Ok, so I'm preparing for an interview. I am looking at the moment at just brushing up on basic knowledge, specifically around the core SQL engine area. I don't want to say that I have huge experience with SS(A/R/I)S, because I don't - and I don't think that pretending to have that experience would be either intelligent, sensible or moral. But, what I could do with is to find some good resources whereby I could brush up on my core SQL knowledge. I have, of course, searched already, and found a lot - but usually when I ask these questions you guys come up trumps and let me know about something that I hadn't found before... so... * What resources do you use when you want to revisit the basics and just refresh the knowledge that's lurking there? Incidentally, I did find one site called
sqlquiz.com which looked like a bit of fun. Then I got to question one: >Which of the following is true? > >* TRUNCATE TABLE has to be used along with a WHERE clause >* TRUNCATE TABLE deletes table from a database >* TRUNCATE TABLE is identical to DELETE statement without WHERE clause and both remove all rows in a table. Hmm, that would be 'none of the above' then. :)
The last interview I went on was as much about interpersonal skills as well as knowledge of SQL. My ability to work with difficult people, building business cases, holding my ground on a particular decision, forwarding thinking, analyzing return on investment, etc. I was asked many SQL related questions to prove I knew my trade, but then the interview changed courses to cover projects I had worked on in the past, challenges I faced and how I over came them, etc. Sean McCown of midnightdba's has several blogs about interviews he has done.
Matt - have you tried [this place] - the guy is a little quirky, but seems to know what he is talking about! Seriously though, have you tried the [question of the day from SSC]? They are not always brilliant, but can still surprise you from time to time. Otherwise, you know what you are talking about, as far as I can see. If the interviewer knows much, they can check out your qualities through your blog, company/products (atlantis that is) and your rep on here. I would be surprised to see you totally stumped, or a company expecting you to spew out passages from BOL at a moments notice (you'd be better off not there anyway IMO). Online refences are there for a purpose! Oh yeah... good luck at the interview. If you change your mind about Germany, give me a call - we need good people and are always on the lookout! :
I don't review anything before an interview. Either I know enough or I don't. I generally just research the position and the company that I'm going for. If I were to study before-hand, I suspect it'd be in Itzik's book. I can't keep TSQL syntax, especially the funkier stuff, in my head to save my life.
I don't "mug up" on SQL-related odds and ends, unless I know that they have a particular requirement for something odd that I've not used for a while. And if that's the case, I explain at the interview that, yes, I have used this before, but not since I used it for X (company / project outline, what I did etc.). I maintain that if you can talk competently about your experiences, that you can answer their not-so-complex technical questions without blathering, and that you can get on with the rest of the team, that's more important than being able to remember the really obscure stuff that most normal people would have to look up. I also reckon that any interviewer should be preparing by googling your name - does a google on your name bring up this site and anywhere else where you help out the community? I feel slightly smug in that I've got a 100% success rate for interviews in the last 12 months - 4 out of 4 companies I have interviewed for have offered me the role. Now, if only I could improve the success rate for getting through to interview... :-/
Matt, If I was a DBA of your caliber I would definitely refuse to get interviewed by anyone. Just give them reference to your work and to your well established friends in the community and chat a little over tea. What should happen is the reverse. Interview them and find out if it is the best place for you to work :-) Best of Luck anyways!!