[OSGeo Africa] Database

Tim Sutton tim at linfiniti.com
Sun Jul 28 13:18:08 PDT 2013


On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 9:06 PM, khanyisani xulu <kkhaye1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I need your assistance as how to prepare for the interview for gis
> administrator. I went for competency test and questions were revolving
> around Server, geographic database, database administration and arcgis
> desktop. I am not good with interviews hence I dont have a clue as what do
> I need to prepare. The position is for GIS Officer in metro (electricity
> division) under Network Drawing office. Please assist

My opinion: When you interview for a job, generally you should already have
the skills required for the job, or a skill set that can be easily applied
to the job with minimal ramp up time. If this is not the case, frankly you
will probably be miserable in the job since you will feel continually
overwhelmed and stressed - and you want to be happy in your work right? If
you do feel confident that you have the required skills then you should not
worry so much about the technical side of things, instead your goals should

a) To impress the interviewer with how generally competent, punctual,
motivated, enthusiastic, curious etc. you are. Part of your preparation
should be to google up on the organisation you are applying for the job at.
Read their web site. Google / LinkedIn search etc. The people running the
group and get as familiar with the background of the organisation as you
can. Read up any background material you may have been supplied in the run
up to the interview. Also ensure you have a good reason as to why you are
leaving your current job (if that is the case).

I would usually suggest to prepare a few broad questions about the work and
organisation based on your research. Some examples of good questions:

* What are the key GIS technologies you are using?
* Have you ever considered using FOSS GIS in your operations? (ok I had to
slip that in given the mailing list you have posted your question to :-) )
* What are the main challenges you are looking for me to solve?
* Is there a reason you chose technology X over technology Y?

Some bad questions:

* How much leave do I get?
* What salary will I earn?
* How often do you give pay increases?
* Can I bring my own gaming mouse to play games at lunchtime?

During the interview the 'bad questions' relating to pay and work
conditions should be made known to you by the interviewer, you should be
focussed on the work and technical aspects of the job. The interviewer will
probably answer some of your 'good' questions as they chat about the job to
you so take them written down on a list and cross them off as they are
covered so you don't ask about stuff that has already need described.

b) to determine if the organisation is the right place for you to be in.

Remember you are there to interview them as much as they want to interview
you. Without doing it in a 'big headed' way, you should be looking to see
if they are going to be providing an environment that will advance your
skills and knowledge and keep you motivated. So ask the questions you need
answered in order to understand if the job will work for you.

Being prepared for the interview with some good questions and understanding
that the interview is a two way street should make you much more at ease
and able to show them the best that you have to offer both technically and
at a personal level.

Good luck! And write back to tell us how it went :-)



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Tim Sutton - QGIS Project Steering Committee Member (Release  Manager)
Visit http://linfiniti.com to find out about:
 * QGIS programming services
 * GeoDjango web development
 * FOSS Consulting Services
Skype: timlinux Irc: timlinux on #qgis at freenode.net
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