50 Informatica Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 November 2022 | Published 7 September 2021

Updated 15 November 2022

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Informatica is a software company that specialises in data analysis and management. The most common suite of tools provided by Informatica is the Powercenter ETL/Data Integration. If you are interested in working in domains like data science, analytics or informatics, it may be beneficial for you to understand what questions are commonly asked during Informatica interviews. In this article, we list 50 of the common Informatica interview questions and share a few example answers to help prepare for your interview.

How Can I Prepare For An Informatica Interview?

Depending on your job role, you may have to familiarise yourself with basic or advanced topics, from which questions may be framed. Basic topics include OLAP (Online Analytical Processing), data loading, data transformation, data warehousing and data acquisition. Advanced topics include topics like Powercenter architecture, session recovery and workflow recovery.

Related: 35 Data Analyst Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Top 8 Informatica Interview Questions And Example Answers

These are some important interview questions and example answers:

1. What is an ETL process?

Interviewers may ask you basic questions like this to evaluate whether you have a strong knowledge of fundamental data processing concepts. You can start your answer by expanding ETL. Use clear and concise language to define the term and outline its basic functions.

Example: “ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. It is a process in which data is first extracted from a specific source, transformed into a format that can be included in the company's data infrastructure and then loaded into the data warehouse, where it awaits use by data analysts and scientists within the company.”

2. What is your experience with Informatica Powercenter ETL/data integration?

Employers may ask you this question to verify your experience level. Analytics and data science job roles may have specific requirements for expertise and experience. To answer this question, state your experience level and share an anecdotal example to illustrate your expertise in the subject.

Example: “In my previous work as a data scientist, I was familiar with Powercenter ETL/Data Integration. I used several features over my five-year tenure there. In one example, my team was tasked with extracting data from thousands of flat files. I decided a bulk-processing session in real-time would be the right process to meet the needs of the organisation.”

3. What is a lookup transformation, and how do you use it?

Your answer to this question may be in two parts. First, explain what the lookup transformation is. Use clear, concise language that can be easily understood by a large audience. Second, go on to share an anecdotal reference to an instance where you have personally used it for work.

Example: “A lookup transformation is a process in Informatica used to find and return data from a file, relational table or other sources. In my experience with Lookup transformation, I was able to quickly import data I was looking for, within a few steps and some mapping activity on my part.”

4. How is connected lookup different from unconnected lookup?

This is a function-specific question which the interviewer can ask as a follow-up to the previous question. Note that interviewers can ask you to elaborate on keywords that are part of your answers. To answer this question, you can simply point out some fundamental differences between these two types of lookup transformations.

Example: “If the transformation plays a part in the flow of data and receives its inputs from other transformations, it is a connected lookup transformation. Some transformations behave in a different manner and may not receive inputs directly from other transformations. Such transformations, which work on returned values of functions, are called unconnected lookup transformations.”

5. Can an unconnected lookup have multiple parameters?

This is a follow-up question to the previous question. The interviewer may ask this question to examine the extent of your knowledge in a particular domain or topic that you have talked about. Keep your answer brief and use examples to make it more comprehensive.

Example: “An unconnected lookup can have multiple input paraments. However, regardless of the number of input parameters, it only returns a single value. For example, you may input four columns as parameters, but the unconnected lookup function returns a single value for all four parameters.”

6. What is the difference between source qualifier and filter transformation?

Interviewers may ask you questions like this to test your knowledge of basic Informatica functions. When asked to differentiate between two entities, you can utilise that opportunity to illustrate a thorough understanding of multiple concepts. These are some basic things you may be asked to differentiate and compare:

  • Powercenter vs. Powermart

  • Connected ETL vs. unconnected ETL

  • Joiner vs. Lookup transformation

Example: “The source qualifier filters rows of data that it reads from a single source. It can filter row data from relational sources but has overall limitations. The filter transformation tool does not have limitations regarding the source system from which it can filter rows of data. It enhances performance by filtering out data that isn't useful.”

7. How is active transformation different from passive transformation?

This is another example of a situation where you may have to differentiate between two entities to illustrate the extent of your knowledge in both. List out the specific features or characteristics that distinguish each entity. In this case, you may simply focus on the fundamental difference between active and passive transformations.

Example: “Active transformations can modify the number of data rows that they receive from the user. Passive transformations do not make such modifications and stay the same for a given number of input and output rows.”

8. What types of caches are in the lookup feature?

This is a feature-specific question. If an interviewer asks specific questions about any feature, chances are that the feature is integral to your job role and functions. For this particular question, provide an exhaustive list and elaborate briefly on each list item.

Example: “There are two types of caches in the Lookup feature: cached and uncached lookups. A cached lookup is one where the original lookup was configured to create a cache, and all subsequent lookups save time and resources by returning to the cache for data instead of the source. An uncached lookup returns to the source file and is more resource-intensive.”

Related: 10 Valuable Data Analysis Skills

Additional Informatica Interview Questions

Here is a list of additional Informatica interview questions:

Basic Informatica interview questions

Interviewers may ask these questions to see if you have a basic knowledge of Informatica:

  • What are number repositories?

  • How is a repository server different from a powerhouse?

  • Differentiate between a database, a data warehouse and a data mart.

  • What is the maximum number of available lookup caches?

  • Differentiate between Talend and Informatica.

  • What transformations can you work with within Informatica?

  • What is a sorter transformation?

  • How many output files does the Informatica server create during runtime?

  • Differentiate between a dynamic and static cache.

  • How are the options "stop" and "abort" different?

  • Explain what Enterprise Data Warehousing is.

  • What does the term "domain" mean in Informatica?

Related: Top Data Structure Interview Questions With Example Answers

Scenario-based interview questions

Interviewers ask these questions to understand how you approach different scenarios that require specific knowledge:

  • What is parallel processing?

  • How is parallel processing implemented?

  • What practices do you use for mapping development?

  • What is the Powercentr repository in Informatica?

  • What does the term ‘session' mean in Informatica?

  • What is the maximum number of sessions that can be grouped within a single batch?

  • Differentiate between mapping variables and mapping parameters.

  • What are the characteristics of complex mapping?

  • What is the target load order?

  • When does the Informatica server typically reject files?

Advanced interview questions

Interviewers may ask these questions to test advanced knowledge of Informatica:

  • What is a normalizer transformation?

  • What is push-down optimisation?

  • How is the command ‘copy' different from ‘shortcut'?

  • What is PMCMD utility command, and how is it used?

  • How are workflows scheduled?

  • Define Dynamic Lookup Cache.

  • What is the Powercenter command-line?

  • Differentiate between mapping variable and variable port.

  • Define XML Source Qualifier transformation.

  • Define Snowflake Schema.

  • What are Standalone Email tasks, and why are they used?

  • Define Mapping Debugger.

  • Explain how the Mapping Debugger works in Informatica.

  • In Informatica, what function does the F10 key have?

  • What are the two types of worklets?

  • Define Relative Mode.

  • Define Repository Manager.

  • Define Workflow Monitor.

  • Define Workflow Manager.

  • Define Dimensional Modelling.

How Many Rounds Of Interviews Are There For Informatica?

For an Informatica interview process, you can expect multiple rounds of interviews, tests and screening procedures. Typically, candidates report around five rounds of interviews for Informatica. The difficulty of these rounds and the expertise required to clear them may increase gradually. The rounds could also be focused on covering different domains within Informatica applications. You may also have to give a preliminary written test to get shortlisted for the interview rounds.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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