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Data Analyst Interview Questions

25 Data Analyst Interview Questions
Question 1 of 25
What tools/software do you have experience using in each phase of a data analysis project - from cleaning/preparing data to data exploration to final presentation?
How to Answer
Data Analysts should have experience with a variety of tools as they work with the data and build their analyses. Hiring managers will be aware that sometimes one tool may be used for multiple phases. If this is what you have experienced, do not be hesitant to share this. It will highlight your expertise with that particular tool. If throughout your career you have used multiple tools for a particular phase, communicate that as well because it showcases your breadth of experiences.

Answer Example
"Throughout my career as a Data Analyst, I have been fortunate to have opportunities to strengthen my skills using a variety of tools. In the data cleaning or preparation phase, in most cases I have used Microsoft Excel, and depending on the complexities of the datasets, Microsoft Access if the need arises. I have also used these tools for the data exploration phase. In this phase, there are several other tools I have used to extract learnings from the data including statistical programs such as SAS and SPSS and analytical tools such as Tableau and Cognos Analytics. I have also used Tableau and Power BI to present my findings through data visualizations in a dashboard format. In addition, Excel and PowerPoint are some of the more basic tools I use to build presentations for internal clients."
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Question 2 of 25
Considering all the phases of data analysis, what tools/software do you feel work the best for you or you feel the most comfortable using and why?
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How to Answer
Over a Data Analyst's career, it is likely they have had exposure, training and experiences using different tools, and over time, they begin establishing preferences for specific ones. However, employees' options for data analysis tools are limited to what the company has already chosen. If you have experience working at different companies, you are more likely to have exposure to a variety of analytical tools. This question is aimed at understanding what types of tools you are comfortable with and not necessarily the number of different tools you have used.

Answer Example
"As a Data Analyst, I find basic tools such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access work the best for me. I feel the most comfortable using these tools, because they are the ones I have the most experience using since most, if not all, companies have them readily available. Although most consider these tools basic, I believe with the right training and knowledge you can accomplish many things using them."
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Question 3 of 25
What scripting language have you used in your past projects as a Data Analyst? Which are you most confident using?
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How to Answer
Many companies work with multiple scripting languages, so knowing more than one is definitely an asset. If you do not have extensive experience programming with the main language used by the company, highlight your eagerness to learn or strengthen your skills with new scripting languages. Many find that, at a general level, their experience with one scripting language helps them learn new ones.

Answer Example
"I have primarily used SQL in my projects as a Data Analyst, and therefore am the most comfortable with it. I have had experience executing some basic Python commands and have made it a goal of mine to receive additional training for it. I have found that my extensive SQL experience has helped me learn Python more easily."
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Question 4 of 25
Which, if any, certifications have you earned related to your career as a Data Analyst?
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How to Answer
Hiring managers will be interested in training you have received related to your job as a Data Analyst. Certifications ensure that you have attained a level of achievement set by industries or specific vendors. It provides a form of measurement for hiring managers to assess skills or knowledge of a particular subject or tool. While answering this question, briefly explain how the certifications you have earned have helped you in your career as a Data Analyst. If you have yet to earn any certifications, consider mentioning which ones you may be interested in pursuing in the future and why.

Answer Example
"Based on my skills, experiences and education, I have earned the designation of a Certified Analytics Professional. Earning this designation also required me to take a certification exam that measured my knowledge in the field of Data Analytics. I take a recertification exam every three years to ensure that my skills and knowledge are up to date. The requirements of this certification drive me to advance my analytics education and equip me with a stronger toolset to execute my job as a Data Analyst."
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Question 5 of 25
Describe your experience creating dashboards. If you have experience, what tools have you used to create them?
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Question 6 of 25
Thinking about the different industries you may have worked in, from a data perspective, which company and industry is most similar to the one in which our company competes?
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Question 7 of 25
Tell me about the different types of audiences to whom you've presented. Were these presentations done in person or remotely?
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Question 8 of 25
Describe a project where you used both quantitative and qualitative data to conduct your analysis.
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Question 9 of 25
In your opinion, what soft skills do you believe to be most important in your role as a Data Analyst and why?
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Question 10 of 25
How would you rate your writing skills, and in what ways do you use this form of communication as a Data Analyst?
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Author of Data Analyst Answers and Questions

Helen Lee
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.
First written on: 01/17/2017
Last modified on: 06/26/2018

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Question 11 of 25
As a Data Analyst, what skills do you believe are important for working on a team with people with different backgrounds and varying roles and responsibilities?
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Question 12 of 25
What experience, if any, do you have with web analytics? If you have experience, what tools have you used?
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Question 13 of 25
Why do you think creativity is a good skill for a Data Analyst to have and how have you used it in your career?
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Question 14 of 25
There are many analytical tools Data Analysts can include in their toolbox. Excel continues to be a common tool for many. Which Excel functions do you have experience using? Describe in detail how you used Excel for one of your analytical projects.
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Question 15 of 25
How many years of SQL programming do you have? In your most recent position as a Data Analyst, for what percentage of your analytical projects did you utilize your SQL skills?
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Question 16 of 25
Think of a project where you were working with a relatively large data set. Describe to me the process you had to take to gather and prepare the data for analysis.
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Question 17 of 25
Talk about your knowledge of statistics and how you have used this knowledge in your analytical projects.
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Question 18 of 25
Working as a Data Analyst gives you a unique perspective on the data and the tools used while working with that data. Is there a time when you recommended a change to any of the data processes or tools used? Did anything result from your recommendation?
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Question 19 of 25
Describe a project where the stakeholders' question couldn't be answered due to data limitations. What advice, if any, did you give to the stakeholders?
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Question 20 of 25
Querying, cleaning/preparing, analyzing, and presenting/communicating findings - these are some of the main steps in a data analysis project. Of those I just listed, which ONE step do you enjoy completing the most?
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Question 21 of 25
Most large companies house their data in multiple data warehouses. Thinking of one of your more complex analytical projects, how many data warehouses did you have to query in order to gather all the data required?
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Question 22 of 25
Do you have any experience working with statistical models? If so, please describe in as much detail as possible, the statistical model you worked on and your role in creating it or using it to answer a business question.
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Question 23 of 25
Describe to me an analysis project you have worked on where the results were the most surprising to you and/or those involved in the project.
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Question 24 of 25
It is likely you will work with stakeholders who may have a limited understanding of data and databases. Describe a time where you found yourself working in a situation such as this - what specific challenges did you face and how did you deal with them?
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Question 25 of 25
Can you describe to me the largest data set you have had to work with from a past project? Tell me how many rows/entries and columns/variables the data set included and details on what kind of data was included - financial, marketing, operational, etc.?
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About Data Analyst

June 26th, 2018

The Data Analyst is tasked with researching, gathering, analyzing, and reporting the data sets requested by Managers or Executives of the Company.

To be successful as a Data Analyst, it is imperative to understand what exactly the End User is wanting to study. The Data Analyst must understand the request or risk spending hours researching and reporting on the wrong requirements.

The Data Analyst must be able to communicate to Managers and Executives how they arrived at the results of their findings. They must be ready to explain how they determined the data to gather and research. What did they include and exclude from the report and why. They must be able to show the trending, forecasting and critical impacts that could negatively impact the end results.

In some companies, the Data Analyst will submit their reports and findings to the Business Analysts or Project Managers, but in many cases the Data Analyst must attend the meeting with the Executives to explain their report, how they went about creating it, describing each step and then explaining the results. The Executives may not like the output of the report and ask if you have ideas as to how to improve the results, so it is important to understand the data sets for each Data Analyst request to which assigned.

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