Top 5 Data Driven Skills to Nail Your Next Data Science Interview

data driven skills for your next interview

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When preparing for data science interviews, most of us tend to focus on deep technical knowledge. However, data driven skills can be a form of soft skills in a data science job.  Both are important to land your next job.

Today, companies have a pool of applicants with similar skill sets chasing a single role. Applicants are interviewed based on their data driven skills to determine if they will be a good fit with the culture and values of the company. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report, 92% of the respondents were concerned about their soft skills being a critical aspect of a suitable candidate.

The good news is these data driven skills can be learned. Here are the top five data driven skills that will help accelerate your big data journey to success:

1. Demonstrate your data driven skills like being a team player

Being a team player and having data driven skills with a group of data scientists

Always remember that data science projects require different subject matter experts to bring their expertise to the table as a data science team. This calls for better collaboration skills.

In an interview setting, to show you are a team player, avoid statements that begin with “I” and replace them with “we”. Be mindful of talking about your personal accomplishments, and instead, highlight how you creatively solved a problem as a team and how your role on the team supported the overall solution.

For example

I usually get along with my colleagues. But in certain scenarios, my team members and stakeholders have conflicting approaches to a given project. I believe, in order to maintain good working relationships, it’s best to reconsider the basics. From the beginning, we have communicated our goals and expectations clearly to avoid any miscommunication. This has been effective to maintain a collaborative working relationship within a team setting.

2. Data storytelling is an important data driven skill for every data scientist

Companies are constantly looking for data scientists who can engage with business stakeholders by fluently translating complex data into a compelling storyline. Successful data scientists use data driven skills to create an emotional connection with data, empowering the business to solve the problems of customers.

Data driven skills are key for data science experts to successfully convey facts and figures to non-technical teams.

For example

Sales and marketing teams use analytics to make informed business decisions. When communicating, avoid IT jargon so people inside and outside of the company can follow your story. Focus on the value and outcomes from the data collected to help solve business problems. 

3. Highlight your problem-solving skills as a data scientist

Data scientist with data driven skills in problem solving

Most interviewers will ask you to describe a past situation where you have successfully handled a difficult situation. Generally, employers look for data scientists who possess entrepreneurial or managerial qualities. They expect you to solve problems with a business mindset.

The trick is to demonstrate “how” you did it rather than focusing on just saying “what” you did.  Think of a specific scenario where your approach to problem-solving impacted the business positively.

For example

As part of a marketing team at XYZ company, we were required to redesign the company website within a specific deadline. However, the design team and the IT team were at odds with the feasibility of the project, which led to a significant delay.  At that point, I decided to step in and request both the teams to cooperate and discuss their targets and challenges. To everyone’s surprise, they both had similar issues. We were then able to plan and negotiate in order to meet the requirements of both the teams and complete the project on time.

4. Show your passion through your data driven skills and experience

Being energetic and excited about a role helps an interviewer see your passion for their company and their goals.

As a data scientist, you need to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the big data industry. Show your interest in the field by highlighting your knowledge about the new processes and technologies in data science and how you could implement them in the new role.

5. Data driven skills require attention to detail

Data driven skills with attention to detail data scientists

As a data analytics professional, you need to have an eye for detail. Attention to detail is required to look for small clues within large datasets to point towards a bigger picture. It’s necessary for data scientists to build processes that will capture and sort data efficiently. A small error in coding can result in long delays and disrupting workflows.

You can show your data driven skills by demonstrating your attention to detail.

For example

Reference a point you or the interviewer mentioned earlier to reinforce that you were actively paying attention. Or, give an example about a time you illustrated excellent attention to detail. Make sure you are specific about what could’ve gone wrong if you didn’t pay attention to the little details.

Data driven skills in data science are not all technically-focussed

There has been a significant rise in the demand for data scientists in the past two years. There is a huge gap between the demand and supply for data scientists that needs to be filled. It is a great time for data scientists to enter the job market.

Now that you are aware of the necessary data driven skills your employers are hunting for, make sure you are equipped with the right industry training that will help you land your dream data science role. As Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn rightly said,

Data really powers everything that we do.

Find out how the Institute of Data can help you kick start your career. Click here to schedule a call.

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