Interview Tips- Data Scientist

Getting hired as a Data Scientist can sound like a challenging task but if done strategically, it really isn't that hard.  If you keep a few things in mind during your job search, you will find the whole process more engaging and less stressful. On a lighter note- if your recruiter asks you too many questions and whys, learn how to defend your work 😉

How to build a Resume?

  • Keep it simple and ideally ONE page long. Be concise & use bullet points. Remember nobody reads it, they SKIM it in <30 seconds.

  • Pay attention to presenting interesting stuff about yourself articulately. Example- awards, fellowships, scholarships, internships should stand apart.

  • Use KEYWORDS relevant to data analysis (example- excel, SQL, Statistics, Regression) on your resume. Usually, companies automate the process of resume selection by shortlisting the resumes based on keywords. 

Which positions to apply to and how?

  • Explore 'Data Scientist' positions on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, your school portal and Indeed.

  • Make a list of around 50 jobs that interest you.

  • Make a list of the main skills/tools that most jobs need (keywords).

  • If you know those skills/tools, make sure to add those keywords to your resume.

  • Some jobs need a cover letter. Write a concise letter (<300 words, the example is longer than needed) highlighting your achievements, skills and work ex but don't put too much energy into that.

How to increase the odds of getting an interview call?

  • Start early. Keep at least 2 months aside for your job search. The earlier the better.

  • Apply more. The more you apply, the odds of getting at least an interview call increase. Apply to at least 50. Most job applications are fairly quick and easy.

  • Data Scientist is usually a senior role and requires work experience. So if you don't have any, it will be harder to get a job as a data scientist.In that case, try to build your resume through internships or entry-level data analyst jobs.

  • Find friends/acquaintances to refer you. If you know someone in a company you want to work for, reach out to them and request a referral. Buy them lunch or something.

  • Don't EVER feel dejected. There are more people than there are jobs- so getting rejected several times is normal. Move on and keep learning & applying. This Princeton Professor's resume might give you some motivation 😎 😎

If selected for an interview, how to prepare for it?

  • Know your resume inside, out. Make sure you can defend your work experience/projects in detail.

  • Research about the company, get a sense of their culture, so that you can explain why you want to work for them.

  • If you know who your interviewer is, look them up online. Be informed. It helps to know common interests, affiliations etc to have a more interesting conversation.

  • Steer the interview and stay calm. Try to take the interview in the direction you favor. Talk about projects you are most confident about and ask logical questions to steer the conversation.