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How to Research the Company for Your Next Data Science Interview

In this article, we will be discussing how to research a company to stand out and be successful in your next data science interview.
Jun 2022  · 7 min read
Ace the Data Interview: How to Research the Company

Researching companies is important and beneficial to help you ace the interview. Getting a better feel and understanding of the company is a great way to help you be more prepared for the interview, and you’ll be mmore confident when answering questions, because you’ll have a better idea of what they’re looking for. Showing the interview panel that you are familiar with the company, and enthusiastic about what they do is also a great way to show that you care about the job and have taken the time to prepare. 

Let’s not forget that doing a deep dive into the company, finding out about their company culture and who you might be working with will also let you see if the role and company is the right fit for you. Never forget that an interview is equally about seeing if the company is a good fit for you, as much as it is about seeing if you’re a good fit for the company. It’s extremely important that you choose companies and data roles that excite you and align with your values. If you don’t it could lead to you not enjoying your work, or leaving the company prematurely.

So now we know why researching the company before the interview is so important, let’s look into how we can do this successfully.

Steps to Research the Company Before your Next Data Interview

 

Step 1: Research the company website

Go to the company’s website and find out about what products or services they offer. How do they make their money? What sort of clients do they work for? What’s their target audience? Do your best to learn about the company culture. Check out their “About Us” and “Meet the Team” pages to get a feel for their tone, how they present themselves, and what kind of people work there. Another good source of information and content is to look for the company’s strategic plan or roadmap to help you get a feel for the state of the business and to see what they have planned for the near future. 

For data roles especially, check to see if the company has a technical blog or GitHub. Oftentimes, data science teams publish projects that they create on an engineering blog on platforms like Medium. This is a great way to get a better feel of which tech stacks they’re using, what they’re working on, and what their goals are within the company. If a company has a mission statement posted on their website, make sure you read it carefully. Reading their mission will tell you what they care about, which will help you see if it's a good fit for you, and will also help you tailor your answers during the interview. 

Step 2: Check out their social media

Most  companies today have at least one social media channel. Looking into their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or even TikTok feeds can give you a great look into what the company is like, what they’re doing, and who their target audience is. For example, on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to find employees and clients that they work for to notice trends and working backgrounds, but on Instagram and TikTok you’ll get a more informal feel and a better grasp on the company culture.  

Mentioning you’ve seen their socials or latest news updates shows great initiative, and can really impress your interview panel. Being familiar with their latest posts can even give you more ideas for questions to ask in the interview relating to specific things that stood out. It’s even possible that some employees have their own social media pages or have given talks or been guest speakers on a podcast. Check out the DataCamp podcast DataFramed, which is full of episodes featuring industry experts, we may just have an episode with a data employee from a company you’re interviewing at! 

Also, if you know who your interviewers are, check them out on LinkedIn to get a bit more information on who you’ll be speaking with. You can use all this information to connect with them, see what data trends, tools, and technologies they’re most excited about, create more meaningful conversations and show how proactive you are.

Step 3: Google, Google Google!

Staying up to date on the company’s latest developments, or latest trends in the industry it’s in will really give you a leg up, and will be a great conversation starter for the interview. Check both Google and Google News to see if there’s any more information that may not appear on the company’s own website or social media. For example, has the data team at the company presented at any conferences or meetups? These abstracts or recordings might be available freely online, and it’s a great way to see how they think about and approach data science.

Finding out recent news or projects from the company is something that will help you stand out in the interview. They’ll be impressed that you’re up to date with their latest developments. Most job seekers ask boring questions that are easily answerable on the company’s website, so asking a question about a recent news story will really set you apart. And here at DataCamp, we’re all about making sure you stand out.

Step 4: Research the Competition

Carrying out competitor research can get you up to speed with the latest industry trends. This way you’ll have a better understanding of the company’s niche, what sets it apart, and how it can compete. Doing this shows that you can see the bigger picture and have the drive to understand the industry as a whole, not just the company you’re interviewing at. This is a great trick to REALLY stand out to a hiring manager.  It’s also really great for you, especially if it’s a new industry that you aren’t very familiar with yet. 

Step 5: Read Employee and Company Reviews

Check out sites like Glassdoor, and Crunchbase to read reviews from previous employees, and to get stats on the company. This can give you hints about how the company operates, how employees were treated, and what the work culture is like. It’s a great place to get information that can help you decide if you do or don’t want to work for the company. Hearing real reviews from people who worked there is great for spotting any red flags for you to address in the interview. 

If you are offered and accept the job, you will be spending a large amount of your time there, entrenched in that company’s culture. So reading reviews from real employees will give you a better understanding of what life at the company will be like, and if it’s suited for you.

Make sure to incorporate your research into your interview answers, as well as into the questions you ask them.  

Now that you know how to research the company before an interview, you’ll be able to make better decisions regarding what companies you interview for, as well as leave a lasting impression on recruiters and hiring managers to turn more interviews into job offers! 

This article was originally posted on the DataCamp Certified Community, an exclusive platform for all learners who have successfully completed one of DataCamp’s certifications. To gain access to this community for even more content that will help you stay at the forefront of the data industry, get certified today

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