Interview Questions and Skills for Data Science Professionals

Whether you are launching a career in data science or want to advance into a higher-level data scientist position, being ready for the interview and having the right skills are both critical. Even if you have an ideal skill set, failing to answer the interview questions well can cost you the role. Similarly, even if you’re incredibly articulate, you won’t get the job if you don’t have the necessary skills.

By understanding what core competencies are critical in data science as well as the kinds of questions you may face, you can increase your odds of landing a new position. If you want to make sure you’re prepared, here’s what you need to know.

Data Science Skills

You can’t land a data science role if you don’t bring the right skills to the table. This includes the needed technical prowess as well as critical soft skills that are vital to every organization.

For technical skills, you’ll usually see capabilities like data analysis, predictive modeling, and data mining. Knowledge of Apache Hadoop, SQL, C++, MATLAB, R, and Python are frequently necessary as well.

On the soft skills side, communication is always a must. Additionally, the ability to work well as part of a team, a willingness to learn, and the ability to be agile are often considered essential.

Interview Questions for Data Scientists

If you want to make sure you are ready for your next interview, data science professionals need to be prepared to answer technical questions that reflect on the role. Usually, hiring managers want to understand your mindset and how you approach problems. By learning how a candidate views problems and the methodologies they use to reach solutions, the hiring manager can make sure that the one they select can potentially excel.

While the exact questions can vary depending on the specifics of the position, certain ones are fairly common. For example, “What are some of the data sources you would use?” helps the hiring manager understand your approach to a scenario. Similarly, they may ask you to describe how you would acquire data and your end goal or to explore how you could take a problem back and examine it holistically.

Additionally, a hiring manager is going to want to know how you handle a project when it appears that it’s failing. It’s also common to be asked how you react to challenges and obstacles.

A hiring manager will also ask you questions that drill down into your soft skills. Usually, you’ll be asked to discuss relevant examples from your past experience, such as a time when you took on a leadership role, had to work with a cross-functional team, or handle a conflict.

Ultimately, all of the points are important if you work in data science and want to keep your career moving forward. If you’d like to know more, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our data science career expertise can benefit you.

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