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Because the answers might surprise you.
An interview should be a conversation, not a trivia contest. I’m not looking to stump someone during an interview. I don’t need for my DBA to know obscure facts such as database mirroring is only supported starting with SQL 2005 SP1.
Memorizing such facts does not mean that you will handle the pressure of being a production DBA. The role does not require you to know the answer as much as being able to find the answer. And in order to truly be successful as a DBA you will need good communication skills. A good DBA will be able to teach, and train, others.
So how do you find such a person? The answer is easy: you talk with them. I always describe the interview process as being a lot like dating. You want to have a conversation, get to know someone, without assuming anything beforehand. Since people tend to embellish on their resumes, if you aren’t familiar with a person or their previous work then you are going to want to set a baseline. For me, that baseline are the following five questions that I have used over the years. I find that they help guide me through having a good conversation and by the end I know whether or not I want to call them again in the morning.
1. WHAT IS A DATABASE?
I always like to start with the basics. While it may seem silly to ask this question keep one thing in mind: there are no silly interview questions. No matter how ridiculous a question may seem to both the person asking it and the person responding, they will always serve a purpose. In this case you may find the candidate talking about MS Access, or Filemaker, or whatever they have been exposed to previously. Let their response be an indication of...