Top 10 Hive Interview Questions and Answers

As a Hadoop professional preparing for an upcoming Hive interview, you’re probably wondering more about what you can expect. More specifically, it’s helpful to know what types of questions are commonly asked during a Hive interview, along with the answers that your interviewer is likely looking for.

Some of the top Hive interview questions include:

Q: What is Hive?

A: As a Hadoop professional, you should be able to explain Hive to your interviewer with ease. Answer by explaining that it is a data warehouse tool and open-source software that can query and analyze data stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

Q: What is a Hive variable and what is it used for?

A: Referenced by Hive scripting languages, a Hive variable is created in the Hive environment and uses the source command. Once Hive queries begin executing, a Hive variable provides values to queries. 

Q: What are the different modes in the Hive?

A: This may seem like an easy question, but again, sometimes interviewers like to ask these basic questions to see how confident you are when it comes to your Hive knowledge. Answer by saying that Hive can sometimes operate in two modes, which are MapReduce mode and local mode. Explain that this depends on the size of the DataNodes in Hadoop. 

Q: What is Hive bucketing?

A: When performing queries on large datasets in Hive, bucketing can offer better structure to Hive tables. You’ll also want to take your answer a step further by explaining some of the specific bucketing features, as well as some of the advantages of bucketing in Hive. For example, bucketing can give programmers more flexibility when it comes to record-keeping and can make it easier to debug large datasets when needed.

Q: What is Hive composed of?

A: Tell your interviewer that Hive is made up of three main components: Hive Services, Hive Clients, and Hive Storage and Computing. You should also briefly explain to your interviewer what each component is capable of and the differences between each part.

Q: What are the main components of Hive Architecture?

A: You’ll first want to answer this question by naming each of the main components: Driver, User Interface, Execute Engine, Compiler, and Megastore. You’ll really demonstrate your Hive knowledge to your interviewer if you’re able to explain the capabilities of each component as well. 

Q: What options are available when it comes to attaching applications to the Hive Server?

A: Explain the three different ways (Thrift Client, JDBC Driver, and ODBC Driver) you can connect applications to the Hive Server. You’ll also want to explain the purpose for each option: for example, using JDBC will support the JDBC protocol.

Q: What variations of tables are available in Hive?

A: This is a fairly straightforward question for someone experienced in Hive, so it’s important to know the answer without hesitation: The two types of tables are managed tables and external tables.

Q: What are partitions?

A: In Hive, tables are organized and divided into partitions. You’ll want to include this in your answer, as well as explain why partitions are useful in Hive. 

Q: What file formats and applications does Hive support?

A: The answer to this question will include a lot of information, so it’s important to be prepared to list as many supported file formats and applications as possible. Applications written in C++, Python, Java, PHP, and Ruby are generally supported in Hive. When it comes to filing formats, Hive supports text file formats by default but also supports binary file formats, such as Avro data, ORC, Sequence, and Parquet files.

Preparing for some of these Hive interview questions can certainly be stressful, but this is how Simplilearn can help. Whether you have some experience as a Hadoop professional, or you’re just starting out, our Big Data Hadoop Certification Training can sharpen your skills and help you ace your Hive job interview. 

About the Author

Shivam AroraShivam Arora

Shivam Arora is a Senior Product Manager at Simplilearn. Passionate about driving product growth, Shivam has managed key AI and IOT based products across different business functions. He has 6+ years of product experience with a Masters in Marketing and Business Analytics.

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