Prepare for Your Big Data Job Interview

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Failing to prepare means preparing to fail when it comes to big data job interviews. You want to be ready for a variety of interview styles, questions and formats, and you never want to be caught off guard. Big data interviews can be intense, and while no two companies interview in the same way, data science pros should be ready for anything.

Get Ready To Whiteboard

If you’re out of practice with coding, brush up on your skills now, because you’ll likely to be asked to whiteboard at least one problem. You can prepare by doing timed practice problems at home on paper since you won’t be in front of a terminal during your interview. Ask a skilled friend to check your work.

During the interview, before you begin to whiteboard, you want to make sure you fully understand the problem. Ask any and all questions that you need to achieve that understanding. Talk the interviewer through your process as you go, and always double check your work before declaring the code complete.

Big data job interviews will also involve questions about applied machine learning, machine learning theory, and dataset analysis. Brush up on all of these skills and be prepared to demonstrate them for the interviewer. Again, practice ahead of time so that you don’t get nervous when put on the spot.

Have an Arsenal of Projects to Discuss

You never know what types of questions an interviewer will ask. They will, however always ask you to describe one or more of your past projects in relation to something they are working on, or a priority they have. Sit down with your portfolio and go back through all of your major projects. What went well? What didn’t? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome those challenges?  Don’t ignore projects that didn’t go so well, as lots of interviewers will ask about failed projects.

Practice telling your stories in a clear and concise manner. A great way to do this is to work with a friend who does not have a background in technology. If you can explain a project to them concisely, without boring them and in a way that makes sense, you’ll ace this portion of your interview.

Prepare for Culture Alignment Questions

Skills are extremely important in big data, but so is cultural alignment. Mismatched personalities can lead to tension on the job, and poor alignment is the number-one reason why employees leave a job within the first year of employment. So embrace questions that pertain to your work style and personality – and be honest in your answers. Remember, the interview is also a time for you to evaluate the employer and the workplace.

Work With a Professional Big Data Recruiter

If you really want to prepare well for big data job interviews, consider working with a professional data science recruiter. Your recruiter will let you know what to expect before you walk in to an interview, and they will work with you to help ensure you are prepared for whatever gets thrown your way.

If you are a big data analytics professional looking for new opportunities to grow your career in data science, contact Onboard Recruitment Advisers today. We specialize in analytics and business intelligence positions in a variety of fields, and we will work to connect you to a position that will help you reach your career goals.

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