What is an “ITIL interview”?

Although the words “ITIL interview” might conjure up images of an intense session of detailed scrutiny, you shouldn’t worry too much.  There are essentially two different, or rather separate, meanings that can be attributed to the expression “ITIL interview”.  The first meaning would refer to the segment of one’s certification examination in which they are asked to answer a series of questions that are perhaps based on pertinent real-life situations / issues.  The second reference to an ITIL interview could be attributed to a series of questions posed by a potential employer during a job interview.

While it might seem as if a subject like ITIL would be relegated to the background during the hiring process, many employers (who regularly interview IT personnel) might be inclined to test the mettle of potential applicants by posing ITIL-based questions to them.  In fact, those who are employing IT professionals might want to consider utilizing an ITIL interview-style tactic during follow-up meetings (i.e. – meeting with the “short list” of candidates).

However, a majority of individuals are going to associate the idea of an ITIL interview with that of a certification test, and rightly so.  During such an interview, the person conducting that particular portion of the test (likely to be a certified expert in their own right) will attempt to ascertain how much you actually understand with regards to the application of ITIL methods / practices.  The goal here is to determine how you would be able to apply your knowledge to professional situations, as well as your understanding of ITIL methodology and programming skill(s).    It could be said that it is the duty of the ITIL interviewer to determine whether or not a certification candidate is worthy of receipt.

The Questions
The actual content of the questions  of an ITIL interview will (obviously) vary from interview to interview, but it is extremely likely that it will range from general attitudes and goals, to specific examples of implemented knowledge.

Here are some examples of generalized questions:

  • How can ITIL be used to solve diagnostic issues?  Can you give me an example?  .
  • Can you see ITIL being used to help revamp an organization’s operation?
  • How has your ITIL certification progress attributed to your overall professional development?
  • What are your duties in relation to that of the IT manager?
  • What assets are needed to facilitate the management of IT resources?
  • Provide examples of specific benefits with regards to the use of ITIL within an organization.
  • How does ITIL promote efficiency?
  • Has your experience with ITIL prompted further interest in more advanced study of the subject?
  • What do you perceive to be the daily objectives of someone possessing ITIL certification?
  • What are your career goals / objectives relative to attaining ITIL certification?
  • When you speak with customers, how do you determine what their base IT needs and requirements are?  How do you meet or exceed them?

The above examples are likely to be asked by either an ITIL testing official or a potential employer.   Though these examples are very open and deceptively simplistic, they actually provide a great platform for showing off one’s knowledge of the subject matter at hand (given that you took the time to really absorb the basics of ITIL during your training period).

The following examples / sample questions are of a more intricate or complex variety and should be considered as well:

  • What are ITIL service strategies?  Can you provide examples?
  • How might ITIL be leveraged to calculate a specific long-term return on investment (ROI)?
  • In what ways does ITIL aid an organizations financial element?
  • Elaborate on the relationship between KPI’s, ITIL, and IT services.
  • What does a service level manager actually do?
  • How can ITIL ensure that any service design is effective (from the customer’s viewpoint)?
  • Can you detail the stages of the IT / ITIL lifecycle?
  • How can ITIL be used to manage / maintain / utilize Enterprise architecture(s)?
  • How does ITIL affect / interact with / reinforce the service culture mentality?
  • Why is SoC (separation of concerns) important for service operation security?
  • What is the purpose of CSI?
  • What are the roles of the service desk?
  • What is a SLA, what function(s) does it perform?
  • Compare and contrast serviceability with maintainability.
  • In ITIL service operation, how are cost and reliability related?
  • What is the purpose of a service portfolio – what function does it provide?

In order to truly gain a more complete grasp over the material in any area of ITIL it is necessary to find a quality e-learning program.  It is imperative that your certification course not only provide all the relevant information required, but also do in a manner which truly facilitates comprehension / learning.  This excellent program covers everything one needs to achieve certification in the latest build of ITIL (2011).

Here’s to ITIL certification and future career opportunities!

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