If answered the right way, the question, “Tell me about a time you successfully demonstrated your analytical skills” is an excellent opportunity to show the interviewer that your analytical skills enable you to deliver outstanding business results. During this episode, I share a simple, five-step approach to help you formulate a convincing answer.
Welcome to today’s episode, during which I share a simple, five-step approach to answering the question, “Tell me about a time you successfully demonstrated your analytical skills.” This question is an excellent opportunity to show the interviewer that you have great analytical skills and can apply them to deliver outstanding business results. The following steps will help you formulate a convincing answer to this specific question. If you want to learn more about answering behavioral interview questions in general, please tune in to my previous episode on this topic.
Step 1: Identify your example.
Try to remember a situation when you used your analytical skills to solve a challenging problem. Ideally, your example should show how you successfully analyzed extensive or very complex data and where your analysis led to measurable business results.
Step 2: Describe the situation and your task.
Describe when and where the situation occurred, the problem, why it was important to solve and why it required analytical skills. For example, you may have started as an e-commerce manager at a new company. After an e-commerce platform re-launch, many customers did not complete their orders during checkout, resulting in lost revenue and decreased customer satisfaction. Since no one could explain this unusualy high number of cart abandonments, your task was to analyze the problem and identify possible solutions.
Step 3: Describe your actions.
Cover the steps you took to identify the information needed for your analysis and how you collected and analyzed that data. Include also what you did to ensure that your findings led to positive business results. In our previous example, you may have first asked the controlling department to provide updated KPIs on cart abandonments to identify the severity of the problem. Since the company did not have data analysts, you yourself went through the information that IT provided connected to abandoned carts. You may have discovered that all concerned orders included products of a particular category and contacted some customers to ask why they did not complete their purchase. When it turned out that the reason was that the delivery date was incorrectly increased from 2 to 12 days, you presented your findings to the e-commerce platform’s product owner, who made sure his team fixed the technical problem. Then, you reached out to all concerned customers to apologize and offer them a discount for completing their initial orders.
Step 4: Describe the results.
Cover whether or not you successfully analyzed the data and what subsequent steps your analysis led to. And, if possible, quantify the business results. For instance, in our previous example, your analytical skills may have resulted in the technical problem being solved within three days, saving the company thousands of dollars in otherwise lost revenue. And thanks to you reaching out to the concerned customers, you minimized the damage that had already occurred, since 30% completed their initially abandoned order.
Step 5: Formulate your answer.
Combine the results of the previous steps into a compelling answer. A good one based on our example could be,”When I started as an e-commerce manager at company X last year, it had recently done a re-launch of the entire e-commerce platform. Everyone involved in the project was incredibly proud, and the launch seemed to be very successful. However, the number of cart abandonments suddenly increased rapidly. My task was to identify what caused the issue and come up with a solution. My first step was to identify what data I could use to make sure I really understood the issue. I wanted to figure out how big the problem was and if any patterns could provide a first indication of its root cause. I received help from our controlling department, and the data suggested that the drop-off rates on the checkout page were 125% higher than historically; so, we had a severe problem. Since the company did not have any advanced data analytics tools, I asked IT to provide me all the information that they could find in the databases on cart abandonments during the last two weeks. Then, I analyzed hundreds of records in Excel and found that 50% of all abandoned carts included products of a particular category. I contacted a handful of customers and asked them if there were any specific reasons they did not complete their order; it turned out that in all cases, the delivery date was changed from 2 to 12 days on the checkout page. I presented my findings to the product owner of the e-commerce platform. His team was able to quickly identify and fix the technical issue based on my analysis. Once the system worked, I created an email campaign for all the customers that had abandoned their cart due to this issue, apologizing for the inconvenience and offering a discount if they chose to place their initial order – this time with guaranteed 2-day delivery. The result of my actions was that the problem was fixed within three days after I started my analysis, which saved the company thousands of dollars in lost revenue per day. Also, thanks to my email campaign, we regained 30% of the initially missed sales, since many customers completed their orders.”
These were the five steps to answering the interview question, “Tell me about a time you successfully demonstrated your analytical skills.” Thanks for listening, and I hope this was helpful to you.