By trade I am a DBA, a Database Administrator. I have been doing this line of work for about 15 years now. Over the course of my career I have been in a position where I have had to hire many DBA’s that would work for me. I must admit I have made my fair share of mistakes at doing this. I have hired friends; I have had to fire those friends. I have hired people that are over qualified and end up quitting because they just were not challenged. I have hired people for many reasons. Over the course of many trials and errors I figure that openings you have fit into one of two categories.
1) You or your company has some major problems and you need to have someone who has the skill set to come in and take over that problem. You need the problem fixed and you need it done now.
2) You need help; there are a number of projects and tasks that are not getting done. It could be the only DBA for your company or it could be to ease some strain on an existing team.
If you find yourself in category one, please consider yourself lucky. You may not feel like it but you can interview with some very specific questions in mind. You know what you need and you should be able to find that person over the course of time.
If you find yourself in category two I feel for you. This is the one that I consider harder. I want to know that I can hire someone who is going to grow with the company, someone who is going to stick around awhile and someone who is going to thrive. The problem here is that is a ton if information and insight to get out if a one hour interview. This is a topic that I have written a lot about and chances are this will not be the last time that I do so.
The end result is many times when I am stuck in category number two, I look for someone who is willing to go that extra mile, someone who is willing to put in the personal hours to study, to learn their trade. I am surprised everyday at the large number of people who just want an 8-5 job and they think that is going to help them fulfill all the goals they have in life.
Someone once told me the way to succeed at a company was to find a task that on one else liked to do. No matter what it was, from cleaning out the bathrooms to setting up replication for SQL Server. Once you have identified that task, do it, and become good at if, if not the best at it. That is how you know someone is in it for the career. These people are hard to find today. If you a looking for one I wish you the best of luck.