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Application Database Administrator Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Clara Canon

Updated February 3rd, 2020 | Clara is a career coaching expert and has supported individuals landing positions in education, nonprofit, corporate, and beyond.
Question 1 of 25
What do you do for 'screen breaks' when you've been at your desk for an extended period of time?
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How to Answer
Computer-heavy positions can lead to eye strain, headaches, body aches, and so on. It can be helpful, often expected, to step away for a few minutes to take a quick 'screen break.' You might go refill your water bottle, grab some coffee, stretch, or simply take a quick walk around the block. The goal here is to share an example that does not necessarily indicate that you would spend significant time away from your computer. Instead, share how a quick action or activity can help make you more focused and productive.
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1.
What do you do for 'screen breaks' when you've been at your desk for an extended period of time?
Computer-heavy positions can lead to eye strain, headaches, body aches, and so on. It can be helpful, often expected, to step away for a few minutes to take a quick 'screen break.' You might go refill your water bottle, grab some coffee, stretch, or simply take a quick walk around the block. The goal here is to share an example that does not necessarily indicate that you would spend significant time away from your computer. Instead, share how a quick action or activity can help make you more focused and productive.

Clara's Answer
"I have found that quickly stepping away from my computer has been hugely helpful in my longevity throughout the day. I try to mix up my 'screen breaks' depending on what I need, though they almost entirely involve getting my body moving in some way. Sometimes, it's as simple as walking to the break room to fill up my water bottle and grab a cup of coffee, or I might get some fresh air with a 5-minute walk around the block. If I just need to get my body moving, I'll even pause for a quick stretch at my desk. Just 1 to 5 minutes of moving aroundcan make a big difference when I return to my desk and get back to work."
2.
When working from your desk for extended periods of time, what do you need to be comfortable and successful?
Many companies are becoming increasingly aware of the impact desk-time can have on employees, and they might make considerations for your space as a result. For example, they might provide you with a standing desk, a special chair, or a location with easy access to certain facilities in the building. If they ask, then don't be afraid to let them know what you might need - within reason, of course.

Clara's Answer
"I like to have a bit of flexibility with my workspace, especially when I'm utilizing it for extended periods of time. In particular, I really value the option of a standing desk so I may choose to get on my feet and stay focused when I feel myself starting to slouch. I also never underestimate the value of a stress ball. Sometimes, I need to physically engage myself a bit to get my ideas flowing, and something as simple as a stress ball can support that."
3.
Tell us about how you've collaborated across teams or departments to complete a project or to meet a goal.
When you work in a role like Application Database Administrator, you might often be asked to provide data and reports for various departments. Your interviewers are interested in your ability to work with individuals outside of your department and to collaborate and meet goals on time. You likely see these individuals less often than those in your own department, so be sure to identify potential barriers and how you've overcome them and worked together to be successful.

Clara's Answer
"I have often found the need to collaborate with individuals outside of my team or department, and I always enjoy those opportunities. A great example is when I worked across 4 different departments to organize and execute an event for nearly 120 employees. Once the core team was established, we determined our timeline, deadlines, meeting schedule, and standards for communication. We made sure to touch on as many components of the project that would steer us to success as possible, and we held each other accountable to our tasks and goals. Over the course of 3 months, we were able to stay on target and allow room to course-correct as needed. As a result, we seamlessly and successfully held the event and received positive feedback on our post-event survey."
4.
What are the top 3 qualities you look for in a team?
This question is to understand how you view working on a team as well as what you look for in a team. Many companies recognize the importance of team cohesion and team culture as being a factor in the hiring process, so they will want to ensure that you and the team will work well with one another and get along. When answering this question, be truthful about what you look for - you can follow-up at the end of the interview by asking how they would describe the team you'd be working on.

Clara's Answer
"I think many qualities can make a great team. I most value strong and honest communication, desire to collaborate, and trust. None of these qualities are automatically given - they take time and effort to develop. When a team has achieved an ability to authentically tap into each of these qualities, then I believe they can accomplish great things."
5.
What experience do you have with using a database to track and maintain an event?
Depending on the company and nature of the specific role, you might need to assist in tracking data for real-time events. Data might be pulled from multiple sources and change often. If you are asked this question, then a portion of your position will likely include tracking dynamic, real-time data. This is also a great question to emphasize the importance of data integrity and security which will also come up at other points during your interview.

Clara's Answer
"I have used a couple of databases and web-based systems to track and maintain event information for gatherings of 10 to 100 people present. Pre-event, I've collected RSVPs, updated constituent information in our records, and used RSVP data to inform and action on other components of the event. During the event, I utilize the databases to update information and attendance in real-time. After the event, I make any final changes in the database and constituent records. Throughout the process, I communicate with invited guests and relevant parties through web-based systems that I have synced with our databases to allow easy, streamlined communication."
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