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 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.
Describe Artificial Intelligence and how it might impact the Business Analysi...
by Chris Adams
10 Sep 2017 at 7:26pm
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an overarching term used to describe how computers are programmed to exhibit human-like intelligence such as problem solving and learning.  This definition of AI is broad and non-specific which is part of the reason why the scope of AI can sometimes be confusing.  As machines become increasingly capable of performing "intelligent" tasks, those tasks slowly become commonplace and as such are removed from the scope of what is generally accepted as artificial intelligence. This is known as the AI effect.  A more precise definition might be any device that takes in information from it's environment and acts on it to maximize the chance of achieving its goal.  
How might a business analyst use BPMN differently for Business Models than fo...
by Chris Adams
10 Sep 2017 at 5:20pm

The origins of BPMN began in the area of executable models.  That is, it was created to be precisely interpreted by workflow engines or business process management systems in order to automatically orchestrate how information, documents, or other workflow items are directed through a system. The benefit of an executable model is that it can be changed and immediately re-executed to establish a new workflow.  At least, that’s the idea.

Once a system is developed is it reasonable to document changes with simple u...
by Chris Adams
10 Sep 2017 at 5:16pm

This question implies that the benefit of foregoing the creation of a more complete requirements specification document is a significant amount of time savings.  But what might we be losing in the process.

Screen mockups alone don’t clearly document requirements.  Instead, they reflect a decision made by the system designer to satisfy a particular requirement.  Often when someone views the mockup or updated system they may think the requirement is obvious when, actually, they have misinterpreted the true requirement.  

How do you prevent your application from being a confusing suite of features ...
by Chris Adams
13 Aug 2017 at 3:54pm
Many applications are designed and completed only to result in a confusing suite of features that is difficult for the user to navigate.  So how can an analyst avoid this pitfall.  The answer is Design Thinking, also sometimes referred to as Human Centered Innovation or Human Centered Engineering.
In User Centered Design, should analysts create a separate Personas for every...
by Chris Adams
13 Aug 2017 at 1:45pm
Personas are used in User Centered Design to represent the audience that you are designing for.  Each persona is a detailed profile of a fictional character which represents a different user segment. They are created in such a way as to bring a strong sense of realism to the users they represent.  This helps create a visceral connection with the personas so that the system designer can really understand the users’ motivations for using the product.  Personas primarily focus on a user’s attitudes and behaviors. 
What are some of the primary usability heuristics that might be used in a dis...
by Chris Adams
13 Aug 2017 at 1:40pm
What is a discount heuristic evaluation? It’s a method used to analyze the usability of an application or website based on a small, select group of usability principles that are intended to represent the majority of all usability guidelines.  

When talking about and researching usability principles its almost impossible to not encounter the name Jakob Nielsen.  Nielsen has outlined thousands of details usability guidelines over several decades.  However, he has also taken the time to group these and filter them down into a set of broadly applicable heuristics that he feels encompasses most of the usability guidelines you might use to evaluate your application or website.  Here is a list of 10 usability heuristics that Nielsen has outlined for a discount heuristics evaluations (paraphrased for clarity and comprehension).  
Which is better, meeting your managers expectations with consistency or givin...
by Chris Adams
9 Jul 2017 at 9:15am
Managers need consistent results that they can rely on.  They also need exceptional performers who can solve the tough problems.  Ideally, a manager wants someone who can do both, but that is a rare find.
What is Failure Mode and Effects Analysis and when should it be used?
by Chris Adams
9 Jul 2017 at 9:05am

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) describes a risk analysis method for identifying and documenting all of the possible ways that a system or process can fail, the likelihood of the failure occurring, and the effects that such a failure would have on customers or the business.  It is often used as part of Six Sigma and other methodologies.

How is the 100-point method used to prioritize requirements?
by Chris Adams
9 Jul 2017 at 9:00am
The 100-point method is a prioritization method that can be used to prioritize items in a group environment. Each person within the group is given 100 points which they can distribute as votes across the available items.  The votes do not need to be distributed equally; rather a weighted distribution can be used to reflect the higher priority that some items warrant.
What are the benefits of Visual Models?
by Chris Adams
12 Jun 2017 at 11:27am
Visual models communicate much larger amounts of information in a comparatively short period of time versus written communication and documentation.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  The organization, structure, and order of information in visual models can also help an analyst ensure completeness through easier identification of gaps and missing information.
What do you do to increase your value as an analyst?
by Adrian M.
12 Jun 2017 at 9:25am

Most analysis managers and recruiters who are serious about hiring quality business analysts or systems analysts want to know that you are driven and interested in constantly increasing your knowledge and skills.

You want to be able to demonstrate to them that, outside of the employer required activities, you take the initiative to continue learning.

What is The Agile Extension to the BABOKŪ Guide?
by Chris Adams
12 Jun 2017 at 9:20am
The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide was collaboratively developed by the Agile Alliance and IIBA.  It builds on the content of the BABOK® Guide as it was first developed by the IIBA and it further extends it to incorporate Agile Development principles.

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