Re: Job interview questions

From: Stefan Koehler <>
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2015 19:46:57 +0200 (CEST)
Message-ID: <>

Hi TJ,
i was involved in such job interviews and asking questions many years ago (as i was a permanent employee) and retrospectively i really sucked at it. I just asked all of these concept / how-to questions and so on, but the only thing that i learned at this time was "i am doing this for X years" is not like "i am doing this for X years".

A few years later i met a really great Oracle team lead who opened my eyes about such interviews. I was contracted to solve an Oracle performance issue for this client and we talked about his open perm positions at lunch. He told me about their previous performance issues and asked me how i think about it and how i would have analyzed/solved them. Afterwards i realized that this was an inofficial job interview as he offered me a perm position later on. I rejected gratefully, but told him that i really learned how to do a job interview.

  1. Do not ask about his/her technical skills in manner of a simple test.
  2. Let him/her tell a story and listen! Prepare 2 or 3 issues that you recently faced/solved and tell the candidate about it. Ask about his/her opinion. Follow him/her through the process of troubleshooting the issue. It is not a problem at all, if he/she chooses a different way, but ask him/her why he/she does it this way.

You probably notice very quick, if the person is skilled or not in such a process. Just memorizing the documentation or whatever will not help him/her very much (e.g. like OCAs or OCPs can be passed nowadays). The basic Oracle knowledge is mandatory in such a process, but you also get an idea about her/his creativity, troubleshooting skills and systematic analyctics. You may also get a nice discussion, if you are little lucky and so you can also see his/her articulation/discussion skills. Is he/she mind opened? Does he/she also listen and try to understand what you mean and why you dit it this way?

You may also want to check out Kerry Osborne talking about this topic (the first 5 minutes):

Best Regards
Stefan Koehler

Freelance Oracle performance consultant and researcher Homepage:
Twitter: _at_OracleSK  

> TJ Kiernan <> hat am 4. Juni 2015 um 17:50 geschrieben:
> For those of you who have conducted job interviews, what sort of questions have you found to be effective in evaluating a candidate’s skill level?
> I’ve started a list that consists of some Oracle trivia and some open-ended work habit/personality type questions.
> Incidentally, I know of a Oracle DBA job opening in Omaha, NE. Please contact me off-list if you’re interested in knowing more.
> Thanks,
> T. J. Kiernan
> Lead Database Administrator
> National Pharmaceutical Services
> P.O. Box 407 Boys Town, NE 68010
> Direct: (402) 965-8800 extn. 1039
> Toll Free: (800) 546-5677 extn. 1039
> E-Mail: <>

Received on Thu Jun 04 2015 - 19:46:57 CEST

Original text of this message