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10 commonly asked questions during a SAS interview

10 commonly asked questions during a SAS interview

Facing an SAS interview

SAS applications have an enterprise wide presence. SAS-based jobs are not as tough as they seem when it comes to cracking them. It’s advisable to have your basics clear in SAS, if you’re opting as a fresher in the field. Enterprises usually prefer candidates with a slight know-how about VBA and MySQL.

At a fresher level, it’s mostly impossible to complete the entire syllabus of SAS. Knowledge about few topics like BASE/SAS, SAS/SQL, SAS/MACROS, and ODS will help you get through a fresher level interview. AIM lists down the 10 most commonly asked questions that you might face while appearing for a SAS interview.


1) Define the basic structure of SAS programing?

The basic structure of SAS includes three critical components:

    • Program Editor
    • Explorer Window
  • Log window

2) Define the basic syntax style in SAS?

One must have the following basic elements to run a program successfully in SAS:

  • At the end of every line there must be a semi-colon
  • There should a data statement that defines your data set
  • Need for an input statement
  • Between each word or statement there must at least be one space
  • Finally, there is a need for a run statement

3) What is Data Step?

The Data Step is instrumental for creating an SAS dataset, which carries the data along with a “data dictionary.” The role of this data dictionary is to hold the information about the variables and their properties.

4) What is the role of SUBSTR function in SAS?

The SUBSTR function is utilized in abstracting substring from a character variable.

5) What is the essential between SAS functions and procedures?

Procedures differ from SAS functions in terms of the variable value in the observation. Basically, procedures expect one variable value per observation, while SAS functions expect values to be supplied across an observation.

6) Mention the category in which SAS Informats are placed?

There are three categories where you can place SAS informats:

    • Character Informats: $INFORMATw
    • Numeric Informats: INFORMAT w.d
  • Date/Time Informats: INFORMAT w.

7) Mention what is PROC in SAS?

PROC plays a key role for SAS. PROC steps analyze and process data in the form of a SAS data set. It controls a library of routines that perform tasks on SAS data set such as sorting, summarizing, and listing.

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8) Enlist some of the key concepts related to SAS?

SAS is directly related and depends on the following key aspects

    • SORT procedure
    • Missing values
    • KEEP=, DROP= dataset options
    • Data step logic
    • Reset to missing, or the RETAIN statement
    • Log
    • FORMAT procedure for creating value formats
    • Data types
  • IN= dataset option

9) What are the steps for removing duplicates using PROC SQL?

PROC SQL can be used to remove duplicates utilizing the following steps:

  •         Proc SQL noprint;
  •         Create Table inter.merged1 as
  •         Select distinct * from inter.readin ;
  •         Quit;

10) What are the most common programming errors committed in SAS?

Common programming errors committed in SAS include:

  •         Missing a semicolon
  •         Forgetting to check log after submitting program
  •         Not using debugging techniques
  •         Not utilizing Fsview option vigorously

As mentioned earlier, these are the most commonly asked questions posed to a fresher. We haven’t delved into the coding questions that are a follow-up after the basic session.    Besides these questions, interviewers also drop the occasional questions involving coding.

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