The role of a business analyst is to understand the business requirements, integrate them with technology, and act as the bridge between various stakeholders. The business analyst job profiles are very lucrative, full of potential, and offer higher remuneration. Whether you are a professional business analyst or aspiring to be one, preparing for popular business analyst interview questions is imperative.
It is essential to prepare for a business analyst interview in advance as the competition level is high, and there are multiple candidates with similar skill sets and experience levels. Therefore, highlighting your technical capabilities in a limited timeframe is the only way to impress your potential recruiter and prove your expertise.
Here are 30 business analyst interview questions for you to prepare and ace your interview in one go.
Basic Business Analyst Interview Questions
1. What is the role of a business analyst in an organization?
It is the most fundamental question you can expect during your interview. You can answer this question by explaining that a business analyst is a liaison or a link between different stakeholders belonging to different domains in an organization. A business analyst should have the capabilities to fulfill the business objectives and balance the needs of various stakeholders.
2. How do you see yourself fit for the role of business analyst in our company?
With this type of business analyst interview questions, the interviewer wants to assess your understanding regarding the job role and whether you match the company's expectation of the desired candidate.
You can answer this question in two parts:
- Firstly, focus on your education by stating relevant coursework related to the job.
- Secondly, illustrate your experience, attitude, and skills that make you a good fit for the company.
You can give examples of the previous works that show the interviewer what benefits you will bring to the company. Make sure your answer has a problem and the solution you implemented.
Pro Tip: Make sure you also focus on the skills outlined in the job advertisement when you are highlighting and explaining your experience and competencies.
3. What, according to you, are the core competencies of a Business Analyst?
It is one of the most common business analyst interview questions. Although every company is different, the core requirements of a business analyst profile are quite similar. Make sure to go over an organization's job description in detail to understand the required core competencies and include them in your answer.
You can answer this by stating that a business analyst must have exceptional communication and negotiation skills. Analytical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making are also vital attributes. A business analyst should have industry knowledge, business process management skills along with technical proficiency.
Pro Tip: Make sure to highlight the attributes that you possess and can bring to the job.
4. List some of the skills and tools used by Business Analysts.
Answer this question by combining both the technical and non-technical tools/skills used by business analysts.
- Technical skills/tool – MS Office Suite, Google Docs, database knowledge, ERP systems, SQL, and more.
- Non-Technical/business Analysis skills – Documentation, requirement elicitation, business process management, and more.
Pro Tip: You can tailor your answer to highlight your unique skills and experience.
5. Do you have any technical skills? Can you list your database skills or business intelligence skills?
Your technical skills are directly proportional to your value in the organization.
It is not compulsory to have advanced technical skills like relational databases and SQL, but the more technically proficient you are as a business analyst, the better. These skills are most desirable and widely used, so if you have some experience in using these technologies, make sure you explain them to your interviewer.
You can describe the specific Business Intelligence tools you have used. If you have experience in handling the system the organization uses, highlight that to your interviewer.
6. What is INVEST?
INVEST is an abbreviation of Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Sized appropriately, and Testable. This term is used by business analysts and project managers to deliver quality services and products.
7. Are you aware of the different techniques like MoSCoW and SWOT?
A business analyst should be aware of the processes used to create and implement strategies for identifying an organization's needs and delivering the best results.
With this question, the recruiter wants to know whether you understand these terms and can incorporate them into your working policies.
MoSCoW stands for Must or Should, Could or Would. A business analyst should implement this process by comparing every demand with other needs to prioritize the framework requirements. For example, is this requirement a must-have or should have?
SWOT or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Analysis is the most widely used technique in organizations for proper resource allocation. A business analyst should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of any corporate framework and translate them into opportunities and threats.
Pro Tip: There are many other business techniques like MOST and PESTLE, and you can learn more about them to prepare for your business analyst interview.
8. What do you mean by project deliverables?
These are the set of measurable services and products delivered to the end customer after project completion. It is the outcome of the project.
9. How do you keep yourself updated about the latest business trends and knowledge?
With this business analyst interview question, the recruiter wants to evaluate if you are motivated enough to keep pace with emerging latest business developments and trends.
The interviewer wants to know what actions you take to keep your knowledge and skills updated. You can answer this question by including references to news and industry publications. You can also list the events and conferences you attend to connect with the business community.
10. What are the various stages of a business project?
The main stages of any business or IT project are Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring, and Closure.
Technical/Problem Solving Business Analyst Interview Questions
11. Explain UML and its uses?
UML or Unified Modeling Language is a general-purpose, developmental modelling language that provides a standard way to envision the system. It is used to rationalize the system behaviour for the detection and elimination of errors/bottlenecks.
12. Can you explain SRS and its key elements?
SRS stands for System or Software Requirements Specification. It is a set of documents describing the features of a software application or system.
It includes various elements required by the stakeholders and customers to convince the end-users.
The critical aspects of an SRS are:
- Scope of Work
- Non- functional and functional requirements
- Data Model
- Assumptions and Constraints
- Acceptance Criteria
13. What is BRD? How is it different from SRS?
BRD is an abbreviation for Business Requirement Document. It is a formal contract between the organization and the client for the development of the specific product.
- BRD is a functional specification of the software whereas SRS is both BA creates it after their direct interaction with the clients
- BRD is created by a business analyst after their direct interaction with the clients, whereas SRS is designed based on technical expertise and needs.
- SRS is derived from BRD
14. What do you understand by requirement? Can you differentiate between requirements and needs?
A requirement is a targeted solution and representation to achieve specific business objectives. Stakeholders evaluate the project based on set conditions/requirements before its implementation. All the elements are correctly documented for reference purposes. Needs are the high-level representation of the terms and the result.
For example, you need to get a business analyst job, and the requirements to apply for this job are resume, educational background, and interview practice.
15. How can you say that a requirement is good or perfect?
A requirement is said to be perfect if it is Specific, Measurable Attainable Relevant, and Timely or in short SMART. The description of a condition should be specific, and all the parameters required for success should be measurable. All the needed resources should be attainable and relevant to the project. All the conditions/elements should be revealed timely.
16. What is the purpose of the Requirement Traceability Matrix?
It records all the requirements given by a client and ensures that all the necessities are met.
17. What is business modelling?
Business modelling is a step- by -step approach for identifying the value proposition for operating the business.
The key attributes of business modelling to develop a strategic plan for an organization are:
- Action plan
18. What is the project life cycle? Which models will you employ, and why?
A project life cycle is a framework implemented by a business analyst to split a project into manageable phases and signify the decision points throughout the project lifespan. The different models are the Waterfall model, Spiral model, Iterative model, Agile model, and V-shaped model.
You can answer by stating that selecting a life cycle model is exclusively based on the type, scope, and limitations of the project. You can give an example of any model which you used in a project.
19. What do you understand by Gap Analysis, and what are the types of gaps that can occur during an analysis?
Gap Analysis means the analysis of the differences between the functionalities of an existing and the targeted system. The gap means changes that are required to accomplish the proposed result.
- Profit Gap is the change between the actual and estimated profit of a company.
- Manpower Gap is the change between the actual and required workforce strength in a company.
- Performance Gap is the difference between the expected and actual performances.
- Market Gap is the variation between estimated actual sales.
20. What strategies will you follow to design a use case?
A use case should be concise, well-defined, and correctly documented.
The strategies or approaches in designing use cases are:
- The first phase is the users' identification to create a role-profile for every user category and recognition of goals associated with every role.
- The second phase deals with the structure and creation of use cases by capturing both functional and non-functional requirements. Include use case diagrams and user interface details.
- The final phase is reviewing and validating the use cases.
Scenario-based/Role-specific Business Analyst Interview Questions
Hiring managers may ask these during a business analyst interview to evaluate your role-related or scenario-based knowledge in different situations:
21. Explain your typical work tactic for a project?
It is one of the most crucial business analyst interview questions asked by a recruiting manager to assess your work strategy, teamwork, and project management skills.
To answer this question, you can explain the general steps you follow with standard deliverables. For example, if you have managed the planning phase of a project, you could mention deliverables like a requirements management plan, work breakdown structure, or a communication plan.
Each business faces different situations and has distinct needs, but these fundamental steps are essential to achieve a task successfully:
- Firstly, you must clarify your role and determine the stakeholder's perspective in the project. You should define primary objectives along with reconciling the expectations conflict among stakeholders.
- Create a work plan listing steps, timelines, and deliverables.
- Define actionable and concise requirements.
- Ensure technical implementation, as many solutions require the support of IT teams.
- Create documentation and train end-users to implement the solution.
- Finally, assess the value of the project. Did it work, or any follow-ups are needed?
You should focus on your experience to describe your skills and explain the customized tactics you use.
22. What documents are needed by a business analyst? Which documents have you prepared in your previous works?
A project lifecycle uses many documents, and it depends on the utilization process of a business analyst.
- Initiation document
- System Requirements Specifications document
- Business requirement document
- Functional requirement document
- Requirements Traceability Matrix
- Use case Specifications document
- Change Request Document
- Gap Analysis Document
With this question, the hiring manager wants to understand if you have used several types of documents and assess your capability of delivering both business and technical specifications.
Pro Tip: Make sure to use only those documents you are familiar with and explain in detail.
23. What is the requirement elicitation? Have you ever participated in these elicitation meetings?
It is a technique to gather information from stakeholders and users. It involves approaches or strategies to collaborate with clients or users directly.
Some requirement elicitation techniques are-
- Document analysis
- Workshops and observations
You can answer the second part of the question by explaining how you have used these techniques and how they impacted your project.
24. What are the various kinds of diagrams you use as a business analyst? How do they impact the work?
Your hiring manager may ask this role specific question to ensure that you understand standard business analysis documents and how to apply them to a client's case. You must list your past experiences and examples to validate your credibility and value.
The most used diagram models by business analysts are:
- Flowcharts – These are the diagrammatic depiction of the complete flow of the system. They make it easy for all the stakeholders, whether technical or technical, to understand the operation.
- Activity Diagram – These diagrams illustrate the diverse activities and their flow across various departments.
- Use case Diagrams – These diagrams model the functionality of a system using a set of actions, functions, and services that the system/project needs to perform.
These diagrams are beneficial in visualizing the functional requirements of a system and finalizing development priorities. They also identify any external/internal factors that should be considered as they can influence the project.
- Sequence Diagrams - These diagrams illustrate the interaction between different objects and the time sequence of the message flow between them.
- Collaboration Diagrams - These are also called interaction or communication diagrams. They are the illustration of the relationships and interactions among software objects in the Unified Modeling Language.
Many diagrams can be used in business analysis, and you can say that you follow a more coherent approach of merging different models to produce results.
25. What is the exception and alternate flow in a use-case diagram? How are they different from basic flow?
- The basic flow is the representation of the operation of activities as required by the company.
- Alternate flow is the representation of actions or activities other than basic flow. It leads to achieving the goals of use-cases using different steps.
- Exception flow represents the actions executed in case of errors. It leads to NOT achieving the goal of a use case.
26. What are personas, and how they are useful in user-centred design methodology?
Personas are created in place of real users to understand their behavioral patterns in different scenarios. In user-centered design methodology, a system is developed, keeping the viewpoint of end-users in mind. Personas help create such systems.
27. Define analytical reporting.
A business analyst needs to comprehend the significance and drawbacks of analytical reporting, and you must be ready with an answer during your business analyst interview.
You can start your answer by a brief definition of analytical reporting. It is a type of business reporting that offers data analysis, information, and recommendations. The recommendations are the critical attributes that make it different from informational reporting.
After that, you can describe the impact your analytical reporting made in previous roles. Focus on showing how you can create recommendations from data sources and demonstrate your analytical skills.
28. If there are multiple stakeholders in a project, how do you influence them? Also, explain how you would work with a difficult stakeholder?
With this type of business analyst interview questions, the recruiter is trying to understand how you implement your various competencies, especially communication, negotiation, problem-solving, decision making, influencing, and collaboration skills.
As a business analyst, you will deal with various people at different positions with distinct personalities. This question is crucial as it conveys whether you can successfully navigate interactions with different stakeholders or not.
Dealing with difficult stakeholders is a significant responsibility for any business analyst. Use the STAR method to explain the situation you were dealing with, what your task or role was in the case. Outline the action you took to resolve the problem. Finally, describe the result & leanings of your actions.
29. How can you manage the post-implementation and pre-implementation problems of a project?
You can answer this by briefly explaining both the problems. The problems that declare their presence before the project implementation are called pre-implementation problems. The difficulties arising after the project implementation are called post-implementation problems, and most of the concerns fall in this category.
After that, you can explain that a business analyst cannot overcome all these problems but can limit them up to the maximum extent within a minimum time frame.
30. During the development of a system, how do you manage frequently changing customers' requirements?
It is one of the most frequently asked business analytic interview questions. The first task of a business analyst is to draft a document stating the number of changes that are allowed, and after a certain point, no amendments will be accepted. It is vital to get this document signed by the user.
In case the change required is accepted, make sure to note down all the changes and find out their overall impact on the project. Calculate the timeline, cost, and resources needed for this change.
Preparing for your next role as a Business Analyst? Try answering these CBAP Exam Prep Questions and find out now.
Summing It Up
A Business Analyst’s job role varies from company to company, but the listed business analyst interview questions are most popular and frequently asked. The more familiar you are with possible business analyst interview questions, more are your chances of acing the interview.
- Familiarize yourself with essential terms and techniques as many questions revolve around full forms and abbreviations. So, brush up your basics and be ready with examples.
- Always narrate your experience while explaining any documentation or diagram.
- Be a good listener, patiently understand the question, and provide relevant information. Too much or too little information is not required.
- Always highlight and focus on your strengths and establish your effectiveness.
A business analyst is crucial in any organization; therefore, the expectations will be high. You can enroll in the Business Analyst Certification Master's Program to add credibility to your resume and hone your skills.