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Business Analyst Interview

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    Job Interviews Careers Business Analyst

30 Business Analyst
Interview Questions

    Business Analyst

  1. What key strengths should a business analyst possess?

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      An excellent business analyst will be analytical, a great critical thinker, and a fantastic problem solver. There are many essential strengths that a business analyst should have, and it may be hard to choose. Start by reviewing the job description or job posting, and pick out a few key strengths that the potential employer is seeking. Then, form your response based on those keywords which you possess.

  2. Which data modeling software do you prefer to use?

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      Most commonly, business analysts will use Microsoft Excel or Visio for their data modeling needs. Likely, the preferred software or program will be mentioned in the hiring company's job posting so be sure to refer to that. If you have experience in the software or applications they use, be sure to mention your level of exposure and expertise. If you do not have experience in their preferred programs or software, discuss how you can apply your current knowledge to their systems.

  3. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?

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      A talented business analyst will have the ability to pivot, adapt, and change on a moments' notice. As a business analyst, you know that being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios for your clients and accounts. You may never need to take on these scenarios; however, it's great for the interviewer to know that you can adapt your plan on the fly.

  4. Tell me more about your degree, and the business analysis field in which you are most interested.

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      A business analyst can specialize in a wide range of industries including finance, economics, statistics, computer or information science, manufacturing, and more. Discuss with the interviewer where you focused while obtaining your university degree, and then draw a picture for them on where your career path has taken you. Be sure to express interest in the hiring company's particular industry or area of focus.

  5. Tell me about your involvement in systems development life cycle and user acceptance testing.

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      An experienced business analyst will have exposure to SDLC, which is systems development life cycle, or application development lifecycle. When a business introduces new software or applications to their organization, they need to make sure the change is well planned, adequately tested and then properly deployed company-wide. A seasoned business analyst can make this process run much smoother, saving an organization valuable time, resources, and funds. Describe your experience with SDLC and user application testing. If you do not have exposure to these activities, be sure to express your interest in becoming involved and learning.

  6. Talk to me about your specific technical skills as a business analyst.

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      Whether your career focus is on being a data business analyst, an IT business analyst, or a strategic business analyst, your response to this question may be entirely different. If you are interviewing for a data-focused role, your technical skills may include data analysis software and visual presentation programs such as PowerPoint. As an IT business analyst, you likely have exposure to software development tools and templates. Then, as a strategic business analyst, your technical skills may be better suited for professional industries and include strategic and business case analysis software and applications. Discuss with the interviewer which technical skills you will bring to their organization.

  7. Have you considered advancing your education to include an MBA?

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      Many successful business analysts have a bachelor's degree, while others possess an MBA. The interviewer would like to know if you have the interest and drive to build on your education, resulting in further career growth opportunities. With a Master of Business Administration, you can learn a lot about enterprise business, the economy, and how big business best functions in a variety of economic and social environments. Although an MBA is not often a requirement to become a business analyst, you will stand out above the others, if you show an interest.

  8. What was the last presentation you gave? How do you feel it went?

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      Giving a presentation to clients or your team will likely be a significant part of your role as a business analyst. You may need to gather data, write the presentation, create the visuals, and then deliver it - all on your own. If you have experience designing and giving presentations, discuss with the hiring authority what those topics were on, and how well the presentation was received. If you are newer to your career as a business analyst, perhaps you had to create and give a presentation while earning your bachelor's degree. Best case scenario, you have a sample of a presentation that you are proud of, ready on your tablet or phone, to show the interviewer.

  9. Name two important types of charts or diagrams a business analyst would use. Why are these important?

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      The hiring authority wants to see that you have basic knowledge when it comes to the diagrams and charts that you will be using during your business analyst career. Some examples include: - Data Flow Diagrams - Activity Diagrams - Use Case Diagrams - Brainstorm Mind Map - Feature Roadmap - Organizational Chart You are likely familiar with a few of these charts and diagrams, so be sure to choose a couple of options which you know well and can easily discuss.

  10. How do you determine the difference between a risk and an issue?

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      If you have experience as a business analyst or a project manager, you know full well that there is a world of difference between a genuine risk and an issue. The interviewer wants to see that you are not going to overlook probability, but that you can also focus your attention on matters which are current problems.

  11. What are the various SDLC models?

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      SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle, a concept which is often used by IT Business Analysts. There are various models within SDLC, which include Agile, Waterfall, Spiral, Iterative, and V-Shaped. Display to the interviewer that you understand the variances between these models by briefly discussing their differences.

  12. As a business analyst, when do you consider a project successful and complete?

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      Just because a client has signed off on a project, that does not mean your job as a business analyst is done. The interviewer would like to understand when you consider a project to be successful and complete. Share that you are available to your clients when they need you and that you do not abandon them the moment they sign off on a project.

  13. How do you react when you are dissatisfied with the quality of your work, or the outcome of a project?

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      As a business analyst, you want everything to be perfect, and you want every project to be pristine, for your valued client and employer. Failure happens to all of us from time to time. The interviewer would like to know how you respond to let-downs in the workplace. There will always be a time when you are not happy with your work environment, but your reaction is what will determine whether or not you recover from the disappointment. Show that you have the maturity to be able to respond to dissatisfaction productively.

  14. How would you deal with conflict on your team?

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      The hiring authority is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team, or even external stakeholders, and professionally handle issues when they arise. Think of an example where you worked closely with others to resolve a conflict. You could also offer a scenario where you mediated an issue between two coworkers. Show that you can keep your head on your shoulders when dealing with conflict.

  15. Is compensation the most critical factor for you when taking a new job?

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      The interviewer would like to know how much emphasis you put on pay when considering a new position. In addition to compensation, there are many other factors to a fulfilling career. These other factors may include: - work/life balance - amount of travel involved in the role - overall medical and health benefits - additional perks such as a cell, car allowance, spending account - the industry you will be working in - amount of vacation time - the type of clients you would be working with - the location of the company - career growth opportunity - the size of your new team - the company's reputation - overall workplace culture Talk to the interviewer about other factors that are important to you when considering a new job. If you are not sure on details for this role, you can ask!

  16. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?

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      Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring their trade secrets to another company or client. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements.

  17. Which decision-making technique do you deploy most often?

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      The interviewer wants to understand the types of techniques and thought processes you use, to come to conclusions when working on projects. Pareto Analysis or the 80/20 rule is a commonly used decision-making technique, as is T-Chart Analysis, and more. Discuss with the interviewer what you know about decision making and the importance of coming to accurate conclusions.

  18. How would you ultimately describe your work style?

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      This question is not referring to your personality or character, but more towards your methodology when it comes to getting your work done. Talk to the interviewer about your day-to-day approach to projects, communicating with coworkers, or collaborating with clients. Your work style might be: - Collaborative - Well-Planned - Speedy - Flexible or Adaptive - Independent - Company-focused - Team-based

  19. What does the acronym INVEST mean, to technical teams and project managers?

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      A good business analyst should understand that the acronym INVEST is for: - Independent - Negotiable - Valuable - Estimable - Sized appropriately - Testable Show the interviewer that you are familiar with industry terms by explaining what INVEST means, breaking down each word. If you are not familiar with INVEST, that is okay. Likely, this means that you do not often work in the IT space.

  20. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

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      The interviewer would like to know if you are satisfied with your interview performance. If your interview were a flop, you would know, and it's much better to address outright your performance than try to sweep it under the rug. If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: 'I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?' If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."

    READ: View All Business Analyst Interview Questions

  21. Leadership

  22. Tell me about your leadership qualities.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

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      The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be your best leadership qualities and how these qualities apply to them and their needs as a company. When describing your leadership qualities, avoid general terms or cliche statements, and give a unique answer. A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. To get you started, with which of these qualities do you most identify? - Confident - Optimistic - Encouraging - Accountable - Engaged - Passionate - Integrous - Loyal - Charismatic When describing your leadership qualities, be sure to tie your response to the characteristics and approach the company is seeking. You can uncover this information by carefully reading the company's job posting, website careers page, or social media posts related to its teamwork approach.

  23. What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of leading your current team?

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      The interviewer is trying to learn more about the challenges you currently face as a leader in your Business Analyst role. If hired, this information will help the company to know where you could use additional training, encouragement, or education. Every leader has an aspect of people management that is challenging for them. One common challenge for leaders is the need to terminate an employee. Another problem could be continually motivating unengaged employees. A big challenge could also be sourcing and utilizing the best hiring resources to shave down your time spent on reading resumes. Other common problems include managing underperformers, handling conflict between coworkers, increasing employee retention, and delegating tasks. Share your most challenging aspect of leadership but also highlight the steps that you take to alleviate or overcome that challenge.

  24. Have you ever helped to implement a significant company change in one of your past roles?

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      The interviewer would like to know that you have the type of personality where you can take the initiative without it being a formal requirement of your position. When you respond, it will be essential to show that you are happy being an engaged part of your company and team. Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Have you ever...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer. Perhaps a new company policy was coming into place, and you helped to execute some changes. Maybe a new employee benefits program was introduced, or your company implemented a new software program. In your story example, be specific about what you did, and the impact your actions had - whether short or long term.

    READ: View All Leadership Interview Questions

  25. IT Business Analyst

  26. In the role of an IT Business Analyst, you work with cross-functional teams from every part of the organization. How do you ensure that each stakeholder's needs are being met?

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      This is an operational question that seeks to discover how you do your job. In this role, you are required to work with different personalities and positions. Knowing how to deal with all types of people at all levels of business will be key to success.

  27. One of our divisions has a seasonal e-commerce business that sells a limited number of items. What are some issues you anticipate with their revenue streams?

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      As an IT business analyst, you need to be able to anticipate future issues and create solutions for your clients. This situational question will provide the interviewer with some insight as to how you tackle common business problems that may arise in their organization.

  28. Can you discuss a situation in which you had to direct a project stakeholder toward a different course of action than the one they had originally planned to pursue?

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      This is a behavioral question. Behavioral questions seek to understand how you react to a specific situation you may encounter in this job. Behavioral questions are best responded to using the STAR framework. You state the Situation, describe the Task you need to accomplish, talk about the Actions you would take, and then discuss the results you plan on attaining. Behavioral questions can discuss past instances or how you would anticipate reacting to a future situation.

  29. What are the main types of charts and diagrams you use, and why are they important?

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      This is an operational question which seeks to understand how you go about doing your job. IT business analysts use several different tools, including charts, diagrams, and other reports. You should be able to demonstrate that you are familiar with these and understand how to use them to communicate with project stakeholders.

  30. Can you discuss the role of a Business Analyst in an organization and the contributions they make?

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      This is an opening question which the interviewer will ask to begin the conversation. The purpose of this is to understand how you think a business analyst contributes to the organization. It provides you with an opportunity to start to guide the interview and provide information the interviewer can use to ask you subsequent questions.

  31. Do you use Pareto Analysis in your role as a business analyst, and if so, how?

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      You'll note that this is a specific technical question related to your role as a business IT analyst. As the interview progresses, the technical questions will become harder and complicated. We recommend you take the time to review these types of questions and practice responding to them. You should do this out loud so that you will be prepared for the interview.

  32. What are some of the things you do when you encounter difficult stakeholders?

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      This is a behavioral question. Behavioral questions present you with a scenario and then ask you what you might do or have done. Behavioral questions may be hypothetical, or they may describe a situation you're likely to encounter in the future. Behavioral questions are best responded to using the STAR framework. You State the situation, describe the Task you need to complete, discuss the Action you took, or will take, then describe the Results you achieved.

    READ: View All IT Business Analyst Interview Questions

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