Data Engineer Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Data Engineer interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Data Engineer was updated by on June 8th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

Describe a time when you found a new use for existing data that had a positive impact on the business.

"As a Data Engineer, I try to take time to understand the strategic initiatives being conducted across the company. I believe departments need to avoid working in silos and should have approved access to data owned by other groups within the company. From my perspective as a Data Engineer, I was able to connect employee data with sales data to better understand the reasons behind both high and low sales periods. Upon further analysis, it was revealed that hiring employees with a particular education and work experience profile resulted in significant increases in sales for an extended period of time. Prior to this discovery, human resource data was never used in conjunction with sales data for analyses."

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25 Data Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

Below is a list of our Data Engineer interview questions. Click on any interview question to view our answer advice and answer examples. You may view 5 answer examples before our paywall loads. Afterwards, you'll be asked to upgrade to view the rest of our answers.

  • 1. Describe a time when you found a new use for existing data that had a positive impact on the business.

  • 2. What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of being a Data Engineer?

  • 3. What led you to a career in Data Engineering?

  • 4. If you had the time and resources, what types of training courses would you enroll in to help you in your job as a Data Engineer?

  • 5. Do you have experience training others on thing such as software, applications, porcesses or architecture? If so, what have you found to be the most difficult aspect of doing so?

  • 6. Some in the Big Data industry consider Data Engineering to be a non-analytic career path. Do you agree or disagree with that statement and why?

  • 7. Outside of your technical skills, what skills do you find most valuable as a Data Engineer? These could be skills you attained from jobs unrelated to data.

  • 8. Do you prefer work in more of a Generalist role or concentrate your work on the Pipeline or Database?

  • 9. Are you comfortable working 'behind the scenes'? Alternatively, are you comfortable coming out and being in the 'spotlight'?

  • 10. Which certifications have you earned that are applicable to your job as a Data Engineer? Which was your most recent one and when did you earn it?

  • 11. What kind of experience have you had working with Data Scientists and what skills do you have in common with them?

  • 12. Do you have experience building custom analytics applications? If so, please describe the application you created.

  • 13. Have you ever been in a data disaster recovery situation? If so, describe the situation and your role.

  • 14. Give an example of when you proposed changes to improve data reliability and quality. Did these changes end up being implemented? If not, why not?

  • 15. Data maintenance is one of the many responsibilities of a Data Engineer. In many cases, tasks related to this are fairly routine. Describe a time when you encountered a data maintenance problem that required you to deviate from your "routine".

  • 16. Do you have experience with data modeling? If so, what data modeling tools do you have experience using?

  • 17. What is your experience level with NoSQL databases? Give me an example of a project/situation where you found building a NoSQL database to be more appropriate than a relational database.

  • 18. Do you have experience introducing new data analytics applications? If so, what obstacles did you run into while introducing and implementing them?

  • 19. Do you have extensive experience working in a cloud computing environment? What benefits and challenges do you see working in one?

  • 20. Do you have experience building data systems using the Hadoop framework? If so, explain a particular project in detail.

  • 21. Data Engineers work closely with Data Architects. How do you see your job differing from that of a Data Architect?

  • 22. Which ETL tools do you have experience utilizing? Do you prefer one over the others? If so, why?

  • 23. Which programming/scripting languages do you have experience utilizing? Which one do you have the MOST experience with?

  • 24. Working with data can present a variety of challenges. Can you think of a time where you ran into an unexpected challenge bringing together data from different sources? How did you end up overcoming this challenge?

  • 25. Describe a project you worked on where you played an active role in solving a business problem through the innovative use of existing data.