Are you looking for a job as a technician in an MSP? You should know that working in the IT industry has both advantages and challenges as well. A job in a managed service provider can be a great jumpstart to a career in the field.
Whether you are a candidate or a company seeking the best employee, you should know the top qualities of a support technician. Not everyone is suited for this job. Learn what it takes to be one of the top help desk technicians below!
IT technicians can increase their chances of getting hired by having an interest in the MSP field, immersing themselves in related technologies, practicing computer troubleshooting, and learning best practices of customer support and documentation.
MSPs are a great place to work as an IT technician, especially if you are looking for entry-level positions to start your career. Working at an MSP can bring many benefits, including flexible schedules and location independence. All our technicians at Support Adventure are fully remote, and location independent.
Hiring Process of Technicians in the MSP
If you want to work for an MSP, you need to know MSPs are hiring technicians for their business and what they are looking for in candidates.
What an MSP Is Looking for in the Technician & IT Support Specialist
Some MSPs prioritize the technical knowledge or experience of candidates over their customer service skills. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. If a candidate has a great personality and willingness to learn, an MSP could consider hiring this kind of person even without the necessary skills.
Nonetheless, technical skills and qualifications are still one of the main things MSPs are looking for when selecting a technician.
Technical Skills and Qualifications
Most MSPs know what skills and qualifications technicians need to have to get a job in their company. There are many various qualifications and certificates a technician can have, however, none of them is a straightforward requirement. In fact, most of the best IT workers are self-taught.
There are some skills, which are desired by the hiring MSP managers, including:
- Understanding modern technologies (Windows, Office 365, etc.)
- Having hands-on experience with technologies and computers
- Ability to learn quickly
- Ability to understand user’s needs and problems
- Ability to follow procedures accurately
- Relate technological aspects to the problems of users
The main skills a technician should have are computer troubleshooting and helping end users.
Moreover, skills vary, depending on which level of the technician (Level 1, 2, 3) MSPs are looking to hire. Requirements rise with higher levesl (read more about requirements below). As a beginner or less experienced technician, you should apply for an entry level or level 1 position.
A hiring manager might also want to know about your story with the technology, how you started to learn about computers, and what your experiences are. Is technology a personal interest of yours or have you forced yourself into this area due to some external pressure?
Experience is certainly important, but not always determinative in a candidate’s selection. MSPs would like to see applicants having a genuine interest in technology. Maybe the candidate engaged with technology as a child or a teenager, figuring it out and trying different things to fix issues.
They might spend their spare time downloading programs, reconstructing computers, installing software, etc. Such experiences show employers a natural ability to work with technology. Maybe you were the person who helped friends and family when they had a computer broken? MSP hiring managers like to hear these stories, if you have similar ones.
Nonetheless, many MSPs would like to hire a person with experience working in the business, particularly on a help desk, dealing with Microsoft technologies. Most companies want to hire people with experience in troubleshooting Windows, Cisco Networking, Office 365, and other cloud services.
For entry-level technicians, we would recommend first mastering Microsoft and Office 365. Sometimes companies would hire a motivated and quick-to-learn person, even without prior experience. In the end, having the ability to find quick answers on Google is valuable for this position.
Many MSP owners confirm that they are willing to hire an inexperienced applicant when having the right personality and motivation.
Some MSPs says: “We have only hired staff with no experience. We hire based on personality and drive. We can train a level 1 tech but you can’t train people to be nice. After about 3 months, technicians are “trained” enough to handle most level 1 tasks on their own.”
Sometimes it’s enough to know Office 365 to get a job as an IT support specialist or technician in the industry. Some MSPs would never hire a candidate without hands-on experience in related technologies, such as VMWare, Exchange, Active Directory, Networking, and VOIP.
Ability to Work in the Team
When hiring a technician, an MSP will ensure that you are a team player and can work with other people. Despite the technical aspects of the job, you must be able to work well with various staff members.
Moreover, if a candidate tends to be egoistic or to have a lone wolf mentality, he/she might have some troubles when getting a job at the MSP.
A technician is a tech employee with elements of customer service, hence having empathy is crucial for this job. Especially frontline engineers are expected to provide exceptional customer support, as they help customers and represent the companies they work for.
Ability to Learn
Other useful technical skills are creativity and the ability to find a solution to any problem. People in MSP can have different backgrounds. Creativity and problem-solving skills often come naturally independently from the professional past of the candidate.
The most successful frontline technicians and IT support specialists fall into one of these cases:
- They have experience working in high-pressure situations with customers.
- They think, react and resolve sudden problems quickly.
- They know the right things to say to calm down stressed-out clients.
- They are personable, friendly, and accommodating.
- They have experience in multitasking in various high-stakes situations.
- They can remain calm while dealing with significant people.
Although an IT technician is a tech-focused job, you must have some social skills in order to get a job at MSP.
Are you determined to work in an MSP? Read about the benefits of working at MSP in this article!
Questions a Technician Can Expect on the Interview
Every MSP has it’s own hiring and interviewing process, hence questions might vary from company to company. Overall, they want to learn more about you, your personality, skills, and experiences.
In an interview for a IT support specialists, an MSP might ask the following question:
- What do you love doing?
- What is your approach to customer service?
- How do you handle deadlines?
- How do you approach doing something you’ve never done?
- How do you handle a problem that is waiting on a vendor?
- How do you communicate with a team member when you have a differing opinion?
- How would you respond to being asked to do something by management that you feel is not the right course of action?
- How do you work in a team?
- How do you work independently?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? It might be growing to the management or remaining in a technical position
- Various questions about situational awareness
Additionally, for high-level engineers with experience, MSP will ask about their motivation and reasons to work for their companies.
Prepare for the interview
When preparing for the interview, you should do comprehensive research about the position and highlight the required skills. You could study the company’s website to understand its values and the technologies it deploys.
An MSP usually has different partnerships with firms that are showcased on the homepage, such as Cisco, Microsoft, etc. You might want to list questions about these technologies and how they can be implemented in the organization.
If a candidate prepares for the interview on this level, he/she could be in the top five percent of the applicants.
What Are the Main Requirements for a Technician in the MSP?
The main requirements for the technician in the MSP are:
- Being able to solve technical problems and work independently
- Being able to interact with the team
- Mentoring the junior staff members – for the senior technician
- Keeping good ticket notes and documentation
- Keeping all the passwords, addresses, network addresses, web addresses, license keys in order
However, requirements also range depending on the level of the technician, for example:
- Level 1 Technician – have some customer service experience and knowledge of software, printers, and mail requirements.
- Level 2 Technician – have great customer service experience and knowledge of networking, security, servers, PowerShell, and routers. Advanced troubleshooting.
- Level 3 Technician – have project work experience, knowledge of server setup, infrastructure, network engineering, virtualization, migrations, creating security policies, cybersecurity consultations.
Generally speaking, a level 1 engineer is a good entry job in the IT industry with promising career growth, and it’s also one of the easiest positions to get in an MSP.
Additionally, a Level 1 technician must be:
- team player
- good communicator
- customer and service orientated
Overall, level 1 technician / IT support specialist applying for the job at MSP should know:
- escalation process of ticket
- process of ticket notes
- clear description of the job
- documentation process
- structure of the company processes
Escalation processes, ticket notes, and documentation are generally provided by the MSP. You, on another side, will need to learn it and adopt it.
If you are curious to learn more about these topics, check out our Knowledge Hub and get familiar with the best practices we recommend for our MSP clients.
Importance of Knowing Technology in the MSP Space
One of the keys to success in the IT industry is knowing and mastering the right technology. Knowing the technology a certain MSP uses will help you immensely when applying for the job. However, the field is constantly improving and there is no way you will be able to know everything in advance.
In order to pass the interview at an MSP, an applicant needs to learn about the current technologies used by the company. Yet, inexperienced candidates might don’t know anything about a ticketing system, workflow rules, ITGlue documentation, or other documentation platforms.
Before applying for an IT engineer or help desk position at an MSP, you should surely learn about these aspects. Most importantly, you should educate yourself on ticketing systems and documentation tools.
Other technical aspects to pay attention to include:
- Different types of firewalls that are used in the IT industry
- Different versions of Windows servers
- The latest cloud technologies from Microsoft and Cisco
Let’s look at the list of all tools and programs MSPs are usually deploying. Generally, we recommend getting familiar with the most common software in the IT helpdesk environment, including:
- Microsoft Office 365
- PSA Systems (such as Connectwise, Autotask)
- RMM systems (such as Ninja RMM)
- Ticketing systems (such as FreshDesk, Zendesk)
- Network systems (such as Sonicwall, Cisco)
- Documentation Software (such as IT Glue)
An applicant who has knowledge about these technologies will most likely win over competitors. You can get experience and practical knowledge by:
- Doing your own research
- Testing tools and programs
- Fixing family and friend’s computers
- Sign up for courses and certifications
What Are the Main Tasks of a Technician in an MSP?
As a technician at the MSP, you will be required to work with technologies and people at the same time. Particularly, level 1 technicians need to provide excellent customer service, while also being competent in resolving the tech support issues among others.
The main task of the technician & IT support specialist in the MSP is to help clients with the technology. These include:
- Solving different service tickets e.g set up new users
- Working on a projects e.g implementing a new system of email for a company; install a new accounting program for the department
- Performing and keeping the documentation
- Applying patches e.g software updates and other maintenance tasks
- Accomplishing service requests according to the company procedures
- Provide clients customer service & support
- Review, update and keep track of tickets
- Check-in with the service manager or the supervisor
Applying for a Technician Job Without the Experience
What to do if you don’t have enough experience, skills, or certificates in the IT industry? Technicians could apply without experience in MSPs, however, priority is given to the candidates with a background in IT.
You will most likely want to search for help desk jobs and try to work your way up. Once you know some inside procedures, technology, setups, and common issues you have a chance to become a higher-level technician.
What Can You Do To Increase Chances on Hiring by the MSP?
One of the main elements of the hiring process in the MSP is an interview with a candidate. A well-prepared technician will most likely get the job. Here are some tips to prepare for interviews and beat the competition:
- Create a video introduction
- Demonstrate your knowledge practically
- Adopt culturally compatible attitude and manner