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Interview Questions


Interview Questions

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Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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kimberly_lehman (6/6/2014)
Ask "Using T-SQL, how do you get the current date and time"?


So would you consider this a valid answer? "I think it's CURRENT TIMESTAMP but if I was blanking on it I'd google it to be sure."

I've worked with so many language that sometimes I mix them up, so I often google things even if I know them. And sometimes even when I "know" something, a quick search reminds me of something I forgot. IMO, knowing how to find the information you need is just as valuable as already knowing it. And double checking yourself is a good skill too. If you've never forgotten a simple piece of syntax, then you never had a baby who didn't sleep through the night.


That might keep me from ending the interview but it would be an indication that the person really hasn't worked with T-SQL that much because it's one of those fundamental things like knowing what a SELECT is used for. Based on the response above, I'd ask if they knew what "Books Online" is and how to get to it. I'm amazed at how many people don't know that, either.

--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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ChrisM@Work
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julian.fletcher (6/6/2014)
.. I should have said that we're looking for developers to work on all parts of a particular product; both the C# and the SQL. We're not big enough to be able to have separate teams for each...


Shame...I'm nice, I work bl00dy hard, I'm available in two weeks and I'm 25 minutes from Oxford ;-)

“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw

For fast, accurate and documented assistance in answering your questions, please read this article.
Understanding and using APPLY, (I) and (II) Paul White
Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop Jeff Moden
Exploring Recursive CTEs by Example Dwain Camps
thomashohner
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kimberly_lehman (6/6/2014)
Ask "Using T-SQL, how do you get the current date and time"?


So would you consider this a valid answer? "I think it's CURRENT TIMESTAMP but if I was blanking on it I'd google it to be sure."

I've worked with so many language that sometimes I mix them up, so I often google things even if I know them. And sometimes even when I "know" something, a quick search reminds me of something I forgot. IMO, knowing how to find the information you need is just as valuable as already knowing it. And double checking yourself is a good skill too. If you've never forgotten a simple piece of syntax, then you never had a baby who didn't sleep through the night.


I believe GETDATE() is specific to T-SQL and CURRENT_TIMESTAMP is ANSI SQL function.

I think still learning

***SQL born on date Spring 2013:-)
dotnetkim
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You could potentially miss out on some great employees if you let your ego get in the way of making an objective hiring decision. I've been working with T-SQL for over 10 years and I've helped to make a lot of money for the companies I've worked for. I've also had a very wide variety of experience which I think makes me a valuable asset, but it also means that I don't have to write that particular piece of code frequently enough to have it memorized. I don't mind admitting that I don't know everything. I figure out what I don't know.
Luis Cazares
Luis Cazares
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kimberly_lehman (6/6/2014)
You could potentially miss out on some great employees if you let your ego get in the way of making an objective hiring decision. I've been working with T-SQL for over 10 years and I've helped to make a lot of money for the companies I've worked for. I've also had a very wide variety of experience which I think makes me a valuable asset, but it also means that I don't have to write that particular piece of code frequently enough to have it memorized. I don't mind admitting that I don't know everything. I figure out what I don't know.

That seems valid. However, if you're trying to get a T-SQL developer job, you should at least prepare to don't confuse most functions. I've interviewed some people who claim to have worked with Oracle who presented for SQL Server and wouldn't get correct the Oracle or the Sql Server option.
Most people won't be able to differentiate inner joins from outer joins and some even consider left join different from outer join.
If you've worked over 10 years with SQL Server, you should know that most answers are on BOL and you don't even need Google. I worked for a company for 5 years using SQL Server and made them make a lot of money but that didn't make me good on T-SQL, it only made me an "Expert Beginner".


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
dotnetkim
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Good thing this wasn't a pop quiz on the difference between "your" and "you're".
Luis Cazares
Luis Cazares
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dotnetkim (6/6/2014)
Good thing this wasn't a pop quiz on the difference between "your" and "you're".

LOL Hehe My fault.
I know the difference, I'm not sure why did I write it wrong this time.


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
Evil Kraig F
Evil Kraig F
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Q1 is simple enough and is simple join techniques, I wouldn't expect to see any issues there.

Q2 requires people to know about SARGability. While a definite skill I'd like to see in an applicant, I find many are largely clueless.

Q3 requires them to know the possible implications of recursive triggers and a little more detail to deal with interview nerves. A simple inclusion: We bulk update this table.

I personally don't find these questions overly difficult, but only the first one is a "book" question. The rest are experience questions.


- Craig Farrell

Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

For better assistance in answering your questions | Forum Netiquette
For index/tuning help, follow these directions. |Tally Tables

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Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Group: General Forum Members
Points: 84835 Visits: 41069
ChrisM@Work (6/6/2014)
julian.fletcher (6/6/2014)
.. I should have said that we're looking for developers to work on all parts of a particular product; both the C# and the SQL. We're not big enough to be able to have separate teams for each...


Shame...I'm nice, I work bl00dy hard, I'm available in two weeks and I'm 25 minutes from Oxford ;-)


And bloody damned good at SQL, to boot!

--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
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
SSC Guru
SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)SSC Guru (84K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 84835 Visits: 41069
dotnetkim (6/6/2014)
Good thing this wasn't a pop quiz on the difference between "your" and "you're".



If I'm trying to hire a proof reader, I might care. If I need someone that's good in SQL Server, I wouldn't care. ;-) It's a common typo.

--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
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