Saying you "know mainframes" is like my sister expecting me to fix her laptop because I "know computers". I have 30 years experience with MVS but don't really know COBOL and never used a database. I suspect I'd flunk a generic interview - and the interviewer would lose a chance at a great asset. You'll need to be much more specific in your quest. If it's just someone in personnel asking questions they won't understand the answers to, then I guess it doesn't matter though.
Joined: 06 Jun 2008 Posts: 8231 Location: Dubuque, Iowa, USA
By experience level i mean experience in Vanila Mainframes.
Your basic problem here is you're asking something that is pretty much beyond definition. There is no such thing as "experience in Vanila (sic) Mainframes". A person may have experience in applications, systems, maintenance, or operations -- all of which areas require extremely different skill sets, and there's almost no questions that can encompass all the skills.
Furthermore, to take applications as an example: COBOL, PL/I, Assembler or another language? VSAM -- or DB2 or Oracle or IMS or IDMS or one of the other many data base packages available on the mainframe? CICS or Intertest or another online system? Source management using CA-Librarian, Pan Valet, Changeman, or Endevor? Program entry through TSO, ROSCOE, or another facility? Banking, manufacturing, accounting, HR, sales, or inventory applications (just a few of the many)? There's over 1,000 possible ways to combine these so your list of questions -- without even considering experience level -- has already hit several thousand questions.
Joined: 22 Apr 2006 Posts: 6258 Location: Mumbai, India
Well, the probelm is ("I" in the next sentence is a job-seeker in Indian-IT-market)- "I'm searching for jobs and my interviewer himself puts up a question, "What are your skills, do you know vanilla mainframes?" and my reaction is - what's the hell is that? And then I put a question on forums with a hope."
I agree with Robert - a candidate may have experience in applications, systems, maintenance, or operations. When I take an interview then if the interview is for the post of Manager, I refuse to take it and if it is for Application Developers, it is necessary to know for what position they are being hired. But I don't seem to recall if I categorize any specific question, this depends at the state of mind of that moment.