written by
5000fish Team

Top 9 Interview Questions for a Data Analyst

BI Interview Questions 5 min read
DashboardFox - Self-Service BI

Over the next few years, the position of a data analyst is expected to become one of the most in-demand worldwide. A LinkedIn Workforce Report also asserts that demand for data analysts will increase sixfold, with 700,000 new recruits by the year 2020.

Are you looking to hire a new data analyst (or perhaps several data analysts) for your company? If so, you’ll definitely have plenty of options to choose from. You may be wondering, though, how you can sort through your choices and find the best candidate for the job.

Listed below are nine essential interview questions you need to ask when looking to hire a new data analyst for your business.

Qualities of a Good Data Analyst

Before we dive into the specific questions you ought to ask while interviewing potential new data analysts, it helps to have a more general idea of what a great analyst looks like. The following are some key qualities a good data analyst will likely possess:

â—Ź Highly methodical and detail-oriented

â—Ź Self-motivated

â—Ź Creative and able to solve problems in unique ways

â—Ź Skeptical and willing to look at issues from all angles

â—Ź Able to spot patterns

â—Ź Good at communicating one-on-one and in group settings

A willingness to be a lifelong learner is imperative, too. Someone who is set in their ways and unwilling to learn about new approaches or tools will likely not be a good fit for any company.

Top 9 Interview Questions

How can you tell if the person you’re hiring possesses these important qualities? It all starts with asking the right questions. The following nine questions are great ones to include in your interview process:

1. Why Are You Interested in Data Analysis?

This is a great opening question that helps you get to know a bit more about each candidate. When analyzing the candidate’s response to this question, consider how specific they get.

Can they provide an example of when they first developed an interest in data analysis, for example? What kind of motivations do they have for pursuing this type of career?

2. Why Do You Want to Work for Us as a Data Analyst?

The answer to this question helps you get a better understanding of why they want to work for your company, specifically.

Their answer also tells you how much research they did into your business, in particular, before they sat down for their interview. Do they seem genuinely interested in helping your company grow, or do they seem desperate to just get hired anywhere?

3. What Type of Data Analysis Interests You the Most?

Chances are you want a data analyst who has experience and a genuine interest in the specific type of data analysis that relates to your company. Whether it’s financial data analysis, marketing, or anything in between, you should ask this question to weed out candidates who don’t quite fit your business’s needs.

4. What Are Your Strengths as a Communicator?

Remember, good communication skills are essential for data analysts. They need to be able to explain their findings in a clear, understandable way and work together with other employees to come up with solutions to problems. Finding out what each candidate brings to the table in terms of communication can help you figure out if they’ll fit in well with the rest of the team.

5. How Do You Respond to Stressful or High-Pressure Situations?

As a data analyst, there are going to be times when the candidate will have to handle high-stress situations and tight deadlines. Learning how they deal with these situations (encourage them to be as specific as possible) helps you see whether their process aligns with your business needs.

6. Which Data Analysis Software Do You Have Experience Using?

It helps to learn which data analysis software they have used in the past, too. It might not necessarily be a deal-breaker if they aren’t experienced with the software you use. It helps to know, though, so you can plan an appropriate training approach.

7. What is Your Process for Starting a New Project?

Your ideal data analyst will be someone who is methodical and has a clear strategy for handling each project with which they’re presented. Ask about their process so you can figure out if they’ll fit in with your other analysts or employees and can work in a way that allows projects to be completed in a timely manner.

8. To Date, What Has Been Your Most Difficult Data Analysis Project?

Similar to the question about stress, the answer to this question tells you a lot about how a candidate reacts to pressure. It also helps you gain insight into the types of challenges they’ve faced at past jobs and how they resolve them.

Remember to encourage the candidate to be specific when they explain the nature of the project and what it was that they found difficult about it. The more details they can provide, the easier it will be to tell if they’re up for the challenges for business may present.

9. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

This can seem like a trick question to some. The answer -- and, more specifically, the type of questions they ask in return -- tells you a lot about the candidate, though.

It helps you get a better sense of their motivation and what they know about your company. It also helps you understand how eager they are to get started and what they can bring to your data analysis team.

Find Your Perfect Data Analyst Today

As you can see, you’ll have to ask quite a few interview questions to figure out whether or not someone is a good fit to join your team as a data analyst. It’ll be worth the effort of conducting several interviews, though, if it helps you find your ideal candidate.

In the meantime, don’t forget that there are other ways to tackle your business intelligence needs. The right business intelligence software can make a huge difference. Consider checking out DashboardFox, our self-service BI tool, today and including it in your data analysis toolkit.

Data Analyst Interview Questions Business Intelligence