AmEx Data Science Interview Questions
Over 20% Credit Card transactions in the US are AMEX.
American Express or AmEx was founded in 1850 and is one of the largest credit card companies on earth. It is likely to become the second largest U.S. card processing company in 2018. As of December 31, 2017, the company had 112.8 million cards in force, including 50 million cards in force in the United States, each with an average annual spending of $18,519. Forbes estimates the brand to be worth US$24.5 billion. When you have a company doing over one trillion dollars in transactions the amount of data that would generate would be huge. As a company, the data it gathers would be used to improve its own products, security and detect fraud. All these factors make AmEx a dream for Data Scientists.
The interview process starts with a first call with the hiring manager. In the second round, there are coding tests followed by the final onsite interview. The onsite interview has multiple rounds with different team members. It consists of ML and stats. There is a final interview with the hiring manager again before they decide on the hiring.
- Machine Learning at American Express: Benefits and Requirements
- Big Data management at AmEx: Interview
- Recommendations at AmEx: Presentation
Data Science Related Interview Questions
- Describe AdaBoost and Random Forests.
- Given a dataset, how do you perform KNN on it?
- Describe the typical workflow of a Data Scientist project from start to finish.
- What are the different metrics you have used for a ML project?
- We have a million card members and their transactions. Also, we have 10k restaurants and 1k coupons to eat food. Write a method that can be used to pass along the coupons to the users given that some users have already got their coupons so far.
- Given a training set of users with their demographic information, psychology test of their personality (openness to like pages or not) and the pages of FB they have liked so far, how could we predict the gender, age and other demographics of unseen data?
- What is GBM?
- Explain how Gradient Descent works on a dataset?
- Given one tennis ball and an airplane, how can you determine the area of the inside the plane?
- What is Logit Function?
Reflecting on the Questions
The data science team at AmEx uses Hadoop and Mapreduce extensively as their backend. To that end, AmEx has established its Big Data Labs to do research on various analytics topics. The company has more than 25 PhDs on its staff and has over 80 patents relating to high performance computing, dynamic pricing, graph technology, social connections, and web analytics and its researchers have published over 140 papers in Hadoop, machine learning, web databases, and real-time search. The interviews are a mix of ML, Hadoop and data science concepts. A deep knowledge in one of the domains in which AmEx operates can surely land you a job in the second largest Credit Card company in the world!
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The sole motivation of this blog article is to learn about AmEx and its technologies helping people to get into it. All data is sourced from online public sources. I aim to make this a living document, so any updates and suggested changes can always be included. Please provide relevant feedback.