TikTok Data Scientist Interview Guide (22 Questions Asked in 2024)

Updated on

April 15, 2024

Welcome to our guide for aspiring TikTok Data Scientists! Let me spill the beans – having navigated the intricate data landscapes at FAANG and co-authored a book with my partner-in-crime, a seasoned data aficionado from the tech scene, I can vouch for the hurdles that lie ahead. So, buckle up and get ready to dive deep into the 22 questions that'll shape your TikTok Data Scientist interview experience!

TikTok Data Scientist Interview Guide

In this Amazon Data Science Interview guide, we’ll cover:

The TikTok Data Scientist Interview Process

The interview process for TikTok from beginning to end is about 1 month long. During that time you will have multiple rounds of interviews with several senior members of the Data Science team. Here are those sections:

Round 1: Recruiter Screening

The first step in the interview process, but don’t underestimate it. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your soft skills, that might not be easy to find on your resume.

  • 💼 Format: Phone Call
  • ⏰ Duration: 30-45 minutes
  • 👤 Interviewer: Recruiter or Talent Acquisition Specialist
  • ❓ Questions: Culture fit, Understanding your Experience, Logistics

Round 2: Technical Screening

The technical screen is typically conducted live through HackerRank where the interviewer can watch and assess your work. For this role, you can have between 1~2 technical screens.

  • 💼 Format: Virtual video call
  • ⏰ Duration: 45 - 60 minutes
  • 👤 Interviewer: Hiring Manager/Senior Data Scientist
  • ❓ Questions: Technical Skills (SQL), Data Structures, Probability, Statistics

Insider Tip: Being rusty in SQL is NOT an excuse at TikTok, with thousands of people applying for this role your technical skills are a quick way for recruiters to knock candidates out of the running. Brush up on your skills and come in with confidence to your interview.

The best way to practice for the technical screen is to solve real SQL interview questions asked by TikTok. We covered these in our 10 TikTok SQL Interview Questions and built in interactive coding pad for your to practice.

TikTok SQL Interview Question

Final Round: On-site Round

Anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks following the Technical Screen, you will hear if you’ve moved to the next round. The On-Site interview is split into 2 interviews of 45 minutes each focusing on a different topic.

  • 💼 Format: Virtual video call
  • ⏰ Duration: 45 minutes each
  • 👤 Interviewer: Hiring Manager/Senior Data Scientist
  • ❓ Questions: Product Analytics, Case Studies, Behavioral questions

We'll cover each of these types of questions in the next section.

Interview Questions

The TikTok Data Science Interview questions can be broken into 5 types:

  • 🤖 Machine Learning
  • 📈 Product Analytics
  • 💾 SQL
  • 📊 Statistics
  • 🧠 Behavioral Questions Use these sample questions as a baseline for your current preparedness and understand where you excel and what areas you need to improve on.

TikTok Machine Learning Questions

During TikTok's data science interviews, expect questions that revolve around building recommendation systems for content personalization, analyzing user-generated content using natural language processing techniques, and predicting user engagement metrics to optimize platform performance. These questions aim to assess your ability to tackle real-world challenges in enhancing user experience and maintaining a safe and inclusive environment on the platform.

  1. How would you design a recommendation system for TikTok's "For You" feed to personalize content for users based on their interests and engagement history?
  2. TikTok generates vast amounts of user-generated content. How would you use natural language processing techniques to analyze and categorize comments and captions, ensuring a positive user experience?
  3. TikTok relies heavily on user engagement metrics to measure platform success. Can you discuss how you would approach building a predictive model to forecast user engagement and identify factors influencing user retention?
  4. TikTok aims to provide a safe and inclusive environment for its users. How would you leverage machine learning techniques to detect and mitigate harmful or inappropriate content on the platform?
  5. What does it mean for a function to be differentiable? Have you encountered non-differentiable functions in ML? How do you do backpropagation if those functions aren’t differentiable?

Want to solve Question #5 online? Try out DataLemurs interactive platform and solve the Differentiability and Backdrop TikTok Machine Learning Interview Question.

TikTok Product Analytics Questions

During TikTok's data science interviews, expect questions focusing on analyzing user engagement metrics, evaluating the impact of product changes, designing experiments to optimize features and ad strategies, and understanding user behavior through cohort analysis. These questions aim to assess your ability to derive actionable insights and drive product improvements that enhance user experience and platform growth on TikTok.

  1. How would you analyze user engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments to evaluate the performance of a new feature on TikTok's platform?
  2. Can you propose a methodology to measure the impact of algorithm changes on user retention and session duration in the TikTok app?
  3. TikTok aims to increase user interaction with sponsored content. How would you design an experiment to assess the effectiveness of different ad formats and placement strategies?
  4. Describe how you would use cohort analysis to understand user behavior patterns and identify opportunities for improving user retention on TikTok.
  5. TikTok is expanding into new markets. How would you approach analyzing user demographics and behavior to tailor content recommendations and ad targeting strategies for specific regions or cultures?

TikTok AB Testing

Want to try more Product Analytics Questions? Read this A/B Testing Interview Questions & Answers Guide and put your skills to the test.

TikTok SQL Questions

11. Second Day Confimation

Assume you're given tables with information about TikTok user sign-ups and confirmations through email and text. New users on TikTok sign up using their email addresses, and upon sign-up, each user receives a text message confirmation to activate their account.

Write a query to display the user IDs of those who did not confirm their sign-up on the first day, but confirmed on the second day.


  • refers to the date when users activated their accounts and confirmed their sign-up through text messages.


Column NameType

Example Input:

125777106/14/2022 00:00:00
433105207/09/2022 00:00:00


Column NameType
signup_actionstring ('Confirmed', 'Not confirmed')

Example Input:

6878125Confirmed06/14/2022 00:00:00
6997433Not Confirmed07/09/2022 00:00:00
7000433Confirmed07/10/2022 00:00:00

Example Output:


Explanation: Only User 1052 confirmed their sign-up on the second day.

The dataset you are querying against may have different input & output - this is just an example!

TikTok SQL Interview Question

12. Signup Activation Rate

New TikTok users sign up with their emails. They confirmed their signup by replying to the text confirmation to activate their accounts. Users may receive multiple text messages for account confirmation until they have confirmed their new account.

A senior analyst is interested to know the activation rate of specified users in the table. Write a query to find the activation rate. Round the percentage to 2 decimal places.


  • table contain the information of user signup details.
  • table contains the users' activation information.


  • The analyst is interested in the activation rate of specific users in the table, which may not include all users that could potentially be found in the table.
  • For example, user 123 in the table may not be in the table and vice versa.

Effective April 4th 2023, we added an assumption to the question to provide additional clarity.


Column NameType

Example Input:

125777106/14/2022 00:00:00
236695007/01/2022 00:00:00
433105207/09/2022 00:00:00


Column NameType

Example Input:

6920236Not Confirmed

'Confirmed' in means the user has activated their account and successfully completed the signup process.

Example Output:


Explanation: 67% of users have successfully completed their signup and activated their accounts. The remaining 33% have not yet replied to the text to confirm their signup.

The dataset you are querying against may have different input & output - this is just an example!

TikTok SQL Interview Question

Want more SQL practice? Try these 10 TikTok SQL Interview Questions!

TikTok Statistics Questions

These questions assess your ability to apply statistical methods to analyze data, derive meaningful insights, and drive decision-making to enhance user experience and platform performance on TikTok.

  1. How would you conduct hypothesis testing to determine if there is a significant difference in user engagement metrics between two different user segments on TikTok?
  2. Can you explain how you would use regression analysis to identify factors influencing user retention and predict user churn on the TikTok platform?
  3. TikTok collects data on video views, likes, and comments. How would you calculate and interpret engagement rates to measure the effectiveness of content on the platform?
  4. Describe the process of conducting A/B testing to evaluate the impact of a new feature or design change on user engagement metrics on TikTok.
  5. TikTok aims to optimize its recommendation algorithm. How would you use statistical techniques such as clustering or collaborative filtering to group users based on their preferences and improve content recommendations?

Try these 20 Statitics Questions asked in the Data Science Interview!

TikTok Behavioral Questions

These questions aim to assess your communication skills, ability to work in a team, problem-solving approach, adaptability, and alignment with TikTok's company culture and values. 18. Can you describe a time when you had to prioritize competing projects or tasks while working on a product feature rollout at a previous company? 19. TikTok values innovation and creativity. Can you share an example of a unique solution you proposed to address a challenging problem in a previous role? 20. Collaboration is key at TikTok. Can you discuss a situation where you had to work closely with cross-functional teams to successfully launch a new feature or campaign? 21. Describe a time when you had to handle a disagreement or conflict with a colleague or team member during a project. How did you resolve it, and what was the outcome? 22. TikTok is a fast-paced environment. Can you give an example of how you managed to adapt to a sudden change or pivot in project direction while working on a tight deadline?

Want more questions? Check out this Data Science Behavioral Interview Question Guide.

Preparation Tips for the TikTok Data Scientist Interview

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about the interview process it’s time to prepare. You must navigate the interview process with confidence and precision, so take the time to prepare and refresh both your hard and soft skills.

Tips for the Day of Your TikTok Interview:

  1. Think out loud 🤔: Provide a narrative as you go through the problem so that the interviewer has insight into your thought process.
  2. Deconstruct your problems 🛠️: Deconstruct complicated or ambiguous problems into groups, and combine the groups for a solution.
  3. Hints 💡: Pivot your answer if your interviewer prompts you that you’re heading in the wrong direction.
  4. Clarification 🔍: Ask clarifying questions during the interview.
  5. Say why you’re interested in a career at TikTok 🌟: TikTok interviewers like to see people who know about our environment, projects, challenges, etc.
  6. Questions ❓: Ask questions about TikTok and analytics if there’s time.

Best Resources to Prepare for the TikTok Data Science Interview

  1. DataLemur: Python and SQL preparation with questions from the TikTok Interview
  2. Khan Academy Statistics and Probability Course: good for the TikTok analytical execution questions
  3. Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle Laakman McDowell: good for the TikTok Case study questions
  4. Ace the Data Science Interview: written by 2 Ex-Facebook employees, this is the go-to resource for Acing the TikTok Data Science Interview. The book has 201 real FAANG interview questions, including 11 from Facebook.
  5. A/B testing Questions Blog: this guide walks you through how to run consumer experiments, which is a frequent topic due to how important product experimentation & interpreting test results is for TikTok Data Science roles
  6. TikTok Careers Website: Visit this site to learn more about the company culture, values, and available data science roles