I mean, let's face it: These kinds of questions are sensationalist. Most people who get into an interview situation ARE ABSOLUTELY QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB. Period. No one would waste their time interviewing unqualified candidates. By the time they get into the interview room, the only question is whether they have the right personality to mesh well with the team.
I cannot disagree enough. So many people have 6years SQL on their cv... turns out they have written a small sql select * once every couple of years. Sure maybe they are there just to make the other candidate look good, but...
I went into books online for SQL Server 2000. Entered a search of the Entire Collection for SEM. No hits. How can this be? So I tried EM which I have seen as a more common acronymn and found that it means "Expectation-Maximization". Ok, the point is this one got too carried away.
However, if you have someone who is a senior DBA they should know at least Clustered Index, Fill Factor, SP_LOCK, etc. Anyone who does not know these items should not be doing more than...oh, I don't know what they can do as a DBA. Backups?
Still, be sure that you are educating people...not calling them idiots (unless your name is Joe Celko). All you are going to do is alienate yourself and your opinion will be lost.
Firstly, I am a web developer who has inherited the job of also administering the SQL Server instance and (Physical) server.
I know, pretty well SQL, but pretty much next to nill with regards to administering a database.
I can create a database, tables, index, triggers, maintenance plans etc, good ol' point and click Microsoft and the EM are your best friends in this regard... but I certainly don't pretend for a minute to full understand what is going on... I just know to get results X,Y and Z and I need to do these three things in this window (or that one...) of the EM.
So for the purposes of education, my only question is, what are the answers to your questions? I probably only know the answer to about 40% of them. I am more than happy to look for the answers too, but simply keying in what I think are the keywords into the BOM search isn't going to guarantee that I end up reading about what's related to your questions.
Hilarious/Scary! But what a boost for my self confidence!
As a Norwegian, I was thrown a bit off by the references to lotion, Kleenex and Spotlight, though. :-)
You are right the hiring managers can be idiots. This story reminded me of an interview I took just after graduating from college. I was asked a question by 1 member of the group interviewing me, I answered it and then the "manager" asked me the same damn question only worded different. I paused for a moment and looked around at the group and didn't see any reaction in anybodys faces so I proceeded to answer the question again. I got the job but after 3 1/2 years I couldn't stand working for a manager who knew all the buzz words, but nothing else.
I've been on the other end too though, and have been asked a question about something I knew but it just wouldn't come out at that moment.
I've only been working with SQL for a little over a year and I knew half of the answers. I'm also my company's network admin and help desk for about 200 users so I don't get to spend much time doing DBA work.
Sometimes when you hire you just don't get what you pay for.
And remember...it's all about the data!
This is a very interesting thread, but I don't see the relevance of some of the questions, like:
How much memory does SQL use on startup?
I've never had to share an SQL Server with something else, and I rarely start them up. On the other hand, I'm very interested to know what someone thinks of NULLS, referential integrity, where should business rules be stored, mud tables, when to use cursors, when to use views, and so on. These questions may not always have a right answer (though some I think do) but they will go a long way to determine fit in the organization.
I did once, however, had a interviewee who told me he had a lot of experience with SQL triggers. When I asked him to describe one of his triggers and what it did, he said that he wrote a program that, when the button was pressed, "triggered" the database to do something.