How would you like to have a leg up on your competition for that latest Business Analyst position?
After being in the workforce for many years and applying for various openings, you quickly learn most interviews have the same basic feel to them. This is because nearly 75% of all questions asked in interviews are relatively the same.
I have personally conducted over 250 Business Analyst interviews, and have been the interviewee for countless job opportunities and promotions. In that time, I have compiled a list of interview questions and how to be prepared to answer them.
Not an aspiring Business Analyst? Find out why you should be!
So without further ado, here are the 20 Most Commonly Asked Business Analyst Interview Questions.
- Tell me about yourself
This needs to be short and to the point. Don’t tell your life story. Give a 30 second elevator pitch.
- What brought you to apply for the position?
You can name drop here if you heard from someone that works there. Otherwise, share what grabbed your attention and interested you about the position and the company.
- What do you know about the company?
This is where your research pays off. Tell them what you learned about their products or services and targeted industry. For best results, tie this answer together with what intrigues you about them.
- What are your strengths?
Be credible and share your true strengths. Don’t make up what the employer wants to hear. With that being said, if you can utilize a strength that ties to a need from the job posting, all the better.
- What are your weaknesses?
BE CAREFUL! This question is usually not for you to divulge your secrets, but to instead determine if you are an honest person. It is best to have two weaknesses identified (choose one to answer with in the interview) and talk about how you are working to improve. Do not say, you don’t have any weaknesses or mention that you struggle getting along with people or taking direction, as that throws major red flags.
- What is the number one skill someone needs to be a Business Analyst?
There are two ways to go with this based on what you know about the company. You can never go wrong with communication (oral and written). Talk about how they interact with many facets of people and need the ability to talk with each person at their level.
Or you can go the route of taking the initiative and being independently reliable, if you know the role will be less task based and more identifying issues and putting solutions in place to solve them.
- What do you do when two stakeholders have conflicting requirements?
This answer should talk about how you attempt to sit down with them and negotiate. You dig deep into both requirements to understand the roots. Try to find a way to come to a resolution that works for everyone or at least reach an agreement on which requirement has more value to the business overall.
- What are you looking for in a new position? / What is your ideal position?
Be specific and make sure it ties to the job description you are applying for.
- What do you like to do outside of work?
This may seem like an odd question, but they are trying to see if you will fit into their culture. Be open here, but steer clear of non-professional responses, such as how you like to go out and party.
- How do you show leadership without having authority?
You need to discuss how you can rally a group of people by building relationships with them. Make team members understand you have their best interest in mind so they trust your decisions.
- Has there been a time you disagreed with a decision at work? Tell me about it.
Utilize a scenario where you took a disagreement and spun it into a positive situation. Explain how you were able to positively affect the situation or came to a compromise, and built a productive working relationship with the other party.
- Can you describe the Waterfall / Agile / SCRUM / Iterative / Prototyping / JAD / RAD methodology?
This is where you need to have done research into the different methodologies and have a high level understanding of each. You should find clues in the job posting that tell you what they use, so be sure you have a deeper understanding of that one. If you need assistance, check out my Business Analysis Fundamentals course.
- What modeling techniques are you aware of / have you used in the past?
They are looking for activity diagrams, use case, process flows, ERDs, etc. Do your homework.
- What is your typical approach to a project?
They are determining that you know the first steps in a BA process and ensuring you are a bit flexible. Talk high level here and start with understanding the needs, then identifying stakeholders, planning the project (schedule, budget, etc.), determining gaps between “as is” and “to be” processes, eliciting and documenting requirements, etc.
- When are requirements complete?
This is validating you don’t get into analysis paralysis and never complete the requirements phase. The key here is to say you have finished gathering requirements when you have clear, concise, and approved requirements that encompass the business need.
- What software are you familiar with?
Be open and honest here. Don’t stretch and talk about software you don’t know. If you are not familiar with software mentioned in the job description, you should have spent time before the interview to at least get acquainted (many have free trial downloads).
- How do you handle changes to requirements?
1) Prioritize the change 2) Scope the impact 3) Understand effect on timeline, budget, and resources 4) Evaluate if it should be handled now, in future, or not at all 5) Get agreement of the project sponsor
- What are some common ways you elicit requirements?
They are ensuring you know the different techniques; documentation review, interviews, requirement workshops, surveys, etc. If you need assistance, check out my Business Analysis Fundamentals course.
- What does the Business Analyst role of X usually do?
Review the main roles of a Business Analyst and have a general idea of what they are responsible for.
- What questions do you have for me?
This is one of the most important questions of the interview. Use your prepared questions to help solidify your interest in the position and the company.
Understanding the common interview questions is only part of the interview preparation equation. To learn more check out my other blog post, How to Prepare For Your Business Analyst Interview.
Still struggling to find or land that Business Analyst job? Check out my 5 Steps to Land that Business Analyst Job course to learn more about finding the right job posting, creating your resume, acing your interview, and negotiating a competitive salary. This self-paced, online course will provide you a step-by-step process that you can follow to jump start your career as a Business Analyst!
– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner , The BA Guide