Many of our readers have posed questions about how analytics companies carry out recruitment and what does it take to make it to a top analytics firm. What is it that they look for? Is it just the technical skills? How should they be prepared for it?
So, we decided to dig in and get first-hand insights on what the recruitment process is really like at an analytics firm. For this, we spoke to Mu Sigma, as a model to understand the recruitment process in the analytics industry.
So, here’s a rundown on how you could prepare yourself for an interview and nail it!
The first thing to crack an interview is to ‘Become a Spy’ (well, not exactly). Gather your resources about the company beforehand. Do your research on what the company is like, their work, their culture and then think about how can you be of value to them. You could browse their website, blog (most analytics companies have blogs, white papers, etc) along with their social media pages on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (some firms may have videos as well) and scroll through their Glassdoor reviews. Also, you should Google news related to the company, to get both the positives and the negative from the press.
Preparing yourself will give you the much needed confidence and an extra edge to impress your interviewer as you will be well versed with the company. This brings me to the end of general bit. Now for the technical.
For this, we caught up with Deepinder Singh Dhingra, Apprentice Leader at Mu Sigma, to unravel answers to what qualities do they look for in a potential candidate. He states, “ We prefer a talent pool that is multidisciplinary, innovative, agile and not just pure number crunchers. Additionally, curiosity and a learning mindset adds to the success factor of the candidate.”
Most analytics firms feel that there is a serious shortage of talent due to the industry-academia gap as well as the nascent nature of the analytics industry as such. Thus, analytics firms follow certain innovative hiring practices to make sure they get the right talent pool. Here’s the process at Mu Sigma, as explained by Deepinder:
For freshers, the process is broken in three steps:
- The candidates are evaluated on their personality and extra-curricular achievements. This is a means to understand their fitment into an open and dynamic work culture at Mu Sigma. This is followed by an Aptitude test to evaluate the candidate’s logical reasoning, quantitative and programming skills.
- Candidates who filter through the first stage go through an evaluation process that measures them on their ability to understand, interpret and synthesize information clearly. This round also gives them a visibility into the candidate’s communication and leadership skills, as well as ability to handle conflicts and team.
- A personal interview round helps them seal the deal in terms of candidate’s appetite to learn, problem solving capability, attitude to work and analytical ability.
For laterals, the requisites are different from that of freshers. It is a rigorous assessment of essential traits for an analytical & creative Mu Sigma employee. The process is designed to elicit traits of structured thought process, given the various scenarios. They are also gauged on group dynamics, while solving real world business problem, and creativity.
The teammate assessment card and interview scorecard summarizes whether the candidate is qualified or not. The feedback from the assessment card helps the recruitment team at Mu Sigma to understand the perception or impression the candidate tends to create in a group.
This helps in identifying areas of strengths and weakness and also ensures the final outcome is coherent. The interview scorecard on the other hand gives the candidates an experience of Mu Sigma culture throughout the interview process. Handing the score card back to the candidates is one way of exhibiting Mu Sigma’s open culture, as they believe in communicating the feedback to the candidates irrespective of whether they have been selected or not.
Thus, in a world where change is the only constant, organizations are bound to compete on learning over knowing. So, to get into an analytics firm such as Mu Sigma, you need to have a quantitative bend of mind with creative problem solving skills.
Explicitly, to become a decision scientist or an analyst, coupled with your mathematical and technical skills, you should be able to apply behavioral sciences, business and technology to your decision making. Moreover, the ability to apply principles and follow a structured approach to problem-solving as opposed to relying on domain expertise, good communication skills, synthesizing and articulating learning (maybe new skills, new domains, etc) as well as being a team player is very important as analytics is not a one man show.
We hope this article will help you land your next analytics job. Good luck! and let us know any more tips or share your experiences in the comment box below.