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Data Scientist Interview Question

Top Interview Questions for Data Scientist

A Data scientist is someone who is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting extremely large amounts of data. This role combines computer science, statistics, and mathematics.

According to recent data, India will have more than 11 million job openings for Data Scientists by 2026.

Are you in a hurry to get started? Download the Data Scientist Interview Questions and Responses Toolkit.


Data Scientist Hard Skills

Hard Skills

Use these questions to identify a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities

Data Scientist Soft Skills

Soft Skills

Use these questions to assess a candidate’s personality traits and cognitive skills

What to look for while interviewing for a Data Scientist?

Since the required skills for Data scientists require expertise in programming languages like R and Python, Big data platforms. Therefore, look for a candidate who has knowledge of all these.

Here are some skills to look out for when hiring a Data Scientist,

Top Skills for Data Scientist

Role-specific skills to look for: Programming languages like R, Python, SQL, Scala, Java, Matlab; Machine learning, Data Visualization, Big Data platforms like MongoDB, Oracle, Microsoft Azure, Cloudera, Risk analysis. 

Soft skills to look for critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, research, problem-solving, and business sense.

Pro Tip: Always screen before you interview. Use Online Assessment to screen applicants for a Data scientist position before blocking your time for an in-person interview.

Questions to ask while interviewing a Data Scientist

We have compiled a set of questions with the help of 70+ hiring managers at different organizations.

Top Role-based interview questions for Data Scientist

Top Role-based interview questions for Data Scientist

What do you know about root cause analysis?

Purpose of this interview question:

Applying data to fix and discover various issues is crucial to a data scientists’ job role. Therefore, this question can be asked to test the candidate’s theoretical knowledge and practical experience conducting a root cause analysis.

What to listen for:

  • Top candidates would show how well-equipped for this data science position.

What is selection bias?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question can be used to make sure the candidate understands a selection bias so they can monitor and prevent it from happening.

What to listen for:

  • Top candidates would explain selection bias and why it is important. 

Do you prefer Python or R, while doing text analytics?

Purpose of this interview question:

Expertise in Python and R is crucial to this job role, hence this question can be asked to test the same. 

What to listen for:

  • Look for the evidence of understanding of when to use each.

How to screen Data Scientist for soft skills

How to screen Data Scientist for soft skills?

Why do you want to work at our company as a data scientist?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question is designed to know what kind of information the candidate has about your company culture and what has excited them to join your organization.

What to listen for:

  • Listen for the detail about what has driven the candidate to work for your organization.

What challenges are you looking for in this position?

Purpose of this interview question:

The question is designed to understand and determine what the candidates are looking for in their next job and whether they would be a good fit for the position being hired for.

What to listen for:

  • Top candidates would discuss how they would like to be able to effectively utilize their skills and experience if they were hired for the job. 

How do you determine a time estimation for the completion of a project?

Purpose of this interview question:

This question is designed to test the candidate’s management skills.

What to listen for:

  • Look for evidence of leadership qualities related to project planning and execution.

Start Optimizing your Data Scientist Hiring today

Start Optimizing your Data Scientist Hiring today

Find and hire talent with confidence. If your candidate doesn’t know the answer to the above questions and you’re hiring for a Data Scientist position, then they’re probably not a great fit.