain calm, cool, and polite while other people are stressed, or worse yet, taking it out on you. I work at a front desk in an office, and I had a friend who worked customer service. It's going to be a crucial skill to remain patient, and be able to not take attacks personally, and deal with all sorts of people. Maybe mentioning your readiness to deal with these situations will win you points.

Good luck with that interview.
Jonny_English
Mettwurst








Since: 18.3.04
From: Derby, UK

Since last post: 2761 days
Last activity: 2584 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.67
I don't work in IT, but have been in many interviews from both sides of the table.

Be calm, and be honest. Remember, the interviewers are not trying to trip you up, they are looking to fill a slot on their staff; that is all. Speak clearly and directly. Be unscrupulously honest, and avoid psychobabble or "management speak". The interviewers all go home and do the same things you do. Really, it's nothing to get worked up about.

(Incidentally, I've been unemployed for the last few months and am in exactly the same situation, so I understand entirely the pressure you feel).
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
First of all, best of luck during the interview.

I think the best way to go about it is to show that you're eager to learn, that you're willing to work any shifts they give you and that you're available to for any overtime that may come available. It may stunt your social life for a short while, but you'll get the chance to earn more money during the beginning of your tenure with the company.

If anything, it may give you the 1up over anyone else who applies. How's your distance between Dell and your place?

Other things I can recommend: stay away from the coffee before the interview, don't eat any onions, garlic, or anything that may cause any inadvertant gas, and eat a pack of breath mints before the interview.

After the interview, give the company a few days, and then call the person who spoke to you, thanking him/her for seeing you. It keeps your name fresh in their minds, and I'm certain they'll appreciate it.

So...go get 'em! Let us know how it all turns out! To quote Red Green, we're all in this together :-)



Whatcha gonna do?
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 19 days
Last activity: 8 hours
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Whenever I have hired, I always give preference to people who have lower technical qualifcations but better people skills over people who have better technical skills but lower people skills. My preference is if they are good at both, though.

On a scale of 1-10 if you are a 5 technically, try to be a 10 people-wise. If you are a 10 technically, don't be less than a 5 people wise.

Most 10 technical people are 2-3 people wise. It's why I get by so well as a 7 technical 7 people wise.

Also, don't try to come off like you think the job is above or below you. Neither one of those has worked too well when I've been hiring. I think you can appreciate the opportunity without gushing - that's generally a turn off.

//edit: And I've done a lot of entry level IT work. It seems that everyone thinks they are smart and a quick learner. This doesn't mean you shouldn't say it (just about everyone does) but don't think that its a compelling argument or that you well get anywhere with it.

(edited by Guru Zim on 11.2.06 1211)

//edit #2: If they ask you behavioral questions, they really are trying to trick you. Try to come up with a few examples where you have dealt with conflict in life in a positive manner, and left with a feeling of teamwork or with everyone happy with the outcome. Then, if you can use that example during the interview at an appropriate time, work it in. Don't give the example where your boss was a moron and you saved the company, or your co-worker was an idiot and you stepped up and fixed it. That same situation should be described in a behavioral interview as a having an opportunity to assist a team member during a conflict, and at the end you were able to use that experience to grow closer as a group - yadda yadda. Take it as far as you can without sounding too fake if it feels fake. The truth is that you can make almost any interaction sound negative or positive, but they take the negative as a warning sign a lot of times.

(edited by Guru Zim on 11.2.06 1214)

Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

Since last post: 86 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.72

Aside from IT hints...I'll mention the other obvious. Don't over or under dress. It's tech support...you don't need to walk in in a power suit. But, it is office work so don't show up in ratty jeans and a t-shirt either.

You would think the above is common sense, but I've had to give enough interviews that left me scratching my head.

Good luck with the interview, I sincerely hope it works out.
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 44 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.02
Good job getting an interview. { Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! }

{ Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! }

Regardless, having undergone countless internal interviews at Bell in the last few months, and been through the call centre rigors numerous times, here's what they look for from a frontliner. (A lot of this is stuff I've picked up along the way from talking to management pre and post-interviews)

1) You're going to be expected to follow flowcharts, so don't worry so much about technical knowledge.

2) However, knowing computers will help. They may test you on things from your ability to type (WPM), your knowledge of Windows, IE, etc. You're going to be working with internal tools that guide you with your customer. So, you need to know how a computer operates so you can use the tools quickly and efficiently.

3) During the interview, they may present some situational questions. IE: "Give me an example of a time you had to take the lead of a difficult situation." They want you to answer it by giving the scenario, describing what you did, AND the result. Follow those 3 steps for any situational question. Scenario, what you did, result. Every time. Don't stray from it, they're looking for it.

4) Stay positive. Try to avoid negativity, unless they present to you a negative situation. They may not do this during the initial hiring though, so positive, positive, positive.

Follow this, and you're in. I'm serious. They're hiring frontliners by the hundreds, and will take anyone competant. I'm not meaning that as a diss by saying "they'll hire anyone", but they're expected to staff, and staff it IMMEDIATELY. They're even planning on opening a second call centre closer to downtown Ottawa in a few months, because they wish to establish a major customer service core here.

{ Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! }
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 1 day
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.06
I think he said "Dell," Chris. ;-)

The thing to remember with Tech Support is like Guru said, worry more about getting across your ability to talk to idiots on the phone and less about how much you know about everything. Even if you know everything about Dells, they may want you to forget everything you know and start over with what they train you to know. I knew NOTHING about NetBackup, but at my interview for VERITAS I was able to impress the manager who hired me by relating my previous experience as a provider technical support AND a sysadmin, and they knew that I would be able to pick up NetBackup.

One thing they love to hear is how you were able to share the experience you have gained with others - sneak in a mention of what a great mentor you've been in the past, and how important it was for YOU to have a great mentor. That works towards the overall "teamwork" concept as well, not to mention "mentor" is a word that seems to get people excited. Being a big fan of "sharing the knowledge" and showing it will almost NEVER come across in a bad way.

And to me it doesn't hurt to wear a tie to the interview, so long as you let them know you realise nobody wears a tie to the job. I think of it as a way to show respect without kissing up.

Finally, get a business card from everybody you talk to. This usually impresses them, but more importantly it makes it a lot easier to take care of the thank you(s) because you'll have that phone number (or email address, depending on how you want to handle it) handy.



CRZ
Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 13 days
Last activity: 13 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
I'll risk it and disagree with Guru when it comes to behavior-based questions. The best dictator of your future performance is your past behavior...and that's what those types of questions try to determine.

"Give me an example of a time when..."
"Tell me about a situation..."
"When did you have to..."

Take a notebook and a pen in there with you. Write S A R at the top of a piece of paper...

Situation
Action
Result

If you know you're going to get some behavior-based questions, that's what they're looking for. Like cfgb said, follow this path to answer every question. The best thing is you CAN prepare for this type of interview...have some examples ready in your mind, and tweak them to fit the question you get asked.

And make sure you have a KILLER example for the inevitable "Give me a time when you've gone above and beyond for a customer" question...



These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship, and the gorilla is for sand racing.
El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 12 hours
ICQ:  
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.80
Thank you SO MUCH for the tips here guys, really means a lot. There's a plethora of things you guys listed which I didn't think of (or simply overlooked). This is my first time really wanting/gunning for a career style job, so I'm over my head with a lot of things.

A part of the assessment was behavioural stuff, which I did well on. But once again, the real test will come Wednesday. I think I'll make a list/take some notes with what you guys are saying and go over them.

Chris, the tech super job you applied for, is it with them? Cause if it is I'm suprised they haven't called you back yet.

Thanks a lot again guys, and I'll let y'all know how it went this Wednesday.



To celebrate the passing of the Troll Amnesty (and for otherwise no reason at all), I present to you the very best of Trolling here on The W. This Troll Moment of the Week is brought to you by;

"Tha Puerto Rican" , who brought us such pieces as wisdom as: "The WWF Sucks! Okay! I'm sick and tire of the net hinting at that. I'll just fucking say it. IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS WORSE THAN IT DID IN THE EARLY 90's! IT'LL NEVER GET BETTER AND THE WWF WILL BE OUT OF BUISNESS BY 2003! THE WWF SUCKS! SUCKS! SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! There, I feel better now."

Click Here (The W) to read the rest of it!

BXVI
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 44 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.02
{ Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! }
whatever
Lap cheong








Since: 12.2.02
From: Cleveland, Ohio

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 hour
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.73
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Even if you know everything about Dells, they may want you to forget everything you know and start over with what they train you to know. I knew NOTHING about NetBackup, but at my interview for VERITAS I was able to impress the manager who hired me by relating my previous experience as a provider technical support AND a sysadmin, and they knew that I would be able to pick up NetBackup.

Let me second this as well. I have done Industrial Controls for 8+ years. When I went for my current job at Tech Support, I had never used any of the three controller platforms that I now support. They figured that with the controls work I had done, I could easily pick up the three other platforms (they were right, too.) They were really more concerned with people and management skills.

    Originally posted by CRZ
    And to me it doesn't hurt to wear a tie to the interview, so long as you let them know you realise nobody wears a tie to the job. I think of it as a way to show respect without kissing up.

    Finally, get a business card from everybody you talk to. This usually impresses them, but more importantly it makes it a lot easier to take care of the thank you(s) because you'll have that phone number (or email address, depending on how you want to handle it) handy.

I wholeheartedly recommend both of these steps as well. Take notes of the names just in case the person does not have a business card. Heck, taking notes in an interview is not a bad idea at all, either.



skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2318 days
Last activity: 2318 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.25
I'd take notes during the interview while maintaining eye contact. And taking your time speaking is good; pause between questions, not interrupting. The most important thing is the thank you note you send at the end.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 19 days
Last activity: 8 hours
AIM:  
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I dunno, you'd be surprised how many people take themselves out of the running just by being stupid. Like, for me, if you answer the "Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work and how you resolved it" with a story about a fist fight, you probably aren't going to make the cut.



Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
Socks
Landjager








Since: 25.6.02
From: Ottawa

Since last post: 730 days
Last activity: 343 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.27
    Originally posted by cfgb
    { Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! }


Chris,

Didn't I help you with your first job??? And now, after all these years...you are going to throw it all away....

so sad!



What is the speed of dark?!
El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 12 hours
ICQ:  
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.80
I had the interview today, and it went EXCEEDINGLY (as in EXCEEEEEDINGLY) well. They asked some questions about previous work history, then some tech stuff, then the behavioural questions. Including the infamous "Give me a time when you've gone above and beyond for a customer" question, which I had a WICKED answer for because you guys tipped me off =)

The coolest thing was when I gave an asnwer to his question if there was a time where I refused to sacrifice my princiaples/values at work, he said "that's excellent! That's exactly what I'm talking about!". He then went into a personal story of his own during THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERVIEW which was wicked awesome.

He said I'll know in five days or less if HR wants me and he's going to give me a very high reccomendation.


Get this though, he wrote in big letters on the piece of paper he was writing on;

S
T
A
R

Which I discovered HERE IN THIS THREAD (minus the T). I saw that and in my head came up "Wait, I've seen that! On The W! I know what he wants now! BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE DASH W DOT COM~!!!!".


Thanks to all of you for the advice, as it paid off IMMENSLY. Especially Chris' and Jamie's. If either of you come back/are in The Valley/Ottawa, I'm buying you a drink (once I get money, which hopefully I will soon assuming they hire me). (Also, Chris, if they do hire me, I'll see if I can give a internal reference or something like that).


God bless ALL of yasalls!


EDIT: It's not "Gos", it's "God". You'd figure I'd know that by now.

(edited by El Nastio on 15.2.06 1845)

To celebrate the passing of the Troll Amnesty (and for otherwise no reason at all), I present to you the very best of Trolling here on The W. This Troll Moment of the Week is brought to you by;

"Tha Puerto Rican" , who brought us such pieces as wisdom as: "The WWF Sucks! Okay! I'm sick and tire of the net hinting at that. I'll just fucking say it. IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS WORSE THAN IT DID IN THE EARLY 90's! IT'LL NEVER GET BETTER AND THE WWF WILL BE OUT OF BUISNESS BY 2003! THE WWF SUCKS! SUCKS! SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! There, I feel better now."

Click Here (The W) to read the rest of it!

BXVI
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 19 hours
Last activity: 59 min.
AIM:  
ICQ:  
Y!:
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.76

That sounds terrific. Best wishes on the waiting now!





Gabba gabba hey!
Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 13 days
Last activity: 13 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
Awesome stuff, man...I'm glad we all could help!



These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship, and the gorilla is for sand racing.
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

Since last post: 21 hours
Last activity: 20 hours
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
    Originally posted by El Nastio
    Thanks to all of you for the advice, as it paid off IMMENSLY. Especially Chris' and Jamie's. If either of you come back/are in The Valley/Ottawa, I'm buying you a drink (once I get money, which hopefully I will soon assuming they hire me). (Also, Chris, if they do hire me, I'll see if I can give a internal reference or something like that).


Finally, a reason to visit Ottawa! :-)

Congrats on the interview, and best of luck. I...well, WE hope that you get the job!



Whatcha gonna do?
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 19 days
Last activity: 8 hours
AIM:  
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Yeah, STAR/AR is what they trained us to write notes on at the Customer Care Center for the cable job I had. Sorry, I didn't think to pass that on.

Situation
Task
Action
Response

or some such. I don't recall what the second A R was for.

You know you are getting a STAR interview question when the very quick "And how did (x) respond to that?" follow up question happens. If you catch this after the first time, make sure you fit the pattern for the next question.

BTW - don't assume that the STAR questions matter. It always seemed to me that we had to ask them so that the note packets we turned in made it look like everyone had an equal opportunity interview. I mean, they definitely did - but it was like those questions and notes were set up to document that we were doing it by the book, if that makes sense.



Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
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