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11/26/2018 7 SQL Interview Questions and Answers | Indeed.


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7 SQL Interview Questions and

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job,
review our list of top SQL interview questions and answers.

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 How do you explain what SQL is to someone without a technical

background, and how do you decide which details to include?

 SQL administrators and technicians may spend a lot of time

interacting with end users and teams who rely heavily on the
databases. The applicant should feel comfortable explaining details of
SQL and the way it relates to the end user's work. What to look for in
an answer:

Clear process on explaining SQL to non-technical staff

Deep understanding of SQL concepts
Explanation of how they choose the most important parts of SQL to

Example: "SQL stands for Structured Query Language. This language

is how database administrators communicate with a database and
manage its contents. For example, I use a particular string of
commands and variables, called a query, to look up values in the
database." 1/5
11/26/2018 7 SQL Interview Questions and Answers |

 What are the different types of keys in SQL and when do you use

 You can use this technical question to gauge whether an applicant

has the right amount of SQL knowledge. Keys are a relatively basic
concept in SQL, so anyone with experience in this technology should
know what they are. What to look for in an answer:

Strong understanding of what keys are and how they're used in SQL
Skill at appropriately using keys in SQL
Ability to explain the keys concept in an interview environment

Example: "A unique key is a unique field or column that a table doesn't
share with any other table in the SQL database. I use this key to create
a unique identifier for each table for easier retrieval later."

 How would you prepare an SQL database for migration to a new

server or a cloud-based service?

 As your company grows, you may need to expand your operations

and move databases. This question gives you insight into whether the
SQL applicant is familiar with migrations and how they handle them.
What to look for in an answer:

First-hand examples of migrating SQL databases to new locations

Understanding of SQL migration best practices
Ability to convey the SQL migration process

Example: "I take the database through a deduplication process to

remove extraneous data and ensure data quality before the migration. I
also check to see if the new server meets the technical requirements
for the SQL database prior to beginning the migration process." 2/5
11/26/2018 7 SQL Interview Questions and Answers |

 What are the types of normalization available in SQL and how do

you use them?

 Normalization is an important data quality and performance tool in

SQL. Applicants who know how to use this feature show that they're
experienced at maintaining SQL databases. What to look for in an

Definition of normalization in SQL

Discussion of the different SQL normalization types
Explanation of the most appropriate times to use each normalization

Example: "Normalization is a way to improve database efficiency by

reducing the overall size of the database and its dependencies. I use
this process to accelerate data access speed and improve overall SQL

 How would you reassure a stakeholder who's concerned about a

SQL database slowdown that's getting in the way of their work?

 SQL applicants may need to interact with irate users who can't do
their work or access important applications due to a database outage.
The applicant needs strong customer service skills and an aptitude for
explaining what's going wrong in a way that non-technical end users
can understand. What to look for in an answer:

Ability to reassure end users during SQL issues

Knowledge of how to explain SQL problems to non-technical users
Skill at notifying the right people to fix SQL problems

Example: "I understand that you're frustrated with the system's

performance. I already reached out to the senior SQL administrator
and she's hard at work fixing the problem as we speak." 3/5
11/26/2018 7 SQL Interview Questions and Answers |

 Can you list all of the joins in SQL and the use case for each of

 This question gives the applicant a chance to demonstrate their

SQL knowledge. Joins are part of basic SQL functionality, so the
applicant should be able to adequately cover what they are and how
they work. What to look for in an answer:

A definition of a join in SQL

A list of all of the joins in SQL
How to use joins in SQL

Example: "A join generates a set that consists of columns from tables
in the database. You can use join clauses on one or more of these
columns, with inner joins, full joins, left joins and right joins indicating
how to combine this data."

 How would you explain the concept of a query to a non-technical

audience, such as a client or end user?

 The SQL applicant may need to explain how they access

information in a database and the basic method for doing so. When
they can clearly convey their answer to a non-technical user, they have
an easier time explaining what they do in presentations and other
formats. What to look for in an answer:

Skill at creating analogies appropriate for non-technical end users

Strong grasp of what a query is
Knowledge of query structure and usage

Example: "A query is a way of telling the database that I want to read
some of its data. I can send a request that shows me employee
attendance records for the past week, for example." 4/5
11/26/2018 7 SQL Interview Questions and Answers |

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