How to use an online SQL skills test to hire top database administrators

How to use an online SQL skills test to hire top database administrators

How to use an online SQL skills test to hire top database administrators

Nowadays, almost every business and government institution works with data sets and databases. As the amount of information your company gathers increases, you will feel the pressure to hire a database administrator to keep your data organized and easy to access.

It’s a critical role that requires substantial knowledge and the ability to handle pressure – if your database goes down, your business and your clients will feel the impact immediately. 

Every database administrator needs a working knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL).

Regardless of whether you are an expert in SQL, you can use TestGorilla’s Microsoft SQL Server test to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of SQL and hire only the best. 

The assessment will provide you with unbiased testing of your candidates’ knowledge of SQL, and you can rest assured only the top applicants will qualify. Finally, you can make an informed hiring decision without stress.  

If you’re familiar with the concept of SQL and are looking for ways to streamline your recruitment processes when hiring your next database administrator, this article is for you. You will learn what a database administrator does, what expert skills they should possess, and how you should structure your hiring process. 

Table of contents

What does a database administrator do? 

Database administrators manage and protect sensitive data sets essential for companies and government bodies. These administrators organize important information, such as financial records and customer details, and provide access to other professionals when needed. 

What does a database administrator do

Their daily tasks include:

  • Managing databases 
  • Organizing and retrieving information
  • Monitoring and protecting sensitive information
  • Providing access to information for other professionals
  • Ensuring the smooth running of software systems

An excellent database administrator needs a relevant degree in database administration or computer science, previous experience working in the field, and to work constantly to improve their skills and obtain additional certifications. 

However, bear in mind that database administrators don’t start as such. Their previous work experience is usually as a software engineer and they work their way up the ladder. This makes sense, since if you’re new to the job and you make a mistake you can cause a loss of information that could cost millions for companies. 

That is why, as the hiring manager, you must ensure the person you’re going to hire has previous experience and the relevant skills to perform the job correctly. 

You can learn about the necessary skills of database administrators in the next section.

What skills do database administrators need? 

When reviewing your database administrator candidates, you need to look for several skills. In this section, you’ll find an overview of the hard and soft skills needed for this role. 

What hard skills do database administrators need

Hard skills

Let’s first look at the hard skills that database administrators need for success, such as expert database and SQL skills. 

1. Knowledge of databases

The first step in becoming a database administrator is to actually know the fundamentals of databases: what databases are, how they function, and what and how they are used. These are fairly simple concepts, but without them a database administrator is unable to perform their duties. 

2. Understanding how to use SQL syntax

After knowing how databases work, the next step is a good understanding of how to structure SQL queries.

Crucial here is the extraction of information using SQL queries, as well as how to create structures and clauses that enable the administrator to extract information. This includes creating tables and indexes that give the computer software quick access to the required information. 

3. SQL database administration

The next step is to actually work with the database. This includes: 

  • Knowing how to use conditional filters to access specific information
  • Using joints that allow for the merger of tables to access more information
  • Subqueries that enable the administrator to narrow down their searches even further
  • Knowledge of using indexes to speed up SQL queries
  • Knowing how to backup a database in case it gets corrupted or lost

4. Working with popular SQL database systems

Nowadays, there are various SQL database systems. A proficient database administrator will have a good working knowledge of the most important ones and then some more. These include: 

  • SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
  • T-SQL
  • MySQL
  • SQL Server
  • Oracle
What soft skills do database administrators need

Soft skills

Apart from the hard skills every database administrator must possess to perform their job correctly, they need the following soft skills as well:

1. Analytics

This is probably the most important skill for this profession since administrators work with data. You can test a candidate’s analytical skills using TestGorilla’s Critical Thinking and Attention to Textual Detail tests. 

2. Communication

Database administrators need communication skills to understand requests from and, if needed, to explain issues to other professionals. This Communication test will assess how well candidates can communicate both verbally and in writing. 

3. Organization

Databases are organized in specific tables. If your candidate doesn’t have good organizational skills, you can be sure they will not be performing their job correctly. A Time Management test is a useful tool here for you to see how a candidate organizes their time and prioritizes tasks. 

4. Troubleshooting

Computers and software systems constantly break down, and it is the database administrator’s responsibility to find solutions to such challenges. This is why excellent problem-solving skills are essential for the role. 

How to hire a database administrator with strong SQL skills? 

Now that you know what database administrators do and what skills they should possess, it is time to create a recruitment plan.

1. Define the role and write an ad

First, you need to determine exactly why you need a database administrator and what they will be doing at your organization. If you have a large database with lots of company and client information then you will certainly need a database administrator. 

After you understand your company’s needs, write an ad and post it to your website, all your social media platforms, and relevant job boards to gather as many applicants as possible.

2. Create an assessment method

Once you receive enough applications, you need to test their skills. TestGorilla’s SQL server test enables you to evaluate their SQL knowledge, how they work with databases, and how they go about administration and security. 

You can add up to five tests for a rounded assessment – consider including the PostgreSQL test to gain further knowledge of your candidates.  

3. Analyze results

Analyzing the results is easy. You will see who got the highest score and how long it took them to complete the test. Those at the top of the list are the ones you want to focus on. 

4. Invite candidates for an interview

When the results are in, you can invite the best candidates for an interview. Here you can ask specific SQL-related questions and see how they answer. In addition, try to get a feeling of the candidate and how they’d fit into your organization. 

After all, even if they are the best in the field, if they don’t fit in your team, you’re better off hiring someone with less experience but more aligned with your company values.  

5. Make a decision

Once you’ve assessed your applicants and interviewed the strongest candidates, it is time to make a choice. Make sure to tell the unsuccessful ones about your decision and give them some feedback if possible. 

6. Extend an offer

Finally, extend an offer to the applicant who stood out the most. Reaffirm your position and clear up any questions the new hire might still have. And that’s it – congratulations, you successfully hired a database administrator. 

Remember that this is a serious, professional role that requires exceptional skills and knowledge – which also translates into a generous salary. 

A junior database administrator’s median pay is around $70,000, while an experienced specialist will expect an annual median pay of up to $135,000 and sometimes that number can go up.

Bear this in mind when hiring such a professional and make sure you have the budget for it.

Hire database administrators effortlessly with TestGorilla

Database administrators are responsible for managing and protecting company information. They organize that information and provide access to other professionals when they need it – so it’s important that you hire the right SQL expert for the role. 

To ensure you hire a top-tier database professional, use TestGorilla’s Microsoft SQL Server test to evaluate your candidate’s knowledge of SQL server tools and data management. 

Using these assessment methods ensures your screening and selection processes remain unbiased so you can hire the best candidates the market has to offer. Get started for free today.

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