With thousands of people graduating annually with IT related qualifications, finding a good computing job is not very easy. The job market is flooded with qualified programmers, system analysts, systems administrators, software engineers, hardware engineers and technical support specialists. Therefore, your success in getting such jobs will depend greatly on your ability to impress the interviewer. Here are some of the technical and non-technical questions you can expect in a computing interview:
1. What qualifications do you have?
When it comes to computing jobs, certifications are very vital. Be sure to mention all your IT-related qualifications in fields such as computer science, information systems, computer engineering, game development, interactive media and human-computer interaction. Don’t forget to highlight certifications that you have received through attending different trainings and workshops. You can also share with the interviewer about courses or trainings you are planning to pursue in the near future.
2. What is your level of understanding of computer hardware?
Computer technicians should be very accustomed with network and computer architecture. The interviewer is likely to ask questions about computer basics such as hard drives, video cards, CPUs and motherboards. You need to be ready to answer such questions, as well as the process of troubleshooting hardware failure. In addition, be ready to explain the process of setting up a network and basic troubleshooting concepts.
3. What is your level of understanding of computer software?
The interviewer is likely to ask some questions about operating systems such as Windows, Linux and iOS. Be ready to discuss different operating systems and how they differ from each other. In addition, you should be able to answer process-oriented questions about installing operating systems on a computer. In addition, prepare for questions about computer security such as how to prevent virus infection, how to remove a virus and various antivirus software in the market.
4. What personal attributes make you suitable for this position?
Good computer technicians have a broad and deep understanding of computer hardware and software. They are able to fit in different work environments, from large corporations to private homes. However, due to the high demand for computing graduates, a good applicant needs to also have the best personal attributes to ensure the employer that they are the best candidate. For example, good computer technicians are disciplined, polite, have a strong work ethic and handle the customer’s property with integrity.
5. Are interpersonal skills necessary for computer technicians?
The interviewer wants to find out if you value interpersonal skills as much as technical skills. You should mention that computer technicians work with a wide range of customers on a daily basis. They should therefore be able to communicate effectively with any client, whether they have technical knowledge or not. The computer technician should explain the problem clearly to the customer and suggest a solution. Other important interpersonal skills include the ability to work with little supervision, critical thinking, teamwork skills, and attention to detail.
6. What sectors/customers have you worked with previously?
Computer technicians should be able to work in any all kinds of sectors and with different kinds of customers. Take time to explain the different sectors where you have worked, whether it is IT companies, schools, private homes or repair shops. Mention the specific tasks you have undertaken such as installing and maintaining software, installing hardware security and fixing minor problems.
7. What challenges are you anticipating in this job?
The first thing you need to say is that you are motivated by challenges, and have the skills and flexibility required for handling challenging tasks. Mention specific instances of challenges you have dealt with in the past, what you did and the result you achieved. You can then talk about other potential challenges you anticipate in the position and how you would handle them. For example, you could talk about the challenge of rapidly changing technologies, and your determination to keep up by taking regular refresher courses.
8. What do you know about us?
Before the interview, you should have carried out your research about the company. You can get information from the ‘about us’ and ‘careers’ sections of their site. It would also be advisable to visit the company’s social media pages to learn more about them. Don’t forget to Google the company’s name to find the latest news stories published about the company. However, during the interview, you don’t have to recite everything you learnt. Instead, talk about important details such as how long the company has been in business, their mission, and their main products or services.
9. Why do you want to work with us?
In most cases, the interviewer wants to see if you can identify yourself with the company’s vision and values. Explain how your belief system and values match the company’s. For instance, if the company emphasizes on excellence, say that you would like to be part of it because you value excellence yourself.
10. What kind of salary would you want?
This is a very tricky question which can make or break your chances of getting the job. Instead of giving a specific figure, mention a salary range which you would be comfortable with. This will show the interviewer that you are flexible and ready to negotiate. However, don’t make the mistake of saying ‘Anything would be fine with me.’
These are just some of the questions you can expect in a computing interview. Prepare all the answers for these questions with tangible examples, and don’t forget to rehearse them out loud. Do your homework right and the job might just be yours.
Are there any questions you think we missed out? Use the comments section below and let us know.