Got an interview for a Geek Squad pos... any advice?

TrumandrummerTrumandrummer Taylor Michigan Icrontian
edited September 2010 in The Pub
Hey everyone,

I don't have any Certs yet. But I am going to school for Networking. I have built systems. I have experience in Linux/Windows, installing OS, etc etc. And about a year in Customer Service exp.

An odd chain of events landed me an interview for a geek squad position at my local Best Buy next Friday.

About a year ago, my job as a carpenter fell through. I was jobless for almost a year before I got a job at Kmart.

I currently work at Kmart (for 6 months now) and make minimum wage as a cashier.

I can't really stand the place. And last week, out of nowhere I quit. I still don't know why I quit, or how the thought even came into my mind. I just woke up one day, called into work and quit. Nowhere to go, no second job. I applied for the geek squad that very night.

The next morning I woke up and was hit with reality and a bunch of mixed feelings. I sat there for about an hour asking myself "why the hell did I just quit my job, when I have no other job right now?!?"

It actually made me really really depressed. So I went into my work and told them that I was not going to be quitting anymore and that I was sorry for the mishap. (I also felt like a total jerk)

Anyways, I got a call from Best Buy yesterday. I got an interview set up for next Friday. I know some people are not big fans of the geek squad, but it would be a lot better than what I have right now.

I just though it was all extremely odd. I wouldn't have even applied for the position if I wouldn't have randomly quit my job like I did.

Anyways. I feel as though I would be qualified for the position. But I am nervous. The only job interview that I ever had was Kmart (which was hardly an interview). I never had an interview for any of my other jobs. I just knew somebody that got me in.

I know that there was a few members here that work/worked for the geek squad.

What should I expect at the interview ?

How should I be prepared (other than the obvious, dress nice, arrive on time etc...) ?

Any tips, suggestions would be greatly, greatly, appreciated. :)



  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    At the very least, expect three interviews:

    One with the supervisor of that Geek Squad department.
    One with the Store Services Manager (SSM), who oversees all service-based products at that location.
    And one with the General Manager (GM), who oversees the entire store.

    The biggest push for Geek Squad now is to get GS employees out into the home office department to make sure customers buying new desktops and laptops are aware of what services Geek Squad can offer. These services might include uninstalling OEM crapware for a nominal fee, installing anti-virus/spyware protection, creating restore DVDs for the customers, and all the other little things that they quite likely don't know how to do themselves.

    Being enthusiastic about driving Geek Squad services in the home office department will put you leagues above the other folks applying for GS positions. The same will be true if you make it known that you are aware that Geek Squad is a brand that now encompasses more than computers, but extends into home theatre and home audio installations as well. Know that you will probably be expected to help with these services from time to time, and let your interviewers know that you're ready to learn about all of Geek Squad's services, so you can be a better "agent" (GS calls employees Agents) for customers and your potential store.

    As far as what to expect, it varies depending on the interviewer, but you should reasonably foresee questions about what potential culprits could cause "x" issue, where X might be blue screens, or boot failures. You might also be asked what kind of memory or hard disks would be ideal for a system of XYZ year.

    You will also be grilled, most likely by the GM, about loyalty, responsibility, timeliness and work ethic. Those things tend to be valued pretty highly by a store GM, because those qualities make or break a store, which ultimately reflects on him *and* his pay at year end. At the same time, there are also a great many ways where these things can positively effect *your* bottom dollar, too.

    I haven't worked there since the summer of 2006, but it paid well and offered very nice benefits during my time there. The store's management really, really determines whether or not it will be a great Geek Squad department to work for. I ultimately made it to assistant supervisor before I moved on, and I was blessed with a great chain of command at both stores I served along the way. The managers understood the value of not being pushy with customers and truly offering them only the services they really need.

    You can get a feel for what the store might be like by asking the store service manager what his expectations are when it comes time to offer services to a customer purchasing a new PC. If they seem outrageous, the store might not be all that great to work for.

    If you should get the job, make it your God-given duty to learn and understand a program called STAR. STAR is the application in which all products are checked into and out of Geek Squad, as well as scheduled for warranty repair with the many vendors BBY works with. Fucking something up in STAR is a major, major headache for several people, but someone who's genuinely good with STAR will look like a rockstar to everyone.

    Above all else, get in good with your SSM, as being friendly with the SSM can open a great many doors within Best Buy. Rapid progress is possible if you're a great employee, memorize store procedure (called "SOP") inside and out and work hard.

    Good luck.
  • TrumandrummerTrumandrummer Taylor Michigan Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    Thanks a lot Thrax.

    That is a very helpful post. :)

    Its nice to know a little of what to expect.

    I heard that some stores even do a troubleshooting/repair test.
    Where they might sit you down with a computer and tell you to see if you can figure it out. Did you have to do anything like that ?

    Someone said that his interviewer set him up with a laptop and a wireless router and told him that he had 30 minutes to hook it up. But they had secretly messed with the IP/DNS settings manually.

    Sounds pretty simple. I just don't want to get ahead of myself or get stumped because of nervousness.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    It's entirely possible. The interview process isn't codified, so the interview can be more or less advanced depending on how knowledgeable the GS supervisor or the SSM are about computers.

    When I interviewed, I got asked several questions about what I components would be compatible with a computer from certain eras. I also got asked questions about how to access sections of Windows commonly used for repair, including the registry, msconfig and hidden files. Finally, they asked me how to identify the source of things like blue screens, boot loops, etc. Basically, they wanted me to talk them through a theoretical troubleshooting process off the cuff.
  • TrumandrummerTrumandrummer Taylor Michigan Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    Well I went in for the interview.... just got back about an hour ago.

    They asked pretty much the same stuff the you said they would.

    BSOD questions, some questions about system restore. Different types of RAM. What a burnt capacitor looks like (pretty simple, but kinda surprised me).

    Asked about a difficult time when teaching someone on the computer. I teach my blind grandma how to use the computer and a program called Jaws that reads the screen to you. So that might look pretty good.

    Overall I think the interview went pretty good. I bombed a few questions that I know, and that I should have got. My mind just went blank.

    They asked me what a .xls file is, and I drew a blank. I know that its a Excel document. I just couldn't think of it for some reason.

    Id say that I answered most of the technical questions correctly.

    The only bad part is they had A LOT of people there waiting for interviews. She said she was interviewing most of the day. So I got a lot of competition.

    I hope I get that call sometime this weekend.....

    Thanks a lot for the help Thrax :). Knowing what to expect made it a lot easier. And cooled my nerves a little.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    Hope you get the job man. If you have the interviewers contact info remember to send a "thank you" email for the opportunity to interview for the position and you look forward to hearing from them soon.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    Good luck! Sounds like you were well prepared. That goes really, really far :)
  • TrumandrummerTrumandrummer Taylor Michigan Icrontian
    edited August 2010
    Thanks a lot guys. :)

    I don't have any contact info, but I did thank her before I left.
  • reelbigfishreelbigfish Boston, MA Member
    edited August 2010
    It may be a little late for comments on this, but I have to say that I enjoyed working at Best Buy in the Geek Squad for two years (2004-2006). I actually opened a new store and served as the Double Agent, which is the person who works in store and also goes out to perform house calls. Overall, the store I worked at had good management and was generally a fun place to work. The pay wasn't half bad either. It is certainly a good place to start and can lead to all kinds of possibilites when it comes time to move on.

    I would take it for what it is and try to learn as much about fix computers, time management and sales as you can. They are all valuable skills that can be used in a variety of positions.
  • TimTim Southwest PA Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    The prices at Geek Squad are nothing short of highway robbery. $30 to install a program, $20 or $30 to install a RAM stick, etc. I don't know how a Geek Squad employee can charge an old lady $100+ for some simple work that only takes a few minutes and still sleep at night.

    You should do there what I would do there. Give the customers extra. A LOT extra. Don't charge them for everything. Better yet, get them on the side and whisper "take your PC home, I'll come by later and do the work for half price myself". Slip them your own personal computer repair business card. Yes, I would do that.

    I have applied at Geek Squad several times, unfortunately, the first step in the application process is an online personality test.

    I've NEVER gotten an interview where I had to take a personality test first. And I've tried all sorts of ways to beat those tests too.

    Only give the most extreme answers, stay middle of the road on everything, answer how I think they want me to answer, I've even tried being completely honest. Nothing has worked yet.

    I wanted to pay someone to take the test for me on my computer, but they refused to do it. What's the big deal? :banghead:
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    Tim wrote:
    I've NEVER gotten an interview

  • TimTim Southwest PA Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    Yes, I know. Real surprising for me, huh? :D
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    Tim wrote:
    Yes, I know. Real surprising for me, huh? :D

  • CrazyJoeCrazyJoe Winter Springs, FL Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    Tim wrote:
    You should do there what I would do there. Give the customers extra. A LOT extra. Don't charge them for everything. Better yet, get them on the side and whisper "take your PC home, I'll come by later and do the work for half price myself". Slip them your own personal computer repair business card.

    You wouldn't work there very long if you did that.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    During my year long tenure at GS as repair tech, I learned the following things:

    The sup/manager is not always right. There will be times when he/she will ask you in all honesty to vastly overcharge. I ignored them and then did the 2 second work for free or informed the customer of the website, the file and process and sent them on their way. I was grateful to have a former services manager as the GM, who saw past the pure profit that GS is often treated as to offer actual value to customers.

    There ARE people who genuinely want services and will pay what seems to be far too much for those services, because they either don't want to be bothered with doing it themselves or really don't know and either "can't" or choose not to learn. You will make your money off these people. Sell them everything they want and offer the stuff they might not have considered.

    There are people who want to buy just a computer. Let them do it; you'll have to talk to them once and you will then know exactly what they want you to do for them: nothing. Look busy so that your sup/manager doesn't pester you about approaching them every five minutes because you will only break your chances at getting anything from them besides the low margin computer. Offer to show them accessories once, give them the services brochure and leave them be.

    Basically ignore what Tim said except for the first part, because they do charge too much (but you need to realize early on that you have absolutely no control over what you charge people, with the exception of your "version" of counter diagnostics ... I was once told to check in a computer for a full AD&R [$200] for what was clearly a video driver issue and promptly downloaded it for the client and told them to walk away from the counter and double-click the file)
  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian
    edited September 2010
    Tushon wrote:
    Basically ignore what Tim said

    QFT. Everywhere.
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