What Are the 5 Basic SQL Queries?

What Are the 5 Basic SQL Queries?
7 min read

In SQL query interview questions, the focus often revolves around popular SQL queries that frequently arise. Among these queries are five commonly asked: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and JOIN. 

You will find the introduction to these five queries and their syntax in today's blog. Moreover, you will also learn about the applications of these queries. 

  • SELECT Query

The SELECT query is a crucial query to cover for SQL query interview questions. The SELECT query helps the user to extract information from the databases. It makes it really easy to retrieve data and information from extensive databases. 

It is important to be familiar with five main components in the SELECT query when preparing for SQL query interview questions.

Applications of SELECT Query

  • Filtering Data with WHERE Clause

The WHERE clause allows you to specify logical operators such as equality, comparison, and logical conditions to narrow down the data retrieved. The logical operators used in WHERE clauses are AND and  OR.

  • Sorting Results with ORDER BY Clause

The ORDER BY clause is essential for presenting the retrieved data in a meaningful order. It sorts the data based on one or more columns in ascending or descending order. 

  • Limiting Results with LIMIT Clause

The LIMIT clause comes to the rescue when you only need a specific number of rows from the query results. You can efficiently control the output and avoid unnecessary data retrieval by specifying the desired number of rows.

  • INSERT Query

The second important query for your SQL query interview questions is the INSERT query. This query allows you to add new data to your database tables. The INSERT query is crucial in populating your database with valuable information, whether creating a new record or inserting multiple rows simultaneously. 

Syntax and Structure of the INSERT Query

Here, `table_name` represents the table's name where you want to insert data. The columns you want to populate are specified within parentheses, separated by commas. The corresponding values for these columns are provided in the VALUES clause, also separated by commas.

Applications of INSERT Query

  • Inserting Data into Specific Columns

Specifying the columns in the INSERT statement ensures that the values are inserted in the desired locations, maintaining data integrity.

  • Inserting Multiple Rows at Once

SQL also allows you to insert multiple rows in a single INSERT query, reducing the number of interactions with the database. You can do so by providing multiple sets of values within the VALUES clause, separated by commas.

  • Using the INSERT...SELECT Statement

The INSERT...SELECT statement combines the power of the SELECT query with the INSERT query. Instead of specifying values, you can retrieve data from another table, perform calculations within the SELECT statement, and insert the results into the target table. 

  • UPDATE Query

UPDATE query is another essential query you should learn about for SQL query interview questions. The UPDATE query allows you to modify existing data in your database tables. With an UPDATE query, you can update a single record or change multiple rows simultaneously. Moreover, the UPDATE query also helps you to maintain data accuracy and relevance. 

Syntax and Structure of the UPDATE Query

Here, `table_name` represents the table's name where you want to update data. The columns you want to modify are specified in the SET clause, followed by their corresponding new values. The WHERE clause allows you to specify conditions determining which rows should be updated. Only the rows that meet the specified conditions will be affected.

Applications of UPDATE Query

  • Updating Specific Columns

You can use the UPDATE query to update specific table columns while leaving the rest untouched. Specifying the desired columns in the SET clause ensures that only specific columns are modified. 

  • Using the WHERE Clause for Conditional Updates

One of the best abilities of an UPDATE query is to perform conditional updates. By incorporating the WHERE clause, you can specify conditions determining which rows should be updated. 

  • Updating Multiple Rows Simultaneously

SQL allows you to update multiple rows in a single UPDATE query, providing efficiency and convenience. 

  • DELETE Query

The DELETE query is a powerful tool that allows you to remove unwanted data from your database tables. Whether you need to delete a single record or multiple rows based on specific conditions, the DELETE query empowers you to maintain data cleanliness and organization. 

Syntax and Structure of the DELETE Query

Here, `table_name` represents the name of the table from which you want to delete data. The WHERE clause allows you to specify conditions determining which rows should be deleted. Only the rows that meet the specified conditions will be removed.

Applications of DELETE Query

  • Deleting Specific Rows

With a DELETE query, you can delete specific rows from a table based on certain criteria. It enables you to remove the necessary records while retaining the relevant data selectively.

  • Deleting All Rows from a Table

If you need to delete all the rows from a table, you can simply execute a DELETE query without a WHERE clause. However, it permanently removes all data from the table. So, you should use it carefully.

  • Deleting from Multiple Tables

You can also delete data from multiple related tables in more complex scenarios. In such cases, you can use the DELETE query combined with JOIN statements to target and remove data across multiple tables simultaneously.

  • JOIN Query

The JOIN query allows users to combine data from multiple tables based on related columns. It helps uncover valuable insights, perform complex data analysis, and create comprehensive result sets. Moreover, there are many types of Joins, namely inner, left, right, full, and cross. You should learn about these joins as SQL query interview questions arise from this section. 

Syntax and Structure of the JOIN Query

Here, `table1` and `table2` represent the tables you want to join. The `ON` keyword specifies the column(s) from each table that forms the basis of the join. By matching values in the specified columns, the JOIN operation combines the table rows into a single result set.

Applications of JOIN Query 

  • Joining Multiple Tables

In more complex scenarios, you may need to join three or more tables to combine data from multiple sources. It can be achieved by extending the JOIN query with additional JOIN clauses, ensuring that the join conditions are met across all tables.

Furthermore, don’t forget to reiterate the concepts of Kubernetes before you appear for an interview. Here are some considerations:

Preparing for Kubernetes interview questions includes learning about pods, nodes, controllers, and services. 

Familiarity with scaling applications, container networking, labels, selectors, rolling updates, namespaces, and cluster security is crucial for cracking Kubernetes interviews.

Moreover, staying updated with the latest trends and best practices is recommended. By studying, practising, and exploring real-world use cases, you can confidently ace the Kubernetes interview.


In conclusion, these five SQL queries are the most important to learn for SQL query interview questions. With the understanding of these queries, handling data becomes easier. 

These queries help to simplify tasks like inserting, deleting, and updating data. Covering these SQL queries will help you to conquer your SQL query interview. 

Ishita Juneja 2
Joined: 11 months ago
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