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Who Do You Want To Hire? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:43 PM


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Comments posted here are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/sjones/2686.asp






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Post #319474
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 8:41 AM
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Sometimes interpersonal relationship can be very subjective.  In some cases you can say it is woman intuition that I do not like some people without talking to them.

When I interview people, I try not to be subjective.  Recently I interviewed a man and I knew we would not get along, but his skill was perfect for the job.  So I recommended him.  He got hired.  It was 6 months ago.  Since then even we work on the same team, we never interact.  We seldom talk to each other.  Talking about teamwork !!!!! 

Post #319963
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 9:13 AM


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Well said Steve. 

I always have a list of questions that run the whole range.  Covering everthing from Logical Scan Density to logical design concepts.  I tell every interviewee that I don't expect them to get all the questions (and that I probably couldn't answer them all off the top of my head). 

Having to answer tough questions under pressure not only tells you where the candidates knowledge and experience are, but it tends to tell you quite a bit about the person.




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If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. -Friedrich August von Hayek



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Post #319987
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 9:26 AM
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I'm fortunate in as much as I usually only get to pose the technical questions - senior managers do the rest. As I usually work within production environments I have two methods of asking questions and one technique!

My first area is what is contained within the cv or what the interviewee has claimed to have achieved .. I will drill into specific areas to see if they really know ..  failures include claims to have configured extra memory when the subject didn't understand awe or the switches in boot.ini

I think it's important to make sure the cv has some truth within it, I look for statements which start with I.

My other area is to ask questions I hope the subject can't answer and the technique I employ is to jump from one aspect to another - no progression - this in an attempt to understand the processes the subject will follow to reach the answer ( with prompting ) and is intended to get a feel for how they might react in a pressured situation. It's very unkind I guess, but it is intended to be so, as a DBA I don't know all the answers and often have to react or think on my feet ( or however you wish to describe it ) in adverse situations. This approach often brings out other characteristics, for example one candidate became very aggressive - not likely to be good in a pressured situation!!!

For a development DBA then factors are obviously different. I'd like to consider I'm totally oblivious to race, gender, age etc. but it can be difficult at times and sometimes langauge difficulties can be of concern.

It's a difficult area - good article Steve.



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Post #319997
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 10:20 AM


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Thanks and hope it gets people thinking. I'm up in the air as to whether I should have a standard list of questions or vary by interviewee.

It's hard to figure out and I've gone back and forth. Definitely anything on the resume is fair game and it's good to know if they are being honest.







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Post #320023
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 10:57 AM


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I have pretty well settled on a standard (but evolving) list of questions that I have available.  However, unless I'm really grilling a senior level candidate I won't ask them all.  I'll also frequently ask follow-up questions that aren't on the list to drill deeper if necessary.

So my list isn't so much a scripted dialoge, as it is a crib sheet for me.

I also included brief answers or at least high points that should be hit upon by the candidate so that other people involved in the interview process can follow along.




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If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. -Friedrich August von Hayek



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Post #320038
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 12:29 PM
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I used to work for a company, when the supervisor interviewed people, he would ask a whole bunch of technical question about the database.  Then he would ask a IQ question - liked why was the pothole round not square?  I never understood why.  However when he interviewed me, he forgot to me the IQ question, otherwise I would never get the job. Actually I did not know if it was good or bad, I ended up working for that company for 8 months.

IQ question - actually this was from Bill Gates, he said if anyone could answer this question in 5 minutes, then the person was capable working for him, otherwise, forget it.  I could not answer this question so I could never work for Microsoft !   My eight years old son answered this question correctly but it took him half a day.

There are two rooms seperated by a wall.  One room has 3 switch, one room has three lamp.  How can you tell which switch belong to which lamp?  You can only go to look at the room once.

 

 

Post #320063
Posted Friday, November 3, 2006 2:25 AM
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It's the process of attempting to resolve the question that is of interest to the interviewer not the answer.You wouldn't believe how hard it can be to lead someone to using the internet to solve a mystery error message or problem, for example.

Some typical sql problems I've been asked are:-

ALL the different ways to eliminate duplicate data in a table

How many ways to get data into SQL Server

I think basing some questions around the cv is important to establish clear experience, it's quite possible to infer skills which are not actually there, for instance I'm looking at 2005 Analysis services ( I did a lot of 2k years ago ) I could list this on my cv, but I don't have any real production experience of it - questions could establish this.



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Post #320209
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