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The ultimate test of your presentation skills

How to do a whiteboard job interview if you are an IT professional.

A white board is most likely going to be twofold:

1.) a test of your presentation skills and

2.) a test of technical knowledge.

This whiteboard session will give them an in-depth look at your thought process. It will also be a demonstration of how you teach. (very important) even if you are weaker on technical skills, but strong on presentation, you will score lots of style points because technical skills can be taught, but teaching presentation skills is tougher.

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A couple of things to keep in mind. While you are at the whiteboard, make sure whenever you speak, that you don’t look at the whiteboard, but turn around and face your audience and this will demonstrate your presentation skills. Plus, they will not hear you otherwise.

Since this is a measure of your thought process, make sure you walk them through and verbalize everything you are doing while speaking clearly, confidently and looking directly at them. Pretend you are teaching them, like a school teacher. Forget that they know anything. Teach them like you would if you were mentoring junior network administrators.

All of the above will demonstrate your presentations skills.

Next, focus on technical your knowledge.  They might ask you to diagram a simple network on a class C network, or they might ask how you would diagram a network that has 500 users and how would you provide ip addresses to all of them.

They might want to see how you would design a server backbone on a switched network with network load balancing. There are just too many technical scenarios to cover, so I think you would do best to allow your presentation skills to pull you through any technical scenario. Hopefully, they will give you a few minutes to collect your thoughts and then ask you to present them on a whiteboard.

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Don’t get frustrated. A whiteboard is a place to make mistakes, so it’s okay to erase and redraw. The way I like to create networks is to first create the large picture. A framework so to speak, then I go in and fill in all the details. It’s much easier that way.

Talk about everything you did to ensure a successful migration and let them know you followed Microsoft Exchange best practices and state what those were.

But don’t forget your presentation skills are a big part of this test and how well you explain things.

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by Don Georgevich

Need help with your interview? Contact Don