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Interviewing a DBA

Andy and I had an interesting question on this today. He's trying to hire a DBA and he had his first phone interview with a guy that supposedly had 10 years of experience. One of the first questions was asking about a table with 3 columns, two of which were in the clustered index. A particular query that referenced all 3 columns had a bookmark lookup. He asked how to make it run faster.

Now I know it's a loaded question, somewhat, and there are lots of factors, but would you answer like this?
  • Build an indexed view
And then mention that you'd need to rebuild the index every night so that changes to the underlying table would show up.

I'm sorry, but I think that either you've substantially misrepresented yourself or your 10 years involved no problems or actual work and mostly just holding a title.

It got us thinking about what questions to ask and how to evaluate someone. We also discussed how you should handle an interview. I wrote an article (Who Do You Hire?) a few years ago, but it's probably time for an update.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by mike.williamson on 7 December 2010

I'm going to delete this comment shortly.

Posted by mike.williamson on 7 December 2010

Fantastic post!

Posted by mike.williamson on 7 December 2010

Loving the blog.

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