RE: Job interview questions

From: Iggy Fernandez <>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:16:19 -0700
Message-ID: <BLU179-W2076D3F486CE68A7F6360CEBBC0_at_phx.gbl>

Personally, I think certification is a minimum bar. It forces the candidate to study backups, security, high availability, new features, etc. Yes, there are wonderful dentists who never went to dental school (or don't rely on X-rays and modern gadgets) but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Iggy

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 08:20:38 -0700
CC:;;;; Subject: Re: Job interview questions

    Been following this thread with


        Not sure if I might've missed it, but what role does having some
        sort of certification (OCA, OCP or OCM) have in this equation ?
        In addition, if said certification is not with the latest
        release, does that still have value ?





    On 6/9/2015 11:02 PM, Neil Chandler

      The most important aspects of a candidate are personality and

      When I was a hiring manager, I used to have the "remote
        office" test; if you hire the candidate and have to work with
        them all week in a remote office with no other human contact; at
        the ending the day will you be happy to go for a beer/meal with
        them or will you feign tiredness and go hide from them in your
        hotel room? This works remarkably well as a yardstick.

      The very best teams I have built have always had a good
        attitude and personality.

      If you like your (potential) colleagues and they exhibit
        competence and have a positive collegiate attitude, hire them.


        sent from my phone

        On 9 Jun 2015, at 20:33, TJ Kiernan <>


                everybody for  your insightful responses.  If you have
                more, please keep them coming. 
                think I was overly cursory with my description of both
                “skills” and “Oracle trivia.”  The sort of trivia I was
                thinking was along the lines of, “How does Oracle store
                a date?”  Ideally, the candidate can answer correctly,
                but as long as they don’t spout off the NLS default,
                we’re in decent shape and all the better if the
                conversation travels down the implicit conversion is
                evil rabbit hole. 
                a stranger’s personality, technical knowledge, how they
                apply that knowledge under duress, and their willingness
                and ability to learn in the space of an hour (or however
                long it takes) is no small task.  This thread has helped
                me crystallize my thoughts as well as give me some good
                topics of discussion to bring up.
                    On Behalf Of David Fitzjarrell

                    Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2015 1:01 PM



                    Subject: Re: Job interview questions
                    of course one from column A and two from column B
                    ...  (may be carbon-dating myself with that one).
                    of the best interviews I've conducted have led to
                    'unexpected' places, much in the way Tim describes. 
                    You CAN learn much about the candidate from posture
                    and delivery during the interview.  I agree it's not
                    about 'how many you get right' but how well they
                    'recover' from an incorrect or incomplete response. 
                    Those who can take the pressure show it during the
                    interview.  I have no issue with a confident
                    candidate, but I do take exception to an arrogant
                    one.  I'm adding to a team, and arrogance is a sign
                    the potential candidate may not be a team player.
                    interview isn't a trivia contest:
                    which Oracle release did the redo vector first
                    appear?"  (Version 6)
                    should be a learning experience for both parties, 
                    Yes, I like to know what ground the candidate has
                    covered in his/her career (if only to prove that
                    his/her 8 years of experience is progressive
                    experience, not the same first year chores
                    multiplied 8 times) but if a candidate has
                    determination and a desire to succeed any 'holes' in
                    their experience can be dealt with later (not every
                    DBA has worked with RAC, for example).  I will look
                    at websites that tout 'Oracle interview questions
                    and answers' to see what someone thinks is important
                    and to see if the answers provided are actually
                    correct.  I don't have a 'canned' set of questions
                    since I rely on the resume/CV to point me in the
                    proper direction for a given candidate, basing my
                    questions on his/her experience.  Of course there
                    are candidates who have done nothing more than use
                    OEM/TOAD/etc  to manage databases and know only
                    where the button lies for increasing the size of a
                    data file, for example.  Those interviews don't last
                    been successful in selecting candidates when the
                    need arose; maybe that's the result of 26+ years of
                    'in the trenches' experience.  I've also had
                    interviews go on longer than originally planned
                    because the candidate was engaged and willing to go
                    down the paths that opened up from previous
                    questions. Such candidates have made welcome
                    additions to the team.
                    course your mileage may vary.  :)


                      Principal author, "Oracle Exadata Survival Guide"

Received on Thu Jun 11 2015 - 16:16:19 CEST

Original text of this message