Interviewing guides

Interviewing NLP Engineer
NLP Engineers focus on enabling computers to understand and process human language. These AI and Machine Learning experts work on developing algorithms, models, and applications for various language processing tasks.

Skills Required for an NLP Engineer

  • Strong background in natural language processing (NLP) techniques and methodologies
  • Proficiency in programming languages like Python, Java, or C++
  • Experience with machine learning frameworks such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, or Keras
  • Familiarity with NLP libraries (e.g., NLTK, SpaCy, or Gensim)
  • Good understanding of linguistic concepts and methodologies

Interview Plan for NLP Engineer Role

Round 1: Technical Interview (45 minutes)

Objective: Assess candidate’s foundational NLP and programming skills. Topics to be evaluated:
  • General NLP concepts (tokenization, lemmatization, stemming, etc.)
  • Overview of machine learning models for NLP tasks (CNN, RNN, Transformers)
  • Python or Java programming questions, assessing proficiency and problem-solving.
Example questions:
  • Explain the difference between tokenization and sentence segmentation.
  • What is the purpose of word embeddings and how do they work?
  • Write a Python function to preprocess a given text using regex, tokenization, and stopword removal.
  • Candidates should be able to explain core concepts in NLP and Machine Learning
  • Candidates should be proficient in the chosen programming language, able to solve coding problems with ease

Round 2: Advanced Technical Interview (60 minutes)

Objective: Evaluate candidate’s advanced NLP knowledge and experience with specific tools and frameworks. Topics to be evaluated:
  • Experience with NLP libraries (NLTK, SpaCy, Gensim) and their applications
  • Understanding of state-of-the-art architectures in NLP (e.g., BERT, GPT-3)
  • Hands-on experience with machine learning frameworks (TensorFlow, PyTorch, Keras)
  • Advanced programming tasks, focusing on implementing NLP techniques and models
Example questions:
  • Explain the architecture and working of Transformer-based models like BERT or GPT-3.
  • How would you handle the class imbalance problem in a text classification task?
  • Implement a named entity recognition system using SpaCy library in Python.
  • Candidates should showcase expertise in NLP libraries and machine learning frameworks
  • Candidates should be able to design and implement NLP solutions and provide insights on advanced architectures

Important Notes for the Interviewer

  • Keep in mind that some candidates may have experience with different tools or frameworks, make sure to assess their adaptability and eagerness to learn new technologies.
  • When discussing specific projects, encourage candidates to explain their role, contributions, and thought process in designing and implementing NLP solutions.
  • Focus on evaluating problem-solving skills and thought process over memorization of specific algorithms or libraries.


In conclusion, hiring an NLP Engineer requires thorough evaluation of not just programming skills but also a deep understanding of NLP concepts and Machine Learning frameworks. BarRaiser’s detailed Interview Plan helps ensure that you select the best candidate for the role, with an optimized and effective hiring process.
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