Tagged ‘agents of change’, business analysts are depended upon by organizations to analyze the business and suggest solutions and improvements to the business’ systems and processes. A business analyst is expected to understand the business operations, policies, structure, and objectives to deliver appropriate solutions that will spur business growth and expansion, improve product/service delivery, and scale business operations. His/her main role is thus centered on requirements management.
Are you an aspiring business analyst or an experienced business analyst looking for a new challenge? Certification for a Business Analytics course is just one of the several requirements that a business analyst should possess alongside a demonstration of skill and knowledge. Business analyst roles vary by company and domain. However, there are common questions that you can expect to be asked in an interview for this position. Increasing your chances of acing the interview means familiarising yourself with these questions.
First things first, interview questions fall into different categories including:
- Open-ended questions
- Behavioral questions
- Situational questions
- Case interview questions
- Informational questions
- Technical questions
Why are behavioral questions asked in interviews?
Employers include behavioral questions in interviews to better understand the work styles of candidates in terms of experiences, job content skills, social-job skills. This will help the prospective employer to determine how well the candidate being interviewed will adapt to the workplace and how well he/she will manage his/her work.
Business analysts are expected to possess skills like critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and communication as their work involves designing solutions to complex problems and interacting with various stakeholders.
8 Business Analyst behavioral interview questions
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Some common business analyst behavioral interview questions are:
Describe how you typically approach a project
An interviewer asking this question seeks to find out whether you have a general understanding of the planning process for business analysis projects.
You should be in a position to explain briefly but concisely the different phases of the project also known as the business analyst deliverables. Your answer should also reflect your workflow, project management, teamwork skills, as well as your actual business analyst experience adapting BA approaches to meet the needs of a specific project. It is also prudent to find out about your prospective employer’s business analysis process.
Tell me about how you handled a challenging project that you worked on
This is a common competency-based interview question that highlights your attitude to challenges and project management skills including how well you deal with complexities, unforeseen changing requirements, and your ability to weigh priorities.
Before appearing before the interviewing panel, prepare specific scenarios for this question. More than anything else, preparing demonstrates your preparedness for the interview and that you took it seriously. Secondly, preparing in advance helps you to present concrete illustrations. When answering this question, structure your answer in such a way that it provides the specific situation, your task, the actions that you took, as well as the results you accomplished in what is known as the STAR technique.
When your role involved identifying business process/user/customer pain point, tell us your experience coming up with a solution
This question highlights the typical role of a business analyst thus seeks to know whether you understand your role as a business analyst.
The secret to answering this question is going through the job description and picking out the key terms i.e skills, techniques, tools, or business analysis technologies, for the business analyst role. With this, you can draw from your experience and highlight an example that illustrates how successfully you used the key skills or techniques to solve a problem or accomplish a goal.
Have you had experience defining a requirement? How did you go about it?
A key role of the business analyst is to evaluate the business requirements of an organization and provide a viable technological solution that meets the requirements. A hirer will be keen to know if you are conversant with the business requirements analysis process and if you possess the technical, project management, and quality checks skills required to undertake this process.
The rule of thumb here is early preparation. Think of your background as a business analyst and a situation or project that required you to define business requirements. Be sure to employ the STAR technique in answering such a question and be as specific as possible with the outcome of the process, where possible quantify it.
How would you handle changes in requirements?
While there is a standard process for handling changes in requirements in the business analysis setting, a seasoned business analyst should be able to apply the required skills to prioritize the changes to requirements, address project scope in line with these changes, and assess the impact of the changes on the project.
Of importance here is to demonstrate your communication and logical-thinking skills as you explain the process of managing changes in requirements while also highlighting factors that you feel will have the most significant impact on the changes in requirements.
The change requirement management process typically involves:
- Raising a change request
- Assessing the change request and prioritizing the changes
- Evaluating the impact of the changes on the project
- Making a decision about effecting the change
- Implementing the change upon approval
How would you manage difficult stakeholders?
This question will usually come up in many different forms depending on your interviewer. How well you answer this question will reflect your communication, negotiation, collaboration, patience, and resilience in steering the project to successful completion. However, your interviewer will be keener on your personal experience as it says a lot about your competence and soft skills thus the best approach to tackling this question is drawing from your personal experience. Also, do not fail to give a step-by-step explanation.
If for any reason you do not have relevant business analyst experience to draw from, this question gives you leverage to bring in illustrations from other quarters preferably career. The bottom line, projects involve people and it takes soft skills to interact with them productively.
Give me a specific example of an experience in which you had to advise a client to change course
A business analyst is an agent of change for the organization he/she is working for. This means that while he needs to drive customer satisfaction through service delivery, it should be for the growth and profitability of the organization. This question will therefore test the ability of a business analyst to make recommendations that are in the interest of both the client and the company.
The core of business analysis is data analytics. Therefore, recommendations made to the client should be data-driven and add value to a process/product/service. Recruiters will most likely expect you to demonstrate your ability to work with data sets to make recommendations. Also, negotiation and presentation skills come into play in such scenarios.
As a business analyst, name the diagrams that you use most often and how do they impact your work?
This question tests your knowledge about standard business analysis documents and how they are used. This question should never be answered without an example to demonstrate your knowledge.
There are three main types of diagrams that are often used by business analysts. These are:
- Use case diagrams
- Activity diagrams
- Sequence diagrams
You should be able to explain each category, provide examples for each category, and their impact on the business, not forgetting to personalize your answers to your experience if any.
Behavioral interviews offer candidates a platform to demonstrate their business analyst skills, competence, experience, and personality. For this reason, adequate preparation can never be overemphasized. Beyond possessing the requirements, candidates need to prove to recruiters the value they will bring into the organization.