An Intro to Programming course has the potential to open many doors, but in most cases there's an interviewer waiting on the other side. If you're applying for a technical role using SQL Server, it's a good idea to prepare answers for some of the most common types of SQL Server interview questions.
1. Covering the Basics
Competition for every job is fierce, and interviewers may be questioning dozens, or even hundreds, of candidates. They don't want to waste their time with people who don't reach a certain accepted standard of training, so early interview questions often test knowledge of basic principles. For example:
- What is a database management system? (A software application that lets a user interact with the database.
- What is the difference between SQL and SQL Server? (SQL is the Structured Query Language; SQL Server is a relational database management system.)
- What is data integrity? (The accuracy and consistency of the data in a database.)
2. Technical Questions
Working with SQL Server is a technical position, and the interviewer must establish you have the skills and knowledge to quickly and effectively produce the necessary results. This may involve answering some technical questions, or even completing a short test writing SQL commands. Questions are likely to cover the most effective way to achieve a required outcome. For example:
- How would you remove the data from a table? (Use the DELETE command to remove a row in a table, or the TRUNCATE command to remove all the rows from a table.)
- How would you return all the rows from multiple tables that match a condition? (Use inner join.)
- What is a simple command to return the number of records in a table? (SELECT * FROM table.)
3. Character and Work Ethic
While it's important for an employer to establish your technical proficiency, he or she also needs to know you have a good work ethic and the ability to join a team. Most interviews, regardless of the role you're applying for, involve a series of behavioral questions. You may have to explain a time when you achieved something you were proud of, or talk through a situation where you had to be a team player. A common question is, "What is your greatest weakness?" This is a tricky question to answer, as you need to pick a weakness that isn't too serious, and then provide evidence about how you're working to improve.
Improving Interview Skills
Succeeding in an interview environment requires a strong understanding of the subject matter, but you also need a cool head and some considered responses to common SQL Server interview questions. A Udacity Nanodegree program is a good way to develop your knowledge, and even to get online certification; but if you want an edge on the other candidates, you may want to take some courses in handling the interview process. Browse the Udacity Catalog to find courses covering interview techniques and how to polish your resume so it stands out in a sea of applications.