Top Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers (2022)

A business analyst helps enterprises in understanding their business needs, integrating them with existing technologies and bridging any gaps between different stakeholders. The job profile of a business analyst is highly lucrative, offers high remuneration and is full of business potential. It doesn’t matter whether you are an aspiring business analyst or already a junior level analyst - you need to be prepared with the leading business analyst interview questions.

The level of competition is high in the world of business analytics today. You cannot just hope to walk into an interview, wing it and land the job. There are several candidates out there who will be applying for the same job role as you. They will all have similar experience levels and skillsets. You will have a limited window to prove your skills, which will make all the difference. Make sure you use this time to highlight your technical skills and capabilities if you want to impress your recruiter. 

Let’s take a look at some of the business analyst interview questions you should prepare for.

Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers:

Q. What is a flowchart? How significant is it?

A. A flowchart visually demonstrates a system’s entire flow using diagrams and symbols. Flowcharts are important because they make systems easier to understand for non-technical stakeholders and developers.

Q. What does an alternate flow mean?

A. In any use case, there is a possibility of failure during execution. In such a situation, an alternate flow is the next best option or execution plan to be followed. 

Q. Which two documents are closely related to a use case?

A. These two documents are: 

  • Functional Requirement Document (FRD)
  • System Design Document (SDD)

Q. What does INVEST mean?

A. In the business analysis domain, INVEST is a key abbreviation. It stands for Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Sized appropriately and Testable. INVEST is a term project managers and business analysts use to deliver high-quality products and services. 

Q. There are many processes involved in implementing and creating business strategies. Describe any two.

A. As a business analysis professional, you need to know about the different processes that you can use to identify the business needs of an organisation and deliver optimised results. Two leading methods used for this purpose are the MoSCoW process and SWOT analysis.

MoSCoW is an acronym that means ‘Must or Should, Could or Would’. Business analysts implement this by comparing all existing demands with existing needs and prioritising business framework requirements. This leads to questions like ‘is this solution a must-have or something we should have?’

SWOT is also an abbreviation that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT analysis is the most popularly used method of strategy creation and helps in optimising resource allocation and planning. Business analysts need to have the skills for identifying a company’s weaknesses and strengths and implementing strategies to work around them. 

There are also other strategies like PESTLE and MOST that companies use frequently. 

Q. What do you do to stay on top of new business trends, topics and technologies?

A. This question aims to give the recruiter an idea of how motivated you are to make your place in the industry. Any successful professional employs different methods and routines to stay ahead of industry trends and business developments. Interviewers are looking at the different actions and lengths that you would go to so that you have an edge. Here you need to list various events, publications and online forums you interact with to keep learning and growing. You can also mention references, mentors and other resources that help you understand the industry better.

Technical and Problem Solving Questions for Business Analyst Interviews:

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Q. What is UML? Explain its applications.

A. Unified Modeling Language, or UML, is a developmental modelling, general-purpose language. It gives developers a standardised method of envisioning a system. UML rationalises system behaviour to detect and eliminate bottlenecks and errors. 

Q. What is SRS? What are some of its fundamental elements?

A. SRS is an abbreviation for System Requirements Specification or Software Requirements Specification. It refers to a bunch of documents that describe a system or software application’s features. Stakeholders and customers need several elements that they use to convince end-users of their objective. 

The most important elements of SES are:

  • Functional and non-functional needs
  • Scope of work
  • Dependencies
  • Data model
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Constraints and assumptions. 

Q. Define BRD. How does it differ from SRS?

A. A Business Requirement Document is generally shortened to BRD. This is essentially a professional contract between an enterprise and a client for a specified product and its development. 

  • A BRD is a functional software specification. On the other hand, SRS is created by a business analyst after directly interacting with clients. 
  • A BRD is made by business analysts after interacting with the client, while SRS is made based on the technical needs and expertise of the enterprise.
  • In essence, SRS is taken from the BRD.

Q. What is a requirement in business? Is there a difference between needs and requirements?

A. Requirements refer to targeted solutions and representations that directly help in achieving a particular business goal. Stakeholders analyse a given project by looking at preset requirements and conditions before the execution begins. Every element is documented correctly for the purpose of referencing. On the other hand, a need represents the terms as well as the result. 

Consider this example: Who Is a Business Intelligence Analyst and Why you need is a job as a business analyst. The requirements would be an educational background, necessary skills, interview practice and a proper resume. In the first phase, users need to be identified so that a role profile is created for each user category along with identifying goals that each role should be related to. The next phase will include structuring and creating use cases. This is done by gathering non-functional and functional needs, including diagrams and details of the user interface. In the final stage, these use cases are reviewed and validated. 

Q. What is your usual work plan while dealing with a project?

A. This is one of the leading interview questions a business analyst is faced with. Recruiting managers are looking to understand your take on work strategies, teamwork and your project management skills. While answering this question, explain the steps you usually follow when you have a clear project and standard deliverables at your disposal. If, for example, you have managed a project’s planning phase, you could talk about the deliverables you were responsible for, such as a requirement management plan, communication plan or work breakdown structure. 

Every business has specific needs and different challenges and situations. However, the fundamental steps to achieve business success are largely the same. 

  • As a first step, clearly identify your role in the project and understand the perspective of the stakeholder in this project. You also must define primary goals and reconcile conflicts of expectations among different stakeholders.
  • Next, make a plan of action that includes timelines, steps and clear deliverables. 
  • Define concise and actionable steps.
  • Most solutions will need IT support, so ensure technical implementation is in place. 
  • Create documents and train users to implement solutions.
  • Finally, evaluate the value created by the project. Is it meeting the objective or is a follow-up required?

Focus on the experiences you’ve had while describing your skills. Make sure you explain these steps in a more personalised manner so that it doesn’t sound like you’re reading off a script.

Q. Which documents does a business analyst need? Which of these documents have you created through your working experience?

A. The lifecycle of a project requires several documents, depending on the business analyst’s utilisation process. The key documents required are:

  • Initiation document
  • BRD
  • SRS
  • Functional requirement document
  • Requirement Traceability Matrix
  • Change Request Document
  • Gap analysis document
  • Use case Specification Document

This question aims at understanding your level of experience and how skilled you are at creating different documents. It assesses your skills when it comes to delivering on both technical and business goals. Make sure you only talk about the documents you have worked on and explain them in as much detail as possible.

Q. What does requirement elicitation mean? Have you been a part of an elicitation meeting?

A. Requirement elicitation refers to a methodology used for gathering information from users and stakeholders. It is made up of strategies and approaches that help in collaborating with them directly. Some techniques of requirement elicitation are:

  • Interviews
  • Brainstorming
  • Document analysis
  • Prototyping
  • Surveys/ questionnaires
  • Workshops and observations

If you have been a part of elicitation meetings in the past, explain the impact you have created and what your contribution has been.

Q. What are the different types of diagrams a business analyst uses? How do they affect your work?

A. The diagram models that business analysts use most often are:

  • Flowchart: Diagrammatic depictions of a system’s complete workflow. A flowchart makes it easier for stakeholders - technical and non-technical - to understand the different operations. 
  • Activity diagram: This diagram illustrates the different actions and activities and how they flow through different departments.
  • Use case diagram: This diagram models a system’s functionality by using sets of functions, actions and services that are expected from the project or the system.
  • Sequence diagram: A sequence diagram illustrates interactions between various objects and the timeline of how messages flow between them. 
  • Collaboration diagram: This is also known as a communication or interaction diagram. It illustrates the interactions and relationships among various objects in UML.

Q. What is the Exception and Alternate flow within a use case diagram? How do they differ from the basic flow?

A. Basic flow represents the operation of different activities as needed by the enterprise. Alternative flow represents the activities or actions besides the basic flow. The objective of alternative flow is to achieve the goals of the use case by using steps different from the basic flow. Exception flow is a representation of all actions carried out when errors occur. It ultimately does not achieve the goal of the use case.

Q. What is Analytical Reporting?

A. Business analysts need to understand the importance and limitations of analytical reports. Start your answer by defining what analytical reporting is. Analytical reporting is a kind of business report that provides data analysis, recommendations and data. The recommendations are what separate analytical reporting from informational reporting. 

After you have done this, describe the analytical reporting impact you have created in your previous job roles. Stay focused on demonstrating how you can come up with recommendations through data sources while demonstrating your analytical skills. 

Also Read: About Business Analyst Job Description, Roles and Responsibilities

Q. What are Personas? How are they used in user-centred design techniques?

A. A persona is created to replace a real user, in an attempt to understand behaviour patterns in various situations. In user-centred design, systems are developed while keeping end-user perspectives in mind. Creating a persona helps such systems to thrive. 

Q. What is your role as a Business Analyst in an organisation?

A. Business analysts play a key role in every project executed by an organisation. 

  • A business analyst’s key role is identifying an organisation’s needs, recognising problem areas, predicting trends and possible future issues and providing solutions to prevent or mitigate them.
  • Business analyst responsibilities vary from one organisation to another based on project needs and industry.
  • The core skills a business analyst needs are a strong understanding of the concepts of system engineering, technical knowledge, leadership skills, verbal communication skills and writing and presentation skills. 

Q. How will you tackle changing business or project requirements?

A. The average business analyst in an enterprise tackles changes in requirements by first issuing a document to be signed by the client that after a specific point, no changes will be allowed. This will ensure that the client is clear about their project requirements from the start before reaching out to your enterprise. However, in some cases this change is unavoidable. In this situation:

  • First, make a note of all the changes, get them officially verified by the client and stakeholders and keep them as a top priority. 
  • Evaluate the impact of each change on the project.
  • Calculate the changes in timelines, costs and required resources that will cover the impact on your project.

Q. Which tools are the most impactful for business analysis?

A. Different organisations use different tools for business analysis. These tools include various ERP systems, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Project and Rational tools. 

Q. What is meant by benchmarking?

A. Benchmarking is defined as the process through which enterprises measure the quality of their programs, policies, products and rules against industry or enterprise standards. This is useful for measuring enterprise performance within the industry and evaluating problem areas for room to improve. The key reason enterprises follow a benchmarking process is to identify and evaluate which areas within the enterprise need improvement and how their competitors are operating while facing the same challenges. 

Q. How can a business requirement be defined as perfect or ideal?

A. Enterprises have varying standards, but mostly using the SMART rule can help identify ideal business requirements. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific: The requirement description needs to be clear and specific for everyone to understand.
  • Measurable: It should have clear indicators to measure the success of the requirement and its output.
  • Attainable: Businesses should be able to accomplish these goals keeping in mind the resources they have at hand.
  • Relevant: The requirement should be relevant to the industry, business and time.
  • Timely: The project requirement should have a clear period during which it has to be achieved or executed. 

Q. What makes you different from all the other Business Analyst candidates?

A. This answer is subjective and is a chance for you to show off your skills, individuality and industry knowledge and experience. Your answer can include your interpersonal skills, customer relations, communication skills and leadership skills. To make an impact, talk about how you combine these individual traits and strengths with your technical skills to deliver a positive impact for your employer.

You May Also Like: Business Analyst Job Description, Roles and Responsibilities

Q. Name some enterprise-level tasks that are not included in the Business Analyst job description.

A. Several tasks overlap between multiple roles during daily operations. Here are a few things that business analysts aren’t required to do.

  • They aren’t supposed to organise team meetings for projects.
  • They are not responsible for tracking the problems or risks of any project.
  • They don’t carry out jobs like coding, programming or testing.

Q. Do you know the difference between an Issue and a Risk?

A. These are two concepts and terms that are widely used around Business analysts. Risk refers to any problem or obstacle that is predictable enough, allowing room to implement mitigation protocols. Issue refers to a problem that has already occurred.

Solving the problem is not a business analyst’s job. Instead, they need to come up with suggestions that can reduce or control the damage or losses caused. To help understand this situation here’s an example. A signboard on the road saying ‘Work in Progress, Use Other Road’ symbolises a risk. It tells drivers of an impending problem coming up. However, continuing along that road, they might see the road closed with a sign that says ‘Under Construction, Stay Away’. This clearly warns drivers that they could suffer damage if they continue along this route. This represents an Issue.

Q. How would you manage or deal with difficult stakeholders?

A. One large challenge business analysts face is managing tiring and obstinate stakeholders. Several different steps can help you deal with different types of situations as and when they arise. Sample solutions include:

  • Identifying the stakeholder, paying attention to their issue and concentrating on their point of view. Don’t be dismissive or trivialising no matter what you think of their opinion.
  • Some stakeholders are more difficult to deal with than others. This could be a result of them being uncomfortable with certain elements or aspects of the project. Be diplomatic with them and make small adjustments wherever possible.
  • Talk to them individually. They might feel cornered if you talk to them in front of other people who already agree with you. A personal conversation also shows your commitment to addressing their concerns.
  • Objectively evaluate if their concern will affect the project at all or if there are certain biases in their mind making them uncomfortable. If it’s the former, you might have to reevaluate the project to address the problem at hand. If it’s the latter, your diplomacy and communication skills will be of utmost importance. 

Q. After what point can a business analyst say all the business requirements have been met?

A. The requirements for any project or enterprise can be deemed completed when they meet the following criteria:

  • The project needs of any enterprise should align with their long-term business objectives. This means that the perspective of every stakeholder should align with the project needs.
  • All the valuable ideas and views of relevant stakeholders have been extracted and considered. 
  • The quality that a project’s requirements display should meet the standards of quality established in the business. 
  • Project requirements are deemed complete once it is ascertained that the project can be executed and finished strictly using the resources the business has.
  • All stakeholders should approve of the requirements and project goals. 

Technical Business Analyst Interview Questions:

Q. What is meant by Gap Analysis? Briefly explain the types of gaps that occur in an analysis.

A. Gap Analysis refers to the process of analysing the differences between a targeted system and an existing system’s functionalities. A gap means the set of changes needed for accomplishing the predetermined result. 

  • Profit Gap refers to the difference in estimated profits and actual profits in an organisation.
  • Manpower Gap refers to the difference between workforce strength requirements and the actual workers in an organisation.
  • Performance Gap refers to the difference between actual and expected performances.
  • Market Gap refers to the difference between actual sales and estimated or expected sales. 

Q. What is a Requirement Traceability Matrix? What is its purpose?

A. A Requirement Traceability Matrix keeps a record of every requirement shared by the client and makes sure these necessities are met by the end of the project. 

Q. What do you understand by business modelling?

A. Business modelling can be defined as a strategic step-by-step process to identify a business’s value proposition that will define its future operations. There are several attributes that the business modelling process requires for the development of a strategic organisational plan. These are:

  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Plan of action

Q. What does ‘project life cycle’ mean? Which models will you implement for your project?

A. Every project needs to adhere to a specific timeline so that it is completed on time without wasting time and resources. The life cycle of any project refers to the framework that a business analyst implements that breaks down a project into manageable parts, focusing on points where decisions will need to be taken. There are several project life cycle models to choose from:

  • Waterfall model
  • Spiral model
  • Agile model
  • V-shaped model
  • Iterative model

The project life cycle model you choose will depend on the limitation, scope and type of project that you are working on.

There are several other questions for you to go through before your business analyst job interview. However, these questions come up the most in some form or other. Make sure you are prepared for these for greater chances of success.

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Armin Vans
Archer Charles has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.

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