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Here is the first part of a two part series on helping you answer those tough questions that you might experience in your quest for an Oracle DBA position. I actually wrote this article a long time ago but it is amazing how .many questions I still get every week from this one. Stay tunned for Part II next week Technical - Oracle This is the part you have all been waiting on. Please if you have just skipped to this section, go back to the personal section and read it. There is much to be gained by the personal section and conveying to your interviewer who you are and how you tick from day to day. Also, the answers I am giving here are off the cuff and are not intended to be the definitive answer to these questions. There are many aspects to these questions that just cannot be answered here and honestly, you will not have time to explain any of these questions fully in the interview process. It is up to you to make sure your interviewer understands that you understand the question and have given enough information that they know you understand .the concept Explain the difference between a hot backup and a cold backup and the benefits .1 .associated with each A hot backup is basically taking a backup of the database while it is still up and running and it must be in archive log mode. A cold backup is taking a backup of the database while it is shut down and does not require being in archive log mode. The benefit of taking a hot backup is that the database is still available for use while the backup is occurring and you can recover the database to any point in time. The benefit of taking a cold backup is that it is typically easier to administer the backup and recovery process. In addition, since you are taking cold backups the database does not require being in archive log mode and thus there .will be a slight performance gain as the database is not cutting archive logs to disk You have just had to restore from backup and do not have any control files. How would .2 ?you go about bringing up this database I would create a text based backup control file, stipulating where on disk all the data files .where and then issue the recover command with the using backup control file clause ?How do you switch from an init.ora file to a spfile .3 .Issue the create spfile from pfile command .Explain the difference between a data block, an extent and a segment .4 A data block is the smallest unit of logical storage for a database object. As objects grow they take chunks of additional storage that are composed of contiguous data blocks. These groupings of contiguous data blocks are called extents. All the extents that an object takes .when grouped together are considered the segment of the database object .Give two examples of how you might determine the structure of the table DEPT .5 .Use the describe command or use the dbms_metadata.get_ddl package ?Where would you look for errors from the database engine .6 .In the alert log .Compare and contrast TRUNCATE and DELETE for a table .7 Both the truncate and delete command have the desired outcome of getting rid of all the rows in a table. The difference between the two is that the truncate command is a DDL operation and just moves the high water mark and produces a now rollback. The delete command, on the other hand, is a DML operation, which will produce a rollback and thus
How would .they hold Fact tables and dimension tables.came from ?How would you go about generating an EXPLAIN plan . NOARCHIVELOG mode does have the advantage of not having to write transactions to an archive log and thus increases . A fact table contains measurements while dimension .The database is opened ?What column differentiates the V$ views to the GV$ views and how .Faster access to data blocks in a table Give the two types of tables involved in producing a star schema and the type of data . .9 .10 ..The database is mounted STARTUP OPEN .11 .benefits and disadvantages to each ARCHIVELOG mode is a mode that you can put the database in for creating a backup of all transactions that have occurred in the database so that you can recover to any point in time.Give the stages of instance startup to a usable state where normal users may access it .enable the foreign key constraint Explain the difference between ARCHIVELOG mode and NOARCHIVELOG mode and the . NOARCHIVELOG mode is basically the absence of ARCHIVELOG mode and has the disadvantage of not being able to recover to any point in time.tables will contain data that will help describe the fact tables ?What type of index should you use on a fact table .14 .16 The INST_ID column which indicates the instance in a RAC environment the information .A Bitmap index .Give the reasoning behind using an index .13 .Alter database backup control file to trace .sql Use the explain plan set statement_id = 'tst1' into plan_table for a SQL statement Look at the explain plan with utlxplp.take longer to complete . . re-create the table.17 .Instance startup STARTUP MOUNT .12 ?you do this without affecting the children tables Disable the foreign key constraint to the parent. drop the table.8 .Create a plan table with utlxplan.sql or utlxpls.Give two examples of referential integrity constraints .sql .15 STARTUP NOMOUNT .the performance of the database slightly ?What command would you use to create a backup control file .A primary key and a foreign key A table is classified as a parent table and you want to drop and re-create it.
ORACLE_HOME located beneath .command Explain an ORA-01555 .ORACLE_BASE is where the oracle products reside Well. I am fully aware of this.20 ORACLE_BASE is the root directory for oracle. and cheers Technical .talking too much. So thought it might be of interest to the readers at ITtoolbox The Oracle Technical Interview can be quite daunting. after you have gone through the questions and answers read the question again and then answer it with your own words. Therefore. You should also look at . you must try to put yourself in an interview situation and experience answering the question for yourself.select DBTIMEZONE from dual .Until then. As always.22 Setting GLOBAL_NAMES dictates how you might connect to a database. try to give some insight that you know more than just the simple answer to some of these questions. Well here they are ?How would you determine the time zone under which a database was operating . You never quite know what to study for and how to prepare.name as the remote database to which they are linking .18 Use the buffer cache advisory over a given workload and then query the v$db_cache_advice table.the logic involved in the application getting the error message .Oracle Last time. As always. While these questions are only guidelines as to what should and more than likely will be asked.regard.Explain the difference between $ORACLE_HOME and $ORACLE_BASE . . If a change was necessary then I would use the alter system set db_cache_size . be sensitive to the interviewer getting tired of you . I hope that you find some comfort in the review of them. Also.good luck.19 You get this error when you get a snapshot too old within rollback. Next time we will tackle the rest of the questions. This variable is either TRUE or FALSE and if it is set to TRUE it enforces database links to have the same . Depending on the mood of the interview and your ability to elaborate on the answer. Please feel free to add your personal experiences to the answers as it will always improve the process and add your particular touch. Here are the next 30 in this section. . It can usually be solved by increasing the undo retention or increasing the size of rollbacks.21 .I promised the second part of this a couple of weeks ago. Well here it is Again this is an article I put together a while back but still get quite a bit of email in its .Explain the use of setting GLOBAL_NAMES equal to TRUE . as I have received many emails since my original article on interview questions was released. As always. good luck with the process . Take a close look at the requirements for any job and try to come up with questions that the interviewer may ask. as there are jewels to be found in the quest of figuring out the answer from the question. remember that as you go through the article. we answered questions 1 thru 20 of the technical part of the interview. As always remember these are "core" DBA questions and not necessarily related to the Oracle options that you may encounter in some interviews. it is not enough to know the answer to a particular question.?How would you go about increasing the buffer cache hit ratio . do not just memorize the answers. we have gone through the first 25 questions as I would answer them during an interview.
Give two methods you could use to determine what DDL changes have been made .25 Table functions are designed to return a set of rows through PL/SQL logic but are intended to be used as a normal table or view in a SQL statement.ALTER SYSTEM SWITCH LOGFILE .24 A function and procedure are the same in that they are intended to be a collection of PL/SQL code that carries a single task.33 . a function will return a single value.?What command would you use to encrypt a PL/SQL application . They are also used to pipeline .Describe what redo logs are .The Job Queue Processes How would you determine what sessions are connected and what resources they are .26 Buffer Cache Advice.27 In unix $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/audit. & Timed Statistics ?Where in the Oracle directory tree structure are audit traces placed . what background process cleans up after it .Explain the difference between a FUNCTION.30 .their commonality to a business function or application . Segment Level Statistics. A package on the other hand is a collection of functions and procedures that are grouped together based on . PROCEDURE and PACKAGE .information in an ETL process .to a database and are intended to aid in the recovery of a database ?How would you force a log switch . or aggregated from base tables.29 PMON ?What background process refreshes materialized views .31 ?waiting for Use of V$SESSION and V$SESSION_WAIT .23 WRAP . grouped.28 Materialized views are objects that are reduced sets of information that have been summarized.35 .Name three advisory statistics you can collect .Explain materialized views and how they are used .34 You could use Logminer or Streams ?What does coalescing a tablespace do .warehouse or decision support systems ?When a user process fails. in Windows the event viewer .32 Redo logs are logical and physical structures that are designed to hold all the changes made . While a procedure does not have to return any values to the calling application.Explain the use of table functions . They are typically used in data .
The SYSTEM tablespace When creating a user.more manageable pieces You have just compiled a PL/SQL package but got errors.Name a tablespace automatically created when you create a database . ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE RESIZE ?What view would you use to look at the size of a data file .36 ?tablespace A temporary tablespace is used for temporary objects such as sort structures while permanent tablespaces are used to store those objects meant to be used as the true .38 ?database .ALTER INDEX REBUILD . how would you view the .40 .Explain what partitioning is and what its benefit is .42 DBA_FREE_SPACE ?How would you determine who has added a row to a table .37 .Turn on fine grain auditing for the table ?How can you rebuild an index .The ANALYZE command ?How can you enable a trace for a session .39 ALTER TABLESPACE ADD DATAFILE SIZE ?How do you resize a data file .44 .46 ?errors SHOW ERRORS ?How can you gather statistics on a table .objects of the database .45 Partitioning is a method of taking large tables and indexes and splitting them into smaller. what permissions must you grant to allow them to connect to the .Grant the CONNECT to the user ?How do you add a data file to a tablespace .Coalescing is only valid for dictionary-managed tablespaces and de-fragments space by .47 . .48 .combining neighboring free extents into large single extents What is the difference between a TEMPORARY tablespace and a PERMANENT .41 DBA_DATA_FILES ?What view would you use to determine free space in a tablespace .43 .
Vmstat reports on virtual memory statistics for processes.7 .answer questions related to common Windows environments ?How do you list the files in an UNIX directory while also showing hidden files .ORA and SQLNET.ORA Technical .8 .SET_SQL_TRACE or . The questions here are related to UNIX but you should equally be able to .2 "&" Use the ?What UNIX command will control the default file permissions when files are created . edit and delete files and subdirectories in the directory Execute gives you the previous read/write permissions plus allows you to change into the .Netstat reports on the contents of network data structures ?How would you change all occurrences of a value using VI .3 Umask .49 These two Oracle utilities are used for loading data into the database.UNIX Every DBA should know something about the operating system that the database will be running on.1 ls -ltra ?How do you execute a UNIX command in the background . and execute permissions on a UNIX directory .6 df -lk .Explain the read.Use ALTER SESSION SET SQL_TRACE = TRUE ?What is the difference between the SQL*Loader and IMPORT utilities .5 A symbolic (soft) linked file and the targeted file can be located on the same or different . tape and CPU activity .Give the command to display space usage on the UNIX file system .directory and execute programs or shells from the directory ?the difference between a soft link and a hard link .Name two files used for network connection to a database .Read allows you to see and list the directory contents .4 .50 TNSNAMES.Write allows you to create. disk. disk and tape I/O activity . The difference is that the import utility relies on the data being produced by another Oracle utility EXPORT while the SQL*Loader utility allows data to be loaded that has been produced by other utilities from different data sources just so long as it conforms to ASCII formatted or .file system while for a hard link they must be located on the same file system . write.delimited files .Use the DBMS_SESSION. vmstat and netstat .Explain iostat.Iostat reports on terminal.
Take a close look at the requirements for any job and try to extract questions that interviewers may ask from manuals and real life experiences.Basically. Can you take online backup of a Control file if yes. What is the advantage of RMAN utility? 13. Remember these are "core" DBA questions and not necessarily related to the Oracle options that you may encounter in some interviews. Where should you place Archive logfiles. How do you bring the database in ARCHIVELOG mode from NOARCHIVELOG mode? 6. This would !allow you to brush up on particular environments and not be caught off-guard. how do you install Oracle software on UNIX . A database is running in NOARCHIVELOG mode then which type of backups you can take? 3. For instance. how? 9. kernel parameters.Briefly. What is a Logical Backup? 10. Can you take partial backups if the Database is running in NOARCHIVELOG mode? 4. then in which mode you should run the database? 7. Why do you take tablespaces in Backup mode? 12. you should try to determine what hardware and software they are using BEFORE you get to the interview. Can you take Online Backups if the the database is running in NOARCHIVELOG mode? 5.Use :%s///g Give two UNIX kernel parameters that effect an Oracle install . You cannot shutdown the database for even some minutes. Should you take the backup of Logfiles if the database is running in ARCHIVELOG mode? 11. if they are looking for a DBA to run their databases in RAC environments.9 SHMMAX & SHMMNI . set up disks. Good luck 1. in the same disk where DB is or another disk? 8. Which types of backups you can take in Oracle? 2.10 . How RMAN improves backup time? . and run orainst I hope that these interview questions were not too hard.
What is a Complete Recovery? . Which is more efficient Incremental Backups using RMAN or Incremental Export? 25. You want to retain only last 3 backups of datafiles. From which backup should you restore this file? 31. How do you recover from the loss of datafile if the DB is running in NOARCHIVELOG mode? 27. Can you take Image Backups using RMAN? 20. You lost some datafiles and you don't have any full backup and the database was running in NOARCHIVELOG mode. How do you go for it in RMAN? 24. Can you take Offline backups using RMAN? 15. You loss one datafile and it does not contain important objects.14. Should you place Recovery Catalog in the Same DB? 18. Where RMAN keeps information of backups if you are using RMAN without Catalog? 22. Can you start and shutdown DB using RMAN? 26. You have taken a manual backup of a datafile using o/s. How do you see information about backups in RMAN? 16. You loss controlfile how do you recover from this? 32. What you can do now? 33. What you can do now? 29. The important objects are there in other datafiles which are intact. What is a Recovery Catalog? 17. How do you proceed in this situation? 28. How do you recover from the loss of datafile if the DB is running in ARCHIVELOG mode? 30. How RMAN will know about it? 23. Can you use Backupsets created by RMAN with any other utility? 21. The current logfile gets damaged. You loss one datafile and DB is running in ARCHIVELOG mode. You have full database backup of 1 week old and partial backup of this datafile which is just 1 day old. Can you use RMAN without Recovery catalog? 19.
Some user has accidentally dropped one table and you realize this after two days. Do you have to restore Datafiles manually from backups if you are doing recovery using RMAN? 37. How you will recreate a new parameter file with the parameters set to previous values. Some datafiles were there on a secondary disk and that disk has become damaged and it will take some days to get a new disk. After one week this datafile gets damaged before you can take any backup. Time based and Change Based Recovery? 35. A datafile is added to the database last week. At one time you lost parameter file accidentally and you don't have any backup. What is Cancel Based. Only some blocks are damaged in a datafile. Have you faced any emergency situation. How do you recover from the loss of a controlfile if you have backup of controlfile? 39. Tell us how you resolved it? 42. Now can you recover this datafile when you don't have any backups? 38. Can you recover this table if the DB is running in ARCHIVELOG mode? 36. . How will you recover from this situation? 41. A database is running in ARCHIVELOG mode since last one month. Many objects are created in this datafile. Can you just recover these blocks if you are using RMAN? 40.34.
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