Interview Questions for student employees

Contributor II

Hello JN,

Last year, I took a position at CU Boulder the Apple Labs Administrator. In addition to my day to day jamf duties, I supervise a handful of students. The team I inherited is great, but, members of the team are starting to graduate and I am now currently looking at a pile of resumes from applicants to replace them.

Question: for those of you that hire student workers, do you have a pool of questions you ask? I am specifically looking for ideas that get me a feel for a student's technical aptitude, their customer service skills, and ability to pick up complex technical concepts. In many cases, these students do not have years (or any) solid technical job experience--this may be their first job.

Just wondering what you all do in cases where there is no job history. I know this is not a specific jamf related question but this students will be using the platform and providing technical support for Macs in our campus labs. I want to come up with a question pool that gives me a good baseline for technical ability.




Valued Contributor

@Randydid As a student currently supporting 95% (ok, basically all) of our Jamf infrastructure and getting Jamf up on our campus and training full time staff to effectively use Jamf I would go to the CS Department and get students from there.

I am a CS Student so this is slightly bias :/


Contributor II

At my last job, our students mostly did phone support. It was my idea to have them do a mock telephone call, with a laptop in front of them. The interviewer pretends to be calling from off-campus and we would have the student walk the "caller" through the process of opening a browser and opening the main page for the school's web site, over the pretend phone call.

The only catch is, the "caller" mistypes the URL and gets a 403 error when opening the page, so we would get to see what the students use as a troubleshooting process for that. It was about as basic a scenario as we could come up with, and it assumes almost no prior knowledge.

New Contributor III

Hi Randy, we have had interns the last couple of summers helping us with computer upgrades, but they had no real tech support experience. You can't usually ask them things that are too techy like you would an experienced tech, so we chose to focus on their customer service experience, like retail, restaurant, etc. so asking things like what did you do when a customer was yelling at you, what were the lessons you learned from that job, etc. I figure we can teach tech to people, but if they are friendly and patient those are things that we can't necessarily teach.

As for questions, general ones would be:

Have you ever built your own computer? If so, what parts did you use?
What kind of computer do you use now? Do you know MacOS & Windows, etc.
Do you ever help family members with their computers? If yes what have they had problems with before?
What computer would you recommend for your mom to buy? What about your grandma?
How do you install a printer on a computer?
Name 3 different web browsers.

Also one of the things you can do is poll your current lab techs and get a feel for what kinds of issues they see on a regular basis. You'll then have some ideas about what kind of things you could ask, and also where you can start with training your new techs.

Hope this info helps. Good luck!