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Data science interview preparation for beginner: Tips to follow

Data Science

Based on the latest data, there is a 60% to 73% demand and supply gap in India for Data Scientists. The data not only shows that there is rising data scientist demand in India but also a shortage of skilled data scientists. Data science, as a profession, is quickly gaining popularity as companies continue to recognize the importance of data in creating business value and driving innovation.

This has caused an increased demand for data science as a career option. However, preparing for data science interviews for beginners can be challenging and unguided. Data science interview preparation demands control over technical skills, knowledge of hundreds of algorithms, and familiarity with software to manipulate and analyze data. If you are preparing now, here is a beginner’s guide to data science interviews you must follow.

Navigating the Choices: MBA Data Science vs MBA Business Analytics, MSC Data Science vs MSC Business Analytics, PGCP BA vs PGCP Data Science – Online Manipal

Understanding the Data Science Role

Data scientists are skilled professionals who have a strong understanding of statistics, math, and machine learning. The main role of data science is to carry out data exploration, A/B testing, advanced statistical modeling, and building machine learning models.

Data scientists have a diverse set of duties which include data collection and aggregation; data cleaning and data preprocessing; algorithm or model development and implementation; and data interpretation for providing decision insights. The professionals also prepare charts and reports to present research findings to stakeholders and work closely with others to set actionable strategies based on data.

Key Skills and Qualifications Needed for a Data Scientist

A data science role necessitates a strong hold over the following skills and qualifications:

Technical skillsSoft skills
Python or RStrong analytical thinking
Statistical and machine learning techniquesProblem-solving abilities
Data manipulation tools such as SQL and ExcelEffective communication skills

Differences Between Data Scientist Roles in Various Industries and Companies

The job of a data scientist differs from company to company, as well as different sectors. It might mean more product optimization and user behavior in technology companies while companies in the financial sector might be more involved in risk modeling and financial predictions. Data scientists working in the healthcare industry can be seen building predictive models for patient outcomes and targeted therapies which speak of how versatile the role is.

Building a Strong Foundation

Statistics, probability, and linear algebra are among the key topics that must be understood by aspiring data scientists. You can refer to different data science books. You can also apply for different courses. Working with real data frequently and solving problem sets can also strengthen learning.

Learning Essential Technical Skills

A skilled data scientist is required to have a strong grasp of different tools and softwares. These essential skills and softwares include:

  • Python or R
  • SQL
  • Machine learning techniques and algorithms

Sites such as Manipal Academy of Higher Education provide structured courses, like Python for Data Science or Machine Learning with R. However, practical training through the development of small projects is crucial. Kaggle provides datasets to practice in and GitHub repositories to refer to for inspiration and collaboration.

Understanding Data Science Tools and Libraries

Some of the best data science tools and libraries are Pandas and NumPy for data manipulation, Scikit-learn for machine learning, and TensorFlow for deep learning. Tools such as DataCamp and Towards Data Science provide tutorials and courses on how to apply these tools. Working examples, like datasets and machine learning projects, are available on sites like Kaggle and GitHub. 

Building a Portfolio

It is important to create a portfolio to present your skills and projects to potential employers and demonstrate that you can apply knowledge rather than just knowing how to perform the tasks. The ideal projects should be as relevant as possible to the target industry or role and as diverse as possible to demonstrate different abilities. 

Discuss the research process by describing the goals, methods, and results of these projects, including your contribution and problem-solving skills. Projects that are ideal for beginners include data analysis of curated open datasets and developing predictive models for simple problems. It includes housing prices, predictive analytics, and design of data visualizations for data exploration and trend identification.

MSc Data Science Vs MSc Business Analytics – Online Manipal

Practicing Data Analysis and Machine Learning Problems

Solving real-life data analysis and machine learning tasks is very beneficial in terms of skills development and getting hired at data science positions. Kaggle, DataCamp, and GitHub contain various types of datasets as well as practical tasks. The process of structuring problem-solving has various stages, including defining the problem, data analysis, identifying techniques and models, and model refinement. 

Provide models clearly explaining methodologies, insights, and assessment of performance. It is also recommended to consult with classmates or teachers and learn how to improve their methods and skills for solving the problem.

Preparing for Common Interview Questions

Interview questions for the data science role are a mix of different spectrums that necessitate having data science interview strategies. The list of questions for data science interview for beginners includes the following:

1. Technical Questions

  • Distinguish between supervised learning and unsupervised learning.
  • What is overfitting, and how to avoid it?
  • Explain the concept of the bias-variance dilemma.

2. Behavioral Questions

  • Explain the situation in a project where you faced challenges and how you managed to come out of them.
  • Could you provide an example of a situation when you had to work with a group to accomplish a task?
  • How do you manage multiple projects that you are working on at the same time?

3. Data Science Interview Tips for Answering Technical Questions

  • Explaining things in simple, effective ways.
  • Giving examples from a real-world or actual case.
  • Speaking with positive body language and intonations.

4. Craft Impactful Responses for Behavioural Questions

  • Planning your answers using the STAR method.
  • Quoting examples from the previous experience.
  • Stressing on effective problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills.

Preparing for Technical Assessments

An important data science interview practice to crack the interview is preparing for technical assessments. Here is what you must do to prepare for the technical assessments:

  • Coding Tests: These include questions that test your knowledge of writing code to solve data-related problems.
  • Developing Programs: Develop programs frequently and emphasize the manipulation of data, algorithms, and implementations of machine learning.
  • Learning Tools: Learn some basic data science libraries such as Pandas, NumPy, and Scikit-learn. Sites like LeetCode, HackerRank, and CodeSignal have coding challenges.

Building a Strong Online Presence

Creating an effective personal portfolio provides opportunities for promoting your skills and projects and contacting potential employers. Include LinkedIn to promote your experience and network with colleagues. On GitHub, you can publish your code and collaborate on open-source projects, as well as keep track of your professional accomplishments. 

You can create a personal blog to showcase your skills and understanding of data science by writing on and outlining projects. Participation in the data science community forums, as well as social media and events, is one of the best methods of increasing visibility and attracting potential employers.

Networking and Seeking Mentorship

Networking is important as most people get into Data Science jobs through references and connections. Join groups and meetups related to data science, as well as industry events and groups like LinkedIn and Reddit.

Find a mentor by connecting with expert data scientists, enrolling in mentorship courses, and joining the data science community on Twitter and GitHub. You must also attend seminars, webinars, courses, and workshops to further your education and increase your online visibility.

SWOT analysis of MSc data science – Online Manipal

Final Interview Tips

To prepare for an interview successfully, it is essential to learn as much as possible about the company and its products. Rehearse mock interviews to improve your answers and gain self-confidence. 

Show analytical skills by providing examples of previous experience and explaining how you approached the analyzed problem. When asked about technical topics, be sure to include your thought process and reasoning behind your choices.

Follow up after your data scientist interview. Send an email in which you thank the interviewer, restate your desire to work for the company, and summarize several points from the conversation that demonstrate your qualifications to work for the company.

Prepare for a Data Science career with MAHE’s MSc in Data Science

MAHE’s MSc in Data Science is your passport to becoming a data science professional. The program includes core courses on statistics, machine learning, big data technologies, and visualization. MAHE’s industry projects, lab courses, and experienced faculty will assist you develop practical skills and knowledge. Moreover, the program has an active alumni network and powerful career services that assist you in finding work opportunities in the data science area.

What is the difference between PGCP data science and MSc data science? – Online Manipal


Persistence and structured studying are the crucial components of a beginner’s guide to data science interviews. You must start with learning statistics, programming languages, and machine learning. You must gradually move on to solve coding challenges and work with real data.

You must develop the ability to clearly and concisely communicate ideas. Remember that every interview is a learning process. Be passionate, patient, and flexible, and this will open the doors to success in the dynamic field of data science.


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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