How to Interview a Data Scientist

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Hiring a data scientist is on the agenda for many companies these days, and the job market for this new profession is exploding. But interviewing data scientists is hard. The tech press sporadically publishes “best” interview questions that are nothing less than cringe-worthy.

The video presentation below was made at the recent Strata Conference in New York City by the Director of Data Science at LinkedIn, Daniel Tunkelang, who puts the process of interviewing a data scientist this way:

We put a heavy emphasis on the ability to think through the problems we work on. For example, if someone claims expertise in machine learning, we ask them to apply it to one of our recommendation problems. And, when we test coding and algorithmic problem solving, we do it with real problems that we’ve faced in the course of our day jobs. In general, we try as hard as possible to make the interview process representative of actual work.

This video offers general principles and concrete examples of how to interview data scientists and is well worth a close look.


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