Test specifications
Available Language(s):








24 questions

Suggested timelimit:

33 minutes


Database Configuration


High Availability and Disaster Recovery

Backup and Restore

Database Maintenance

Performance Troubleshooting

Microsoft SQL Server Database Administrator Online Test: How it is structured and how it can help you hire your best candidate

Using our Microsoft SQL Server Database Administrator online assessment test will assure your candidate’s skills administering a SQL Server environment using 24 highly detailed questions.

All questions represent practical and general knowledge around SQL Server administration and should be known by strong database administrators.

The test is put together by the world-renowned SQLskills.com team. They’ve authored more than 65 in-depth Pluralsight courses on SQL Server, and have been providing the highest quality SQL Server training and consulting since 1995, and are intimately familiar with all aspects of SQL Server and the chapters in this test. They also have extensive experience interviewing SQL Server Database Administrator (DBA) candidates for their clients.

The sub-chapters were picked after considering the broad scope of SQL Server database administration, and the SQLskills team has assessed the six most vital areas to evaluate the qualifications and practical experience of a specific candidate. See all chapters to the right.

By using our SQL Server Database Administrator online assessment test, recruiting talented DBAs will be easier. You will have a significantly higher chance of employing a strong candidate, as well as eliminating the risk of hiring an under-qualified candidate who lacks real-world experience.

How would you use this test?

This test has a number of use cases:

  • Evaluate SQL Server DBAs on their understanding of SQL Server administration fundamentals
  • Filter out candidates for your work based on their ability to understand complex scenarios
  • Make sure that candidates have real-world, practical knowledge of administering SQL Server, instead of just book knowledge or having taken an administration ‘boot camp’

Which areas (chapters) will be covered in the test, and why was it chosen that way?

Database Configuration
One of the fundamental requirements for a good DBA candidate is to understand the settings for a database and how they affect the performance of a query workload, as the defaults are usually not appropriate in a production environment. Candidates also need to be able to choose the correct physical layout when creating a database to maximize its availability and manageability.

Security is a hot topic in the IT industry today and is essential for an SQL Server DBA to be familiar with. A strong candidate should have experience with encryption features at various levels (such as Dynamic Data Masking, Always Encrypted, and Transparent Data Encryption) as well as the ability to properly configure users, logins, roles, and permissions.

High Availability and Disaster Recovery
Nothing is more important than a company’s data and SQL Server has a variety of technologies to aid in preserving access to the data tier when disaster strikes. Candidates should be familiar with configuring, using, and troubleshooting Availability Groups, Failover Clusters, and replication, and also how to react when data corruption happens.

Backup and Restore
One of the core tasks of a DBA is to design and implement an appropriate backup strategy that meets the downtime and data loss requirements of the application. That also means having practiced restoring from backups in a variety of scenarios and knowing how to create an optimal restore sequence when required.

Database Maintenance
Apart from performing backups, the other regular task that a DBA must perform or automate is database maintenance. A strong candidate will know why and how to implement efficient index fragmentation detection and removal, statistics updates, and consistency checks.

Performance Troubleshooting
Probably the most important task of a DBA is maintaining workload performance and throughput, and identifying the cause of a problem quickly. A strong candidate will know how to collect and interpret metrics from a variety of sources and use that information zero in on the root cause of an issue. Furthermore, candidates should be able to choose an appropriate way to alleviate the problem and restore normal performance.

Made by one of the leading experts

Kimberly L. Tripp

Founder, SQLskills.com
17x Microsoft MVP

SQL Server is a complicated platform despite what Microsoft marketing says.
There are many facets to tackling problems and we’re here to help you
build a team that is knowledgeable and focused on finding the RIGHT solution
to your performance, architecture, and scalability concerns.

See my full profile

Paul S. Randal

CEO & Patent holder
Microsoft MVP

I’ve been heavily involved with Microsoft SQL Server since I joined the development team at
Microsoft in 1999, and I know the importance of bringing in promising job candidates.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to help Kandio help companies find real SQL Server experts.

See my full profile

Jonathan Kehayias

Principal Consultant
Microsoft MVP

I’ve had a wide depth of experience in multiple roles working with development and administration of data platforms running SQL Server across multiple industries including healthcare, retail, natural gas, commodities trading, and comfort foods. I know first hand the importance of finding the right skills and the havoc an unqualified candidate can bring. That’s why I am excited to help Kandio find SQL Server experts for clients.

See my full profile

Erin Stellato

Microsoft MVP
Pluralsight Author

I like to know how things work. I’ve spent over 15 years working with SQL Server and
I enjoy helping people understand SQL Server to create a solution that’s reliable and optimal.

See my full profile

Tim Radney

Microsoft MVP
Pluralsight Author

After years of helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft SQL Server and Azure SQL,
Kandio offered me the chance to help businesses find their own SQL Server and Azure SQL experts.

See my full profile


Global SQL Organisation
Authored our SQL tests

With close to 100 years of combined experience working with Microsoft SQL Server and other database platforms,
the SQLskills team is thrilled to be helping Kandio help businesses find their own database experts.

See my full profile