1. Why do you want to work in this organization as a Data Scientist?
  2. How did your previous experience prepare you for a data scientist role?
  3. How do you work with large sets of data?
  4. Could you share something about a recent project of yours?
  5. How do you handle a problem in your project?
  6. Looking back, would you change anything to improve any of your previous projects?

The current job market has a higher demand for data scientist jobs which means that competition for the same is also going to be extremely cut-throat.

To ensure that you land your dream job as a data scientist, you need to be aware of a data scientist role and responsibilities and even work on perfecting your data scientist resume before you land your data scientist interview question round.

Now, such technical roles have 2 rounds of interviews namely, HR interview questions and data scientist interview questions and answers. The latter round comprises all the technical aspects a data scientist has to undertake in the job profile.

In this segment, we will take you through the HR interview questions asked to a data scientist.

Let’s begin!

Why do you want to work in this organization as a Data Scientist?

One of the major reasons recruiters ask this HR interview question is to find out why you want to join their company. Every recruiter wants to hire a candidate who will be with them for the long run and not leave in 6 months or a year.

To answer this data science interview question, make sure to research well about the company. Focus your answer on your love for the field and how the organization has inspired you to pursue your passion in the field of data science.

You could answer it in the following manner,

“I have been interested in data mining and analysis and how the results can provide valuable insights that can benefit a business.

Along with this over the past few years your company has really evolved and is now one of the leading organizations in terms of their technological abilities.

Given the amazing growth, I believe I will have a lot of opportunities to learn and I am sure my previous experience can also benefit the team and the company at large."

How did your previous experience prepare you for a data scientist role?

One of the major tasks in the data scientist’s responsibilities is to be able to break down the data findings and get the message through to the non-technical teams so they can understand and make a decision for the wellbeing of the business accordingly.

This HR interview question is majorly asked to test your soft skills because your technical know-how will not be enough to benefit the organization.

Here’s how you can answer this data science interview question.

“ I know one of my major tasks as a data scientist is to present the recent findings to the other teams and the management to help in making better products, which ultimately will procure a higher RoI.

My previous experiences have taught me how to function and collaborate with other teams, manage multiple projects, and work on corrections at the earliest to ensure smooth sailing of the teamwork.”

How do you work with large sets of data?

As a data scientist, you will require to organize and collate a large amount of data from various sources, devices, etc before presenting it to the management and other teams.

So, through this data science interview question, the recruiter wants to know how you organize such large sets of data. You can use automation tools, comprehension of data sets, and value correction methods to answer this question.

The following could be a sample answer to this HR interview question.

"Usually my data cleanup technique includes determining if the data being collected makes much sense. I correct any values that are not fitting logically after collecting adequate information and to automate the cleanup I use Paxata."

Could you share something about a recent project of yours?

This HR interview question is basically asked to find out how you talk about your project to non-technical people. This question mainly checks the following factors in a candidate.

  • Communication skills: As mentioned earlier, communication skills are extremely important for data scientists as they need to explain their findings and insights to others who might not have the same technological know-how. This includes you to touch the data sources used, your target audience, and how the information can be used to benefit the organization.

Pro tip: Practice answering this data science interview question to your family members or a friend and see if your answer is making sense to them.

  • Teamwork: Most of your data scientist responsibilities include cross-team collaboration. You need to highlight how and who you were working with within your answer.

Pro tip: Avoid bad-mouthing anyone as it will reflect poorly on your capabilities as a team player.

  • Enthusiasm: Avoid shying away from showing your enthusiasm about your projects. This majorly highlights that you are passionate about your work and to an extension your projects.

Pro tip: Avoid using too many hand gestures when answering this HR interview question.

How do you handle a problem in your project?

Problems are a part and parcel of everyday life and projects are no exceptions and how you handle them speaks a great deal about you as a data scientist.

But before you jump into answering this HR interview question take notes of the following factors.

  • What was the problem and what was the solution to it?
  • What model did you opt for to solve it?
  • How did you come to this conclusion?
  • Did you identify the problem or were you designated the task?
  • How did the solution affect the company?

The perfect formula to answer this question is to follow the principle of Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR). This will help you to form your answer in a concrete manner by highlighting all the necessary facts and numbers.

Here’s how you can answer this HR interview question.

"In a team, it is best to have an open discussion about the ways we can overcome the issue. In our last project, the major issue we faced was that we had to analyze a large subset of data, but there weren’t any clear guidelines or any clarity on which team was handling which subset of data.

So, to make life easier for all of us, I organized a meeting with the managers and teammates to outline the guidelines and created an efficient system to delegate tasks henceforth."

Relevant read: How to Ace the STAR Interview Technique.

Looking back, would you change anything to improve any of your previous projects?

This HR interview question tests whether or not you are up-to-date on current technical knowledge in the field. As an enthusiast of data science, you should be able to improve, be inquisitive and be enthusiastic to improve efficiency and accuracy.

When answering this question, you can cite the already explained project as it can be easier to explain the improvements you would want to implement on the project.

Tip: Refrain from pulling down anyone. Instead, focus on the improvement aspect alone.

A sample answer to this HR interview question could be like the following.

“I believe data science is one such field where you have to be constantly on the go to stay abreast of the new techniques to improve the efficiency and accuracy of discoveries.

Although I don’t regret the way we handled the project at that time, however, if we were to redo it I would like to choose the FUSE platform for data mining and drawing the references.”

To conclude, apart from these data science interview questions, do not forget to prepare for the other frequently asked HR interview questions and answers.

Also, ensure that you have the right interview dress code to leave a great first impression!

All the Best!

HR Interview Questions & Answers Career Insights