Common Analytics Interview Questions – SAS Analytics

At IVY Professional School, we have addressed common Analytics Interview Questions from time to time. In keeping with the emerging demands of the profession, we begin a monthly series of resource blogs featuring common interview questions in various areas – SAS analytics, Business analytics, Consulting firms – wrapping up with a ‘popular questions’ list.

Questions that test your knowledge and current standing in SAS Analytics talent community:


These are questions aimed at testing your SAS skills, as part of the job role.

  • Does SAS do power calculations via a PROC?
  • Briefly describe 5 ways to do a “table lookup” in SAS.
  • Does SAS have a function for calculating factorials?
  • Have you used “Proc Merge”?
  • How can you write a SAS data set to a comma delimited file?
  • What is the best way to read a non SAS external file?
  • What is the smallest length for a numeric and character variable?
  • What is the largest possible length of a macro variable?
  • What are the differences between SAS PROCs and SAS DATA STEP?
  • What is the difference between a FUNCTION and a PROC?
  • What are some of the differences between a WHERE and an IF statement?
  • How would you create multiple observations from a single observation?
  • For what purpose would you use the RETAIN statement?
  • How can you avoid using a series of “%INCLUDE” statements?
  • If you have 2 sets of Format Libraries, can a SAS program have access to both during 1 session?
  • In the flow of DATA step processing, what is the first action in a typical DATA Step?
  • What SAS PROCs have you used and consider yourself proficient in using?
  • If you were given several SAS data sets you were unfamiliar with, how would you find out the variable names and formats of each dataset?
  • How many missing values are available? When might you use them?
  • How do you test for missing values?
  • Which is worse: not testing your programs or not commenting your programs?
  • Why is SAS considered self-documenting?
  • Do you prefer PROC REPORT or PROC TABULATE? Why?
  • Have you ever used the SAS Debugger?
  • What areas of SAS are you most interested in?

Additionally, you can expect tricky scenario-based questions that you may have worked on during your course.

You can also take this Online test to check your basic SAS proficiency.


These questions are for job roles that require a higher proficiency of SAS analysis skills. Questions are aimed at gauging the level of SAS involvement and checking legitimacy of candidate profile i.e genuineness of the SAS competency as mentioned on the CV.

  • Name some of the SAS Functions you have used.
  • What versions of SAS have you used (on which platforms)?
  • How do you debug and test your SAS programs?
  • In your opinion, what are some good SAS programming practices for processing very large data sets?
  • What editor have you used?  (Checks that the candidate has ability to interact with the OS beyond SAS.)
  • Describe the function and utility of the most difficult SAS macro that you have written.
  • What are some of the SAS PROCs/Procedures you have used? (Checks how many a potential candidate has used in the past/ the range of SAS products the candidate is exposed to.)
  • How would you check the uniqueness of a data set? (Checks the depth of understanding and experience)
  • Have you ever been to any user conferences? If so, which ones? Do you remember any paper/presentation which remains in your memory? If so, why?  (Gauges experience and level of expertise)
  • Have you ever presented a paper to a SAS user group? (Checks to see if candidate is willing to share ideas, can present with clarity, or has mentoring abilities).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the IVY administration or the author.