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Technical Job Interviews having No Technical Questions Asked?

olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
Ive been throwing my resume everywhere lately and Ive been interviewing a lot.
The jobs I am applying for are Administrator type jobs for small/midsize companies and Jr Admins for the larger ones.
They are around the 55-75k payrange. (except for one that offered only 35k icon_surprised.gif)

I have had 4 interviews in the past few 2 weeks and none of them asked me any kind of technical questions.
They would ask things like "Do you have experience with AS/400 or iSeries." And after I replied yes and gave a little background on how Ive worked with it, they would not go any further.
I am aware by how I answer certain questions they can tell if I know what I am talking about without directly asking me, but still.

It seems they would just believe everything I put in my resume and then talk about the position.
These interviews were with people in technical positions and not HR or management.

I guess my question is: Is this commonplace after a certain point? Once you have some experience under you belt do most places just assume you know what you're doing?

When I interviewed for helpdesk I had to take a test, was barraged with technical questions, had to do a simulation lab etc...
Thanks for any input.

(btw I was offered 3 out of the 4 jobs)

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    PsoasmanPsoasman Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I had an interview with a hospital back in March like that. Didn't ask me a single technical questions. Instead they asked me:

    1. Are you a gamer?
    2. What is your favorite movie?
    3. Are you married?

    My last interview went 3 rounds, with the panel interview, technical interview, and finally 1:1 with the director.
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    olaHalo wrote: »
    I guess my question is: Is this commonplace after a certain point? Once you have some experience under you belt do most places just assume you know what you're doing?

    When I interviewed for helpdesk I had to take a test, was barraged with technical questions, had to do a simulation lab etc...
    Thanks for any input.

    (btw I was offered 3 out of the 4 jobs)

    It's the complete opposite in my experience. Low level jobs are usually more vague with their technical questioning but the higher get you should expect some pretty in depth questioning from anyone looking to higher people who know what they are doing. I have been doing the technical interview portion for two positions lately. One a low level temp gig and one an engineering role. The questioning is certainly more hardcore for the engineering gig. The low level is a small set of static questions to get a feel of someone's aptitude but the higher level has some pretty specific lines of questioning with certain technologies.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    olaHalo wrote: »
    I have had 4 interviews in the past few 2 weeks and none of them asked me any kind of technical questions.I guess my question is: Is this commonplace after a certain point?
    Nope. In my experience, this is only commonplace for lower-level jobs. I am grilled extensively during interviews, if not immediately, as soon as I clarify my pay range. The exception is if they already know me.
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    MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd have the same experience in that way as networkVeteran and networker. Vague and wide technical questions but more emphasis on teamwork and personal soft skills at the lower end, the higher end positions being technical and delving deep into the details for each answer.
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    FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My first networking jobs interview was surprisingly technical. I had two technical portions, one written and the other I was interviewed by two engineers. Nothing to hard since it was an entry level network engineering role, a lot of theory and basic configuration questions.
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    olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well I am glad you guys are saying this isnt the norm.
    I find its easier to prove yourself when your actually tested lol. And people aren't getting the jobs over others based off personality alone.
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    ChooseLifeChooseLife Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    olaHalo wrote: »
    They would ask things like "Do you have experience with AS/400 or iSeries." And after I replied yes and gave a little background on how Ive worked with it, they would not go any further.
    ...
    These interviews were with people in technical positions and not HR or management.
    Yes, I had this experience when going for mid-level sysadmin jobs with pay range in the 55-75K. Two companies had their interviews exactly as you described and came back with offers of 65K and 70K respectively. We just spoke about things I worked on and they took my word for it.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    One company gave me a grammar and spelling test. Their opinnion was simple - you were answering calls and emails, they can't teach you proper English, but they can teach you the techy stuff required to perform your duties.

    On a funny side note - I was the only one ever getting 100% on that test - and I was the only non-native English speaker :P
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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    MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    One company gave me a grammar and spelling test. Their opinnion was simple

    You mean "opinion"?

    Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)
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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    MickQ wrote: »
    You mean "opinion"?

    Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)

    Fair :)

    At least I know when to use "whom", "lose or loose", "affect or effect" and "sent / send / build / built" and "Different Than or Different From" :D:D

    Edit: See also very often "There, Their, They're" and "Then, Than" and the most annoying one "Could / Would or Should OF" - It is HAVE god dammit :D
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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    MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    And to/oo/wo, its/it's, proper use of the apostrophe and comma... oh what a long list.
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    My recent job interview (which I got) wasn't hugely technical in nature. Only seriously technical interviews I have had have been with Google. Everyone else has been vague at best.
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    If someone isn't asking in depth questions it's probably because they don't really understand what they are asking about.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,569 ■■■■■■■□□□
    If someone isn't asking in depth questions it's probably because they don't really understand what they are asking about.

    That's not necessarily true. I didn't get a single technical question in my interviews for my current position, and I deal with proxies and firewalls here. They were much more concerned with fit, than technical knowledge.
    Working on: staying alive and staying employed
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Of course it's not always true, there are exceptions to everything.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,569 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Psoasman wrote: »
    I had an interview with a hospital back in March like that. Didn't ask me a single technical questions. Instead they asked me:

    1. Are you a gamer?
    2. What is your favorite movie?
    3. Are you married?

    My last interview went 3 rounds, with the panel interview, technical interview, and finally 1:1 with the director.

    #3 is a big no-no when interviewing, if their HR people knew they would probably cringe a little when that was asked.
    Working on: staying alive and staying employed
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    shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    When I was searching for jobs years ago and ran into this issue. I usually passed on the job, and took the jobs where they had me sweating.
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    xXErebuSxXErebuS Member Posts: 230
    colemic wrote: »
    #3 is a big no-no when interviewing, if their HR people knew they would probably cringe a little when that was asked.

    I don't think so; guess depending on state laws though. Sounds like they are just trying to find out the personality / lifestyle; you'd be shocked at what was asked / talked about in my interview =D
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    colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,569 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I probably wouldn't be surprised, but that doesn't mean it is within the appropriate limits of interview questions, either. :) It's really a fine line, and if you bring it up, it is a-ok. But if asked any questions that deal with race/gender/marital status/kids/religion/sex/national origin/disability/age, those can be problematic, because if they ask, and you don't get the position, you have the ability to file an EEOC complaint against the company, alleging discrimination. most companies that has formalized hiring procedures are very aware of this and will steer clear.
    Working on: staying alive and staying employed
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    ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've had mixed experiences, both getting overly technical questions and getting too few altogether. I go back and forth on what I think the ideal interview should be, but ultimately I think it's a balance. Technical grilling can be problematic, because if you go overboard you weed out candidates who don't remember that answer exactly or have trouble being put on the spot. That can be okay with the right questions, but it's your loss with the wrong ones. On the flip side, no technical questions or outrageously easy ones can easily let a padded resume and smooth talker sail into a position for which he or she isn't qualified.

    I'm far enough into my career and can afford to be picky enough that I, for one, will absolutely disqualify an organization based on its interview process. If they are asking very few of the right questions and a whole bunch of the wrong ones, it's generally indicative of big problems.
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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I wished technical interview relate to the job you are supposed to do. Lab based. You are VMware SME? Fix a cluster. You are Cisco champ? Fix that routing issue. Windows monkey? Check that AD replication issue.
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ptilsen - I walked out when a technical interview was 20 pages of Windows Braindumps.
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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    NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    I wished technical interview relate to the job you are supposed to do. Lab based. You are VMware SME? Fix a cluster. You are Cisco champ? Fix that routing issue. Windows monkey? Check that AD replication issue.

    The rub is, in the 15 minutes it takes them to "Fix that one OSPF issue!", I could've had them describe the breadth of their OSPF knowledge, and tested its depth in multiple ways. This is why I think most interviews only mix in a longer challenge or three, and otherwise rely on questions in order to determine someone's knowledge.

    On the plus side, Cisco certifications themselves are heavy on labs. :)
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    olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    Ptilsen - I walked out when a technical interview was 20 pages of Windows Braindumps.
    What? How did they interview you with a braindump?
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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    olaHalo wrote: »
    What? How did they interview you with a braindump?

    They gave me 20 pages with technical questions.

    5 Pages of Microsoft
    5 Pages of VMware
    5 Pages of Citrix
    5 Pages of Cisco

    I only just finished a VCP and my last MCTS for my Exchange 2010 MCITP that month and several questions from both were identical.

    They didn't even bother removing the company names used in those questions (like "Contoso" in Microsoft).

    So they clearly simply downloaded braindumps and used them as technical tests for their candidates.
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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    dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    A technical interview doesn't have to ask difficult questions to gauge candidate's skill level. A candidate's response to basic, core functionality questions can give great insight into his/her skill level.

    I've answered basic questions such as, "What's HA and how does it work?" to such detail that the technical interview was effectively over at that point.
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    HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Yeah my last interview was very non-technical in nature, the phone portion was essentially a "tell us about some of the projects you've completed" and "tell us about your experience with X" nothing very direct or in depth, only as in depth as I chose to make it. The face to face was completely no technical, it was more of a "will this person fit the team we have" kind of thing.
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    coreyb80coreyb80 Member Posts: 647 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I interviewed for a Help Desk position Tuesday morning and some of the tech questions were what would you do if the client couldn't connect to the internet or what would you do if the PC wouldn't power on. Pretty simple questions, but the guy actually liked my answers. I'm praying I land this gig.
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