First Question, Lasting Impression

How often did you get the question (or have asked it yourself) during an interview: “Why are you interested in our organization?” Simple, standard, mundane – on the surface, some might even call the question un-inspiring. I disagree. It tells me right off the bat how much effort the candidate put into learning about the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation opens in a new window, our organization, our work, our team and how they synthesized and interpreted the information. I can tell within the first two minutes how interested I will be for the next 28. Regardless of the level of experience, I’m way too often disappointed by the response.

Using Python to Create a Sentiment Analysis

Recently, I was blown away! I asked the same “boring” question to a candidate interviewing for an entry data science position at PCCI. As soon as I finished the question, his eyes lit up and he quickly pulled out a document from his bag. With great enthusiasm, he replied:

Python, PCCI, PCCI Word Cloud

“In addition to my own research, I wanted to know what others are saying and feeling about PCCI. So, I wrote code in Python to create a Twitter sentiment analysis opens in a new window. I used it to create a word cloud and analyzed it to see if the keywords match my passion and interpretation of my own research. These four words really resonated with me because … I also wanted to understand PCCI’s reach and brand recognition, so I analyzed the top 10 famous people and companies talking about PCCI. I was impressed to see @HarvardBiz opens in a new window, @washingtonpost opens in a new window, @NIH opens in a new window, @HHSGov opens in a new window, etc, but most importantly to see @KirkDBorne opens in a new window. He’s so influential. Finally, the outputs of the Sentiment Count Plot Analysis and the Sentiment Subjectivity Distribution reconfirmed that this is a great place and the place I want to be.”

A Match Made in Data Science

I know I’m a geek at heart and this answer resonated with me more than it would with most (did I mention earlier how important it is to know your audience and their interests when answering a question?), but regardless of what approach you take, this is how you do it!

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