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Thread: Interview questions for a GIS technician

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Interview questions for a GIS technician

    Does anyone have any good ideas for interview questions for a GIS technician? The interview questions for entry level planners are helpful, but we're going to be conducting interviews for a GIS tech in a couple of weeks, and we've got to have the questions to HR by tomorrow. Thanks!
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Does anyone have any good ideas for interview questions for a GIS technician? The interview questions for entry level planners are helpful, but we're going to be conducting interviews for a GIS tech in a couple of weeks, and we've got to have the questions to HR by tomorrow. Thanks!
    Don't know if you have time, but it would be useful for them to do some GIS skills demostration.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    OK, I'll bite (I'll write this from an ESRI perspective):

    Basic program experience

    - Have you used ArcView? ArcEditor? ArcInfo? What extensions have you used?
    - Explain the difference between a polygon, a point, and a line.
    - How would you add data from an Excel spreadshet to a map?
    - What is a layer?
    - Describe the difference between raster and vector.
    - What is a coordinate system?
    - Have they used modelbuilder? Can they describe a model they designed?
    - Have they imported spatial data from other data sources? Geocoded? Used a digitizer or digitized on-screen?
    - Other program experience like AutoCAD may be appropriate for the job

    My ideal GIS technicial would have lots of database skills. So,:

    - Do they know SQL?
    - Have they any experience in relational database creation/ programming/ maintinence?
    - Do they know how to use and administer ArcGIS Server?

    They also need programming skills:

    - Java, Javascript, .NET, VisualBasic, other?

    They need to understand data sources:

    - What is a census tract?
    - Etc.

    They also need to know statistics:

    - Describe mean, median, mode, margin of error, the normal distribution, standard deviation, etc.

    Finally, they need to free-form describe some GIS projects they have worked on:

    - Tell us about a recent project
    - What was the most challenging project you have worked on?

    You could also check out the GISP application for ideas:

    GISP Application

    Good luck!

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