Are you preparing for a business analyst job interview? Do you wonder what questions you might be asked and how the process works? Would you like to do what you can to prepare and put your best foot forward?
I’ve been on both sides of the business analyst job interview process multiple times. Here’s what you can expect and how you can prepare.
(Before I forget, I want to be sure you know that you can download my free BA Job Interview Prep Guide and receive more detailed information on preparing for your business analyst job interview.)
The BA Job Interview Process
For most positions, you can expect a series of two to three different interview sessions. The first interview session will often be a phone screen. The second and third session may involve multiple interviewees in a group (or in back-to-back meetings). You might meet with the hiring manager, a peer business analyst, and perhaps stakeholders from the business and technical team. In selected cases, a representative from upper management is also involved.
Take some time to consider the perspectives of your interviewers. Research them on LinkedIn and see what you can learn about their backgrounds.
How Recruiters Get Involved in the Job Interview Process
Your first interview might be with a recruiter, either a recruiter from a third party agency or an internal recruiter from the organization’s human resources department. They often don’t understand the business analyst role as well as the hiring manager does and so may be looking for specific skills or other personality qualities.
You can improve your chances of making it through this initial phone screen by researching the skills laid out in the job posting and preparing to speak to specific times when you’ve used the skill or a similar skill.
The Types of Job Interview Questions You’ll be Asked
Business analyst job interviews tend to be situational in nature and this means that you’ll be asked questions about your past experience as it relates to business analysis. (These are also called behavioral interview questions.) On other websites you’ll find lists of 100s of questions and preparing a canned answer for each of them is laborious to say the least.
I instead advocate being generally prepared to speak to how your experience relates to the qualifications for the job. Even if you’ve never held the business analyst job title, it’s likely that your past experience is relevant, otherwise you wouldn’t have landed an interview in the first place.
(In the Mastering the Business Analyst Job Interview course we cover preparing for interview questions in detail.)
Simulations and Work Samples in a Job Interview
As a former hiring manager and an experienced business analyst, I still found interviewing business analysts one of the most difficult parts of my job. Interviewing project managers and quality assurance professionals was much, much easier. That’s often why managers look for additional ways to verify their assumptions about a particular business analyst job candidate.
It’s not unlikely that before you are offered a job, you’ll be asked for work samples or requested to do some sort of business analysis simulation exercise, whether that’s drafting a requirements artifact or facilitating a short requirements session.
(For more information about what you can do to cultivate a manager’s confidence in you as a BA job candidate, you might also read about our BA job search process.)
Your Questions Are Just As Important As Your Answers
You should be given the opportunity to ask question during the job interview, either throughout the interview or at the end. After all, the purpose of the job interview is to find if there is a mutual fit between the hiring organization and the job candidate. I’m sure you have doubts or concerns about the position and the interview is a good time to address them.
As asking questions is a core business analysis skill (being the primary component of elicitation), not having relevant and interesting questions to ask will be a red flag.
>>Go Into Your Next Interview with Confidence
Pick up the BA Job Interview Prep Guide that walks you through the essential steps you need to take to prepare for your first or next business analyst job interview.