Database Administrator (DBA) Interview Questions

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.

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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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