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Michiel Erasmus
Michiel Erasmus

The Business Analyst Podcast # 009: How to Become a BA and Getting Interviewed for the Role

Today I want to know more about recruiting a junior business analyst. My interview is with BA recruiter Guy Beauchamp who himself is a BA and former BA recruiter.

Podcast: How to Become a BA and Getting Interviewed for the Role

Please introduce yourself, your previous work experience and what you are doing now?

I've been cruising various forums and many people have good tertiary education but lack the experience to be hired as BA. It’s a classical problem where to gain experience you need to have it.

1. How i got started was explained in a previous podcast. How would you advise anyone without a job and no job experience to get started?
2. What is your background, did you start out straight out from school as a BA?
3. Before being a BA, did you have a chosen clear goal of becoming a BA, or did you allow nature to run its course?
4. What major realizations assisted you in your career to become a BA?
4.1 When do you know a process is good?
5. Most people including myself function doesn’t have any example Sr. BA's to work with, let alone a mentor/coach. What’s your opinion about getting a BA coach? Various people on internet are offering their services. Personally I think it’s a great way to hook up with a coach. Would it be of any help to a school leaver?
6. I know someone in 3rd line systems support at a major bank in London City who would like to become a BA. He has various technical accreditations such as: Windows server admin, ITIL certification, PRINCE2 Foundation certification. However, being a BA is something he feels is out of reach. Recruiters only contact him for that type of work. What could he do to market himself in another way to recruiters?
7. Is there perhaps one book / podcast / resource which lists or displays information about becoming a BA?
8. I'd recommend a school leaver to take a few BA-job ads, then take the job requirements into a spreadsheet and match each requirement skill against your own perceived skill. So if the requirement is to distill Use Case Models, then ask yourself: can I make a UCM? How does one get to a UCM. Or, if they ask skills to meet with stakeholders, apply the same logic. Guy, can you add something to that?
9. Let’s get over to a recruitment question. The situation is the client wants to have a web portal built to sell sunglasses. At the moment he has a sunglasses shop in a street. His requirement is to have a BA analyze process, decide on a technological solution and recommend go/no-go. He didn’t ask any levels of experience he wants a BA. You are the recruiter. There are a load of starters out there.
9.1 How would you select someone for this situation?
9.2 Would you give a starter a chance?
9.3 Say someone has read 10 books related to BA about making UCM, requirements analysis, read the IIBA Book of Knowledge etc. but zero practical experience. Would he be even invited?
9.4 What things/qualities do you in general look for in a BA?
9.5 Which factors are, in general, the downfalls of most applicants, or why would they be rejected?
10. What’s the most common beginner’s mistake in a BA interview?
11. Let’s assume a bigger project. The client wants to hire 3 BA's, and the team consists of QA, multiple developers.
11.1 How does that change the dynamics of your interview?
11.2 Would you have the same type of interview as for the 1-man project?
12. Do you ever encounter people who try to answer interview questions as if they read it from a internet website? What would you recommend in preparation to a candidate?
13. Are your interviews geared towards HR issues such as communication skills, cooperatively working in team, or are you mostly into hard BA skills?
14. Not all my BA interviews are going well. I sometimes tell that i have mentoring, or offline help and advice. Is it a good thing to admit that you are learning, or is it better to pretend you know it all done it all been there done that?
15. What’s the use of programming experience, or background as a sysadmin at being a BA? Would it hurt to not have such background?
16. Getting back to earlier, i got started in BA without formal university training, and no domain knowledge. I think soft skills and being proactive is essential for being a BA! Would you suggest any formal university training to be BA? Is domain knowledge important for your clients?
17. What would you advise someone who is working a banking front office desktop support, with knowledge & experience money markets, trading derivatives, Austrian economics who would like to break into the BA? He has ITIL foundation, and prince2 foundation certification. Recruiters only contact him for desktop support, what must be changed in the C.V. to get non-tech direction functional designer or starter BA.
18. Thanks, we came to the end of the interview.
19. IIBA certification.

Guy, I noted you are form the website smart-ba.com. Can you tell me about your courses? How can people contact you? Are there any things you would like to mention about yourself..? THANKS for your time!

Guy Beauchamp’s Contact Info:
Website:
http://smart-ba.com

Podcast: How to Become a BA and Getting Interviewed for the Role

Michiel Erasmus
You can find more such podcasts at
http://thebusinessanalystpodcast.blogspot.com/

 

This entry was published on Jul 09, 2009 / Michiel Erasmus. Posted in Interviewing & Hiring Business Systems Analysts. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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COMMENTS

ChandraMohan posted on Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:29 PM
Hi Michiel

This is a brilliant podcast. It gives a real good insight about BA recruiter's mind, what they are looking for and what they are expecting from the candidate.It helps in answering the most common question people ask all the time 'How can I become a BA'.
Sound quality was not great and at few places it just disappeared completely. I had to really concentrate hard to listen to it. Overall, great work. Keep it up. Thanks
Regards
Chandra Pokhriyal
SAP Business Analyst, UK
ChandraMohan posted on Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:38 PM
Hi Michiel

This is a brilliant podcast. It gives a real good insight about BA recruiter's mind, what they are looking for and what they are expecting from the candidate.It helps in answering the most common question people ask all the time 'How can I become a BA'.
Sound quality was not great and at few places it just disappeared completely. I had to really concentrate hard to listen to it. Overall, great work. Keep it up. Thanks
Regards
Chandra Pokhriyal
SAP Business Analyst, UK
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