The field of data science is booming; in fact, The Harvard Review announced way back in 2012 that data science jobs are going to be the sexiest jobs of the 21st century. The hype and glamour surrounding this field has only increased since then. Today, everyone wishes to crack data science interviews and begin their career as Data Scientists. But data science is a vast field, and acing the data science interview is not an easy task. Read on to find out our top 5 tips to ace any data science interview.
5 Tips to Ace a Data Science Interview
- Identifying your desired role
Due to the vastness of the field, data science job description may vary. It is important for you to identify the role that suits you and prepare for the interview accordingly. The lifecycle of any data science project has various functions, giving rise to several roles like Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Business Analyst, Data Architect, Statistician, Machine Learning Engineer, etc. Pinpoint the role which suits you best before you start preparing for interviews.
2. Honing your skills
This is undoubtedly the core of your preparation for facing data science interviews. The skills that you need to work on will depend on the role you have chosen, or alternatively, on the data science job description. For instance, the role of a Data Engineer would require you to be proficient in programming languages like Python with a background in Software Engineering. On the other hand, if you have chosen the role of Business Analyst, your communication skills will play a more important part than your soft skills.
3. Know your algorithms
It’s vital to know your algorithms for any data science interview. Make it a point to show that you understand the differences between algorithms. Also, you should know when to use one algorithm over another.
4. Strong grasp of data science tools
Showcase your knowledge and experience in data science tools to crack a data science interview. Make sure you have a good knowledge of different skills listed in the data science job description. Understandably, it’s best to know all the tools mentioned in the job description, inside out.
5. Create a data science portfolio
Showcase your business acumen as a data scientist by developing a portfolio of work. Even though portfolios are usually viewed as something for creative professionals, they’re becoming more and more common in the tech industry as competition for roles gets stronger. So, build a great data science portfolio before attending the interview.
The stories you hear from other job seekers can make interviews feel more intimidating and daunting. So, you better be prepared before facing the interviews. What kind of questions can be asked? How should your body language be? What are the resources you should refer to? These are just some of the questions you’ll have in mind. Let’s look at some bonus common tips that will help you ace the interview:
- Preparing your resume
Crafting the perfect resume is half the battle, for acing any interview. This is especially true of Data Science interviews. Your resume should be crisp and concise – no recruiter wants to spend hours reading through your cv. The relevant technical skills should be highlighted. Create separate resumes for different roles. Also, keep in mind the company you are applying to; the expectations of a start-up firm vis-a-vis your experience will differ greatly from that of an established firm. Find out how to build a good data science resume from this article.
- Applying for jobs
For many, this would seem like an unimportant step. After all, your resume is ready, your skills have been brushed up; all that remains is to upload your resume on any of the job portals, find a relevant job and apply. This strategy has sadly gone out of date. If you opt for this method, your resume will only be one of hundred similar ones flooding the recruiter’s inbox. This is the digital era, so make use of your online portfolio and contacts to apply for jobs. The recruiter must notice your profile over others in order to shortlist you for the interview.
- The telephonic screening round
Once you have been shortlisted for interview, most recruiters contact you via a phone call as the first round of interview. Remember that this will be your first interaction with your prospective employer and must be treated with due seriousness. A casual attitude may give the wrong impression. Depending on the data science job description, you can keep the answers for a few common questions ready but refrain from simply reading the answers off the screen. Make sure that you are in a quiet room while attending the call, with no distractions. This is also the time to ask a few questions yourself, to find out more about the company/job role, information that will not be available from other sources.
- The Assignment round
Once you clear the telephonic round, some companies might conduct an assignment round. This can be of two types: (a)Take-home assignments where you are provided with a problem statement and data set. You are usually given a few days to present the solution. (b) Onsite assignments where you are given around 3 to 8 hours to solve the problem before passing on to the face-to-face interview. This is an opportunity to impress your recruiter; aspiring data scientists should go the extra mile and not just stick with meeting expectations.
- In-person interviews
After having cleared the previous rounds, you come in direct contact with the interviewer. Depending on the company, you can expect multiple rounds of direct interviews. You may also meet with different people like the Hiring Manager, your prospective team, Project Lead, HR personnel, etc. Some employers can also ask you to spend the day with the team for brainstorming sessions. This round will test you for your technical and communication skills as well as logical reasoning and team-play abilities.
- After the interview
Once your in-person interview is over, regardless of how you performed, maintain your professionalism and send a thank-you note. Data science is a tight-knit community, so wrap things up on a positive note.
Read more about the frequently asked Data Science interview questions in India, on Springboard. As in everything, proper preparation is key to cracking interviews for data science jobs. You can check out the online course for Data Science offered by Springboard India that comes with a 1:1 mentorship-led and project-driven approach along with a job guarantee, to strengthen your foothold in the industry.