Tom Garth (5/9/2008)
I would consider a question about the Resource database valid in an interview (or QotD). In the interview environment, if asked "What are the system databases in SQL 2005?", if someone answered with the usual suspects, but missed "Resource", I would certainly hope that wasn't enough to pass on the person, but it would be something to consider.
On the other hand, last summer, in an interview, the company I was interviewing at placed a tremendous amount of importance on the fact that I don't have all the DBCC commands memorized. So, you never know what an interviewer is going to consider important vs trivial.
I think it would be rare to find an interviewer who would ask a question if they didn't already know the answer. So to answer your question about 'might consider important', turn that statement around.
I'm not clear on what you mean. Did I imply that the interviewer didn't know something he was asking me about? If so, I didn't intend to. He was quite obviously competent on the subject of DBCC commands (and I was not). My point was, I would never consider memorizing lists of DBCC commands important. They did.
To add to the narrative here, we had already spent 6 hours in two prior phone interviews, going over subjects like database design, performance considerations, execution plan interpretation, indexing, normalization, and a large number of other subjects that I do know reasonably well. Their lead DBA admitted that he himself, and the other DBA in the company, were weak on these subjects (while being very strong on maintenance, server set up, and other subjects), and was quite excited about the possibility of hiring me to round out the team's skillset.
Then there was another 3 hour interview, which the senior DBA was not involved in, which consisted almost entirely of questions like, "something goes wrong with one of your databases, it doesn't matter what: How do you start solving it?", and "What DBCC command do you use if you want to shrink the database and what switches do you use on that command?" Two hours of being grilled on DBCC commands, after I made it clear to the interviewer that I use BOL when I need to use those. (I pointed this out when he asked the first question.)
He considered it important. I didn't. I would never have guessed that I would have to arm myself with that data for that interview, especially after the prior two interviews ended with the senior DBA enthusiastically telling me that "I already feel like your part of my team! This is great!" (His exact words.)
That's my point. I made a statement about the importance I would assign to a question like, "Which of the following are system databases in SQL 2005?", and then made a comment about never being able to predict what other people might consider important.
But I still don't understand what you mean about turning my statement around. Can you clarify that?
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