Adoption of the SharePoint platofrm is growing rapidly and for every new deployment there is a requirement for staff to support and maintain it. Identifying the necessary skills in potential new recruits for individuals who have not had sufficient experience with this relatively new and ever-changing platform is a real challenge. I have outlined some useful interview questions that will help you separate the knows from the nos. The roles required fall into three broad categories although they can easily overlap.
This will most likely be someone working for a consultancy company who will be tasked with gathering requirements and defining the goals for the SharePoint deployment. Then following that, defining the architecture for the deployment. This will include a knowledge of areas such as capacity planning, taxonomy, security and governance.
A question to ask this person in interview to test their knowledge is:
What is a Shared Service Provider? In what circumstances might you create more than one?
The Shared Service Provider in MOSS is where the administrator manages the Search crawling and indexing in the portal. It is also where the information from Active Directory is compiled. The reasons for having more than one would be to ensure information in a secure or sensitive part of your portal is not included in search results for the rest of the portal.
A SharePoint Developer will need more than ASP.NET 2.0 to perform this role well. SharePoint is a development platform in They will have to have learned the SharePoint Object Model, know how to create Web Parts Workflows and Features and Solutions. Here is a good question to ask someone you are assessing for a SharePoint developer position:
What are Features and Solutions and what is the difference between the two?
Features are a method for developers to package customisations and deploy them to the SharePoint portal. They can then be activated and deactivated at the Site Collection level. Solutions are a way to bundle features together for deployment.
The SharePoint administrator will be responsible for tasks like creating new Site Collections, granting access and monitoring the ongoing health of the server. They will need a good overall understanding of the architecture of SharePoint.
What is the difference between a Site Definition and a Site Template?
Site Definitions are stored on the hard drive of the SharePoint front end servers. They are used by the SharePoint application to generate the sites users can create. Site Templates are created by users as a copy of a site they have configured and modified so that they do not have to recreate lists, libraries, views and columns every time they need a new instance of a site.
Interviewing is an art more than a science but these questions should help you identify the strengths of anyone you interview for a SharePoint role.