Printed 2017/08/24 04:54AM

Roundup for Un-SQL Friday #005: Bad Interviews

By Jen McCown, 2011/07/29

It’s time for the Un-SQL Friday #005 roundup!

From managers…

First up, The Lone DBA admits that he wasn’t always (ahem) one of us…he’s got some excellent advice from the hiring manager’s point of view.   I particularly liked this:

When asked what your biggest weaknesses are, it’s a good idea to stop talking after ten minutes. Actually, it’s a good idea to stop talking after about ten seconds, ‘cos it’s a bit of a stupid question.

Warning to Americans: You’ll need to speak British to get all of TheLoneDBA’s  post.

To gladiators…

Next we have mild-mannered/man of steel Made2Mentor (David Stein), who has just completed a round of job hunting, and so is brimming with UnSQL Friday fodder.  His three interview stories include a to-the-death cage match*, a fatal recruiter error*, and DEATH UNTO YOU ALL WITH NASTY BIG POINTY TEETH*!  Actually his third story is a secret interview that’s really quite cool, but the “teeth” thing just flowed.

He then offered me the job and asked when I could start. I was rather taken aback because we hadn’t discussed the actual salary, benefits, and relocation package. When I asked him about those, he was suprised and said, “What do you mean?” {Editor’s note: Uh-oh.}

David gets bonus points for recruiting yet MORE interview stories from his readers.

(*These highlights may have been exaggerated for comedic effect. MAY HAVE BEEN.)

To saboteurs…

The blog that SQLHA (Allan Hirt) posted won my evil little heart instantly with this:

I don’t recommend some of the behavior I am going to talk about unless you really want to sabotage an interview.

Holy wooden shoes, Batman!  Sabotage an interview??  Why wasn’t THAT the Un-SQL Friday topic??


SQLRockstar (Tom LaRock) starts with what I assume must be a philosophical question. Or trivia. Actually, it could be a logic puzzle…What Color Are Santa’s Pants? Turns out that it’s a good analogy for figuring out what kind of person the hiring manager may be…  INTRUIGED?? I thought as much. 

Bonus points for BEST RANT:

Most all of those standard questions are bullshit. They are. I don’t care if you know that database mirroring wasn’t fully supported until SQL2005 SP1. That’s a piece of trivial information. Knowing that detail won’t make you a good DBA. If you want to hire a book, just put a shortcut to Google on your desktop and save HR the paperwork.

Slightly out of character, neither Sean nor I wrote anything specific for this particular Un-SQL Friday. However, you can read Sean’s litany of bad interview blogs here…he has PLENTY to say on the subject.

Thanks for playing, all, and happy days!

Jen McCown


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