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Business Analyst Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 14th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
Which decision-making technique do you deploy most often?
View Answers
How to Answer
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.
30 Business Analyst Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. Which decision-making technique do you deploy most often?
  2. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  3. Is compensation the most critical factor for you when taking a new job?
  4. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  5. How would you ultimately describe your work style?
  6. How often do you discuss work with your colleagues to think up new systems and styles of working?
  7. How would you deal with conflict on your team?
  8. Are you currently interviewing with any of our competitors?
  9. Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?
  10. How do you react when you are dissatisfied with the quality of your work, or the outcome of a project?
  11. What are your thoughts on Agile software development? Do you encourage Agile methodologies with your clients?
  12. What does the acronym PEST stand for, and have you ever used it?
  13. Are you Six Sigma certified? Why is Six Sigma important to you, as a business analyst?
  14. What are the various SDLC models?
  15. Describe Kano Analysis and why it is important.
  16. What key strengths should a business analyst possess?
  17. What does the acronym INVEST mean, to technical teams and project managers?
  18. As a business analyst, when do you consider a project successful and complete?
  19. How do you show your clients the importance of communication during a project?
  20. How do you determine the difference between a risk and an issue?
  21. What is benchmarking, and why is it important?
  22. Name two important types of charts or diagrams a business analyst would use. Why are these important?
  23. What was the last presentation you gave? How do you feel it went?
  24. Have you considered advancing your education to include an MBA?
  25. Tell me about your experience working with teams from various departments of the organization.
  26. Talk to me about your specific technical skills as a business analyst.
  27. Tell me about your involvement in systems development life cycle and user acceptance testing.
  28. Tell me more about your degree, and the business analysis field in which you are most interested.
  29. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
  30. Which data modeling software do you prefer to use?
15 Business Analyst Answer Examples with User Answers
1.
Which decision-making technique do you deploy most often?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Most often, I find myself utilizing Pareto Analysis. I agree with the fact that about 20% of causes are responsible for 80% of outcomes, or results. With this style of analysis, I can more easily break down which part of the workflow is causing most of the issues. Once we identify that 20%, it's much easier to problem solve and make decisions."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When decision making, I use a variety of techniques, without falling victim to the well-known 'analysis-paralysis.' I tend to go to decision trees, t-chart analysis, or SWOT analysis. The methods that I lean on will depend on the stage I am in with the client, so often, many of these techniques come into play in one project."
Anonymous Answer
"If it is a project that I’m familiar with, then I apply my past experiences to make individual decisions. If it is a brand new project, I would interact with team members and do my research to arrive at an informed decision."
Rachelle's Answer
These are great approaches for either scenario. It's nice that you gave two distinct responses! You sound very competent :)
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2.
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
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."
Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would rate my performance to 90% of my ability. When you asked about my exposure to Agile methodology, I feel that missed expressing my breadth of experience. If you have time, I would like to cover that question further."
Anonymous Answer
"Thank you for asking. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. I would rate my performance to 90% of my ability. I am happy how I answered most of the questions; however, I feel that I missed expressing some of my experience in business planning consolidation. If you have time, I would like to talk a bit more about the same further."
Kristine's Answer
Good answer. Of course, you would only rate your performance at 90% of your ability if you're unhappy with how you answered one or more questions. This is a nice way to ask for the opportunity to speak again about a topic.
"Thank you for asking. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. I would rate my performance to 90% of my ability. I am happy with how I answered most of the questions; however, I feel that I missed expressing some of my experience in business planning consolidation. If you have time, I would like to talk a bit more about that topic."
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3.
Is compensation the most critical factor for you when taking a new job?
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!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Salary is important to me because I know that I am skilled and well educated. With that said, I do look at the full picture which includes factors such as benefits, travel time, and the amount of paid vacation time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"For me, as a business analyst, the most important factor in accepting a new role is the health of the company, and the clients they onboard. I am looking to take on a team that is positive. I like to work with enthusiastic people that I can motivate. With that said, I am also looking for a competitive financial offer."
Anonymous Answer
"For me, as much as compensation is important, I would be equally interested in the job description and the roles/responsibilities the opportunity has to offer. That said, I would certainly look into areas that align with my skills and would try to look for things that will help me to learn and grow in my position. A few other things that I would consider are work/life balance, good benefits, organic team, fringe benefits, etc."
Rachelle's Answer
Awesome response! You offer a lot of detail for the interviewer. This information will be helpful when the company is preparing to make you a competitive and tempting job offer.
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4.
Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Confidentiality agreements are necessary and important to protect an organization. I understand the need for confidentiality and take those factors very seriously. I have never broken the trust of my employer or client."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have signed NDA's in all of my previous projects, with no issues. As a business analyst, I understand the importance of confidentiality. I hold myself, and my team, accountable to confidentiality agreements."
5.
How would you ultimately describe your work style?
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

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would describe my work style as highly team-based. I keep in mind that my pace, quality of work, and the outcome will always affect multiple people on my team. If I am unsure of the path to take on a project, I will consult with my team to ensure that my ideas align well with theirs."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My work style is best described as independent. Once I understand my clients' goal, I am ready to take on all aspects of the project on my own. I take feedback well, of course."
Anonymous Answer
"I cannot put more of an emphasis on my particular work style. My work style includes well planned and team-based. If I talk about well- planned as one of my working styles, I would say that before I leave work for the day, I ensure that my following day is good to go. I like to come to work in the morning feeling organized and in control. This level of preparedness is always welcome by my employer. I would also describe my working style as highly team-based. I always bear in mind that my pace, quality of work, and the outcome will always affect multiple people on my team. If I am unsure of the path to take on a project, I will consult with my team to ensure that my ideas align well with theirs."
Kristine's Answer
This is a strong response! You provide the interviewer with two specific aspects of your work style. I reorganized and reworded your answer a bit for clarity.
"My work style includes careful planning and acting as if I am a member of a team, not working on projects independently. For example, before leaving work for the day, I always ensure that I have a plan for the next day. I like arriving to work in the morning feeling organized and knowing what my top priorities are. My employer has always welcomed this level of preparedness. I also see myself as part of a team, remembering that my pace, quality of work, and the outcome will affect multiple people on my team. If I am unsure of the path to take on a project, I consult with my team to ensure my ideas align with theirs."
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6.
How often do you discuss work with your colleagues to think up new systems and styles of working?
The interviewer would like to know if you discuss creative ideas with your coworkers. Do you use your creative mind with your colleagues to discuss plans and systems in the workplace? Talk to the interviewer about how you have used creative thinking in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think it is important to discuss work with colleagues in a collaborative nature to encourage all types of ideas to come forth. Often, when people put their heads together, they will create something better than something one individual could have done alone."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My team collaborates all the time! When one of us closes a successful project, we send an email to the entire team to let them know how we do it. We can all learn from each other's work methods which are encouraging and helpful."
7.
How would you deal with conflict on your team?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have strong conflict management skills and as a business analyst with many high-stakes projects, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress work environment which can cause unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When there is conflict, I will address the issue head-on, with expediency, and open communication. Hearing the problem before deciding on a solution, and perhaps most importantly, hearing the parties out is most important. I believe in allowing the stakeholders to have a say in what they think will work best for them, and then work together to create a solution that will work best for everyone."
Anonymous Answer
"I have strong conflict management skills, which I use to exercise from time to time. We are in a high stress, highly commissioned work environment, which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. For example, as an SAP FICO consultant, my work entirely depends on all different areas such as sales, purchasing, technical specifications, HR and so on. For this reason, our team has to coordinate with the relevant team. Sometimes delay from their side affect our work which causes conflict. When such a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."
Kristine's Answer
Nice response. You mention your experience in working in a high-stress environment and diffusing conflict. You can round out your answer by saying something about the conclusion of your group meetings. Do you come up with new deadlines? Offer to help out the team member that is behind on work? I reworded some parts of your answer for clarity.
"I have strong conflict management skills, which I exercise from time to time. We are in a high-stress work environment, which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. For example, as an SAP FICO consultant, my work depends on all different areas such as sales, purchasing, technical specifications, HR, and so on. For this reason, we have to coordinate with the relevant team. Sometimes a delay from their side affects our work, which causes conflict. When such a dispute arises, I deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."
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8.
Are you currently interviewing with any of our competitors?
The interviewer is curious and would like to know if you are visiting any of their close competitors to discuss similar business analyst roles. You are never under obligation to disclose who you are interviewing with, and you are usually best not to name any names, in such a tight-knit industry.

Be direct without giving away too much. Let the interviewer know that you are active in your search but are being very discerning regarding your applications, and final decision. You also do not want it to appear that you are putting all of your eggs into this one basket. Think of this as a first date question - you want to show your interest, but also keep some mystery!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am interviewing with two other organizations for similar business analyst roles. One position, I am in the third interview stage, and the other was a pre-screen call with an in-person interview tomorrow. It is important to me that I find work soon; however, I will hold out for the right opportunity."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am not in a position to disclose which of your competitors are engaging me at the moment, but I can tell you that I am in early to mid-interview stages with two others. Your company is my first choice, and luckily we are furthest along in the interview process."
9.
Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?
The interviewer would like to know that you are motivated to better yourself personally, and professionally. Career development can come in many forms:

- Conferences
- Trade shows
- Seminars & workshops
- Reading
- Podcasts
- Online coursework
- Finding a mentor

Discuss with the interviewer how you plan to develop yourself professionally this year and be sure to tie it into how this goal will benefit their company, should they choose to hire you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"This year I have put requests to attend a few seminars and workshops on effective leadership and one on macroeconomics. I want to be able to help my team and clients reach their goals while also feeling fulfilled and happy. I look forward to taking what I have learned so far, and applying the concepts to this BA lead role with your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The professional goal that I set for myself recently was to find a mentor to assist me in my career. Being newer to my profession as a business analyst, I felt it was important to consult and meet with someone more seasoned than I. This move to have a mentor can only benefit me and, down the road, I hope to return the favor to someone else who needs a mentor."
Anonymous Answer
"My immediate goal is to secure a position at a company like this one where I can continue to grow and improve myself both personally and professionally. I enjoy challenges and look forward to opportunities where I will be able to assume more responsibilities. Ultimately, I’d like to move into management with a focus on strategy and development and work my way into a long-term position where I can build a stable career. Right now, I’m focusing on improving my communication skills through continuing education programs outside of work. I’m very interested in leadership positions and know effective communication is critical. While I’m very happy as a member of any team I’m on, I’m looking forward to being able to take on small leadership roles, eventually working my way into a position as a manager and team leader. I have been so lucky to have been surrounded by the manager and team leaders who have been generous with their knowledge, and I look forward to an opportunity to become a mentor for others like me within this field."
Kristine's Answer
Great answer! Your interviewer will be convinced you take career development seriously. It's important to keep your answer focused on the question at hand, which is about your goals for the upcoming year. So, I revised your response a bit so that you highlight your career development goals in the coming year. I suggest you provide some specifics about your goals related to improving your communication skills. E.g., Are you working to improve your written English, spoken English, or something else?
"My immediate goal is to secure a position at a company like this one where I can continue to grow and improve myself. I enjoy challenges and look forward to opportunities where I can assume more responsibilities. Over the next year, I'll be focusing on improving my communication skills, and I've already begun the process by enrolling in continuing education programs outside of work. I’m very interested in leadership positions and know effective communication is critical. In the next year, I'd like to take on small leadership roles. Eventually, I want to work my way into a position as a manager and team leader. I have been so lucky to have been surrounded by the manager and team leaders who have been generous with their knowledge, and I look forward to an opportunity to become a mentor for others within this field. Ultimately, I’d like to move into management with a focus on strategy and development."
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10.
How do you react when you are dissatisfied with the quality of your work, or the outcome of a project?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In business analysis, there is little room to play around with our work and bounce back from mistakes. I allow myself to make mistakes, tweak my work, and play around with different models; however, an analytical mind is always seeking improvements and will not rest until its right."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When I am dissatisfied with my work, I will not submit it. There is no room in my line of work to hand in work that is not up to standard. I would not say that I am a perfectionist; however, I know what I am capable of achieving, and as a business analyst, I have to set a great example at all times."
Anonymous Answer
"When I am dissatisfied with the outcome of a project, program, etc....I use that moment to learn something; list out the things I could have done differently, get feedback from my team or stakeholders, and listen to what they are saying without being offended. How do I better myself, maybe there is another way that I am not aware of. If we aren't willing to continuously improve, what is the point? While I stand behind everything that I do, I understand that I am by no means perfect and that leads to a few things I have no problem with stating; 1- I don't know, but let me find out for you. 2 - I am/was wrong, or I can do better."
Kristine's Answer
Great answer! You show a capacity for growth during challenging times. Your answer conveys keen emotional intelligence and humility. To strengthen your response, you can stay focused on only providing details related to the question and share an example of a time you were dissatisfied with the quality of your work and the steps you took to improve.
"When I am dissatisfied with the quality of my work or the outcome of a project, I use that experience to learn something. First, I take the time to list out the things I could have done differently. I recognize that we all have blind spots and one of the best ways to improve is to ask others to share their observations and insights, so the second thing I do is seek out feedback from my team and stakeholders and listen to what they are saying. By reassuring others, I genuinely want their honest feedback, they know that I won't be offended and feel comfortable opening up to me. Finally, in situations where my shortfall affects others, I admit to my team or customer that I was wrong or that I can do better."
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11.
What are your thoughts on Agile software development? Do you encourage Agile methodologies with your clients?
Agile software development, and it's overall principles have been openly embraced by organizations all over the world, since its inception. Agile encourages collaboration with teams customers, and the end user, allowing for more cross-functional projects to happen with fewer hiccups.

However; there are still some people who strongly argue against Agile. Those people tend to prefer Waterfall, for instance. Discuss with the interviewer your thoughts on Agile, keeping in mind that it's best to research where the hiring company stands on Agile, before your interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I saw in your job posting that you are seeking a business analyst who embraces Agile methodology. I have worked in, and fully support, an Agile environment. I enjoy the team-based approach Agile brings to software development."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From what I understand, Agile software development is highly collaborative and team-based compared to other software development models. I can see how Agile would be excellent for many projects; but perhaps not all. I look forward to learning more about the methodologies used here. What is most important to me is that projects be tackled and completed professionally."
12.
What does the acronym PEST stand for, and have you ever used it?
PEST is a form of analysis, used to pick apart a business environment, allowing a business analyst to understand all of the external factors a company may be facing. PEST is for; Political, Economic, Social, and Technological. As a seasoned business analyst, you should have an idea of what PEST is, and how to tackle this type of analysis. Show the interviewer that you have the knowledge they are seeking.

If you have never used PEST analysis before; that is okay too, merely show the hiring authority that you understand the concept and that you are eager to work with this form of analysis in the future.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have used PEST multiple times as it pertains to seeking out the major external factors that all businesses face which include Political, Economic, Social, and Technological. It's essential that a business analyst single out these factors and study them before making recommendations to a client on specific areas for change and improvement."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am newer to my career, I have not implemented PEST analysis with a real client; however, I did use PEST in a case study while in University. I was to take a struggling e-commerce operation and discover the political, economic, social and technological factors which were potentially affecting the business. It was an effective method of analysis which I look forward to mastering as I further my career."
13.
Are you Six Sigma certified? Why is Six Sigma important to you, as a business analyst?
Being Six Sigma certified is not always a requirement for being a business analyst; however, this type of training never hurts! Six Sigma certification comes in a variety of levels including white belt, yellow belt, green belt, and MBB which is short for Master Black Belt. Discuss with the interviewer if you have this type of training, and how it helps you to do your job as a business analyst.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am currently taking my Six Sigma green belt, having already earned my white and yellow belts. This education has been helpful when it comes to learning about lean management, and the analysis and control that comes with it. The more knowledge I have on helping business to run lean, the more profitable I can make the clients with which I work."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have not begun any Six Sigma training as of yet; however, I can see how further training in lean management would be a beneficial tool for my clients, as I grow my business analyst portfolio. If this opportunity for further training comes up in the future, I would eagerly join."
14.
What are the various SDLC models?
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The SDLC models which I am most familiar with include Agile and Spiral. I like agile because it encourages adaptation, continuous improvements, and offers flexible responses to change. With Spiral, it's more risk driven which is also a fascinating method in which to work. The others include Waterfall, Iterative, and V-shaped which I am less familiar with but keen on learning."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From what I learned in university, there are five primary SDLC models which include Agile, Spiral, Waterfall, Iterative and V-shaped. Since my focus is not on IT business analysis, I did not perform a deep dive into these; however, I do understand V-shaped analysis and the fact that it is an extension of the waterfall method."
15.
Describe Kano Analysis and why it is important.
Kano Analysis was created to meet the ever-changing needs of customers and clients. When analyzing a product, it's vital that a company fully understands how to determine customer happiness. There are three points to Kano Analysis:

- Unexpected Delighters
- Performance Attributes
- Must Have Attributes

Show the interviewer that you understand these three points work together to help you analyze customer satisfaction.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Kano Analysis is a group of qualifiers that a company needs to meet before putting a product to market. Unexpected delighters are seen as the things a company or product delivers that is 'extra.' Must-have attributes are what a customer expects. Then, Performance attributes come from the 'more is better' customer mentality."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Kano Analysis is important because it helps a company to understand their customers' satisfaction threshold better. Kano is used for understanding customer needs, determining their requirements, developing new concepts, and analyzing competitive products."
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