Hiring is one of the most challenging tasks in a manager’s portfolio. Selecting individuals for a long-term commitment based on a few comparatively short interviews and conversations is not easy. Luckily, there are a number of personality traits to look for which can help you select promising individuals for your data science or analytics team.


Curiosity is an often overlooked component to data science. This manifests as a desire not only to know the answer to a question, but to also desire to understand the background and origin behind that answer. This drives data scientists to reach deeper levels of understanding and pursue ‘interesting’ problems out of sheer enjoyment.


Communication for data scientists is a two way street. It involves developing advanced listening skills to gain the necessary business or domain expertise, and it also involves the ability to explain technical concepts clearly to stakeholders who may not have a technical background. Due to the varied nature of the work, both written and oral communication skills are essential.

Problem solving skills

It is rare that the first attempt at solving a data analytic problem works as expected. Experienced data scientists understand that the road to success is lined with small failures and have gained the creativity and resiliency to overcome obstacles as they arise.

Desire to learn

Data science is a young field and is evolving at a rapid pace. Successful data scientists treat learning and professional development as a hobby and enjoy these activities for their own sake. Many people take courses regularly to stay up to date and attend data science meet-ups to learn from others in their community.

Do these traits match your experience, or have you found others? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below. Want advice for your selection process? Get in touch with me by using the contact form.

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