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DirtyLarry

Questions For Interview To Gauge Basic Computer Skills?

16 posts in this topic

Hello Everyone,

I have been asked by another department to come up with some questions to gauge very basic computer skills and/or just show that someone has at least an interest in learning new technologies.

I work with the Sales Training team, and a decent amount of the sales people they hire to be training managers, while good sales people, are not what one would call very technologically savvy. And we need to start hiring the type of people who are at least a little tech savvy, this way they can at least learn the technology we are implementing (and not crazy stuff either, just a lot of iOS stuff, and CMS and LMS systems).

So just curious what questions people think would be fit?

I was literally thinking along the lines of

Describe the steps you would take to copy and paste text from an Word Document to an Email?

This may sound funny to most everyone here, but there are some people who struggle with some of the basics like this, and we are talking about people under 30 years old. It blows my mind.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,

DL

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Do you separate Internet Skills and Basic Computer Skills?

Have them send you an attachment from their personal email account successfully.

Would be one question.

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Do you separate Internet Skills and Basic Computer Skills?

Have them send you an attachment from their personal email account successfully.

Would be one question.

Nope, they would probably be all compiled into one. And this will probably only be a very small part of things. 5 questions. Maybe 10. I did not get to many details TBH, just was asked to come up with some stuff.

That is actually not a bad idea. Thinking maybe take it one step further, post a PDF on one of our internal sites, have them download it, then attach that. Nice one. That was perfect. (Y)

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I'll come over and do the interview for you. In middlesex these days. :D

I'll pm you some of my interview questions that gets most people stumped but any entry level tech should know.

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Ask them what the difference between MIPS and MIPS is and see if they squirm or know hehe

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Ask them what the difference between MIPS and MIPS is and see if they squirm or know hehe

http://www.mariowiki.com/MIPS

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Ask them questions about Malware/Spyware. What are the risks associated. As them how THEY keep their info and data safe. How would these skills translate into a corporate environment. What is the difference between a MAC and a PC. That would stump most of the people in my office ha.

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In my opinion, knowledge only goes so far with people who aren't trained in some form of IT/Tech, it's how intuitive that person is when tackling issues or tasks they are not familiar with. I have very menial qualifications in IT, the most in-depth any of my courses ever got was creating a database / UI in MS Office. However, if I don't know how to do something tech related, I'll be Googling it, reading tech forums and articles, checking YouTube videos and so on until I understand it.

I think a couple of basic tasks with maybe one or two that the average user might not be familiar with would be good.

As mentioned: Copy & Paste would be a good 'un, same with attaching a file to an e-mail and sending it on.

What about taking a screenshot, pasting it into Paint and saving it as a JPG? If only all of the Sales teams in my work knew how to do that without being walked through it step-by-step, I'm sure the IT boys would be in heaven.

It all really depends on what your Sales Teams need to do on a daily basis, really. Probably one of the questions we should be asking when interviewing Sales people is:

Q: "What happens if you never turn your PC off?"

A: "It runs slowly."

I work in the same office as the IT team and they're forever taking calls with consultants moaning their computers are running unbelievably slowly and can't get Word to open up or something. Turns out they've not shut down, nor restarted their computers for weeks, and in some cases months.

I don't know what you do in your work place, DirtyLarry, but it may be worth asking whoever is tasked with IT Support what their biggest gripes are and maybe formulate some questions or tasks from that.

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I think the suggestion on asking them what they know about Malware/Spyware/Phishing was a good one. Better ask now than dealing with the aftermath of an incident later.

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Ask them to talk about EMS and XMS memory.

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  • The printer is not printing out people's documents. What initial steps would you take before contacting the helpdesk?
  • How would you map a network drive on your computer?
  • When would it make more sense to use a databse application (Access, for example) instead of an Excel spreadsheet?
  • You've connected your laptop to a docking station, but no image is appearing on the monitors. What could be the issue?

Just a couple off the top of my head. I'm trying to compile similar questions for someone that is interested in working in IT, and I would expect him to be able to answer those questions without difficulty. With corporate setups, these questions should be known by all departments in my mind. It would half the number of calls we get.

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Ask them what a blue screen is. :p

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When you say tech savvy, do you mean in terms of working knowledge of Office, or do you mean a more technical level such as basic problem solving.

I've seen plenty of jobs which say they require "computing skills" and the technology related interview questions consisted of nothing more than capabilities with Microsoft Office

Incase of the former:

  1. How would I make an Excel spreadsheet inside Word?
  2. We use office 2010 here, but some of our colleagues still have Office 2003 (no compatibility pack) installed, what would you do to make the documents readable on their computers.
  3. How do you insert characters like ? into a document?

Incase of the latter:

  1. Printer reports a Syntax error, how would you print your document?
  2. What is, and how do you resolve a paper jam?
  3. A web address used in your work is not available due to a DNS error but you have the IP address in your company documentation, how would you access it?
  4. How would you find and fix a software based performance issue (such as a unwanted background application with high cpu utilisation) on your computer?

I could go further but I'm not sure of the level of capability you want here.

I also like the questions posed by Intrinsica

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This reminds me of Key Skills module all over again.

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Basic to some may be advanced for other's -

Since you are in Sales- and gauging the basic computer skills..

The first and obvious way would be to go through a set of navigation through your website. To find the price of your items (services).

Have a few false pages in there as well to see if first and foremost they can follow directions. Then on that last page post a screenshot of a word they need to email you back.

Also you could start the process by having them download a self extracting zip file that contains the starter link (shortcut they need to open in a browser). That way you can gauge first if they can follow directions.... download the attachment then run it.

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Ask them if they want to start menu back in Windows 8, says lots.

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