Tricky Questions

What tricky questions have you been asked?

I suspect that most of us have been on many interviews in our career. Unfortunately today’s technology business doesn’t seem driven towards having decades of employment for individuals at one job, so most of us will have more interviews sometime in the next five to ten years.

I’ve had many interviews in my career, of all types with many different formats. I’ve had technical interviews with multiple people, tests to take, and interviews by managers that didn’t include a single T-SQL question. I’ve had a lot of success, and much of what has worked for me is a part of my presentation on branding, which you can see at the PASS Summit in 2011.

With that in mind, I thought this Friday poll might be a good place to help you get prepared for your next interview by asking about the questions that others have been asked. The question this week is:

What’s an interview question that has thrown you for a loop?

It’s rare that I’ve actually been surprised by interview questions. I typically prepare for interviews, using a process that has worked for me since I was in college. I research the company, trying to understand what the business is, and if possible, the person that might interview me. I look for blogs or other information written by employees, and any information I can get to prepare for questions about the business or technology used in the company.

There have been a few times I’ve been thrown by a specific technology question, usually asking for some switch, definition, or other detail that is easily gleaned from some documentation. For those questions, I practice making sure I know where to get the information and use to show that I understand what needs to be done and where to get the answer.

Let us know today if you have any great questions you get asked, especially if you’ve been asked any of them more than once.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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1 Response to Tricky Questions

  1. fun question, here are a couple but they were not asked multiple times…

    one type of trick question “what would happen at startup if the model database was unavailable”

    trick question of a different nature “re-order these words as they would appear in a valid SQL statement: FROM, GROUP BY, HAVING, JOIN, ORDER BY, SELECT, UNION, WITH”


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