A few things you should know about interviewing for analytics roles
Heading into an analytics interview?
There are a few things you should know.
Pay attention to the description
A few leading hiring managers have been listing specific items outright. For instance, we used to list “Will have an opinion about Peterson’s line on cookies” right in the description. We will ask you what your opinion is on Peterson’s opinion. If you don’t have one, we assume that you will do something prior to the interview to become informed, and, come with an opinion.
Different hiring managers implant different preparation questions. Pay attention and prepare. If you’re heading into a department with a good reputation, it’s because they’re all prepared. And, since like people tend to clump together, we’re looking for prepared people.
We look for people who are passionate enough to have an opinion and can reason. You are not at risk of ‘losing’ just because you hold an opinion that we don’t agree with. Analytics practitioners differ. And, it’s in the creases between those differences, where the assumptions lay, that major discoveries are made. Not having any opinion at all is far worse than having one that we don’t agree with.
(And most hiring managers believe that your mind can be changed to reflect the right opinion. 😉 )
Technical skills can be taught. We can teach anybody who can be taught the intricacies of social or web analytics. Statistics can be taught over a period of time. That doesn’t mean technical skills aren’t important. They are. But they aren’t everything.
We can’t teach and grow people who can’t or won’t learn. If you are not continuously in awe of just how much you don’t know, chances are you will not do well in analytics over the medium and long runs.
That’s because digital is changing. Analytics is changing. And the marketing and data sciences, by virtue of being sciences, are changing. We’re looking for stances rooted in learning.
Interviews are artificial situations with real people behaving artificially
Because we know you really aren’t you, because you can’t be you even if you were to try really hard, we engineer scenarios to infer what you are. Come with opinions and a stance. 99% of the reason why you’re hired has to do with the steps you took long before you ever walked in.
Good luck out there. I’m rooting for you!
I’m Christopher Berry.
Follow me @cjpberry
I blog at christopherberry.ca