Tough Interview Questions

Many of us know that interviewing someone and evaluating their skills is a tough job. There have been all sorts of techniques tried by various companies, some of which require creativity, but many are related to technology and practical skills. All in all, I’m not sure any of these really predict if someone will be a valuable employee.

I’ve seen a lot of senior technology people lament the quality of the candidates they interview. I suspect some of this is that most of the really talented people aren’t out there interviewing regularly. Instead, there are many people applying for jobs, some with narrow sets of experience that might not match what you are looking for. Some may be applying for jobs that are beyond their skills, hoping to get through an interview and get an offer. Maybe others rub the interviewer the wrong way, and create a negative impression that doesn’t represent how the person might work with others.

I ran across an article that listed a number of SQL Server interview questions, most of which are aimed at experienced developers. It’s not a long list, but it does cover some topics that aren’t necessarily things that you use often in SQL Server. While I have written an INSTEAD OF trigger, I haven’t often and might not give a great answer for someone that is looking for deep knowledge. I would like to think I can give a decent explanation of what this is and where you might use it.

Perhaps that’s the intent, however, to see if an experienced person has touched a lot of different features in SQL Server. Maybe this is a breadth more than a depth list? I’m curious if you think that is the case. Maybe you have an opinion you’d like to share on these, or other questions, which might help you determine the experience of a candidate.

Finding a great candidate for your organization is hard. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for junior people that can grow, or senior ones to lead. Often interviews result in an impression that is a bit of a coin flip. After a year ,you may or may not feel that you made the right decision.

Steve Jones

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