Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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What techniques do you use to keep a workshop discussion on track when participants act in a confrontational manner, or try to dominate the discussion with their own particular issues and concerns?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 20169 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Elicitation (BABOK KA)


This situation is probably familiar to most (if not all) Business Analysts, and there are some specific facilitation techniques to keep participant engagement focused and collaborative.

The first essential step is advance preparation. Top facilitators learn as much as possible about participating stakeholders’ needs and concerns in advance. With this knowledge, the facilitator is able to effectively engage each of the participants in the discussion and is prepared to respond when concerns are raised.

When any issue is raised in a workshop, acknowledge its importance to the participant who raised it. People need to know that their concerns are heard and acknowledged – and will repeatedly voice their concerns until that happens. Once the issue is acknowledged, then it can be parked for follow-up outside of the workshop. An example facilitator response is: “I can see this is important to your team. I’d like to spend some time discussing it with you and make sure we take the best direction forward. Can I set up a separate meeting with you next week?”

Anytime an item is parked, there should be a clear action plan and timeline for any follow-up required. It is important to ensure that follow-up occurs as planned, to build and maintain stakeholder trust.

These techniques will help keep workshops productive and stakeholders engaged.

Sandy Lambert
Business Architect
LinkedIn Profile



HowardC posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 12:15 AM
I would hold it as an open item during the session. This has the advantage of having the entire group (indirectly) considering the issue. If by the end of the session the concern has not been address to the issuers satisfaction, then I would schedule an aside with them.
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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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