Top 5 questions you should prepare for an interview in Data Science & Analytics
Data Science and Analytics is a space that impacts industries the world over. With record-breaking investments and a growing data hub, it casts a positive outlook for investors who are beginning to recognise the potential of Singapore and Hong Kong’s fintech hubs.
How is the market looking like?
The data science market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 39.3%, and valued to reach USD 2 million by 2023 across Asia. The significant growth is projected to be led by increasing demand for effective big data analysis to gain deeper consumer insights, reading consumers’ buying behaviour and purchasing patterns.
There’s also significant increase in the amount of organisations that understand the impact of using data to predict business trends. This is apt for businesses to plan and pre-empt changes in the market, especially during unprecedented times of a pandemic. Furthermore, its rising penetration of integrated and connected technologies is further anticipated to boost the market growth over the coming years. And the result? An increase in the data and analytics market.
We spoke to Donnie Maclary, Principal Recruitment Consultant from Huxley Singapore who shared with us how candidates in this sector can prepare for upcoming interviews.
So, whether you’re a tech professional equipped with data and analytics skills, or you’re looking to break into the market, we’re here to help you out. Take a look at some of the top interview questions you can prepare for to make a memorable impression on hiring managers.
1. What appeals to you about this position?
Have you studied the job requirements of the role you are applying for? Do you know what the position demands?
Strong candidates will be able to match their existing abilities with the qualifications specified in the job description. Have a think about what it is that would give you that extra edge - highlight what interests you about the role and how you’re hoping to learn and grow from it.
For example, the responsibility of a Data Analyst would include some of the following:
- Provide support on all data analysis and coordinate with customers and colleagues
- Resolve business associated issues for clients and perform audit on data
- Analyse results and interpret data using statistical techniques and provide ongoing reports
- Prioritise business needs and work closely with management and information needs
At this point, it would be beneficial for you to highlight your interest in identifying new processes that companies can adopt or areas for improvement opportunities - this showcases your enthusiasm to use your skills in order to benefit the business
2. How are you going to apply your technical know-how to solve potential data issues?
If you are intending to apply for a role in data or analytics, be prepared to be equipped with some of the following technical skills:
- Robust knowledge on reporting packages
- Experience working on databases i.e SQL, SQLite
- Strong knowledge on statistical packages for analysing large datasets i.e SAS, Excel, SPSS
Various steps in an analytics project include defining the problem, exploring the data, preparing the data for utilisation, modelling it for visualisation and ultimately, validating it. This requires not only technical know-how but also soft skills below:
- Prioritises accuracy
- Adaptive to change
And if you really want to impress your interviewer, showcase your experience in database design, data models, data mining, and segmentation techniques in a portfolio.
3. What type of work environment do you see yourself thriving in?
This question is designed to assess cultural fit within a company. Depending on a candidate’s answer to this question, hiring managers will have a good idea on how your values and skills match up with the company’s motto and values.
Data Scientists often like to work at their own pace and in an ad-hoc manner – taking on experiments and analysing data. However, the environment in many businesses today is shifting to a more collaborative approach rather than a silo mentality. Roles in data and analytics are encouraging more sharing in teams. Engineers, analysts, scientists, and architects now work more closely together in a project to be clear about their own specific tasks while encouraging greater creativity and innovation. So, make sure you demonstrate your enthusiasm to work in a team when interviewing.
4. What steps would you recommend we take to improve our business?
To assess how well a candidate has researched a company, you might be asked to address areas in need of improvement for them. This will reveal your industry knowledge in terms of the business, as well as your ability to apply your technical skills to business strategy.
Tech companies for instance are always faced with challenges, from problematic payment infrastructure to cyber risks, it’s always crucial to be careful. Being able to take precautionary measures through the analysis of data available around these issues will enhance the sustainability of the company in the long run.
5. This position is a major step in your life. How have you prepared yourself?
This question is a chance for you to highlight your past experiences and prove that you have the transferable skills for this business. Tech is a sector that is developing very quickly, and numerous jobs are created daily. With limitless opportunities for you to learn and re-learn, you can become much more versatile and have the chance to expand your career options.
Evolution is key and since data science is an emerging and innovative field, you will need to be highly adaptive to new data science projects. Embrace change and be open to new opportunities if you are looking to make a break into this space.
Still nervous about the interview?
Take the time to collect yourselves mentally to leave a confident impression in the conversation. As far as possible, think about questions that you would like to ask the company as well in a conversation. If it eases your nerves, write them down and have them beside you throughout the interview so you are fully prepared.
We are happy to advise and support you in the introduction of video-based job interviews and also be here to provide you with other tips for your career aspirations. Feel free to reach out to us via the contact form below for a confidential conversation.