As a database administrator you are responsible for managing all aspects of a company’s databases. You are expected to install, configure, monitor, upgrade and maintain all systems while managing the security of information. This is an essential piece of company operations, and the position includes a large amount of responsibility. As such, employers will want to confirm that you possess the appropriate experience and skills necessary to perform the job. During your database interview, you will likely encounter a number of common questions. While some may vary on the specific interview, below are a few samples of things to expect.
Because you will be working with complex systems that require effective implementation and continued problem solving, your employer will expect you to demonstrate extensive knowledge of databases. You will want to highlight your ability to work closely to create efficient and functional systems and quickly address issues when they arise. Frequently, potential employers may create trick questions, which are designed to truly test your understanding. As a result, you want to be careful in addressing either/or questions. In these cases, do not pick one approach but demonstrate that different approaches work best in different circumstances. You want to clearly demonstrate your ability to think critically. Below are a few examples of how to address potential interview questions and answers.
· Is it more efficient to update or insert 1000 rows of data?
“Under “x” circumstance, I believe that inserting data is the most effective approach in getting the job done efficiently. However, the approach greatly depends on the type of software being used. As a result, I would update data with “X” type of software and would insert data with “Y” type of software.”
· Do you think of yourself as a Development DBA or a Production DBA?
“ Employees throughout the company rely heavily on both production and development systems to complete their jobs effectively. Therefore, I am both a production and development DBA. I make sure that all aspects of each database are created and maintained.”
Every employee throughout the company relies on the systems that you create, and potential employers will want to make sure that you are prepared to assist and consider each and every individual. They will likely ask questions that ask who you think are the most important users. While it may be tempting to focus on the CEO or other executives, this would be a detrimental response. Instead, you want to make sure that you understand the significance of users throughout the company. Below is a sample interview question and response to help you approach this inquiry.
· Who do you think is the most significant user of the database?
“Each employee fills an important role in the functioning of the company. Therefore, access to the database is important to everyone. It is important to consider every connection to each database. All of the pieces are important to the company as a whole, and it is important that I work to ensure optimally functioning for everyone.”
As a database administrator, you will possess a number of important responsibilities. Because companies rely heavily on their databases, their continued functioning is essential. When something goes wrong, everyone will look to you to fix it as quickly as possible. Handling these issues can turn into extremely stressful situations, and your employer will want to know that you can handle these potential problems. As you explain your ability to handle pressure, you should clearly highlight your problem solving skills. Below is a sample approach to this inquiry.
- How well do you work under pressure?
“I understand that a number of stressful situations can arise when dealing with databases. When issues occur, it is important that all systems are up and running as quickly as possible. While this can be stressful to handle, I focus on quickly identifying the problem and then taking steps to address it.”
Overall, you want to clearly demonstrate your knowledge of databases and show your ability to keep them running. Just work to avoid the trap questions, and you will conquer the interview.