1. Are you proficient with Windows?
Windows proficiency is as fundamental a skill as reading and writing in most jobs. If you have no experience at all, it’s worth investing some time in a basic computer competency certificate. Remember, even if you only use Windows on your home computer, you probably know as much as you need to know for a basic office job. If you have used Windows in a professional capacity, or used another operating system such as OSX or Linux, tell your interviewer about this experience.
2. Have you used Microsoft Office?
Microsoft Office includes several pieces of software. The most common ones are Word, Excel and Outlook. Some jobs require you to use PowerPoint or OneNote, while a few may use Access. If you have used Word or Excel to any extent, you can probably answer yes to this question. You can also say yes if you’ve used similar software, such as LibreOffice. If you have used Office in a professional capacity, tell the interviewer about your experience. Make sure to add in any additional skills you have, such as being able to write macros for Excel, even if the job isn’t IT-related. Most teams could use an Office guru to help them with tricky tasks.
3. How much do you know about IT security?
If you have worked in an office environment with computers before, you have probably gone through some kind of IT security training. Tell your interviewer about what you learned during this training. Otherwise, talk about what you know about security from general experience of IT. What do you do to keep your phone and laptop secure? A lot of it is common sense: use password protection, don’t share your password with anyone, keep your antivirus software up to date and avoid websites that seem untrustworthy.
4. Are you familiar with data protection laws?
Experience with data protection laws can be an asset. Many jobs will involve you dealing with client information, even if it’s only viewing email addresses or phone numbers. The principles of data protection are quite simple. They mostly say that companies must take care of customer data, keep it up to date and only use it for the purpose for which it was intended. Basically, treat customer data the way you would like other companies to treat your data. If you have any data protection experience, such as DP training or logging breaches, be sure to tell your interviewer about this.
5. Could you supply your own device?
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a popular trend in many companies, with employees welcome to work on their own laptops when they are in the office. Other jobs may require you to have a smartphone for certain things, such as checking the roster. If you’re comfortable using your own device, this could be a great thing. Be sure to ask about the support you would get and what restrictions might be placed on device usage. If you don’t have a device and need one, be sure to let the interviewer know. It shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but they may need to make alternative arrangements.
6. What are your favorite and least favorite technology products?
An interviewer may ask you this question to gauge how familiar you are with products used at their company. This question also assesses your enthusiasm and level of knowledge. The interviewer will be observing you and the way you respond. Do you look flustered at the thought of using technology? Is there a certain technology product you are passionate about? Talk about it! Your goal should be to show you have a decent understanding of the positive and negative features of different technologies.
7. Can you tell me about a side project you’ve worked on in the past year or so?
If you are interviewing for a technical position, take this opportunity to talk about a side project you have worked on and feel passionate about. For a technical role, interviewers want to see that a candidate enjoys coding, writing software, etc. If you are non-technical, discuss something outside or work/school that you are working towards in your personal life. This could be a side hobby, community work, etc. What are you passionate about outside of work?