It's official... Kita is Certifiable!

Discussion in 'tech' started by Kita, 26 Mar 2015.

  1. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    Two very good interviews this week. A video interview with a defense contractor, so that is great job security and a solid company to put on a resume. Seems like a great team too! I nailed their troubleshooting question, knew exactly what to look for and solved it with structured, well-known steps. I also impressed the techs who were in on the meeting with my answer to the open ended question regarding side projects at home. I received a response along the lines of "Wow, that is way more advanced stuff than you would be doing here!" I know the goal of the question was to see if I am really interested in tech, and spend my own time learning and keeping up with it. I gave them a resounding YES. Should hear back in the next couple of weeks. I want this job.

    Also interviewed over the phone with Amazon. I was not as prepared as I should have been, as the recruiter told me it was a phone screening. Every other recruiter phone screening was softball questions and was short. I actually spoke with a senior level tech (he might have been the department manager too) at the office park the position was located. I wish I knew how hard it would be, because I would have studied and had my laptop with notes in front of me. He first asked me to rate my skills and knowledge in various areas on a scale of 1-10. After that, I guess his system generated questions on a difficulty scale based on my responses, and perhaps kept scaling as I got questions right/ wrong. It was the most challenging interview I have ever done, it really dove into my book knowledge. I never would have gotten through it without my classes. I nailed all the questions at the level he was looking for, a bit shaky on the harder ones, but he recognized that I knew the concepts even if I didn't know exact specifics. I knew so much about DNS and networking based on my classes, he started asking me other questions that he said he had never asked before, because he was curious if I knew them. I did. I even knew many of the unusable IP ranges off the top of my head (and would have known all of them if I knew to study) which he said is very good knowledge not many people have. I knew the names of the ranges and their functions, even if I didn't remember some of the digits in them. I was a bit shaky on Apple command line, but I rated my Apple experience pretty low, and did give the general overview of 'I know Apple commands because so many are the same as Linux, I just try a Linux command and it usually works. If not, I google it.' He was super cool, and obviously a total geek like me because it was more conversational as we just discussed a lot of tech terms and such. I nailed all the troubleshooting except one network related one, as I forgot to mention to check the connection to a switch (I mentioned pinging the router and checking the physical connection, but not the switch). I explained I really had only worked with small networks using a single router multifunction device and a WiFi AP, so I hadn't considered the switch in the network map as I worked through troubleshooting options. He followed it up asking how to troubleshoot the switch, which I nailed, because they aren't much different than Routers in terms of interface and access, I already had gone through the OSI model and explained the difference between hub, switch, and router, knew what kind of traffic they passed on, and had worked with some simulations with Cisco switches in school. He seemed satisfied with the answer, and didn't seem bothered that I was honest about not working hands-on with enterprise stuff, but still had all the knowledge I needed to jump in. He said it was the longest interview he had ever done. I hope that is a good thing. I really felt good about this one, and would also love to get into Amazon! Should hear back next week about it.

    I hope they are both a quick process.

    I should be hearing back any day now from another interview I did a couple weeks ago and felt I did well in, but they had tons of other candidates after me, and it was a local gig. I know there are more techs than positions in town, so I am sure they found someone who blew them away, which I didn't. I heard back from another place who liked me, but pulled a bait and switch with salary. I never would have wasted my time if I knew they would only offer the bottom of their range, which was only a buck more than I was making as an unskilled office worker. They can get the derpy Best Buy employees they are obviously aiming to entice, but not me. (Best Buy only pays 10/ hr. I know this because I am so desperate I talked to them too.) They need to pay big kid wages if they want big kids working there. It was seasonal anyways, so I know how I would have been treated. Easy out.
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  2. Mulch

    Mulch Why does the drum come hither?

    gratz, fingers crossed

    and macs are based on FreeBSD, not linux. minor point, but that knowledge may come in handy

    i like freebsd
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  3. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    Unix core, not Linux. Whatever.

    It's not DOS or Solaris. Damned close enough.
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2015
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  4. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    While most *nix code will compile and execute on a Unix system, that' s not always true and vice/versa. Knowing that Mac is Unix based is a worthwhile fact to throw out there, it squelches any questions about whether you know your Mac shit or not.

    I've been getting a mass of questions about joining Macs to the Active Directory structure. While this might be quaint knowledge for someone administering a hybird network, it's not relevant to Pen testing/Sec Audits (Unless you are using a Mac for your audits/hacking and then we need to sit down and have a totally different conversation).
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  5. Lain

    Lain End of line. #resist

    Fun question tossed at me in a recent meeting over a contract bid to renovate a hybrid network and bring it into the 21st century.

    "The finance department is down, cannot connect to the internet, the CEO cannot get to his Fantasy football website and there's a huge game pending so he's stressing, and the storage and shipping department cannot print invoices and shipping orders, prioritize these in order of importance."

    What kind of stupid question is that? The obvious answer is to fix the money first, and work your way backwards, always prioritizing the money, who gives a shit if the CEO can play fantasy football.

    I'm not sure what answer they are looking for, but the one I gave was something like...

    "While I empathize with the CEO, my fantasy football stats are nothing to speak of, and while a pending game might be disappointing and cost him a few dollars, in the long run he's going to appreciate my attending to his cash influx first, mending the issues in shipping so he can continue to process orders which produce revenue, and patching up Finance second so they can expedite and manage client expectations. As a bonus, if I'm handling the issue, there's no chance he'll miss his betting window, because I don't go home until everything works. "

    I'm not sure how smooth it was, but this new series of books I've been reading has warped my fragile little mind. ;)
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  6. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    My troubleshooting scenarios across all interviews have been pretty simple. One was a browser wasn't working correctly with gmail. The answer was use another browser, they didn't care about the rest. Another was fixing a laptop with a bad power supply, including the isolation of that being the issue. Another had me just give the path I would follow to diagnose basic connectivity issues. And finally, another easy one, black screen after Windows login. Because we got a login screen displayed, the answer is obviously improper resolution is set or some other quirk of the video drivers. Go into safe mode to see if we load with basic drivers, and if so, reset the resolution and update drivers. If that doesn't work, the monitor doesn't support the resolution set and needs to be swapped. But, a new monitor would be the first thing to switch back out if it was know it was just changed.

    Open ended interviews with standard questions everyone asks seems to be most common. When I get to talk tech, it means there is a techie around, and I impress. If not, I don't ever feel very confident about the interview. I can't impress management or hiring managers because I don't really have impressive experiences to share. I just know lots of shit and am looking to HAVE those impressive experiences. That is where I always lose people, is not having those big projects and numbers to throw around that show results. I feel good about Amazon since I only spoke to a tech. Management was present for the other one, and would have ultimate say. If I can just get a senior tech to like me, and they actually are trusted by their bosses to make a call on hiring, I can get in. I just need to keep plugging until I squeeze in like that, I guess.

    I am wary about people who sound overly excited about me too. I am finding it usually means they are a low-paying job, and my competition is kids fresh out of High School. I wish people put salaries in the job descriptions more so I can easily cut them out instead of wasting my time.
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  7. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    Got rejection from Amazon over a week ago. So much for an interview that went well. Got rejected from another random one too, but didn't think it went well anyways. Still waiting to hear from a few...

    Another one tomorrow. First in-person one besides the recruiters. They sounded excited for me, I am anxious as usual. Jotted some notes down to use in hopes of nailing what they want to hear.

    Depression is setting in hard core, so not much to say. I am trying to stay hopeful, but this is really wearing on me. I want to shoot myself. I feel so worthless, and have this creeping dread everything will go back to how it was; shit work with shit pay depending on others to get by and getting shit for that. Stress and misery because of all that, and inability to do the things I want to since just surviving drains all life and will out of me.

    Family is a mess too, so they are leaning heavily on me. Gets them off my back about getting a job when I am needed at home, but I would rather be working and NOT at their place.

    Distracting myself by maxing out the bit I had left on the credit card I cannot, and will not unless I find a decent paying job, ever pay off. Such luxuries as winter clothes at the discount stores and daily stress coffee. First snow was a few days ago, but at least I am warm without looking like a hobo or clueless Socal kid. That wouldn't help my non-existent professional image any. So is life.
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  8. Kita

    Kita Should Update Title

    A good problem to have, but agonizing. It's the season.

    Got a call last week for a temp position after receiving rejection from a company for the position I applied to. Apparently, my name came up in a meeting because they remembered me. The rate is low, but I was told it would go up and I had room to negotiate if I go perm. I had no prospects, so I said yes. It's only for a few months, I was told, and I told them I was still actively interviewing and might take a full time offer. They have no problem with that.

    The very next week, I get an offer from an Indian Casino in a small, depressing little city. Lowball, only $1 more than I am making as a temp. Though it is cheaper to live there, it is still below the bottom line I set. I need to call them tomorrow to tell them no. I agonized over it, because the benefits are good and it would put me closer to a tech hub. Day after Indian Casino offer, the smallest town I have ever heard of offered me a position. It is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing. They are the biggest town in the county with a population of around 2000. No, I did not miss a zero in there. One of the sites I would service would be a schoolhouse with 3 kids in it. Sounds super chill, cost of living is super low, but also, once again, below the rate I want. Also, no chance of ever growing my career. It is one of those 'comfortable' positions. I could take it, work it happily for 20 years, then retire with a nice retirement package. I am way too ambitious to settle for that. I had to stop agonizing and stressing over that one and told them I had something else. If only they called a month ago, I would have taken it in a heartbeat...

    So, I am getting offers now. Nothing exciting or enticing, and the offers are low. The company I am temping for has a habit of hiring temps if they can, and is large enough for me to grow but not too big that I would get lost. I think it is one I can grow myself professionally in... if they take me full time. I already identified projects to take on after my first day. I am at service desk, so I was getting bored even listening to the boring shit I would be doing. I am at the same level as the other senior service people tech knowledge wise (and have a solution to a major problem they insist has been tried, but I just don't think they have done it correctly. It came up in the interview for the much higher level position I applied for and was rejected. Not my place to be pushy.... but there is no reason this solution shouldn't work if done right...), I just lack the formal experience hands-on that they have. I am hoping to move up quickly once I fill in those enterprise gaps and begin to touch and troubleshoot systems I haven't used yet but are expected in enterprise. Fortunately, they use all the standards; LDAP for as much as they can, VPN for the many remote offices, VMWare for remote access, A couple small Cisco things, the entire Microsoft suite including Visio and Sharepoint, which I have never used, LanDesk which EVERYONE uses and I have also never used... basically all the stuff that was missing from my resume. Even if only temp, the experience should give me a HUGE boost.

    Cautiously optimistic. I will slow down on interviews and only field ones from big guys (another Amazon one on Friday), and I will take good offers in a heartbeat (Amazon, or the defense contractor I am waiting to hear from)
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