Top 50 Data Science Interview Questions and Answers

Top 50 Data Science Interview Questions and Answers

12 Jun 2024
23 min read
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Data Science Interview Questions and Answers: An Overview

In this article, we will explore Data Science Interview Questions and Answers, Data Science Interview Questions and Answers for experienced professionals, and Data Scientist interview questions. Additionally, we'll also delve into Data Science Certification Training and provide a comprehensive Data Science Tutorial to help you enhance your Data Scientist skills.

Data Science Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers

1. How does supervised learning differ from unsupervised learning?

There are two categories of machine learning techniques: supervised and unsupervised learning. Both of them enable us to create models. On the other hand, they are used to various problem types.

Supervised LearningUnsupervised Learning
Works with data that is labeled and includes both inputs and the anticipated output.Operates on unlabeled data, or data without any mappings from input to output.
Used to build models that can be used to categorize or forecast objects. Used to take significant information out of massive amounts of data.
Supervised learning techniques that are often used include decision trees and linear regression.Frequently utilized algorithms for unsupervised learning: Apriori algorithm, K-means clustering, etc.

2. What is the process to perform logistic regression?

By estimating probability using its underlying logistic function (sigmoid), logistic regression in data science quantifies the link between the dependent variable our label for the outcome we wish to predict, and one or more independent variables—our characteristics.

Performing Logistic Regression

3. Describe how to create a decision tree in detail.

  1. Use the complete set of data as input.
  2. Compute the predictor attributes and the target variable's entropy.
  3. Compute the information you have gained about all attributes (we have information on how to separate various objects from one another).
  4. Select the root node based on the property that has the biggest information benefit.
  5. Until each branch's decision node is decided, carry out the same process on each branch.

    Decision tree

4. How do you create a random forest model?

The following are the steps involved in making a random forest model:

  1. From a dataset containing k records, select n.
  2. Make unique decision trees for every n data value that needs to be considered. A projected result is obtained from each of them.
  3. Every conclusion is made via a voting process.
  4. Whoever's prediction got the most support will decide the final result.

5. How do you keep your model from being overfitting?

A model is considered overfitting if it performs poorly on test and validation datasets after being trained excessively well on training data using model selection in machine learning. You will avoid overfitting by:
  • Reduce the complexity of the model, consider fewer variables, and reduce the number of parameters in neural networks.
  • Using methods for cross-validation.
  • Adding additional data to train the model.
  • Enhancing data so that more samples are available.
  • Ensembling (Bagging and boosting) is used.
  • Applying penalization strategies to specific model parameters that are likely to result in overfitting.

6. Make a distinction between analysis that is univariate, bivariate, and multivariate.

Based on how many variables are handled at a time, statistical analyses are categorized.

Univariate analysisBivariate analysisMultivariate analysis
One variable at a time is the only one being solved in this study.Two variables at a given period are statistically studied in this analysis.This study examines the responses and deals with statistical analysis of more than two variables.
Pie charts showing sales by territory are one example. For instance, a scatterplot of the study's spending volume and sales analysis.Example: Research on the association between people's use of social media and their self-esteem, which is influenced by a variety of variables including age, the amount of time spent on it, employment status, status in relationships, etc.

7. Which feature selection techniques are applied to choose the appropriate variables?

Not every variable in a dataset is required or helpful to construct a model when using it in data science or machine learning methods. To make our model more efficient, we need to avoid using redundant models through more intelligent feature selection techniques. The three primary methods used in feature selection in machine learning are as follows:

8. What is dimensionality reduction and what are the advantages of it?

The technique of removing superfluous variables or features from a machine-learning environment is known as dimensionality reduction. Reducing dimensionality has the following advantages:

  • It lowers the amount of storage needed for machine learning initiatives.
  • Analyzing the output of a machine learning model is simpler.
  • When the dimensionality is reduced to two or three factors, 2D and 3D visualizations become conceivable, making the results easier to see.

9. How should a deployed model be maintained?

To maintain a deployed model, follow these steps:

  • Monitor: To ascertain the accuracy of any model's performance, ongoing monitoring is required. When making a change, you should consider the potential effects of your actions. To make sure this is operating as intended, it must be observed.
  • Evaluate: To ascertain whether a new method is required, evaluation metrics of the current model are computed.
  • Compare: To identify which of the new models performs best, they are put to the test against one another.
  • Rebuild: Using the most recent data, the top-performing model is reconstructed.

10. How do recommender systems work?

Based on user preferences, a recommender system forecasts how a user would score a certain product. Recommendation systems in machine learning can be divided into two categories:

  1. Collaborative Filtering
  2. Content-based Filtering

11. In a linear regression model, how are RMSE and MSE found?

Among the most widely used metrics to assess a linear regression model's accuracy are RMSE and MSE.

The Root Mean Square Error is denoted by RMSE.

Linear regression model : RMSE

MSE indicates the Mean Square Error.

Linear regression model : MSE

12. How is k to be chosen for k-means?

The elbow method is employed to choose k for the k-means clustering. Using k-means clustering on the data set, where 'k' is the number of clusters, is the concept behind the elbow method. It is defined as the sum of the squared distances between each cluster member and its centroid inside the sum of squares (WSS).

13. What does the p-value mean?

The P-value in data science indicates the likelihood that an observation regarding a dataset is the result of chance. Strong evidence against the null hypothesis and in favor of the observation can be found in any p-value less than 5%. A result's validity decreases with increasing p-value.

14. How should values that are outliers be handled?

When analyzing data, outlets are frequently filtered out if they don't meet specific requirements. The data analysis tool you're using allows you to automatically remove outliers by setting up a filter. Outliers, however, occasionally provide information regarding low-percentage possibilities. Analysts may then classify and examine outliers independently.

15. How is the stationary status of time series data determined?

When time series data is deemed stationary, it means that the information is being gathered continuously. This could be a result of the data lacking any seasonal or time-based trends in data science.

 stationary status of time series data

16. How can a confusion matrix be used to calculate accuracy?

There are four terminologies associated with confusion matrices that you should know. These are:

  • True positives (TP): When an outcome was anticipated to be favorable and it turned out to be such
  • True negatives (TN): When a bad outcome was anticipated but the actual result was unfavorable
  • False positives (FP): When a favorable result was anticipated but the actual outcome is unfavorable
  • False negative (FN): When a good result occurs despite a negative prediction

A confusion matrix can be used to calculate a model's accuracy using the following formula:Accuracy = TP + TN/TP + TN + FP + FN

confusion matrix  calculating accuracy

17. Write the equation of the precision and recall rate.

The precision of a model is given by:

Precision = True Positives / (True Positives + False Positives)

The recall rate for a model is given by:

Recall = True Positives / (True Positives + False Negatives)

A recall rate of 1 implies full recall, and that of 0 means that there is no recall.

18. Create a simple SQL query that enumerates every order together with the customer's details.

Typically, order tables and customer tables have the following columns in them:
  • Order Table
  • Orderid
  • customerId
  • OrderNumber
  • TotalAmount
  • Customer Table
  • Id
  • FirstName
  • LastName
  • City
  • Country
  • The SQL query is:
  • SELECT OrderNumber, TotalAmount, FirstName, LastName, City, Country
  • FROM Order
  • JOIN Customer
  • ON Order.CustomerId = Customer.Id

19. What does ROC stand for?

Graphs known as ROC curves show the performance of a classification model at various categorization criteria. The True Positive Rate (TPR) and False Positive Rate (FPR) are plotted on the y- and x-axes, respectively, in the graph. The ratio of actual positives to the total of true positives plus false negatives is known as the true positive rate, or TPR. The false positive ratio (FPR) is the product of the number of false positives and true negatives in a dataset.

ROC : false positive rate(FPR)

20. What is a matrix of confusion?

The summary of a problem's prediction outcomes is called the Confusion Matrix. It is a table that is meant to explain how well the model performs. An n*n matrix called the confusion matrix is used to assess how well the classification model performs.

matrix of confusion

Data Scientist Interview Questions and Answers for Intermediate

1. What are the true-positive and false-positive rates?

  • Truly POSITIVE RATE: The percentage of accurate predictions for the positive class is provided by the true-positive rate. The percentage of real positives that are correctly validated is also calculated using it.
  • FALSE-POSITIVE RATE: The percentage of inaccurate predictions made for the positive class is indicated by the false-positive rate. A false positive is when something that was initially false is determined to be true.

2. How does traditional application programming vary from data science?

Traditional application programming requires the creation of rules in order to convert input into output, which is the main and most important distinction between Data Science & traditional programming. The rules in data science are generated automatically from the data.

3. How do long and wide-format data differ from one another?

Long Format DataWide Format Data
A column in a long format data contains the values of the variables as well as potential variable types.Every variable in wide data, however, has its own column.
In the lengthy format, each row denotes a single point in time for each subject. There will be numerous rows of data for each topic as a result.A subject's repeated answers will appear in a single row in the wide format, with each response in its own column.
At the end of each experiment, this data format is most commonly used for writing to log files and R analysis.This data type is rarely utilized in R analysis and is mostly utilized in data manipulations and statistical software for repeated measures ANOVAs.
Values in the first column do repeat in a long format.Values in a wide format don't appear again in the first column.
For converting the wide form to the long form, use df.melt(). Use df.pivot().reset_index() for converting the long form into wide form

4. Describe a few methods for sampling.

The following sampling methods in data science are often used:

  • Simple Random Sampling
  • Systematic Sampling
  • Cluster Sampling
  • Purposive Sampling
  • Quota Sampling
  • Convenience Sampling

5. Why does Data Science use Python for Data Cleaning?

Technical analysts and data scientists are required to transform vast amounts of data into useful ones. Malware-ridden records, outliners, inconsistent values, superfluous formatting, and other issues are removed during data cleaning in data science. The most popular Python data cleaners are Matplotlib, Pandas, and others.

6. Which popular libraries are used in data science?

The most prevalent libraries in data science include:

  • Tensor flow
  • Pandas
  • NumPy
  • SciPy
  • Scrapy
  • Librosa
  • matplotlib

7. In data science, what is variance?

The value known as variance represents how each value deviates from the mean value and shows how the various figures in a set of data arrange themselves around the mean. Variance is a tool used by data scientists to comprehend a data set's distribution.

8. In a decision tree algorithm, what does pruning mean?

Removing unnecessary or redundant portions from a decision tree is the process of pruning it. A smaller decision tree after pruning operates better and provides faster and more accurate results.

9. What does a decision tree algorithm's entropy mean?

The degree of uncertainty or impurity in a dataset is measured by its entropy. The following formula describes the entropy of a dataset with N classes.

decision tree algorithm's entropy

10. What information is gained by using a decision tree algorithm?

The entropy decrease expected is equal to information gain. Gained information determines how the tree is constructed. The decision tree gains intelligence from Information Gain. Parent node R and a set E of K training instances are included in the information gained. The difference between entropy before and after the split is computed.

11. What is cross-validation using k-folds?

One method for determining the model's proficiency with fresh data is the k-fold cross-validation process in machine learning. Every observation from the original dataset may show up in the training and testing sets in k-fold cross-validation. While K-fold cross-validation can estimate accuracy, it cannot assist in increasing accuracy.

12. How do you define a normal distribution?

A probability distribution with symmetric values on both sides of the data mean is called a normal distribution. This suggests that values that are more prevalent are those that are nearer the mean than those that are farthest from it.

13. Describe deep learning.

One of the key components of data science, which includes statistics, is deep learning. Working more closely with the human brain and reliably with human thoughts is made possible by deep learning. The algorithms are really designed to mimic the structure of the human brain. In order to extract the high-level layer with the best features, numerous layers are created from the raw input in deep learning.

14. What's a recurrent neural network, or RNN?

An algorithm called RNN takes advantage of sequential data. Voice recognition, image capture, language translation, and more applications employ RNN. RNN networks come in a variety of forms, including many-to-one, many-to-many, one-to-one, and many-to-many. Siri on Apple devices and Google Voice search both employ RNN.

15. What exactly are feature vectors?

An n-dimensional vector of numerical features used to represent an item is called a feature vector. Feature vectors are used in machine learning to mathematically and easily analyzeably describe the numerical or symbolic properties of an object, sometimes referred to as features.

Data Scientist Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced

1. What are the steps in creating a decision tree?

  1. Use the complete set of data as input.
  2. Find a split that optimizes the degree of class distinction. Any test that separates the data into two sets is called a split.
  3. Apply the split (division step) to the input data.
  4. Reapply the first and second steps to the separated data.
  5. When you reach any stopping requirements, stop.
  6. We refer to this stage as pruning. If you go too far when doing splits, clean up the tree.

2. What is a root cause analysis?

Finding the underlying reasons for certain errors or failures is known as root cause analysis. A factor is deemed a root cause if, upon removal, a series of actions that previously resulted in a malfunction, error, or undesired outcome ultimately function properly. Although it was first created and applied to the investigation of industrial accidents, root cause analysis is today employed in many different contexts.

3. How do you define logistic regression?

The logit model is another name for logistic regression in data science. It's a method for predicting a binary result given a linear combination of predictor variables.

4. What is the meaning of NLP?

The abbreviation for Natural Language Processing is NLP. It examines the process by which computers acquire vast amounts of textual information through programming. Sentimental analysis, tokenization, stop word removal, stemming, and tokenization are a few well-known applications of NLP.

5. Describe cross-validation.

One statistical method for enhancing a model's performance is called cross-validation. To make sure the model functions properly for unknown data, it will be rotated trained, and tested on various samples from the training dataset. After dividing the training data into different groups, the model is rotately tested and validated against each of these groups.

cross validation method

6. What does collaborative filtering mean?

The majority of recommender systems use several agents, multiple data sources, and collaborative viewpoints to filter out information and patterns.

7. Do methods for gradient descent always converge to similar points?

They don't since they occasionally arrive at a local minimum or local optima point. You wouldn't get to the point of global optimization. The data and the initial conditions control this.

8. What is A/B Testing's purpose?

This is a statistical test of a hypothesis for two-variable randomized experiments, A and B. Finding any adjustments that may be made to a webpage to improve or maximize the results of a strategy is the aim of A/B testing in data science.

9. What are the linear model's drawbacks?

  • The linearity of the error assumption
  • It is not applicable to binary or counts results.
  • Overfitting issues exist that it is unable to resolve.

10. What is the large-number law?

According to this law of probability, you should experiment a lot, independently of each other, and then average the results to reach a result that is relatively similar to what was expected.

11. What are confounding variables?

Confounders are another name for confounding variables. The extraneous factors in question have an impact on both independent and dependent variables, leading to erroneous associations and mathematical relationships between variables that are related but not in a casual manner.

12. What is the star schema?

A database can be organized using a star structure so that measurable data is contained in a single fact table. Because the primary table is positioned in the middle of a logical diagram and the smaller tables branch out like nodes in a star, the schema is known as a star schema.

13. How often should an algorithm be updated?

You may be required to update an algorithm when:

  • You require the model to evolve as data streams by infrastructure
  • The underlying data source is changing
  • There is a case of non-stationarity

14. What are eigenvectors and eigenvalue?

  • Eigenvalues: Eigenvalues are the directions in which a specific linear transformation acts in terms of compression, stretching, or flipping.
  • Eigenvectors: The purpose of eigenvectors is to comprehend linear transformations. In data analysis, the eigenvectors of a covariance or correlation matrix are typically computed.

    eigenvectors and eigenvalue

15. Why is resampling performed?

Resampling occurs in any of the following situations:

  • Determining the sample statistics' correctness by selecting random numbers to replace the original data points or by using subsets of the data that are available.
  • Changing the labels on data points in significance tests
  • Using random subsets to validate models (bootstrapping, cross-validation)
This article provides a complete overview of data science interview questions and answers for applicants at all levels of experience. It discusses supervised and unsupervised learning, machine learning techniques, feature selection, dimensionality reduction, model evaluation, and data processing, among other things. The questions are well-structured and come with extensive explanations, making them a fantastic resource for data science interviews.

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Shivam Singh (Data Science Mentor & Researcher)

A dedicated, high-energy Data Science Trainer and Deep Learning Researcher with 5+ years of experience. Passionate about empowering individuals and organizations through data-driven insights and cutting-edge technologies. Specialized in data analysis, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing. Skilled in Python, SQL, Excel, Tableau, Power BI, TensorFlow, Open CV and other relevant tools. Provided effective training programs on ML and Data Science to 5k+ students through both online and offline platforms. Provided consulting services to doctorate candidates, professionals, and college students to help them to get ahead with their careers.

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