What’s a valid question for a DBA interview?

There's been an interesting discussion on SQLServerCentral about whether this question is valid for a DBA interview: what's the name of the executable that runs SQL Server?

My view is that it's a perfectly valid question, based on the cliched premise that the more you know, the further you go. I've conducted hundreds of interviews for positions at DEC and Microsoft and I've always been more impressed with people that knew more stuff (and why that stuff was useful to know – rather than just knowing weird facts by rote) than people who said they could look it up. To me, if someone knows things like the name of the SQL Server executable, it says to me that they've had more experience dealing with interesting situations (like having to start the server in single-user mode, or divide up resources on a multi-instance server using WSRM). And for that, they'd go higher up my 'hire' list than someone who would have to look it up. Of course, that's just one out of a large number of traits and characteristics that I'd be looking for.

So, my question to you is, do you think that's a good interview question (coupled with something to weed out those who don't know why it would be useful)? Vote in the survey below, and reply with any questions you think really are invalid for a DBA interview.


PS And don't worry, it's not all going to be surveys from now on – I'm just having fun with a new toy. Some good internals posts coming up next week! 

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