SQL Server Interview Q&A November 3rd, 2011

Vinod Kumar

SQL Server Interview Q & A Book

Being an evangelist for a while has its own advantages; one such has been to interact with millions of you out there. And each of these interactions has got unique experiences which I personally feel is worth a lifetime!!!

I have had my chance to help the community in multiple ways especially when it comes to dealing with interviews because a ton of professionals and even students have approached me for guidance. Here is a humble shot at taking those SQL Server Interviews that we thought would be great to share. This book is co-authored with Pinal Dave. Pinal has been a great source of motivation in pushing me to get this finally nailed down – and what better day than to have this release on my B’day :). Thanks Pinal for all the hardwork, partnership and support.

Book Details : Landing Page

Book: SQL Server Interview Questions And Answers
ISBN: 1466405643
ISBN-13: 9781466405646, 978-1466405646
Dimensions: 9.02 x 5.98 x 0.43 inches
Weight: 281 grams

Where to get the book, here are your quick links –
USA: Amazon 

India: Flipkart

eBook: Kindle (Released in Dec ’11)

Free Sample Chapters Download (Released in Dec’11)

For release of this book, I also wrote an article on Pinal Dave’s Blog that discusses some of my thoughts around interviews and also is worth read (coming soon). Even after writing that article, I still thought I had missed out on tons of content. So hope my blog and this page will complete most of it that got missed out. I purposefully kept away from talking about Resume building exercise on that post because there is so much to write. So this page has my views on that dimension.

Look at your resume

You don’t want your resume to be a mess. Given this competitive world, for almost every public job opening that gets published there are close to 200-400 resumes that can easily land. I have had companies that build software to help companies classify and even filter resumes. You want to be careful and make sure your resume does hit the top “A” list either done automated or done via manual process.

My top tips on what to look out in your resume:

  • Apply to those jobs where you possess most or more of the requirements. But I have also seen many companies take a template and work their job description (JD). So it is very important to know an insider before applying for the job.
  • Look at the JD and do take time to customize resume to include as many key word that is mentioned in the job description as possible.
  • Make your resume unique; develop a “wow factor” on the first glance, uniquely defining your area of expertise, competency and soft skills.
  • Let your resume voice your promotions and results, not responsibilities and tasks that you do as a job function.

This is a competitive world and the last point is interesting because we need to avoid certain competencies. Here are my top 5 in my opinion contents to avoid –

Being a Team-Player

Be detailed about your achievement as far as collaborating with team members from other teams. More so if you have collaborated with people outside of your organization to achieve the final objective, it adds a lot of credibility. Don’t be vague if you have this written as competency.

Great Communication Skills

This is one grey area which you must avoid. The first impression an interviewer gets is over your communication skills. The very first question of – “Tell me about yourself?” will clear any doubts they have over your communication skills. If you want to still have this core competency on your resume – state the public presentations you made, conference calls you lead etc. Again be specific not vague.

Problem Solver

Given the nature of industry we are in – everyone is a problem solver. No wonder this is something everyone writes with pride on our resume. To drive home this skill, call out what did you do – did you optimize a plaguing process, troubled project schedule, ironed out differences with a customer? Talk about these memorable yet impactful results your skills have brought to the table.

Using “Assisted Projects”

This is just the opening that any interviewer will love to see in resume to grill you to death. Make your statement specific on the tasks you were involved as you are surely better than just assisting others. It ties back to the Team Player concept in a way.

I am Self-Motivated

Great open ended statement to drive the point that you are not the slacker when it comes to solving problems. A really self-motivated employee is likely to do things innovatively or improve the process proactively – so go ahead and call what you did in that capacity than using the adjectives.

Review your Resume

Interesting most of us always find a closest friend, family members to give us that critical review. The biggest problem of this is that your friend may not be able to give you a candid honest feedback – that is why they are your friend right :).

Result – Now your resume is going to a potential employer with those mistakes that missed both your radar.

Final words on for a successful Resume –

One of the initial metric is if your resume is making an impressing to a potential employer, then it is high time you reformat, review critically your current resume. I would give you a rule of thumb – 1 out of 5 potential employers must atleast call you for an interview. Your resume should give impression on why you are the best candidate for the given job.

Resume breeds confidence – It is important to have a resume that highlights your strengths. Put together a resume with confidence and you are likely to see positive results. Your resume is your first step in the door, so make sure you don’t have any typo’s, changing font styles (shows as if you copied from somewhere else). Don’t rush your resume, take time and read it a hundred times before hitting the send button.

Be honest – Giving a perfect picture is great, but be careful is overdoing this step. Even during interviews be open, confident but as honest as possible. If there are breaks in your resume – be prepared to answer them with confidence. It is a very small world and HR’s of these days do a background check and it can cost you heavy if you gave away wrong information.

Trying to avoid the situation will raise red flags among many employers. It is best to deal with the situation honestly or at least to the point that you can explain it away. There is a difference in being laid off and being fired – explain it to the best of your ability without coming out and saying you screwed up on the job.

Volunteers are worthy – If you are doing some work with NGOs and do volunteering activity call them out. Companies like these contributions and shows you’re helping nature intrinsically. Just because someone is not getting paid for a position doesn’t mean their services are not notable.

Remember, the time and effort you put into your resume can go a long way in determining whether or not you get that call saying come on in for an interview.

If you have the skills and the desire to work hard, even a gap on your resume should be explainable where you have just as much of a shot at the job as the next person. At the end of the day, employers will hire those who they think are the best candidates to help their company.

Thanks for reading this far, this page was inspired based on my first book which needs all your support, also please pass your feedbacks on the books too.

Book Details: SQL Server Interview Q&A

Book:  SQL Server Interview Questions And Answers
ISBN: 1466405643
ISBN-13: 9781466405646, 978-1466405646

USA: Amazon 

India: Flipkart 

eBook: Kindle (Released in Dec ’11)

Free Sample Chapters Download (Released in Dec’11)


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 07:00 You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

15 Responses to “SQL Server Interview Q&A”

  1. Tauseef says:

    Hi Vinod/Pinal

    I am living in Delhi and just want to know how can i buy this book
    and there are some questions where it is written that the answer can be found at the print ,So what it means

  2. Shashikant Shakya says:

    Resume tips are awesome…

    Thanks Vinod…

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  5. Gunarathinam.M says:

    Ordered this in flipkart, much awaiting to get wet in this book.

    Thanks Vinoth & pinal.

  6. sai says:

    Hi vinod and pinal,

    Just two days back i have started learning sql. i was searching so many sites for getting good information. Suddenly i got u r website. i red the index of u r book in amazon. it seems very good. I want to know one thing. Could you please guide me what are the prerequisites to read this book. is it ok for beginners? if not please guide me. I am living in UK.
    If you suggest i can buy through amazon along with this book.

    Thanks & Regards,

  7. Vinod Kumar says:

    Thanks Gopalakrishnan for the kind words. Hope the book will be of value to you.

    Thanks Ayyappan and Dinesh :) …

  8. Gopalakrishnan Arthanarisamy says:

    Hi Vinod,

    This is great book. It should be in everyone’s hand who is working in as SQL Server DBA & Developer.

  9. Dinesh says:

    Thank you very much Pinal for such a nice book…

  10. Ayyappan says:

    Great book.

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