It takes skill to look at trends, information, and metrics, and then put it all into useful reports for management to use. Specifically, it requires the talents of a data analyst.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 20 percent increase in the demand for the data analyst professional through 2028. With so many companies competing for the best talent, it’s important that you hire well by asking the right questions in each interview.
Hiring for a Data Analyst Position
Not everyone will be qualified for the role of a data analyst, and interviewing plays a vital role in determining if a candidate is a good fit. Before you start interviews, use all the available tools at your disposal, including your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and the actual applications. Then, you can narrow down the pool to just those you want to talk to face-to-face. When it’s time to interview, the following questions are key:
Common Data Analyst Interview Questions
What does the day of a data analyst look like?
If the applicant has done this job before, they should be able to answer this sufficiently, regardless of where they worked. You are looking to see that they understand the role and are applying for a job description that fits their (and your) expectations.
What data analysis software have you used? Which do you prefer?
While the answers to this question can tell you if the person is qualified for the job, they can also help you fill in any gaps that the application or resume didn’t cover. While the candidate doesn’t need the exact software experience required by the job, it’s important that they have a broad history of data analytics and are willing to learn new programs. The more experience they have, however, the better they may acclimate.
Why did you become a data analyst?
Much about the candidate is revealed in this answer. Look for details about the job that reveal both their aptitude and excitement for the topic. You can see any passion they have for the job, which will be important if they want to work for your company long-term without losing interest.
Analytical Skills Interview Questions
Real-world practice tests are important in an interview. Give the analyst access to the systems, data sets, or data mining tools they need to perform one of the following questions or similar questions based on your industry. (If this isn’t possible, ask them to explain their methodology.)
- How many widgets could we sell to the U.S. market in June of next year?
- What conversion rate did our last promo code have?
- What sector of our market should see the most growth next quarter?
Relevant Skills Interview Questions
How would you approach a new project?
Giving the candidate an example project and hearing how they would tackle it can give you insight into:
- Organization skills
- Approach to open-ended problems
- Leadership styles
- Recognition of deadlines
Their answer also reveals any ability to focus on steps in a process, which is vital to a data analyst role.
Can you share a time when you missed a deadline?
This answer can tell you that the candidate is both honest about their failures and realistic about the time constraints of a data analyst job. Look for signs that the candidate was proactive about the deadline and either worked to get an extension or took responsibility for the tardiness. This answer also gives you insight into how the applicant handles stress and accountability.
Company Culture Questions
Some questions target a worker’s motivation, background, and goals. These are just as important in finding a good fit:
What do you know about our company?
This question reveals if the candidate has done any research and is familiar with your mission and service or product. Being able to answer this question demonstrates one of the hallmark traits of a data analyst—gathering and summarizing information.
Why do you want to work here?
Each candidate should have a reason why they applied to your company. Answers should go beyond needing a paycheck or wanting to have a job. Look for indicators that they sought out your company specifically and are excited to pursue a career that can only be found at your workplace.
What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
If collaboration, high-tech challenges, and room for growth are key to your culture, the answers should reveal a desire for this as well. If a candidate doesn’t seem to be seeking out things you offer, don’t count them out completely. Candidates often express what they are looking for in more situational terms. Ask them to explain a time they thrived in a work environment. What they reveal can tell you a lot.
How do you feel about a collaborative work environment?
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions about what it’s like for the candidate to collaborate. If they don’t have a lot of experience doing this in a job scenario, look for examples of volunteerism, community, or family life that demonstrate this trait.
The data captured in an ATS is ideal for narrowing down the best data analyst candidates for your company. With Comeet’s ATS, you can streamline the way you recruit and hire new employees to help your business reach its goals. If you’re interested in learning more, try our free demo today!