How to Answer: 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?
Advice and answer examples written specifically for a Data Analyst job interview.
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.
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.
"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."