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SQL Server 2008 Interview Questions for Administrators

Below is a collection of SQL Server 2008 interview questions covering the administration side of SQL Server. Including questions on admin topics such as DBCC operations, backup and restore, admin commands, installation, upgrades and general support.

They are suitable for the following job roles:

  • SQL Data Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • BI Support Developer
  • SQL Data Mining
  • SQL Server Consultant
  • IT Support
  • SQL Server Developer

We wrote these questions for other IT professionals to help them practice for their next interview or technical test. They are suitable for both consultants, temp staff or full time permanent roles. If the organisation is using SQL Server 2008 then these questions should help you out..

Interview Questions

1. SQL Server can be installed via the command prompt by calling Setup.exe and specifying parameters including the INSTANCENAME. Which of the following services are instance aware?

Database Engine, SQL Server Agent, Reporting Server, and Analysis Services
Database Engine, SQL Server Agent, Reporting Server
Database Engine, SQL Server Agent
Just Database Engine

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2. A member of staff has requested that you install a SQL tool for data mining. They want to use the tool to identify rules and patterns in the company data and determine why things happen and predict what will happen in the future. Which installation component should you install to meet their requirements?

Analysis Services
Database Engine
SQL Agent
Reporting Server

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3. Someone from your organisation is complaining that they can’t connect to the HR SQL Server using SQL Management Studio. However, they can open the Management Studio ok and other people can connect to the server fine. What might be the problem?

SQL Client tools have not been installed on the users machine
None of these
The main server is probably down and needs rebooting
The SQL Agent is not running

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4. You want to administer the SQL services that automatically start when a user starts their PC. SQL 2008 comes with a built in tool which allows you to changes services accounts and auto-start services. Which tool is this?

SQL Server Configuration Manager
SQL Server Surface Area Configuration
Notification Services Command Prompt
SQL Management Studio

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5. The tempbd plays an even more important role than in previous versions of SQL Server. This includes DBCC operations, event notifications, large object variables and parameters. Its important to ensure that certain settings are enabled for the tempdb database. Which two are likely settings that you should configure?

Auto growth disabled, Full Recovery model selected
Auto growth enabled, Simple Recovery model selected
Auto growth enabled, Compatibility level set to SQL 7
Auto growth enabled, Full Recovery model selected

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6. When you uninstall SQL 2008, you will find that certain files are not removed by the uninstaller. Which files/programs do you normally have to remove manually?

Log files
The 100 directory under program files/MS SQL Server
.NET framework 3.5
All of these

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7. You are in the process of installing SQL 2008 as a a side-by-side upgrade. You want to migrate all databases from SQL 2005 to this new instance. Which method could you use to achieve this?

Any of these options
Backup the database and restore o the new SQL 2008 instance
Detach the databases from the old instance and reattach to the new instance
Use the Copy Database Wizard to migrate databases

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8. Side by side upgrades are a common choice when installing SQL 2008 alongside an older version of SQL Server such as 2000 or 2005. Which of the following is a not an advantage of SQL side by side upgrades?

Best suited for very large databases
Instance naming for connecting applications do not change
Ability to upgrade platforms from 32 to 64 bit
Ability to run SQL Servers side by side for testing and verification

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9. You just opened SSMS to connect to the company server to do a manual backup. Your connection request waits and then eventually times out. You cannot get connected no matter how hard you try. Your colleague thinks that the problem is limited resources on the server preventing any additional connections. If the name of the server is SQL1 how can you still connect to the server using SSMS?


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10. You are worried that your SQL 2008 master database is corrupted. However, your manager was smart enough to keep a temporary configuration of the master database that is not corrupt. Which flags should you use to run SQLServr.exe to point it to an alternative master database?

e and m
f and h
n and x
d and l

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11. An database administrator working at your company has defined a startup stored procedure that is causing a problem preventing SQL Server from starting. Not only is he in big trouble but you’ve got to find a way round this. Which flag should you use to start SQL 2008 in minimal mode?


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12. You want to modify the server settings without using the Server properties screen from the Management Studio. Which stored procedure allows you to change server settings?


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13. Your manager is testing your experience of SQL Server 2008 and stored procedures. He wants you to show him which active users are connected to the server, which tasks they are performing and also disk IO usage. However, you can’t use the Activity Monitor window in SMSS. Which sp should you use?

sp_who2 55
sp_who2 ‘active’
sp_who ‘active’

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14. SQL Server Agent is a Microsoft Windows service that executes scheduled administrative tasks, which are called jobs. SQL Server Agent uses SQL Server to store job information. Jobs contain one or more job steps. Which of the following is a component of SQL Server Agent?

All of these
Jobs – work to be done
Schedules – when job is executed
Alerts – notification when event occurs

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15. SQL Server Agent can be used to run and schedule jobs that perform one or more tasks. How can you run a job using SQL Server Agent?

Attaching the job to a schedule

In response to an alert
Any of these options

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Windows Server 2016
Amazon Web Services

Windows Server
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2016

SQL Server
SQL Server 2008 (Administrator)
SQL Server 2008 (Support)
SQL Server 2016

Solution Architect

Windows Desktop
Windows 7
Windows 8

Windows Commmunication Foundation
Windows Workflow Foundation

Disaster Recovery
Disaster Recovery (General)

Microsoft Office
Word 2010

Project Manager
Project Management (General)

SharePoint 2010

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