I am in the process of trying to hire a System Administrator to replace tasks that I am responsible for. I was the Sys Admin prior to be prompted to my current position as IT Manager/Director. Resumes always have lots of good highlights, but I do not seem to be able to ask the proper questions to weed out the good candidates from the ones that really do not know much, but think they do.
I currently have a test that has about 30 to 50 questions ranging basic Windows Server, AD , Exchange, File Share (NTFS). The last round of candidates all did less than desired. During the formal interview they all did say that the test was hard. I do not think so. I think it is far.
With this next round the candidates seem to have a much better understanding from the preliminary phone screening. I am giving them the same test that the previous round of candidates took, but this time around I am also give them a practical test. This will entail install the Server OS and apply AD Role, setup a few GPO's and test with a client workstation.
Does anyone have recommended verbal questions that can be asked?
Do any of you know of practical Lab that potential candidates can also take?
If you have the benefit of time, I find it helpful to step away from the questions and go back to review them weeks later to make sure even I still know the answers. Sometimes answers seem obvious at the time of writing but after day to day work of other tasks you may not be able to recall how to answer.
While knowledge is key, dont place too much emphasis on it. To me it's more important for the candidate to get along well with the team and myself if they show potential to proactively grow their skills and imvestigate answers to problems they dont know.
You can give them open ended questions about your configuration to try to get them to ask investigative questions.
Try to stay away from long arduous tasks like your install example because that could take a while and waste both your and the candidates time. Also double check with HR to ensure that your questions are allowable and consistent across candidates.