Interview Questions and Hints

Qlik Interview Questions

No matter how much experience we have in using Qlik we all at some point we 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”.

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. Ensure you’re well rounded in your current role and take on new challenges. If you mainly write script then push to do more User Interface (UI), if another team controls QMC and deployment then ask 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 seen as part of the interview process it’s in the region of 1,000.

That’s 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 your official Job Title doesn’t do you justice then change it (as long as its descriptive of the role you actually did).
  • If you’re a contractor say how long the initial contract was for and how many times it was extended
  • Detail your 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 gave them more than they asked for. Once my work saved the company £200k per year which was a powerful statement in a CV.
  • Ensure you check for spelling and grammar (mine is especially bad)
  • Tailor your CV to the role. A good way to do this is to highlight in a different colour each key essential requirement on the job specification, then using the same colour highlight your CV where you demonstrate that experience. Too much of one colour and hardly any of another? Make changes in your CV 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’s time.
  • Consider QlikView Developer / Designer Certification

 

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 type of interview process doesn’t happen often.

Remember to cover the basics

  • Research the company by reading their internet site
  • Dress to impress (Tip: 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 interviewer’s approaching you at that very moment
  • Leave your mobile phone in the car or turn it off!

 

General Qlik 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, if they ask you about your most recent project and it wasn’t a good one don’t use it as an example, use one that is! Ensure you have prepared by reflecting on three or four recent projects that have unique points you can ‘sell’. This is really the best question to answer.

Q) What do you love about Qlik?

Should be easy

Q) What’s the worst thing about Qlik?

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 in a constructive way.

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 Qlik 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.

 

Additional Qlik Interview Questions to Prepare for:

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?

Q) Left join or applymap? Which would you use and why?

 

 

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 (wait until you get offered the job for those).

Q) Do you prefer to work as a team or on your own?

No right answer really. Usually people have a preference although keep your answer balanced

Q) Why do you want to leave your current role?

Do not use money or anything negative as an answer! An opportunity for you to big them up as a company by telling them how much you to work with them.

 

Really you could open the Qlik 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 Qlik to the full every day, asking questions, reading blogs and looking for new ways to do things and add value.

If you don’t know the answer to specific questions say so. Remember that interviewers are more interested in people who can handle challenges, 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.

Good luck

One response to “Interview Questions and Hints

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