10 Preparations for Your Data Science Interview

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Oct 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Interview Tips, IT, Candidate

Are you trying to prepare for a data science interview?  If so, it's important to sell both your soft and hard skills to potential employers.  While this can seem intimidating, especially for someone who is used to working with complex numbers and communicating them into non-technical language for colleagues, there are ten things you can do right now for your interview prep. Read on to discover how you can beat out the competition with these tips.

1. Fluency in Data Science Trends

Employers are seeking data scientist candidates who show enthusiasm in their career. Evidence of this can be communicated by staying on top of advances and trends in data science. Therefore, when an employer asks technical questions during an interview, you will have the right answers.  

2. Take Advantage of Online Resources

There is an abundance of online interview prep resources available from the Internet.  Such sites as DeZyre, KGnuggets, Udacity, Quora, Data Science Central, Galvanize, Ucanalytics, Sanfoundry, and SAS can help you prepare for a data science interview.  

3. Practice Explaining Data Science in Easy to Understand Language

Being able to speak of your field in simple terms that anyone can understand is an important way to pass a data science interview with flying colors.  Take some time to practice this with a different audience, such as those in design, engineering, and business operations. 

4. Anticipate the Interview Schedule

When interviewing for a data scientist position, you can expect the interview to consist of anywhere from one to three screening conversations.  From there, you can then expect to spend an entire day on-site where you may be speaking with a variety of people across different departments.  This is done to evaluate both your hard and soft skills.  Employers will look to see if you "know your stuff" and how well you interact with others.  

5. Expect to do Some Writing and Talking

Chances are, the interviewer will pull out a whiteboard and ask that you write and talk through your thinking.  Practice this at home as part of your interview prep so you won't appear flustered if this is asked of you.

6. Are You A Good Cultural Fit?

The culture of companies can be different from one to the next.  However, you can expect a potential employer to consider whether or not you're a good fit for the company's culture.  This is a benefit to both you and the employer. You don't want to work for a company where you don't fit in, and a company doesn't want to hire someone who will not easily conform to their present culture.  To learn more about a company's culture, ask questions that will reveal whether or not the company has a strong technical culture.  

7. Use Positive Body Language

The way you use your body says a lot about you.  For example, during your interview prep pay attention to any non-verbal cues that will not work in your favor, like constantly folding your arms across your chest or failing to make eye contact when speaking to someone.  Instead, adopt a sense of positive body language before you data science interview.   

8. Consider How You Would Improve or Create Data Products

Your interviewer may ask you questions about how you would develop features for a product, such as Uber Surge Pricing.  Anticipating these kinds of questions will make it easy for you to give a thought-provoking response and impress the employer.  

9. Know the Person You're Interviewing with

Before you head off to your interview, it's important that you know exactly who will be your interviewer.  Take the time to review their background so you can also take part in guiding the interview conversation.  If you've been offered an interview but are not told who you will be interviewing with, simply ask with whom you'll be meeting.  

10. Get Excited about the Interview

Finally, if you're not enthusiastic about the position, it will show.  To avoid appearing uninterested, get to know the company as well.  Take into consideration such things as the company’s product and vision, and pull out those elements which excite you most and be sure to talk about them! 

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