Say It With Screenshots

Brent Ozar continues his series on interviewing tactics:

After writing about “For Technical Interviews, Don’t Ask Questions, Show Screenshots”, lots of folks asked what kinds of screenshots I’d show. Here’s this week’s example.

I show each screenshot on a projector (or shared desktop) to the candidate and say:

  1. What’s this screen from?

  2. What does the screen mean?

  3. If it was a server you inherited from someone else, would there be any actions you’d take?

  4. What questions might you want to ask before you take those actions?

  5. Would there be any drawbacks to your actions?

  6. What would be the benefits of your actions?

I have started to use this in interviews and I’m already loving it.  I don’t want people to memorize minutia (“Name all of the policies available in Policy-Based Management”) but if I show a picture of the different policies, that should jog your memory on when you’ve used PBM to solve interesting problems.

Related Posts


One of my interests about a decade ago was agorics, the study of computational markets.  Mark S. Miller and K. Eric Drexler pushed this idea in the late 1990s and collected a fair portion of the work on the topic on Drexler’s website.  A sample from the section on computation and economic order: Trusting objects […]

Read More

Readings In Database Systems

Curated SQL is taking Thanksgiving off.  If you are looking for some good reading, check out Readings in Database Systems, 5th Edition.

Read More


May 2016
« Apr Jun »