Interview Questions for SQL DBA


  • Hi,

    Any one can briefly tell about the basic interview question's for sql dba.


    Monday, September 17, 2012 2:37 PM


  • Hi,

    Below I could give you some questions which may be asked.

    What is SQL server ACID?

    What is SQL isolation level?


    What is SQL high

    What is SQL index?

    SQL backup and restore basics.



    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 2:38 AM
  • Here is a few:

    1. The IT department policy for production database changes is that the developer requests it through email and the DBA responds with email when it's done.  If a developer comes to your cubicle and ask you personally to do a quick production change without email, will you do it?

    2. The processor is in 100% spin, nobody can get in. How do you get in and take control?

    3. How do you backup the database without effecting log shipping?

    4. How do you upload an Excel worksheet into the database?

    5. You get an external feed with ddmmyy dates. How do you convert the column to datetime?

    Blogposts on administration:

    Datetime conversion:

    Kalman Toth SQL SERVER 2012 & BI TRAINING
    New Book: Beginner Database Design & SQL Programming Using Microsoft SQL Server 2012

    Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:18 AM
  • I'll add my thoughts as well:

    It all depends on what you're looking for and at which level. A junior position shouldn't be expected to know as much as a senior position but should know the basics. If you're interviewing for knowledge then a few well prepared questions (not basic knowledge questions) would suffice. If you're interviewing for a good fit for your current team... then knowledge would be the first part but interacting with others and the team would be more appropriate questions.

    IMHO bad interview questions go like this:

    Question: What is a primary key?

    Question: A query is running slow - what's the problem?

    Question: We had an issue with XYZ - what's the problem?

    The reason I think they are terrible is because you aren't given enough information to make a snap decision NOR are you given the ability to do critical problem solving or root cause analysis.

    IMHO good questions for a junior position would be:

    Question: We have a very important financial database that has users in it from 8 am to 6 pm which generate a great deal of activity. We need to make sure we have good backups that allow up to 5 minutes of data loss. How would we accomplish an RPO of 5 minutes and RTO of 60 minutes given a full backup takes 15 minutes to complete?

    See the difference? You're giving information that would be readily available and it's a valid "you must critically think" question that involves backup and recovery knowledge, disaster recovery knowledge, business knowledge, and critical thinking/problem solving.

    Take a few minues and think what you're trying to accomplish bringing this person on, and formulate a plan around that. If I went to a company and had an interview where they asked me poor questions and that was considered the knowledge screen I *most likely* wouldn't accept an invitation to a second round of interviews. As a potential employee I wouldn't want to work for a company that couldn't be bothered to put in time or thought for the questions they asked, nor did they attempt to get to know me or my solution thinking abilities they wanted cut and dry answers that can easily be memorized.


    Sean Gallardy, MCC | Blog | Twitter

    Thursday, September 20, 2012 1:42 PM

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