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100 Business Analyst Interview Questions

        posted by , Simplicable, January 11, 2013

Business analyst job descriptions differ greatly from organization to organization, role to role.

Typically, business analysts develop artifacts such as business cases and requirements for projects. Business analysts many also be involved in strategy planning, process design and process reengineering initiatives.

The following questions cover the most common knowledge, experience and abilities required for a business analyst role.

General

1. If you could take 2 training courses this year, what would they be?

2. What do you expect of this role?

3. What are project constraints? How are they different from requirements?

4. What's the worst project you've been assigned? What was the root cause of the project's problems?

5. Who do you most admire? Why?

6. What do you most enjoy about your current (or previous) role? What would you like to change?

Strategic planning

7. What is the point of strategic planning?

8. What is a organizational vision statement?

9. What is the purpose of a organizational value statement?

10. What process do you use to plan a business strategy?

11. Are you familiar with SWOT analysis? What is its purpose?

12. What is your approach to strategic planning?

13. Why are balanced scorecards useful?

14. How do business environment factors feed into strategic planning?

15. If you were asked to form a business strategy what factors would you consider?

16. How do you translate strategy into action?

17. How does an organization build competitive advantage?

Business Case Development

18. What is a business case? What information does it contain?

19. Why is it important for a business case to document project alternatives?

20. What is the most effective way to document business benefits?

21. What financial forecasts are typically found in a business case?

22. Are you familiar with net present value? What is it?

23. What is a payback period?

Business Model Analysis

24. How do you identify business goals and objectives?

25. How do you identify the current capabilities of a business?

26. Have you conducted a capability gap analysis? What is it?

27. What is a business model?

28. What's the difference between a business process and a business model?

29. What company has the best business model (in your opinion)? Can you tell me what you know about their business model?

30. What do you know about our business model?

31. What is business risk? How is it managed?

32. How is risk measured? Can you give me an example of a time you measured risk?

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

33. Have you worked with a project manager who was too demanding or unreasonable? If so, how did you handle the situation?

34. Can you tell me about the most difficult stakeholder you've work with? How did you handle the situation?

35. How do you resolve conflicts between stakeholders?

36. What was the best presentation you ever gave? Why was it effective?

37. What was the worst presentation you ever gave? What would you change?

38. What stresses you out (at work)?

39. Are you candid with people? Why is this important / not important?

40. What is the most assertive thing you've done (in a business situation)?

Process Definition and Design

41. Can you tell me about a business process you designed? What value did it add?

42. What is process improvement?

43. What process improvement methodologies are you familiar with?

44. What is your approach to process design?

45. What is your approach to business process reengineering?

46. How are business processes measured?

47. Can you give me an example of a business metric?

48. Have you developed reporting requirements for a business process? What metrics or KPIs did you include?

IT Analysis

49. Can you give me an example of a security requirement for an IT system?

50. How do you ensure that both technology and business understand requirements?

51. What is the purpose of a prototype?

52. What are architectural requirements?

53. What is the role of a solution architect in an IT project?

54. What are performance requirements?

55. Have you noticed that technical personnel and business stakeholders use different vocabularies? Can you give me an example? How do you ensure that everyone understands your communications and deliverables?

56. How do you validate the technical feasibility of requirements?

57. What are non-functional requirements? Can you give me an example?

58. In your experience, approximately what percentage of IT projects fail? As a business analyst, what can you do to reduce the risk of a project failing?

59. What is data integration? Can you give me an example?

60. Have you developed integration requirements? What information did you include?

Requirements (General)

61. Have you developed requirements in your current role? What challenges did you face?

62. What information goes into a requirements document?

63. What's the difference between a good requirements document and a great requirements document?

64. What are some common problems with requirements?

65. How do you ensure that requirements don't contradict each other?

66. How do you manage the situation in which different project stakeholders request requirements that contradict?

67. Can you give me an example of a requirement for a car?

68. Can you give me an example of a bad or unclear requirement?

69. How do you ensure that requirements are traceable (it's possible to validate that stakeholders actually requested it)?

70. How do you validate that requirements are feasible?

71. How do you ensure that requirements are clear and unambiguous?

72. How do you rank the importance of requirements?

73. How are requirements verified?

74. Are some requirements easier to verify than others?

75. How do you ensure that requirements are verifiable?

76. What is the potential project impact of low quality requirements?

77. Can requirements be too specific? If so, can you give me an example?

78. How do you manage changes to requirements?

79. How do you manage versioning of requirements?

80. In your current role (or previous role) how did you manage changes to requirements (change control)?

81. What does it mean to baseline requirements?

Requirements Elicitation

82. What techniques have you used to elicit requirements from stakeholders?

83. How do you elicit requirements from stakeholders who don't seem to have any ideas?

84. Have you used any brainstorming or facilitation techniques to elicit requirements?

85. How do you manage key stakeholders who show little interest in providing requirements?

86. How do you manage stakeholders who change their requirements frequently to the point that you have low confidence in their requirements?

87. How do you work with stakeholders who don't seem to understand the project?

88. Can you give me an example of a time that a stakeholder gave you a requirement that didn't make any sense in the context of the project? How did you handle the situation?

89. How do you typically interview stakeholders?

90. Have you organized requirements workshops?

91. Are you familiar with reverse engineering of existing systems? Is it difficult? Why / why not?

User Interface Requirements

92. What's the best user interface you've ever used? What makes it good?

93. What information goes into user interface requirements?

94. How do you help stakeholders who aren't familiar with user interface design to define requirements?

UML

95. What is your favorite modeling language?

96. What is UML?

97. What is a use case? Can you draw me a use case for a car?

98. What information does a use case capture?

99. What are the different types of use cases?

100. Have you used activity diagrams? What do they depict?

This article is part of the ongoing series: how to win your next job.

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