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Pure New Zealand

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Apr 06, 2006

Questions to ask a prospective employer . . .

Well I'm sort of job hunting again.

I've decided that when the interviewer asks the "is there anything you'd like to ask us ?" question I'd followup with "its funny you should ask . . ."

A selection from these questions should give you an idea as to how "switched-on" the organisation is with respect to IT service provision (and potentially the head-aches you might have to deal with if you work for them - then again fixing some of the issues might be what the role is all about).

Then again they might just think you're a smart-ass and not hire you as you may come across as a potential troublemaker ;-)

So in no particular order -

  • What make / model servers do you use ?
  • How old are they ?
  • What hardware vendor maintenance do you have for them ?
  • How often do you roll over old hardware ?
  • Do you have a standard server build document / run book for each system ?
  • How well are the IT systems documented ?
  • What processes are in place to migrate services with minimal client impact (eg can you migrate your database server without having all the apps that rely upon it falling over) ?
  • What critical services need to remain 'up' all the time and what provision is made should one of these fail ?
  • What Monitoring do you use ?
  • What Backup system do you use & how reliable is it ?
  • How is storage provisioned and managed (do they have a SAN/NAS or consolidated storage plan) ?
  • What Failover provision do you have for critical services ?
  • Do you use data replication for critical information ?
  • What services and applications rely on outside vendors or consultants ?
  • Are there key services and applications that rely on any single persons expertise to work ?
  • What call tracking system is in use ?
  • Is there a change control process in place ?
  • What is the induction process ?
  • Is there a mentoring system to help you settle in and upskill ?
  • Is there an on call component ?
  • How often are after-hours alerts raised - what proportion of these can be handled remotely vs going onsite ?
  • What SLA's are there ?
  • What desktop OS do you use ?
  • Is it a managed desktop (eg how is remote support, patching, anti-virus, software deployment, auditing handled) ?
  • How do you rollout new hardware, software and services to the client community ?
  • What access rights do people have and how is this managed ?
  • What firewall, web proxy, virus / spam checking system is in place ?
  • What remote access, vpn is in place ?
  • What technologies do you use for your extranet / intranet ?
  • Do you use a CMS (content management system) for your website ?
  • Do you use an intranet, information is availabe to staff and who updates its content ?
  • Do you use a DMS (document management system) for knowledge management ?
  • What groupware system do you use ?

Permalink | 2006.04.06-00:47.00