Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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How do you respond in an interview if you don't understand parts of the question?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 4811 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis


Imagine the interviewer has asked the following, "The CIO tells you to add SOA to the existing software architecture.  What do you do?"

There are several ways you could approach this question.  However, what should you do if you aren't familiar with SOA?

First, show that you're comfortable asking any and all questions.  As Business Analysts, it’s our job to understand what our stakeholders are trying to accomplish.  

Never pretend you know everything (in an interview or on the job).  That approach could be risky, especially if you go down the wrong path and miss the whole point of the question.  

Interviews should be interactive; not one-sided.  As Business Analysts, we must be comfortable asking the necessary questions until we feel comfortable moving forward.

Take your time and show the interviewer/panel that you can keep your composure and are ready to handle any challenge.  

If you’ve asked the necessary questions to understand the topic, you can make a recommendation or choose an alternative approach that you may be more comfortable with.

The interviewer is especially interested in what you would do if someone (especially someone of authority) comes by and asks you to add a feature to the software?

In the moment, one option is to deflect or pivot without even mentioning the term SOA.  You could tell the interviewer that you would say, “Thank you for bringing this idea to my attention.  Let me discuss with the team and see what we can do”.  You can explain that you will need to add it to the backlog like all other requests.  Just because it came from the CIO does not guarantee it's a higher priority item.  All stakeholders must follow the process.

Lastly, having an approach within the interview that includes the transitions “first,” “then,” and “lastly” shows that you can structure your answer.  And it helps you keep your response to an acceptable length.  Now is not the time to ramble on.

Angela Spring
Business Systems Analyst
LinkedIn Profile



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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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