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Business Analyst Interview Questions

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  1. As a business analyst you have to work with all types of people in different positions throughout a company. How would you deal with a difficult stakeholder? See answer
  2. A client has a Christmas-themed e-commerce shop that sells five items. What are some potential problems you foresee with their revenue streams? See answer
  3. Are you are familiar with SQL queries? What are the different parts of an SQL Statement? See answer
  4. In your experience as a business analyst, what is the most important aspect of analytical reporting? See answer
  5. Can you describe a time when you had to steer a client toward a different course of action than the one they were set on taking? See answer
  6. Name three types of diagrams or charts that business analysts use, and explain why they are important. See answer
  7. What tools do you think are the most important for business analysts to do their job well? See answer
  8. How do you explain highly technical information to stakeholders and decision-makers? See answer
  9. Describe the concept of scope creep and explain how you prevent it from impacting your analysis.
  10. How do you reconcile conflicting data when researching a project?
  11. What factors would you consider before making recommendations on a new product launch?
  12. Are you familiar with performing risk assessments?
  13. What are the key elements of an SRS and what is their purpose?
  14. Describe your main strategies for assessing business requirements.
  15. What project life cycle frameworks do you most commonly use? Give an example of a project you analyzed and how you selected which life cycle model to use.
  16. Explain your experience using requirement elicitation techniques with clients.
  17. Tell me about a time you adapted to changes in a project’s requirements.
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8 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

As a business analyst you have to work with all types of people in different positions throughout a company. How would you deal with a difficult stakeholder?

A:

You have to be able to navigate different personalities and positions as a business analyst. A candidate who knows how to deal with all types of people at all levels of business is the key to success.

  • Problem skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to diffuse difficult situations

Example:


“First I’d try to determine why they were upset or being difficult; once you know what the problem is you can better tackle the issue. Once I had an understanding of what their concerns were when the opportunity arose, I’d seek to address their issues with a measured, reasoned response backed up with the necessary data to bolster the points I’m addressing.”

Q:

A client has a Christmas-themed e-commerce shop that sells five items. What are some potential problems you foresee with their revenue streams?

A:

A business analyst needs to be able to evaluate a situation and diagnose the problem and solution for clients. This question gives insight on how the candidate tackles common business problems a client may have.

  • Showcases business analyst skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Assessment abilities

Example:


“The immediate issue with the client’s revenue stream is that it will take a severe hit once the holiday season is over. How to generate revenue outside of the holiday season would be a key point to address with the client. The other concern is with only offering five items. The client is severely limiting their opportunity to generate

Q:

Are you are familiar with SQL queries? What are the different parts of an SQL Statement?

A:

It isn’t necessary for a business analyst to have advanced technical skills, but it helps if they have skills in SQL and relational database technology. This question shows their familiarity with and understanding of SQL.

  • Technical skills
  • Understanding SQL documents
  • Advanced analysis skills

Example:


“An SQL statement has three parts. There is the Data Definition Language or DDL, the Data Manipulation Language or DML, and the Data Control Language or DCL.”

Q:

In your experience as a business analyst, what is the most important aspect of analytical reporting?

A:

Candidate should understand the importance of analytical reporting, its limitations and how it relates to the work they do. This question has them explain why and how they believe analytical reporting is important.

  • Ability to think critically
  • Understanding of business analysis
  • Shows analysis skills

Example:


“The ability to solve problems or make decisions based on evidence instead of guesses and assumptions is the most important aspect of analytical reporting. Data alone won’t solve problems, but it gives you the tools to make well-reasoned decisions that you can explain and justify even if the decision itself doesn’t work out the way you expected.”

Q:

Can you describe a time when you had to steer a client toward a different course of action than the one they were set on taking?

A:

Being a business analyst isn’t about telling a client what they want – it is about telling a client what is best for their business. This question shows how a candidate handles telling a client something they may not want to hear.

  • Problem-solving ability
  • Ability to handle difficult situations
  • Business analysis ability

Example:


“I once had a client who wanted to expand a product line for their store, yet they were struggling to sell many of the products they already carried. Using detailed sales analysis as well as their current profit and loss statement, I explained to them exactly why they should not expand their current line of products, and that they would need to drastically reduce what they were currently selling because only 20 percent of it was profitable for the business.”

Q:

Name three types of diagrams or charts that business analysts use, and explain why they are important.

A:

Business analysts use numerous charts, diagrams and other documents. You want to ensure the candidate is familiar with these documents and understands how to apply them to clients’ cases.

  • Visual modeling
  • Understanding basic business analyst charts
  • Understand how to implement those charts

Example:


“First there are flowcharts. They are essential because they provide a visual representation of a system, which is easy for clients to understand. There are also Activity Diagrams, and their purpose is to showcase the diverse activities occurring in different departments. And then there are Use Case Diagrams that show who interacts with a system and what primary goals they achieve with it.”

Q:

What tools do you think are the most important for business analysts to do their job well?

A:

There are a variety of tools business analysts commonly use. This question lets you see if the candidate is familiar with these tools and if they use applications common to your company.

  • Familiarity with standard business analyst applications
  • Use tools common to your business
  • Basic technical skills

Example:


The tools I commonly use are Word, Excel, MS Visio, PowerPoint and Rational tools. I also know how to write SQL queries.

Q:

How do you explain highly technical information to stakeholders and decision-makers?

A:

Business analysts play a key role in guiding cohesive decision-making at their clients' business. Successful business analysts must be able to use persuasion and negotiation skills to influence various stakeholders and convince them to agree on a project's specifications. This question assesses a candidate's ability to apply their soft skills to a challenging situation and achieve unity on a project.

A strong response should include:

  • Strategic reasoning tactics
  • Experience gaining support from others
  • Emphasis on data and research

Here's an example answer:

Example:

"Stakeholder buy-in is critical to the success of any project, so I would be sure to front-load discussions about their expectations before getting too deep into a project. I'd priorities, allowing me to emphasize parts of the project that will meet their goals. Next, I'd summarize the critical aspects of our market research and risk analysis so that my reasoning would be clear to all stakeholders involved, then use the STAR method to outline my suggested response to the client's problems."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021