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Penn State University Systems Administrator Interview Questions & Reviews

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Declined Offer

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Systems Administrator Interview

Systems Administrator
State College, PA

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Penn State University in April 2010.

Interview Details – Submit resume and cover letter through online application site, wait 8 weeks (common at Penn State). I got a phone interview with the hiring manager and a colleague. The phone interview included some Unix admin questions and a "homework" assignment: within the next hour, e-mail me a little script that will parse a certain kind of text file and make certain changes. I did so. Later I was called for an in-person interview and spoke with the hiring manager and his director. After this there was a long time, about 4 weeks, before an offer was made even though I was told that they were eager to hire.

Interview Question – Aforementioned "homework" given at the end of the phone interview was unexpected. Otherwise the interview questions were the common getting-to-know-you type and some technical questions to verify I knew about the technologies I listed in my resume and cover letter.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Several factors led me to decline. During the lengthy delay between interviews and job offer, I found new things in my current job to satisfy me. The new position was a lateral move and the offer included a very minimal increase in pay and no clear path for upward growth. Finally, even though during the interview I was told that there would be many interesting projects on the horizon, what I was told I'd be working on for the first few months sounded pretty bleak. I'm not sure whether the interesting projects would have ever come about or if I'd have been stuck in the bleak. Ultimately, there wasn't enough that compelled me to accept.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Systems Administrator Interview

Systems Administrator
State College, PA

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Penn State University in April 2011.

Interview Details – Hiring process starts with applying for a position through the jobs site. Resumes and cover letters are uploaded to the site and associated with an open position. Resumes and cover letters are reviewed by the department hiring, usually the manager/director and a few select employees on the hiring committee. If an employee does not live in the area, initial interviews are done over the phone. Second and third interviews are often done face to face. Usually interviews have 3-5 people asking questions. After a candidate is chosen, HR will be notified of the choice. HR determines a salary based on the experience and education of the candidate. An offer is sent to the candidate for them to accept or refuse. If they refuse, the process is repeated on the next candidate.

Interview Question – Explain Kerberos   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was unable to negotiate a higher salary.

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