Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nailing the Tech Interview

Advice from Both Sides of the Interview Table
Reposted from Women in Astronomy

A year ago, I made the transition from astrophysicist to data scientist. One of the harder parts of making the transition was convincing a tech company (during the interview process) that I could do the job. Having now been on both sides of the interview table, I’d like to share some advice to those wishing to break into the tech/data science industry. While this advice is applicable to candidates in general, I’m going to be gearing it towards applicants coming from academia / PhD programs.

Most tech companies are interested in smart, talented people who can learn quickly and have good problem solving skills. We see academics as having these skills. Therefore, if you apply for internships or jobs at tech companies, you will most likely get a response from a recruiter.  The problem is that once you get an interview, there are a lot of industry-specific skills that the company will try to assess, skills that you may or may not have already.

Below are some of the traits we look for when recruiting for the Yammer analytics/data team, descriptions of how we try to determine if a candidate has these traits, and what you should do to ‘nail’ this aspect of the interview.