In the past few years, with Big Data gaining ground in the industry, the role of a Business Analyst has become very important. Business Analysts are professionals who excel in improving the products/services, business processes, and software usage and implementation through data analysis. They act as a bridge between an organization’s IT and Business teams to facilitate effective communication and enhance productivity.
As the role of a Business Analyst is becoming increasingly popular across various enterprise sectors, their demand is soaring high. MBA in Business Analytics from a reputed institution is good enough to bag Business Analyst jobs. However, you must also clear the Business Analyst Interview to seal the deal.
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In a highly competitive market where hundreds and thousands of applicants are eyeing the same job roles as you, you need to separate yourself from the herd. Your interview could be the defining criteria for you – by showing in-depth knowledge of the domain coupled with the presence of mind and confidence, you can nail your Business Analyst Interview. Keep in mind that the complexity of the questions will depend on the position (entry-level, mid-level, senior-level) you are applying for. However, irrespective of the role you apply for, it is essential to get your basics right.
Top Business Analyst Interview Questions & Answers
1. What are the core competencies of a Business Analyst?
A Business Analyst must possess the following competencies:
- Expertise in business process management
- In-depth industry and business knowledge
- Problem-solving and negotiation skills
- Analytical thinking and decision-making skills
- Technical and soft skills
2. What is a Use Case model?
A Use Case model is a visual (diagram) representation of a system that shows how a particular system is used by a user to accomplish a goal. It includes the entire sequence of events and actions performed by the user. This model is an integral part of software engineering and software modeling.
3. Name some of the most commonly used tools by Business Analysts.
Here are some popular tools used by Business Analysts:
- MS Office Suite
- Google Docs
- QlikView and Tableau
- Python and R
4. What does SRS denote? What are the core elements of SRS?
SRS stands for System Requirements Specification/Software Requirements Specification. It is a document/set of documents that describe the features of a system or software application. Thus, SRS offers detailed insights about a system/software, its features, its behavior, the business processes it supports, the assumptions, and key performance parameters.
The core elements of SRS include:
- Scope of Work
- Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
- Data Model
- Acceptance Criteria
5. What is a Feasibility Study?
Feasibility Study refers to the process or method of identifying and analyzing the success rate of a proposed idea/solution to a business problem. While it helps find solutions to possible business problems, it also allows a Business Analyst to identify new business opportunities for a project.
6. What is a Business Model Analysis?
Business Model Analysis refers to the technique of analyzing whether or not a business is socially, financially, and economically viable and valuable. This analysis forms the foundation for business model change – it highlights the areas that could benefit from improvement and change. Business Model Analysis aims to encourage innovation and enhancement of the business model to stay relevant in a dynamic industry.
7. Define “Requirement Elicitation.”
Requirement Elicitation denotes the process of collecting all system-related requirements from the stakeholders, end-users, and customers. According to the BABOK guide, the requirement elicitation process comprises of nine different techniques:
- Focus groups
- Document analysis
- Interface analysis
- Requirements workshops
8. Define “Gap Analysis.”
Gap Analysis refers to the technique of analyzing the gap between the existing system and its functionalities and the targeted system. By gap, we mean the changes or additional functionalities that are required to accomplish the proposed result.
9. What are the types of gaps that can occur during a Gap Analysis?
A Gap Analysis can result in four types of gaps:
- Profit Gap – It is the gap between the estimated and actual profit of a company.
- Manpower Gap – It denotes the gap between the required number and quality of workforce and actual workforce strength in a company.
- Performance Gap – It is the difference between the actual performance and the expected performance.
- Product/Market Gap – It is the gap between estimated sales and actual sales.
10. Name the five different stages of an IT project.
The five phases of an IT project include:
- Project initiation
- Project planning
- Project execution
- Project monitoring and control
- Project closure
11. What are Non-Functional Requirements? How to capture them?
Non-functional requirements denote the performance-level features or characteristics of a system/software application in development. For instance, it refers to aspects like the speed of response, the fluidity of the UI, etc.
Non-functional requirements can be captured using two documents:
- SDD (System Design Document)
- FRD (Functional Requirement Document)
12. What is UML Modeling?
UML or Unified Modelling Language is a visualization approach used for documenting, constructing, and visualizing the different components of a system. It is used mainly for software development, and also for defining and delineating organizational functions, business processes, and job roles.
13. What is BPMN? What are its core elements?
BPMN stands for Business Process Model and Notation. BPMN is a graphical representation of business processes consisting of five core elements:
- Flow Objects
- Connecting Objects
14. What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking refers to the process of measuring the performance and ability of an organization to compete in the industry. It takes into account the company policies, rules, goals, performance, and other aspects as necessary to measure its competitive index.
15. What is the difference between Business Analytics and Business Analysis?
The primary difference between Business Analytics and Business Analysis is that while the former is data-oriented, the latter is more inclined towards business functions and processes.
Business Analytics deals with data and data analysis to uncover valuable business insights. There are four kinds of Business Analytics – descriptive analytics, decisive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and predictive analytics. On the contrary, Business Analysis focuses on identifying and analyzing business problems and needs and find solutions for the same.
16. Name the different types of Agile methodologies.
Agile methodology can be categorized into seven different approaches:
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Lean Software Development
- Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
17. What is Black Box Testing?
Black box testing is a testing technique wherein a complete unit is tested without taking into account its inner components or parts. It focuses on the identified input signal to check whether or not the output behavior meets set expectations.
18. What is Scope Creep? How to avoid it?
Scope creep denotes the chain of uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope without any increase in other resources associated with the project (schedule, budget, workforce, etc.).
To avoid scope creep, a Business Analyst can do the following:
- Document the scope of the project in a detailed manner.
- Document the new requirements in the project log.
- Communicate the impacts/results of the changes to all the relevant stakeholders before implementing the change.
- Abide by proper change management procedures.
- Is digital transformation driving the demand for Business Analysts?
Sometimes BA interview questions may be focused on the demand and the future of Business Analysts. The digital revolution is the key factor responsible for the increasing demand for Business Analysts. Conducting business is not new, but our ability to access huge amounts of data on how businesses work has changed.
Several industries are significantly investing in business analysis. Moreover, they are developing their analytics departments in the insurance, telecommunications, financial services, advertising, technology, and healthcare sectors. That development is anticipated to continue in the future because those industries that have not prominently adopted big data analytics have promised to grow their big data analytics’ activity in the future.
- Can a business analyst be a Scrum Master?
It is one of the most commonly asked BA interview questions. Scrum has turned out to be an extensively used framework for software development. One of the key roles in Scrum is Scrum Master. They work as a team coach, helper, and adviser. Scrum Master is accountability and not a job title. It means that it may or may not be a full-time job. You can’t work as a Scrum Master if your job title is Business Analyst. However, your Scrum accountability is the Product Owner.
- Can a business analyst become a product manager?
The business analyst interview questions for freshers may revolve around different types of job roles. You can transition to the product manager post with proper training and development. A business analyst can work as a product manager and handle the product roadmap from beginning to end. This transition can be difficult if you don’t adopt a strategic approach. It is better to gain a product management certification to attain relevant skills. You can work under the supervision of a product manager to derive valuable insight into how a product manager works in various scenarios. Moreover, you can get guidance from stakeholders and product team members on ways to adapt to the new space without damaging your career.
- Who is a technical business analyst?
Technical Business Analysts are accountable for supervising the execution of technical business solutions and projects. They collaborate with technical team members and stakeholders to map, evaluate and document business procedures and projects. One of their common tasks includes gathering requirements and suggesting new project ideas. They are also tasked with documenting technical requirements, performing system testing, and organizing workshops. You should prepare for these types of business analyst interview questions for freshers.
- Can a business analyst become a data scientist?
It is one of the trendiest business analyst questions. Business analysts can obtain some unique benefits if they determine to work as data scientists. Usually, they possess industry knowledge and domain expertise that is quite beneficial for data analysis. They are also skilled in translating complex information into an understandable format. When they work as a data scientist, they use various tools like Talend Open Studio, Pentaho business analytics, Mahout, Tableau desktop and server, and Splunk. Familiarity with these tools helps you to effectively employ big data techniques.
- Is business analyst a dying career?
It is one of the business analyst questions based on future perspective. The business analyst’s role has evolved in the last few years. It has been adjusted to industry trends and the working approach to advance the development and implement solutions to fulfill business needs. Recently, this can be perceived in agile, digital, and lean ways of working. Business analysts need to include a broad set of techniques and tools in their portfolio. Their core principles and skills will be demanding in the future, although the role title may modify or evolve.
- Will business analysts be replaced by AI?
You can consider this one as one of the advanced-level business analyst interview questions and answers. Listening skills are vital if you want to become a business analyst. It helps you to effectively segment the information you require for your project. Before proceeding into AI, ensure you properly understand the goals, expectations, and other facets. You can ask for clarifications from other parties to ensure flawless workflow. Robots are designed to only understand in a certain way, and they are not so well-versed in listening skills, unlike humans. So, business analysts will not be replaced by AI soon.
- Why do business analysts need SQL?
Business analysts frequently use SQL to handle data in databases. This permits them to prepare reports and make business decisions. You must thoroughly prepare for technical business analyst interview questions and answers if you are searching for business analyst jobs involving SQL as one of the required skills.
- What business analyst does on a daily basis?
A business analyst’s routine job duties include recognizing business issues, gathering and recording data, assessing data, and presenting data solutions. Usually, they work with different groups, including product development, customer service management, business clients, and business operations. Some of the key skills required to obtain a business analyst job are business administration, data analytics, market research, user experience research, statistical analysis, and customer service management. This one is one of the entry-level analyst interview questions.
- How are communication skills important for business analysts?
Business analysts must possess communication skills to work with all clients, teams, and stakeholders. It helps them to understand the client’s needs and management changes. Moreover, it helps them to solve IT-related problems. Usually, a business analyst’s daily activities significantly depend on communication. So, it is crucial to develop your written and verbal skills right from the start of your career. They should be able to effectively communicate project requirements, suggest solutions and convey other information about the company’s profit. Make sure to be proficient in communication skills along with preparing for analyst interview questions.
So, that’s eighteen of the most commonly asked Business Analyst interview questions. Although this should help you break the ice and get into the learning mode, it certainly helps to have an MBA (Executive) with Specialisation in Business Analytics to add credibility to your resume.
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What should I prepare for in a job interview after MBA?
Preparing for a job interview after MBA can reduce your stress. Anticipating what an interviewer might ask can give you some time to come up with the best possible answers. You can note down reasons you deserve a particular job, how skills will add value to the job, and resume highlights. You should defend and define the skills on your resume. You can do this by explaining how you may have already demonstrated these skills. You must also keep your responses crisp and interesting. Practice makes perfect so you can try practising your answers answering them. You may want to brainstorm ways to tailor your answers to the organisation’s needs.
What is business analytics?
Business analytics is a method in which statistical ways and new-age technologies are used to analyse historical data. The aim is to gain new insight and improve strategic decision-making. It is a powerful data management solution. The focus is on functions like data mining, statistical analysis, information transforming, and many more. Information is used in predicting business trends that could lead to the organisation’s benefit. It is a powerful way to advance your career and make the right decisions in your business.
How do I prepare for a job interview related to business analytics?
You can make a list of the most likely questions that you will be asked. You will be expected to know the subject thoroughly. But if you want to go beyond that you need to provide short but powerful responses to some questions. You will need to know the strengths of a business analyst, your typical project approach, etc. You will also need to highlight your technical capabilities. You will need to talk about your skill set and how it stands out in the highly competitive environment. All this will aid in walking into your interview confident and prepared.
What does technical and soft skills mean in the field of business analytics?
Technical and soft skills mean a great deal in the field of business analytics. They allow for an understanding of the business and how it operates. This understanding allows for better decisions to be made. Technical and soft skills are essential for anyone who wants to work in business analytics. Knowing how to use software and data effectively can give you an edge over your competitors. However, you need to be proficient in both technical and soft skills if you want a successful career in business analytics. Technical skills include understanding how software works and how to use data to make informed decisions. Soft skills allow for better communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills.
For what purpose is Python used by business analysts?
Python is useful to business analysts if they are working on a project that requires advanced data interaction and manipulation, such as segregating, clustering, and categorizing data. Python is a versatile and robust programming language that is easy to learn and use. Business analysts use Python for a variety of tasks, from data analysis to modeling to automation. It's versatile, reliable, and popular, making it an ideal tool for business analysts. The language helps engage in exploratory data analysis, which includes profiling the data, visualizing results, and creating observations to shape the next steps in the analysis. Additionally, analysts use Python to build predictive models to better understand what might happen in the future.
What is project monitoring and control?
Project monitoring and control in business analysis is an important part of ensuring that a company's operations are effective and efficient. Effective project management involves monitoring the progress of a project and making changes as needed to ensure that the project objectives are met. Control includes ensuring that the resources allocated to the project are used as intended and that any risks associated with the project are minimized. It is important to have a well-defined project strategy, and to have a method for measuring project performance.