Yes, this article focuses on the Big Data disciplines, but read it carefully whether you hire them or any other role. The principles in this article are easy to tease out from the Data Science specific parts.
I was also privileged enough to experience an interview that was much like the ones done in the article.
I had an interview day that was similar to this approach when I hired on at Microsoft. It didn’t include a day with the team, which I think is a great idea, but it did put me in front of 5 excellent technical leaders, a sharp-sharp Director, and ended up with the VP for that Group in the Windows Server Division. They each presented me with the challenges that they were facing at that time and we spent our time brainstorming them.
The whole loop took 9 hours to complete. A lot of people describe their Microsoft interviews as grueling but I came away from my interview loop completely energized and ready to hire in.
Remarkably, I was not planning to hire in to Microsoft. Heck, I was a Unix wonk! I was doing the interview because they flew me up from Texas and did the interview on a Friday so I was able to book a Sunday return and see a bunch of my friends who’d moved to Seattle. Up until that day I was targeting startups in their later stages of private funding, where I could apply my skills learned at Landmark Graphics and Red Sky to create very lean but very mature quality assurance processes such as ALM, Project Management and Testing (this was in 1999).
Instead I came away from the Microsoft interview excited and ready to work for them. I was a Director at Red Sky at that time but was so excited that I took an open position as an Individual Contributor Software Test Engineer, which lasted for about 3-4 months before I was promoted into management.
I was willing to do that because they were open and trustworthy, and they gave me the strong impression that hierarchy was not as important as doing the work and doing it very, very well. I knew I would be able to make a serious contribution whether I was a manager or not, so I jumped in!
This is the way to do it folks. Hire as a discipline rather than an emergency!