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100 Most famous interview Questions and Answers


100 Most famous interview Questions and Answers

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Gail Wanabee
Gail Wanabee
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[b]Jeff Moden (10/29/2012)For all those who would use such a thing... Caveat Emptor!

And while you're studying such canned answers, be advised that a lot of us don't ask canned questions on interviews especially for senior positions.


As correct as your response is, and I agree with it completely, the reality for many DBA position interviews is that they often begin with interviewers' pet questions about obscure facts and/or T-SQL coding examples. My experiences are that challenging interviewers as to why they think that some bit of trivia is important and/or useful usually backfires. They don't appreciate being asked to explain themselves.

So, for dealing with reality, no matter how inappropriate it is, it doesn't hurt to try to be prepared for the inane questions that some interviewers think are important.
GSquared
GSquared
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Lee Crain (10/31/2012)
[b]Jeff Moden (10/29/2012)For all those who would use such a thing... Caveat Emptor!

And while you're studying such canned answers, be advised that a lot of us don't ask canned questions on interviews especially for senior positions.


As correct as your response is, and I agree with it completely, the reality for many DBA position interviews is that they often begin with interviewers' pet questions about obscure facts and/or T-SQL coding examples. My experiences are that challenging interviewers as to why they think that some bit of trivia is important and/or useful usually backfires. They don't appreciate being asked to explain themselves.

So, for dealing with reality, no matter how inappropriate it is, it doesn't hurt to try to be prepared for the inane questions that some interviewers think are important.


I must be dealing with a different subset of interviewers than you are. I've never yet had that kind of question.

Number of columns per table? That's trivia. Given the very meaning of "trivia", it's impossible for anyone to anticipate every piece of trivia that someone else might ask. One of the key laws of human interaction is always, always, always, "Everyone you meet knows things you don't." There's reciprocity for that, of course, in that you know things nobody else does.

Theoretically, if I am ever asked that kind of question, I'd be inclined to answer something like, "I know there is an upper limit, but a properly normalized database should never approach that limit. If it ever does matter, I can look it up, but it's not something that's ever mattered to me yet."

(Note, last time I was job hunting, I got 6 offers in 6 interviews, in 1 week. All at or above my asking salary, which was already higher than average for the market I'm in. Just to point out that my way of handling interview questions seems to work for me.)

When I do the other side of it, if I ever asked such a "how many" type question, it would be a stress test more than a valid question. I'd probably ask something like, "How many flux capacitors does it take to implement a non-boolean Where clause in a semi-deterministic function?"

Edit: Forgot to include the answer to the flux capacitors question. It's obviously 42, as everyone knows.

- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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I agree... I've never asked such trivial questions as to how many columns a table can hold for the very reasons that Gus stated. My point was meant to explain simply that wrote memorization of sometimes incorrect "trivial facts" are not sufficient to pass an interview unless the interviewer is also clueless.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
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GSquared
GSquared
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Jeff Moden (10/31/2012)
I agree... I've never asked such trivial questions as to how many columns a table can hold for the very reasons that Gus stated. My point was meant to explain simply that wrote memorization of sometimes incorrect "trivial facts" are not sufficient to pass an interview unless the interviewer is also clueless.


On the other hand ... if anyone ever publishes "Trivial Pursuit, DBA Edition", they could come in very handy indeed!

- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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George M Parker
George M Parker
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Does anyone ever ask or get asked what ACID properties are? I've been asked that one a number of times by non-DBA's grasping for interview questions. Whenever I interview DBA candidates, I am less impressed with what they can regurgitate than I am with real world scenario examples. I believe they call them "behavioral example" questions.
Luis Cazares
Luis Cazares
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GSquared (10/31/2012)
On the other hand ... if anyone ever publishes "Trivial Pursuit, DBA Edition", they could come in very handy indeed!

Would you buy it? Or would you play it?

EDIT: wrong quote.


Luis C.
General Disclaimer:
Are you seriously taking the advice and code from someone from the internet without testing it? Do you at least understand it? Or can it easily kill your server?


How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help: Option 1 / Option 2
Gail Wanabee
Gail Wanabee
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George M Parker (10/31/2012)
Does anyone ever ask or get asked what ACID properties are?


On just about every interview I've ever been on.
Michael Valentine Jones
Michael Valentine Jones
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I like to ask a couple of easy trivial questions to get things started, and then ask one that a lot of senior DBA might stumble over. Just to shake things up.

What is the money data type used for?

What function can you use to get the current date and time?

How would you move a 2 TB database from one server to a server at a different site connected via a T1 WAN link with a maximum application downtime of 30 minutes?
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Michael Valentine Jones (10/31/2012)
I like to ask a couple of easy trivial questions to get things started, and then ask one that a lot of senior DBA might stumble over. Just to shake things up.

What is the money data type used for?

What function can you use to get the current date and time?

How would you move a 2 TB database from one server to a server at a different site connected via a T1 WAN link with a maximum application downtime of 30 minutes?




The developer candidates I've been interviewing can't make it past your second question (SERIOUSLY!)

The answer to your third question is "Why would you want 30 minutes of downtime when you can do it in virtually 0 seconds?" :-)

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
Lowell
Lowell
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here's a link to a copy of the pdf that doesn't require his damn password.
boy that pissed me off for some reason.


oh, and some of his code example references the DECODE function, which is actually an Oracle function.
SQL would use a CASE statement.

sqlserver2008r2_cheatsheet_v1-01_unlocked.pdf

Lowell
--help us help you! If you post a question, make sure you include a CREATE TABLE... statement and INSERT INTO... statement into that table to give the volunteers here representative data. with your description of the problem, we can provide a tested, verifiable solution to your question! asking the question the right way gets you a tested answer the fastest way possible!
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