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As a recruiter or hiring manager, can you tell us three typical questions that you usually ask to candidates?

Technical as well as non technical questions? Also let us know if these questions apply to senior or junior candidates, or research versus development positions. We are more interested in generic questions (e.g. how do you handle a regression type of problem with 500 variables and 2000 observations), rather than very specific questions (what criteria do you use to split a decision tree, is there a best criterion?)

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I am a 3rd party recruiter, an outside consultant, specializing in the application of analytics to marketing. Unless requested, I do not get into specifics: I am not expected to understand the intricacies of data analysis. My role is to profile the candidate with generic questions:
- Do you specialize in B2B or B2C? The other questions apply to those arenas.
- Tell me about the industry/ markets you have worked in. Are you a specialist in retail? telecomm? banking and finance? Tell me about the demographics of the markets you target.
- What is the measurable ROI of your work? IRR, increase in market share, decrease in market churn, etc.

As we go along, I hone in on these large questions to get a more rounded picture of the application of the candidate's work. But, as I stated above, I typically leave the specific questioning to the hiring manager.

Rebecca Wichern
Ilia - I understand your comment. These are just the top three topics my hiring managers want to know about. There's no 'optimal' way to answer these. If I can help a candidate organize their thoughts and their information in advance of our discussion to make the best use of our time together, I'm happy to share my agenda.
ilia - your concern does make sense. I was wondering if there is anything as specific top three questions at all ... based on my experience about hiring it is pretty much depndent on the requirement of the current opening. Of course some genralization is possible ... and given that it'll just be some generalization, it may not actually result in what you are apprehending. For instance, there are interview guides by etc. on investment banking, but that doesn't cause smart and knowledgable candidates to be selected ahead of not so good ones. All it does for candidates, is allows them to focus on more important things. While I agree with you on the fact that an exact set of questions shouldn't be out in the public, some broad guidelines (e.g., frequently used techniques, basic domain expertise - like what one needs to know aout a business, say retail or banking or portfolio risk management, etc.) might just make our life simpler by allowing candidates get better prepared on things we look for while hiring.
You're right about that.

I just wanted to open a discussion on a mor egeneral note somewaht linked to the specific question ... something to put in place a broad based guideline for analytics professional and aspirants.


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