You’ve created the perfect data analyst job description, you’ve narrowed it down to just a few stellar candidates, and now you need to interview them. But what the heck should you ask them?
Fret not! We’ve put together this list of our tried and true interview questions for data analysts.
Why We Like Toptal
General Questions for a Data Analyst
Here are a few general questions to start with.
1. What do data analysts do?
This one seems pretty obvious, but you need to know that your possible data analyst knows how to explain what they do to people who may not be familiar.
2. Why are you interested in a position at this company?
This questions helps you understand why they’re interested in working for you and what they know about your company.
3. What are your rates?
This one’s a no-brainer. You need to know how much a data analyst will charge for their services to know if those rates fit with your budget.
4. What industries do you specialize in?
If your business exists in a specific industry, you may want a data analyst who has experience in that industry.
5. How do you ensure data accuracy?
Accuracy is the name of the data analysis game. So, your data analyst should be able to explain in detail how they check their work and ensure data consistency and accuracy.
6. How do you stay updated on the latest data technology and trends?
Since there are new data analytics tools always coming out, your data analyst needs to demonstrate an ability and desire to remain up-to-date on the latest trends.
7. How would you measure the business performance of our company and what info would you find most important to discuss?
The data analyst you hire should already have an idea of what they could do to optimize your business specifically. Look for an answer that demonstrates the analyst’s understanding of your company.
8. Do you have any questions for us?
This is a great way to see if your data analyst has been paying attention and doing their research. They should have at least one or two questions for you.
Technical Questions for Data Analyst Interviews
Now, we get into the more technical questions to ask in a data analyst interview.
9. How do you clean data?
Different data analysts may have different protocols for cleaning data, but they should be able to explain the process and why it’s important to data analysis.
10. What scripting languages are you proficient in?
Every data analyst should be proficient in SQL and either Python or R, but your data analyst should be able to learn and adapt to new scripting languages, as well.
11. What analytics tools and software are you familiar with and which is your favorite?
Knowing their familiarity with various analytical software helps you gauge their experience level and preferences.
12. How do you handle missing or incomplete data in a dataset?
This gives you an idea of how the data analyst does basic troubleshooting for common occurrences in the data analysis process.
13. What statistical methods have you used in data analysis?
Any data analysis role will require a lot of statistical analysis to help identify and achieve business goals. The right data analyst will have experience using various statistical methods in their processes.
14. How do you handle large datasets?
Data analysis for large data sets requires an additional level of skill that your prospective data analyst should have experience with.
Scenario & Experience-Based Questions for Data Analyst Interviews
Here’s how to understand how your data analyst handles the practical application of data analysis tenets.
15. Explain a time when you had to explain your data analysis to a non-technical audience. How did you handle it?
Data analytics is often riddled with terms and phrases that don’t make any sense to the average bear. Since it’s important to communicate what they do to stakeholders and other team members, the data analyst should be able to do so.
16. Describe the most challenging data set you have worked with. What made it challenging and how did you overcome these challenges?
This question helps you assess the data analyst’s problem-solving skills and the depth of their knowledge.
17. Tell us about a project where you used machine learning techniques. What was the goal and what approach did you take?
Machine learning is a somewhat new but incredibly important aspect of a data analyst’s job. A good data analyst should be able to explain a specific experience they have working with this technology and show their proficiency in it.
18. Tell us about a situation where your data analysis led to a change in business strategy or helped solve a business problem.
The goal of data analysis is to create solutions and strategies that maximize a business’s performance. Your data analyst should be able to show examples of how their data analysis led to positive changes for their clients.
19. Describe an experiment that you designed. How did you measure the success or failure of this experiment?
A lot of data analysis consists of A/B testing. A data analyst should be able to take an experimental approach to find the best possible solutions for a business.
20. Explain a time when you got unexpected results. How did you modify your analysis or change your approach?
There will be times when the data doesn’t match expectations and a data analyst will have to change their approach. Adapting to failure demonstrates patience and adaptability.
Best Place to Find Data Analysts
Our favorite place to find a highly skilled data analyst is Toptal.
Their talent is highly vetted and they only work with the top 3% of data analysts, so you know you’ll be matched with the right person for the job.
If you’re interested in looking around, check out our list of the best freelance sites to find data analysts.
Why We Like Toptal
Frequently Asked Questions
What questions should I ask as a data analyst?
As a data analyst, you should ask about a company’s pay, what a typical day looks like, and questions about their company culture.
Is data analyst good for freelancing?
Yes, data analyst is a great position to freelance in.
How do you ask effective questions for data analysis?
To ask effective questions for data analysis, try to understand their processes, abilities, and experience.
What do freelance data analysts do?
Freelance data analysts work to clean and analyze data to help companies increase business performance.
How much can I charge as a data analyst?
You can charge from $20 to $60 per hour as a data analyst.