Non-technical Interview Questions with Sample Answers for Data Scientists and Data Analysts Interviews.
Being good at technical stuff is important for Data Scientists and Analysts. But you know what? When you are interacting with interviewers, they throw in some non-technical questions. These non-technical questions are not about understanding your technical expertise but it’s more about them getting a feel for who you are and what you want in life. And here’s the twist – how you tackle these non-technical questions can swing a company’s decision on hiring you. So, it’s smart to know the best way to handle them. This article covers the ultimate non-tech interview questions to empower your career path. It breaks down common non-technical interview questions, explaining why employers ask them and offering tips on the best way to respond.
1. Tell me about yourself.
This question is asked to start the conversation and briefly understand your profile. It also helps the interviewer understand your communication style. Therefore you should prepare your introduction properly and practice them well.
Example: I recently graduated with a degree in [your major] from [mention university name]. I also attended a six-month training and certification program in [mention course name] from [institute name]. Some of the projects I completed during my degree are [list down the project names]. I am passionate about [mention a relevant interest or skill], and during my studies, I [highlight a project or achievement]. My hobbies are [mention what you like].
2. Can you tell me about one of your projects?
To answer this question you must explain your projects thoroughly including what was the objective of this project, who was the requestor, what data did you use, data volume handled, what challenges did you face, steps performed, final result, and key takeaway.
You may also get follow-up questions related to your project work. Hence having a clear understanding of your project will help you answer those questions.
Example: I worked on a project [your project title]. You should mention why this project was done [what was the objective]? The data volume you handled. Tools and or languages used for this project. Who was the requestor and what was the requirement? Mention the framework used. And then you can talk about the data cleaning and preparation steps. Finally, you should explain the analysis/model-building part and call out the key findings.
3. What are your key strengths?
The interviewer asks you this question to see whether your strengths are aligned with what they are looking for or not. So it is an opportunity for you to demonstrate how your strengths align with the work, culture, team, etc.
List down all your strengths. You should not mention too many strengths. One or two strengths are good enough to discuss.
Example: One of my strengths is my adaptability. During a group project, when a team member faced challenges, I stepped in to help, showcasing my ability to work well under pressure.
4. What made you choose your field of study?
This question is asked to understand your decision-making, your interest in the field of study, and your adaptability. You should be genuine in answering why did you chose the field of study.
Example: I chose [your major] because I have always been fascinated by [specific aspect]. During college, I participated in [related activity or project], which solidified my interest.
5. What extracurricular activities were you involved in?
Answer this question honestly with whatever extracurricular activities you were involved in.
Example: I was an active member of [club or organization], where I [describe your role and any accomplishments]. This experience taught me [mention a valuable skill or lesson].
6. How do you handle challenges?
By asking this question, an interviewer wants to know how thoughtfully you deal with difficult situations.
Example: I view challenges as opportunities to learn. When I struggled with a tough assignment, I took guidance from my professor, revised my approach, and eventually mastered the concepts.
7. Describe a situation where you worked in a team.
This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are a team player.
Example: In a group project on [topic], I collaborated with my peers to brainstorm ideas, assigned tasks based on strengths, and ensured open communication. As a result, we received positive feedback for our presentation.
8. What do you consider your biggest achievement?
This question is asked often in interviews to find your achievements either in academics or in non-academic activities.
Example: My biggest achievement was [mention a specific accomplishment, such as leading a successful event or completing a challenging project], which not only showcased my skills but also taught me valuable lessons.
9. How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time?
This is a time management question to check what practices you follow to keep track of the most important task.
Example: I use a planner (a to-do list) to organize tasks and set realistic deadlines. During my final semester, I had multiple assignments due, and by prioritizing tasks, I was able to complete them all successfully.
10. Why do you want to work for our company?
Before the interview, you should spend time researching the company and collecting important information. Here is a sample answer…
Example: I am drawn to your company because of its commitment to [mention a specific value or initiative]. I believe my skills in [relevant skill] align well with the work your team is doing.
11. What do you know about our company?
This question is asked to check your awareness about things that matter. Talk about the culture of the company, learning opportunities, projects, growth opportunities, etc.
Example: I have researched your company extensively and am impressed by [mention a recent achievement or project]. This, along with your commitment to [company values], makes me excited about the possibility of contributing to your team.
12. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This question is asked because the interviewer would like to be sure about your stability and you are a good long-term fit.
Example: In five years, I aspire to grow within the company, taking on more responsibilities. I am eager to learn and contribute, and I believe this position aligns with my long-term goals.
13. What motivates you in a work environment?
This question is asked to check what keeps you engaged and motivated so that the interviewer can check your fitment to the team.
Example: I am motivated by the opportunity to learn and contribute.
14. What are your weaknesses?
Here your interviewer expects you to tell your weakness that you overcame and that is not too negative. Giving an authentic answer lets the interviewer know you’re honest with yourself and others about how you can grow both as a person and a colleague. Some of the weaknesses you might mention like, shyness, perfectionism, taking on too much responsibility, stage fear, etc. You should prepared to explain how you have been working to overcome your weaknesses.
Example: In one of the events in my college, when I had to go to the stage and speak, I found it difficult and I realized that it was the stage fear. Somehow I managed to speak that day and from then I have made up my mind that I will not miss another opportunity to take center stage and I am preparing for that.
15. Why should we hire you?
Interviewers ask you this question to let you sell your skills, experience, and qualifications. While answering this you should focus on the skills that you have and how it is aligned to the job role that they are offering. Highlighting your projects will certainly help in conveying that you have implemented the skills that you have learned. Do not forget to demonstrate that you are a keen learner and open to acquiring new skills if required.
Example: I am a trained and certified Data Analyst. I have the skill sets that are required for this job. I have worked on multiple projects and managed them well right from requirement understanding to delivering the final results. I am a keen learner and I am open to learning new skills as per the projects’ requirements. I am committed to my work and I will always give my best to meet the expectations of my organization.
16. How long do you want to work here?
This question is usually asked to ensure that you are interested in working with them for a longer period. You should be honest while answering this question but at the same time be practical with what you answer.
Example: I am looking for a long-term career opportunity. So I will be here as long as the company needs me, and I get learning and growth opportunities.
17. Do you have any questions for me?
Never say that you don’t have a question. Think about it, after a long interview discussion you might have at least one or two questions that you would like to ask. isn’t it?
The tip here is to prepare two or three generic questions that you could ask any interviewer with any company as well as a few that are specific to the job you’re interviewing for. But make sure not to ask a question that the interviewer might have already answered during the discussion.
Example: Which tools/languages are most important to work on the projects in this team? When there is a requirement for a new tool/language for the project will I be getting the training for that? Will I get an opportunity to work on additional projects so that I can learn and gain more experience?