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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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.
"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."
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"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."
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?
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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.
"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."
In your opinion, what is the most exciting collaboration between data analysis and artificial intelligence in the past year?
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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.
"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."
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"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."
Do you have experience giving product demonstrations, and closing new accounts?
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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.
"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."
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"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."
Tell me about the most challenging aspect of your current job. How did you overcome it?
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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.
"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."
Second Answer Example
"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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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. Here is an answer example: "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! Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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. Here is an answer example: "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" Here is an answer example: "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. Here is an answer example: "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%." Here is an answer example: "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:
- 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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! Here is an answer example: "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 Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an answer example: "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."16. How could a business use the data visualization services of Factual to prospect and generate new leads? The interviewer would like to see that you are familiar with the services of Factual. It's vital that you research their offering, and be ready to discuss which of their services a company could use to benefit their sales pipeline and prospecting capabilities. Here is an answer example: "I see that Factual offers a service which allows its users to gain insights on social and web analytics, combining them with current customer data. This service would be excellent for finding and then targeting a specific customer base. The more a business knows about their existing clients' habits, the better they can use that information for targeting new clientele." Here is an answer example: "A business could use the data visualization services of Factual in a multitude of ways. It is much easier to target new customers and prospect the right kind of leads, when you can act with confidence, based on real analytics and numbers. I especially appreciate the marketing analytics services that Factual offers."17. What would you do to improve a client's digital strategy if they want to stop using discounts? It's important that you have a good understanding of branding and marketing principles to be in ad-tech. At Factual, they want candidates who can go beyond just providing a piece of software to the client. They want those who can also help the client with building their strategy and co-innovate.
Brush up on re-branding strategy for companies trying to be perceived as a luxury. Here is an answer example: "If the client wants to move away from offering discounts to attract clients, I think they might have to rethink their overall branding strategy. They'll need to convince existing and new clients to perceive the brand differently. I'd say first look at customers who seem to be buying higher-priced (non-discounted) products and offer a new line of products to these clients as an 'exclusive' offer, emphasizing the quality and design that justify the price. Their messaging itself will need to be updated to represent the company's new positioning. I'd recommend focusing marketing on new, shiny products that the client believes are the best matches for the target customer base, so customers start to think of them differently on their own without being told so. I'd also design the websites to be much more personalized to show the customers, who exhibit less price sensitivity, to see more higher-end products during their shopping experience. They can also leverage offering exclusive access to the newest products or rewards program instead of discounts."18. How would you communicate insights to a client? Ad-tech can help gather so much data but that doesn't mean clients will know what to do with them. You can stand out as a candidate in the interview by demonstrating your ability to help educate the clients using the tech to use the insights being generated from it.
Assume you're presenting insights to a team of executives. Think about what they will care about - impact on the bottom line and specific needs/actions to be taken to improve the bottom line. Here is an answer example: "Going over every single data point and explaining it would be a useless effort. What's important is the overall impact and what the data is teaching us about next steps. I'd first start with something general - overall trends (increase in revenue, traffic, changes in customer base, etc.) - and then going into learnings such as 'these customers want this or responded well to this.' How could we improve the sales of each product line? What changes to the experience do we need to make to increase the conversion rate? Basically articulating important and interesting trends observed that gave us actionable feedback to improve sales and what the key supporting data points are."19. Tell me something you have taught yourself and how you went about it. Be honest. The interviewer wants to see if you are a self-starter. Pick knowledge or skill that's more tangible and complex than Excel or PowerPoint - something that took significant time and effort. Emphasize what you did and how, as well as the WHY. Here is an answer example: "When I was a strategy manager, I was working on a project to improve customer call center satisfaction. The project had failed a couple times and I was asked by the COO to take a crack at it. I spent a few months speaking with hundreds of people trying to understand what the underlying issue was. My team and I came to realize that it wasn't the customer service that was the issue but the root cause was the product. There had to be additional knowledge/support functions embedded in the product. All of a sudden I was working on product design enhancements, which I had absolutely no experience in. So I took Stanford design courses, learned about UX / design thinking, and practiced hosting UX workshops for customer journey mapping. I also bought Interactive Design, a 1500-pg book, for more technical guidance. There weren't appropriate resources that could take the lead on the project, so I just decided to teach myself UX so we could finally fix the problem that's been affecting customer satisfaction for years."20. How do you develop trust among your team in a virtual, or work-from-home, setting? Depending on a few factors, Factual may offer you the opportunity to work from a home-based office. With technology taking over, many workplaces are offering remote opportunities. The interviewer would like to know that you can handle that type of set up while still building great coworker relationships - even under the absence of face-to-face interaction.
Here are a few ways that you can develop trust among your team members in a virtual setting:
- Building relationships: You might share how you have everyone introduce themselves, share their professional background, personal interests, and even a little about their interests in each meeting.
- FaceTime or Go-To-Meeting: Talk about how you ensure that you have video conferencing capabilities. Discuss that being able to see each other, even virtually, allows you to build camaraderie and creates trust among your team.
- Creating a Transparent Culture: Tell the interviewer how you open up the door for trust with your team by being an open and transparent leader or co-worker. You might share that you have open conversations about how the group will hold each other accountable.
You may also share other ideas that have worked for you such as: holding one-on-one meetings with each member of the team, providing recognition for things well done, holding fun contests, or allowing team members to understand each other better by utilizing a personality assessment. Here is an answer example: "Technology allows for so much these days. I believe you can quickly make a connection with someone, even if you are across the world from them, by embracing the right tools. I would also suggest incorporating multiple contests or team-based goals, where team members still have to collaborate, to get to the end goal." Here is an answer example: "I have worked in remote IT teams in the past and what I found worked very well were regular video calls through Google Hangout. These calls worked so that everyone had a turn running the meeting, giving their ideas on an area in which they were considered a subject matter expert. This strategy established each team member as an influencer in their own right. The results were an incredible team environment, despite many of us never meeting each other in person."21. If you could start any company, what venture would you choose? Show your interesting side. Show the interviewer that you are able to identify a problem, dissect it and come up with a sensible solution based on verified data.
It never hurts to throw in industry statistics. Here is an answer example: "I'd love to start a camping experience planning website. While hiking and camping are fun and healthy, it could be intimidating for many beginners who don't how to get started. 13 million more Americans started hiking/camping in 2017 and 38% of total campers are millennials, # rapidly growing. The preparation takes a lot of research - take finding appropriate locations, for instance. You go to the government websites to print maps of the park with various tracks you need to choose from. You also have to apply for a permit at a certain time once you decide on your camping/hiking tracks; some are lottery systems. Finding appropriate gears is challenging; currently there are only a few players with limited physical locations. As more millennials join the camping community, they have different needs such as unique lodging or activity experience, convenience, and other fun/auxiliary things that traditionally campers didn't really ask for. I want to create a one-stop shop site where they can use an interactive map to figure out which track might be the best one for them based on their desired trip experience and unique needs. The website will focus on digital UX to help guide the end user through all the steps they need to take in planning their trip. I'd target those in the 20s to mid-40s who like to plan group camping trips, rather than hardcore hiking/camping junkies since they are more likely to appreciate the step-by-step guidance."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? With the high level of competition in the data industry, companies are continuously introducing new products and services to remain relevant. Factual would like to know that you will be proactive in educating yourself about the changes in the industry. Talk about resources you would use to remain informed to updates and changes in the data industry. Also, communicate that you understand the importance of remaining current on the continuously evolving industry. Here is an answer example: "Keeping abreast of the changes in the data field is important if a company wants to remain competitive. Companies need to know what technology is offered in the industry, so they don't lose their clients to the competition. I remain informed through various online resources such as industry blogs, journals, and community forums. Also, conferences and seminars are also informative sources to learn about changes in the industry, and I do my best to attend these regularly when budgets allow. Also, it is important to ensure that knowledge is shared across departments within the company. I have found holding sessions such as 'Lunch and Learns' help with the internal knowledge sharing." Here is an answer example: "Keeping informed of the technological advances of the data industry pushes companies to remain innovative themselves. I believe companies remain competitive by improving on the ideas of others. I remain informed through continuous communication with my network. Whether through email, online communities or social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter, I read articles from industry journals and information shared by my network. I believe it is important to be a part of an active network of professionals involved in data within their companies. Also, when my schedule allows, I attend networking events where I continually meet new industry professionals."23. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader? In the software and technology industry, you may find a wide variance of opinion, based on peoples' experiences, education, and professional preferences. The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader.
Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time. Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading. Here is an answer example: "Yes, I think it is possible! What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree; however, you have to communicate your thoughts professionally." Here is an answer example: "Yes, I do believe it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader. I have disagreed with decisions my boss has made in the past, but generally, I keep my thoughts to myself, and I know they are the leader for a reason and likely have considered factors, beyond my understanding, for their choices."24. How many impressions, would you estimate, an advertisement on a subway car would garner in one day? When answering riddles/brain teasers like this, always ask questions to get more information first. Then, lay out the factors in a formula. Explain the formula and all the factors in it before saying your final guestimate. Add comments about potential dependencies - factors that could change your calculation if they were known to you. Here is an answer example: "Can I first ask a few questions for clarification? When you say 'impressions,' are you simply referring to how many people will actually see it? Also, where is this subway car operating in? Is there only one advertisement in the car? May I assume for simplicity that the car was full emptied out at each stop? Where is it located inside the car? Based on the information I have, I'll need to calculate the % of people who would have seen this advertisement based on its location inside the subway car each time the car was full and multiply it by how many groups of people would have come in and gone. Total # of people inside the car at each stop will depend on the time of day - there will be more during rush hour. If it's really packed, many of those sitting down might not see the ad, so we may have to take that into consideration as well."25. What kind of customer data should an online retailer collect? It's important to acknowledge that now data comes in a wider range of forms - explicit data, implicit data, behavioral data, structured, unstructured, etc. The key is collecting and then synthesizing all these data into actionable insights.
The best way to answer this question is to start with some general overall metrics before delving into the data points that would be relevant in few key scenarios in the customer's journey (on the retailer's site).
Also, mention that you would look at not just 'snapshot' data but also trends over time. Here is an answer example: "The amount of data we could collect would be enormous. So I'll start by highlighting some overall insights to look at and then go into a couple customer experience scenarios and highlight the relevant data points. To assess the overall performance, I'd want to see trends in web traffic (unique and return users). A breakdown of demographic and basic behavioral pattern information of the customers - how much and how many items each segment bought, how much time they spent, etc. I'll then look at how the customers were brought to the site. Traffic sources and conversion rates per traffic source (and bounce rate). I'll want to see customer buying habits and preferences. Questions I'd want to ask are: How many customers set a limit on price when searching for products and what were the ranges of those ceilings? For customers who went to and/or spent a lot of time on the 'new arrival' section, did their buying patterns differ from others? How many customers went to 'sales' section first? On average, how much did time did customers spend on each product content and what did they click on to learn more about the product? And lastly I also want to know how they make final decisions - how many and who abandoned the cart? How many deleted items from the cart? How many people order more than 1 of the same product?"26. Walk me through your experience in databases, predictive modeling, and business intelligence. In which of these areas are you best versed? Depending on the role you are targeting with Factual, be prepared to discuss your specialty. Ideally, you will have experience in more than one area. Discuss which fields of data analysis you bring the most experience. Remember, this question is an opportunity for you to convince the interviewer that hiring you would be the best choice. Show confidence! Here is an answer example: "Of all three categories, I am most experienced in business intelligence; although I do have a full understanding of predictive modeling also. My specialty is in BI which drew me to your job posting, requesting this type of focus. I have eight years' experience as a BI specialist, training others in the field, and working in a client-facing role for the bulk of those years." Here is an answer example: "Hands down, predictive modeling is my specialty. I was excited to see that Factual was seeking someone with expertise in this area. I am passionate when it comes to using statistics to predict outcomes, and I especially enjoy teaching my clients how to analyze data for this purpose."27. Explain data visualization, and why it is important to a business. Data visualization is 'an effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context.' Since Factual focus' on business intelligence software focused on helping their customers to understand essential data, the interviewer needs to know that you see the significance in their business mission. Describe what you know data visualization to be, and why these services would be incredibly valuable to a business. Here is an answer example: "I understand data visualization to be the art of showing essential data in an easy to absorb way. It is crucial to a business because what good is having all the data and analytics from your company if you do not understand it? Once a company can visualize and understand their most important data, they can then use that to leverage further success, and make critical business decisions." Here is an answer example: "I explain data visualization as helping businesses to understand their data through the use of tables, charts, and other visual aids. Data visualization allows companies to transform their data into actionable insights, so it is incredibly important."28. Why do you want to work at Factual? Ad-tech is a competitive, saturated industry. So the interviewer wants to be sure that you know how Factual is special in terms of their database, product quality, service offerings, and analytics. You should also research its competitors and be able to compare Factual's strengths to that of its competitors. Here is an answer example: "This industry is very competitive with a lot of both large and small players but I was interested in Factual because of the breadth of its services. Not only does Factual have a strong and diverse database including geospatial/location data, behavioral data, and explicit data, Factual also understands that it's equally critical, if not more, to help the clients make organizational and operational changes so they can actually track the kind of consumers behaviors they are looking for and also be able to timely use such insights. It's not just marketing as a service, Factual offers insights as a service. And that's the kind of place where I should and want to be." Here is an answer example: "I admire your technology that can identify consumers even without cookies better than the industry average. The focus on behavioral data is what intrigues me the most. Actionable behavioral data, going beyond just 'oh this customer clicked on this site so we'll send them one more email', is the new milestone everyone is trying to achieve and I feel like your capabilities to comprehensively understand customer behaviors & predict what they'll want next is way above that of other ad-tech companies. Data is a lot more fluid now and traditional quantitative metrics are no longer sufficient since people can't fit into neat little boxes. And as a major behavioral data geek, I wanted to be part of a company that really understands this concept and pursue collecting data in innovative ways."29. Tell me about a time where you had to analyze a set of data and then make a recommendation. In the tech industry, you will often be looking at data, analyzing it, and making recommendations based on what you see. Factual needs to hire those who can easily take on sets of data, large or small, and make educated recommendations based on what they see. You can talk about your attention to detail and sharp focus when it comes to data and analytics. Here is an answer example: "When doing annual reviews with my clients, I analyze the past year's ROIs, trends, and overall data. I then make recommendations for improved efficiencies for the upcoming year. I will make recommendations based on resources and pricing, but also make suggestions on new ways in which we can be creative, like consolidating resources, to save cost when possible. I managed two of the most significant accounts in the office, so my recommendations were fundamental to our bottom line, and I'm happy to report that they were consistently adopted, resulting in more business." Here is an answer example: "My current employer wanted to know the exact impact our social media campaigns were making. I gathered our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter data for him and created a short PowerPoint presentation from the data. My recommendation was to increase our keywords in the geographical areas where our ads received the highest click-through rates. My research and recommendations certainly helped as our social reach grew exponentially in the following months."30. What are the features you'd include in the product content page (for a retailer)? What would you emphasize? You need to be able to think from the perspective of the end users (the customers of Factual's clients).
The interviewer wants to see if you can use logic and data to think about how to convey all the messages to the customer when they are looking at the product on their site to drive desired behavior (buying). Think about the things that you need to know and also things that will influence you, as the customer, when deciding whether to buy the product or not. Here is an answer example: "Probably start with things that customers definitely need to know such as product information (dimensions, colors, size). For clothes, you need to have an easy-to-understand size chart; women especially struggle with this a lot. You'll need photos of the item from various angles. Customers need to see the price as well. Now thinking about things that will influence the shopper's decision - reviews, popularity and deals. These are things that a retailer would certainly want to be strategic about and leverage. So if let's say, I'm looking at a dress and it's very popular. As I'm picking the size, if I see a phrase appear that says 'only x left' or 'limited availability' or 'almost sold out', I'd have FOMO and might rush to put it in my cart. Just like how I'm more likely to buy if I see positive reviews. If there are bundle deals (buy 1, get 1 50% off or buy 2 products together for discount on total price), you should make sure the shopper sees it. Recommendations about other products obviously help as well but only if it's based on robust data analytics."
Writers for Factual, Inc. Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Helen Lee is a freelance data analyst and writer with over 15 years of experience in the Marketing field working for companies and clients in a variety of industries including financial services, quick service restaurant (QSR), consumer packaged goods (CPG) and education technology. She has experience managing marketing research projects, conducting strategic analyses and writing and editing a variety of pieces including marketing material, blog entries and user guides.
Jen Hong is currently a freelance writer and consultant while she is getting her Executive MBA and taking courses in innovation, data analytics and blockchain. She has worked as a strategist in financial services, fintech and health tech. She has interviewed with over 45 tech companies in the last 2 years (across various industries) and also has 2-3 years of experience interviewing interns, analysts, managers, and some senior executives as the operations lead.
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