Interview, but feel unprepared

EruMaisEruMais Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey guys,

I work at a large retailer as a help desk tech dealing mainly with store-level personnel; in other words, keeping the store running as far as their registers go by supporting their point of sale software which is run as a shell over Windows XP. I was picked by my manager to be involved in a project installing desktop machines to act as servers for the POS systems, basically to avoid the high cost of upgrading the registers for another couple years or so. I gained some experience in basic network troubleshooting as well as a lot of experience upgrading software and troubleshooting issues related to the process. I also have some experience supporting end users, however we mostly escalate those issues to desktop support.

Recently a position was posted for a desktop support analyst within the company and so I went ahead and applied for it. I have a bachelors degree in a field completely unrelated to I.T., but just started at WGU within the past month in the Network Admin program. My goal at this point is to become a server administrator. I'm also very interested in virtualization and obtaining vmware certification. I don't have any certs at this point, but should have the entry-level trinity (CompTIA) by the end of the summer.

The interview is next week, but I feel pretty intimidated. I have a lot of knowledge, but I tend to buckle in interviews. Plus, my knowledge is still pretty basic at this point... at least, that's how I feel about it. I could just be underestimating myself. I will be supporting end users within the entire company after hours (while on call) and the local office during the day. There are two phone interviews with each of the desktop support managers of two other offices, and then an in-person interview with the manager at the office I work at.

The person I would replace was actually a Lotus Notes support person, not really an admin as far as I know. Then again, someone may have taken that position and I might just be replacing that person. I have no idea what to expect as far as questions go. I'm just glad I don't have to go through HR.

Ultimately I don't want to waste their time if I'm not qualified (yet) nor do I want to look stupid by not being able to answer any of their questions. I figure it's good experience and helps to keep me on my feet so I can prepare for future opportunities when I finish my degree or get some certs under my belt. I've already accepted the interview, and that's when I saw the "gauntlet" so to speak that I will be facing.

A lot of the work they seem to do is troubleshooting access to applications, printer problems, setting up workstations, supporting home users (via VPN) and so forth. I'm confident that I could do the job if offered, but I fear getting pummeled with questions I just can't answer yet. Any advice, direction?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    "I do not know, but I will find out."

    Best way you can handle questions that you are unsure of or just flat out don't know is with that attitude. Of course the wording you use in a specific scenario may need to be a little different, but that's the general idea.

    It's OK to say you're not sure, or you don't know, but always make it sound like you're at least willing to find the right answer. Even better if you can make it sound like you know where to go for the right answer.

    Good luck.
  • gbuc40gbuc40 Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I was in your exact same position 2 weeks ago. I think you are over thinking it.. as I did. If they start asking you questions you don't know, just say you aren't familiar with them but would love the opportunity to learn. If the "I don't knows" start piling up, I don't think it would be a bad idea to just say what you are thinking. If you aren't qualified, no big deal, small mistake, apologize, and move on. I wouldn't get too worked up over it (although I did, too...lol). Another thing I have done in interviews is answer the questions as much as I could and redirect it to something I know more about. Try it out, it has worked for me.

    Why do you think you buckle in interviews? Not enough confidence or just nervous in general? For whatever reason, I get really nervous until the actual interview happens and then I do really well. In fact, a good smile and personality got me a job offer in a technical position over someone way more qualified than I. They never said why, but I think it's obvious.

    Good luck to you!
  • EruMaisEruMais Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Why do you think you buckle in interviews? Not enough confidence or just nervous in general? For whatever reason, I get really nervous until the actual interview happens and then I do really well. In fact, a good smile and personality got me a job offer in a technical position over someone way more qualified than I. They never said why, but I think it's obvious.

    Good luck to you!
    I think I lack confidence, especially now when I have a feeling that this whole thing is a going-through-the-motions interview where HR pressures the hiring manager to interview all the candidates even though they might have someone in mind already. I guess it's good interview practice for me, but if this doesn't pan out well then I will probably look outside the company for a better position. This is typical behavior from the company, but since it is a different department than I am in now, I sort of hoped for a better result. People who aren't qualified or even have well-liked personalities have been promoted simply because they were already given extra responsibility because they whined about a promotion, or just happen to be liked by the person responsible. It's frustrating but I guess it's like that anywhere.
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Don't think too much about the interview. Just go in there and project a "can-do" attitude. If you get the position, great. If not, simply move on and take your skills somewhere that will appreciate them.

    Good luck to you.icon_thumright.gif
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    MrRyte wrote: »
    Don't think too much about the interview. Just go in there and project a "can-do" attitude. If you get the position, great. If not, simply move on and take your skills somewhere that will appreciate them.

    Good luck to you.icon_thumright.gif

    Agree.

    I used to worry about interviews when I first started doing IT. Now I just don't think about it. I go there, answer their questions, ask some questions, show them what I have to offer, see what they have to offer, show them what they gain by hiring me, etc. and that's it. If you don't know don't try to play games; just be willing to learn it fast.
  • Mr.RitzMr.Ritz Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    lol I was going to make the same post you just made.

    There is this job as Desktop Specialist that says it needs 2-3 years. I don't have that but I guess it doesn't hurt to try right?

    I am good at interviews but what happens if I BS my way into something I cant do is my only concern
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Mr.Ritz wrote: »
    I am good at interviews but what happens if I BS my way into something I cant do is my only concern
    Well; you could BS your way through it on the interview. But the time WILL COME when your skills and knowledge (or lack thereof) will be put to the test. And if it comes to light that you're not as skilled as you claimed to be then your credibility will take a big hit.
    Better to be upfront about what you're not familiar with. icon_wink.gif
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Abu DhabiMember Posts: 690 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Being interviewed is part of one's career, learning how to do well at interviews is problably one of the most valuable skills one can acquire - regardless of what career path they're in. Even in interviews I didn't get the job, I've used the experience as a learning experience to build upon my own interview skills. Unfortunately, part of the problem is most of the time, if I didn't get the job, I'm never told what exactly I did wrong - if anything.

    Resume writing, coverletter writing, and interviews are akin to marketing yourself, so I've read books and articles on marketing and try to apply marketing techniques to myself.
  • EruMaisEruMais Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the encouragement/suggestions! Given that this job is a slight step up from where I'm currently at, I'm not too worried if I don't get the job. My aim is to be a Server Admin and I'd rather be on the Networking end of things rather than supporting users in such a role, but I figured that it's more of a broad role than what I'm doing now and it would give me some opportunity to learn some new things I'm not exposed to currently.
  • EruMaisEruMais Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well I had the interviews today. Spoke with the IT manager at two of our outside sites as well as the manager I would be working under. I think the interviews went pretty well, and I actually hope I get the job as it sounds like I would be able to get experience in a variety of technology. Once again, I appreciate all the suggestions!
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I hope you hear good news soon!
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
  • EruMaisEruMais Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just wanted to say that I got the job! I'll be officially starting 7/25 as Technical Services Analyst (Desktop Support).

    Thanks everyone for their encouragement.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Great to hear!
    Congratz!icon_thumright.gif
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
  • vColevCole Member Posts: 1,573 ■■■■■■■□□□
    EruMais wrote: »
    Just wanted to say that I got the job! I'll be officially starting 7/25 as Technical Services Analyst (Desktop Support).

    Thanks everyone for their encouragement.

    Congrats!
  • XcluzivXcluziv Member Posts: 513
    Congrats!!!!
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