DBA Job Interview

Imagine going to a DBA job interview, making a good first impression, feeling confident about yourself, and getting the position.

How does that feel? It feels great, isn’t?

But, what do you do when the competition is high? When there are so many other DBAs for the job? How can you shine among all the candidates?

Before I am getting into details, I want to make sure you understand, I am NOT a recruiter, I am a DBA.

Throughout my career, I went to many interviews and I also interviewed other DBAs for positions.
The 3 things I am sharing with you today, helped me get hired, and also helped me hire other people.

Technical skills for a DBA position are a MUST, but, are not the only thing that get you hired. I would rather work with someone who has little experience if any, but a great attitude, than work with a senior DBA that complains a lot, and has an attitude.

I know what type of people I like to work with, and what type I don’t. And so does the interviewer!

It can be hard to present/sell yourself during the interview. That is why the following 3 things are so important!

1. Be On Time.
2. Have A Positive Attitude.
3. Answer Questions To The Point.

1. Be On Time.

This is the absolute first impression deal breaker. Never ever consider being late to an interview, and apologizing with a lame excuse “sorry, the traffic was terrible”.

If you know it is taking you 40 minutes to get to the interview, leave earlier, leave 60-80 minutes earlier, and wait in a nearby coffee shop until your interview is up.

Being late to an interview, says a lot about a person.

  • they are disrespectful of the interviewer’s time, and their own time
  • they have poor planning skills
  • they come up with excuses for being late (traffic, weather, the kids, the cat, you name it…)

Just put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer, would you want to work with someone who is late? I wouldn’t!

Show up on time, respect the interviewer’s time and yours.

2. Have A Positive Attitude.

I was interviewing a DBA student for an internship a few years ago. As soon as the guy entered the conference room, he started complaining about the elevators in the building.
He had to take the elevator up to the 17th floor, where the reception was, and come all the way down to the main floor, to switch elevators and come up to the 4th floor, where the interview was taking place. Right after he introduced himself, he made a comment on how stupid the elevators were designed in the building.

The comment he made, was the deal breaker for me. I didn’t get a good first impression of him, and he didn’t get the internship. He could have been the brightest among all the candidates, it didn’t matter. What mattered was his attitude.

No matter how the weather is, if it’s too hot or too cold, do not bring it up.
Don’t mention how terrible the traffic is.
Don’t mention how bad the economy is, how crowded the bus is.
You get the idea…

Do not complain during the interview, and do not use sarcasm, no matter what.

If the other person, the interviewer, starts complaining about something, just acknowledge it, but don’t complain.
I like to use the “it’s ok” phrase.

Interviewer: ” It is so cold today. And the traffic was terrible this morning”
You: ” It’s ok, better to be cold now, then in March. I am glad I was able to make it on time!”

Instead of complaining, show a big smile on your face. Show your enthusiasm for being there, for actually being chosen for the interview. Be happy during the interview, and most of all show a great positive attitude, a CAN DO attitude!

People want to be around other people who are positive, who smile, who are happy. They will want to work with you!

3. Answer Questions To The Point.

You showed up on time. You had a smile on your face, and kept a positive attitude during the interview. You made a good first impression!

Now what?

Keep going!

Any questions that you are asked, answer them to the point. Do not BS the interviewer. If I ask you a question, I am expecting an answer straight to the point. If you don’t know the answer, then just be honest about it and say so.
Being honest is much better than being off topic.

Answering questions to the point shows the other person that:

  • you have good listening skills
  • you have good communication skills
  • you have good problem solving skills

If you can master these 3 things in an interview, your chances to get the job are much much closer. Remember:
1. Be On Time
2. Have A Positive Attitude
3. Answer Questions To The Point

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–Diana


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