Have you ever been in a data science interview? Was it very easy and smooth to get through? No, right?
Data Science interviews are not only challenging but also difficult to be in. For, the main idea of a data science interview is to carefully analyze candidate’s analytics and creativity and weed out those who are not qualified for the job.
However, not all interviews for data science are the same. They’re not perfect either. There are many aspects of such interviews, which are not at all represent the actual job of a data scientist. While some people go cynical, others use it as an excuse when they’re rejected.
Instead of learning something positive, they end up saying things like “Why was I asked such a question?”, “How would I know that?”, “I dream to be a data scientist, not a superhero!”, and so on. Although cribbing upon rejection is natural, it won’t help you get a job.
Here in this article, we share simple yet effective tips and resources for you to improve your data science interview skills. With these, you’re sure not to be turned down for a bad reason..
Brush-up the basics!
There is a myriad resources available both online and offline, with which you can revise your data science basics. For instance, you may check Brilliant.org for their combinatorics pages to get a refresher on core principles of the subject. The website also helps self assessment tests with which you can explore your data science knowledge.
Combinatorics offers ample of questions across probability, statistics, mathematics, and analytics.
Pro Tip: Utilize your time in preparation for Bayes’ Theorem rather than trying to remember it.
Well-prepare your stories
First off, you should understand that data scientist interview questions are meant to gauge your attitude towards the domain. Besides, your interviewer has already framed expected answers and examples of the questions.
For example, Amazon has maintained a list of Leadership Principles, from which questions are framed. You may find it and more such helpful resources online. Look out for them and think through to create your own stories. Write out precise answers to the questions, maybe in the form of short stories.
Through this, you must be able to convey a short anecdote that contains enough details to set up a narrative. To top it all, they would also ask clarifying questions on your story, so make sure you have enough time to prepare for that too. Whenever possible, try and give out as much information you can. Sitting mum won’t help!
Carry out enough research
The most critical part of any interview, for that matter, is to think your hats off while your interviewer sits there staring at you. Even those questions which you feel easy, might be tricky in such an environment.
Hence, try and conduct enough research about the topics. Learn to get a knack of things to expect in each interview. Have an adequate preparation of such topics. Which, would only come with practice and facing good number of data science interview sessions.
For example, Glassdoor sources interview reviews from people who have faced such interviews. You may always visit their website and read through such reviews and other helpful resources to know what’s coming.
Pro Tip: Ask the recruiter what type of questions to expect so that you can prepare accordingly.
Practice problem solving
Problem solving is one of the most vital aspects of data science interview questions. Hence, it should be handled both carefully and smartly. Go through various types of problems and prepare their solutions on a paper. Whenever you’re stuck or commit a mistake, write it down so that you know where and how to spend time on that topic.
Prepare problem solving framework
When you go on facing technical interviews regularly, you might notice that the same framework can be used over. By doing so, you can have better clarity of thought and a fair momentum to face data science interview.
So the thing is, until and unless you develop your own problem solving framework, you won’t be able to pass the concerned parameters.
Special attention to common technical concepts
When you’re into data science, you would know the importance of understanding bias and variance. You have to have good knowledge of detecting and managing the overfit model too. Besides, also know the strategies applied for dealing with classification problems when the classes are not properly balanced.
Also you need to know the ups and downs of various model structures. Apart from that, do make sure you have a clear knowledge of how the algorithms work, why and how are random forests named like that, and what is gradient boosting.
Imagine your technical interview as a verbal and comprehensive final example. Therefore, go prepared with core principles of major data science concepts.
Information about the company
One of the best and most important ways to prepare for a data science technical round interview is to have ample information about the company.
Check out your prospective employer’s website and look at all the various products and services they offer. When it comes to Pricing Analytics, there can be questions like “How would you determine the final price of X product?”.
To tackle such questions, spend time thinking about the various offerings of your company. Also think of through few approaches about how product prices are set. You can find a plethora of concepts and information across the web – you just have to be proactive in exploring it.
Rejection is not a basis for your talent
Last but not the least, understand that your job rejection is not a basis for your talent. In case you’re rejected at any of the rounds, do not get disheartened and lose all the hope. Instead, know that it’s time to buckle up and start sorting out things to do better next time.
Sometimes you’re rejected because it wasn’t really a great fit for you. Rest of the time you’re turned down due to your performance. Other times, you won’t just understand the cause. Irrespective of the reason, allow yourself good time to absorb the negative emotions so that you bring back yourself with a bang!
Follow above tips to improve your data science interview skills and land yourself the most perfect and right opportunity!