Sounds like a good interview technique. I prefer a hands-on approach to technical interviews over a "can he regurgitate BOL" technique.
And no, I'm not at all surprised about your results.
On the other hand, someone can be a very skilled DBA without being a skiller performance tuning expert. "DBA" covers WAY too much scope these days. Those 9-year vets might be experts at DR, architecture, security, even at CLR (.NET) coding, and be "senior DBAs" thereby, but not know about traces and such.
On your music analogy, would you refuse to hire a drummer because he doesn't know how to use a kettle drum, even though that might be the only drum on Earth he's not an expert at?
But, most likely, you're right. They've got no business calling themselves senior is the most likely answer.
- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
Property of The Thread
"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon