How I cracked my Data Science Interview with Rahul Sinha | INSAID Success Story

INSAID is proud to mentor students who show exceptional qualities to become World-Class Data Leaders. We’re a part of their journey, overcoming hurdles and celebrating their achievements to ensure they achieve their highest career heights.

Today, we share the successful journey of Rahul Sinha, enrolled in our flagship program of Global Certificate of Data Science with our readers to help them navigate through their career trajectories and get motivated by Rahul’s story.

Malvika: Can you just walk me through your professional journey?

Rahul: I started my journey in 2010 as a System Admin at Hewlett Packard, for 2 years in Chennai and subsequently in Bangalore.

After a little over 3 years in HP, I switched to Siemens where I handled application support. After one year there, Siemens Healthcare was acquired by Cerner and I continued under them for almost six months.

I was responsible for supporting the application, which was hosted on the servers, and we needed to take care of the application as well as the server.

Later on, I switched to IBM where I got exposed to the analytics side. I was in a similar role of a Technical Services Specialist; I was supporting servers, VMware, as well as the application, but my interest was more doing the RCA part of the application or any of the servers.

I started pursuing the internal courses in IBM like Lean Six Sigma. Thereafter, my interest was towards doing quality analysis or data analysis. I got an opportunity to work with the IBM GTS lab for 1.5 years where I learnt basic analytics.

I then switched to my current company, HCL, where I’m involved in Data Analytics. It’s been a total of about 9.7 years of experience.

Malvika: What were your goals/expectations from INSAID when you joined?

Rahul: I was looking for the right platform where I can maximise my knowledge on Data Science and fill the gap between my current skill-set and that of a Data Scientist.

INSAID proved to be the right platform to bridge that gap and help me achieve my main goal, which was to work as a Data Scientist.

Malvika: Evaluate the current job landscape. What kind of roles were you looking for?

Rahul: It can be a difficult landscape to maneuver.

When I started at INSAID, I knew it was going to be tough to get a new job in a new domain. So, I started a bit early into the job hunt and tried to leverage good opportunities in good time, even before I completed my course.

To put this in perspective, let me tell you the interview I cleared was the 10th interview I had appeared for in total during the job search. So for all previous 9 interviews, I was constantly learning, working up my confidence, understanding the hiring standpoint, and trying to find out the right answer for particular Data Science queries.

I was distinctively clear about the role I was looking for, I had worked very hard to develop a set of skills at INSAID and my career and I was looking for an opportunity that would help me use that skill set to excel in Data Science.

So the job had to be an opportunity to implement everything I’d learned in a valid manner and after a significant amount of effort, I found one!

Malvika: Can you describe the hiring/interview process of your upcoming position in detail?

Rahul: Absolutely.

It was not one of those opportunities with two rounds of interviews for a particular role. Data Science interviews tend to get tedious and mine was divided into 3-4 stages.

There was first an introductory round followed by a round where they checked my technical expertise. They gave me a case study to solve along with all the data sets and I needed to work on it to provide the best case Data Science solution within 2-3 working days.

You can expect them to give you a time window like that. They want to evaluate how well you know your particular field, your coding skills and your approach to problem solving. To construct a holistic review of your abilities, the case study round is crucial.

I then appeared for two rounds of technical interviews; one was taken by the Vice President of the organization followed by their Head of Marketing.

In the end, the process was wrapped up with HR discussions.

Malvika: How do you think INSAID helped you in being prepared for such career opportunities beyond the regular coursework?

Rahul: There were many good initiatives at INSAID that helped me. I appreciate the team for having worked so hard with us and for doing a very good job to make real dreams come true.

INSAID gives you a bigger picture view of the Data Science world which exists outside.

INSAID helped us create our resumes and GitHub links and proactively pushed us in the right direction. I steered my career into where I am because of some of these initiatives.

Malvika: The current times are hard given the global pandemic we are facing. Did that discourage/hurdle your process in any way? What are your learnings/advice based on this?

Rahul: Definitely don’t give up!

I mean, I failed continuously for 9 interviews. Whatever knowledge I grabbed from INSAID I implemented it nonetheless.

In this time especially, take up small projects, and compete on Kaggle for larger projects. Keep on grinding and never lose sight of the bigger picture; work towards getting that particular dream to come true.

Malvika: Can you talk to me about what your new job entails and how is it a jump from your previous role/roles?

Rahul: So for 9.7 years, my career trajectory went from Support to Admin then Data Analytics and finally Data Science. It was really a dream come true when I got this job.

My new role is that of a Data Analyst Manager. My responsibilities are both technical as well as managerial. I’m looking forward to this.

Malvika: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years wrt to the Data Science domain?

Rahul: When I was being interviewed for my role, it was very clear to me that they had a 5 year plan in consideration and they wanted me to implement that particular plan.

So, they are showing confidence in me and I am passionate to achieve it.

Malvika: Thank you for your time, Rahul. We wish you all the best for your new role. We hope you succeed beyond measure in your new responsibilities!

This was our conversation with GCD student, Rahul Sinha, who cracked an important Data Science interview during the most uncertain times. If you know any more INSAID success stories and would like to share them, please write to

  1. After reading the Interview, I am giving full credit to INSAID.
    Hence I honestly recommend it to you all who want to be a Data Scientist.
    After all, there are lots of openings in this Domain around the world.

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