With a recent influx of e-mails from prospective data scientists, I became inspired to share my journey thus far.

Finding the right data scientist position with the right cultural fit, projects to work on, and compensation package is challenging, but very possible. It takes patience and determination.

I hope to instill confidence in those searching for their first few data science roles.

Some of the most invaluable lessons I have learned throughout the job searching process is to not fear rejection, be extremely honest about your capabilities, and to look at each potential offer through the lens of prioritizing happiness in your life.

Here is my history of data science interviews, rejections and offers.

Disclaimer: The recruitment process for each position are based on my own experiences and may not be the same for everyone.

1. Data Analyst – University of Alberta (Rejected, 2015)

  • Location: Edmonton, Alberta
  • Industry: Education
  • Recruitment Process: Phone interview, data analysis assignment, in-person interview

2. Data Analyst – Merchant Advance Capital (Offer – Accepted, 2015)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical phone interview
  • Remarks: I was later promoted to Data Scientist

3. Data Scientist – Mogo Canada (Offer – Declined, 2016)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical phone interviews

4. Data Scientist – Hot Head Games (Rejected, 2017)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical phone interview

5. Data Scientist – Rubikloud (Rejected, 2017)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Information Technology and Software
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical phone interview

6. Business Intelligence Analyst – Drop (Rejected, 2018)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Retail and Financial App
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical phone interview, take-home case study assignment

7. Data Analyst – Uken Games (Offer – Accepted, 2018)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical Skype interview
  • Remarks: I was willing to stray away from being a Data Scientist to learn more about the mobile gaming industry

8. Data Scientist – Capital One (Rejected, 2018)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical interview, case study

9. Data Analyst – SnapTravel (Offer – Accepted, 2018)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical in-person interviews, data analysis assignment
  • Remarks:
    • I signed on for two weeks until I received another job opportunity (see #11)

10. Data Scientist – Loblaws Digital (Offer – Declined, 2018)

  • Location: North York, Ontario
  • Industry: Supermarket, Grocery, and Retail
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical in-person interviews

11. Data Scientist – Game Hive (Offer – Accepted, 2018)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical in-person interviews

12. Senior Data Analyst – Aritzia (Rejected, 2018)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Retail
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical Skype interviews, data analysis assignment
  • Remarks: I began my job search in Vancouver when I was in Toronto due to personal reasons. Sometimes things happen but you have to keep pushing forward!

13. Senior Data Analyst – Bench Accounting (Rejected, 2018)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Financial Technology
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical Google Meeting interviews, case study

14. Lead Data Analyst – Trulioo (Offered – Declined, 2019)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Financial Technology
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical Skype interviews, data analysis assignment

15. Data Science Consultant – Cardinal Path (Offered – Declined, 2019)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Professional Services
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical Skype interviews

16. Data Scientist – Cisco Systems (Offered – Accepted, 2019)

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Industry: Networking and Telecommunications
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical WebEx interviews
  • Remarks: One of the most passionate teams in productionizing AI. I learned so much from this team and super proud of our collective accomplishments.

17. Senior Data Analyst – Royal Bank of Canada (Offered – Accepted, 2020)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Banking
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical interviews
  • Remarks: I decided to move back to Toronto due to the pandemic to be closer to my family. This interviewing experience was unique in the sense that I applied for a Data Scientist role but was offered the Senior Data Analyst title instead.

18. Data Scientist – Zynga (Rejected, 2021)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical interviews
  • Remarks: A few months after I joined RBC, I decided that the role was not a good fit for me and such began job searching again. I felt that my data science knowledge and skills were very under-utilized.

19. Data Scientist – King Games (Rejected, 2021)

  • Location: London, England
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical interviews
  • Remarks: Moving and working abroad has always been a goal of mine. A few recruiters from abroad reached out to me and I decided to pursue these opportunities. Unfortunately, it didn’t work well in my favour but I learned a lot from the recruitment process in terms of applying from outside Canada.

20. Data Scientist – Facebook (Rejected, 2021)

  • Location: London, England
  • Industry: Social Media Advertising
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and rigorous technical/product interviews
  • Remarks: For the first time in a long time, I actually had to sit and study statistical concepts from theory to application within a month. This was a great learning experience and I am so glad that recruiters saw potential in me. Maybe next time!

21. Data Scientist – Rogers Media (Offered – Declined, 2021)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical interviews
  • Remarks: The base salary was not competitive although the perks and benefits were alluring.

22. Data Scientist – Telus (Offered – Accepted, 2021)

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario (Remote: Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Recruitment Process: Behavioural and technical interviews, presentation included
  • Remarks: This position had many great things going for it. Working for a Vancouver-based company remotely in Toronto is what they call the best of both worlds. I feel at home, away from home, and it feels just right. Great benefits, amazing team, and I love their passion for diversity and inclusion, investing in the fight against climate change, supporting and connecting Canadians during the pandemic, and efforts towards taking care of mental health.

The journey has been tough but very rewarding. My most important takeaway from these past experiences are that not every job is perfect. Job fit is a two-way street where you must question recruiters why their firm is the right place for you as much as they question your capabilities. You also have to truly understand what it is you want from a role as a data scientist, and how that fits into your life and overall happiness.

Take each moment as a learning opportunity, even rejection. You build resilience and character. Not only did I become more confident in my abilities to tackle interviews and ask appropriate questions, but I really turned the process into the search for a position that’s best for my life in the long-term.

If you’re looking for your next role as a data scientist and would love to chat about your career goals, please feel free to contact me!