6 Common SSIS Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Updated 30 September 2022

SQL server integration systems (SSIS) are a component of Microsoft SQL server that IT professionals use for data transmission and migration tasks. Many companies prefer hiring candidates who are able to work with SSIS to extract data from various sources such as SQL server databases and Excel files. Knowing what types of questions you can expect during an SSIS interview can help you feel more confident and prepare good responses. In this article, we list some commonly asked SSIS interview questions and provide their sample answers to help you with your next SSIS interview preparation.

SSIS Interview Questions With Sample Answers

SSIS is an important component of both the Microsoft SQL Server and business intelligence suite. Many developers use SSIS to resolve issues encountered in workflow applications and data integration. SSIS is one of the leading ETL tools that SQL developers use. Highlighting your knowledge about SSIS in your responses can help you perform well in the interview. Here are some common SSIS interview questions with sample answers:

1. What is SSIS?

SSIS stands for SQL server integration services which is a part of Microsoft SQL servers. It is a platform that many professionals use to perform enterprise-level data transformation and migration. Interviewers may ask this question to understand your basic knowledge about this platform.

Example: ‘SSIS is a function of Microsoft SQL server which we use to perform data migration or data transformation. We can use SSIS to define the workflow and manage maintenance. Since my childhood, I have always been a technology lover and wanted to learn new and creative things every day. During my second year in college, I came across SSIS and started learning about it. SSIS enables us to automate the most labour-intensive parts of the work. Other uses of SSIS include data archiving, indexing, loading and cleansing.'

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2. Tell us about a time you used SSIS variables in your work.

This is another question that the interviewer can ask to test your foundational knowledge of SSIS. While answering this question, explain how you use SSIS in your daily tasks. This question can be a great opportunity for you to discuss your abilities to use SSIS in solving complex business problems.

Example: ‘There are two main types of variables which we use in SSIS, system variables and user variables. These variables record and store values. During my last job, I was appointed as an SQL database administrator and my job was to understand and find the different types of errors that the company's websites were facing. When I was unable to adjust the error code, I used the user variable to assign values to each type of code. It took me around 15 days to identify the actual problem. Then I corrected the issue and the website's coding issues.'

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3. Have you ever faced a challenging situation while working with SSIS?

While answering this question, highlight your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Focus on using clear and specific methods that helped you to overcome the challenges in using SSIS. A great way to answer this question can be by starting with the problem you faced and the solutions you used to resolve the issue.

Example: ‘During an internship, my team and I were working on 64-bit machines but our major concern was to find and access the features we could only find in 32-bit machines. We worked very hard to find the perfect solution for this issue. I came up with the idea of changing the Run64BitRunTime to "False" and then changing the default configuration to "True". We were successfully able to run the 32-bit machine on a 64-bit platform.'

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4. Explain the methods you use to create deployment utilities in SSIS?

The interviewer may ask this question to evaluate your understanding of the deployment utilities and how you use them. Briefly explain the methods you use to create deployment utilities. You can include examples from your past work experience.

Example: ‘When working with deployment utilities, I create a folder to organise my project files. I like to divide each folder based on the categories as it makes it easier to organise the project in a much more efficient way. First, I go to the project and right-click on it. Then, I double-click on the properties. After that, I choose the path location for deployment by selecting the box next to “True” under Create Deployment Utility. I save changes and close the window.

Then, I right-click again on the project and select the build option. This creates a deployment folder in the project's root within the BIN folder. The deployment folder might have a .manifest file. Double-clicking on the .manifest file and selecting the deploy option performs package deployment on the SQL server.'

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5. What do you understand about the term data transmission in SSIS?

Interviewers may ask this question to know if you are able to perform duties related to SSIS. Use this question as an opportunity to represent yourself as someone who can migrate data from different sources.

Example: ‘According to me, the term data transformation is the process of extracting required data from a data source. Data transformation is the most critical step in SSIS. The next step is called post-extraction, in which the data is managed and transferred to a specific file destination. This process implements more than one rule to extract the data to the target file. What I have learned over the years is that data transmission includes business intelligence, row, split and join, auditing and custom transformation.'

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6. Tell us a few pros and cons of stored procedures?

Many interviewers ask this question to assess your technical knowledge of SQL. You can answer this question by explaining what a stored procedure is and providing its pros and cons.

Example:A stored procedure is a set of SQL statements which are stored as a group in the database. We can create them once and use them multiple times when necessary. I think the pros of using stored procedures in SQL Server are that they are reusable and easy to maintain. They can also help in reducing the execution time. We can also encrypt stored procedures and avoid possible SQL injection attacks. On the contrary, the cons of stored procedures can be that they use a lot of memory.'

Additional Tips To Prepare For SSIS Interview Questions

Here are a few tips that can help you answer SSIS-related questions during an interview:

Create a list of questions

Make a list of questions related to SSIS that you can expect during the interview. If you are applying for an entry-level job, consider preparing basic SSIS questions. You can create effective answers to every question and practise them well before the interview. Build a list of questions based on your own previous work experience and the skill sets you possess.

Research about the company

Performing research prior to the interview can help you during the interview. It can help you to understand what an interviewer is going to expect from you. Researching the goals and values of the company can provide you with information about their work environment and the duties of the new job role.

Related: SQL Query Interview Questions For Freshers And Experienced Candidates (With Sample Answers)

Review your documents

Reviewing your documents carefully before submitting them to recruiters can increase your chances of getting hired. It also represents you as a strong candidate who is responsible and serious about the job. Providing interviewers with the required educational documents and certifications can present you as a skilled professional.

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Practicing the interview on your own before stepping into the actual interview room can be a great way to remove your fears and increase your confidence level. You can ask your friends or family members to give constructive feedback on your answers. It can be helpful in improving your verbal communication and other skills. Try keeping your answers informative and effective. In your response, include accurate and specific methods you take to resolve any issue related to SSIS.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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