Interviews and Oranges

What a great topic for this month’s T-SQL Tuesday hosted by Kendra Little


The topic being: Interviewing Patterns and Anti-Patterns. I have had MANY (50 +) interviews over time with a lot of failures, so what have I learnt?

  • Be honest! This starts from your CV. If you lied to get the interview via key words within your CV then sorry, you will be sussed out. Also honestly within the interview itself. I did this at the Microsoft interview ( There is no point trying to “fight” your way through to an answer with extraordinary people listening. Just say you don’t know and move on. You might think you are being smart but it is counter-productive.


  •  Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Quite simply, no matter how much of a genius you are give yourself a fighting chance and prepare. From a database perspective get the basics right and study the right areas, ask the interviewer what topic areas will crop up. Don’t forget to research your company, you will be surprised how much it works well for you. By the way if you have to present then practicing is so important, it will help build your confidence.


  •  Don’t jump. I have actually turned down many roles. They might have liked me but the feeling wasn’t mutual! Be sure that the job fits for you too. This related to a SQL Server specialist role, I was fresh out of SQLskills training so everything was fresh in my buffer pool (mind) and yes it felt good answering everything, but if you are going to use profanity in questions then I am going to be a little put off.


  • PEEL THAT ORANGE. You read this right. I was sitting in front of a panel and one of them threw me an orange and abruptly said “ peel it”. I was confused (and young) with the question and his tone. I said you peel it. I didn’t get that job.

5 thoughts on “Interviews and Oranges

    • I was thinking on the drive home was it a test to see my reaction? Whether I follow rules or have a rebellious side? Either way I didn’t like it, I drove out of there pretty fast.


  1. Pingback: Interviewing Patterns & Anti-Patterns: Advice from the SQL Server Community - by Kendra Little

  2. I’d probably ask ‘what for’ (to peel the orange). Generally giving abrupt answers is not a good thing, neither is total compliance (if it is a decent firm you are interviewing for). If the latter was expected then what you did was perhaps the right thing to do. Interesting read, thank you.


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