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5 Business Systems Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

As a business systems analyst, you will have to work within the different levels of the company. How do you handle a difficult stakeholder? 

A:

A business systems analyst must be able to effectively communicate with many different personalities in a company. In some cases, it may be just a simple misunderstanding that causes an issue. The candidate should be able to diffuse difficult situations with concerned stakeholders in a calm and professional matter. Your candidate needs to show a willingness to work with people at all levels of the business. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to diffuse stressful and difficult situations
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Excellent critical thinking skills
Example:

"I determine the cause of the problem, so I can address the issue for the stakeholder. I use the necessary data to back up our decisions."

Q:

What are some of the tools you think are important for a business analyst?

A:

There are many tools and software packages that a business systems analyst will use throughout the day. These answers should give you a sense that the candidate is familiar with the most popular programs in the field. You can also find out if the candidate uses the same applications as your company. With this question, you can also see if the candidate is willing to learn new programs and software applications. What to look for in an answer:

  • Basic computing and technical skills
  • Can use or learn to use programs and tools employed by your company
  • Familiar with business analyst applications
Example:

"I am most comfortable using Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I also have experience with Rational and MS Visio as well. I also use SQL to write queries."

Q:

In your experience, what is the most important part of system analytical reporting?

A:

Your candidate should be able to explain the importance of analytical reporting. These answers should also touch on the limitations of the reporting, including why data does not solve all the problems. They should also talk about how it benefits their work on a daily basis. The candidate needs to explain why they believe that analytical reporting is important for every business. Your candidate should explain the answers in a clear manner. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understands how business systems analysis works
  • Ability to use analysis skills on the job
  • Can think critically about certain situations
Example:

"The most important aspect of analytical reporting is the ability to solve issues based on evidence. This helps take the guesswork out of some decisions."

Q:

How familiar are you with SQL queries? Do you know the different segments of an SQL statement?

A:

A business systems analyst is not a computer programmer, but they should have some advanced technical skills. Your candidate should have some familiarity with relational database technology and SQL. At the very minimum, the candidate should be able to tell the three different parts of an SQL statement. This question will allow you to see if the candidate is qualified to handle database programs for analytical reporting. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of SQL statements and documents
  • Understanding of basic technical terms
  • Possesses advanced analytical skills in relation to the position
Example:

"An SQL statement consists of three different parts, including the data definition language, the data control language and the data manipulation language."

Q:

How do you steer a client away from a bad business decision?

A:

As a business systems analyst, you have to help the client make the right decisions about the business. In some cases, it is not about telling the client what they want to hear. Your candidate needs to have the confidence to steer a client away from the wrong decision. This question will help you to determine if the candidate can diffuse a difficult situation with a client by using their problem-solving skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • Has a strong ability to analyze business decisions
  • Can handle and resolve difficult situations
  • Possesses exceptional problem-solving skills
Example:

"I had to explain to a client that expanding their product line was not a profitable move. I used a detailed sales analysis to strengthen my point."

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