Preparing for Data Centric Interviews

By: Tim DelChiaro

Abstract: What would be your traits you will look forward to when taking a data centric interview?

Preparing for Data centric interviews

These days the fundamentals of taking an interview has not changed much. The more experienced you are, the likelihood of getting into multiple rounds is inevitable. If you are in the industry for close to a decade, where do you start for interview the day or the weeks leading to a potential interview? We are sure this is a tough question and for a matter of fact we are lost to answer this. This blog post is around knowing what one should be prepared with when it comes to data centric interviews.

Be a DBA or a Developer, the landscape of data is changing fast and it is tough to keep pace with. The fundamentals of working with data have not changed for atleast 3-4 decades now. What would be your traits you will look forward to when taking a data centric interview?

    From the basics

Fundamentals don’t change in this industry. As said commonly in conversations, most of the things we do is like the same old wine in a brand new bottle. As you prepare for your interview day, think of the basics. Refresh reading the documentation to what has changed from one version to another. Knowing these fineprints can help you during interviews as you will be able to articulate better.

    Get hands-on experience

There is nothing better than getting a first-hand experience in implementing a technology. In today’s world, we have seen people try to find shortcuts using search engines and don’t quite realize there is nothing better than trying hands-on. With trends like cloud catching up, it is easier to actually get an environment to work on.

If that was not enough, these days there are tons of Virtual Classes or Virtual Hands-On Labs in the market that can be used to learn new technologies. We have heard from many in the industry that they are not able to work on new technologies because they are working on N-2 version today. Our take to this is simple, don’t expect to work on the latest and greatest every time. If you need to be relevant in the industry, put some extra effort to learn something new all by yourself and make sure to get hands-on experience.

    Know the trends in the industry

If you are serious in the domain you work with, it is interesting and inevitable that you keep track of the trends in the industry. If you are in the data field, then some of the basics we wish every interviewee understands are around NoSQL, Big Data, Visualizations, Data Warehouse, In-Memory Technologies, Appliances, Storage Enhancements, Reporting techniques, Scalability, Performance, Testing, Deployment, Machine Learning and many more. These are some topics we thought are worth to mention at this moment.

    Know your tools – Inside-Out

There is no excuse not knowing what you state you know in your resume. We have seen a number of candidates write something and when grilled a layer into the topic they fall apart and the shallow knowledge on the topic surface immediately. In this competitive world, getting an interview call is the toughest process. If you have succeeded in getting to this spot, it is total injustice to give it away easily. So if you are serious about the point-2 we mentioned above, get hands-on to whatever you do when working. Even if the chance is not present, get to read and explore as much as possible to get the best out of you during interviews.


As we wrap-up, be relaxed as you prepare for you interview. Many-a-times we think the company is recruiting us post the interview, our thought is simple. If you are really good in the industry, you are the person who is deciding if you want to join the company. The industry is moving faster than we can realize, so be on top of what releases and enhancements that happen inside the data world. We always consider, any knowledge is not waste. You will surely re-discover yourself and you will be able to land the best for yourself.

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