How to Answer Questions About Being a SQL Server DBA
SQL is one of the most popular databases used today. For some IT jobs, like database administrator (DBA), you might need to know SQL for the interview. It’s important to think about how to show that, based on what you know, you’re the best person for the job. About Being a SQL Server DBA
In this article, we’ll look at some examples of how to answer interview questions about SQL Server DBA.
How to prepare for an interview for a job as a SQL Server DBA.
A database administrator is in charge of a wide range of tasks that deal with data and how it is stored. These tasks vary in how hard they are. Skilled database administrators are very important to the success of a company and are in high demand in a business world where lots of different kinds of data move quickly and in large amounts.
You can expect to be asked a number of questions that test your skills and knowledge during an interview for a SQL DBA job. Here are some kinds of questions:
- Those that have to do with learning how to use a database
- Infrastructure questions
- Database development questions
- Open-ended questions
- Common questions and answers for a job as a SQL Server DBA
Here are some answers to five questions that are often asked in interviews:
- How does SQL Server handle replication?
- How do you figure out what’s wrong with your SQL server?
- What does “blocking” mean, and how should you deal with it?
- What’s the meaning of DBCC?
- What kinds of recovery models are there in SQL Server?
How does SQL Server handle replication?
Replication is the process of putting the same information in more than one place in a database. This is a general question to see how well you know how to process data in a SQL system.
Example: “There are three different types of replication in SQL Server. These are snapshot, merge, and transaction.
- *Snapshot replication: In this type of replication, a snapshot of the publisher’s database is taken and sent to subscribers. Because it takes a lot of time and resources, snapshot replication isn’t used very often. It could, however, be used to completely wipe out a subscriber’s database.
- Merge replication works well when both the publisher and the subscriber need to make changes to their databases and those changes need to be merged.
- This type of replication happens when there are a lot of changes. The replication process constantly checks to see if the publisher has changed, and if it has, it sends updates to the subscribers.
How do you find out why your SQL Server isn’t working well?
As a database administrator, you should know how to fix problems quickly and easily. This is a very important part of the job. By giving an example answer to this question, you can show that you know how to handle performance issues that are part of the DBA role.
The STAR method for answering interview questions is used in part of the answer to the question below. This method asks you to talk about a hard situation you were in, what you did to help solve it, and what the end result was.
Example: “Most SQL server problems are caused by slowdowns in CPU, memory, networking, or I/O. You can figure out what’s going on with a few different tools.
- Using Performance Monitor, you can keep an eye on your Windows computer. It tells you about the CPU, the memory, the disks, and the networking.
- Execution Plan: This SQL Server tool is helpful because it lets you see what needs to be changed to make a query run faster.
- SQL Profiler is a tool that helps you find SQL server problems and fix them. For example, you can use it to track and analyze database queries to find and fix problems.
- DMV and DMF Queries are system views and functions that help administrators keep an eye on how the SQL server instance is running and figure out what’s wrong.
- SP WHO2 is a stored procedure that tells you about the users, sessions, and processes that are currently running in a SQL server instance.
From what I’ve seen, it’s best to have tools for monitoring performance in place before there are problems that could need monitoring. As a DBA for ChemCal Corp, for example, I had to figure out how to solve problems as they came up. To meet the challenge, I set up monitoring software that would list problems in order of how serious they were. Even when everything was going well, I could keep an eye on the system with the help of monitoring tools. This prepared me for problems and helped me figure out how to deal with them.”
What does “blocking” mean, and how should you deal with it?
For more than one source to read and write to the same piece of data in a database, it needs either a read lock or an exclusive lock. With a read lock, data can’t be changed while it is being read. If the data needs to be changed, an exclusive lock keeps other people from reading it while it is being changed.
Data is blocked on purpose because of these two important parts of a database. Blocking is an important function for administrators to understand because they may need to use it or troubleshoot it. When you answer this question, you have the chance to explain a database problem in clear, simple terms that people who aren’t as tech-savvy as you can understand.
“Blocking happens when one connection has a lock on a resource and another connection wants to read or write to that resource.” When two connections each have a lock on a resource but want to use the resource of the other connection, the situation gets even more complicated. This is called being in a deadlock.
Two good ways to find and fix block problems are:
- The SP WHO2: This stored procedure will give you a list of queries, and if any of them are locked, the SPID of the process that is causing the lock will be shown.
- You can also use the DBCC set of commands, especially DBCCINPUTBUFFER, to find the “bad query” that is causing other processes to stop.
- *SQL Server Management Activity Monitor: This tool can also be used to look at processes and figure out which ones are stuck.
What’s the meaning of DBCC?
DBCC is where a DBA can do all the important things they need to do. You shouldn’t just say what the acronym stands for to answer this question correctly. You should instead say what it means and what it does.
Example: “DBCC stands for Database Console Commands. There are four groups of DBCC commands:
- Maintenance commands: With these commands, a DBA can clear caches, shrink databases, and make sure there is enough space in the database. Maintenance DBCC commands include DBCCCLEANTABL, DBCCINDEXDEFRAG, and DBCCSHRINKFILE.
- *Information commands give information about the database, such as transaction logs, how much space is being used, and information about the system. DBCCDBINFO, DBCC LOG, and DBCCDBTABLE are all commands that give information.
- *Validation commands: These are used to make sure the database is correct. There are commands such as DBCCCHECKDB, DBCCCHECKCATALOG, and DBCCCHECKCONSTRAINTS.
- *Other commands: These are the commands that don’t fit into the other three groups. Some examples are DBCC HELP, DBCCOUTPUTBUFFER, and DBCC SHOW STATS.”
What kinds of recovery models are there in SQL Server?
To make a backup plan that works, you need to decide which recovery model to use for each database. This recovery model tells SQL how long information should be kept in the transaction log and what kind of information should be kept there. The type of recoveries you can do and the type of recovery model you choose will also affect the type of backups you do.
Recovery is an important job for a DBA because data can get lost, deleted, or changed by accident. You should be honest and give specifics when answering this question.
“There are three types of models for getting better:
- This is the most complete recovery model because all database operations are fully logged to the transaction file. This lets you get data from any time in the past. With this recovery model, you can do full, differential, partial, and point-in-time backups, among other things. But with this model, you need to make sure to back up the transaction log every so often or it will just keep growing.
- *Bulked logged: This recovery model is the same as the full recovery model, except that some bulk data operations, such as BULK INSERT, SELECT INTO, and CREATE INDEX, are not fully logged, so they don’t take up as much space. Even if your last backup of the transaction log didn’t include a bulk operation, you can still use this recovery model to do a point-in-time restore. With this recovery model, you can also do all of the backups. You should also plan regular backups so that the log file doesn’t keep getting bigger.
- *Simple: This simple recovery model does not keep log files forever. Instead, once a transaction is done, it is written over. The data has been written over, so you won’t be able to do a point-in-time recovery. Your most recent full or differential backup will be your most recent restore point. With this model, on the other hand, your transaction log will not keep growing like it did with the other two.