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IT Business Analyst Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by
| William Swansen is an author, job search strategist and career advisor who assists individuals from all over the world.

Question 1 of 25

How important are flowcharts in the IT business analyst role, and how do you use them?

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IT Business Analyst Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How important are flowcharts in the IT business analyst role, and how do you use them?

      By asking this technical question, the interviewer is seeking to understand your knowledge about a specific tool used in this profession. They also want to confirm that you use the tool properly and in alignment with their processes and procedures. This is another question that requires you to do extensive research of the company and its products and services so that your answer will match the work they are interviewing you to do.

      William's Answer

      "Flowcharts are one of the most important tools I use in my profession. They are an easy way to communicate with project stakeholders and to ensure that we are taking the proper steps when creating a product or service. The other reason I like working with flowcharts is that they easily communicate technical concepts to both technical and non-technical project stakeholders."

  2. 2.

    As a business analyst, what are some typical documents you encounter while working on a project?

      This operational question enables the interviewer to understand the types of things you have encountered in your role as a business analyst. The interviewer will ask this question to better understand if you are familiar with the documents, processes, procedures, and other aspects of the work that their company does.

      William's Answer

      "As a business analyst, I work with a wide range of documents, depending on the project I am working on or the organization of which I am a part. Examples of these include functional and technical specifications, business requirements, traceability matrices, and case use diagrams."

  3. 3.

    What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect of analytical reporting?

      Although this question starts by asking your opinion, it is actually a technical question. The purpose of this question is to confirm that you are familiar with analytical reporting, and what you think is the most important aspect of it. The interviewer is seeking to understand if your perspective on this aligns with that of the organization.

      William's Answer

      "Solving problems and making decisions based on evidence instead of speculation and assumptions is the most critical aspect of analytical reporting. Data alone can't solve problems, but it can provide you with the tools to make data-driven decisions that you can be confident in and for which you can provide a rationale."

  4. 4.

    Based on your experience, when is the job of setting a project's requirements completed?

      When answering this operational question, you are required to make a judgment call. Since there is no final stage in which everyone will agree that a project planning exercise is complete, you should address when you believe it is complete and how you go about communicating this to the team. This question should not be that hard for you due to your experience as a business analyst.

      For examp: "Determining when the project planning process is complete is challenging, as is confirming that all the requirements have been met. I have a set of criteria I use to confirm this and then communicate these to the team, both at the beginning of the project and once the planning phase is complete. These include aligning the requirements with the business objectives of the company, allowing all the stakeholders the opportunity to present their views and ideas, establishing clear benchmarks for each stage of the project, and finally, making sure the resources needed to complete the project are in place."

      William's Answer

      "Determining when the project planning process is complete is challenging, as is confirming that all the requirements have been met. I have a set of criteria I use to confirm this and then communicate these to the team, both at the beginning of the project and once the planning phase is complete. These include aligning the requirements with the business objectives of the company, allowing all the stakeholders the opportunity to present their views and ideas, establishing clear benchmarks for each stage of the project, and finally, making sure the resources needed to complete the project are in place."

  5. 5.

    Can you discuss the difference between the Fish model and the V model?

      The interviewer is asking you another technical question, which involves defining the differences between two different analysis models. As an IT business analyst, you can anticipate that the majority of questions asked during an interview will be either technical or operational. The best way to respond to these is directly and briefly. You should also anticipate follow-up questions any time you provide an answer to the interviewer.

      William's Answer

      "Both the Fish model and V model are ways to analyze an issue and come up with some viable solutions. The Fish model requires more time when analyzing the requirements compared to the V model. Typically I will default to the V model and only use the Fish model when there are no uncertainties as defined in the requirements."

  6. 6.

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

      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.

      William's Answer

      "The primary tools I use when communicating with my clients are flowcharts. I like these because they provide a visual image of a system, which makes it easier for clients to understand. I also use activity diagrams to illustrate the activities occurring on different projects. My other go-to tools are use case diagrams that show which users interact with a system and what goals they achieve."

  7. 7.

    What is Kano Analysis, and what are its main attributes?

      This is a more complex technical question. The interviewer is asking you not only to define the term but to discuss some of its attributes. As the interview progresses, the questions will become more complex and more difficult. This is an indication that the interviewer is gaining confidence in your qualifications and is willing to challenge you. Continue to answer these questions the same way you have been doing throughout the interview.

      William's Answer

      "Kano Analysis is a process used to identify customer requirements for new products. The main attributes of this Kano Analysis include threshold attributes, which are the properties that a user expects the product to have, performance attributes which aren't necessary, but enhance the user's experience with the product, and excitement attributes, which the user is not aware of but is pleased when they discover them."

  8. 8.

    What are the critical steps when developing a product or service, from the basic concept to the final release?

      This is an operational question in which the interviewer is attempting to understand how you go about doing this job and the processes you use in this role. As a reminder, operational questions should be answered directly and briefly. Anticipate follow-up questions if the interviewer is interested in this topic and wants to explore it in more depth.

      William's Answer

      "When developing a product or service, the first step is to do a needs analysis. I then do a SWOT analysis to review the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats the organization may encounter. The next step is to define the users of the product or service and how they will interact with it. I then do a competitor analysis to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of other products so I can incorporate fixes to these in the product or service I am developing. The final step is to create a strategic vision, which incorporates the features, benefits, and the results users will experience. While there are many more steps in the process, these are the main ones."

  9. 9.

    What metrics do you use to determine if a benchmark is appropriate for the processes you create for the organization?

      This is a follow-up question to 'How do you use benchmarking in your job as an IT business analyst?'. When you provide answers to an interviewer's questions, you can anticipate follow-up questions that explore the same topic as the previous question. Interviewers do this to collect more information and to determine further your level of expertise in the area you are discussing. Follow-up questions should be answered with more details than the original question.

      William's Answer

      "Confirming that a benchmark is appropriate for the level of performance the organization is measuring can vary, depending on the project and the business objectives you are trying to achieve. A common theme to any benchmark is that it should be SMART. This requires that the benchmark be Specific, Measurable, can be a Reasonably attained, and has a deadline and is Time-based."

  10. 10.

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

      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.

      William's Answer

      "I do use Pareto Analysis, which is a type of analysis based on the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. Simplified, 80% of the results you obtain are based on 20% of the activity or input. I use this concept to identify the key components of a project or business process that will yield the majority of the results. This helps me create a framework for producing business decisions, such as where to make investments that will have the most impact."

  11. 11.

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

      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.

      William's Answer

      "The role of a business analyst is not the same in every organization. The critical factor is understanding what the organization needs, and then to develop suggestions for technologies that will fulfill these needs. Some other titles or responsibilities a business analyst may have include systems analyst, consultant, leader, and technical architect."

  12. 12.

    One of the critical functions of an IT Business Analyst is to mitigate risks. Can you describe how risk differs from a business issue?

      Explanation: This is a technical question which the interviewer is using to see if you know the difference between two similar tasks common to this role. When asked a question comparing different items, you should answer by first describing each item, discussing the differences between them. You may want to provide some examples of how you would use these concepts, processes, or technologies to perform your job.

      William's Answer

      "I define risk as either a problem or event that may occur during a project and would have a negative impact on the outcome of the project. When encountering a risk, I try to quantify it in terms of the percentage of probability that it will occur and the impact it would have on the project. An issue is something that needs to be addressed to move forward with the project. Issues can be known in advance or can be uncovered as the project or analysis progresses. An example of this is the impact of proposed legislation related to a product or service the company is planning to launch. The legislation is the issue while ignoring it is the risk."

  13. 13.

    Can you explain the differences between the alternate and exception flows of a use case diagram?

      Again, the interviewer is asking you to explain the differences between two terms to test your knowledge of these and to determine how you use them in your role as an IT business analyst. A good way to answer these types of questions is to define each term and then provide examples to illustrate your answer.

      William's Answer

      "The term 'Flow' represents the activities that occur in a specific order as defined by the business. Alternate flow defines actions that occur separate from the basic flows and can also be thought of as an optional flow. Exception flow, on the other hand, is a process that is executed when errors are encountered. An example of an alternate flow is when a user opens a login page of a website, and there is a forgot password link. If entering the correct username and password results in a 404 error, it is an exception flow."

  14. 14.

    A business stakeholder contacts you to makes some changes in the requirements for a project on which you have already put in a lot of effort and time. How do you handle situations like this?

      This is a hybrid operational and behavioral question. It creates a scenario and asks you how you would react to it. Your answer can be based on either a real experience you had with a similar incident in the past or by describing what you would do if you encountered this situation after you start in this position.

      William's Answer

      "In business, change is a constant, especially in the role of an IT business analyst. I spend time with stakeholders to discuss the project and understand it completely before I begin working on it, but change invariably occurs. If the stakeholders change the requirements for the project after I have begun working on it, I would meet with them to discuss the new parameters to both understand the new parameters and appraise the team of how the changes impact the project. I would then summarize the meeting in writing to ensure we were in agreement and that everybody is on the same page."

  15. 15.

    What are some tasks that you are not expected to perform in the role of an IT business analyst?

      This is an interesting question in that it asks what you're not supposed to do in the role of an IT business analyst. Most people prepare for questions that ask what they are expected to do, require them to define terms, or discuss other aspects of their job. A question like this can trip you up during an interview if you are not prepared. This is another reason to thoroughly research the job and to practice mock interview questions to prepare yourself for the interview.

      William's Answer

      "While there are many things that IT business analysts don't do in this role, some of the things most people think they should do which are not their responsibility include organizing the project team, its agenda, and the meetings they hold, assigning risk and tracking the issues related to specific projects, and performing coding, programming, or testing activities."

  16. 16.

    Please describe what the acronym INVEST means?

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  17. 17.

    Can you discuss what a misuse case is?

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  18. 18.

    Which software development methodology do you prefer; the Waterfall Model or the Spiral Model?

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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

    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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  21. 21.

    How do you use benchmarking in your job as an IT business analyst?

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  22. 22.

    What other tools do you use to perform your job as an IT business analyst?

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  23. 23.

    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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  24. 24.

    What is your experience using SQL queries, and can you discuss the different parts of an SQL Statement?

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  25. 25.

    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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