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How to prepare for a data science certification interview?

Last updated on: 
February 14, 2024
Dipen Dadhaniya
The fast well prepared banner
About The Author!
Dipen Dadhaniya
Dipen Dadhaniya
Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart. A passionate and versatile web developer packed with full-stack development skills and a curiosity to explore computer languages.

Are you invited for a data science interview? Congratulations on the opportunity you have received! But do you know how to prepare for a data science interview and steal the spotlight from the other competitors in the job market? Working hard is good, but it is not enough to crack an interview. 

Interviews at tech giants demand a blend of several skills, including technical, behavioral, interpersonal, and soft skills, which sometimes candidates are unable to deliver due to a lack of confidence or preparation. Learn how to perform well in the data science interview for a bright future through this article.

Here is what we’ll cover in this article:


First, you are required to research the company and industry you are applying for. Also, always check the competition in the job market to prepare for data science interviews accordingly. Here are some general steps you must follow to understand your potential employer.

  1. Thoroughly review the job posting, their requirements, skills in demand, and other details.
  2. Always visit the official website of the job posting. It ensures whether the job posting is fraudulent or genuine. If the job posting is real, you must go through the workings of the company and its different departments and functionality. The interviewer frequently checks whether you have studied about the company before appearing for the interview.
  3. Research about the company’s competitors and their workings. This helps you to deliver your ideas and thoughts to outcompete your rivals.
  4. Never forget to assess the organizational values and culture. Stay genuine with your workings and deliveries.
  5. It is recommended to research the latest achievements and products of the company you are applying for. This leaves a great impression of how well you have studied the company you are interested in working in.
  6. Study about the interviewer and their expertise. Through this, you can expect the questions they can ask and prepare accordingly. In addition, it also helps to establish good communication with the interviewers if you share common interests.

Understanding the Interview Types

Interviews can be held through various means, such as video conference, in person, or even on the phone. Preparing for a data science interview also demands fulfilling the necessities of an interview. Let us have a quick review of the requirements and preparations for different data science interviews.

  1. Phone Interview

Phone interviews mostly occur as the first round of interviews. They aren’t usually challenging, except for network issues and background noise trouble. These factors can serve as distractions. Thus, it is important to keep the following preparation before the interview:

  1. Check Network Connection Stability: Make sure there are no internet connection issues so that you can deliver your answers fluently.
  2. Switch to a Quiet Place: Background noises are a complete mess. You should find a quiet place and make sure no one visits or communicates during your interview round.
  3. Keep your Phone Charged: Ensure that your battery does not die between the interviews. Failing the same can portray you as an irresponsible candidate.
  1. Video Conference

A video call is similar to a phone call interview, but in this, you have face-to-face interactions digitally. The video call involves professionals and HR to understand your behavior, personality, and way of answering questions. Make sure to be mindful of the following preparation:

  1. You must have a stable and fast network connection
  2. Install the software required for video calls to avoid last-minute installation issues
  3. Your surroundings must be tidy
  4. The setting of the camera or video cam must be at a good angle for better video quality. 
  5. Never forget to check the functioning of the camera and microphone before an interview.
  1. In-Person

The In-Person round comes after qualifying the phone or video call interview in most cases. Here, interview preparation for data science also includes:

  1. You must know how to reach the interview location to avoid a last-minute rush or delay.
  2. Never forget to practice before the interview. Do not rely on impromptu when preparation is asked for. Go through all the subjective knowledge you need to deliver to crack the interview.
  3. Practice coding as most tech interview online rounds include a coding round wherein you are required to share the screen with the interviewer as you code in real-time.
  4. Face-to-face interactions convey your personality type and attitude while conveying your answers. Other than knowledge, professionals always seek a positive attitude to ensure you would be a good fit for their work culture. 
  1. Behavioral Rounds

The round of data science interviews was where they communicated to judge your interpersonal skills and psychological traits instead of asking technical questions. They may ask you questions like:

  1. Greatest weakness and strength
  2. Biggest mistake of your life
  3. Your reaction to negative feedback

Understand that these questions are only for acknowledging your mindset and attitude towards the environment and work. Never miss out on preparing for the behavioral round while preparing for a data science interview.

Preparation for Technical Interview

A technical interview comprises questions related to the core subjects and field in which you want to work. Professionals hire the candidates based on their knowledge and skills required for the roles. With the different roles, the requirement of skills may vary, such as SQL, machine learning, and programming languages like R, Java, Python, and others. You must have data science certifications to deliver your mystery in the skills required. Learn how to prepare for a data science interview by mastering a diverse range of skills.

1.Data Structure and Algorithms  

During an interview, professionals may ask about the role of different algorithms and how to conquer certain challenging issues with the same. You must have a better understanding of the concepts related to machine learning algorithms through which you can deliver your expertise with data structure and standard algorithms. Interview professionals may ask for different situations with different difficulty levels to examine your skills in different algorithms or data structures. 

2.Data Manipulation and Analysis

Preparing for data science interviews includes an understanding of data retrieval, resources, cleaning of data, manipulation, and analysis of data. Interviewers may ask for your approach to solving queries to evaluate your abilities. In addition, they also observe which tools and methods you prefer while solving the query to assess the time you take to deliver a quality result. Therefore, a strong background in mathematics and statistics is also preferred, along with the update of the latest tools to reach a significant outcome. 

Data manipulation and analysis may involve topics like regression analysis, logistic regression, variance, probabilistic distributions, and statistical significance, which are necessary to brush up on before the interview to make you appear as a potential data science candidate. 


Statistics is something every data science candidate has mastered. However, with a good grasp of the fundamental concepts, you can be in the spotlight during the interview rounds. Common yet important stats topics cover Bayesian statistics, hypothesis testing, statistical models, probabilities, and normal distribution, along with mean, median, variance, and standard deviation methods. The right approach towards the results with fast performance can lead to cracking the technical interview round.

4.Basic Coding

Understanding the coding language is necessary for data positions irrespective of organization. Interviews always question the hands-on experience of well-known coding languages used in data science, such as SQL, Python, and R.  If the candidate has hands-on experience in programming languages, they can be suitable candidates for data visualization and statistical computing. 

Each language shows importance for different tasks, as Python is in demand for data scientist roles, R is majorly practiced in machine learning, and SQL is helpful in data-driven decisions. However, if you know all these languages, you can easily qualify for the technical round.

5.Machine Learning Models and Techniques

Different data science positions may require distinct levels of machine learning techniques. You must learn the top most used ML techniques commonly used in data science, such as random forest, decision tree, logistics and linear regression, and K-Nearest Neighbors. You may be questioned with diverse data modeling approaches based on requirements, number of samples, circumstances, and other factors. You must know how to prepare for a data science interview with the right approach and justifications of ML models and techniques to conquer your interview round effectively. 

6.Data Visualization 

Prepare for a data science interview without leaving the practice of data visualization. It is the most crucial skill asked for in a data science candidate, specifically for data scientist roles. You must have the ability to discuss efficient plots and represent complex data most comprehensively to both technical and non-technical audiences. These skills are sought in candidates for better delivery of the task in a short time span without creating confusion or messing up with data.

Tips and Tricks to Nail Data Science Interviews

Here, we have covered some tips and tricks to prepare for data science interviews in a better way.

  1. Think Before Answering: Take a little time to think before answering. Certain questions require a mindful approach for unique outcomes rather than just stating the formula or existing approach.
  2. Explain Your Ability for the Role: Understand the job roles and the requirements to emphasize how you can enhance the profit and visibility of the organization better than others. Explain how you can improve the existing products, mitigate issues, and create new solutions.
  3. Build Soft Skills: Other than technical skills, professionals seek candidates who show better soft skills over others. Soft skills like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, behavioral understanding, collaboration, teamwork, and leadership are crucial aspects of the data science field. Through these, data science professionals can come up with the best approach to lead the project, complete the project on time, solve queries and issues to deliver valuable insights and data-driven decisions and increase the efficiency and profitability of the organization.
  4. Highlight Personal Projects and Prepare a Portfolio: Regardless of your experience level, presenting a portfolio of projects is crucial to showcase your relevant experience and skills. Be specific about the types of projects you include, highlighting those that align closely with the job profile. Your portfolio should not only demonstrate your technical expertise but also provide insights into your problem-solving approach and collaborative abilities..
  5. Industries Difference: Understand that requirements in different domains for a data science candidate are different. From medical to research, pharmaceuticals, marketing, trading, to cloud service providers, each deals with data fundamentally but varies with functionality. Before applying and appearing for a data science interview, thoroughly research the domain in which you are willing to work.
  6. Ability to Handle Rejection: Never lose hope if you are not able to stand out at once. Use rejection as a learning opportunity, identify areas for improvement, and actively acquire the skills and knowledge you may be lacking. This continuous learning and growth will empower you to emerge stronger and more prepared for future opportunities.

Gear Up Your Performance with Interview Kickstart 

In the era of stiff competition in the field of data science, the right approach to preparing for data science interview matters comes from the help of skilled professionals working in top-tech companies. Mentors from Interview Kickstart help get the spotlight in the competitive job landscape and secure a bright future in a data science career. 

We provide 18 interview preparation courses to make you tech interview-ready and successfully land your dream jobs. Register for a free webinar and stand out from others now!

FAQs on Data Science Interviews

Q1. How can I prepare for a data science interview?

Always do background research on the company and job roles, brush up on your skills, research the recent achievements along with competitors and rivals of the company you want to apply to and deliver your interview with confidence. 

Q2. Are data structure and algorithm questions asked in data science interviews?

Data Structure and Algorithm (DSA) works as a plus point in the data science interviews. If a candidate has a strong foundation in DSA, they have a huge advantage over other competitors.

Q3. How is data science for freshers?

Freshers in data science can start their role as data visualization specialists and other related roles in diverse fields such as healthcare, finance, consulting, e-commerce, and others.

Q4. How many rounds are there in data science interviews?

The number of rounds may vary with different organizations and roles. However, generally, four rounds are expected for a data science role: initiating behavioral and interpersonal interviews, proceeding to technical rounds, following assignments, and the final round in the hiring process.

Q5. Is data science a good career?

With the evolving world of business, there is an increase in data. The demand for data science specialists to handle data has increased. Employers are seeking potential candidates possessing great technical and soft skills to increase the efficiency and profitability of the company. Thus, the salary package, lucrative compensation, and plethora of benefits in data science have the potential to convince candidates to build careers in the same.

Posted on 
February 6, 2024

Dipen Dadhaniya

Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart

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