Over the years of my career, I’ve attended many interviews, good and bad, boring and exciting. Then I interviewed and coached hundreds of other experienced and aspiring business analysts.
As a result, I’ve compiled a list of interview questions that I use for coaching and share as a free handout.
In this article, you will find a starter list of interview questions you should be prepared for.
Through my videos, I share tips and advice with everyone who is looking for a job related to business analysis. Most of this advice is applicable to other jobs — see for yourself.
1. Why do you want to be a business analyst?
Focus on your motivation and the strengths that will make you a good analyst. Be interested and enthusiastic.
Make sure to research what does it mean to be a business analyst, so that you use appropriate professional terminology and appear well-versed and knowledgeable.
2. Why should we hire you?
Consider your strength — what makes you special? What do you have that others don’t? How can you stand out from the crowd?
You certainly need to know this before starting any job search, so you will have to do some analysis on yourself.
3. How much do you know about business analysis?
The question may be asked many different ways, but this is the true intention: to assess your BA knowledge. Do you understand the main principles, methodologies, tools, and techniques?
4. How would you gather requirements?
These types of questions are intended to check whether you understand the meaning of “analysis”. A business analyst’s job is not to gather and document some information, predefined and digested for them.
5. How do you plan requirements analysis?
An experienced business analyst needs to be able to plan BA activities, prioritize and sequence them to help guide the discovery and analysis.
Complex projects will require more planning, and the information you discover at the beginning will be the base of the product breakdown structure you will need to visualize together with all the stakeholders.
6. What is your favorite diagram?
An interviewer experienced in business analysis will often test what BA tools and techniques you know, and asking about diagrams is an easy way to do it.
Every business analyst should be comfortable using multiple types of models — if you are not confident in this area, learn about various diagrams and practice.
7. How would you facilitate a virtual workshop?
In these times, virtual meetings are more frequent than face-to-face workshops. Handing virtual requirements sessions is more challenging and requires additional preparation, intuition and facilitation skill.
This will definitely be a key area for an interviewer to assess, especially if you are applying for an intermediate or senior position.
Learn and practice virtual facilitation skills at any opportunity, and practice answering this question in front of a mirror.
8. Behavioral interview questions
This question category applies to any job. The questions you will get will likely be tweaked towards business-analysis-specific situations. Your answers will have to reflect how your behavior will help you in difficult professional situations.
Since business analysts will have more than their share of difficult situations due to the nature of the job, you should have a few stories prepared. Always consider how your behavior and your choices can help manage relationships and help to solve business problems.
9. How would you compensate for lack of business analysis experience?
No one switching careers likes this question as it touches on your vulnerable points. However, even if you’ve never held a BA title, you’ve likely been involved in business analysis activities.
The trick is to recognize those, understand what’s relevant, and practice talking about them with confidence.
The other trick, of course, is to look to every opportunity to practice business analysis and reskilling opportunities.