SQL Server DBA Interview Q&A Part 2: The Answers

Last week, we asked you the questions, and this week we’ll talk about the answers.  We’ll discuss what we look for in a candidate – not just the written answers, but also the way they answer questions.  You’ll learn why you shouldn’t bluff, and why you should never, ever rate yourself a 10 on a 10-point scale.  We’ll even share our favorite questions that candidates asked US during the interviews in this 30-minute session.

Want more interview questions? Check out some of our past posts:

Developer, Sysadmin, and SQL Interview Questions

Good Tips for Interviewing Database Administrators

  • How to Hire Top Talent – First of all, you’re not the only one looking.  But guess what? You’re probably looking for the wrong person, and you’re almost certainly asking the wrong questions.
  • The Myth of the Perfectly Qualified Candidate – companies look for someone with exactly the right amount of experience – but what kind of employee has it?  I explain.
  • (SQL Server) Size Matters – how to determine if a DBA’s experience is right for your company.
  • Tips for Hiring a DBA – my thoughts after going through the interview process at a few companies.
  • Show Candidates Their Work Areas – and watch their reactions.  It’ll help you gauge if they’re a good fit for you, plus give you insight about your environment.

Interview Tips for Candidates

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No Substitute for Time, Experience, and Training

7 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for the info- I’ve been struggling with nailing my interviews and it’s refreshing to see other people in the industry posting tips and information. Thanks for your blog, it is very informative.

  • Hi Kendra, hi Brent,

    thank you for sharing. This video is not only useful for those who want to run interviews.
    I used this video as a refreshment of a few things and also learned a little bit new as well.
    Regarding Q20 I probably would have quoted Klaus Aschenbrenner: “TempDB is the public toilet of SQL Server”. No idea how you would react on this 🙂

    Regards and have a great weekend

  • Marios Philippopoulos
    January 6, 2014 4:55 am

    Hi Brent and Kendra,

    Thank you for the valuable info contained in the video.
    One thing I noticed was not mentioned in the question regarding performance of vendor apps was checking if regular maintenance (index defrags, update-stats) is set up on that system. Often, after that has been set up, performance improves.

    This probably the least intrusive way of addressing performance issues with vendor apps.

    Marios Philippopoulos

  • Fhatuwani Denali
    May 29, 2014 8:01 am

    Thanks for the video, it has given me some insight as i will be haeding for the interview soon.
    However the link regarding the checklist for the server is down question,
    there link you supplied seems to not exist:-
    https://www.brentozar.com/go/firstresponder…Please repost the check list if possible.
    otherwise this video is very well presented ad thank you.


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