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13 years ago @ Rob Boek - SQL Server Interview B... · 0 replies · +2 points

so I had one kind of get clustered index right. He explained the concept alright and said, the "physical data is sorted in order of the clustered index".. Other answers were not as close so I asked a follow up "so in that case how many clustered indexes can you have on a table?" The answer was "I forget the exact number, but it's high. I've had some tables with a lot of clustered indexes" :-|

13 years ago @ Brent Ozar - SQL Serve... - Interview Tip: Don't S... · 0 replies · +1 points

Great points. Honestly, whenever I am interviewing folks (regardless of role) I am not looking for the answers to obscure questions with a 90% success ratio. Instead I am looking for a thought process, a grasp of common sense, the ability to admit what they know and don't know, the ability to know how to find an answer and how they apply what they do know.

If I had someone that rattled off answers to nearly every SQL question I through their way but when asked a troubleshooting question ("You are an all around IT person for a small shop, a user tells me a printer is broken.. how do you resolve it.. go through the steps and questions you ask?") they hem and haw through the answer or go for the most complex issues first, I know they won't really do. I ask some questions that have controversial or debated answers and argue their "correct" (on one side of the debate) answer and see how they respond. Do they get arrogant, fly off the cuff, turn purple and start acting weird? Or do they apply rational thought and show calm? Much more important.

The skills we use in SQL Server? Anyone can pick them up really, that's why there are so many of us blogging about it ;) Common sense, calm under pressure, humility? The first two are quite hard to teach and I have found some folks who will probably never learn them. The latter, it can be taught through enough oopses but do you want to be the one having to deal with the lessons?

No, I'm not saying don't hire every calm, common-sense filled person for that alone but if they know the basics, show available buffer pages in the mind for more learning, have the right level of experience and they appear great under pressure and show common sense, pick them up fast before someone else does. They can learn about the Halloween problem someday if they want to learn database cocktail party trivia.

@brent - I wish I was there for that interview with the candidate who put their heads down into their hands! It would have been hard to resist the urge to quietly sneak out or sneak up behind them and yell "SURPRISE!!!!!" = ) = )