MockQuestions

Computer Systems Analyst Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Computer Systems Analyst interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Computer Systems Analyst was written by and updated on November 17th, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What types of requirements do you gather when you start working on a new project?

How to Answer

This operational question seeks to understand your planning process when starting a new project or implementing a new design. Computer systems analysts should have definite processes they use to plan, initiate, and execute projects. Typically, these are documented and placed in manuals, which can be referred to when new projects arise or to train new personnel. Being able to describe the requirements you use will demonstrate your qualifications for this role.

Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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List of 25 Computer Systems Analyst Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    What types of requirements do you gather when you start working on a new project?

      How to Answer

      This operational question seeks to understand your planning process when starting a new project or implementing a new design. Computer systems analysts should have definite processes they use to plan, initiate, and execute projects. Typically, these are documented and placed in manuals, which can be referred to when new projects arise or to train new personnel. Being able to describe the requirements you use will demonstrate your qualifications for this role.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "When initiating a new project, there are three types of requirements I seek to understand. These include user, technical, and functional requirements. The technical requirements include details such as the required hardware, network equipment, and software applications. The functional requirements address how these systems interface with each other. Finally, the user requirements help me understand how people will interact with the systems and what tasks they are trying to accomplish."

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

      Community Answer

      "After conducting the preliminary investigation, presenting, and getting approved the business case I move to the requirements gathering phase. Whether we are engaging in a structured approach or an agile methodology I like to use the acronym FURPS + DIIP when gathering requirements or user stories. It stands for Functionality, Usability, Reliability, Performance, Supportability, Design, Interface, Implementation, and Physical. Functionality addresses the functional requirements, the URPS addresses non-functional requirements while DIIP addresses constraints. This allows me to cover the solution from most angles, is key to note that the solution doesn't need to address each one. Example: A small webserver hosted on AWS has no physical constraints."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great job! This answer exudes confidence and illustrates that this is something you're comfortable doing. You've clearly outlined the steps you take and the kind of requirements you gather, illustrating your analytical skills and ability to organize effectively.

  • 2.

    Do you have experience designing a new system with limited resources?

      How to Answer

      This question is addressing your experience in your previous roles as a computer systems analyst. In today's environment, companies are always looking to do more with less. Being able to describe how you accomplished this effectively and efficiently will help you establish your job qualifications. You should be able to provide a specific example of how you accomplished this.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "In my last job, the IT budget was frozen for 12 months, but the team was still expected to implement new systems while keeping the existing ones performing at high levels. In one specific instance, I was asked to develop a plan that would expand the network's capacity without adding any additional devices or resources. After analyzing the network usage, I came up with a scheme that would create several subnets. These would direct traffic to specific network areas, which had the most resources and reroute traffic around busy hardware. This enabled me to achieve the goal while preventing the company from having to upgrade the network."

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

      Community Answer

      "Back at ****, I was tasked with creating a 24hrs help desk system I was given an extra 25% budget and asked to deliver 3 times as much coverage. Given these constraints I decided to conduct the preliminary investigation, during this phase the obvious became apparent, I needed to be creative and encounter a way to deliver high-quality service at a far lower cost per interaction. With management approval I went ahead and had my team create a library of self-help media, Also I hired a call center that would have agents trained by us and deliver 24hrs of coverage as a Tier 1 support while re-training my help desk to assume a tier 2 role. After implementation, I was able to reduce the cost per interaction from $11 to $2.50, delivering round-the-clock coverage and staying within budget. While increasing student satisfaction by 8%."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Once again you've done a really great job outlining an applicable example that is clear and specific. I appreciate the way you share the initial obstacles you had to overcome, each step of the creation process, and the final results. You've showcased that you're an employee able to develop a new system within the budget that also increases customer satisfaction and lowers costs, making you a stand-out candidate.

  • 3.

    What are some of the differences between functional and non-functional requirements?

      How to Answer

      This technical question is asking you to compare two similar but different terms. When comparing to technical items, you should first define them, discuss their differences, and then provide examples of how they are used. This will ensure that you're answering the question completely and addressing the interviewer's inquiry. As always, be prepared for follow-up questions.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "The functional requirements of a system describe what the system should do. The non-functional requirements address how the system performs or operates. For example, functional requirements can include authentication, transactions, administrative functions, and other system processes. Non-functional requirements may include security, performance levels, scalability of the system, and capacity. Both elements are needed to properly design and provision a computer system."

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

      Community Answer

      "Functional requirements address the basics needed for a given product or solution to deliver its deliverable. While non-functional requirements address the: usability, reliability, performance, and supportability of the product or solution. An example of a functional requirement is for a car to start and move while a non-functional is for the car to have seat belts or red brake lights."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You're right - functional requirements address what a system does or must not do, while non-functional requirements address how the system does something. Ultimately, non-functional requirements don't affect the primary functionality of a system.

  • 4.

    Please explain the process you use to analyze an existing computer system.

      How to Answer

      This operational question seeks to explore your experience in analyzing existing systems, as well as your knowledge of the protocols associated with systems analysis. During an interview, it is important that you listen to the interviewer's question in its entirety before formulating your answer. It is common for candidates to begin to think about the answer before the interviewer has completed the question. This may result in you not answering the question completely or thinking you understand the question and providing an answer that is not relevant. Be careful to avoid this pitfall.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 5.

    What experience do you have managing computer programming projects?

      How to Answer

      This is a direct question about your experience with a specific task required by this position. Even though you have presented your resume to the hiring manager, the person interviewing you may not have read it or wants to explore it in more detail. Being familiar with your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other information the interviewer may have access to will help you answer this question to align with the information they may already have.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 6.

    Can you describe the difference between SSH and SSL?

      How to Answer

      You should recognize this as a technical question since it asks you to define terms and describe the differences between them. When answering this type of technical question, first define each term. The next step is to describe how they differ from each other. Finally, you may want to provide an example of how each item is used in your profession. This methodology ensures that your answer will be complete and will address the question the interviewer has asked.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 7.

    How important is maintaining accurate registration of the software?

      How to Answer

      This is a follow-up question to one you previously answered. Interviewers will ask follow-up questions to explore a topic in more detail or collect additional information about a subject. You should always be prepared for follow-up questions. Keeping your original answers brief and to the point will encourage the interviewer to ask a follow-up question if they have a specific interest in a topic.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 8.

    How do you approach record-keeping for the software you manage?

      How to Answer

      Accurate documentation and record-keeping is a critical skill every computer systems analyst should possess. This contributes to maintaining a safe and secure It environment, being able to train new hires quickly and efficiently, restore systems if there is an outage or when data is deleted, and track software licensing and hardware revision levels. Since this is an operational question, make sure to keep your answer short and to the point.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 9.

    What are some of the software usage policies you have implemented in your previous jobs?

      How to Answer

      This operational question is inquiring into the type of tools, policies, and procedures you used in prior positions. The interviewer seeks to understand if you have direct experience with the type of procedures and policies they employ or can contribute new ideas to their operations. This is a case where your pre-interview research can help you be prepared to answer the question. Additionally, you should not share anything proprietary to a previous employer.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 10.

    What is a spoofed packet, and how can it impact an organization's network?

      How to Answer

      This is a technical question asking you to define a specific term and describe how it is used in your role as a computer systems analyst. During the interview, the majority of your questions will be technical or operational. Both types of questions help the interviewer understand your qualifications and your experience doing this job. Make sure you keep your answers short and to the point. This will encourage the interviewer to ask a follow-up question if they want to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 11.

    Can you define sub-netting and discuss how it is used to manage an IT infrastructure?

      How to Answer

      When asked to define the term or concept, you should recognize the question as being technical. Technical questions should be addressed briefly and directly, without any embellishment. You should also anticipate follow-up questions after you responded to the interviewer. A series of follow-up questions indicates that this topic is important to the organization and permits you to expand your answers.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 12.

    What are the key elements of software auditing?

      How to Answer

      Auditing software is another function performed by the Computer Systems analyst. Being familiar with this practice and being able to describe the critical elements is key to establishing your qualifications for this role. This is another example of a technical question, so you should make sure that your answer is directed to the point. You should also anticipate follow-up questions meant to explore this topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 13.

    Can you describe your experience creating and enforcing software usage policies and discuss why are they are important?

      How to Answer

      This operational question is meant to explore your experience with this specific activity. Interviewers will ask operational questions about the type of work you will be doing for the organization if they decide to hire you. Your pre-interview research should indicate their expectations and the duties you will be expected to perform in this job. This will help you prepare for questions like this. You should be able to discuss the operations you perform and give examples of how you did this for your previous employers.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 14.

    Give me an example of when you took a risk to achieve a goal. What was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      This is a behavioral question that an interviewer will ask to determine whether you act conservatively or are a risk-taker. As a computer systems analyst, it is best to maintain a balance between both extremes. While you need to be innovative and adapt to new technologies to resolve the challenges you encounter, you also need to maintain the stability and security of the computer systems you manage. Your answer to this question should reflect your ability to do this.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 15.

    Why is it important to maintain accurate documentation of the systems you manage?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of an operational question. Operational questions help the interviewer understand how you go about doing your job in this role. Just like technical questions, operational questions should be answered directly and briefly. You should always anticipate follow-up questions when you provide an answer to the interviewer. Follow-up questions indicate that the interviewer wants to explore the topic in more detail or has a specific interest in this area.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 16.

    Can you describe what a DHCP server is and why they are useful for administering computer networks?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of a technical question. During your interview as a computer systems analyst, you should anticipate that most of the questions will be technical or operational. These help the interviewer understand your qualifications and your ability to perform in this role. Technical questions are best answered directly and briefly. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need additional information.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 17.

    Tell us how you keep your job knowledge current with the ongoing changes in the industry.

      How to Answer

      Hiring managers will always select candidates who are qualified for the position. They also look for individuals who continue to increase their knowledge and stay current on the topics required for them to do their job. You should have a formal plan for maintaining your competency in your profession and be able to describe it when requested.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 18.

    Describe a project or idea that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      This behavioral question asks you to provide details of an accomplishment you achieved in one of your previous jobs. When answering behavioral questions, you should use the STAR framework. This helps you organize your answer and tell a story that the interviewer can relate to. The example you describe should align with the type of work you will be doing for the organization if you are hired.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 19.

    What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue?

      How to Answer

      No one likes to discuss times they were challenged or even failed at a task. However, interviewers know that everybody encounters these situations. The key to answering this question is demonstrating how you successfully overcame a difficult situation or a significant challenge. This is the response the interviewer is looking for. Many people operate under the belief that there are no failures, only opportunities to learn and improve.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 20.

    Tell me about a time that you had to work on a team that did not get along. What happened?

      How to Answer

      The ability to collaborate with a team is critical to just about any job, especially for computer system analysts. Team dynamics can often be challenging, and inevitably there will be conflicts. Your ability to manage these and accomplish the task at hand is critical. You should be able to describe a situation where you had a conflict with a difficult team member and resolved it professionally and productively.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 21.

    Some people consider themselves to be 'big picture people,' and others are 'detail-oriented.' Which are you? Give an example of a time when you displayed this.

      How to Answer

      Any time an interviewer asks you to give them an example, you should identify the question as being behavioral. This indicates that your answer should be formatted using the STAR framework. You state the situation, discuss the task you need to accomplish, describe the actions you took, and highlight the results. Your answer should align with the job requirements when being asked to choose between having a big picture perspective or being attentive to details.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 22.

    Have you ever been in a position where you had to lead a group of peers? How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      This is a behavioral question that seeks to understand your collaboration and leadership skills. Behavioral questions ask you about previous situations and how you reacted to them. The best way to answer a behavioral question is by using the STAR framework. This involves four steps; First, you state the Situation, then discuss the Task you needed to achieve. The next step is to describe the Actions you took, followed by a brief description of the Results you achieved.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 23.

    What new or unusual ideas have you developed on your job? How did you develop them? What was the result?

      How to Answer

      Organizations like to hire individuals who are innovative and willing to learn new things. This question seeks to determine if you have these qualifications. When discussing a new idea that you developed and implemented, it should align with the responsibilities of the role for which you are interviewing. This will demonstrate that you will be able to solve challenging problems using innovative solutions when hired for this position.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 24.

    What goal have you set for yourself that you have successfully achieved?

      How to Answer

      The ability to set and achieve goals is a key qualification for an employee. Employers prefer candidates who can give examples of having done this. When preparing for an interview, you should carefully read the job description and understand the goals and objectives of the role. You should then prepare brief stories about when you were able to achieve similar objectives in your previous jobs.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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  • 25.

    What do you consider to be your professional strengths? Give me a specific example using this attribute in the workplace.

      How to Answer

      In just about any interview, you will be asked about your strengths and your weaknesses. You can prepare for this question by listing both on the sheet of paper and practicing presenting them to the interviewer. When answering a question about your strengths, the examples you provide should align with the requirements noted in the job description for which you are interviewing. When discussing your weaknesses, they should either not be related to the job or items you are working to correct or have already done.

      Written by William Swansen on November 17th, 2020

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