Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.  How did you handle it?

Posted by Chris Adams

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Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, General


Rest assured, this question or something similar will come up in your rounds of interviews.  

Now, I can’t tell you exactly how to answer it.  These types of questions are behavioral.  It’s not as simple as asking about your SQL skills.  But hopefully, after you finish reading this, you will come away with a better understanding for approaching it.

Now, it’s true; this line of questioning does focus on your past experiences.  It’s your chance to talk about a role you performed, but something a hiring manager wouldn’t find in your resume.  That is typically due to your resume showing the highlights of your career, where you excelled, and where you won.

Hiring managers are trying to gauge your soft skills here.  The skills that are not on your resume.  The ones that are typically hard to measure.  How is your critical thinking, especially in regards to the mistake you made?   Were you analytical in examining your error and how to rectify it? How did you communicate the problem to the team, your manager, or those affected?

This type of question is also looking to see not how big the problem was or how terrible an employee you’ll make, but that you are human.  Everyone makes mistakes.  It would be best not to say, “I don’t have anything to say.  I haven’t made any mistakes at work.  I have an A+ track record.”  They will not believe you.  

The hiring manager wants to determine your level of honesty and responsibility and then how you problem-solve.  What types of action plans can you make now and in the future.  How do you ensure it doesn’t happen again?  

We all make mistakes.  It’s how we learn from them and grow from them that makes us stand out.

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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