QlikView Interview Questions
No matter how much experience we have in using Qlik we all at some point have to face an interview. For some the prospect is daunting and for others they love the opportunity to “Speak about themselves for an hour”. I fall into the first category although remembering that quote from a person I once worked with helps me focus and stay positive about the whole experience.
A few months ago I interviewed for a QlikView role which I knew I had the experience to fulfil and I also saw it as a great opportunity. I arrived to find another candidate already being interview and I waited in a nearby room and the realisation dawned on me, there were others who probably could do the job also and possibly really wanted the role also!
The trick to giving a great interview is preparation. Fail to prepare then prepare to fail!
Preparation is on-going. Remember to keep your CV up to date even during a long placement as you’ll forget things you did if they were more than a year ago. Also, ensure you’re well rounded in your current role. If you mainly do scripting then make sure you push to do more User Interface (UI), likewise if another team controls QMC then push to be more involved in that side of things.
I’ve been on many interviews (and I’m pleased to say I’ve been successful in the last five), I’ve also interviewed more people than I care to remember. Probably in excess of 100 candidates and if you count the number of CV’s (resumes) I’ve sifted that’s in the region of 1,000.
That’s probably a good place to start. A good CV (resume) won’t get you the job but a bad one will stop you.
CV / Resume Tips:
- Keep to two pages maximum
- Write a personal profile at the top detailing your skills and experience
- Don’t duplicate information, instead pull out unique key aspects from each role and use bullet points to make them easier to read
- Focus content on your most recent roles as things you did 10 years ago doesn’t really count for much. Usually a good job title for these old roles is all interviewers need to know.
- If you’re a contractor say how long the initial contract was for and how many times it was extended
- Detail your improvements / successes. For example your dashboard may have helped save the company money, perhaps it reduced the time it took for information to become available or you introduced a method that gave them more than they asked for.
- Ensure you check for spelling and grammar (mine is especially bad)
- Tailor you CV to the role. A good way to do this is to highlight in a different colour each key essential requirement from the job specification, then using the same colour highlight on your CV where you demonstrate that experience. Too much of one colour and hardly any of another? Make the changes to keep the balance right.
- Don’t Lie !!!!! You will be found out. I’ve seen it happen on a number of occasions and they were shown the door. Not everyone can do everything, that’s ok as long as you’re honest and demonstrate a passion for learning new things. Don’t waste your or anyone else time.
Phew! You’ve made it through selection and you’re preparing for the interview. These can have more than one element:
- Phone Interview
- Face to Face Interview
- Test (either online or in their office)
I once had two telephone interviews, two face to face interviews and tests all for the same role. Luckily this doesn’t happen to often and usually it’s far more straight forward.
Remember to cover the basics
- Research the company by reading their internet site
- Dress to impress (ideally not something new, wear what you already feel comfortable and professional in)
- Use deodorant, antiperspirant and aftershave / perfume! (re-apply before going into the office especially if you’re a smoker)
- Be nice to the receptionist (they will feed back to the interviewer if you’re not)
- Look alert at all times whilst waiting, you never know who’s looking and perhaps the interviewers approaching you at that very moment
- Leave your mobile phone in the car!
General QlikView Interview Questions:
Q) Tell me about a recent project you’re most proud of.
This question allows you to skip a couple of bad recent projects and focus on something good. Ensure you have prepared by reflecting on three or four projects that have unique points you can ‘sell’. This is really the best question to answer.
Q) What do you love about QlikView?
Should be easy
Q) What’s the worst thing about QlikView?
Great curve ball. Interviewers use these sometimes just to see how you react under pressure. Stay calm and don’t say ‘nothing’, instead think about how the product could be improved.
Q) What’s the largest data set you’ve worked with and how often did you need to refresh the data?
Trying to get a feel on your exposure. Ideally you want to demonstrate how you handle massive datasets that are constantly being refreshed with all the challenges that brings to the ETL and UI
Q) Tell me how you’ve optimised your QlikView developments?
Similar to the question above (and you could answer it there also). There are lots of documents out there detailing this but instead remember to use your examples. The dashboard was starting to run slow, I investigated, I changed ……, I retested and it ran 50% faster or reduced the ETL from 1 hour to 15 mins.
Specific QlikView Interview Questions:
Q) Explain Set Analysis
Q) What’s the best schema to use in QlikView and why?
Q) What does a dual field do?
Q) How does security work in QlikView?
Standard Interview Questions
Q) Is there any questions you would like to ask me?
Oh the old classic question. If you’re stumped by this then you may as well leave the room as it just shows how little you’ve thought about it. Have a few handy but none that relates to money, holidays, flexitime, etc. It just doesn’t give a good impression.
Q) Do you prefer to work as a team or on your own?
No right answer really. Usually people have a preference so say so if you do whilst ensuring you are balanced
Q) Why do you want to leave your current role?
Do not use money as an answer!
Really you could open the QlikView manual at random, stick a pin in the page with your eyes closed and then ask the question on the topic being discussed. The only way to prepare for those questions is to ensure you’re using QlikView to the full every day, asking questions and looking for new ways to do things.
If you don’t know the answer say so and focus on the times in the answers you give where you had to find information out to meet requirements. Remember that interviewers are more interested in those types of people as they know they’re self-starters that can handle challenges that are thrown at them. I mentioned earlier that you can’t be expected to know everything, having a personality which accepts this fact and has determination to discover new things is far more attractive.