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HS1
November 1st, 2006, 03:43 AM
I have to interview some candidates, and looking for a standard TEST which I can use to evaluate the candidates for the job. Does any one has something like this. Standard Q&A will be appreciated.

dchartier
November 1st, 2006, 04:14 AM
Hello HS1;

What position do you wish to fill? What qualities/knowledge do you need to find in your candidates?
There was a post recently on this forum on standard electrical tests, maybe that can help you evaluate basic knowledge of technical savvy of your candidates.
Hope this helps,
Daniel Chartier

HS1
November 1st, 2006, 04:21 AM
The position is a PLC engineer who will be responsible to carry on SW, and HW engineering and implementation as well as site activities (commissioning and startup) He will be sole player per project reporting to project manager.

HS1
November 1st, 2006, 05:27 AM
The position is a PLC engineer who will be responsible to carry on SW, and HW engineering and implementation as well as site activities (commissioning and startup) He will be sole player per project reporting to project manager.

dchartier
November 1st, 2006, 05:48 AM
Hello HS1;

Here is a link to the threasd I was talking about earlier:
http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/showthread.php?t=25787&referrerid=3176

Not exactly a standard test but lots of excellent ideas. I hope none of them are copywrited...

Remember that on top of technical and programming savy you seem to be looking for someone with experience, independence, creativity and responsability. This cannot be evaluated with a test, and it is critical that you choose well; a person with these qualities can actually be very hard to work with...
Hope this helps,
Daniel Chartier

john paley
November 1st, 2006, 06:33 AM
I don't have a test, but I wrote one, once, for a former employer.

Everything should be included--Logic (PLC questions), electrical knowledge (sink/source questions are always fun), schematic knowledge (symbols), device knowledge (what is an I/P transducer?), etc. I even included schematics and PLC printout of one of our simpler machines and asked questions like "What does it mean when PL3 flashes?

Make the test very difficult. You don't want anybody to ace it. Tell them that before they take it--they're not expected to ace it.

The average score on my test was about 65%. One person out of 14 made more than 90%. It was very difficult. If everybody aces the test, there's no ruler to measure one candidate's knowledge as opposed the rest.

hesham
November 1st, 2006, 06:59 AM
Dear HS1

To Be a PLC engineer and sole player in the project you should now the following
1- How to make the site survay and determine exactly your needs for this project .
2-to have the ability to configure the requiered PLC for the project including DI,DO,AI,AO,Special Modules,Communication...etc
3-You should know at least one of the PLC programming langauges.
4-you should have the ability to prepare paper works such as I_O list,Cable Sheets,Cable Routes,Tag list,PLC Addresses---etc.
5-You should now haow to deal with different kind of sensors,transmiiters and different Field devices.
5-you should know about the commissioning and start up procedures like I_o testing,cable testing, Dry run for motors...etc
I which all the best of luck

Paul T
November 1st, 2006, 07:03 AM
Huh. I did one of those tests once, years ago. It was fun. If this is a maintenance position, then ok it's a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

If you're looking for a developer, why not review a program that the candidate has written? This lets you evaluate:

- development style (is it suited to your company?)
- technical expertise (organized code? Consistent/sensible tag names? Comments? Comments that actually help in understanding the logic?? <g!>)
- maybe most important, ability to communicate and work with others in your group

I have never gone to an interview without examples of my work; if the candidate shows up empty handed, that may be a screen right there. I honestly think that you get more out of a code walkthru than a test; even if the candidate can identify the ingredients, it doesn't mean you're going to like the way it tastes!

Batton
February 2nd, 2007, 09:57 AM
I have also been trying to come up with a brief set of questions/answers that will help me determine if a candidate has knowledge of controls. I am an engineering recruiter working with Automation integrators as clients. They ask me to send them candidates who are able to do what their resume states. Unfortunately, I am not technically qualified to determine the capabilies of a candidate.
Is anyone able to come up with 6-10 questions and answers regarding controls hardware (Allen Bradley) that would help tell me if a person is at least knowledgeable enough to be technically conversant at an interview for a Controls Engineer position?
Thanks.

geniusintraining
February 2nd, 2007, 10:06 AM
Read this thread there are several good ones in here

http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/showthread.php?t=24778

doug2
February 2nd, 2007, 10:09 AM
Hello HS1;

Remember that on top of technical and programming savy you seem to be looking for someone with experience, independence, creativity and responsability. This cannot be evaluated with a test, and it is critical that you choose well; a person with these qualities can actually be very hard to work with...

Daniel Chartier

ouch!

Peter Nachtwey
February 2nd, 2007, 10:15 AM
I would take the candidate on a tour of the plant and then ask how he would control it. The nitty gritty details of the PLC are not as important as understanding what is being controlled. In the past I have listened to the questions asked while taking the tour. The questions can be just as enlighting as the answers.

Steve Bailey
February 2nd, 2007, 10:29 AM
I am an engineering recruiter working with Automation integrators as clients. They ask me to send them candidates who are able to do what their resume states. Unfortunately, I am not technically qualified to determine the capabilies of a candidate.


Excuse me for saying this, but perhaps someone should have given you a test before hiring you. It appears you have a job for which you're not qualified.

geniusintraining
February 2nd, 2007, 10:53 AM
He's a recruiter , his job is to recruit, not repair, install, etc.

I have done many interviews that I wished that someone would of given them the test before they got to me...

Edit: Batton, next time start a new thread, you may have better luck

Mickey
February 2nd, 2007, 11:02 AM
Quote:
I am an engineering recruiter working with Automation integrators as clients. They ask me to send them candidates who are able to do what their resume states. Unfortunately, I am not technically qualified to determine the capabilies of a candidate.




Excuse me for saying this, but perhaps someone should have given you a test before hiring you. It appears you have a job for which you're not qualified.

Steve;
The amazing part of his statment is he admitted it. Very unusual
for recruiter and HR types. I give him credit for that.

Batton
February 2nd, 2007, 11:13 AM
I agree with geniusintraining:)

Steve Bailey
February 2nd, 2007, 11:18 AM
He's a recruiter , his job is to recruit, not repair, install, etc.
IMHO, a recruiter should know enough about the postions for which he/she is recruiting to be able to make an informed judgement about the candidates. The client is paying the recruiting firm to screen out unqualified applicants so that the candidates who are invited to interview have a reasonable expectation of being able to do the job. I don't believe that administering a standardized test and calculating the candidate's score fits the definition of "informed judgenment". If it were that simple, there would be no need for a company to outsource the screeing process to recruiting firms.

doug2
February 2nd, 2007, 11:19 AM
We are in a very specialized field. When I speak to engineers (managers included) that are not controls guys I am pretty impressed if the even know the buzz words let alone any details about what we do. Now if the head hunter only deals with integrators and controls engineers that may be a different story. I would expect more out of him in that case.

Batton
February 2nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
This thread will probably veer off into a list of reasons why recruiters are *******s :)

I am trying to add a tool that will help save my clients time during the interview and screening process. It's something to evaluate along with a resume, references, etc.

Steve Bailey
February 2nd, 2007, 12:16 PM
I have no intention of dumping anything onto recruiters. At their worst, they earn whatever scorn and ridicule comes their way. At their best, they provide a valuable service. The majority fall somewhere in between.

In my opinion, trying to find a standardized test for the controls field is an exercise in futility. For one reason, the test you would give for a Controls Engineer in a wastewater treatment plant would be different than the test for a Controls Engineer for an OEM of capital machinery. For another, the field is constantly changing. Questions that were important a year ago may be less so today and totally irrelevant a year from now.

In my opinion, the most important thing you, as a recruiter, can do to add more value to the services you render to your clients is to develop enough understanding of the fields for which you are screening candidates to be able to make that informed judgement I mentioned in my earlier post. I applaud your initiative and apologize that my inner curmudgeon got the better of me in my first response.

akreel
February 2nd, 2007, 02:01 PM
I'm not sure I'd be upset if I didn't get hired at a company that tried to hand me a test for an interview. It shows me that they have no appreciation or understanding of what controls engineers do.

Few people get what we do. They don't understand what it takes to write or design controls that work almost all the time and crash safely when they fail. I used to think that I could teach anyone to do my job, it seems so easy. I've seen enough really bad code to know better now.

I like Peter's approach. I'd also give the candidate an opportunity to talk about their past successes and failures. I'd be listening to see if this person has a genuine interest in the work. I'd also be trying to establish how determined they are to solve problems.