Questions asked in ACTUAL Data Science Interviews

what you can expect when you get that call

Tita of Data
2 min readApr 15, 2021
how to crack data science interviews: prepare, prepare, prepare!

For a mobile gaming company:

If you were to build a recommendation system, how would you go about it

What was your biggest f*ck up? Have you ever deleted a table in production?

From a multisided marketplace company:

I have an unconventional background. I graduated electrical engineering, had an experience joining the largest electrical power distribution company in PH, then went into startups, technopreneurship and eventually, data science.

That said, I get asked a lot about my journey going into data science.

  1. What about data science made you pursue it (vs pursuing electrical engg)?
  2. Why do you like working for startups?

For early-stage startups, it’s typical that a data scientist wears many different hats, e.g. data engineering, BI development, Data QA, analyst, ML engineer — I’ve experienced doing all these while I was in one role.

Recently, in an interview with an early stage startup, the interviewer asked:

  1. What are your thoughts about the current state of our data team? — basically, interviewer is trying to gauge if I was willing to (again) wear many hats and work on data architecture / data infra first before diving into the fancy stuff (like the ultimate buzzwords of all — machine learning and AI)

Other than this, the interviewer gives some pretty run-of-the-mill questions. Typically, they would share what problems their data team is currently facing then afterwards, it would be my turn to jump in and describe what value I could bring to the table, in terms of solving the specific problems they would potentially hire me to fix.

Overall, what really got me further in terms of the application process is asking questions. It’s best practice that while the company is interviewing you, interview them too.

In that way, you’ll know if the company truly aligns with your current career goals, what you really want to do in the day-to-day, and if their company values align with yours.

PS will update this as I go, but, if you are an undergrad Filipina from a low-income family and you’re trying to land your first job in tech / data, please reach out to me, and I’ll help you #GetThatBread 😉