Ed Wagner (6/27/2013)
I like the idea of having interviewers conduct interviews of some existing employees. We have to be able to separate a strong candidate who interviews poorly from a weak candidate who interviews well. I admit I find that to be difficult. I don't fall for sales pitches and usually see them for what they are, but I find that the interview process itself is too short to make a really well-informed decision.
I usually slip in a trick question that isn't possible and watch the reaction. If they're bluffing the interview, they're done. If they can admit they don't know, then that indicates honesty, which is important. The best example of this I've seen was posted (I believe by Sean Lange) who asks when the last time was that the candidate queried the transaction log to rollback a transaction that shouldn't have been performed. Granted, these will only take us so far.
Examples of work they're especially proud of AND something they're disappointed with are good topics too.
LOL! I do recall once, in the aftermath of a delete script gone wrong, querying the transaction log for a clue about what stop date/time to use in a point in restore.
It us useful to ask candidates open ended discussion type questions, something like:
"A user has just deleted an unknown number of records from a transactional table, and you need to restore that data from backup. How you go about doing that?".
"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."