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Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 12:04 PM


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SKYBVI (5/25/2012)
Hi,
I have been studying SQL Server DBA interview questions from the net and find these questions in wich I am unclear of the solutions :-

1) If a database goes down for whatever reason (assume data file is corrupt) and the database cannot be brought back online (i.e. you are in a recovery situation), what must be done first to ensure you can retrieve the latest data modifications assuming the database is set to the FULL recovery model?

ans :- meanwhile connect to the log shipping server.

2) What can you do to guarantee any backup is valid?

ans :- restore verifyonly from backup


Just looking at these two questions, and the answers you've posted, I would be very very careful about just accepting these answers blindly. Question one makes particular assumptions about a business's environment setup and question two... Wow. I can count three ways (right now) that that assumption can get a person fired.

If you want to interview for a DBA position, I suggest buying a developer copy and playing with it until you break several things. Because I would not hire someone who answered those questions with those answers.


Brandie Tarvin, MCITP Database Administrator

Webpage: http://www.BrandieTarvin.net
LiveJournal Blog: http://brandietarvin.livejournal.com/
On LinkedIn!, Google+, and Twitter.

Freelance Writer: Shadowrun
Latchkeys: Nevermore, Latchkeys: The Bootleg War, and Latchkeys: Roscoes in the Night are now available on Nook and Kindle.
Post #1308527
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 12:18 PM


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Brandie Tarvin (5/30/2012)
If you want to interview for a DBA position, I suggest buying a developer copy and playing with it until you break several things. Because I would not hire someone who answered those questions with those answers.


Me neither...



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
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Post #1308534
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 1:58 PM


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Brandie Tarvin (5/30/2012)
SKYBVI (5/25/2012)
Hi,
I have been studying SQL Server DBA interview questions from the net and find these questions in wich I am unclear of the solutions :-

1) If a database goes down for whatever reason (assume data file is corrupt) and the database cannot be brought back online (i.e. you are in a recovery situation), what must be done first to ensure you can retrieve the latest data modifications assuming the database is set to the FULL recovery model?

ans :- meanwhile connect to the log shipping server.

2) What can you do to guarantee any backup is valid?

ans :- restore verifyonly from backup


Just looking at these two questions, and the answers you've posted, I would be very very careful about just accepting these answers blindly. Question one makes particular assumptions about a business's environment setup and question two... Wow. I can count three ways (right now) that that assumption can get a person fired.

If you want to interview for a DBA position, I suggest buying a developer copy and playing with it until you break several things. Because I would not hire someone who answered those questions with those answers.



Then why there are so many links for SQL Server DBA interview questions , if ONLY practical test was the sole judgement/hiring criteria ??

Regards,
Skybvi
Post #1308590
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:07 PM


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SKYBVI (5/30/2012)
Then why there are so many links for SQL Server DBA interview questions


Because there are lots and lots of people who want to cheat their way to a job they can't do, lots of people willing to help them and unfortunately lots of interviewers who can't tell the difference

Like with exam prep guides, they're fine for revising, seeing what you don't know, etc, but they need to be backed by practical experience.



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1308596
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:54 PM


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And sometimes, it depends...

For #1 (where is are the latest database changes recorded and what would you do to preserve that particular piece of disk?)

For #2, it depends. The answer you gave will verify that your backup matches your database, but if your database is corrupted, you might just be backing up corruption. See Grant Fritchey's excellent backup article on this site. Hint (your backups are only as good as your restores).

For #3 I've run out of clever hints and must fall back on the general consensus that Google is your friend (or even a search on SSC).

And generally, it's a better idea to learn how to search for these answers yourself than have people give them to you. I'm willing to bet that you'll hit one of these interesting dilemas some night when most of the Illuminatti are asleep (well maybe not Gail), and you'll be in a complete mess without the ability to hide from the red glowing eyes of your Boss (who thought he was hiring an experienced DBA).

Look up the answers, post what you think they are, and maybe someone will jump in and correct you if you're off base.




And then again, I might be wrong ...
David Webb
Post #1308640
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 3:08 PM


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David Webb-200187 (5/30/2012)
For #2, it depends. The answer you gave will verify that your backup matches your database


Doesn't even do that (unless the backup was taken with a specific option). It just verifies the backup header and a few other bits of the backup file.



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1308650
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:29 PM


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Thanks, Gail. I learn something new every time I visit.



And then again, I might be wrong ...
David Webb
Post #1308695
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:23 AM


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SKYBVI (5/30/2012)
Brandie Tarvin (5/30/2012)
SKYBVI (5/25/2012)
Hi,
I have been studying SQL Server DBA interview questions from the net and find these questions in wich I am unclear of the solutions :-

1) If a database goes down for whatever reason (assume data file is corrupt) and the database cannot be brought back online (i.e. you are in a recovery situation), what must be done first to ensure you can retrieve the latest data modifications assuming the database is set to the FULL recovery model?

ans :- meanwhile connect to the log shipping server.

2) What can you do to guarantee any backup is valid?

ans :- restore verifyonly from backup


Just looking at these two questions, and the answers you've posted, I would be very very careful about just accepting these answers blindly. Question one makes particular assumptions about a business's environment setup and question two... Wow. I can count three ways (right now) that that assumption can get a person fired.

If you want to interview for a DBA position, I suggest buying a developer copy and playing with it until you break several things. Because I would not hire someone who answered those questions with those answers.



Then why there are so many links for SQL Server DBA interview questions , if ONLY practical test was the sole judgement/hiring criteria ??


Practical tests aren't the only judgment / hiring criteria. There is a lot more to getting through an interview than a cert test. Part of it is social skills. Part of it is whether or not the candidate is honest about their abilities. Part of it is past experience. The cert test only plays a part if the company wants a cert or if the person is coming from a non-IT background (like me). And a lot of interviewers will make the candidate solve real life problems to verify that they have the skills they claim to have.

Answering those questions the way you are proves to me that you don't have the RL experience I'd expect someone to have. It's one thing if you come to me saying "I only know what I learned in my home office setup." It's another thing if you're telling me you know from disaster recovery and backups and then give me THOSE answers. Because then I know you don't know what you're talking about.

EDIT: I should note that a lot of us who are involved in the hiring process are okay with the prospective employee saying the words "I don't know, but I can find out" or "I don't know, but I can learn that." No one knows everything and we expect there to be gaps, especially if it is a junior DBA position. It's someone coming in and acting like their skill level is a 9 (on a 1 to 10 scale) and only having a 1 or a 2 level ability that bothers us.

If you learn the material (do your research well) and practice it with a Dev copy of SQL, you are ahead of the game. If you are honest about what you can do and what you've only read about, you are ahead of the game. The days of faking one's way into a DBA job are pretty much over. Someone doing that might still get a job, in a one-DBA shop where they have to handle every crisis, including basic server administration. But not in a bigger environment where managers have learned to recognize the experienced from the non-experienced candidates.


Brandie Tarvin, MCITP Database Administrator

Webpage: http://www.BrandieTarvin.net
LiveJournal Blog: http://brandietarvin.livejournal.com/
On LinkedIn!, Google+, and Twitter.

Freelance Writer: Shadowrun
Latchkeys: Nevermore, Latchkeys: The Bootleg War, and Latchkeys: Roscoes in the Night are now available on Nook and Kindle.
Post #1308857
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:42 AM
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Brandie Tarvin (5/31/2012)

EDIT: I should note that a lot of us who are involved in the hiring process are okay with the prospective employee saying the words "I don't know, but I can find out" or "I don't know, but I can learn that." No one knows everything and we expect there to be gaps, especially if it is a junior DBA position. It's someone coming in and acting like their skill level is a 9 (on a 1 to 10 scale) and only having a 1 or a 2 level ability that bothers us.


I'm currently interviewing for several positions. The first thing I'm looking for is if someone is trying to inflate their skill set. I would *much* rather have someone tell me what their honest experience is - and, if they don't know, respond with "I don't know, but here's the way I'd go about handling that situation to get the information I'd need" than try to pretend they know. The person with less experience but who is honest about their answers is going to go a lot further than someone who thinks that the questions I'm asking are 100% about technical skills.

More often than not, I'm interested in how they handle questions that involve working in team environments, collaborating with others on the team, researching new issues, where they draw the line between "figure it out myself" and "ask for help", and how they're going to keep me informed about what's going on.

I'm also interested in the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with me and our user community.

Technical skills can be learned far more easily than those last two.


-Ki
Post #1308993
Posted Monday, June 4, 2012 12:47 AM


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Some questions whcih were asked by interviewers :-

1) Why clustered index are only 1 and non clustered indexes are many?
Also, if for a table we have just non clustered indexes and no clustered index, will the performance be good or
bad ?

2) If you are backing up your databases in this way...
1 full backup daily and rest all transaction logs every half an hour daily.
and u want to restore and you notice 1 transaction log in between is damaged.
can you recover all of your data ?

3) What differences you note when u install 2005 and 2008 standard editions.

4) In log shipping, if you have a 1 tb db on primary and on secondary the drive is being getting full by logs.
What can you do( on secondary) other than increasing the disk drive space to accomodate the logs?

5) In merge replication, what will happen if there are many push updates from both publisher and subscriber at same times/ many transactions occuring at same time?

Regards,
Skybvi
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