MockQuestions

Data Analyst Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Data Analyst interview, here are 40 interview questions and answer examples.

Data Analyst was written by and updated on June 13th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 40

Can you recall a time your manager was unavailable when a situation arose that demanded an immediate resolution? How did you react?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

While this appears to be a question about leadership, it addresses your willingness to take the initiative. The interviewer is interested in this because it helps them determine your future growth potential. Organizations like to hire individuals who continually improve themselves and develop new skills, allowing them to advance within the company.

Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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40 Data Analyst Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Can you recall a time your manager was unavailable when a situation arose that demanded an immediate resolution? How did you react?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While this appears to be a question about leadership, it addresses your willingness to take the initiative. The interviewer is interested in this because it helps them determine your future growth potential. Organizations like to hire individuals who continually improve themselves and develop new skills, allowing them to advance within the company.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, emphasize your willingness to take the initiative rather than complain about the manager's absence. Explain why you felt the need to take action and describe how you did so to resolve the immediate situation and then review the issue and your actions with your manager. Be prepared to answer a follow-up question about what you would do differently next time.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Recently, my manager was away on vacation and I was asked to fill in for them. A conflict arose between our team and another department that demanded an immediate resolution. The manager from the other department insisted we do what they wanted since our manager was not available. Knowing this was not the best solution, I presented an alternative and recommended that we discuss this with the senior leadership team to get their input. The other manager agreed. Working with senior leaders, we developed a compromise that resolved the conflict. When my manager returned from vacation, I briefed them on the incident, and they agreed I had acted appropriately."

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. It is likely you will work with stakeholders who may have a limited understanding of data and databases. Describe a time when you found yourself working in a situation such as this—what specific challenges did you face and how did you deal with them?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As with any job, communication is a key skill for data analysts. However, communicating with co-workers from different departments takes a different skill than communicating with co-workers within your department. It may require using less technical terms and more time listening to their questions and concerns, which sometimes requires patience.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The experience you share should reflect how you were able to adapt to working with people who may not have spoken your "language." Many times, this requires you to have the ability to look at a situation from different perspectives and beyond just your own. You can demonstrate this skill by answering the interview questions using simple, easy-to-understand language and avoiding acronyms, jargon, and technical language. The exception is if the interviewer is your hiring manager or a prospective colleague.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I have run into this situation frequently as a data analyst. Each situation is similar to others to a certain degree. In most cases, stakeholders want answers to questions that are not available because of the limitations of the data that is collected or of the database structure. In these situations, I worked with the stakeholder to develop an analysis to answer related questions that may give them an answer as close to what they are looking for as possible. In the process, I tried to offer them a basic understanding of the data available and of the database structures--nothing too detailed as I thought this may confuse them. In the long term, we developed a project to investigate whether we are able to collect the unavailable data. This ensured them that I understood their needs and was willing to work hard at trying to get them what they needed."

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. Describe an analysis project you have worked on where the results were the most surprising to you and those involved in the project.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When launching an analysis, most analysts have a prediction of the outcome based on learnings from past projects. However, there will likely be times when the results are unexpected. The interviewer seeks to understand how you react to unexpected results. They hope to learn that you keep an open mind and use this type of situation as a learning experience or an opportunity to explore a new track for your analysis.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your answer to this question will give the interviewer a glimpse of the type of analytical projects you have worked on and your enthusiasm for them. When describing your project, be sure to show some passion for the lessons you drew from it. Also, consider including what action was taken by you and the other stakeholders due to the unexpected results.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "In my experience working with customer profiling projects, analyses usually do not show notably surprising results, particularly for established brands. However, while conducting one routine analysis, I was able to identify a customer subsegment that had the potential to provide additional value to the company if it was offered the right product and services with a relevant message. For me, it felt as if I struck gold--the opportunity to add value to a subset of an existing customer base through new products and services was invaluable. It was surprising to everyone involved that we could identify a subsegment from this customer base. From there, we began strategizing with product development and brand managers to develop a plan for this new subsegment."

      Written by Helen Lee

      Community Answer

      "In one of my data analysis projects where I worked on medical insurance. I performed the linear regression analysis and one of the insight was the southeastern part of United States pay a lot more premiums as compared to other areas of the United States. And the price of medical insurance premium increase by $350 if you smoke as compared to nonsmokers."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Those are definitely some interesting results! Consider adding some more details about why these results surprised you and/or any reasons you or team members found for the higher premiums. The more information you can provide, the more memorable your answer will be to the interviewer.

  • Behavioral

    4. Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make in one of your previous roles.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is looking for examples of your decision-making process and how you approach difficult challenges or situations. They want to learn more about how decisive you are and whether you are willing to make difficult choices. The interviewer hopes to see that you are willing to put the organization's interests ahead of your personal feelings.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, choose a situation in which you made a decision involving a personal sacrifice or two equally undesirable outcomes. Explain the choice you made, your rationale, and the outcome. Then briefly discuss what, if anything, you would have done differently based on the outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. Can you give me an example of a time you led by example and describe what you did and how your team reacted?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to prompt you to talk about your leadership style, hoping you will describe how you lead from the front by example rather than from the back by exercising your authority. They recognize that teams perform better when they believe in their leadership and are willing to follow their example. By asking this question, the interviewer can discern whether you will be an effective leader.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question, format your answer in the STAR framework by first describing a Situation and the Task you were required to complete. Then, describe how you Acted by demonstrating the behavior you needed the team to exhibit. Finally, discuss the outcome of the project or task and what your team learned from the example you set. Make sure you communicate how you led by example and how this motivated the team to accomplish the assigned task.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone about an idea or process.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask you this question because they are interested in learning about your communication and leadership skills and how you apply them to accomplish the tasks required in this role. Persuading other people about your ideas and suggestions is a valuable skill. Interviewers recognize that this will make you more effective in the job and reduce conflict between you and other team members.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can answer this question using the STAR format, describing how you seek to understand other people's points of view, acknowledging them, then offering them an alternative and the rationale behind it. You can then describe how you addressed any questions and concerns they had and developed a win-win scenario with a positive outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. Describe a project where the stakeholders' questions couldn't be answered due to data limitations. What advice, if any, did you give to the stakeholders?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      At some point, data analysts will encounter data obstacles when conducting analytical projects. Hiring managers want to know how you would deal with these situations, particularly when working directly with stakeholders who may not have a strong understanding of the data. Your answer to this question will also reflect your ability to problem-solve.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question that asks you to describe a situation you encountered in one of your previous jobs, you can structure your answer using the STAR format. Describe the situation, talk about the task you were asked to complete, provide an overview of your actions, and then talk about the results you attained. Your answer should demonstrate your tact and diplomacy when communicating with other project stakeholders. This is important since the project you worked on did not provide the information they were looking for.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. 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?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers would like to see that you have confidence in your knowledge and experiences as a data analyst and would take the initiative to recommend a change that would benefit the company. Organizations hire candidates who can not only do the job but also bring new processes and procedures into the organization to help them save money, make money, or save time. Demonstrating your ability to do this during the interview will increase your chances of being offered the job.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When sharing your recommendation, include as many details as possible, particularly why you made it. Do not hesitate to share a recommended change that may not have been implemented. It shows your ability to take the initiative and continually consider process improvement. You can use the STAR format to frame your answer since this is a behavioral question.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    9. Please tell me about a time when something major didn't go according to plan at work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Responding to situations that don't go according to plan is a key characteristic that interviewers look for. They will ask you a question like this to determine how you react to unforeseen circumstances. This provides them an indication of your flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question, you should utilize the 'STAR' response methodology. Make sure to stay positive, don't blame anyone else for the problem, and don't take full credit for the solution. Demonstrate how you worked with others to resolve the situation. As with any behavioral question, discuss the results you attained and possibly the lessons learned, especially if the outcome wasn't optimum.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    10. Can you give me an example of when you had to work with someone difficult to get along with? How did you handle the situation?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a behavioral question to which the interviewer expects a 'STAR' formatted answer: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers ask behavioral questions to determine how you react to challenging situations in the workplace. Your description of how you handled this in a previous job will indicate what you will do if hired by the organization. Behavioral questions typically involve challenges, relationships, conflict, or communication errors.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a behavioral question to which the interviewer expects a 'STAR' formatted answer: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers ask behavioral questions to determine how you react to challenging situations in the workplace. Your description of how you handled this in a previous job will indicate what you will do if hired by the organization. Behavioral questions typically involve challenges, relationships, conflict, or communication errors.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    11. Can you recall a time you were assigned a task that wasn't a part of your job description? How did you handle this, and what was the outcome?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Some employees are reluctant to do anything that is not part of their job description. However, in today's fast-paced business environment, people are often asked to do extra work that may not have been part of their original assignment when they were hired. Interviewers seek to understand how you react when asked to do something not part of your normal job and determine how flexible you are.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The best way to answer this is to start by stating that you are always open to pitching in wherever you can to help the company get the job done. You should also emphasize that you are open to learning new skills that will help both you and the company. Then describe an incident to illustrate this.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. In your opinion, what soft skills do you believe to be most important in your role as a data analyst and why?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Soft skills are personal attributes that help people work well with others and perform their jobs at a high level. Many refer to these skills as 'non-tangible' and 'non-technical.' As with most jobs, data analysts must have strong, soft skills because they do not work in isolation. Therefore their work habits and performance affect others on their team. Interviewers want to know that you understand the importance of these types of skills.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Knowing the soft skills related to a data analyst job is critical for you to perform well during the interview. You can find this information by searching for it on the internet. Some common soft skills employers prefer are interpersonal communication, leadership, creativeness, innovation, adaptability, flexibility, and the willingness to learn. Use your past work experiences to support why you find a particular soft skill important and try to include how you have developed it over time.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. 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.?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Many hiring managers look for data analysts who have the capability to deal with massive data sets with a considerable number of variables and rows. This requires skills such as organization and the ability to see both the big picture and the details of a project. Being able to do both of these is a key qualification hiring managers look for in data analysts.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question is relatively straightforward, and you should not feel compelled to review details about the background of the project and any processes you might have gone through. The interviewer is interested in the size and type of data when asking questions like this. This gives them an idea of the scope of projects you have experience with and are comfortable working on.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. Which, if any, certifications have you earned related to your career as a data analyst?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers will be interested in the training you have received for 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.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, briefly explain how your certifications 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. Interviewers prefer candidates who are willing to learn and are interested in constantly improving their skills and competencies.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. Tell me about an aspect of your profession that makes you the most satisfied, energized, and productive at work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is meant to uncover your passion and what you enjoy doing. Interviewers know that people do their best work when they are passionate about what they do. They will ask questions like this to discover if you are truly passionate about this job or just doing it for the money.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a great question to ask yourself before beginning your job search. It will help you target specific jobs that you enjoy doing and will therefore be good at. This will enable you to answer this question when asked by an interviewer by simply describing a task you enjoyed working on related to the job you are applying for.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from your manager?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask this question to separate you from most applicants. This is because many professionals don't ever seek feedback from their supervisors. Interviewers prefer candidates who constantly seek feedback so they can immediately correct any deficiencies they may have or incorrect actions they are taking. The best professionals know that the only way to get better news is to engage their colleagues for feedback and suggestions.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Requesting feedback from the people you work with demonstrates your desire to improve. Most employees avoid receiving feedback, fearing that it will be negative. By actively seeking it, you demonstrate courage, a willingness to be open to criticism, and the initiative to improve. Describe a time you felt you didn't complete a task properly and sought feedback to correct your process so you'd do better next time.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. Why did you choose to interview with our organization rather than with others in our industry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      You should anticipate being asked this question in every interview. Employers want to know why you chose their specific company to interview with. They prefer to hire employers who are passionate about their work and the organization. This question is also meant to determine how much research you have done about the company.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you expect this question during every interview, you can be prepared to answer it based on your research of the company beforehand. Mention something about the company's recent achievements, business prospects, or work culture. You may also want to refer to the company's challenges and how you can help them address these based on your skills and experience.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. Querying, cleaning/preparing, analyzing, presenting, and communicating findings 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?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this question for several reasons. The first is to determine if you are familiar with each step used in the data analysis process. The second is to determine which of these you favor. This may indicate that the data analytics team delegates specific processes to individual members of the team based on their aptitude, skills, and preferences.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It is acceptable to prefer completing one task over another. However, in many cases, you would be expected to have experience performing all these types of tasks. Avoid showing aversion to any of the steps in the process when indicating which step you enjoy performing the most, including explaining why it's your favorite. This will illustrate your strengths to the interviewer.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    19. Can you briefly explain your primary responsibilities as a data analyst?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a basic question you will be asked early in the interview. It has several purposes. First, it's an easy way for the interviewer to begin asking you questions related to this job. Second, it can be used to level-set your view of this job compared to the organization's. Interviewers want to make sure that you clearly understand the role you are interviewing for and the duties you are expected to perform.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You should review the job posting several times when preparing for an interview and highlight the key responsibilities and duties. While you may know what a data analyst does, the organization may have specific expectations for this role. Your answer to the question should align with the job posting. This will start you on the right track during the interview and convince the interviewer that you understand the role and have the necessary background to perform the job.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    20. 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.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Working with large data sets can present challenges, so hiring managers want to know that you have the experience to handle them if they arise. They want to be sure you have encountered challenges in your previous work and learn about the steps you took to overcome them. They are also interested in whether the project you worked on and the impediments you encountered are similar to the ones their data analyst team deals with.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Walk the interviewer through the project you plan to present step-by-step. Share any challenges you might have faced and how you successfully overcame them. If you have been fortunate enough not to face any challenges, stick to the details of your project and the steps you took while working with the data.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    21. What tools/software do you have experience using in each phase of a data analysis project—from cleaning/preparing data to data exploration to the final presentation?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Data analysts should have experience with various 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. They also want to learn if your tools are the same ones their data analytics team uses. This indicates that you will come up to speed quickly and begin contributing to the organization's objectives.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you have experience with the popular tools used in the process of analyzing data, do not be hesitant to share it. Try to highlight your expertise with a particular tool that the organization's data team uses to demonstrate your fit with the organization. You can find this out during your pre-interview research and by speaking with current and former data analytics team members. If you have used multiple tools for a particular phase throughout your career, communicate that as well because it showcases your breadth of experiences.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    22. Considering all the phases of data analysis, what tools/software do you feel work the best for you or do you feel the most comfortable using and why?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Over a data analyst's career, they have likely 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 aims to understand what types of tools you are comfortable with and not necessarily the number of different tools you have used.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question may seem similar to one you were asked earlier in the interview. Interviewers will ask several questions about the same topic during an interview to ensure that your answers are consistent. They also use this process to explore a topic from different perspectives. If you recognize this during the interview, try to answer similar questions similarly, providing additional details in the subsequent answers.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    23. 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.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Not all data analysts will have experience working with statistical models. Interviewers, in most cases, will only be asking this question if statistical modeling was included in the job description. Having read your resume, they may be aware of your experience or lack of experience with statistical models and are asking the question to either confirm this or have you describe what you know about this topic and how you will be able to learn how to use it when hired.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you are surprised by this question, be upfront about your experience. If you have not had any direct involvement with statistical modeling work, attempt to highlight what you know about it and any training or exposure you may have had to it. The interviewer will appreciate your honesty and willingness to learn a new skill. Remember, statistical modeling work can include tasks such as building, using, or maintaining it.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    24. 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 to gather all the required data?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The technical complexity of your work as a data analyst may vary depending on the size of the companies you have previously worked at. Strong technical skills are an important attribute of a data analyst's background. Having experience retrieving data from multiple data warehouses demonstrates your understanding of databases, data structures, and programming languages.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is an operational question that the interviewer uses to determine how you go about performing the duties required by this job. This specific question gives them an idea of the scope of work you've done in your previous roles. Keep your answer brief and to the point when responding to operational questions. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need additional information.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    25. Talk about your knowledge of statistics and how you have used this knowledge in your analytical projects.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      At the minimum, data analysts should have knowledge and experience using basic statistics, including mean, median, and mode, and be able to conduct significance testing. A more advanced level of statistics may be required, but this would be specified in the job description. Data analysts should not only know how to calculate these basic statistics but should also be able to interpret them about the business. The interviewer will ask your question to confirm all of this and determine your level of expertise.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You may be tempted to provide the interviewer with a great deal of information about your ability to use statistics. This may result in a long, drawn-out answer. Try to avoid this. When you are asked about your capabilities, keep your answers brief and to the point. The interviewer will use follow-up questions to explore this topic in more detail if they want to.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    26. What scripting language have you used in your past projects as a data analyst? Which are you most confident using?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask this question to determine if the scripting languages you use are similar to those used by their data analytics organization. This will indicate that you can be onboarded quickly and come up to speed with their processes and procedures rapidly. The sooner you begin contributing to the organization's objectives, the more valuable you are as an employee. This will set you apart from other candidates being interviewed.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Many companies work with multiple scripting languages, so knowing more than one is 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.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    27. 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?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      SQL is the most well-known scripting language, and many believe it is the easiest to learn. To be marketable, data analysts should make sure to learn SQL and gain experience using it. This question is straightforward--the interviewer wants to gauge the strength of your SQL programming skills.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Even though this information is probably available in your resume, the interviewer asks the question to confirm what they've already read. If you only have a few years of experience, emphasize how your skills have grown with each subsequent project. You can provide examples of projects you worked on using your SQL programming skills to illustrate your answer.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    28. 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.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Excel is by far the most utilized tool in the field of data analytics. Interviewers will ask you several questions about this topic to determine your expertise using this tool. They are interested in your expertise in both the basic functionality of Excel and your ability to use more advanced techniques within the tool. They expect you to provide examples for both of these.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you are an Excel expert, it would be difficult to list all the functions you have experience using. Instead, concentrate on highlighting the more difficult ones, particularly statistical functions. If you have experience utilizing the more challenging functions, hiring managers will presume you have experience using the more basic ones. Be sure to highlight your pivot table skills, as well as your ability to create graphs in Excel. If you have not attained these skills yet, investing in training to learn them is worthwhile.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    29. What are the common steps you take when beginning a new data analysis project?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Organizations prefer to hire experienced data analysts who have developed specific processes and procedures to do their job. Interviewers will ask you about these during the interview to ensure that you have them and to determine if they align with the processes used by their data analytic organization. The more specific and detailed your processes, the more comfortable the interviewer will be in recommending you to be hired.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before attending an interview for a data analyst position, take some time to review the processes, procedures, tools, and concepts used in this job. Having these fresh in your mind will enable you to answer the interviewer's questions about how you perform this job. Keep your answer brief and to the point when responding to a question. The interviewer will always ask you a follow-up question if they want to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    30. 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?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a data analyst, you will likely have opportunities to work on cross-functional teams. Members of these teams have various backgrounds, differing priorities, and varied skill sets. Of course, there are general skills that would be helpful in any team environment. However, hiring managers would be interested in skills that may be somewhat unique to a data analyst facing a team environment. If possible, think of skills that go beyond basic ones such as communication.

      Written by Helen Lee

      How to Answer

      If the interviewer is your hiring manager, they already know about the technical skills needed for this role. Therefore, your answer should address soft skills such as communication, creativity, adaptability, and decision-making. This will demonstrate to them that you understand that the job of a data analyst is more complex than just crunching numbers.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    31. How would you remove the data in a single cell without affecting the formatting when working with an Excel spreadsheet?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are one of the primary tools data analysts use in their profession. Interviewers will likely ask you many questions about how to use Excel spreadsheets to determine your knowledge and experience in this area. By asking the question, they indicate that their organization uses Excel and expects its employees to be highly competent with this tool.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      One of the mistakes many candidates make during an interview is expounding on a very simple answer and providing too much detail to the interviewer. This is often interpreted as you trying to cover up a lack of knowledge or experience with the topic you are discussing. When answering technical questions like this, keep your answer brief and to the point. The interviewer will always ask you a follow-up question if they need more information or want to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    32. And how do you deal with inconsistencies in your data?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The recommendation data analysts provide to decision-makers is only as good as the quality of data they are analyzing. If the data is inconsistent, the conclusions drawn from its analysis could contain errors and be misleading. Interviewers want to ensure that you are aware of this and have processes to clean and sanitize the datasets you are working with. This ensures that your analysis will produce valid recommendations decision-makers can use confidently.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      As an experienced data analyst, you have many different processes and procedures you use in your work. You should review these before the interview to keep them top of mind. During the interview, you'll likely be asked many questions about how you do this job. As with any operational question, keep your answer brief and to the point, and always anticipate a follow-up question.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    33. Why do you think creativity is a good skill for a data analyst, and if so, how have you used it in your career?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When considering a data analyst's skills, creativity is not top of mind for many. Instead, plenty of people would consider technical and math or statistical skills to be at the top of the list. However, data analysts use their creativity in various ways, including developing analytical plans, finding solutions to data issues, and presenting data visually. Creativity is about 'thinking outside the box.' Be prepared to share in more detail how you used your creativity for a specific project.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You'll note that this is a two-part question. One of the most important skills you can use during an interview is active listening. Make sure you listen carefully to the interviewer's question and allow them to finish before you begin to formulate your answer. Interviewers are not only interested in your answers to the questions, but they want to make sure that you answer each part of the question. This demonstrates your attention to detail and ability to communicate effectively.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    34. Describe your experience creating dashboards. If you have experience, what tools have you used to create them?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Dashboards are snapshots of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics. Managers and their teams use them to track a particular business objective or goal. With the input of others, data analysts are often asked to build and update dashboards. Several tools can be used to build dashboards, including Tableau, Power BI, and Excel. In addition to these well-known tools, many free tools are available online.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you do not have experience building dashboards, discuss how your data visualization skills can help you in this area. Do not describe your experience in too much detail, but include the purpose of the dashboard, the types of data visualizations you used, and a few metrics you included. If the interviewer would like more detail, they will ask additional questions.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    35. Thinking about the different industries you may have worked in, from a data perspective, which industry is most similar to the one in which our company competes?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will only pose this question if you do not have industry-specific experience related to their company. Without this experience, they want to know how you can apply what you learned from previous positions to the one you are interviewing for. You can be ready to answer this question by conducting research ahead of time.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Companies hire candidates based on their skills and abilities to do the job. They also look for a good organizational fit. Specific industry experience is the third most important criterion when evaluating job seekers. If you do not have direct experience within the company's industry, research it before the interview. Come to the interview understanding the unique challenges this industry presents, solutions to overcome these, and practices commonly used by companies within the industry. This will help you answer this question effectively.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    36. Tell me about the different types of audiences to whom you've presented. Were these presentations done in person or remotely?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Hiring managers look for data analysts with strong presentation skills--someone who can present analyses and answer questions clearly and confidently. In many cases, hiring managers look for candidates that can present their findings to people with different backgrounds. Experience communicating with both technical and non-technical audiences is a highly valued skill.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It would be ideal if you had experience presenting to an executive-level audience, but this is not always necessary. When describing the types of audiences, including approximate size, whether it included executives, and possibly what departments within the company were present. With the rise of remote work, some hiring managers will expect you to discuss presenting analyses via phone or video conference calls, since these types of presentations can present unique challenges.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    37. Describe a project in which quantitative and qualitative data were used to conduct your analysis.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Data analysts should use all the available data to conduct the most impactful analyses. This could include both quantitative and qualitative data. The hiring manager wants to know how much experience you have, marrying qualitative to quantitative data. Sometimes it is straightforward, as is the case when working with survey data that has both qualitative and quantitative questions. Other times, it may take some creativity to find applicable qualitative data to use in conjunction with your quantitative data.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a common question asked by interviewers for a data analyst position, so you should anticipate it during the interview. Come to the interview prepared with stories about several projects you've worked on that demonstrate various skills you've used. You can repurpose the stories to address specific questions by including details the interviewer asks you about. If you have several projects to choose from, share the project where you used the most creativity in merging the two types of data when answering this question.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    38. What experience, if any, do you have with web analytics? If you have experience, what tools have you used?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      An increasing number of data analyst job postings include web analytics experience as a preferred or required skill. At times, companies may choose to separate the roles. Still, in many cases, they prefer data analysts to have a holistic view and, therefore, choose to integrate web analytics into their job description.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When sharing your web analytics experience, give some detail on the measurements you were tracking and the general scope of the project. If you don't have a specific experience with web analytics, convey this to the interviewer and then discuss how you would go about learning about this practice. Interviewers can immediately recognize if you're trying to bluff your way through a question and prefer you to answer honestly.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Operational

    39. How would you rate your writing skills, and in what ways do you use this form of communication as a data analyst?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Although data analysts spend much of their time working with numbers, having strong writing skills is very important as well. They need to interpret the results of their analyses into words to present to stakeholders. Data analysts should be able to tell the 'story' with words and numbers together. The interviewer will ask this question to better understand your communication skills. How you answer will provide them with an example of how you communicate.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you have not had many opportunities to use or strengthen your writing skills, state the extra measures you are willing to take to change that, whether through training or by proactively seeking opportunities. If you already have strong writing skills, offer to provide the interviewer with an example of this using a document you created in one of your previous roles. Make sure to purge any proprietary information before sending this to the interviewer.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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  • Technical

    40. Can you explain the difference between data mining and data profiling?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers use this question to analyze your competency and qualifications for the data analyst job. Knowing the subtle differences between these two concepts indicates that you've worked in this field and have a good understanding of the practices and procedures data analysts use. You should anticipate many questions like this one during the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a technical question that asks you to compare two concepts used by data analysts. When responding to technical questions, it is recommended that you keep your answers brief and to the point. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need additional information or want to explore this topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on June 13th, 2022

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