DS-Application Process: Tipps and Tricks

  • 13 April 2022
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +1
  • Active Contributor
  • 11 replies

If you’re reading this then you’re probably thinking about or maybe already in the process of applying to a position in Data Science…..what a great decision that is! 🥳 From personal experience, I know that the application process for a DS-job can be quite daunting: Data challenges, live coding…..the list goes on. To give people an idea on what to expect, how to prepare accordingly...and maybe just to have a bit of fun, I thought it’d be useful to share a few of our experiences. 

As a start I’ll give a quick rundown of the application process for the Peak graduate scheme. 

Following the usual CV submission and the answering of a few questions we got sent a data challenge that consisted of the following problem: We were tasked with coming up with a classification algorithm to a set business problem. On the subsequent interview during the assessment day we then had to prove the commercial applicability of our recommendations & insights. In retrospective, my top tip would be to not worry about the technical details too much but rather make sure that you’ve got a logical process in place to make a well founded recommendation.  

What would be your top tips for a DS-interview?

3 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

My tip would be: if you don’t know an answer to a specific question (especially technical question) be honest and say that you don’t know but follow up with how you would go about finding the answer. Being a data scientist isn’t about knowing every single algorithm or method. It’s about knowing how to approach a problem and knowing how to keep up with the quickly developing world of technology. Say how you would use your skills to better understand the specific problem question, where would you look for an example of similar solution, how you would decide whether the specific method/algorithm is appropriate given your data, how would you learn the necessary code/packages. Even better: give an example of when you were asked to solve a problem using methods you didn’t know before and how you developed new skills to deliver the solution! 

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

Maybe wider than just DS interview, but my tip would be to try to remember that you are also the ‘interviewer’. Is the company’s culture something you would fit well in? Do you think this is a place you will thrive and be able to grow your potential within? 

I know how nerve-wracking interviews can be, so in my head thinking about it more as a two-way conversation definitely helps!

Best of luck to anyone facing DS interviews soon!! 

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

My main tip when applying for DS roles is to apply to a few roles you are genuinely interested in and excited about rather than sending your CV out to as many places as possible. In almost every interview, people will want to know why you want to join that company and they’ll want to see that you’ve done some research on the company too. It also means that if the application process requires more than just a CV and also has some questions, you’ll have more time to focus on answering those questions well rather than just having generic answers you copy and paste across multiple applications (which is always really obvious when reviewing them!). As a graduate in particular, it can feel really hard to choose where you want to work so it’s tempting to just apply to lots of places but your application and interviews will be much better if you have the time and headspace to really prepare for them.