Part of the application process you might encounter when hunting for an IT Support position is a skills test. This skills test can take many forms. The company you’re applying at could have an in-house assessment or use a service. There’s a good chance that the test might just be the interviewer asking a few basic IT support-related questions, like a verbal quiz. On the other side of the skills test coin is the personality test. This personality test is less of a test and more of a compatibility check. What you encounter in the job hunt could change from company to company.
This can be used by a hiring manager to understand how an applicant might fit into the work environment or relate to customers. This is not a pass or fail type of test. A long list of qualified applicants can be narrowed down quickly with a personality test. Desirable personality traits could differ depending on the team, clients, or company culture. The best thing to do with a test like this is just to expect it. These things can come in any of several flavors or styles. Some are true/false and some are multiple choice. The most desirable traits in IT support will be emotional intelligence and empathy.
Skill Test Examples
Typing speed test: This basic test could come up in a job interview or a job application process. You should be concerned if you’re not up around 35-40 words per minute. You can find several free websites with interactive tools to help with this. Take a couple tests for yourself at home. One thing that might be good to practice is file paths. Clicking through Windows Explorer can be slow and is not good for hidden files. Using Win+R to open the run command and typing in a file path can be fast and impressive. If the job you’re applying for has a call time target or you’re measured by metrics, this could come in handy.
Word processing: This is the obligatory office software skill question. Your proficiency with Microsoft Word shouldn’t need to be brought up. If it comes up and you’re not confident, you could be in trouble.
Email: You should be able to identify all the rookie email mistakes someone might be making in the professional world. Think of obnoxious email signatures, typing in all caps, copying parties by accident, or poor grammar. Do not do these things and express that you keep a professional format always. The advanced skills will pertain to organizing folders, filters, and installing productivity add-ons.
Internet skills: All the basic functions should be in your skillset. You should have an idea how to walk a user through creating bookmarks and bookmark folders. This subject is also a good opportunity to talk about any appropriate use policies and your dedication to them.
Spreadsheets: Excel is the most common program here. This will again be about supporting users. Luckily the practical application of your spreadsheet skills will apply to editing rather than creation.
Databases: This is a broad subject that could include the ticketing system database or a more conventional program like Microsoft Access. I wouldn’t expect to get tested on this unless you know it’s a large part of the position applied for. If you have SQL experience, this is where you can strut your stuff.
Problem resolution process/skills: You may be given scenarios to outline a solution for. Study some of your HDI notes for this kind of thing. Think about asking the hypothetical user the right questions to better understand the issue. Research the problem and decide on how to implement the solution. Your accurate documentation skills fall under this subject too.
Networking: Study the common acronyms and basics of networking. The command line tools like ipconfig, ping, and tracert should be something you’re comfortable with.
Before you even get to the interview or application process, it’s a good idea to gather all the tedious application information. Print your job history dates with the company address and phone number. Have a copy of your six references with their pertinent information. You don’t want to end up taking an hour to fill out the application, scouring your phone for addresses and phone numbers. This is all information that you should have stored and backed up. Safe these documents to a cloud account will help as well.