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Data Management Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published January 24th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 28
How would you say that you would help bring sound data governance philosophies to this role at Data Management?
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How to Answer
This big picture question will allow your interviewer to get a sense of how you understand that your work will benefit the greater good of Data Management through following repeatable processes to maintain consistency in your work. When you talk about your experience and methods that you would help bring to table in this role, maintain a focus on minimizing risk and reducing costs for the organization.
28 Data Management Interview Questions
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  1. How would you say that you would help bring sound data governance philosophies to this role at Data Management?
  2. If hired for this position here at Data Management, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?
  3. If hired here at Data Management, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?
  4. What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with Data Management?
  5. Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?
  6. What do you feel is one of the top issues that is faced by data engineers today?
  7. What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
  8. How do you stay organized and on track when working on multiple projects or duties at the same time?
  9. In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?
  10. At Data Management, we rely on a full team effort to deliver top quality products to our customers. Tell me about a time that you worked well as part of a team. Are you comfortable in a similar role here?
  11. What do you consider to be a good litmus test for when you would automate a test process for a new system versus testing manually?
  12. In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?
  13. What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
  14. What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
  15. Would you say that you are a goal oriented on the job? What would I be able to do as your manager to help you achieve your goals if hired here at Data Management?
  16. What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Data Management?
  17. In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?
  18. We seek to hire highly ambitious people. Where would you like your career with Data Management take you?
  19. How do you measure the success of a data integration project?
  20. Can you describe the software development lifecycle?
  21. If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?
  22. Do you have experience writing a custom exception in Java?
  23. What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
  24. In your current role, how would describe your ability to communicate and coordinate with the developers, testers and architects that you work closely with?
  25. Tell me about a time your manager changed the scope of the project in the middle of it. How did you deal with it?
  26. How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?
  27. At Data Management we take pride in our ability to stay one step ahead of our competitors. How will you contribute to this trend?
  28. In your experience in software testing, would you consider yourself proficient in both testing and debugging processes?
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15 Data Management, Inc. Answer Examples
1.
How would you say that you would help bring sound data governance philosophies to this role at Data Management?
This big picture question will allow your interviewer to get a sense of how you understand that your work will benefit the greater good of Data Management through following repeatable processes to maintain consistency in your work. When you talk about your experience and methods that you would help bring to table in this role, maintain a focus on minimizing risk and reducing costs for the organization.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I work under a very strict set of data governance principles that were developed by our team. The principles outline set processes that I follow in all data conversion processes for our new software. In the end of all projects, our data governance principles help ensure sound data storage processes and data security for our end users."
Ryan's Answer #2
"If hired for this role, I would love to help develop and abide by documented processes in data conversion to ensure solid data governance in the projects here at Data Management. In the work I've performed in the past, I've developed conversion and end reporting processes that helped ensure 100% accuracy in the software being developed. With these processes in place, we could rest assured that corporate risks were as minimal as possible in our products."
2.
If hired for this position here at Data Management, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?
As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at Data Management. This question is allowing your interviewer to get a better sense of your project management skills and people skills if you were to join the team at Data Management. In your answer, talk about your ability to estimate the time and cost of a project, the staffing needed and the overall scope of planning for a particular project. If you have direct experience in being the lead on a large development project, be sure to discuss that experience with your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Looking to join the team here at Data Management directly out of college, I feel very confident in my abilities to manage the entire scope of a new development project. I have leadership experience as my campus' president of the software engineering club. In that role, I developed skills that would help me utilize staff and resources in the best way possible. During my internship, I was exposed to the planning stages of new projects and I have a very good feel of estimating the budget and length of time needed to have a fully functional system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would absolutely be comfortable if tasked with project manager duties here at Data Management. In my last two roles, I have led successful projects that started with great planning and budgeting process and went through to completion with great people and processes in place under my leadership. While it's not a regular duty for me in my current role, I always welcome leadership duties."
3.
If hired here at Data Management, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?
The key to answering this question with confidence starts with understanding that you are interviewing with Data Management because your interviewer feels that you are a strong candidate for this position. What your interviewer is focusing on with this question is how they could be of most help to you if hired for the job. So, take the time prior to your interview to think about an aspect of the position that would be the most difficult for you to overcome to be up and running at full speed and then take time to explain how you would plan to overcome that hurdle if hired. This structured answer will tell your interviewer that you have put thought to your potential shortcoming with a plan of action.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I don't have any direct working experience with the financial industry and I would see that as my largest learning opportunity if offered this position. Like I did with my current job in the healthcare industry, I would take the time to learn the basics of the industry that would help me design the most intuitive user interfaces in the products here at Data Management."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Being a team player by nature, I've always considered my first challenge at any new company to be the task of getting to know my colleagues, their work preferences and their work styles. In the same breath, I want them to know who I am and how I best work as part of a team with them. To accomplish this, I would take the initiative to set one on one meetings with individuals that I didn't get to touch base with during my orientation process to get to know them better."
4.
What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with Data Management?
This question is allowing you to have the floor during your interview to wow your interviewer with something they might not know about you yet from your resume or time so far during the interview. Think about a strong, unique trait that you have that has led to prior success in your field and explain in detail how this will help further you in your career with Data Management. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From what my parents have told me about me as a young child, passion has been a personality trait that has driven me my whole life. When I tackle something in life, I need to be passionate about it for it to be a success. From my time as a young child up to today, I have been passionate about physical fitness and this has driven me to participate in running and biking races across the country. This same passion in the pursuit of excellence has translated into my career as a software engineer. From tinkering with computer hardware at a young age and learning the internal components of a system to learning how to create and design software, you'll quickly find that my passion to engineer the most unique software here at Data Management will be extremely beneficial to your team."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would have to say that my humility has been instrumental in getting me to where I am at today in my career. Having worked with one of the largest software companies in the world, egos were certainly high with a lot of my teammates and I have always used my humility to let my work do my talking for me while remaining a friendly and curious colleague to all."
5.
Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?
The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because Data Management is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I regularly utilize both diagramming and web development tools. The diagram tools assist our software projects by outlining the system data and components in a graphical form for us and this saves us a great amount of time while also being very reliable. The web development tools greatly help me visualize site changes that I am making because I don't have a deep background in web development. If hired for this position, I'd look forward to learning other CASE tools for prototyping, quality assurance and maintenance."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my career and in my experience with CASE tools, most of my experience is in the lower CASE elements that focus on coding and testing the software after initial development. CASE tools have certainly made life as a software engineer more efficient and effective and I'd look forward to learn any new CASE tools if hired for this position here at Data Management."
6.
What do you feel is one of the top issues that is faced by data engineers today?
Being in the midst of the greatest technological revolution in the history of man, data engineers face many difficult issues in the work that they perform on a daily basis. While there are many directions that you can go with this question, be sure to focus your answer on something that you can speak passionately about. If you can research a common issue in the industry that Data Management works in, you may likely score some bonus points with your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Over the past couple of years, I've come to realize that one of the largest issues we face as data engineers is the large amounts of data that are needed to store and then draw information from. Here at Data Management, I can only imagine how big of an issue that is in the healthcare industry. I have a lot of experience with cloud based data storage and also server based storage."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my recent experiences, continuous, real-time integration is an issue that we will face each and every day moving forward. The need for fast paced information is certainly to blame for this. To stay on top of the continuous integration landscape, I am happy to hear that new and improved systems are being created to stay more real-time and up to the minute. Here at Data Management and working in the financial industry, how have you seen this need for real-time data impact your products?"
7.
What experience do you have in the different types of software maintenance?
As a reputable company, Data Management takes their software maintenance processes seriously and your interviewer is looking to hear that you are familiar with the four different types of software maintenance. Talk to your interviewer about any work you have done in the past with corrective, adaptive, perfective and/or preventative software maintenance. Use specific examples and make sure that your interviewer walks away from your conversation knowing that you understand the importance of proper system maintenance.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Being familiar with all four types of software maintenance, my most used method of maintenance in my current role is corrective. Based on bug reports from end users, I work through coding and logic issues to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner. In the maintenance I perform, I never hesitate to pick up the phone and contact customers to hear first hand about what they are experiencing. By doing this, they feel like they are an important part of the process and it reflects well on me and my organization."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current role, I'd definitely say that a majority of the maintenance work that I do is adaptive maintenance. Working in banking software that is used around the globe, I help perform system maintenance for changes in currency on a pretty regular basis. This work requires research and talking with end users to help adapt the programs for their use. If hired here at Data Management, I also have experience performing perfective, preventative and corrective maintenance on software as well."
8.
How do you stay organized and on track when working on multiple projects or duties at the same time?
In this role with Data Management, you will likely be expected to manage multiple projects at the same time. Your ability to plan, manage deadlines and handle high needs items that come up on a regular basis will be essential to your success in this role and your interviewer is looking to hear how you plan for success. Whether you utilize an electronic tool or a written list, there are no right or wrong answers as long as you can prove in your answer that this method works out great for you.

Ryan's Answer #1
"With any project that I am working on, I make sure to set benchmarks to meet deadlines ahead of time and set early personal deadlines to allow for some wiggle room. To do this, I am a proponent of using the Microsoft Outlook calendar and tasks functions to help keep me organized. I find that this method helps me stay on track with multiple projects while also leaving me wiggle room each day to fight the high needs fires that do come up in this job."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me to stay on track, I make sure to take ten minutes at the end of each day to recap what was accomplished, what new came up on my task list and re-prioritizing my work for the next day. Then, upon arriving the next day and working through emails from the previous evening, I can adjust my task list for the day if needed. I tend to set aside two hours per day to work on long-term project needs while focusing a majority of my time on the short-term needs."
9.
In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?
Depending on your training and your past roles prior to interviewing at Data Management, you may be familiar with one or two of the many trains of though regarding the steps of a data validation. Whatever formal process you are familiar with, be sure to check the boxes of discussing data screening and data verification as part of your process. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you check those boxes as they are imperative in the software field.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I embark on a data validation process in my current role, my first step is to roadmap a detailed plan to keep on task. I utilize benchmarks and the expectations of key stakeholders as my guide. Once underway, I validate the database and the data formatting to ensure that data is properly screened for its overall health. Then, by finishing with sampling, tests are performed to hopefully show that the data is useful within the system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The most important steps in a data validation process are determining the data to sample, scouring the existing database and validating the final data format. My first step is to use my best judgment to determine if I will validate a sample or the entire data set. This determination is based on overall size of the set and the timeframe that I have to work on the project. Then, I take the time to screen data in the existing database to calculate the number of unique ID's and records to come into the system. Last, I have to verify that the source data matches the schema within the targe"
10.
At Data Management, we rely on a full team effort to deliver top quality products to our customers. Tell me about a time that you worked well as part of a team. Are you comfortable in a similar role here?
While this potential role with Data Management will require your to be an independent worker that can think on your feet, you will also need to work as part of a larger team that is working toward one common goal. Because of this fact, your interviewer will want to hear that you thrive in an environment where you work with team members from other disciplines than you are trained in. In your example, stress to your interviewer that you have excellent communication skills and that you fully understand that every person on a team plays a vital role in the organization's success.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Throughout my career, I've always enjoyed working as part of a larger team on the job and this personal enjoyment started with my love of and participation in team sports like baseball and basketball. Growing up playing sports, I learned that each team member brought a unique skill set that could help us achieve our goals. Through a great coaching staff that knew how to make these individual skills shine, this same philosophy holds true for a team that is looking to design a new software system. I know that my skills as an engineer are just part of the final product and I work very well with designers, architects, analysts and sales to help build the greatest system possible."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am a people person by nature and my current role has me working very closely with our engineering and design staff on writing technical manuals for our products. While I certainly can handle long days at my computer in solitude, my desire to work hand in hand with others really sets me apart from my peers in this field. I have excellent verbal, listening and written communication skills that, if hired here at Data Management, your entire team would appreciate from my first day on the job."
11.
What do you consider to be a good litmus test for when you would automate a test process for a new system versus testing manually?
As your role with Data Management will look to help further their automate testing processes for new systems, you will need to have a good sense for when automation makes sense and when it does not. Reiterate your sense for this to your interviewer by sticking to the high level response that repetitive tasks, as are common with large software companies, are prime candidates for automation whereas one time test cases are not.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having been in automation in both manufacturing for many years and now software for the last three years, a common misconception among people is that automation can help improve any situation and that couldn't be further from the truth. The amount of time, effort and resources that goes into an automation process makes it ideal for repetitive tasks and tests that have multiple data sets. If a testing process calls for unique and one time process, it would make the most sense to run that process manually."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I"n my current position, most of the automation testing that I design is in program sanity testing. These automated tests work great because they run on similar systems following changes in code to ensure that no bugs remain in the system. If our group of engineers are working on unique, one off type projects, my automation processes are not utilized."
12.
In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?
By utilizing random inputs to check the behavior of a program, monkey testing has its time and place in the software testing process. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have an understanding of the theory behind monkey testing and how you would look to put it to work at Data Management to test their products.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my experience, monkey testing has been very effective in load testing and stress testing new software as standard testing methods couldn't do this without a lot of extra work. Because of the adhoc approach to the testing, load and stress on the software was most highly gauged through monkey testing."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Because monkey testing is able to find unique bugs that standard testing won't find, I've found it to be very effective for testing new pilot software programs that are reaching new bounds. At my current job, I helped design a brilliant monkey testing process that utilized user behavior to look for certain probabilities of bugs within our systems that we were designing."
13.
What programming languages would you consider yourself fluent in?
While this question gives your interviewer insight into the diversity of your programming language experience, they most importantly want to know that you are adaptable and able to learn on the fly if needed. Talk about the different languages that you consider yourself fluent in and, if possible, do as much research into Data Management as you can prior to your interview and try to speak to the specific languages that they work with.

Ryan's Answer #1
"From the start of college, where software engineering grew into a passion for me, I've become very fluent in Java, JavaScript and C++. My current role has me working primarily with C++, but I pride myself on my ability and passion to learn new programming languages and would be able to do so if hired for this role with Data Management."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my training to be an engineer and then in my current role since graduating, a majority of my experience falls within Python. My current role delves deeply into artificial intelligence and Python is awesome with this advanced technology. As I understand it from talking to another engineer here at Data Management, a requirement would be for me to learn Scala. Though I haven't worked directly with Scala, I believe my experience and willingness to learn would have me up and running in no time if hired for this role."
14.
What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?
As a company that utilizes Java, Data Management and your interviewer want to make sure that you have an understanding of the Java programming language and they do so by asking this question. Obviously a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

Ryan's Answer
"When I started working with Java three years ago, the first huge benefit was the fact that the Java syntax was based on C++. At that time, I had a great working knowledge of C++ and my transition to Java was absolutely seamless. The other amazing feature that I've come to appreciate with Java is how robust the memory management is in exception handling and automatic garbage collection."
15.
Would you say that you are a goal oriented on the job? What would I be able to do as your manager to help you achieve your goals if hired here at Data Management?
At the heart of this question lies your interviewers desire to see what motivates you as a potential employee at Data Management. Make it clear to your interviewer that you certainly are motivated by on the job goals and do this by using an example of a time where you were motivated by and achieved a goal. Then, think deeply about the type of manager that you like to work for in terms of goal setting and helping our achieve your goals. Let your interviewer know what type of management styles you appreciate the most while being open to any style.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would definitely say that I am goal oriented on the job in wanting to contribute any way that I can to the overall benefit of the organization. In my current organization, our leadership focuses on overall sales numbers at the end of the year. To help achieve these goals, our department creates our own goals to help achieve the sales numbers needed to succeed. Last year, one of those goals was to be as creative as possible in our user experience design processes. With the launch of an exciting new app midyear, sales numbers skyrocketed and our department was instrumental in that. For me, it was important that we determined our goals as a team with the final stamp of approval from our manager. While this style of management really helped motivate me, I can thrive under any management style as long as expectations and goals for my work are clearly set."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me, my day to day work is much more meaningful when I have goals to work for. In my current role, we have set timelines for our projects and this helps lay the framework for our goals. If hired for this position, my expectations of you as my manager would be to have goals clearly defined and a supportive atmosphere to be provided to work within."
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