Aspiring data scientists have a bright future ahead of them. They’re about to enter a field that’s exponentially expanding in terms of job growth and career opportunities. Reports say that the sector has seen a 650% job growth since 2012 and, according to predictions, there will be an estimated 11.5 million new jobs by 2026. All that’s left for data scientist hopefuls is to develop their skills and ace their job interviews. While that may be the most daunting part, we're here to give you five tips on how to impress your interviewer and grab that opportunity.
#1- Prepare answers for potential interview questions
In our list of 10 highly probable data scientist interview questions, we highlight some of the most asked questions that you’ll want to prepare for. These include situations related to machine learning, Python, and SQL. For example, you could get asked about the difference between classification and clustering, or the important features of dictionaries. While these questions can depend on your interviewer and the company you’re trying for, it won’t hurt to have prepared answers for these basic questions. Brush up on these topics and do your own research.
#2- Recall your technical abilities
Companies often have a separate technical screening portion prepared for you, but it would also be helpful to run over your technical abilities. This also depends on the specifications of the position you’re applying for; as a data scientist, they might inquire about your efficiency in developing algorithms for the collation and cleaning of datasets. Your interviewer could ask if you’ve had the chance to create an original algorithm of your own. If you’ve done any data projects, they might also inquire about the challenges you faced and how you were able to deal with them.
#3- Communicate your strengths
It would be helpful if you could confidently explain and articulate what kind of data scientist you are. To do this, you must know where your strengths lie and what your niche is. In any job interview, companies often ask about an applicant’s strengths because the way they approach this question says a lot about them. Think about what you could contribute to a team and what type of role you see yourself thriving in. Then, figure out a way to communicate why you think your unique strengths are an asset to the company.
#4- When prompted, ask questions of your own
Interviewers love when an applicant shows engagement and interest in the company. Throughout the process, jot down the questions that might come to you, and don’t be afraid to ask away when prompted. The questions you ask in an interview could be a chance for you to learn more about your potential employer and the work environment. You could ask them simple questions like, “what is the most enjoyable part of working here?”, or “what are the company’s goals over the next few years?” This shows them your passion and dedication for the role.
#5- Stay updated on trends in the data science space
The data science industry is always changing, and there’s always something new to learn every day. If you want to gain an edge against your competitors, make sure you’re on top of the latest data science trends and news. One way to do so is to always be on the lookout for upcoming data science conferences and seminars you can attend. Attending events could earn you connections and help you learn things you won’t find in textbooks. You could also do some supplementary reading of the latest research papers. This will show your interviewers that you’re a motivated self-starter.
With time, effort, and these five tips in mind, you’ll be ready to answer any question thrown at you. Interviews are just the first step towards the career of your dreams, so make sure you prepare for every opportunity presented to you.