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Economist interview questions shared by candidates

## Top Interview Questions

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### What is 2^16?

Careful, it's a trick question. In most programming languages the upper bound of an unsigned integer is 65535 because counting starts at 0. Less

65536(power of 2s) All Networking folks should get that

### How do you cross check data between different sources?

In evaluating the basics of data validation, generalizations can be made regarding the different types of validation, according to the scope, complexity, and purpose of the various validation operations to be carried out. For example: Data type validation; Range and constraint validation; Code and Cross-reference validation; and Structured validation Data type validation is customarily carried out on one or more simple data fields. The simplest kind of data type validation verifies that the individual characters provided through user input are consistent with the expected characters of one or more known primitive data types; as defined in a programming language or data storage and retrieval mechanism. For example, many database systems allow the specification of the following primitive data types: 1) integer; 2) float (decimal); or 3) string. Similarly, telephone numbers are routinely expected to include the digits and possibly the characters +, -, (, and ) (plus, minus, and parentheses). A more sophisticated data validation routine would check to see the user had entered a valid country code, i.e., that the number of digits entered matched the convention for the country or area specified. A validation process involves two distinct steps: (a) Validation Check and (b) Post-Check action. The check step uses one or more computational rules (see section below) to determine if the data is valid. The Post-validation action sends feedback to help enforce validation. Less

Apart from statistical descriptive that tells you if there are things like outliers or nonsense information, comparison study will show at which areas the two agree and disagree. Then the investigation follows to find out why they disagree. Less

I would think that as an expert the first step would be to prioritize sources. which source is from the more influential journal or institution? Then I would look at the way the indicators in question are measured. Are both or all of the sources measuring the same concept? This may not answer how though... Less

### What kind of statistical modelling experience do you have?

I talked about my experience with STATA and Excel pivot tables, which they seemed particularly interested in. Less

did you get the job

### second was which are the MTEF sector and how are they related with central government and local government

the second qn. MTEF sector are education, health OPM, state house agriculture, accountability among others and please these are not ministries. there relationship central government gives funding to the sectors through line ministries and local government receives it through them from respective sectors Less

The MTEF marries a Top Down and Bottom Up Process in budgeting with the local government development plan Less

Usual crap

I’m an economist

### Whether I am planning to go back to my country (!), followed by a comment that my country of origin is good just for holidays (!!!)

I was just speechless

Yes it does

### Discuss my experience? It was really conversational and pleasant. I had time to ask about the culture, job specifics, etc. Due to it being a gov job it was more informal than I have experienced in the private sector, but in my opinion much less nerve-racking.

Be yourself and honest. These people will be your colleagues...

### What do you think about DALYs as a technique?

The interviewer was testing my health economics skills by expecting me to demonstrate knowledge of Disability Adjusted Life Years as a metric for assessing health benefits, including discounting. Less