Skillz Senior Data Scientist | April 2021

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AnonymousJuly 5, 2022, 11:03 PM
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Company: Skillz

Location: Portland, OR

Role: Data Scientist

Level: Senior

Outcome: Rejected

When did you have this interview?: Last Week

What steps were in the interview process? How far did you get? What do you think about the overall interview experience?

First interview was a basic screening interview with the recruiter. He asked me several basic checklist questions then answered a few questions about the company for me.

I was then asked to solve a basic data science problem on one of those skill assessment websites. They gave me 4 hours to solve the problem, although I didn't use all 4 hours.

In between this time, the recruiters encouraged me to try out the Skillz app and play some games on it. After I passed the skill assessment, then came the technical interviews.

The first technical interview covered coding skills. I did some live coding in Python to solve a basic data analysis problem that involved writing a function to process some data. The interviewers asked a couple questions about the coding exercise, but nothing too complex. I solved the problem early and used the remainder of the hour to interview the interviewer.

The next technical interview covered a data science applications case. No coding involved. The interviewer walked me through a data science use case that is relevant to Skillz, and asked me to explain how I'd solve it and asked several probing and technical questions along the way. Again, nothing too difficult and they're looking to probe how you think as a data scientist. Again I finished the interview early and had time to interview the interviewer.

Next I gave a panel presentation explaining a relevant data science project I've worked on. Although not necessary, I prepared a presentation for this panel discussion and then the panel asked me several questions about my project and background. Again I had extra time at the end to interview the interviewers on the panel.

Next I finally met with the hiring manager and had the opportunity to discuss the role in detail with him. The hiring manager mostly had questions about team fit and explained the opportunity that the position presented. It would have been nice to meet the hiring manager earlier in the interview process.

At this stage, the hiring manager decided to discontinue my interviews because my asking salary was too high, despite the glowing feedback I had received from all of my interviews. If the interviews had continued, I would have met with some of the executive leadership to assess company culture fit before being considered for an offer.

It was a bit frustrating to have the interviews discontinued at such a late stage over salary -- especially after I spent about 10 hours total in interviews, skill assessments, and interview preparation -- when they could have just as easily discontinued the interviews at an earlier point when I set the salary expectations up front. It seems to me that Skillz is looking to hire more junior data scientists at the moment (read: younger and cheaper), so keep that in mind if you're more seasoned. Skillz has a young team and there is tons of room for growth on the team.

In all, it was nice talking with Skillz's data science team and learning about the company. All of the employees and recruiters were friendly and respectful. I don't regret applying, despite how things turned out.

What interview questions did they ask?

Explain your approach to creating a fraud detection system for the Skillz platform

I
Ichimoku
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Ichimoku
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