BI Interview

A BI interview can be a little nerve-racking, especially if you haven’t worked in the industry before. While basic interviewing skills are important, there are some nuances to the BI industry hiring processes that you should keep in mind.

Most of the time you’ll have a phone interview, which is more of screening, especially for big consulting companies and vendors. These calls are usually with an HR generalist, and are usually just a way to get to know your resume and make sure you’re not completely incompetent with communication. Just brush up on basic phone skills here. After this, the process and interviewers tend to get more technical.

If you are interviewing to work with a specific vendor’s toolsets, obviously its good to brush up on the technology terminology. Some of the tools have a lot of functionality, and its possible that you might be more proficient on say, dashboards, than data warehousing or administration. Questions may come up that span the whole list of products though, so you’ll need to know most of the areas. You should also be prepared to explain the scope of the projects you worked on (size of database, number of reports, users, etc…). Its also good to have some projects in mind to discuss in detail (projects that were not well-defined, projects where you were dealing with difficult customers, etc…) If you are looking at an internal BI position at say, a retailer, its good to point out experience in retail.

In many positions, a basic understanding of SQL and data warehousing is required. Understand the basic database schemas and an idea of basic SQL statements (select, left inner join, etc…)

Definitely research current events in business intelligence and especially the business news involving the company you are applying at. These are good questions to bring up at the end of the session, to let the interviewer know that you’ve done some research.

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