Top 20 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers in 2021


Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

We have compiled top 20 business analyst interview questions that might be asked in an interview to test various aspects of skills, with tips and a sample answer for each of them.

1. What Is A Requirement?

The interviewer wants to know whether you understand the meaning of requirements because one of the core duties of a business analyst is to manage requirements.

Tip 1: Define what requirements are.

Tip 2: Your answer should demonstrate that you can manage requirements effectively

Sample Answer

“A requirement represents a targeted solution that is created with the aim of achieving business objectives and goals. It serves as an input in different phases of the SDLC. In other words, it is a business need that describes goals that need to be realized or problems that require solutions.

A requirement must be validated by business users as well as stakeholders before it is implemented. Business requirements should be properly documented for the purposes of retaining a future reference.”

2. What Is A Use Case?

From what you answer, interviewers will know whether you understand use cases and why they are applied.

Tip 1: Define a user case

Tip 2: Provide a brief answer and don’t fail to mention important points

Sample Answer

“A user case constitutes a diagram that represents a system and it shows how a user can apply the system to achieve a set of goals. User cases are an essential aspect of software modelling because they identify targeted features and also provide ways that a user can resolve any error that may arise.”

3. What Is SRS; State Its Key Elements?

Here, the interviewer wants to assess how well you understand system requirements specification.

Tip 1: Provide a brief description of SRS

Tip 2: Demonstrate familiarity with the main elements of SRS

Sample Answer

“SRS or system requirements specification consists of a document or sets of documents that describe the features of either a system or an application. It encompasses several elements that describe the envisioned functionality that is required by stakeholders to satisfy the needs of end users.

SRS, which also refers to software requirements specification aims to offer a high-level understanding of a system including the performance parameters, business processes, and behaviour needed for the system.

The elements of a particular SRS are influenced by the level of detail and formality used and these vary based on the methodology used. But the main elements include:

  • Functional requirements
  • Non-functional requirements
  • Scope of work
  • Constraints
  • Data models
  • Assumptions
  • Dependency
  • Acceptance criteria”

4. Describe Gap Analysis

The interviewer uses this question to test if you are familiar with making comparisons between the actual and expected performances.

Tip 1: Briefly describe the meaning of gap analysis

Tip 2: Demonstrate your understanding through an example

Sample Answer

“Gap analysis is a technique that is used to analyse the disparity between the current system and the functionality of the envisioned system. This disparity or gap means the magnitude of change or number of tasks that are needed to realize the targeted system.

Gap analysis seeks to compare the performance levels of the current and proposed systems. There are several kinds of gaps including performance gap, which is the variation between the current and proposed system performance.”

5. What Do You Understand By BRD; Differentiate It From SRS?

Here, the interviewer wants to ascertain whether you know the document where all requirements are drafted to ensure they are effectively implemented. Besides, your ability to differentiate BRD from SRS is assessed.

Tip 1: Define what BRD is and what it entails

Tip 2: Clearly differentiate BRD from SRS

Sample Answer

“A business requirements document (BRD) is a document that describes the expectations and goals that an organization intends to attain by collaborating with a vendor to develop a system or complete a project. A BRD also outlines the expectations and needs of customers while indicating what an organization seeks to achieve to fulfil customers’ needs. All project inputs, outputs, and deliverables are indicated in a BRD.

BRD can be differentiated from SRS in the following ways:

  • While BRD is derived based on the requirements and interaction with clients, SRS is developed from the BRS.
  • A BRD is developed by a business analyst after interacting with the client but an SRS is usually created by a system architect since it requires technical expertise.
  • A BRD outlines the needs of clients, whether written or verbal. On the other hand, an SRS describes both non-functional and functional requirements of the application to be designed.
  • Lastly, a BRD entails high-level specification while SRS involves both high-level technical and functional specification.”

6. What Is Meant By UML Modelling?

The software development industry seeks for techniques for improving quality, reducing costs, and automating software production as strategic value of applications rises. Here, the interviewer will assess whether you are well aware of the tools that are used to respond to the above needs.

Tip 1: Briefly describe UML modelling

Tip 2: Your response should indicate your awareness of how UML modelling influences the software development industry.

Sample Answer

“UML is the short name for unified modelling language and it is a standard language that consists of unified set of diagrams. These diagrams are developed to assist software and system developers to visualize, specify, document, and create artifacts of systems and software. Non-software and business modelling also benefit from UML models.

UML modelling is among the finest engineering practices that have successfully aided in modelling complex and large systems. Some vital diagrams that business analysts utilize together with UML include use cases, state diagrams, and class diagram.”

7. How Can You Manage Difficult Stakeholders?

All stakeholders are important for successful completion of a project. Here, the interviewer will try to assess your skill for managing the expectations and needs of difficult stakeholders.

Tip 1: Provide several practical tips for managing difficult stakeholders

Tip 2: Explain two or three practical ways to handle difficult stakeholders.

Sample Answer

“I would use the following practical ways to win the support of difficult stakeholders:

  • First, I will seek to accept and avoid fighting their authority. While there are times when I will disagree with them, I will ensure such cases are few as well as far between. This will be in recognition and acknowledgment that they are in an authoritative position. This will save me from aggravation and help me win respect from them.
  • Secondly, I will be honest and tactful. During project management, there are times when valid reasons for conflict exist. Such can’t just be ignored. My job will be to successfully complete the project within the expectations of stakeholders. If they act against their interests, I will address that. Since some will not want to accept they are wrong, I will be honest in terms of letting them know the consequences of their decision and also be tactful in the way I address them on that matter.
  • Thirdly, I will aim at creating a good feeling in them without becoming insincere. When they feel good, they can do almost anything. Even the very difficult one will change their views. I will do that while making sure I perform a great job because that is what concerns them most.”

8. Do You Think Business Analysts Should Take Part In Testing?

Here, the interviewer wants to assess whether you are aware that a business analyst is involved in all phases of a project.

Tip 1: Provide a direct answer to clear any doubt

Tip 2: To add weight to your response, provide a brief explanation

Sample Answer

“Yes. Testing is mainly done by the software development team. This means the work of other stakeholders including the business analyst is minimal. But the role of business analysts in this phase can’t be undermined. Questions may arise concerning the output that is being rendered at the testing phase. It is the business analyst who will be best suited to help get answers to such questions. During testing, business analysts help developers to match the output against the requirements.”

9. What Is BPMN; State Its Basic Elements?

Here, the interviewer wants to know if you have basic knowledge about BPMN along with its purpose and elements.

Tip 1: Provide a brief description to define BPMN

Tip 2: List down the BPMN’s elements

Sample Answer

“BPMN is the acronym for business process modelling notation. It encompasses representation of business processes in a diagram. A BPMN offers a graphical notation through which businesses can understand their internal procedures and processes. Besides, organizations can use it to convey their procedures in a standard manner. Thus, a BPMN provides a visual description of business activities, their sequence, and information flows required to accomplish a process.

BPMN’s basic elements are artifacts, swimlanes, connecting objects, data, and flow objects.”

10. Why Is Involvement Of Business Analyst Vital During Implementation Stage?

A business analyst should ensure that clients get the solution they expect. So the BA needs to be sure that the solution delivers expected results. Here, the interviewer will attempt to examine whether you know at what phase that can be ascertained.

Tip 1: Demonstrate why a BA should take part in implementation of a solution

Tip 2: Let the interviewer know that you understand what happens during implementation

Sample Answer

“The participation of a BA during implementation ensures that what the development team created matches the needs of the business and users. Since the BA participates in requirement gathering, he understands all the needs that should be fulfilled. Therefore, his involvement in the implementation phase is necessary to make sure that all the identified needs have been met.

Besides, the involvement of the BA will prevent the occurrence of scope creep. Sometimes, stakeholders may suggest some requirements that may be out of scope of the current project. The BA analyses such requirements and together with relevant stakeholders, they arrive at a conclusion.”

11. What Is A Requirement Elicitation Strategy?

A business analyst is concerned with collecting all the needs and requirements. Here, the interviewer will assess your skills with regard to eliciting requirements.

Tip 1: Demonstrate that you understand requirement elicitation

Tip 2: Provide several techniques for eliciting requirements

Sample Answer

“Requirement elicitation strategy constitutes a method that is used to gather all requirements relating to a system from stakeholders, customers, and users. These requirements reside in people’s minds and thus they are not readily available to a BA. Thus, various techniques are employed by the BA to draw out those requirements. These include interviews, observation, prototyping, focus groups, questionnaires, and document analysis.”

12. Is It Necessary To Have A Business Analyst In A Project?

Here, the interviewer tries to determine whether you understand the purpose of having a business analyst in project management.

Tip 1: Provide a direct answer

Tip 2: Give weight to your answer by providing several reasons

Sample Answer

“Yes. A business analyst is absolutely necessary right from the project planning phase to the implementation phase. The reasons for that are:

  • During the initial stages, stakeholders may ask technical questions, yet developers do not take part in these stages. In that case, a business analyst will offer necessary help and provide answers to such questions.
  • Stakeholders may not have knowledge regarding requirement documentation, business process analysis, and preparation of different documents that guide project development. But a business analyst is well-versed with all these processes and documents. Thus chances of project failure are high when a BA is not present.
  • During the development and subsequent phases, a business analyst resolves queries from different project teams. Also, he ensures that all requirements are implemented correctly.”

13. Differentiate Extreme Programming From Scrum?

A business analyst should have some knowledge concerning project development. Here, the interviewer will try to assess if you are knowledgeable about scrum and extreme programming.

Tip 1: Make a clear distinction between scrum and extreme programming

Tip 2: Keep your answer precise and don’t leave out any important point

Sample Answer

“Scrum iterations or sprints take two weeks and extend up to one month. However, those of extreme programming last for a period of one to two weeks.

While scrum teams don’t permit chances to sprints, those in extreme programming permit alterations within iterations.

Extreme programming prescribes engineering practices but scrum doesn’t.”

14. What Is Scope Creep; How Will You Avoid It?

Here, the interviewer will try to evaluate your understanding of scope deviations.

Tip 1: Provide a precise definition

Tip 2: Give at least two ways for avoiding scope creed

Sample Answer

“Scope creed consists of a deviation in project scope or uncontrolled changes that occur without expansion of resources. This could be within the same budget or schedule of a project. Scope creed may be caused by poor communication and improper documentation.

To prevent it, I will make sure to communicate effectively to all project stakeholders. That will eliminate guesses and assumptions. Moreover, I will make proper documentation of project requirements to avoid errors that may result in a scope creed.”

15. What Is Benchmarking?

Here, the interviewer will assess your understanding of the concept of benchmarking.

Tip 1: Give a description that defines benchmarking

Tip 2: Keep your answer short and precise

Sample Answer

“Benchmarking encompasses measuring an organization’s performance to compete with others in the industry. It involves evaluating its operations and policies including other performance indicators.”

16. Briefly Outline The Roles Of Business Analysts

Here, the interviewer is interested in knowing if you are conversant with the skill sets required to become a business analyst.

Tip 1: Be brief and precise with your answer

Tip 2: State several roles performed by a business analyst

Sample Answer

“A BA functions as a bridge between the stakeholders in a project. The analyst evaluates the business needs of a company, gathers and clarifies requirements, and helps in project planning. Business analysts aid in sorting business needs and offer advice owing to their professional domain knowledge. They engage key stakeholders and business leaders to understand expectations and improve efficiency. Moreover, they implement project ideas that are financially and technologically feasible.”

17. What Qualities Should A Business Analyst Have?

A BA should possess certain qualities to effectively execute his roles. Here, the interviewer will try to assess if you are well-aware of the qualities that a good BA should have.

Tip 1: Provide the qualities that business analysts should have

Tip 2: Ensure to provide several qualities to demonstrate your understanding

Sample Answer

“To maximize their effectiveness, business analysts should have the ability to set, maintain as well as improve standards. A business analyst should conform to quality standards and their practices.

Business analysts should be well organised because they juggle a wide range of roles. Moreover, they should be good at supporting, planning, and implementing tasks to promote project success.

They should also possess strong communication and negotiation skills, exceptional organizational and motivational skills, and have an awareness of external and internal customer needs.”

18. What Major Challenge Did You Come Across During Your Last Role And How Did You Address It?

Here, the interviewer wants to assess your problem-solving skills and whether you can handle unexpected events professionally.

Tip 1: First, state a major challenge you have faced during your last assignment

Tip 2: Briefly describe how you overcame the challenge

Sample Answer

“During my last role as a business analyst, the project team conflicted and argued at length concerning the systems requirements and the features that were to be designed. I responded by coming up with some analysis that offered great insights on the pros and cons of the suggested solutions. In the end, I helped to achieve mutual agreement and the entire team settled on a cost-effective solution.”

19. Describe The Daily Routine Of A Business Analyst?

Here, the interviewer seeks to assess your familiarity with the daily routines of business analysts.

Tip 1: State the daily duties that business analysts perform.

Tip 2: Put weight to your answer by demonstrating you understand your roles

Sample Answer

“The daily routine of a business analyst can vary considerably based on the project type, project phase, and type of business. But, the activities that are commonly performed by the analyst on a daily basis are investigating issues and goals, evaluating solutions, communicating with stakeholders, analysing information, and documenting findings.”

20. As A Business Analyst, What Area Of This Job Do You Consider Most Challenging?

Here, the interviewer will try to assess your ability to deal with challenging situations.

Tip 1: Provide a context that is challenging to business analysts

Tip 2: Give the solution you would implement to overcome the challenge

Sample Answer

“I foresee a challenge when stakeholders alter their requirements. This may happen daily or severally in a week. My dilemma will be whether to ignore or apply the changes. To resolve the matter, I would seek to understand the reasons for such changes. I would also ensure to put in place a change management process prior to the start of every project.”

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