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SQL Server DBA/Developer Interview Questions


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Author: Various
Date:    Various

Description

Over the years, I've been both interviewee and interviewer many times and have encountered many different approaches.  My first interview for a commercial DBA position was the most memorable as it was my first encounter with a behavioral interview.  Memorable also because I'd had no warning or preparation from the agency involved and because it was a total failure.  I'd come from the 'sheltered' world of the military, where job interviews were rarer than hens teeth.
However, once the shock had worn off, the whole exercise was a valuable learning experience. 
Less than 2 years later, I was conducting my own behavioral interviews to help build a small DBA team.

No matter the type of interview, there is always an aspect of technical questioning involved.
However, there really is no such thing as a set of 'standard' interview questions - even within the same company or team, you may be looking for a different spread of skills across the individuals, or you may be looking for strength in a specific area to complement or enhance  existing team skills.
As an interviewer it can be a real challenge to come up with meaningful questions, and the effort involved in customizing questions (and answers) can also be a drain.

With the maturation of the internet as an information source and the increase in complexity of database and application solutions, I have found the emphasis on parrot-fashion answers to questions has reduced as there is so much to know and a multitude of reliable online resource for any DBA to utilize.  I find it now to be increasingly important to examine a candidate's thought processes i.e. getting the right solution is important, but getting to that solution in a logical and safe manner and ensuring that the solution is viable in the long term and not just a quick-fix are both highly important.

I have collected many different lists of questions and generally just dip in when the time comes and pick a few to customize.  Rarely do I ever use them without alteration.

Hopefully the collection of documents on this page will help you do the same.

The questions span most of the major SQL Server subject areas:
  • Backup and Recovery
  • Concurrency and Locking
  • Junior level
  • Performance Tuning
  • Security
  • SQL Server Administration
  • SQL Server Agent
  • SQL Server Integration Services
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • System Databases
  • TSQL
The documents can be found as attachments at the bottom of this page.
All are zipped individually, but there is a combined archive (of all except the SQL 2008 (largest) file) 

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Interview Questions - DBA Phone Interview.zip
(12k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - Junior DBA.zip
(11k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - Junior SQL Developer.zip
(13k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQL Server Administration 1 of 3.zip
(9k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQL Server Administration 2 of 3.zip
(9k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQL Server Administration 3 of 3.zip
(9k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Agent.zip
(11k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Backup and Recovery.zip
(11k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Concurrency and Locking.zip
(14k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Developer.zip
(10k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Developer2.zip
(12k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Integration Services.zip
(12k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Performance Tuning.zip
(11k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server Reporting Services.zip
(23k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQL Server Security.zip
(12k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview Questions - SQL Server System Databases.zip
(17k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQL Server TSQL Functions.zip
(13k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQL Server TSQL.zip
(11k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Interview Questions - SQLServer2008 InterviewQuestionsAnswers.zip
(711k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
ċ
Interview questions.zip
(219k)
Andy Hughes,
Jul 12, 2012, 1:10 PM
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