HOW TO BECOME A BUSINESS ANALYST (2023 Guide)
Business Analyst Interview Questions
BrainStation’s Business Analyst career guide can help you take the first steps toward a lucrative career in analysis. Read on to learn how to prepare for common Business Analyst interview questions.
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In your Business Analyst job interview, you will be assessed on three key things:
- Technology skills
- Business acumen
- How well you would fit in with the company
Business Analysts play a crucial role in a company’s success, so employers want to make sure you have what it takes to jump right into the role.
Here are a few tips for acing your Business Analyst interview:
- Research the company: Gain a thorough understanding of what the company does, their business objectives, and what challenges they are facing. Tailor your answers to address the company’s needs.
- Review the job requirements: Look through the responsibilities of the role. Brainstorm at least one example from your past experience that aligns with the requirements listed. When the interviewer asks you a question around that requirement, you’ll have an example ready to go.
- Brush up on your knowledge: You may be asked questions about business analytics, business processes, methodologies, or best practices. Review your knowledge in key areas through books, tutorials, or online courses.
- Practice common questions: While you cannot be certain what the company will ask, reviewing common interview questions can help you prepare. Practice your responses out loud or ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you.
To help you in your Business Analyst interview preparation, we have put together a list of interview questions that cover key areas that you will likely be assessed on.
Employers want to make sure you have the foundational knowledge needed to perform the Business Analyst role.
Business Analyst positions tend to have quite specific requirements and responsibilities, so before your interview, examine the job description again.
Try think of how you can prepare your interview answers so that you incorporate experiences and examples that reflect what they’re looking for.
Here are some examples of common skills-based Business Analyst interview questions and how you can answer them:
Question: Take us through the very first steps you should take in developing a project.
Answer: When you answer this common Business Analyst interview question, be sure to spend a bit of time providing examples of how you approach each step and what you tend to learn. Initial steps of developing a project include:
- Market analysis
- SWOT analysis
- User personas
- Competitor analysis
- Identifying the strategic vision
- Internal research
Question: Please tell us the one aspect of analytical reporting that you think is most important?
Answer: In business analytics, analytical reporting is an essential element in data-driven decision-making. Combining data analysis techniques and making smart business recommendations, analytical reporting is all about turning numbers into actionable data that can affect or lead to the creation of business strategies. As far as which aspect is most important, it might be worth pointing to the need for a Business Analyst to have critical thinking skills and a strong foundation of business knowledge in order to successfully identify the most important patterns and trends in the numbers.
More Common Business Analyst Interview Questions
|Tell us about SDD.|
|Are you able to define the diagrams most used by Business Analysts?|
|Explain to us why flowcharts are important.|
|Please explain the difference between a risk and an issue.|
|Can you explain what is SRS and what are its key elements?|
|Define BRD. Please explain the differences between that and SRS?|
|Please take us through the requirement elicitation technique.|
|What are the types of gaps that can occur during an analysis?|
|Please tell us what personas are. Why are they useful in user-centered design methodology?|
|Please take us through your approach for using personas to explain user behavior?|
|Take us through the process and the information required to perform market, competitor, and SWOT analyses?|
You should also be able to define and explain a number of terms, including:
Common Technical Business Analyst Interview Questions
Business Analysts need a range of advanced technical skills, including data analysis, project management, business management, and documentation.
Some of the technical competencies required to learn business analytics include:
- Requirements management
- Project management
- Baseline knowledge in the basics of software development
Technical Business Analyst questions will be geared toward making sure you understand things like elicitation requirements, gap analysis (and other various types of statistical analyses), testing for verification and validation, and creating risk-management projections.
In Business Analyst interviews, hiring managers will be assessing your technical expertise through questions such as:
Question: What documents do Business Analysts need? Please tell us about the documents you have prepared in your previous work.
Answer: Documentation is a crucial part of business analytics, so don’t be surprised if a Business Analyst interview asks you to list all the various technical and functional documents you’re expected to create, update and share over the project lifecycle. Those documents could include:
- Project vision document
- Requirement management plan
- Stakeholder analysis
- System design document
- User stories
- Use cases
- User acceptance plans
- Test plans and test cases
- Business requirement document
- Change management
- Scope statement specification
- Requirement traceability matrix
- Functional specification document
- Data model documentation
Question: What are the most important Business Analyst tools?
Answer: Given the wide range of technical and business needs associated with the position, Business Analysts need to be familiar with a wide variety of tools and software, used for a wide variety of different tasks.
Some of the tools you should mention in a Business Analyst interview include:
- The Microsoft Office Suite, including such essential tools as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel, which is commonly used by BAs for requirements management tracking (other tools for this include Rational Requisite Pro, ReQtest, etc)
- Oracle NetSuite is a popular and intuitive choice for enterprise resource planning, while other tools for this include Acumatica and Sage
- Wrike and Trello offer project management features including file management, schedule-timeline diagramming, stakeholder collaboration, and budget management
- Microsoft’s Visio, Tableau, or PowerBI are often used by Business Analysts to create compelling data visualizations
- Pencil for modeling, diagramming, and wireframing, a helpful collaborative tool many Business Analysts use that allows multiple stakeholders access
Additional Technical Business Analyst Interview Questions
|What business intelligence tools or systems do you use?|
|What experience do you have with SQL queries?|
|What is your typical approach to projects?|
|What is the project life cycle? Which project life cycle models do you employ, and why?|
|Tell us about two diagrams you use as a Business Analyst. How do they impact your work?|
|What is requirement prioritization? Please tell us some of the different techniques used for requirement prioritization?|
|To design a use case, what are some of the steps you need to follow?|
|What is Scope creep? How do you make sure you avoid scope creep?|
|Hypothetically, let’s say a critical process was initially formed around out-of-date technology. How would you update or improve that process?|
|To visualize our relationships with customers, what modeling technique would you use? Why?|
|What is your strategy used to gather user requirements? Are some methodologies more effective than others?|
Common Personal Business Analyst Interview Questions
As a Business Analyst, you will be working closely with colleagues across the organization to address complex business requirements and problems. Employers want someone with the right personality who is enthusiastic about their work.
To learn more about your work habits and interests, expect questions such as:
Question: What qualities set you apart from other Business Analysts who might interview for this position?
Answer: The answer to this question will of course vary from candidate to candidate, but one approach is to avoid the urge to pick an intangible quality. Instead, for instance, you could focus on showing your commitment to continuous learning.
The top credential for Business Analysts might be a certification from one of the many professional organizations that offer them (the Project Management Institute or the International Institute of Business Analysis, for instance).
Employers would also love to see that you graduated from an intensive bootcamp or online course in a related area of study, like data analysis, project management, or coding.
But less formal education is also worth mentioning, whether you’ve been learning through webinars, industry blogs or podcasts, or other free Internet resources.
Other Common Personal Interview Questions for Business Analyst Jobs
|Please tell us about yourself.|
|What were your day-to-day job responsibilities like at your most recent job?|
|What made you decide to pursue a career in business analysis?|
|Why are you interested in our company?|
|What makes a good Business Analyst?|
|What is your biggest achievement in business analytics?|
|What is your greatest weakness as a Business Analyst?|
|How do you stay up-to-date on general business knowledge and trends?|
|What are your professional goals as a Business Analyst?|
Common Situational Business Analyst Interview Questions
In your role, you may be regularly leading teams/projects and interacting with stakeholders. Leadership and communication are two essential skills to thrive as a Business Analyst.
Here is an example of a situational Business Analyst interview question and how you can answer it:
Question: What is your approach to process changes to requirements?
Answer: Your ability to respond to change requests says a lot about you as a Business Analyst. Here, the hiring manager is looking to assess three things:
- Ability to respond under pressure
- Analytical and critical thinking skills
In your response, talk about how you identify the scope of the changes and the potential effect they will have on the project before conducting an impact analysis (among potentially other analyses) to see how the adjustments could affect deadlines, budget, and resource allocation.
To convey how thorough you are, also mention how you’re always sure to check for any new gaps in testing, development, or design caused by the changes.
Additional Situational Business Analyst Interview Questions
|Let’s say stakeholders have differences or a disagreement regarding project priorities. How would you build consensus?|
|Your team members are falling behind on an important project. What do you do to get them back on track?|
|How do you influence multiple project stakeholders?|
|What’s your approach for working with a difficult stakeholder?|
|Explain how you communicate complex, technical information to non-technical stakeholders.|
|Tell us about your communication skills. Do you prefer written or verbal communication?|
|Describe a time when you had to handle sensitive information. How did you do it?|
|In your opinion, is it more important to be a good listener or a good communicator?|
|Please describe a time you had to relay bad news to a client or colleague.|
Common Behavioral Business Analyst Interview Questions
The idea behind behavioral interview questions is that past behavior is a good indicator of how you may act in future situations.
To successfully answer this type of interview question, describe the situation, outline the task, explain your actions and share the result.
In other words, use the STAR technique: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
That will help your interviewer understand your problem-solving strategy, and how you apply it in your communications with the development team, technical team, and any difficult stakeholders.
Here is an example of a behavioral Business Analyst interview question and how to answer it:
Question: Please take us through a time when you failed to meet a deadline.
Answer: It’s crucial to answer this question in an honest way. At the same time, you need to choose a situation where the errors you made that led to missing a deadline were understandable, forgivable, and not indicative of an overall problem in your approach that could still be lingering.
Although meeting deadlines always requires some degree of dependency on others in a team, make sure you take responsibility for project timelines not being met.
Clearly outline how you applied the lessons you learned here to future projects to ensure you didn’t miss a deadline again.
Additional Behavioral Business Analyst Interview Questions
|Have you ever had to persuade someone to accept your decision?|
|Do you recall a project that you worked on that helped the company achieve its business goals?|
|Do you ever have a difficult time demanding user requirements? What is your method for overcoming challenges in this case?|
|Please describe a time you delivered a cost-reducing solution. What was that solution?|
|In the past, have you ever failed to deliver a project on time? If so, what did you learn from the experience? If not, how do you ensure you meet all deadlines now?|
|Please take us through a time in the past when you had to advise a client toward a different course of action?|
|Please tell us about a past mistake you made? How did you handle it, recover from it, and learn from it?|
|Do you recall an instance when you had to pitch an idea to a senior employee? What was your approach?|
|In the past, have you ever experienced conflict with another person or team member at work? How did you deal with it?|
|What is your approach for dealing with a lot of stress? Do you work well under pressure?|
|Please tell us about a time when you did not achieve a goal.|
|Have you ever had to complete user research? Why is user research important, and what is your approach?|
|Please tell us about a time you had to manage multiple deliverables in a short period of time.|
Advanced Business Analyst Interview Questions
If you’re curious about what the top tech companies are seeking in a Business Analyst, take a look at these interview questions from Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and more.
|Please describe a time when you solved a complex problem.|
|Can you define the difference between Extract and Live in Tableau?|
|Can you recall a time that you took a deep dive into something and found the root cause?|
|What do you do when you receive critical feedback?|
|Please take us through a time you had to deal with ambiguous data.|
|Can you please describe a data project you have done?|
|Can you recall one project that you’re proud of that involved the practice of statistics?|
|Think about our company. What is one thing you would change about any of our products?|
|Take us through your process to design an evacuation plan for the building.|
|How would you advise management in terms of improving current product offerings?|
|What ETL and OLAP experience do you have?|
|What experience do you have with DB and visualization tools?|
|Please list a few SQL Analytical functions.|
|Please try to recall a time when you had to push back on your manager. What was the outcome?|
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