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Program Analyst Interview Questions

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  1. What steps did you follow in evaluating new software for the accounting department? See answer
  2. How did you manage miscommunications due to existing telephony systems? See answer
  3. What experience do you have that qualifies you for a position as a program analyst? See answer
  4. In your opinion, how important is it for a program analyst to have strong people and project management skills? See answer
  5. Program analysts manage software licenses and purchase new licenses as needed from the developer. How did you manage software upgrades and licensing requirements?
  6. As a program analyst, how did you establish the feasibility of an upcoming design or project?
  7. What do you know about the OOPs concepts? Can you give me an example?
  8. In your opinion, what is the most effective way of working with a large amount of data?
  9. As a program analyst, how would you go about explaining a complex problem to a frustrated client?
  10. Explain how you would carry out regression testing for QA.
  11. What can you tell me about array manipulation?
  12. Explain your approach for training staff on reporting systems.
  13. In your opinion, how important is project management for a program analyst?
  14. What is your experience in using Oracle database tools?
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6 Program Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What steps did you follow in evaluating new software for the accounting department?

A:

You want a program analyst that stays abreast with the latest financial software and ensures that it is compliant with standards. The candidate should have experience reviewing and testing new software applications for various departments and evaluating security requirements for protecting confidential information.What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience evaluating financial software
  • Ability to ensure the recommended software meets the department’s requirements
  • Understanding of how to stay within the company’s budgetary constraints

Example:

“I tested the software and measured it against the accounting department’s needs. I evaluated key features of the software and determined if the upgrade was necessary and would improve daily tasks. I compared the cost of the implementation to the company’s budgetary constraints and prevented nonessential spending.”

Q:

How did you manage miscommunications due to existing telephony systems?

A:

Someone who has experience managing internet-based telephony systems knows when to upgrade the software and equipment. The candidate determines if the existing systems require repairs or if it is more feasible to purchase and integrate a new system into the network. Faulty cables and inferior telephony designs are common causes of miscommunications. You want a candidate who knows how the systems operate and how to remedy the situation. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience troubleshooting VoIP telephony systems
  • Confidence in their knowledge of VoIP systems
  • Familiarity with feasibility studies for new implementations

Example:

“I tracked the origin of the VoIP-related issue and determined if the issue was repairable. Outdated and inferior designs were replaced with cost-effective VoIP telephony systems. I tested the new products and evaluated the cost before recommending them to my previous employer.”

Q:

Program analyst manage software licenses and purchase new licenses as needed from the developer. How did you manage software upgrades and licensing requirements?

A:

You want a program analyst who monitors your company’s software proactively and performs upgrades as they are available. Someone who has experience as a program analyst understands potential risks if upgrades and patches aren’t installed regularly. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of upgrading and patching software
  • Ability to manage software licensing proactively
  • Experience scheduling regular maintenance for company software

Example:

“I completed software maintenance protocol when upgrades and patches became available for the company’s software. I monitored existing software licenses and purchased a new license as required when upgrading applications and operating systems.”

Q:

What experience do you have that qualifies you for a position as a program analyst?

A:

You want a candidate who has formal training as a program analyst or in a related field. The candidate should possess at least five years in the field and have experience evaluating and integrating software into commercial infrastructures. The purpose of the question is to establish that the candidate meets the preliminary requirements for the position. If they have a master’s degree or at least three years of experience, they would have advanced training and would make an invaluable asset to your company. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience as a program analyst
  • At least a bachelor’s degree in IT or related field
  • Formal training for analyzing software and programming

Example:

“I have a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, seven years of experience as a computer programmer and four years of experience as a computer systems analyst.”

Q:

As program analyst, how did you establish the feasibility of an upcoming design or project?

A:

Someone who has experience as a program analyst knows how to conduct a feasibility study for any project. Their findings determine if your company should continue with the project or if it isn’t achievable or will lead to unnecessary spending. The purpose of the question is to establish that the analyst won’t recommend new projects if they are detrimental to your company. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience completing a feasibility study
  • Confidence in oneself
  • High level decision-making process

Example:

“I evaluated each milestone for the project and its full requirements. I compared the cost of the project to the client’s budgetary constraints. Next, I evaluated the time needed to complete the project. I concluded that the project was feasible if the project was in line with the budget, achievable by the deadline and the company had the resources to complete it.”

Q:

In your opinion, how important is it for a program analyst to have strong people and project management skills?

A:

Program analysts combine the duties of computer programmers and system analysts. Along with planning, designing and developing software programs and computer systems, they also test, update, and restore them. By asking this question, you can determine if a candidate has the necessary interpersonal and management skills to get things done and thrive in the workplace. A qualified program analyst should be familiar with current technological trends and is often responsible for planning, implementing and optimizing operations and getting the work done as required and on schedule.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Knowledge of IT systems
  • Planning abilities
  • Interpersonal skills

A sample response would be something like this:

Example:

"From my personal experience, it is very important for program analysts to have strong people and project management skills. My work involves developing computer programs, and that requires in-depth planning. I have to research the program's feasibility and requirements, write the code, test its functionality, repair errors, and create user documentation. For this, I have to gather information from customers and beta testers and correspond with people from other departments. Being able to communicate well with everyone makes the task easier."

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