Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Not everyone will be qualified for the role of a data analyst and interviews play a vital role in determining if a candidate is a good fit. Here are some great questions to ask candidates in order to see if they will be your next hire:
What does the day of a data analyst look like?
If the applicant has done this job before, they should be able to answer this sufficiently, regardless of where they worked. You are looking to see that they understand the role and are applying for a job description that fits their (and your) expectations.
What data analysis software have you used? Which do you prefer?
While the answers to this question can tell you if the person is qualified for the job, they can also help you fill in any gaps that the application or resume didn’t cover. While the candidate doesn’t need the exact software experience required by the job, it’s important that they have a broad history of data analytics and are willing to learn new programs. The more experience they have, however, the better they may acclimate.
Why did you become a data analyst?
Much about the candidate is revealed in this answer. Look for details about the job that reveal both their aptitude and excitement for the topic. You can see any passion they have for the job, which will be important if they want to work for your company long-term without losing interest.
How would you approach a new project?
Giving the candidate an example project and hearing how they would tackle it can give you insight into:
Approach to open-ended problems
Recognition of deadlines
Their answer also reveals any ability to focus on steps in a process, which is vital to a data analyst role.
Can you share a time when you missed a deadline?
This answer can tell you that the candidate is both honest about their failures and realistic about the time constraints of a data analyst job. Look for signs that the candidate was proactive about the deadline and either worked to get an extension or took responsibility for the tardiness. This answer also gives you insight into how the applicant handles stress and accountability.
What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
If collaboration, high-tech challenges, and room for growth are key to your culture, the answers should reveal a desire for this as well. If a candidate doesn’t seem to be seeking out things you offer, don’t count them out completely. Candidates often express what they are looking for in more situational terms. Ask them to explain a time they thrived in a work environment. What they reveal can tell you a lot.
How do you feel about a collaborative work environment?
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions about what it’s like for the candidate to collaborate. If they don’t have a lot of experience doing this in a job scenario, look for examples of volunteerism, community, or family life that demonstrate this trait.
Reach out to the Network ESC team if you're a skilled data analyst looking for a job or if you're an employer looking for one of the best data analysts out there.