How You Can Ace the Technical SQL Server Interview
4.2 (23 ratings)
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How You Can Ace the Technical SQL Server Interview

A Pragmatic Approach to the Technical SQL Server Interview
4.2 (23 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
195 students enrolled
Created by Mike West
Last updated 4/2016
Price: $20
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Be able to answer many real world SQL Server interview questions.
  • Understand how the buffer pool works and answer many questions around the storage engine.
  • Feel more confident heading into the Technical SQL Server Interview.
View Curriculum
  • You'll need a pen and paper so you can put the answers to these interview questions in your own words.
  • There is no software to install and everything is included in the course fee.

Reviews from other courses: 

"Honestly Mike your classes speak for themselves. They're informative, concise and just really well put together. They're exactly the kind of courses I look for." -Alex El

This is a great course so far. Mike explains the content very well. - Doug

Course Summary

All videos filmed in 1080 and audio is crystal clear.

In this course we will move beyond the simplistic responses given by most SQL Server DBA candidates

We are going to give the answer the interviewer is looking for while adding a sentence or two more to reinforce to the interviewer our solid understanding of the concept. 

In the course we will be word smithing our way to an offer by adding additional pieces of information to every one of our interview questions. 

Here’s an example: What is SQL Server Profiler? We could simply say… it’s a tool that allows us to capture data about events. 

While that would be correct we are going to add to it and communicate to the interviewer that while it’s a great tool we know of and have used other options. 

Here the new response. Profiler is graphical tool for capturing the transactions running on an instance. However, it’s a very heavy tool and I’ll often use Adam Machanics's sp_whoisactive’s quick debug feature to capture data on live boxes because it’s much less resource intensive. 

With our new answer we’ve gone far beyond answering a question about profiler. We have indeed answered the question however we’ve let the interviewer know we use sp_whoisactive and why we use it. We’ve also communicated to them we know one of the greatest limitations to profiler and we have a way around that for troubleshooting live boxes. We’ve done this is one sentence. 

Thank you for your interest in How You Can Ace the Technical SQL Server Interview. 

The first 10 minutes are free on every Udemy course. Please take a moment to watch all ten minutes to ensure this course is right for you. 

See you in the course!!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course can be taken by anyone but was designed for mid-level to senior level SQL Server resources.
  • Prior knowledge of SQL Server is strongly recommended.
Compare to Other Interviewing Skills Courses
Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
An Introduction to Technical Interviewing
9 Lectures 14:33

What is this course about? 

Preview 01:20

Let's take a moment to decide if this course is right for you. 

Preview 02:01

There are only two types of authentication in SQL Server. 

Let's answer what they are and how we alter that setting. 

Preview 01:48

The default port number is 1433 but let's give the interviewer a little more. 

Preview 01:27

Once you see the difference this one is easy to remember. 

Let's see the difference in this lecture then craft our interview response. 

Preview 01:44

This is asked in almost every interview. 

Let's answer the question in detail without deep diving. 

What is Log Shipping?

You'll see this one often. 

Is it a good idea? 

Should You Index Foreign Keys?


5 questions
How to Handle the Most Common Questions
18 Lectures 58:26

What is a clustered index? It's the single most asked SQL Server interview question. 

What is a clustered index?

Both enforce uniqueness but what's the real difference? 

Difference Between a Primary Key and Unique Key

There's less than a difference than you think. 

Let's bust a myth here and then answer the question. 

TRUNCATE vs DELETE. Some MYTH busting here.

Let's define what stats are then let's answer our question. 

How are Table Stats Different from Index Stats?

The biggest benefit is caching. 

However, the data isn't cached... then what is? 

What are the Advantages of Stored Procedures?

Let's talk about the buffer pool and learn some basic architecture so we gain more lucidly answer basic architecture related questions. 

What is the Buffer Pool?

The fundamental unit in SQL Server is the Page. 

Let's talk about it. 

Page Questions. What's a Page? What's Flushes a Page to Disk?

Are GUID keys really a bad idea for OLTP boxes?

The conventional wisdom here might not be so accurate on systems of scale. 

GUIDS as Primary Keys. More Myth Busting.

This question isn't... is it a good idea... the question really is... can it be done? 

Is a Non-Clustered Primary Key Possible?

One of the most missed questions. 

How do DBA gauge IO performance. 

We don't use IOPS. 

How DBAs Measure Subsystem Performance

This is one of the more common questions and easy to answer and recall. 

What's the Difference Between OLTP and a data warehouse?

As a DBA you'll need to be able to read execution plans but first, you'll need to know the basic vernacular. 

What's an Execution Plan?

Are multiple data and log files a good idea? 

Yes for one but no for the other. 

Are Multiple Log Files a Good Idea?

One of the most asked questions in SQL Server interviews. 

The ACID Properties. Bonus Points on this Definition

Most can't answer this correctly. 

After watching this video you'll be able to. 

What is Performance Tuning?

Once you get the definition correct the next question will be an example. 

Here's a great one. 

Performance Tuning Example

There are several options but in my opinion only two real ones.

High Availability Options in SQL Server


5 questions
1 Lecture 00:19
Final Thoughts. Thank you.
About the Instructor
Mike West
4.2 Average rating
3,004 Reviews
49,644 Students
42 Courses
SQL Server and Machine Learning Evangelist

I've been a production SQL Server DBA most of my career.

I've worked with databases for over two decades. I've worked for or consulted with over 50 different companies as a full time employee or consultant. Fortune 500 as well as several small to mid-size companies. Some include: Georgia Pacific, SunTrust, Reed Construction Data, Building Systems Design, NetCertainty, The Home Shopping Network, SwingVote, Atlanta Gas and Light and Northrup Grumman.

Experience, education and passion

I learn something almost every day. I work with insanely smart people. I'm a voracious learner of all things SQL Server and I'm passionate about sharing what I've learned. My area of concentration is performance tuning. SQL Server is like an exotic sports car, it will run just fine in anyone's hands but put it in the hands of skilled tuner and it will perform like a race car.


Certifications are like college degrees, they are a great starting points to begin learning. I'm a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).


Born in Ohio, raised and educated in Pennsylvania, I currently reside in Atlanta with my wife and two children.