Database Administrator (DBA)

Find your next star-quality Database Administrator with these sample interview questions. Don’t forget to add questions specific to your company’s position requirements.

Database Administrator (DBA) qualifications to look for

Database Administrators (DBA) secure company databases so information flows consistently between front-end and back-end users.

Top candidates should have solid experience in database administration and a strong familiarity with data privacy and recovery procedures. An academic background in Computer Science and knowledge of statistical analysis packages are not required but may set a competitive candidate apart from the pack. 

Keep an eye out for candidates who are:

  • Empathetic and in line with your company’s need
  • Team players
  • Multi-taskers 

Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.

Problem-solving interview questions

  • How do you define system storage requirements for a new employee database?
  • What schedule would you set up to perform tests to ensure data privacy?
  • What security measures would you take to protect our databases from external threats?
  • Walk me through the process of transferring data from MySQL to Microsoft SQL Server.
  • How would you run a test on a live database? Is there a time when you should and shouldn’t do this?

Role-specific interview questions

  • Describe the difference between T-SQL and PL/SQL. What are examples when you would use either? 
  • Name the most useful SQL queries and their roles. 
  • Explain the difference between navigational and relational databases.
  • In what instance should you use a foreign key?
  • In what instance would you use “CHAR”? How about “VARCHAR”?
  • What are the metrics you use to identify if a database server is running properly?

Behavioral interview questions

  • What project are you most proud of? How did it change you as a professional?
  • Describe a time you implemented a solution that improved data storage. 
  • What resources and publications do you follow to keep up with industry news? 

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