Continuing the topic of employment for data center technicians in today’s post I provide several tips for a data center technician interview. These tips come from my experience as both an interviewee and an interviewer. My goal is to help those actively trying to get employment pass their interview(s)!
Data Center Technician Interview Tip #1: Know The Role
My first tip sounds like common sense, but it isn’t because I interviewed individuals who didn’t know much about what a data center tech did. Which meant either that individual didn’t read the job description well enough, or didn’t completely understand the job roles he or she would perform daily. When I asked those people questions like the following:
- Are you able to lift thirty pounds by yourself?
- Do you know what “rack and stack” means?
- Have you used an Ethernet tester?
- Can you explain the Power On Self-Test (POST) process?
And the answer to those questions was a blank face or confusion that was a red flag to me. Because these are common tasks for a data center tech.
So how can you know the role before the interview so you don’t fall flat on your face? I always copy the job posting into a text document so I can save it for later. Some companies remove job listings on a certain date, or when interviewing starts, so they don’t receive any additional applications. Thus, if you want to revisit the listing to get additional details you can’t. Yet, if you saved the listing on your computer or device you can reread it.
Finally, use various sources to understand what a data center technician does. You can watch YouTube videos to see what the day in the life is like for the role. Or you can follow certain social media accounts to get more information. Last, you can email those currently working in the position for information. That’s happened to me and I have no problem answering questions, so if you want to contact me you can do so at email@example.com.
Data Center Technician Interview Tip #2: Ask Questions
My second tip for a data center technician interview is to please ask questions. Please! You should have questions about the role, the team, the company, and how can you grow in the company. If you don’t then the interviewer will think you aren’t serious. And if that happens, you’re not going to get the job.
“Brittany, I don’t know what questions to ask. What are some questions you asked on previous interviews?” I always ask the following:
- Can you tell me what a normal day is like?
- Is overtime required for this job? If so, how much?
- What is a big project the team is currently working on? If there isn’t one, is there one upcoming?
- What are some difficulties the team is running into at the moment?
- Is there something I can prepare for now to help out immediately if I get hired?
- How can I succeed in this job? What technologies or skills I need to learn?
That’s just a small sampling of questions, but you can find more online. In addition to those, think of what is important to you and delve deeper into those topics. If career progression is a key goal then ask the interviewer. Or if you want to improve your data center skills then ask about how the employer can help you. Remember, a job interview is your only opportunity to learn specifics about the role and the employer. If you don’t do your due diligence you could end up in a job you hate.
Data Center Technician Interview Tip #3: Know The News
My third tip for a data center technician interview is to know the news about the industry. This is important because major technology improvements will require employers to change their hiring criteria. And if you don’t know about these improvements you’ll be left behind.
Currently in the data center industry Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is causing data centers around the world to change. Those companies are investing in water-cooling technology which wasn’t a need just a few years ago. Other companies are changing their servers to offer more GPU options than CPU options so customers requiring the power for modeling and training will have it. Finally, companies are looking for individuals who have experience working with Machine Learning (ML) or can learn it quickly.
Now, I keep up with the news because I thoroughly enjoy working in data centers, and I do report about it on my website and social media accounts. Yet, this knowledge also helps me determine what moves I need to make when it comes to improving my skill-set. I need to invest my time wisely into learning topics that will help my career.
Final Tip: Practice!
My final tip is to practice your interviewing skills. You can do so with a friend, a family member, or hire a career coach. This way you will feel confident when it’s interview time.
I also suggest watching YouTube videos to learn different techniques, and how to handle certain questions. I did this for my Google interview even though I have an extensive history of interviewing. It’s always best to have the knowledge and not need it, than need it and not have it.