Where can I find an IT support refresher course?
May 19, 2011 12:56 PM   Subscribe

I need to brush up on and refresh my memory of various topics in the area of IT technical support for an interview. Can you help?

So after over a year of unemployment, I have been fortunate enough to earn a phone interview for an IT technical support analyst position. Yay!

The position is basically a tier II help desk support and desktop support role in a Microsoft-centric company. Duties in general would consist of assisting users with technical problems or questions involving Windows, Office, network connectivity, and PC hardware. Other duties and projects are likely to include a Windows 7 migration, hardware refreshes, browser upgrades, etc.

While I have done this type of work in the past, I have been unemployed for over a year and have not been "thinking" computers, hardware, software, etc. much during this downtime. I'm rusty, I need to brush up, and I'd to feel more confident in my knowledge going into the interview.

I would love to get your suggestions on websites I should check out to refresh my memory on supporting Windows (XP thru 7), Office, PC hardware, networking, etc. The more current, the better. I would be especially interested in sites that offer "cheat sheet" or Cliffs Notes-style guides since I have only about a day to prepare.

Thanks everyone!
posted by karizma to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Cheat-sheets.org is the grand motherlode of cheatsheets. It's helped me numerous times for interview prep.

As for refreshing yourself, the best way is to just practice. Until a month ago, I had been unemployed for just about 2 years. Get Virtualbox and set yourself up with virtual machines to test with. Create situations for yourself and work through them. It's what I did to re-acclimatize myself to doing tech work. I hope this help. Good luck!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:07 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Don't fret. It is like riding a bike... a talent you never lose. FWIW the big push is on Win 7 migration, so bone up on that. Anything you learned going from NT to XP or XP to SP3 still applies. Another big push is mobile devices. iOS and Android are in play now. Blackberry is still out there, but everyone knows Blackberry support. Also FWIW in recent job interviews the tech questions are few, more likely you will get asked a lot of "How would you handle this situation / client" type of questions. Anyone with tech experience can fix things, most employers are looking for personalities that fit their culture, and that can deal with VIPs without exploding. Good luck.
posted by Gungho at 1:57 PM on May 19, 2011

For me it's less about what the person currently knows than it is about how they learn and what they do with information. So describe your thought process when troubleshooting, where you go to find information, how you can extrapolate information from one situation and apply it to a similar one. Give examples - I started to wordfumble in my last interview and finally I just said, "Look, can I give you a real world example?" and told them about an issue we'd had in a remote office and what I did to narrow down the possible bottlenecks and eventually find the solution.
Those things will tell them you can think, and you would not believe how many IT people I've worked with who just could not think.
Emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction and quick problem resolution.
If you promise to participate in ongoing documentation they will jump on that if they are smart.

Good luck!
posted by 8dot3 at 2:43 PM on May 19, 2011

A new wrinkle. Having been unemployed myself for a few months I have lined up a 2nd interview. The hiring manager has expressed his concerns that my skills may not be up to date... I have been out of work for 4 frikkin months. So add this to my previous comment, and the thing you should come out of this with is...I have no idea what hiring managers are looking for. YMMV.
posted by Gungho at 8:33 AM on May 21, 2011

Response by poster: To add an answer to my own question, I found quite a bit of good review information on YouTube with Professor Messer's Certification Training Videos. Totally free and highly recommended!
posted by karizma at 9:24 PM on June 1, 2011

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