Advice For Your First On-Site Data Science Interview

The most important advice for your first data science position

Posted on March 2, 2019

It is your first on-site data science interview and you are ready to excel. Maintain good posture and eye contact throughout the interview with a confident delivery and presentation. Emphasize projects that demonstrate teamwork, perseverance over challenges, and key accomplishments. What are you most proud of in your education and prior work? Make sure to tie in past data science projects to the interview questions in order to demonstrate real-world experience. Most importantly, be prepared and well-rested for the interview!

Research your Company

It is essential to research your company prior to the interview. Some key questions include what is the company’s mission, products and services, leadership, and data science team experience? Why are you applying to this company and what makes you a good fit for them? You may identify prior work experience and education that best fits your prospective employers and enables you to stand out. Research your interviewers to identify their technical strengths and professional history. Finally, at the end of the interview, make sure that you have a list of questions prepared. Your questions will help demonstrate your knowledge about the company and your enthusiasm for joining it.

The Interview goes both ways

During the interview you have the best opportunity to assess your prospective employer. Not every company is an ideal match. During the interview you are mostly focused on answering their questions. Moreover, interviews are not a very long time to develop your thoughts on the prospective employer. Make sure to understand what will be expected of you if you were to accept the offer. What technical skill sets are required? What are the project timelines and expectations? What is the company’s work life balance? How fast paced is the company and does that match your personality? Are there any relevant reviews on sites such as Glassdoor? Do you know anyone who currently or formerly worked at the company?

Remember, your first data science interview is a great learning experience.

Preparing for the next interview

Congratulations! You have just completed your first on-site data science interview. You excelled at every level, impressing your interviewers and even yourself! Every interview is a learning experience. What were some of your strengths and weaknesses? What will you do to prepare for the next interviews that are coming up? How would you respond if you received a job offer? Keep in mind the timing of interviews. Should you receive a job offer, you will have a limited time span to accept or refuse. You may have other job interviews that you are eager to complete. Hence if possible, schedule the interviews in such a way to provide you with the best opportunities. Importantly, make sure you have time to prepare for each interview and that you are well-rested. You are now closer than ever to getting that dream job!