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Re: Interview questions for Oracle database administrator

From: joel garry <>
Date: 12 Dec 2006 12:16:10 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Steve Howard wrote:
> Mark D Powell wrote:
> >
> > The problem I see with the question list is that it is an attempt to
> > measure realitively unimportant knowledge. Most everything on the list
> > can be looked up if the memory freezes up in the manual within minutes.
> > There are no questions on the important issues like discussing how to
> > manage a database, prepare for an upgrade, management of change control
> > procedures, how your interface with the development staff, and security
> > policies.
> >
> > You should not be interviewing anyone who you feel or doubt that he or
> > she can answer all the questions in the list correctly to begin with.
> > Why waste people's time?
> >
> > IMHO -- Mark D Powell --
> I agree with this 110%. I like to ask *really* basic questions up
> front (what is the standard oracle command line tool), just to ensure
> the person has very basic skills. The items you are suggesting be
> asked, once basic technical knowledge has been established, allow the
> interviewee to feel more comfortable and answer freely, which is the
> goal.
> Whenever we interview, I never want the person to feel as though they
> are being attacked. Some people just don't interview well, but as soon
> as they are in the door, they are great to work with. I find spending
> ten minutes to ensure they are comfortable goes a long way to
> discerning how they would be to work with.
> I also find that the more comfortable they become, the more they begin
> talking about stuff that really excites them, which itself shows how
> much they know. You can usually branch off what they want to talk
> about and probe a little bit to see how deep in the "woods" they can
> go.

Very succinct descriptions of how to interview people well! I've had a few like that, and even if they haven't hired me, at least I felt it was an honest procedure.

The only downside is it requires the interviewer to be as familiar with the material as the interviewee. I've found far too often that is not the case - hence, these lists (and books, even) on interview questions.  In fact, it is to be expected in a smaller shop where the manager has to manage people who know more than he does. It's a fairly intractable problem - what is a company to do, contract an OCP to interview people for them? Depend on their software vendors to do it? Hire a company that specializes in interviewing technical people? (I've seen the latter use people that don't know the subject matter...) Depend on standardized tests? Hire people because they helped the previous dba on usenet? :-)

(I've actually gotten jobs from the vendors... and ...helped on usenet... methods).


-- is bogus.
Received on Tue Dec 12 2006 - 14:16:10 CST

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