Interview Questions For Business Analyst

1. What do you see as the key skills of a business analyst?
Answer: There are several skills required to be a successful Business Analyst. They are not just limited to your work. These skills even include your personal qualities and approach towards your clients.

Some of the key skills expected from any Business Analyst are:

  • Customer Service skills
  • Strategic thinking approach
  • Good communication skills
  • Collaborating with other employees and colleagues
  • Analytical skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Customer-oriented
  • Ability to drive and adapt to the changes.

2. Who is a Business Analyst?
A business analyst is a person who analyzes an organization or business domain (real or hypothetical) and documents its business, processes, or systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology. However, organizational titles vary such as analyst, business analyst, business systems analyst or maybe systems analyst.

3. In your previous experience, what kind of documents you have created?
Answer: I have worked on, Functional Specification Documents, Technical Specification Documents, Business Requirements Documents, Use Case Diagram, etc.

4. Can You Provide Us Suggestions for an Effective Use Case Model?
Business analyst interviews often involve preparing actual plans for work – this is a highly-coveted position and narrowing down to the appropriate candidates is rarely easy. Provide the information and materials necessary for job seekers to provide an actual use case model for your business. Look for the candidate whose work process, systems, communication skill, and style most closely match your own organization.

5. What are the various common tools which would be thoroughly required to be used by a business Analyst?

  • Software skills would be one of the basic questions that would need to be asked by any interviewer.
  • Today, be it any company you go to, you would be required to answer these questions. You, in no way can you deny that this may not be required or not be the need of any business.
  • The common and basic tools that may be used by any business analyst could be many.
  • They may vary from MS Visio, MS word, they even could be MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, to even MS Quality center/to even MS test director and also MS Project. There may be other tools that may be very niche for this job.
  • These tools may be the tools that are client-specific and also some which may be supplied by the client. Being thorough in business and being very upfront about calling for the basic need of any company.

6. How will you mentally structure and physically prepare yourself when there is a huge workload?

  • Business analysts’ jobs can be tough. Many businesses that hire full-time employees want their business analysts to be taken for a full day period.
  • They will be required to be in office for long hours and sit and analyze the functioning of the work very carefully.
  • They are thus required to be able to chart out and find the nuances with the business chart of a client and be able to develop some story or some graph out of it. This must be done quickly. This is the healthy requirement of a business analyst. 

7. What is a requirement?
A requirement is a targeted solution to achieve specific business goals or objectives. It is an input to various stages of SDLC. This is the basis of a project which must be validated by the stakeholders and business users before implementation. Besides that, every requirement needs to be properly documented for future reference purposes.

8. What is Business Model Analysis?
Business Model Analysis is a technique to analyze whether a business is viable and valuable regarding social, economic and other perspectives. The business model analysis provides the foundation for any required business model change and innovation for an organization. 

9. What are the essential qualities of an Agile BA?

An Agile BA must be able to:

  • The BA has expected work to collaborate with product owners and developers to elicit requirements. The BA also must work to develop real functional requirements.
  • The BA must-do requirement elicitation in an iterative way
  • The BA must make requirement specifications, data models and business rules as much lightweight as possible.
  • The BA must be technically sound so that he can understand how the components of the system interact with each other. Besides that, he must understand the agile terminologies as he acts as the middleman between the customer and the project team.
  • The BA must concentrate on the just-enough requirement and test criteria to meet the just in time delivery goal of an agile project.

10. What are the best practices to follow while writing a use case?

Some of the best practices to write a use case are as follows:

  • To become a valid use case, the use case must provide some value back to the actor or stakeholder.
  • The functional and non-functional requirements must be captured appropriately in the use case.
  • The use case must have one or more alternate flow along with the main flow.
  • The use case should only describe what the system does and not how it is done which means it will not describe the design. It will act as a black box from the viewpoint of an actor.
  • The use case should not have any, i.e. it should be stand-alone.

11. As a Business Analyst, what are your views on the inter-organization migration of employees?
Well, sometimes the problems declare their presence because of no other reason than no proper resources. In the current time, most of the members of a business workforce have good technical knowledge. Even employees have the interest to work with other departments in some cases. Migrating the employees from one department to another is generally not common but is can solve a very large number of a business problem if this is managed by a team of experts. Business Analysts often perform this task to get the best possible outcome.

12. How can you say that a requirement is good or perfect?
The features and standards of a good requirement can be pointed out using a rule called SMART rule.

Specific: The description of a requirement should be perfect and specific enough to understand it.

Measurable: There are various parameters through which the requirement’s success can be measured.

Attainable: Resources should be able to achieve success with the requirement.

Relevant: States that what results are realistically achieved.

Timely: Requirements for a project should be revealed in time.

13. What is a misuse case?
An activity performed by a user which in turn causes a system failure. It may be a malicious activity. As it is misguiding the system function flow, it is termed as misuse case.

14. What are the different phases of an IT Project?

There are five phases in Project management which include:

  • Project Initiation
  • Project Planning
  • Project Execution
  • Project Monitoring and control
  • Project Closure

15. List the components of the Requirements Work Plan?

  • Project description
  • Key issues
  • Deliverables
  • Goals and objectives
  • Strategy
  • Resources
  • Budget, time

16. Could you describe the main qualities of a good requirement?

The golden rule to measure the quality of a good requirement is the ‘SMART’ rule. According to this rule, a requirement should be:

Specific: The requirement should be specific so that it could be properly documented

Measurable: We should be able to measure the success criteria of the requirement by different parameters

Attainable: The requirement should be possible to attain with the given resources

Relevant: The requirement should be in line with the project’s business case

Timely: The requirement should be posted in time i.e. early in the project lifecycle.

17. What is a typical day of your BA job like?
Interviewers often ask this question to ascertain your work experience, how you handle multiple things and your perception of the job.

You should stress upon depicting that there is no typical day for a BA and how varied your work is, through the day. Show your rich experience by explaining how you respond to the emails, meeting with the subject matter experts, clarification of the business flow to the technical team, discussion with the project manager over the project status, preparation, and review of functional documents.

To get an idea of how you should effectively portray your typical day, read our post on A typical Day of a Business Analyst

18. What do you know about scope creep?

  • Scope creep, also known as requirement creep is a term that denotes uncontrolled changes/deviation in the project’s scope without an increase in the other resources (schedule, budget) of the project.
  • Scope creep is a risk to the project and is usually caused by poor project management, improper documentation of the project’s requirements and poor communication between the project’s stakeholders. 

19. What are the skills that a business analyst must possess?
A business analyst must possess fundamental skills such as elicitation skills, problem-solving skills, communication, and management skills. Alongside this, he must have knowledge of IT skills, Software development understanding and domain knowledge regarding the domain he is working in.

There is a detailed post on the key skills of a BA here.

20. Mention The Components Of Uml?
UML uses many concepts from many sources.

For Structure: Actor, Attribute, Class, Component, Interface, Object, Package.

For Behavior: Activity, Event, Message, Method, Operation, State, use case.

For Relationships: Aggregation, Association, Composition, Depends, Generalization (or Inheritance).

Other Concepts: Stereotype. It qualifies the symbol it is attached to.

21. Does The Business Analyst Interact With Clients Directly? If So State The Reason For The Same?
It depends on the project to project it is not always the same that we do interact with the clients directly, sometime there will be a team whom might be interacting with the client and gives you the requirement and if have questions either we do talk with that team or our manager. 

22. How Do You Identify The Basic Flow? What Would You Do If Someone Was Struggling To Determine The Basic Flow For A Use Case?
The basic flow for use cases can be identified from Business Requirement Documents or Functional Requirement Documents as these use cases are prepared on the basis of this requirement. 

23. Good Documentation Management Systems Are Highly Recommended In System Development; Briefly Describe The Factors That Contribute To A Good Documentation Management System?
 For a documentation system to be considered good, the following factors should be prevalent in it: It should be made in such a way that it can accommodate future changes, including version changes, bearing system security features such as providing access only to the allowed users, i.e. have good authentication features. In general, one should take in data as well as information security measures in place, putting in mind that the documentation should also be able to bend to the changing needs of its users as well as the market conditions.

24. What Do Understand By Version Control & Configuration Management?
Basically, version control is a part of configuration management. Mainly it handles when the previous document changes. Whereas configuration management handles the individual component.

25. What Is Black Box Testing?
It is completely functional testing. i.e the tester need not know how it works technically. He only bothers what input he is giving and what output he is getting.

26. We Have Met Several Business Analysts. Why Are You The One We Should Hire?
 Give definite examples of your skills and accomplishments. Be positive, and emphasize how your background matches the job description. Mention any software packages and spreadsheet software you are familiar with. Also, let them know if you have advanced knowledge of any of the software.

27. What Are The Different Documents That Can Come Across To The Business Analyst?

The documents that are responsible to be completed as a Business Analyst may include:

  • Study of Feasibility.
  • Scope & Prospect of Project.
  • Business Requirements Document.
  • Functional Requirements document including UML, Activity and dataflow diagrams.
  • Fact sheet for constraints from the technical side (as prescribed by the client).
  • Testing phase documents including QA Test requirements, plan, and types of tests that have to be considered before delivery.

28. How Can A Ba Be Of Assistance To The Marketing Team?
The BA has a good share of both business knowledge and technical knowledge pertaining to a specific domain. So when it comes to marketing a product or procuring a project, he can give his views and prospect oriented perspective in a more acceptable manner to the customers. This makes him a good advantageous role in the marketing department of an organization. 

29. What is the use of Pareto Analysis?
Pareto analysis enables a Business analyst to effectively putting 20% of work to arrive at 80% project completion. It is considered to be a very effective decision-making tool. It helps prioritize tasks in order to get maximum benefits.

30. What are the key elements that fulfill requirements?
 As a business analyst, I very well understand the need to fulfill requirements as it is our key responsibility. We have to see into the presence of adequate resources and fulfillment of business goals that are the pillars to meet requirements. Additionally, though it may mean going beyond the requirements the agreement of stakeholders is extremely beneficial to the overall project.

31. What is UML modeling?
UML is the Unified Modeling Language. UML is the standard that the industry uses for visualizing, documenting and constructing various components of a system. It is a modeling standard used primarily for software development, but can also be used for other conceptual models such as describing job roles, business processes, and organizational functions. For Business Analysts UML is being able to represent requirements with use cases, class diagrams, and state diagrams. For Business Analysts, the important part of understanding UML is in understanding the diagram tools and when and how to use them best.

32. What are the main challenges faced by a business analyst?
These are the following three challenges faced by a business analyst:

Change management: It is the most crucial challenge because it happens in real-time. It occurs when you get the requirements from the client-side and when development is started client will come up with some changes or enhancements.

Cross-team management: It is due to conflict between team and individuals. It requires soft skills and smartness

Communication problems: Sometimes this type of problem can happen. You might be good at English speaking and understanding the English language, but sometimes you get difficulty to understand a different kind of English accent. For example, Americans speak English. Differently, the Romans speak English differently, etc.

33. Which model is better according to you, the Waterfall model or Spiral Model?
You should answer this question on the type and scope of the project. You can also say that a life cycle model is always selected on the basis of organizational culture and various other scenarios to develop the system.

34. How Do You Feel About Agile? What Can You Tell Us About It?
 Agile software development emerged more than 15 years ago, and quickly grew in prominence. In 2015, it surpassed waterfall as the norm in the field, and principles from agile have been adopted in other businesses as well.

It offers several development life cycle strengths that a good business system analyst and project manager will be able to name, and most should feel favorably towards it. If not, they should be able to provide a strong argument for an alternative preference, or a willingness to use agile if that is your company’s norm.

35. How do you stay up-to-date on general business knowledge and trends?
In asking this question, the interviewer is trying to assess whether you’re self-motivated and driven enough to take action to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date outside of your regular day-to-day activities. Your answer could include a reference to industry publications, news, and conferences or events:

“I start my day by checking my news app over my morning coffee. I also set Google Alerts for things that I’m specifically interested in such as financial news. I also try to attend at least a couple of networking events or conferences each year to keep connected with the business community.”

36. Describe a time where you had to influence your stakeholders or deal with a difficult stakeholder?
Answer this one head-on. The hiring manager is trying to assess your soft skills, particularly your communication, collaboration and influencing abilities. Working with people from different areas of the company and perspectives is an area where non-technical skills are key.

Prepare a scenario in advance where you can talk through a situation you faced with a challenging stakeholder. Break it down using the STAR technique – explain the Situation or Task, outline the Action you took and the Result you achieved. 

37. What is the significance of Process Design?
Process design is something that largely matters in a business aiming to analyze all the challenges to find an effective solution. It is an approach that simply let them standardize the workflows that largely matters. Boosting the same can simply boost the quality and businesses can make sure that they can get the desired outcome in the shortest possible time.

38. Can you analyze the financial problems a business is facing?
The answer could be yes if you are from a financial background. Otherwise, you tell whatever your knowledge about financial management and the strategies if you have any knowledge about the same. 

39. What according to you are the basic needs of a Business Analyst to accomplish his/her task?

A Business Analyst can have some basic requirements and they can be:

1. Availability of the case scenarios
2. Access to logical data models
3. Data flow diagrams of the problems
4. Reports
5. Work Instructions

40. What is the difference between post-implementation and pre-implementation problems of a project? What is the role of a BA in managing them both?
The problems that declare their presence before a project is actually executed or implemented are known as pre-implementation problems while the ones that come after the implementation of the same are post-implementation problems. Well, most of the problems come after the implementation of a project. A good Business Analyst cannot overcome them all but can impose a limit on the same. In fact, a BA always works to make sure that both the pre and post-implementation problems can be avoided up to a great extent within the minimum possible time.

41. How will you be able to handle the changes to requirements?
This is a logical question asked in an interview. As a BA, first I’ll get signed a document by the user which states that after a point of time no changes to the requirements are accepted.

In a few cases, if the changes to the requirements are accepted then as a BA,

i) Firstly I’ll note down the changes made to the requirements and will prioritize them.

ii) We will also go through those changes and find out the impact of them on the project.

iii) I will calculate the cost, timeline, and resources required to cover the impact of change requirements on the project.

iv) And will make sure that whether those changes affect or create gaps to functional design documents, testing or coding.

42. Can you brief Kano Analysis?
Kano analysis is a powerful technique used in classifying the various types of customer requirements for new products. Basically, this Kano Analysis deals with the needs of the end-users of the product.

The main attributes of this Kano Analysis are

i) Threshold Attributes: These are the properties that a customer wants to be available in the product.

ii) Performance Attributes: These represent some extra properties that are not necessary for a product but can be added for customers’ enjoyment.

iii) Excitement Attributes: These are the properties that the customers are not aware of but are excited when they found such properties in their product.

43. How CATWOE helps in Business analysis and decision making?
Customers, Actors, Transformation process, Worldview, Owners and Environmental constraints (CATWOE) – Helps in making a decision ahead of time. Analyzing how will those decisions affect customers(C), whose involved as actors(A), what different transformation(T) processes are going to happen which might affect the system, global picture and worldwide(W) issues, who is responsible/ownership(O) for the business and what will be the environmental(E) impacts due to the project/business carried out. 

44. Tell us the difference between an alternate flow and an exception flow of a use case?
Alternate flow is the alternative actions that can be performed apart for the basic flow and might be considered as an optional flow whereas Exception flow is the path traversed in case of the error or an exception being thrown. For e.g., on a Login page the ‘Forgot password’ is the alternate flow and system showing ‘404 error’ when correct username and password are entered is exception flow.

45. What Are The Industry And Professional Standards Followed By Business Analyst?
Industry standards that have been set for the BAs to follow are OOAD principles and Unified Modeling Language (UML). This is a common language used by business analysts all around the world to draft the functional requirements.

46. Mention The Difference Between Business Process Improvement And Business Process Reengineering?
Business process improvement implies changing a step sub-step or any part of the process i.e. process is not completely changed In BPR we actually study the business and find out what is the best way I can carry out the process and change the whole way the process runs.

47. State The Different Software Methodologies?
The term software methodology, software development methodology, and software process mean almost the same thing in computer software or system development, i.e. the activities carried out by computer system engineers or computer software engineers in an attempt to procure particular computer software that serves a certain function or purpose. This includes the framework adopted, structure, plan as well as the control of the resources engaged in the software or system development process.

48. Where Did You Use Rational Rose & Requisite Pro?
When we created different modules of requirements for different functions, and finally collected all together and made a single requirement document, we used requisite pro to do this. And we used rational rose to create the business model as a visual representation.

49. How Do You See Your Future As A Business Analyst?
I have always liked the career of Business Analyst not just because of the management perspective but also because of the responsibilities that would be held in order to make the entire project successful. Growing with the organization’s success as a more prominent and effective analyst has always been in my mind right through. I would also like to take up the BA certifications like PRINCE 2 in the near future. This would help me grow in a field that I like most, in a more professional way.

50. What do you understand by requirement elicitation?
 Requirement elicitation collects information from users as well as stakeholders in order to understand what they want from a system. It is comprised of strategies that directly collaborate with users or customers. The customer behavior is closely monitored and sometimes prototypes are built and run through different scenarios.

51. When do you need to use the Kano analysis?

In order to understand the impact of customer satisfaction, a Kano analysis must be used. It consists of 5 requirements:

An attractive requirement: For example, a supermarket that does not charge for shopping bags.

Performance requirement: For example, a stationery shop that has all the school supplies which are affordable as well.

An obligatory requirement: For example, a pharmacy that doesn’t store expired medicines.

Indifferent requirement: For example, a customer would not care for the brand of wiring that a garment shop uses.

Reverse requirements: For example, for online purchase of an affordable blender which needs to be pre-ordered.

52. What do you know about GAP Analysis and what is its importance?
GAP analysis is the process of comparing the current state and the proposed state of any business and its functionalities. It comes under the Enterprise Analysis which is a knowledge area of a Business Analyst. It helps in determining what steps need to be taken to meet the proposed state requirements for the business. In simple language it can be defined as a gap between 2 questions – ‘Where we are?’ and ‘Where we want to be?’

This analysis can be conducted for:

• How the Current business process activities and steps are vs how will be the future business process activities and steps.

• How the data that a system provides to an interface is now vs how the data needs to be provided in the future

• How well a business meets certain goals and metrics now versus the targeted goals and metrics in the future.

53. What do you know about Risk and Issue?

Risk: Risk is something that you can forecast and can handle by formulating mitigation plans.

Issue: Risk which happened is known as Issue. Once the problem has occurred, it is solved by contingency management or Issue management. Generally, issues are not resolved, but you can get a lesson from there for other projects.

54. What is your biggest achievement?

  • You might consider winning an eating competition to be your greatest achievement, but keep your answer to this question work-related. Tell a story about a recent work success that shows the interviewer what benefits you’ll bring to the company. A good answer contains a problem and your solution such as the following:
  • “In my previous position, I identified a major issue with inventory control. The system wasn’t keeping close enough track, and the company was short on the product each month. By investigating 12 months of previous data, I was able to identify the problem and implement a new control measure which allowed us to track the product more closely. From that point forward, inventory was no longer an issue.” 

55. As a business analyst, what tools, you think are more helpful?
 The degree and frequency to which management performs the analysis of a company decide the success or failure in a business. Using business analysis tools can help greatly in increasing productivity and efficiency of work which will lead to business success. Some of the tools which are popular and usually used by the Business analyst are:

ERP system: This system gathers information from the accounting system, inventory records, sales performance and other key elements of your business. Having this information at your fingertips completes the prime step in performing regular business analysis to see if your company is operating efficiently. It also helps in identifying potential problems that can be worked on.

Microsoft Word: Microsoft word is another important tool that almost every business analyst uses. MS word is very handy in preparing requirements specification documents in the absence of Requirement Management Tools. Templates can be created for the documentation of software requirements. Through MS word you can even set preferred fonts, apply your company’s theme, embed external objects such as Visio diagrams or Excel worksheets, etc.

Microsoft Excel: Excel is one of the most powerful tools when you require any kind of Data analysis on the job. With MS Excel you can create pivot tables, examine trends in the data, sort and filter data, create charts or graphs, etc. It provides many built-in mathematical and financial functions that can help in analysis.

Balsamiq: It is a very useful tool through which you can create wireframes quickly in brainstorming sessions. It is also useful for getting immediate feedback from stakeholders. Business analysts and designers use this category of tools for creating mockups which can be converted into actual designs after signing off.

Rational Requisite Pro: It is one of the most important Requirements Management tools. Working on a large project in a business analyst team will require a concrete tool for managing your requirements. It provides the functionality of Word processing along with the capability to sort and query data using a dynamic database. Tracing requirements along with their changes and prioritize them for implementation becomes easy with this tool.

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