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Statistician Interview

35 Questions and Answers by
| 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 35

What is your favorite algorithm? Can you explain it to me?

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Statistician Interview Questions


  1. What is your favorite algorithm? Can you explain it to me?
    • It is a great skill to be able to simply explain an algorithm in a basic conversation. Show the interviewer that you are capable of doing so by briefly discussing your favorite algorithm.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My favorite algorithm is The Sieve of Eratosthenes. It is a simple algorithm used for finding all prime numbers up to any given limit. It's an ancient concept that is very intriguing to me."


  1. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
    • It is important to show the interviewer that you are a team player. Talk about a time that you were recently expected to achieve a goal in a team setting. How did you go over and above to ensure that your contribution was felt?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Last month our company asked upper management to complete a full inventory audit. There were 4 of us in total and so we broke the audit requirements into shifts. These shifts had to take place when the warehouse was closed. In the end, there was one additional shift that nobody wanted to take. I volunteered myself to do that shift to show my dedication to my job and my co-workers. The gesture was appreciated and the audit was completed on time."


  1. What are your career aspirations beyond this job?
    • Everyone has some sort of dream or aspirations on where their career could go. When you think about the future, what comes to mind? Openly share with the interviewer where you'd like to see your career take you. Be sure to include how you feel this particular company would fit in with those particular aspirations.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have some pretty lofty career aspirations and after researching your organization and learning more about this position, I really feel that this role fits with my future aspirations. I would love to see myself promoted based on my hard work and results, eventually managing my own branch, then become a regional director."


  1. What are your salary expectations?
    • The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations are to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."


  1. Explain to me the 80/20 rule.
    • Assure the interviewer that you are familiar with basic statistical concepts and practices by briefly walking them through your understanding of the 80/20 rule.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My understanding of the 80/20 rule is that the most reasonable first steps you take with your data set will usually bring you 80% of the way to a solution. The remainder of your work is the last 20%."


  1. Tell me about a data project you have done that was successful. What made it successful?
    • In your career as a Statistician, which data project would you consider to be the most successful, and why? Be sure to display your passion for your work when you are answering this question.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My most successful data project was one I completed last year which was focused on assessing the effect of XYZ chemical on the genetic makeup of 4 different plant families. It was a success because our findings were new and we were able to make an argument towards banning the use of the chemical. This was a big win for me as I am an environmentally focused individual."


  1. What do you know about our company?
    • By researching the interviewing company, you are expressing your interest to the interviewer. Show that you are engaged in the process by talking about the research you have conducted on their organization.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that your company has won many awards over the years for being a Top Employer and for profits in your industry. I have researched your online presence including social media and have come across a very positive message."


  1. How would you explain a p-value to a novice?
    • Assure the interviewer that you are familiar with basic statistical concepts and best practices by briefly walking them through your understanding of what p-value means and how you would make it an easy-to-understand concept to a layman.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If I had to explain p-value to a novice I would use the simple explanation from Wikipedia that says p-value is best explained as the probability of obtaining a result equal to or "


  1. How would you rate your education? What things would you like to improve upon?
    • As a Statistician, where do you feel you had the most room for growth after completing your post-secondary education? Talk to the interviewer about the areas that you feel most challenged and if there are any additional courses that you would like to take.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I completed my Bachelor of Mathematics at MIT and would grade my experience as 10/10. If I could choose any area to improve my skills, coming out of university, I would choose to take additional coursework on topology and chaos theory."


  1. What studies have you worked on in the past?
    • You will likely have your most prominent studies listed on your resume. Focus on those studies that you are most proud of in your career.

      Talk to the interviewer a bit about them, what you achieved, and what you were able to learn. Briefly walk the interviewer through each study.


  1. What was the largest data set that you processed? How did you process it?
    • You will likely have your most prominent studies listed on your resume. Focus on those studies that you are most proud of in your career.

      Talk to the interviewer a bit about them, what you achieved, and what you were able to learn. Briefly walk the interviewer through each study.


  1. Would you say you are creative? When have you shown creativity?
    • As a Statistician you will often need to think outside the box. This take creativity! Talk to the interviewer about a time when your creative side presented itself in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would certainly consider myself creative. Most of my life I have spent time in the arts and I enjoy being creative in my off time. I exercise creativity every time I walk into a new project. I need to assess the situation, create an outline, discover key elements of the project and put everything together like a story in the end."


  1. Why do you feel statistics are important?
    • As a Statistician, the most important thing about one's job is to understand data, and interpret findings. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you feel statistics are important.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I feel that statistics are incredibly important because they show the truth from data and help us to predict the most likely scenarios. Without statistics, we wouldn't have weather forecasts, medical studies, genetic predictions, or even the stock market. Statistics allow us to prepare and improve."


  1. Do you have experience working with SQL?
    • SQL programming language is a very important skill and a great asset to any resume. Talk to the interviewer about your abilities with SQL.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have intermediate level experience with SQL and have worked with it for approximately 6 years with company ABC and company XYZ."


  1. How do you like to present your data findings to your coworkers?
    • Have you ever presented your data to your co-workers? Which way do you prefer to present your findings, and why?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I present my data findings to my coworkers I like to make it easy to follow, interesting, and engaging. By using graphs and charts as much as possible, I can keep my coworkers engaged during my presentation."


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