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Factual Interview
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30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published December 1st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
What steps do you take when you have to make an immediate decision without all the relevant information?
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How to Answer
Your industry may be all about data management, analytics, and information; however, situations will arise where you may not have all of the information available to you, for split-second decision. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of taking educated guesses that are good for Factual, if needed. Show that you are confident enough in your abilities that you can make a firm decision without all pieces of the problem being present.
30 Factual Interview Questions
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  1. What steps do you take when you have to make an immediate decision without all the relevant information?
  2. In a given scenario, how would you expand our footprint within the account and how would you work to retain the account if they opted to not renew their contract?
  3. In your opinion, what is the most exciting collaboration between data analysis and artificial intelligence in the past year?
  4. Do you have experience giving product demonstrations, and closing new accounts?
  5. Tell me about the most challenging aspect of your current job. How did you overcome it?
  6. Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?
  7. What would be the best ad channels for a retail (clothes, shoes, etc.) company that is launching its first beauty product line?
  8. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
  9. What do you know about Factual's competitive position within the data analytics industry?
  10. Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?
  11. How does data drive a business' success?
  12. How would you describe Factual to someone unfamiliar with it?
  13. Unexpected issues arise often in the technology industry, and you must be able to quickly adapt. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
  14. Great data visualization will present data in a convincing way. How do you improve human perception when presenting data?
  15. When have you been on a team project that failed? What did you learn from that experience?
  16. How could a business use the data visualization services of Factual to prospect and generate new leads?
  17. What would you do to improve a client's digital strategy if they want to stop using discounts?
  18. How would you communicate insights to a client?
  19. Tell me something you have taught yourself and how you went about it.
  20. How do you develop trust among your team in a virtual, or work-from-home, setting?
  21. If you could start any company, what venture would you choose?
  22. Part of our business is in big data, which is continuously changing as new technology and products enter the market. How do you keep up-to-date on these changes?
  23. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
  24. How many impressions, would you estimate, an advertisement on a subway car would garner in one day?
  25. What kind of customer data should an online retailer collect?
  26. Walk me through your experience in databases, predictive modeling, and business intelligence. In which of these areas are you best versed?
  27. Explain data visualization, and why it is important to a business.
  28. Why do you want to work at Factual?
  29. Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation.
  30. What are the features you'd include in the product content page (for a retailer)? What would you emphasize?
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15 Factual, Inc. Answer Examples
1.
What steps do you take when you have to make an immediate decision without all the relevant information?
Your industry may be all about data management, analytics, and information; however, situations will arise where you may not have all of the information available to you, for split-second decision. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of taking educated guesses that are good for Factual, if needed. Show that you are confident enough in your abilities that you can make a firm decision without all pieces of the problem being present.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a strong believer in following my intuition, and that approach has not steered me wrong. I try to gather as much information and data as possible, but when all of the pieces are not accessible, I assess the situation using my prior knowledge of similar situations, and I follow my intuition. If I'm not certain or feel conflicted, I don't hesitate to bring in another person to help me. Rest assured, I will always do my best to come to the best decision for Factual."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Immediate decisions are required of me on a daily basis. For instance, what do I do when a system network goes down? How do I react when a key data set becomes corrupted? I find that the most effective method for making immediate decisions is to forget about what you don't know and focus on what you do know. That's the best anyone can do, and there is no sense wasting time on the what ifs, especially in the software and technology industry when the integrity of a significant project could be at risk."
2.
In a given scenario, how would you expand our footprint within the account and how would you work to retain the account if they opted to not renew their contract?
Often in ad-tech, whether you are in sales or not, you are likely to interact with clients often and be involved in ensuring client success. Knowing how to maintain and expand client relationships is key as Factual would likely constantly develop new products and offerings. This kind of mindset is needed for anyone who wants to be in a leadership position at Factual, regardless of the group/division.

So tap into your inner sales/persuasion instincts when responding to this question. Make sure that your response is phrased so it puts the client's need first, not your or Factual's best interest.

Rachelle's Answer
"First, to expand our footprint within the account, I believe we need to examine the account status and status of all ongoing initiatives very frequently. It's important to establish milestones with the client early on so we all have the same expectations and can observe progress clearly and objectively. I'll note all the roadblocks and challenges that come to surface during the cycle of the relationship and speak to the client about their thoughts on the matter - like 'why do you think you are obtaining new customers steadily yet the rate of repeat customer is low?' - and determine the root cause of the problem. It could be issues with the product itself, lack of meaningful client engagements, or a combination of things. Once the client sees the next problem they need to solve for, I'll be their partner and offer guidance as well as an introduction of our services and capabilities they could benefit from. If I could be proactive, I'd offer the client a pilot approach so they can test out new functionalities/products when they become available. This way we start to build trust and deepen the partnership. For accounts opting not to renew, I'd hope that we would've been proactive enough to have had discussions with clients before they 'announce' the decision. Either way, if they indicate they are leaning towards not renewing the contract, I'll probably use a few different techniques. I might mention other clients or companies who have made similar decisions to end contracts with Factual, resulting in their marketing capabilities significantly deteriorating soon after. I'll also highlight what their competitors are doing and the consequences of them falling behind in their marketing efforts. If they are unhappy with us and/or considering another vendor, I'll try to find ways to address those issues quickly and throw in bonus gifts to appease them. If I can, I'll offer 3 more months of a free trial period to fix issues/deliver."
3.
In your opinion, what is the most exciting collaboration between data analysis and artificial intelligence in the past year?
If you are up to date on the trends and happenings between data analysis and AI, you should have no problem answering this question. Discuss an exciting collaboration, project, or product release that you have heard of recently. Because this is an open-ended question, be careful not to ramble on.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have taken a keen interest in how artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have been working together to optimize business workflows. The result appears to be better strategies for enterprises surrounding people management, effective operations, as well as culture and engagement."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I recently read an article in Forbes on the top machine learning programs to watch. I was especially intrigued with a company called DataVisor which uses machine learning to uncover financial data issues, helping to protect against bank fraud, and other financial based criminal activity."
4.
Do you have experience giving product demonstrations, and closing new accounts?
Working in data visualization, you may be required to walk clients through the ins and outs of their data, helping them to understand how to decipher the data and then use it to their benefit. Working for a company that offers a data visualization solution means that you will be tech savvy and able to teach others how to use Factual products correctly. Walk the interviewer through any experience you have giving demonstrations, and working with potential new clients.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current role, I give a product demonstration a few times a month. Although it is not my primary job function; I know our applications and software inside and out, so that I can jump in and help anytime. I am comfortable giving presentations and can explain challenging tech to people with little technical experience easily."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current role, I give product demonstrations to potential new clients, a few times a week. Once our sales team has primed the client to buy, it's my job to show off the product features, overcome any tech related objections, and then close the deal."
5.
Tell me about the most challenging aspect of your current job. How did you overcome it?
Factual wants to know that you will dig in harder, when things are difficult, rather than give up. Sometimes the most significant workplace challenge is a difficult task that puts you outside of your comfort zone. It could be something that requires skills you haven't mastered yet or qualities where you are not the strongest. Explain to the interviewer why it was difficult but be sure to spend more time highlighting the actions you took to overcome the challenge.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The most challenging aspect of my current job was mastering the different data models used when I first started with them. Before joining, I did not have a lot of exposure to object-oriented database modeling or hierarchical database models, and they are used a great deal in the organization. To overcome this, I took the lead in my learning and referred to online resources and tutorials. I ended up becoming very well versed in both types of data models, and am now the go-to resource for our new hires."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The most challenging aspect of my previous job was the constant need to pivot our attention when it came to trends in the machine learning industry since our product offering relied so heavily on ML. We would gain footing, and then the next greatest update would arrive. Rather than master it all, I started to focus on a few company leaders in the industry and followed some influencers highly knowledgeable in machine learning trends. This targeted focus allowed us to remain zeroed in on what was important."
6.
Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?
If you work for a larger company, you may have been asked to work on a project with teams from another department. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a significant asset to your potential employer, especially if they are a larger organization.

Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of the engineering and sales teams. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked in a cross-functional setting for many years. Primarily with the digital security department and the engineering department. Clear communication is key when collaborating with different teams. Clarity in expectations is of huge importance."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When I worked for a larger mobile applications agency, we collaborated across departments all the time. We had the C-suite of Marketing and Operations, then the Content and Communications department, Creative Services, and also Consumer Insights. We would meet on a weekly basis to discuss larger projects and then collaborate through the week as needed. It was a great set-up and ensured smooth progress at all project stages."
7.
What would be the best ad channels for a retail (clothes, shoes, etc.) company that is launching its first beauty product line?
What the interviewer wants to see is that you have basic knowledge of typical ad channels and also can incorporate insights about retail customers in your thinking.

So start by outlining some of the key insights about the target customers and when they'd most likely pay attention to the ads, both in the physical and digital world.

Rachelle's Answer
"Many beauty product customers, most of whom are females, normally have brands that they like for each of the product they normally use - skincare (lotion, moisturizer), foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, lipstick. But they are always open to try new items, which is why places like Sephora are so popular. People can try them to see if they like the color, texture, etc. However, being online, customers can see reviews which let them know the pros and cons of the product. Since the company already has a good base of retail customers, a huge % of who are likely to purchase beauty products, they can start by including samples of their beauty products as gifts in existing customers' orders, both in stores and online. They can offer different gift options to choose from per order, hopefully customizing it based on client segments/preferences. Start with the loyal customers first so they can drive the most desired marketing channel of all - word of mouth. If they come back to order more of beauty products after trying their sample, they could get special discounts or additional gifts. I also think leveraging their own website would be key - recommending beauty products based on the clothes or shoes they are looking at so they can plan their looks top to bottom. They can also hire social media influencers to promote and review their new beauty products - makeup gurus on Instagram and youtube. There are also google keywords and ad analytics to lure customers exploring certain ideas to the brand/site."
8.
How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
When working for Factual, you will need to take on multiple projects or clients at a time. They are a busy organization and need to know that you can keep up with their pace. Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs completion, you can better visualize your approach.
2) Mark what is urgent or essential. Take into account deadlines and meetings. If a project management tool is available to you, like Trello or Asana, utilize its features to keep yourself organized.
3) Order each task based on effort and estimated value.
4) Consider due dates and how long it will take to do each item.

When answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to Factual!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I aim to be as effective and efficient as possible and make sure I can use all minutes of a day for a project. I have a few things going at once most of the time. I am the lead on some, the delegator on others, and the reviewer on another, for instance. This way, by splitting up the work to the appropriate parties, both my team and I can be the most efficient with our time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I love to keep running lists of everything that I need to do, big or small. Mostly because I love crossing things off of the to-do list, but also because it helps me keep track of everything. Lately, I've started utilizing a free project management software that I use to make those lists, categorize the tasks, and mark them by the level of urgency. I take care of the most time-sensitive issues first and then move along to the equally important, but perhaps less time-sensitive to-dos. I also estimate how long each task will take, so if I have a few minutes in between projects, I can tackle the quick to dos and use that time effectively, rather than use it to figure out 'what's next.'"
9.
What do you know about Factual's competitive position within the data analytics industry?
This question will help the hiring manager gauge your knowledge of the data industry and Factual. Knowing where Factual is positioned in the industry will prove you did your research. It will also confirm that you have a good understanding of the position for you which you are applying and the company overall. When speaking about the Factual's position in the industry, mention any niches Factual serves and its biggest competitors.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The Data industry is constantly changing with new technology that makes tools more user-friendly. There is strong competition in this industry with companies continuously innovating to offer 'the next big thing' to their clients. Factual offers user-friendly interfaces that allow its products to be used across a client's company and not only by its data analysts, making data readily available to those who are looking for answers. I would say Company 1 and Company 2 are Factual's strongest competitors as their products strengths include a user-friendly interface highlighted in all marketing communications. Their goal of making data accessible to all parts of their clients' company is similar to that of Factual"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Companies that specialize in data analytics have seen companies deal with massive amounts of data that are not being mined due to resource limitations. Also, data quality continues to be an issue as companies deal with vast amounts of data. Through its products and services, Factual understands these issues and implements solutions for them. With regards to competition, Factual faces companies such as Company1 and Company2 whose products and services also address these issues. Although Factual is not quite there yet in size and scope relative to these two competitors, it has increased its presence and has continued to establish itself as a growing threat."
10.
Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?
Software developers spend a great deal of time debugging programs. It is essential for Factual to have someone experienced in quickly identifying problems and responsive in providing solutions. The interviewer would also like to gauge how you work with internal and external customers when problem-solving.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my last development position, I was responsible for front-line communications with end users. Third tier helpdesk staff would contact me with software bugs, and I was able to quickly and professionally respond to problems. I was able to reduce the bug backlog by 70%."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Both my internal and external customers appreciate that I am a natural problem solver. With my eight years of development experience and my Computer Science degree, I can quickly prioritize problems, address priority issues first and respond to customers promptly."
11.
How does data drive a business' success?
Data-driven decision making is becoming a more significant topic every year. Companies can leverage data analytics to determine:

- Productivity
- Competitive analysis
- How, when, and where products are used
- Customer demographics
- Pattern analysis
- Business growth

Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you feel companies can best use data to drive the success of their business.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I take a hard look at the many uses of data, I see that data can be collected in a plethora of ways to determine the success of a new product launch, competitive analysis, or patterns that occur, which may not be seen by the human eye. In my career, I have the most experience using data to help drive employee productivity and onboarding solutions which can save a company thousands of dollars."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Data can drive every aspect of a business' success if approached and utilized correctly. In my experience, I have seen that companies underutilize what a full data analysis approach can do for them. Analytics programs should be set up for marketing, sales, employee productivity, product efficiency, competitive analysis and more."
12.
How would you describe Factual to someone unfamiliar with it?
The interviewer wants to see that you can describe the ad-tech industry, its purpose and value proposition, as well as that of the Factual. Keep it simple and it's always good to illustrate an example - make the storytelling more interesting!

Rachelle's Answer
"I'd first start by clarifying what ad-tech is in layman's terms. Ad-tech includes technologies that help companies promote their brand to their target customers in the digital landscape. These technologies help them understand their target customers, define the messaging that will resonate with them and also predict where they would likely see AND pay attention to the message or ad. Factual is one of the top players in the field which focuses on collecting diverse sets of insights based on when, where, what the person is doing. For instance, when you shop for clothes on Uniqlo, H&M, Armani websites, as you click through all the different clothes you see you like, Factual's tech records your clicks and tries to understand what you liked and what you didn't. So they can collect information about you and others with similar preferences and needs and be able to show you recommendations or content that they think you will like. You know how when you google things, you see ads for those on Facebook or Instagram or see something of a similar nature? That's based on the kind of analytics that Factual can provide."
13.
Unexpected issues arise often in the technology industry, and you must be able to quickly adapt. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
Factual wants to know that you have a systematic approach to problem-solving and that you do not panic when an unexpected issue arises. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face and solve problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions.

Strong problem solvers are:

- Systematic thinkers
- Open minded
- Okay with being wrong sometimes
- Always researching and exploring
- Able to identify the core problem
- Able to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
- Able to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
- Are do-ers and not worriers

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I consider myself a great problem solver and believe my skills are in my emotional intelligence, as well as the depth of my technical knowledge. I can be really in tune with the tone of the group I am working with, and how to best tap into their strengths to overcome a complicated situation. By being keenly aware of who can quickly fix what, I'm able to avoid a project landmine quickly."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have been told that I am an excellent problem solver and I believe this is because I have an excellent technical and engineering mind. I can take the issue, work backward to solve it, and then use that resolution as a basis for avoiding similar circumstances in the future. I am also a big-picture thinker which allows me to come up with various resolutions per problem."
14.
Great data visualization will present data in a convincing way. How do you improve human perception when presenting data?
The interviewer would like to know that you see the importance of positioning data in a convincing and easy-to-understand manner. As a data visualization business, Factual knows that their customers will only purchase the services that they understand. Discuss with the interviewer how you improve human perception when it comes to presenting sets of data.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I know that people are very visual so the bulk of presenting data convincingly, comes down the use of color, graphs, and animation. I like to work in small multiples so that the numbers and information I am sharing are easy to digest. A successful presentation is all about the visual layout and easy absorption of data."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I recently read a study on the fact that pie charts are difficult for people to quickly understand and calculate so now I use them sparingly when it comes to presenting data sets and other important information. I lean more towards line charts for tracking changes or showing trends over time. Then, bar charts when I am comparing data from a variety of categories. The use of colors and other visuals is critical, also."
15.
When have you been on a team project that failed? What did you learn from that experience?
Factual wants to be successful in all that they do; however, there will be times when plans fall apart, and a project flops. The interviewer would like to know how you respond to situations that do not go your way.

We all experience perceived fails in our career. Failure is nothing to be embarrassed about so do not hesitate to describe a failure you've experienced in the past.

The key to a great answer is to include how you learned from that failure, and how you improved your work performance after learning from the crash.

Try to keep your example non-critical; for instance, avoid telling the interviewer how your team forgot to test new code, and it cost your company $150,000 due to downtime. Avoid blaming any particular person and instead, use words like 'we' and 'team' to describe the situation.

Finally, be sure to tell the interviewer that, while you were very disappointed in the group's failure, you took the opportunity to learn from the experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Our team was recently on a data migration project with a very tight deadline. We knew the client and their needs very well which I believe made us go into the project overconfident. Because we underestimated the work involved, we missed our deadline by three business days. Thankfully we had a great relationship with that particular client, so we were able to recover from the missed deadline. Although it was late, we worked overtime and delivered an exceptional project, in the end. This experience taught me never to underestimate a project and the potential roadblocks, especially when it comes to data. It's always better to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the other way around."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I once worked for a startup IT agency that bit off more than it could chew after acquiring a huge client. We had to learn a lot of solutions on the fly, which caused a great deal of stress amongst the team, which was primarily made up of junior engineers, and new hires. Nobody had the seniority or tenure to feel confident taking control of the situation. What I learned from this experience is that every company should have a wide range of people present, with varying levels of experience and expertise. This factor is on that attracted me to Factual; knowing you keep diversity in mind when making hiring decisions."
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