Data science take home challenges

Nov 14, 2018 39 Comments

I recently interviewed with Airbnb, lyft and Instacart and they had a take home challenge as the first step. On the other hand companies like Facebook, Uber, Netflix etc. don’t have take home challenges and I was able to get to onsite. I never made to next round at Airbnb, lyft and Instacart, Curious to know what they look in the data challenge and how can I crack it! Any insights would help


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TOP 39 Comments
  • Samsung 5kt789
    I refuse to do these free work. I hope other candidates refuses too. But I understand fresh graduates don’t have a choice. I have a PhD in applied maths and 5+ years of working in applied ML, so at this point I can say a big Fuck u to these tests. I interview candidates for ML and you really don’t need these tests if you are competent at your work.
    Nov 14, 2018 10
    • Amazon amazoning
      @airbnb enjoying the paper money? You Donkey 😂
      Nov 15, 2018
    • Asurion YVaV37
      I just gave up my take home coding challenge on Scoop. I applied for a data engineering role, and I am asked to come up with feature vectors which will provide as ML as regression decision tree. They said the coding challenge will take 4-6 hours, but I am looking at if someone has no ML experience which may required significant of time investment to come up with the solution. I think this coding exercise is unfair especially you are applying a data engineering role not ML or DS role. I replied to the recruiter and ask if they provide an hour coding screen instead. I don't want to go thru the path anymore and I am afraid I will get nothing but just killing myself.
      Jul 13, 2019
  • Samsung 5kt789
    I refused lyft and Robinhood when they asked me to take the test.
    Nov 14, 2018 3
    • Samsung 5kt789
      Reject and I could care less. Interview is a 2 way process, not a one way street.
      Nov 14, 2018
    • Ayasdi ioUp78
      Exactly. Why don’t they complete an assignment that I created? If they impress me enough, I’d move forward to the on-site 😀
      Nov 14, 2018
  • Biggest problem with these is that, if you want to impress / get the interview, you probably need to spend significantly more time on it than the recruiters tell you to
    Nov 14, 2018 5
    • Axtria TopCop
      There's no limit. But usually people spend 1-2 weeks aggressively
      Nov 14, 2018
    • BHP wtfish
      I have taken 3 such tests. The first one took almost 1 week, the second one 4 days and 3rd one, I had little patience left. I got poor feedback on each and couldn't move to next round having spent so much time and energy. However, I cracked the phone screens for other interviews which didnt have these tests and now appearing onsite.
      Nov 14, 2018
  • Airbnb /$;
    If you feel like you need to spend many days or multiple weeks on a takehome you’re probably not there yet. A takehome that passes interviews usually takes me only 1-2 days

    I also much prefer a take home for demonstrating my coding, analysis and modeling skills over a 30 min interview and live coding
    Nov 15, 2018 2
    • PayPal Fjahalsb
      My concern is there is a difference in someone who is experienced in product analytics vs marketing analytics vs risk analytics and a generic data challenge is not justified.
      Nov 15, 2018
    • Airbnb /$;
      Airbnb has different take homes for different specializations
      Nov 18, 2018
  • Amazon Klingonk
    Leetcode or take home tests LOL.
    it’s a choice between the devil and deep sea
    Nov 14, 2018 1
    • Oracle of · Nada
      Takehomes are better, at least they make you practice something useful
      Nov 14, 2018
  • New / Other
    Call Me.

    New Other

    Turned my beeper on.
    Call Me.more
    I hate those tests. Doordash does that too. I downloaded the free Tableau to help cut down on time.
    Nov 14, 2018 1
    • PayPal Fjahalsb
      I hate it too specially given I’d spent solid 1-2 days over the weekend working on it.
      Nov 14, 2018
  • Airbnb DUvj18
    I'm conflicted on these. They are a MUCH better signal than a few questions on a stuffy room but we miss a lot of passive talent. No company has a perfect interview process, aside from internships.
    Nov 16, 2018 0
  • Oracle Pearman
    It’s mainly your problem solving / hands on coding for a data science problem , not sure what they asked but I am assuming it will be some data wrangling , using pandas , data cleaning , feature engineering , feature generation , model selection , training , hyper parameter tuning and proper evaluation . Also should be able to tell a good story
    Nov 14, 2018 2
    • PayPal Fjahalsb
      It was an analytics assignment like increase engagement, revenue etc. not a lot of coding involved
      Nov 14, 2018
    • Qualcomm


      Apple, Intel, Cisco
      you did one pf their tasks for free
      Nov 14, 2018
  • Aetna JJrD68
    I did the Lyft take home assignment recently. Spent close to 8-10 hours on it. It was pretty hard for me and focused more on hypothesis testing. Didn't make it through. Is the challenge typically the same for everyone or does it depend on the team?
    Feb 16, 2019 1
    • Axtria whoopss
      Can I dm you? I want to understand how to prepare for the role and how to do well in the take home assignment?
      Oct 11, 2019
  • Netflix bread
    Data scientists are expected to do a lot more consulting/storytelling in order to stand out. Did you get any feedback from them?
    Nov 14, 2018 1
    • PayPal Fjahalsb
      I agree but it depends so much on the team’s focus! Also, no feedback from any company
      Nov 14, 2018


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