How to prepare for a Data Science Interview?

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 19/12/2021

6 minutes

The collective interest in today’s youth to learn data science refuses to slow down. Encouraged by inflated salaries being offered to their professional counterparts, learners have begun to craft an approach towards cracking data science interviews. FYI - if you are one such job seeker in this space, then be sure to explore NIIT’s Advanced PGP in Data Science and Machine Learning, a data science online course that offers placement assurance with interview preparation. 

Interviewees must set clear goals in regards to the nature of the company they want to join. Similarly, they must aim at bringing out both the technical as well as soft skills during the course of their interview. Data scientists are called upon to build models using relevant techniques and share value-adding insights. In this article, we’ll go over the essential details for preparing for a typical data science interview. 

Finetune these 5 Subject Areas 

Creating and maintaining clean data sets is an elementary part of a data scientist’s profile. Therefore, a deep-set knowledge of programming languages such as Python, and R is a must, in addition to statistics and probability, machine learning, and data analysis. The most common areas to be focused on in such interviews are as follows:


Data scientists collect, engineer, and process data to draw insights from it. Having a solid grasp of such concepts showcases your prowess as a programmer. To be honest, you cannot last a day in this field without a dependable backbone in programming. Programming is an indicator of logical aptitude as well. There are ‘n’ number of ways to code your way to a solution but the artistry is in finding an optimized route. Finally, as part of reviewing your code, the interviewer will judge your ability to write error-free, clean code. 

There are many sources on the internet through which to learn data science. But enrolling in an advanced online program, which is backed by placement assurance is a safe bet. Data science online courses on NIIT ensure that learners go through intense hands-on coding exercises to validate their acumen. 

Yes, having the aptitude to come up with the best coding answers in data science interviews is fine, but it is even more important to communicate the same. Either with your friends’ help or alone, try and practice answering questions. Focus on terminologies and try and express yourself to the fullest. YouTube is a good source to get some ideas on this topic. 


This is a rather tricky part. Knowing how to build products requires incumbents to understand the software development lifecycle. As the protocol goes, data scientists don’t really work in solitude but are put in touch with a product expert who corresponds with data scientists in regards to the product benchmarks and expectations. Acknowledging this fact, the curriculum of many courses on data analytics now includes product-specific modules. NIIT’s Full-Time data science program offers assured placements to students prior to which they are mentored through company-specific product questions. Such mock exercises help students in getting used to the tough-ask of on-the-job requirements. 

Emotional Intelligence 

Such questions help assess the mindset of the individual. You see technical skills are all fine and good, but they are of no use if the person cannot fit in with his/her peers. Therefore, they are assessed with psychometric tests and emotional intelligence tests vis-a-vis situational questionnaires. Some of these questions could be of the following nature: 

  • Share an instance when you faced a conflict in a project. What did you do to resolve it? 
  • If you were assigned something out of your comfort zone, how would you address the same to your manager? 
  • Have any of your projects utilized data to improve customer experience?

The best data analyst certifications have made it their purpose to include such behavioral nuances as part of structured learning. 

Practice Machine Learning, Statistics, & Data Modeling

There are a plethora of other competencies that constitute the spectrum of core competencies of data science. You would be judged on the same through multiple rounds of interviews. Note that you’d face both theory-based as well as practical questions. Regressions, Random Forest, K-Nearest Neighbour, Gradient boosting are some of the techniques you can expect to be quizzed on. NIIT’s Advanced PGP in Data Science & Machine Learning covers such integral concepts in depth through both instructor-led classes and interview preparation modules. 

Don’t Skip Generalist Topics

Use this guide to prepare at length for your upcoming interviews, but don’t forget to skip the general topics that help break the ice between the interviewer and the interviewee. Such conversation-fillers are usually abstract and concern lifestyle practices, interests, future goals, and whatnot. Therefore, prepare well for a well-rounded interview. 

Learn Data Science at NIIT

As a leading educational management conglomerate in the country, NIIT has launched a series of online upskilling programs for students looking for data analyst certifications. The programs have been rendered in both full-time and part-time versions. Job seekers can explore the following options listed on the NIIT website: 

Apply now for an assured job as a data scientist (Terms&ConditionsApply).

Advanced PGP in Data Science and Machine Learning (Full Time)

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