Job interviews can be daunting. Traveling to an unfamiliar location, meeting strangers, and getting assessed is an uncomfortable experience for most people. If you’re passionate about data analysis and think you’ve found the perfect job, you’ll have the added pressure of wanting to succeed and leave a great impression.

Well, fear not! This article will help calm the nerves and prepare you for your interview. It’ll provide you with some example data analyst interview questions, offer tips for telephone and video conferencing, and teach you how to carry out mock data analyst interviews.

Being invited for an interview is actually something to celebrate, not worry about. Your prospective employer has seen something they like in your application. They understand you could be feeling anxious, so just prepare, be yourself, and you’ll breeze through the process.

In any industry, impressing your future employer is all about preparation. We'll help you get ready for your data analyst interview, whether it's in person, over the phone or via Zoom.

The Difference Between a Data Scientist and a Data Analyst

Before we delve deeper, we want you to be clear on the basic differences between a data scientist and a data analyst. Let’s compare the two roles:

A Data Analyst:

A Data Scientist:

It’s important to note that there is some overlap between the two roles. Your responsibilities may vary depending on the specific company you’re working for.

How to Prepare for a Data Analyst Interview

Data analysts are hired across many different industries. This means preparation will vary from one data analyst position to another.

For example, an agricultural data analyst uses data to assess and track changes in land quality. The findings are used to help farmers make better use of their resources. Data analysts in fashion and retail use their knowledge to create algorithms to boost the company’s sales performance.

However, all data analyst positions do have one thing in common. They’ll involve a lot of mathematics and statistics. Here are some tips to help prepare you for a data analyst interview:

Read the Job Description and Research the Company

The job description shouldn’t be overlooked. It contains vital information that can help you nail the interview. Identify key vocabulary used within the job description by studying it word for word. Shape your interview answers around these key terms.

Next, research the company. Check out the company website and learn how the company came into being. What is their vision? What products and services do they offer? Who are their major clients? Knowing this information will demonstrate you are motivated, passionate, and committed to the role.

Video Conferencing and Phone Interviews

The way in which interviews are conducted is changing. We’re heading towards remote video conferencing rather than traditional face to face meetings. Working from home as a data analyst is becoming the new norm. Even tech giants like Google, LinkedIn, and Amazon have announced a switch to online interviews.

Interviews over video calls don’t feel much different from in-person interviews. Just make sure your Internet connection is stable and background noise is kept to a minimum.

Voice-only interviews can prove more challenging. You can’t pick up on body language and facial expressions so communication is limited. If you don’t understand a question or didn’t quite catch it, always ask the interviewer to repeat it. They’ll understand the situation. It’s important that you’re both on the same page.

Here are some reminders for your phone interviews:

Do:

Don't:

What to Wear to Your Interview

Don’t assume formal wear. The choice of outfit should complement the working culture of the firm. When researching the company, you should have picked up some clues. You can connect with current employees and ask them how they dress for work. If you’re really struggling, just call up the reception and be honest. Inform them you have an interview and you’d appreciate any pointers on dress code.

Dress for a video interview the same way you would for a face-to-face interview. For phone interviews, it obviously doesn’t matter, just wear something comfortable.

When to Arrive

Aim to check-in 10 to 15 minutes prior to your scheduled meeting. Always give yourself extra time just in case you encounter any traffic. If you arrive early you can always go grab a coffee while you wait.

Practice with a Mock Data Analyst Interview

A mock interview is a practice run to help you prepare for the real thing. You can simulate a real data analyst interview scenario. Ask someone to act as your interviewer, preferably someone with experience in interviewing people and an understanding of data analysis.

If there’s no one available to help, you can be the interviewer and the interviewee. Record yourself asking questions then playback the recording and use the pause button while you answer.

Example Data Analyst Interview Questions

Interview questions typically come in two different types: behavioral and technical. Behavioral questions test your soft skills, while technical questions test your hard skills.

Behavioral Questions

Interviewers typically ask behavioral-based questions to determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company. They analyze how you reacted to tricky work situations in the past in order to get an idea of your future behavior.

These questions usually start with “Tell me about a time when…” and are meant to be answered in detail. Some of the behavioral questions you can expect are:

The interviewer expects your answers to be clear, accurate, and specific to the question. Fortunately, there’s a method designed to help you answer these questions. It’s called the STAR method. It’s an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

To answer behavioral questions, start with describing the situation, follow this by mentioning what you were tasked with, and then describe the actions you took. Conclude your answer by describing the outcome of your actions.

Technical Data Analyst Interview Questions

Depending on the company and how they structure the interview process, the interviewer may change for the technical questions. You’ll meet a member of the data analyst team who will specifically assess your data analysis skills.

You can expect questions on data science, machine learning, and programming concepts. Some common technical data analyst questions include:

Your Future Career in Data Analysis

You should now have a good grasp of the interview process and should be feeling more confident. Remember, data analysis is an in-demand skill; even if you’re not successful on interview day, there’ll be more opportunities coming your way.

If you’re yet to secure an interview and want to boost your chances of getting hired, enroll in our data analytics bootcamp. This structured learning program will teach you everything you need to land a highly-paid data analyst job. Our experienced mentors will even guide you through the interview process, supporting you every step of the way.

For further reading, you might be interested in our data analytics blog. Learn how to become a data analyst to enjoy a long and rewarding career in this field.

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