1. Be Honest
Try not to exaggerate your skills. If the job sounds more engineering focused than you are wanting, be honest and say that. Data Science is getting very broad and you don’t want to get in a position that is a bad fit.
You often sound worse when you try to explain something you do not understand. Just be honest and say, “I have not needed to use that yet, can you explain to me when you have done that?”
Find the job you are looking for, not just any position someone is trying to fill.
2. Tell Stories of Your work
Talk about things you have built. If you built something as part of a team or project, tell about why and your involvement.
If you have a side project, talk about that. This is why side-projects are so important. They help you learn a lot, plus they give you something exciting to talk about, which only you can talk about.
Interviews are intimidating. There is really no way to avoid that. The best you can do is be prepared for the interview. Pramp provides a platform for practicing data science interviews. Practice makes perfect.
People love stories. People can connect with stories. People remember great stories. Make your data tell a story. If you can make stories come alive with data, people will pay attention.
There is no magic formula for a great story, data or otherwise. Here are some guidelines for telling a great data science story.
- Clearly state the problem
- Explain the data
- Share the struggles of doing the analysis
- Do not focus on the algorithms
- Show how the analysis progressed, take your listeners on a journey
- Finish with something remarkable
The late Hans Rosling could tell as good of a story with data as anyone. Do a quick internet search for his name, and you can easily find his Ted talks or other videos. He provides an excellent model for telling a story with data. It is worth your time to watch some of his videos.
The entire goal of telling a story with data is to get people engaged in the problem.
Leave a comment if you have others tips for telling an effective data science story.
Accel Partners, one of the largest big data investment firms, hosted a panel discussion on Data Visualization and Data Stories.
Hilary Mason, Data Scientist in Residence at Accel, hosts the discussion. Two great visualization experts that come up in the talk are, Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg.