Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts


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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

How familiar should a business analyst be with BA skills and techniques that aren’t used in their current position?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 18757 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, General

ANSWER

This may seem like an obvious question, as if the interviewer is asking you to say “very familiar, and I make sure I know everything there is to know about ALL things business analysis related”.  However, how you answer this question can ultimately reveal a lot about your desire to grow as a business analyst, how well you manage your spare time, and how honest you are throughout your interview.

First, an interviewer wants to assess your eagerness to grow as a business analyst.  Are you the type of analyst that is always looking to improve and learn a new technique or skill?  Do you feel it’s important to gain and understanding of business analysis techniques that you won’t even use for the foreseeable future?  The answer to this question should be yes, and here’s why.

Two of the most sought after skills of a business analyst are communication skills and problem solving skills.  Having at least a basic understanding of business analysis skills and techniques (even those you may not use very often in your current position) can help you do both.  Ultimately, it will make you more well-rounded and give you a richer set of knowledge to draw from.  No one diagram or technique is best for all situations.  And there will inevitably be times when you are looking for a way to emphasize and communicate something a little bit clearer or to structure a unique and difficult problem in a different way to arrive at an ideal solution.  It’s exactly times like this, when you feel your current set of skills and techniques are falling short, that you need to have and adequate breath of knowledge about other techniques to draw on. 

Second, you don’t necessarily need to have an expert level of knowledge about other business analysis techniques that you use infrequently.  In fact, for most people, trying to know everything very well would reflect a poor use of your most limited resource – time! Business analysts should think and act more strategically.  Become an expert at those skills and techniques that you use often.  Build a fairly strong understanding of techniques that you may use less often but that are particularly powerful in nature. And then gain just a basic understanding of the pros and cons of tools and techniques that may be useful at some point in the future, but wait until the need arises to focus on them in great depth.  Instead, use that extra time and energy to focus on becoming an expert in those skills and techniques that you use every day.

Finally, if you claim to be in expert in all areas, the interviewer is going to do their very best to punch holes in such an outrageous claim.  And if you can’t back the claim up, they will start to question how much else you have been exaggerating throughout the interview. 

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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.





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