Data Scientist Test

Data scientist tests are designed to assess candidates' knowledge of core data science topics and skills, including machine learning and statistics, to identify whether they possess the correct aptitude for such a role.

  • What is a data scientist test?

    Data scientists are crucial to any company that relies on vast structured and unstructured data to succeed. They gather, analyze, model, and interpret data to inform actions for companies and organisations.

    A data scientist test evaluates the strength of a candidate's understanding of data science fundamentals and programming as well as specialties such as statistics, machine learning, neural networks and deep learning. It also assesses their overall aptitude for the role, looking at skills such as data visualisation and reporting, linear and non-linear data analysis, effective communication and abstract reasoning.

    The data scientist test will ask a number of multiple-choice questions based on these core skills, to help employers identify the best applicants. By scoring highly on this test, a candidate demonstrates they would be able to gather and analyse data effectively, and analyse complex datasets to draw conclusions.

About the Data Scientist Test

Data scientists work with ever-changing information, and must be prepared to adapt to updates in source data, technology and business needs. The role covers building algorithms that process and present data in digestible reports; data mining to find the most insightful sources possible; continuously improving and updating data sources and presentations; and striving to accelerate wider-organisational goals.

This test assesses a candidate's competency in core skills required to perform in a data scientist role, without being specific to any one topic. This will ensure the most qualified candidates are shortlisted.

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  • Why should you use a data scientist test for recruiting?

    Shortlisting candidates based on resumes is difficult, as many applicants may claim similar skill levels, and you can't validate their listed experience. It's a challenge to decipher who the strongest candidates would be in practice – and you can't personally interview every applicant.

    A data scientist test removes this obstacle and gives employers the ability to distribute skills tests to any number of candidates. The comparative data you receive will give an unbiased insight into how suitable each candidate is, making the hiring process more efficient.

    The test will highlight the level of understanding a candidate has of general functions such as writing algorithms, creating reports, and statistical analysis. It also measures advanced knowledge of machine learning and deep learning, abstract and diagrammatic reasoning, the ability to communicate complex scenarios simply, and business acumen using a series of multiple-choice aptitude questions.

    Applicants highlighted as meeting the requirements of the role can be shortlisted, while those who do not demonstrate the necessary skillset can be excluded.

    A data scientist test could be useful for the following additional roles:

    • Data Analyst
    • Forecasting/Modelling Analyst
    • Machine Learning Scientist
    • Financial Data Analyst
    • Statistician
    • Actuary
    • Data Engineer
    • Software Programming Analyst
    • Digital Analytics Consultant
    • Business analyst
Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Data Scientist Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

How our test assesses data science skills

Candidates will need to answer a range of questions that measure industry-specific technical skills where applicable (e.g. Microsoft Excel), soft skills (e.g. teamwork), aptitude (e.g. numerical reasoning) and relevant personality dimensions (e.g. detail orientation). The results present a holistic view of how well suited each candidate is for the job at hand, using a data-driven approach.

The format varies by type of question, including multiple-choice for aptitude and technical skills, situational judgement for soft skills and agreement on a Likert scale for the personality dimensions. This approach ensures candidates are being assessed in an accurate and fair manner, and that results reflect the true underlying qualities of each candidate.

The characteristics, abilities and knowledge necessary to be a data scientist were identified using the US Department of Labor's comprehensive O*NET database. O*NET is the leading source of occupational information that is constantly updated by collecting data from employees in specific job roles.

During the development process, test questions were rigorously analysed to maximise reliability and validity in line with industry best practices. They were created by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians – who collaborated with subject-matter-experts – and field-tested with a representative sample of job applicants who have varying experience, just like you might find in a talent pool.

Each test is reviewed by a panel of individuals representing diverse backgrounds to check for any sensitivity, fairness, face validity and accessibility issues. This ensures each candidate has a fair chance of demonstrating their true level of expertise.

Our data scientist test is monitored to ensure it is up-to-date and optimised for performance.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


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    Fully accredited

    All our Data Scientist tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer Data Scientist tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.


Energize selection process

Streamline hiring with our out-of-the-box tools.

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    Smart automations

    Automated actions such as alerts and reminders ensure a smooth candidate experience.

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    Instant results

    Receive candidate results in real-time so you can make decisions in hours, not days.


Make better hires

Improve hiring with bias-free, data-driven decisions.

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    Analytics dashboard

    Our full array of candidate performance metrics will provide actionable data on each of your candidates.

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    Candidate comparison

    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Data Scientist Test expert

Written by a Data Scientist Test expert

Our team of assessment experts is made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

Data Scientist Test FAQs

What are the key skills for a data scientist?

The key skills required to be successful in a data scientist role include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Mathematical and statistical ability
  • Experience in tools such as Hadoop, SQL, and SAS
  • Curiosity and self-motivation
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Methodical and organised
What formal qualifications are important when hiring a data scientist?

Generally speaking, your data scientist applicants should have a mathematical, computer science, engineering, or scientific-related degree to be considered. Alternate degrees such as economics or business studies could also be relevant. However, it is essential that the candidate has the mathematical aptitude and programming experience to be effective.

What is the cost for Picked's data scientist test?

Picked operates on a monthly or annual subscription basis. We have several plans to suit your hiring needs, which you can check out here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss a custom plan.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, simply sign up (no credit card is required) and we'll give you unlimited access for seven days. Create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you want; you won't be charged a penny.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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