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Asking for Interview Questions

By Steve Jones,

Recently someone posted a question on SQLServerCentral asking for potential interview questions. A few people were annoyed by this and their annoyance showed in their replies. I completely understand that feeling, with fewer jobs than candidates, people looking for jobs do not want anyone with less knowledge to get any help.

However there are other sides to this question, and I'm torn as to how I feel. If you haven't interviewed in awhile, or if this is your first interview for a database job, wouldn't you want to get an idea of what somoen might ask you? I wouldn't want anyone to misrepresent their skills, but I'd also want them to be able to talk about the skills they have had. Perhaps realizing that they should think about their experience in T-SQL more than their experience with replication might be valuable information.

There's another side to this. Plenty of managers, developers, and even DBAs that are tasked with interviewing candidates for a position don't necessarily realize what questions might help them evaluate a candidate's skills. This is especially true when you have a staff of people trying to find a senior level person because their only talented person resigned. Hiring someone to interview for you, especially for the first or second interview, just isn't cost effective.

Many of us work in companies, and as much as we'd like to think we are gaining new knowledge and experience every year, it's very, very easy to get caught up in our daily work and accumulate many years of similar experience. Without an effort to branch out, take on new responsibilities, and try new technologies, it's easy to become very specialized in the skills needed for our job, even if those aren't a broad range of skills.

I am highly torn on how to handle requests and content on interview questions, but ultimately I think that putting more information out there is the best way to handle things and allow people looking for jobs, as well as those hiring, to educate themselves.

Steve Jones 

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