Lead Data Scientist Interview Questions

Find your next A-game Lead Data Scientist with these sample interview questions. Don’t forget to add questions specific to your company’s position requirements.

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Lead Data Scientist qualifications to look for 

The Lead Data Scientist needs to be a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to developing data driven products and architectures.

Your top data scientist will tackle the efficient orchestration of a highly technical team. They should have an in-depth understanding of the challenges of the different roles that comprise your entire data science team. 

Look for a candidate with data management experience who has worked in a team. They should have both a strong theoretical background in fields such as machine learning and predictive modeling and strong software engineering skills. 

Keep an eye out for candidates who have:

  • Solid communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills 
  • The ability to mitigate risks 
  • A strong understanding of data-driven services at the product level

Top tip: Diversity is key to a thriving workplace. Keep an eye out for management and exec-level candidates from varying backgrounds and aim to eliminate bias from your hiring process.

Problem-solving interview questions

  • Tell me about a data-driven product that has really impressed you in recent years.
  • What qualifications do you look for when you want someone to join your data science team?
  • Explain big data in simple terms? 
  • What are big data architectures?
  • What are some common pitfalls and risks in planning a data science project? 
  • What is the largest team you’ve managed? What challenges did you face? What did you learn from them? 
  • What’s your experience managing agile teams?
  • What do you need to know in order to interpret whether or not it's good that a model performs 90% accuracy?
  • Describe a product that uses data from twitter to build something that people could conceivably pay money for.
  • How do you stay current with data science information?  
  • How would you evaluate a feature such as Instagram’s Explore aggregate?

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