How to answer "Why ML Engineering" (with sample answers)

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Why do employers ask "Why ML Engineering"?

When applying for a Machine Learning Engineering position, interviewers are interested in understanding why you are specifically interested in this domain. This question allows them to assess whether you have a clear understanding of the role and industry, and whether you are passionate about the job.

How to answer "Why ML Engineering"

In answering this question, it’s important to showcase your understanding of the industry and the requirements of the job role. You could talk about your interest in designing and implementing machine learning algorithms and processes to solve complex problems and improve existing systems. Mention the kinds of challenges that excite you in this domain, your curiosity to dive deeper into data and explore new techniques to test your abilities, and your passion to make a difference using ML.

How to prepare for this question

Preparation is key to acing this question. Before the interview, conduct research on the company, industry, and job requirements. Evaluate the job description and take notes with your responses to the questions. Brainstorm reasons why you are drawn to the position as an ML Engineer and rehearse your answers with a friend or mentor. Use your research to prepare succinct responses that highlight your interest in the position and the company.

Common mistakes when answering this question

  • Not showing enough preparation: A vague response could convey a lack of preparedness and interest in the role.
  • Focusing on the salary: Making the salary the highlight of your response could portray you as insensitive to the requirements of the job role and the company.
  • Talking about unrelated interests: It is important to align your response with the job description and the industry. Avoid bringing up unrelated interests during the discussion.

Sample answers

Answer 1:

Bad answer: I don't really have a specific reason for being interested in ML Engineering, but I heard it's a hot field with a lot of job opportunities.

Explanation: This answer sounds lazy and unconvincing. It shows that the candidate is not passionate about the field and is only interested in finding a job.

Answer 2:

Good answer: I have always been fascinated by the potential of machine learning to solve complex problems and make machines more intelligent. After experiencing a few ML projects in my previous job, I became particularly interested in the engineering aspect of ML as I find the process of designing, testing, and deploying a production ML model very challenging and rewarding.

Explanation: This answer shows a genuine interest in ML Engineering and the candidate's personal experience and insight. It also highlights the candidate's motivation and curiosity in facing complex challenges, which is a desirable trait in a ML Engineer.

Answer 3:

Bad answer: I am interested in ML Engineering because it's a high-paying job with a lot of demand in the market.

Explanation: This answer prioritizes the financial aspect of the job over personal interest and passion. It gives the impression that the candidate is only interested in the money and not in contributing to the field or the company.

Answer 4:

Good answer: As a computer science graduate, I have always been keen on exploring new technologies and applications. During my studies, I took a few ML courses and was intrigued by the potential impact ML can have on various industries, from healthcare to finance to transportation. I also enjoy collaborating with other experts, such as data scientists and software engineers, to turn ML concepts into real-world solutions that can benefit society.

Explanation: This answer shows the candidate's educational background and relevant skills, as well as a broad understanding of the potential impact and applications of ML. It also emphasizes the candidate's willingness to work as a team, which is essential for success in ML Engineering projects.

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