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The Voice of the DBA

Good and Bad Interview Questions

Why is a manhole cover round? How many cows are in Canada? How would you cure world hunger?

There's no shortage of strange interview questions you might be asked in the tech world. If you like these questions, and want to interview, or be interviewed in this way, grab a copy of How Would You Move Mount Fuji and start studying. These are the types of questions that Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and many other tech companies have been asking candidates for years. Since so many technology people read about the practices from these companies, I wouldn't be surprised if many of you had been asked these types of questions in other interviews.

Personally I've never been asked any of these strange questions, and am not sure how I'd respond. My interviews have often been very technical, but have included a number of "how would you.." or "tell me about a time when.." questions. However ultimately I'd like to think that my soft skills, and my social skills came through positively and that was the reason I often received job offers.

Many IT managers are starting to feel that these types of questions, and even highly technical questions, aren't the best way to evaluate a candidate. Hiring costs are up, both in direct costs spent on finding people and the indirect costs of the lost work from current employees interviewing people. There is pressure to hire well, and find people that can be productive. It seems that many managers are starting to look to evaluate candidates in other ways beyond the technical skills. Those skills are important, but not necessarily more important than soft skills.

That's been the way I've looked at hiring for years. I can often teach someone technical skills, but I can't teach them to fit in with a group, or be a team player, or even just be someone that won't annoy the rest of the team. Those social fits are very important if you want your team to function well together, providing support, help, and inspiration to each other.

Building culture is hard, and while technical skills are important, employees that bond together help push each other to do better work for the team. Employees that dislike each other can bring down overall quality and coordination very quickly. The sooner managers learn that, and learn to respect employees while challenging them, the sooner their departments will start to shine.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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Featured Contents

 

Monitoring job history using Reporting Services

Tomaz Kastrun from SQLServerCentral.com

Easily monitoring your SQL Agent job history using SSRS for concurrency, job lenght and job status. More »


 

Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help

Jeff Moden from SQLServerCentral.com

Get correct answers to your SQL forum questions faster by making it easier to load your sample data and read your code. More »


 

Getting Data between Excel and SQL Server using ODBC

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

With ODBC, you can summarise, and select just the data you need, in an Excel workbook before importing it into SQL Server. You can join data from different areas or worksheets. You can even get data from the result of a SQL Server SELECT statement into an Excel spreadsheet. Phil Factor shows how, and warns of some of the pitfalls. More »


 

From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Actual Emails: TL;DR: Stop using varchar(max)

william_a_dba from SQLServerCentral.com

Wrote this email recently to a crew of developers who were shooting themselves in the foot with a database rich... More »


 

From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - SQLSaturday #250 in Pittsburgh

SQLSandwiches from SQLServerCentral.com

Welcome to SQLSaturday #250 in Pittsburgh http://www.sqlsaturday.com/250/ SQLSaturday is a full day FREE  training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn more about SQL... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

If you are working with Filestream and delete a number of files, they might not be removed immediately. How can you force this garbage collection to occur right away?

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SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes is an example-based guide to the Transact-SQL language that is at the core of SQL Server 2012. It provides ready-to-implement solutions to common programming and database administration tasks. Learn to create databases, insert and update data, generate reports, secure your data, and more. Tasks and their solutions are broken down into a problem/solution format that is quick and easy to read so that you can get the job done fast when the pressure is on. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Vinay Kulkarni):

What technique is used by the SQL Server to maintain Durability of Transactions?

Answer: Write Ahead Logging

Explanation: Write Ahead Logging (WAL) maintains the Durability part of the ACID property by ensuring that "log record" pertaining to a data modification is first written to disk before the data modification is written to the respective data pages on disk. Further information could be found at the

Technet Article - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186259(v=sql.105).aspx


» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

Featured Script

Kill User Processes Per Database or Server Wide

Paul Andrew from SQLServerCentral.com

Just another handy DBA script I find myself using on our warehouses.

  • Set the @DatabaseOrServerWide parameter to either D or S depending on which processes you want to kill.
  • Set the @DatabaseName parameter if using D with the database name you wish to focus on.
  • Execute the script.

Note; the script executes any sa processes.

Thanks for looking.

More »

Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

SQL Server 2014 : Administration - SQL Server 2014

Execution Plan Drilldown Issue - I am trying to list the execution plan in xml (SET SHOWPLAN ON) of a given sp in a query...


SQL Server 2014 : Development - SQL Server 2014

Need a Query where with case statement - This Query is not working please help........ select * from tbl e INNER JOIN LKUP L ON e.ID=L.LKUP_ID WHERE CASE WHEN ISNULL(DATEPART(YY,(SU_DT)),0)=2014 OR...


SQL Server 2012 : SQL 2012 - General

what is the best way to copy database from 2012 to 2008r2 - Hi Everyone I am asked to copy and move database from 2012 instance to 2008r2 instance; those are on separate VM(virtual...

How to tell if instance is MSDN licenced or not - Hi, I've been evaluating SQL Server 2012 for a while now and have started to use it in production. I am...

Two languages for full text search. - Hi, we have a column in a table in wich data is stored in a varbinary(max) field. The data is stored in...

Minimum Active Directory required for SQL Server 2012 Enterprise - I have had a request from our Network Admin as to "what is the minimum level of Active Directory required...

AAG Backup - Hi all I have 2 doubts on this can anyone please clarify: On primary for system database backup I have...

SQL Refactor Studio - useful addin for Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2012 - Good day! We would like to present you SQL Refactor Studio [url]http://sqlrefactorstudio.com[/url] - Addin for Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2012 (SSMS). This...

SSIS 2012 Log Provider for SQL Server displays progress error when logging messages using shared project OLE DB connection - Hi All I am building a SSIS project using the Project Deployment model of SSIS 2012. I am configuring package level...

SSIS 2005 --> SSIS 2012 (ActiveX Script gone?) - Hello everybody, I need someone to point me in the right direction: We are in the process of converting SSIS packages from...


SQL Server 2012 : SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL

Need to alter my code to show limited Info - I am trying to write a query to show by regions the top 4 languages spoken there. How can I...

Is there any way to turn of parsing? - Hi, I'm writing a script that will gather server information from different versions of SQL, starting from 2005. I cannot run the...

Msg 245, Level 16, State 1, Line 244 Conversion failed when converting the varchar value '2013-02-25' to data type int. - Hi Guys I got a table that I have created I'm trying to insert data to that table:And I'm using...

how to send a email before one day of myselecteddate. - Hi All, I have a table with one column as date field myselecteddate. If the current date is one day before...

how to combine more than one SET operator correctly, to solve problem - It's come to my attention, from taking SQL Server 2012 practice tests, that I don't know how to combine SET...

MDX/SSRS Chart Question - I have the following MDX query pulling information for a chart that shows hours worked (Values) by month (Category Group)...

How to Split String - Good Morning Guys, Is There a simple way of splitting A Space Delimited String and putting it into 2 separate fields (e.G....


SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 - General

Executa a Job When Replication ends - Grettings, I need to know if I can execute a Job when a replication ends but by a automatic way. It...

sql 2008 r2 cluster installation failed - While installing sql 2008 r2 cluster ,it failed with below error. " microsoft sql server 2008 r2 cluster setup attempted to perform...

Caclulating two-tailed Student's t-distribution - I would like to calculate the two-tailed Student's t-distribution from within T-SQL. Excel does this with it's TINV() function. I...

TSQL QUERY HELP - Can anybody help with the following query: Basically its returning 100% when all records are populated and 0% when only some...

Trimming column values in place (without temporary tables, etc) - I have four tables containing the regular chars and varchars. Unfortunately, no one bothered to trim the values of white...

sqlcmd and XML ON - I've been given a script that is similar to following. This script is saved out to a network share and...

Merge_Replication_Tables_Not_In_Sync(MSmerge_tombstone) - We've merge replication configured in our environment(1 Publisher, 3 Subscribers) and We know by default merge replication is bi-directional. Its...

SQL 2008 R2 Replication with database/table collation change - I have a transactional replication setup with a database with a collation of Arabic_CS_AS however, when setting up the subscriber...

Log Shipping using Virtual Servers - Good morning all, I'm looking at implementing log shipping on two virtual servers running VMWare and SQL Server 2008 R2 (Standard)...

comparision - Hi, I have a table with column name is [u]proposaldata[/u] 123456 542213 and other table column is [u]proposaldata[/u] 000123456 000542213 so i need to compare to this...

Update Script to handle databases where Inactive - Hi, I am looking to find script that works for updates to handle databases which have been Inactive. basically if...

Reporting Services - Two Questions about reporting services 1) Is it possible to rename the ReportServer database? I have just tried but change it...

create proc error - hi my friends create procedure yerde @phone decimal(18,0), @unvan nvarchar(200), @yunvan nvarchar(200), @Sentar smalldatetime, @naryadN smallint, @naryadtar smalldatetime, @sebebi nvarchar(200) as insert yerdeys( phone , unvan , yunvan , Sentar , naryadN , naryadtar , sebebi ) select @phone, (select...

Path to a Database Architect - Hi Guys, Would you please provide some links or books details to learn to become Database Architect.

Generate script for database Restore - I found a very good script to generate script for database Restore for native sql server. http://sequelserver.blogspot.com/2009/04/generate-restore-scripts-from-backup.html Can you please let me...

make VARCHAR field longer on a large table - >>>>Scenario: SQL Server 2008 R2 on a Windows cluster, 256 GB RAM, 32 CPU there is a non-partitioned table with 2.5 Billion...

Condition requirement - Hi, I am trying to do a lookup in SQL and have to create a SQL code for the following condition...

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver]Login timeout expired - hi everyone! i am a student working with SQL SERVER 2008R2 on windows 8 64-bit os.. from a month i...

SQL 2000 Install - I need to install SQL 2000 on a VM that already has 3 instances of SQl 2008 R2 installed. Something in...

Sql Server Objects Naming Conventions - Hello all I have recently been tasked with putting a naming convention in place for a new Sql Server Database/Project. I...

How to update string based on Dates. - Create Table #temp ( Lnno varchar(15), Inst_Date Datetime , Amount Numeric(12,2) ) Create Table #temp1 ( Lnno varchar(15), No_of_Month Int, Date_Pattern varchar(15), ) Insert Into...

Please help with a Trigger - Hi There, I have just joined this great forum. I have a question regarding Triggers pls I have a table dbo.Levels and I...

Dynamic SQL and DATEADD with User Defined Variable in Number/2nd position - This syntax SET @sql = 'SELECT * FROM <sometable> WHERE dateadd(hh, ''' + @tzoffset + '''), END_DATETIME) BETWEEN ''' + @StartDate + ''' AND ''' + @EndDate + '''' returns this error Conversion failed when converting...

Fastest way to read a 600MB table (in memory) - A few days ago I came across this interesting problem: I cannot get more than 15-19mb/s is there any limitation that...


SQL Server 2008 : T-SQL (SS2K8)

Help with query to get monthly data - I need some assistance with a database size report. I have data pulled into a table that has a ReportDate, Database...

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Converting GMT to EST - I need to write a function that converts a time from GMT to EST taking daylight savings time into consideration....

help me for Find and replace - i have the following strucrue and the data as folloows [code] DECLARE @DetTbl AS TABLE (id INT IDENTITY (1, 1), Detail NVARCHAR...

Table dependencies - Hi, I want to get the list of dependency tables(through all the levels ie child of child) that are depends...

Finding row number which caused the error in Table value parameter insertion - Hi I am trying to write a Bulk import procedure, i am using table value parameter to insert thousands of rows...


SQL Server 2008 : Working with Oracle

Making SSIS work for extraction from Oracle11g to Sql Server 2008 on a 64bit server. - Hi, I am trying to execute a sql agent job (ETL from Oracle 11g to Sql Server 2008) on a 64bit...


SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server Newbies

Case statement - Please help to write the SQL query in a more cleaner way... CASE ISNULL(TCBOV.cboValueName, '') WHEN '' THEN '' ELSE TCBOV.cboValueName END Thanks


SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 High Availability

What are ways of Exporting data of Wahehouse Database from Production to Development Server? - Hi, I would like to export data of warehouse from Production to dev for special reasons, what are best possible ways for...


SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 Administration

Kill SQL SPIDs for a certain SPID range, or a Date Range - Hello Everyone Is there a way to kill SPIDs in a certain SPID range? like all spids 75-100 etc... Or with...

database in simple mode with growing log file into the GBytes - I'd like to get suggestions on how to handle the issue I'm facing. I have a database that sole purpose...

Merge_Replication_Tables_Not_In_Sync(MSmerge_tombstone) - We've merge replication configured in our environment(1 Publisher, 3 Subscribers) and We know by default merge replication is bi-directional. Its...

SQLServer 2008 R2 SP 2 confusion - We have three node cluster configuration for SQLserver 2008 R2. We are planning to do upgrade SP 2. We realized...

sql server using more memory issue - sql server is 2008 r2 on 64 bit systems and os is windows 2008. Hi friends at one of our client...

unable to connect to server - Hi all. here we are trying to connect to server which is not accessible and it through the below error. Error:The operating...

create user script - I'd like to have a script that contains all the creation of users and statements to add those users to...


SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 Performance Tuning

Query tuning performance - how can we get execution plan of a query executed on two different days so that i come to know...


SQL Server 2005 : Administering

What happens when we take SQL Server Full backup - Hi All, Please explain; what exactly happens internally in SQL Server when we take database full backup. Thanks in advance.

Delete .bak & .trn - Anyone has a script which would delete old backups (7 days old) in each database directory folder. The backups are...

Reportserver URL is working reports URL is not working - Hi, We have sql server 2005 reporting services. When I browse http://servername/reportserver --- its giving Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services Version 9.00.2047.00 http://servername/reports...


SQL Server 2005 : SQL Server 2005 General Discussion

Forgot Sql server password - Hi, How to reset sql server 2005 password. I can able to login using windows authentication, is there any way to...


SQL Server 2005 : SS2K5 Replication

Merge_Replication_Tables_Not_In_Sync - We've merge replication configured in our environment(1 Publisher, 3 Subscribers) and We know by default merge replication is bi-directional. Its...


SQL Server 2005 : SQL Server 2005 Performance Tuning

Different Execution Plan on different servers - Hello all, i have a query, on T environment it performs fine (20 seconds), but on Q environment not (6 minutes)...


SQL Server 2005 : SQL Server 2005 Integration Services

SSIS package last date/ time run - Hi, How to find date/time last SSIS packgae ran. Please let me know if you need any other details .. Thanks In Advance, -Krishna

SSIS help - I manually run reports now in the following manner: Run two different sql scripts that pull data from yesterdays date, I...

SSIS - Web Service via Script Task - I need to create a SSIS package for running an overnight batch process for triggering eWay payments via their web...


SQL Server 2005 : T-SQL (SS2K5)

Help using LIKE and IN(select product from referenceTable) and wildcards - Here's the issue/problem: I've got a reference table with a list of software 'products' I've got a product table with a list...

Ugly SQL Statement takes to long to run. I need speed up help - SELECT DISTINCT TOP 40 A.INV_ITEM_ID ,SUM(A.QTY_REQUESTED) AS QTY_REQUESTED ,ISNULL((SELECT SUM(B.QTY_ONHAND) FROM PS_BU_ITEMS_INV B WHERE B.INV_ITEM_ID = A.INV_ITEM_ID GROUP BY B.INV_ITEM_ID),0) AS ONHAND ,ISNULL((SELECT SUM(C.QTY_REQUESTED)...

Is this a "gaps and islands" problem? Finding gaps in overlapping times. - The following can be pasted into SSMS so that it is both more readable, and easier get your teeth into...


SQL Server 2005 : SQL Server Newbies

Stored procedure to run results of view - Hi everyone, Was hoping someone can help me with the following. We have a view that selects a selection of data...


Reporting Services : Reporting Services

SSRS Report Performance - I occasionally develop multiple data sets from my data source in the process of developing reports in SSRS and then...

Issue while using SSRS Table Item in report - Hi I am developing report in SSRS using Table Item. I develop the report in which some fields are group...

Problems with interactive sorting with Row groups in a table - Hi I am developing report in SSRS using Table Item. I develop the report in which some fields are group...

Report Services SQL 2000 Installation - Hi Guys, I have had a hectic month trying to resolve this. We have reporting services 2000 on two different servers, namely...

Adding a detail row when none exist - I initially thought I would not need detail rows in my VS 2008 BIDS report, and deleted them while keeping...

Reporting Services problem with extract Excel - Dear all ive a problem with the reporting services, we are using sql 2005 (2 server) 1 mainserver (database) 2 backupserver (reporting...


Reporting Services : Reporting Services 2005 Development

Proper way to deploy to SSRS 2005 - We've got SSRS 2005 installed on an old server. It's the only working version of it we have, so I...

3in x 2in size Label Printing report (not using number of column method) - I need to develop a report in SSRS 2005 that will facilitate printing of labels (3in x 2in size). I...

Report Parameter Formatting - Where is the report formatting located? I have a parameter multi select drop down and I want to show the...


Reporting Services : Reporting Services 2008 Development

Parameter Eqaul to or Not Equal to - Hi, I am faced with a problem. I am trying to create a parameter that gives the choice, for example: I want...

Filter Parameter on Chart - I have a report with say for eg 13 Charts I have 3 parameters setup which are cascading DataCentre Instance DriveLetter So in my main...

Format DateYear - = format(Fields!period.Value,"MM-yyyy") When I use this , it changes my data from yyyymm to "MM-yyyy" ie 201308 to "MM-yyyy" Any ideas???


Database Design : Design Ideas and Questions

When should we go for Dimension Modelling? - Hi All, Could some one explain when will the need for Dimension modelling come into picture? And is it necessary to follow...


SQLServerCentral.com : SQLServerCentral.com Website Issues

Visit Counter - Hi, Not sure if this is the correct place to post, but I have a query about my visit counter. So far...


SQLServerCentral.com : Articles Requested

change the default database - Show how to change this, in T-sql and ssms, for a login. Say a sysadmin to get them out of...

Audit all databases. - Show how someone can use a DDL trigger to audit all CREATE TABLE statements in all databases on a server.

sp_executeSQL - A piece on how to use this.

Outer Join - What am I missing - Let's say you have a set of requirements (courses, skills, etc). you have a list of people and the requirements they...

What's a trusted FK? - Explain this and why it matters. Or doesn't matter.

Fixing duplicates - An article that looks at the problem of getting duplicate data, for example, invoices. Imagine I have a software bug...

Updated Explanation on Parsename - Explain how parsename works and where it's appropriate.

SQL 2012 Paging - A piece that shows how you can page sets of results, say 5 at a time from a table for...

Spackle - full disk, large log - a short piece that shows how to handle a t-log that has filled the disk and halted the server. No...

Spackle - Kill SPIDs - A short piece that looks at finding an issue, say a runaway/stuck process, or a blocker, and then killing them.

Enable the DAC in SQL 2012 - A short, spackle article on how to enable the DAC for remote access with an example of working and not...

Changing colors in SSMS - a quick, spackle article. Setting different colors for tabs/connections.

Saving Execution Plans - Looking for a quick article that shows a user how to run a query, save the execution plan, and then...


SQL Server 7,2000 : Administration

Litespeed Backup failed while increasing file size and doesn't resync - Hi, I have Litespeed log shipping configured for SQL 2005. LS went out of sync, when I chked restore job, I...


SQL Server 7,2000 : Replication

Merge_Replication_Tables_Not_In_Sync - We've merge replication configured in our environment(1 Publisher, 3 Subscribers) and We know by default merge replication is bi-directional. Its...

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