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Create Great Data Visualizations With These 15 Tableau Interview Questions

15 of the Most Important Tableau Interview Questions
tableau-interview-questionsIf you work with data, yet lack tools to create great data visualization – Tableau is the tool that you’re looking for. It’s one of the most popular tools that both individuals and companies use to visualize their gathered data. Individuals need to constantly improve their knowledge so that their projects could stay up to date, while companies are looking for professional Tableau developers. If you’re passionate about working with data, and want to score a job at one of the high-paying companies, you’ll need Tableau interview questions and answers to help you study. And that is exactly what you’ll find in this tutorial.

Basic information, advanced Tableau interview questions and answers – you name it, you’ll get it! This guide will provide you with 15 of the most popular and essential Tableau interview questions which you’ll be able to use while studying for that job interview.

Introduction

We’ll begin by covering the basic Tableau interview questions and their answers. After you get the general idea of what to expect out of your job interview, we’ll also check out some of the most popular advanced Tableau interview questions that your potential employers might ask you.

When it comes to the basic questions, these are the ones that you’ll probably encounter the most of. A lot of companies have special “new employee training programs”. These are designed to help you get a smooth start in the company. This doesn’t only concern your working conditions, though! The training programs are most likely going to heavily consist of Tableau-related courses and lessons. This is why you’re probably going to mostly get asked basic Tableau interview questions during your job interview (unless you’re aiming for the really high-tier positions).

A lot of people neglect the basic questions. They think that they already know all of the ins and outs of Tableau basics, and there’s nothing new to learn or revise. Well, these people usually learn the hard way – they get asked a simple question during their interview and, since they haven’t really revised it, they stutter and only make things worse for themselves. Even though you might think that you know everything there is to know about the basics of Tableau, it is still a good idea to come freshly prepared – it might be tougher to define simple concept than you think!

All in all, once you finish going through these basic Tableau interview questions, you’ll have a pretty well-painted picture of the types of questions you might expect during the actual interview. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it.

Question 1: What is Tableau?

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You’re probably not surprised by seeing this as the very first question on the list. And, truth be told, you shouldn’t be – out of all of the Tableau interview questions that might get asked the first, this is the most likely one.

This question is actually really important. It will set the mood for the rest of the interview – employers often use it to check how well you can employ your own definitions when it comes to talking about and defining broader terms. A lot of people see this question, go to Google, read off a generic, technical term-ridden answer and then simply recite it during their interview. In such cases, employers often ask the potential employee to forget all of that fancy talk and just define Tableau in their own words, which they then often fail to do.

A Short PSA

If you come to your job interview and tell your potential employers about Tableau in a unique, original way that they haven’t heard before – great! You probably just left a long-lasting impression about yourself, and the course of the interview should be pretty decent from here on out. Your interviewers will see that you are capable of forming your own thoughts and then expressing them in a clear and concise manner. This will lead to them immediately developing a certain sense of respect for your knowledge, which can go a very long way when you’re competing for a job position.

With that PSA out of the way, let’s get back to the actual question – what is Tableau?

When people say Tableau, they often refer to the software and not the company. In this tutorial, “Tableau” will also be used to talk about the program, unless stated otherwise.

Tableau is a piece of software created by a company of the same name in Washington, US. This software is concerned with data visualization – it allows developers to visually represent the data and information that they collect. This way, it makes the process of studying the data metrics and drawing conclusions a much easier and smoother process.

Question 2: Define ‘data visualization’.

This may as well be one of the very first Tableau interview questions that your potential employers ask you. Since this is the core concept behind Tableau, it is essential that you would not only know what it is, but also what are the purposes for its use.

Data visualization refers to a method of presenting collected data in a visually appealing manner. This would usually include lines, tables and everything in between. It is widely known and recognized that the information that is presented in this way is much more approachable and easy to take into when you’re trying to analyze it. Data visualization allows you to avoid confusion and various uncertainties when analyzing bigger chunks of information.

Question 3: Name the main products of the Tableau company.

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Although this doesn’t look like one of the Tableau developer interview questions, your answer would truly be a dead giveaway of just how much you’ve studied before the interview. If you don’t know the products that Tableau offers, this means that you’re most likely concerned with only specific, niche topics and lack a thorough comprehension of Tableau.

In total, there are five main products that Tableau offers: Tableau Desktop, Server, Reader, Online and Public. Each of these products are targeted at different audiences (i.e. individuals vs companies) and perform different functions needed for better data visualization.

Question 4: What’s a ‘page shelf’?

A page shelf is a tool that Tableau uses to control the visual outputs of your data. It is a widely used and appreciated tool, mostly because it very user-friendly and useful when it comes to data visualization.

Question 5: What are ‘hierarchies’ used for?

Hierarchies offer a way to segment and organize your information into levels. Tableau does this by assigning a different value to each individual datatypes. This allows you to have more control over what you see, and increases the accuracy of the visualization of the data.

Since this is one of the Tableau interview questions that allow you to expand a little bit with your answer, you could give an example of hierarchies – just to make sure that your interviewers know that you know what you’re talking about. A great example could be “Doberman – Dog – Animal”. There is a clearly defined segmentation in this example.

Question 6: Can you automate reports in Tableau?

Yes. You do so by scheduling them before publishing. Scheduling requires only a date – once you set that, your reports will be published automatically on the set date.

Question 7: What’s a dimension?

Easily one of the simpler Tableau developer interview questions – a dimension is a field that has an assigned, dedicated value. These can be text fields, dates, and so on.

Question 8: What is the benefit of using ‘extract a file’?

Most of the time, developers use a live connection when working on their Tableau projects. However, extracting a file allows you to work on it without a need for a stable internet connection.

Question 9: In what situations would you use ‘Join’ and ‘Blending’?

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Both of these commands are used by Tableau developers, so it is very likely that you’ll receive this as one of your Tableau developer interview questions. Fortunately, however, it is quite a simple one to answer and explain correctly.

Both of the commands are used to connect a primary data source to a secondary one. In situations where your data is located in a single location, you would always want to use Joins. However, if the data is scattered through multiple different locations, you would then most likely want to use Blending.

Question 10: How many tables can you join together on Tableau?

The absolute maximum number of tables that can be joined together on Tableau is 32.

Tableau Interview Questions – Advanced

Now that you can (at least somewhat) know what to expect out of your job interview, we can step away from the basic Tableau interview questions and answers and move on to the more advanced ones.

Advanced questions on Tableau are there to check just how well you know the software and all of its components. Unless you’re trying to get hired as a Tableau expert, your employers are most likely not going to bombard you with a lot of these advanced level queries.

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In nature, they are very similar to their basic counterparts. The only thing that’s different is that, in order to answer the advanced questions, you’ll have to have a pretty good comprehension of Tableau and all of its intricacies.

Below you’ll find 5 examples of the most commonly asked advanced Tableau interview questions. Study them well, and you should do great in your job interview!

Question 1: Describe ‘data modeling’.

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Statistically speaking, data modeling is mostly used by businesses as opposed to individual developers). It is a process that aims to analyze the given data and find patterns (relationships) within it.

That is why it’s so popular with businesses. Analyzing customer data and finding certain patterns can help a business create and target ads, modify their product creation and so on. It is basically an essential feature of any successful business, both individual and enterprise-level.

Additionally, data modeling is the very first step that developers take when they are working with object-oriented programming.

Question 2: What is the highest amount of rows that Tableau can utilize at any given time?

If you’re thinking about a specific number, hold that thought – it’s already wrong!

When it comes to rows, Tableau can basically utilize an unlimited number of them. This is because of a couple of reasons. First of all, the rows do not take up a lot of space – they are comparatively minuscule. Additionally, Tableau is configured in a way to only load and display the rows that are needed at that specific time and situation. This way, it lowers the encumbrance of the platform even more.

Question 3: What’s the use of a ‘secondary axis’?

Secondary axes almost exclusively serve a single purpose – to help you analyze your data in an easier manner.

A secondary axis is usually added near the primary one. It offers additional specificity when analyzing and comparing data.

Question 4: Can you test performance with Tableau?

You could go and say that this is one of the trickier Tableau interview questions, since answering it wrong would probably show your employers that you really do lack knowledge and experience with Tableau.

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Why is that, you might say? Well, basically because performance testing is one of the most important features of Tableau. It can be done by downloading a Tableau plugin (TabJolt) and running your script with it.

Question 5: Why would you alter the parameters in Tableau?

Tableau has specific set parameters that it uses in every single operation that it performs. Naturally, if you’re a Tableau developer, there are going to be multiple scenarios where the data that you have to analyze will have some very inconsistent variables. In these situations, you would tamper with the default parameters to match the ones needed to successfully analyze the data.

Conclusions

A lot of companies are looking for Tableau developers who would be great at teamwork, problem-solving and using Tableau itself. These companies are ready to pay great salaries and offer amazing career opportunities for such developers.

That is why you must not forget to be yourself during the job interview. If you show that you’re motivated and are great at working with a team, your potential employers might dismiss some of the Tableau interview questions that you failed to answers and ask you to join the company.

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If you’re just starting to learn Tableau and are only looking at these questions to get an idea of what the future holds – great! It’s better to start learning ASAP. This way, you’ll be able to not only give yourself some time, but also find out the essentials that are going to be needed to get that job.

Whatever the case might be, I hope you found the Tableau interview questions presented in this tutorial helpful. Best of luck in your Tableau developer job interview!

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