Many aspiring Business Analysts think the interview begins when they get all dressed up and walk through the potential employer’s door… And they couldn’t be more wrong!
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An interview should be viewed as a test. But instead of simply passing, you need to do better on the test than everyone else that is taking it.
While that can seem a bit daunting, how about we give you the answer key? Let’s go over the five steps to acing the interview.
Research the Company
One of the biggest and most common mistakes interviewees make is not doing their research. In this day and age, with all of the information online, walking into an interview not knowing what the company does or what sets them apart is going to be followed with a swift ‘sorry you were not chosen’ phone call.
I’ve conducted interviews where after the second question I asked, I knew I wasn’t going to hire them and ended the interview. If you cannot answer, “Tell me a little about what we do here at XYZ Company and why you would be interested in working here?” you might as well not waste your time going.
Research. The. Company. Do a Google search and find their website. Read about their product and service offerings. Understand what new exciting things they have coming out. Learn about the company. It is that simple.
Know the Job Posting
Many interviewees overlook the gold mine of information that can be gleaned from the job posting. The employer is basically giving you a treasure map of what is important to them, yet so many people don’t take advantage.
Read over the job posting. Understand the responsibilities of the role. Identify the skills that are important to them. And then take that acquired knowledge and put it to use by planning how you will highlight your related skills and experiences.
Brush Up on Your Knowledge
Regardless if you have been working in the Business Analysis field for a while or this is your first Business Analyst interview, it is important that you brush up on your knowledge.
After studying the job posting, you will have identified skills and techniques you haven’t used in a while or are not familiar with. Take a bit of time to (re)learn or at minimum get familiar with those. Do some reading, watch some videos, or take an online course. Regardless of the medium, invest some time.
Study Common Interview Questions
There is nothing more calming than being asked a question you were already prepared to answer. Not only does it take a lot of the stress and anxiety away on that particular question, it also helps to calm your nerves for future questions.
To assist with this, I originally put together a blog post that provided the top 20 most common interview questions and also included tips on what the hiring manager is looking for in your answer. Since its release, this has been one of my most popular blogs posts.
Prepare Your Questions
At the end of every interview, the employer will turn the reigns over to you and ask if you have any questions for them. If it hasn’t been clear to this point, this is where you show the interviewer you have done your homework.
Prior to the interview, prepare 3-8 questions about the company, the job opening, the position duties, etc. Now when the interviewer turns the control over to you, work through your list of questions, being sure to only ask those that were not already answered throughout the discussion.
Not only will this give you further insight into the company and the position, but it will also leave a lasting impression in the interviewer’s mind that you did your research and are extremely interested in the open position.
Who would have thought there was so much work that goes into an interview before you even walk through those doors? Now that you know how to appropriately prepare for your interview, get out there, do your homework, and ace that interview with confidence!
– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide