Business Analyst Interview Questions to Business Analysts

Business Analyst Interview Questions

Business Analyst Interview Questions

So you have submitted an application which has been short listed, you have been invited in for an interview, how can you make sure you do well at the interview and are offered the job? Without a doubt, everyone attending an interview needs to do some preparation. Preparation is the key to a successful interview. One of the best ways to prepare is to research some of the questions which might be asked at the interview, and formulate a response in advance. Below we will take a look at some of the business analyst interview questions which may be asked, why they are being asked and some guidelines towards preparing a suitable answer.

Why do you wish to leave your current job?

Not a specific business analyst interview question, but one which is almost always asked at every interview, a powerful question and the answer given tells the interviewer a lot about the applicant.

The number one rule when answering this question is never to say anything bad about your current employer. Instead, give reasons why the job is no longer suitable. Suitable answers would include such things as a lack of vertical space, meaning slim chance of promotion, current corporate instability leading to loss of job security and other general reasons. Remember! Do not bad mouth your current employer in any way!

We are interviewing several business analysts
for this job, why should we choose you?

In old sales terms, this is known as a drop sell. You are being put on the spot, and the reason for asking this question is not to merely get the answer, but to judge your reaction to being put on the spot.

The way to answer this business analyst interview question is to explain how your skillset suits the requirements of the post, how you would synergistically fit into the company, and how both parties would benefit from your employment.

What do you know about our company?

This question will almost always be asked in some form or another as one of the business analyst interview questions. The reason for this question being asked is not to find out what you actually know about the company, it is being asked to judge if you have performed any prior research and prepared for the interview.

This is your chance to demonstrate that you can logically research facts, and relate them in a coherent manner. Before the interview you should aim to discern key facts about the architecture of the business, its marketplace and trading history.

How many business case engagements
have you worked on, what was your involvement?

Here we start to hit the business analyst interview questions which pertain to the business analyst profession and its skillset. This question is asked to gauge your overall level of your experience.

When answering this question, the best approach is to give an overall indication of the number of business cases you have worked on. Then follow this up with a short description of your role. Now, it is likely that early in your career your involvement was at a more junior level, quickly brush over this early part if you can. When you come to more recent history, explain your more senior role in full. The aim here is to convince the interviewer that you have worked at a senior level and are experienced enough to move on.

What's the worst case
you have ever seen and why?

A bit of a trick question this, as the interviewers are not really interested in the actual answer; instead they are looking to judge your ability to perform reflective analysis in an unbiased fashion.

A great way to answer this question is to discuss a case you were actually involved in, during the explanation of the case, be sure to highlight your own failings as part of the reason this was the worst case you worked on, and then ALWAYS follow up by telling the interviewer what you learned from these mistakes and how it helped you grow as a business analyst.

What business analysis techniques
or methodologies have you found
most effective in the past, and why?

Here we are really getting to grips with the technical side of business analysis. If you are asked this business analyst interview question, then you will know you are sitting across from an interviewer who understands business analysis, probably is or was a business analyst himself, you are now in the spotlight.

To answer this question, draw on past experience, and explain certain cases, which went well due to the correct application of the right methodology. Detail why this methodology worked so well, and in your opinion, how it can be utilized to solve future cases. Do not give a wide answer encompassing many methodologies, chose one or two you are the most familiar with and discuss those.

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What should be documented in a UI Design Pattern?
by Chris Adams
19 Feb 2018 at 8:10pm

Though pattern descriptions vary somewhat, many pattern templates contain a set of common sections.

Primary Sections of a UI Design Pattern

Name: Should be concise yet descriptive (typically between two and four words in length) so that someone can find the pattern easily and reference it within discussions for clear communication amongst team members.

Description: A few lines briefly describing the pattern.  Since short names are not always sufficient enough to clearly and uniquely describe the pattern a description is important. However, this is not where you will describe the pattern in great detail.

End User Requirement/Problem to Solve:  Communicate what requirement or challenge will be solved by the pattern.  What is the user trying to achieve?

When to Use/When Not to Use:  It isn’t always obvious under which condition or within which context a pattern should be used.  Here you can document when a pattern should be used and, equally important, when it should not be used.

Solution:  Document the details of the pattern/solution including a detailed description of the user interaction.  Include screenshots to help convey the pattern clearly as needed.

Comments:  Capture any other comments that you feel are relevant to the reader.

Optional Sections of a UI Design Pattern

Depending on the needs of your team or organization you may choose to add some additional sections to your pattern template.

Examples of Past Uses: Including screenshots of past uses of the pattern along with a brief description can help the reader visualize the benefits of using the pattern.

Rationale for Use: Understanding why a particular pattern works so well can be invaluable when deciding whether to use one pattern over another.   Detail out the specifics of the user experience and the direct benefits that they receive by using this pattern.

Implementation Specifications: If standards exist within your organization or team, consider accompanying the pattern with style guide information such as font family, font size, font weight, font color, table and cell spacing, and more.  Or if the styles change based on the application or product being developed, provide a link to the style guide information.

Usability Research: Any specific feedback on how well the pattern works can be documented for future reference.  Consider including feedback from UAT testers or your sales organization, but also don’t exclude feedback from developers and other testers.

Related Patterns: List other patterns that may solve a similar problem or patterns that work together to achieve a broader goal. 

Pattern Variations: Document minor variations in the pattern that can be used.  If the variations are significant enough, consider developing a separate but similarly named pattern. For example, “Tag Cloud 1” and “Tag Cloud 2”

Development Notes: Capture notes that help the development team implement the pattern.  This may be a snippet of code or a link to a code library where the code for the pattern can be found.

Chris Adams
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What is the One Metric That Matters and how can it be used to improve a product?
by Chris Adams
12 Feb 2018 at 12:51pm
The One Metric That Matters (OMTM) is a minimalist approach that helps achieve this goal.  OMTM is a mindset and guideline more than a rule. In practice, focusing on a single metric may be too restrictive to result in actionable data but this approach can be modified in a couple of useful ways.  One is to identify a single metric for each facet of a product.  Another is to focus on a single metric for a day, a week, or a month and optimize performance based on that single metric over that period of time. 
Describe Convergent and Divergent Thinking as a Problem Solving Technique
by Chris Adams
7 Feb 2018 at 11:45am
Divergent and Convergent thinking when used together can help an analyst arrive at better and more creative solutions than he or she otherwise might have.  Divergent thinking is the process of breaking a topic down and generating many ideas that branch out from the original concept while Convergent thinking is the process of focusing on a fewer set of ideas and evaluating them based on selection criteria.
What is Persuasive Design?
by Chris Adams
14 Jan 2018 at 10:39pm
Making decisions based on data, information, and evidence consumes a lot of brain power. Our minds are always looking for patterns and repeat occurrences in order to build shortcuts for processing the world around us more quickly. These shortcuts are referred to as cognitive biases and they prevent our minds from spending precious energy reevaluating the same thing over and over again.

Persuasive design describes the process by which a designer exploits cognitive biases to guide and influence user behavior.  There are a handful of ways that this can be done.
How would you conduct usability testing for a new custom-developed software s...
by Chris Adams
14 Jan 2018 at 8:25pm
Usability testing is conducted in different ways over the software development life cycle:
Usability exploration is performed in the very early stages of software design.

Usability assessment is performed as part of unit and system testing as software is developed and released.

Usability testing is conducted at key development checkpoints, and may be part of an iterative user acceptance testing approach.

What are Scenarios within the context of User-Centered Design?
by Chris Adams
14 Jan 2018 at 8:20pm

User-Centered Design (UCD) is an application design methodology which focuses on usability goals, user demographics, real-world environment, tasks, and workflow in the design of an application interface.  During the analysis phase of UCD, two key stages are the User Analysis stage and the Workflow Analysis stage.

Describe the difference between univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis?
by Chris Adams
10 Dec 2017 at 5:08pm
Univariate analysis is the simplest form of data analysis where the data being analyzed contains only one variable. Since it's a single variable it doesn’t deal with causes or relationships.  The main purpose of univariate analysis is to describe the data and find patterns that exist within it
Describe the Six Sigma methodology?
by Chris Adams
10 Dec 2017 at 2:55pm

Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology.  It is structured into 5 phases which can be iterated to continually improve key processes and deliver greater efficiencies and success within an organization.  These 5 phases are Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control expressed as the acronym DMAIC (pronounced dee-may-ic).  Six Sigma, being a process improvement methodology, views the entire world in terms of processes—processes that achieve goals, processes that act on data, etc.   

Six Sigma DMAIC versus DMADV, what?s the difference?
by Chris Adams
10 Dec 2017 at 2:50pm

The Six Sigma process improvement methodology defines the DMAIC and DMADV acronyms as follows.

DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.  These 5 steps are used for improvement of existing processes to identify a candidate process, understand its current state of effectiveness, improve on the process, and manage its continued performance.  This is described in more details under Describe the Six Sigma Methodology.

DMADV stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify.  These 5 steps are used when a process doesn’t yet exist and needs to be designed to ensure it will meet customer specifications.  It is also intended to be used when an existing process cannot be improved enough to bring it to within customer specifications and needs to be completely redesigned.

What is cognitive load and how does it impact product design?
by Chris Adams
13 Nov 2017 at 12:01pm
Cognitive Load is a term that originates from the field of psychology. It refers to the amount of mental effort used in the working memory of a person.  We all have limits to the amount of cognitive load that we can reasonably sustain. And it's understood that a large amount of cognitive load makes it more difficult for people to learn and remember important details or to make decisions and complete tasks.
What are some guiding principles or tenets of UI design?
by Chris Adams
13 Nov 2017 at 9:59am

Some of the guiding principles of UI design are: Usefulness, Consistency, Simplicity, Communication and Feedback, Error Prevention and Handling, Efficiency, Workload Reduction, Designer Judgment

What is a UI Design Pattern and what are its benefits?
by Chris Adams
13 Nov 2017 at 9:55am
UI Design Patterns are an important aspect of application and website usability and user experience.  UI Design Patterns (also commonly referred to as Interaction Design Patterns) document and convey robust UI design solutions, that have proven to be successful over time, to common usability requirements.  Properly applying UI Design Patterns ensures the UI designer that the application or website will be intuitive and its features and functionality robust.
What is Gherkin and how can it help the business analyst?
by Chris Adams
9 Oct 2017 at 12:52pm
Gherkin is a structured natural language that is used by business analysts to specify how they want the system to behave for given scenarios. The Gherkin language is simple.  It uses about 10 keywords (Given, When, Then, And, But, Scenario, Feature, Background, Scenario Outline, Examples) which allow the language to be read and parsed by an automation tool called Cucumber.
How would you convince management that a business analyst is needed within a ...
by Chris Adams
9 Oct 2017 at 10:30am

Answering a few key questions and summarizing the results can help you objectively present to management the need for a business analyst.

What are the key tasks a Business Analyst would perform within your organization? How well is the team performing on each business analysis task? How much time/money is lost due to poorly performed Business Analysis tasks? Which tasks could the existing team improve on and which should be completed by an experienced business analyst? Perform a summary level cost-benefit analysis based on your findings. 
Describe the life cycle of a User Story?
by Chris Adams
9 Oct 2017 at 10:20am
User Stories are used by agile methodologies to capture the functionality that a system or software should support.  For details about what a user story is and how to write one reference What are User Stories.

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