Top 21 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers
The role of a business analyst (BA) is to act as a bridge between the company’s information technology and business departments. In simpler words, the BA assesses the organization’s business needs, how it can integrate with technology and facilitate these solutions to the stakeholders.
Because the BA has to deal with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, their skill sets include a mix of soft and technical skills. To showcase your competence as a leader and to take calculated risks between the project team and the management, be prepared to answer the interview questions for the position of a BA.
In this article, we have shared the top 21 commonly asked business analyst interview questions with the most suitable answers to each of them. These questions by recruiters and BA experts make your pre-interview preparation easier.
1. What is the role of a BA in an organization?
That's simple! The business analyst is the one who analyzes the business of an organization. Their role is to find out the business requirements and gap areas within the organization, predict future issues that may arise and suggest appropriate solutions for the same (e.g. how to improve the quality of product or services).
The role of a BA varies from project to project, business to business, and even industry to industry. A BA's job is not limited to IT projects and can extend to other areas of the business such as marketing, finance and sales.
2. How does a BA handle changes to requirements? What are some of the tools and documents useful in this regard?
First of all, the BA should get a document signed by the relevant party that after a specific date, no changes to the requirements will be accepted.
After that, they will identify the changes, evaluate their impact on the project, assess the resources available for implementing them, and check whether the proposed measures affect functional documents, coding or testing in a project.
The tools they must be well-versed to use, in this regard include Microsoft Office, Rational tools and ERP systems.
3. What are the documents used by a BA in a project?
The list is pretty long, but major documents are Functional Specification document, Technical Specification document, Business requirement document, Use case diagram and Requirement Traceability Matrix, among others.
4. What is benchmarking?
It is the process of measuring the quality of an organization's products, policies and procedures against that of other companies or the industry standards. Benchmarking is used to measure an organization's competency and identify areas of improvement based on what other similar businesses are doing in the market and achieving their goals.
5. What are the tasks that a BA is not required to do?
It is not part of a BA's job to organize project team meetings, track a project's risks and issues, or be involved in functions such as coding, testing and programming.
6. How can a BA handle difficult stakeholders?
If there is a problematic stakeholder on the project team, the BA should identify them, politely hear out their objections and answer diplomatically.
They should also try to have a one-on-one meeting with the stakeholder to understand precisely what they are not comfortable with, to arrive at an agreeable decision mutually.
It is also essential for the BA to continuously and tactfully keep difficult stakeholders engaged and to assure them that their contributions are valued in the project.
7. What are the various diagrams that a BA should know about?
Some of the diagrams that a BA should be aware of include:
- Activity diagram (the flow from one activity to another)
- Data flow diagram (the flow of data into and out of the system)
- Class diagram (a fundamental building block for detailed programming)
- Entity-relationship diagram (a data modelling technique)
- Sequence diagram (shows how objects operate)
- Collaboration diagram (communication between the objects)
8. What is the Kano Analysis?
Kano Analysis is a powerful technique used to identify the end-user requirements for a new product. It deals with the needs of the end consumers of the product. The main attributes studied in this technique include threshold attributes (what a customer expects), performance attributes (what adds extra enjoyment to using the product) and excitement attributes (what a customer does not know about but is excited to discover).
9. What are the core competencies of a BA?
The core competencies are analytical thinking and decision-making, business process management, technical and soft skills, business and industry knowledge, and.
Since a BA acts as a link between the organization's IT and business activities, they should possess excellent problem-solving and negotiation skills. Given the operational nature of the role, a BA needs to have business and industry knowledge as well as the capability to think analytically and manage business processes efficiently.
10. Explain the business analysis process flow?
The steps involved in the business analysis process flow include gathering vital information, identifying the key stakeholders and the business objective, determining the available options/resources, defining the scope and delivery plan, outlining the requirements for a project, and implementing the changes and then evaluating their performance.
11. How does CATWOE help in business analysis and decision-making?
CATWOE stands for Customers, Actors, Transformation process, Worldview, Owners, and Environmental constraints. The acronym helps in making business decisions ahead of time. It also includes analyzing how these new processes or changes will affect the end customers.
CATWOE makes the users answer questions like, "Who has ownership of the business?" and "What environmental impact can be seen because of the new changes?"
12. What is the purpose of the Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)?
RTM is a type of technique that records all the requirements stated by a client. The purpose of RTM is to ensure that all of those requirements are met.
13. How do you perform requirement gathering?
In requirement gathering, each step involves specific tasks to perform, principles to follow and documents to produce. The steps include collecting background information, identifying stakeholders, discovering business objectives, evaluating options, defining scope, creating a business analyst delivery plan, defining project requirements, supporting implementation through SDLC and evaluating value added by project.
14. What are the elicitation techniques in Business Analysis?
The elicitation is a requirement gathering practice involving several techniques such as:
- Document analysis
- Interface analysis
- Reverse engineering
- Conducting interviews, focus groups and surveys
15. What is the System Requirements Specification (SRS), and what are its key elements?
SRS is a set of documents that outline the features of a system or software application. It provides a high-level idea of the system and its functionality. The critical elements of SRS include the scope of work, functional requirements, non-functional requirements, dependencies, data model, assumptions, constraints and acceptance criteria.
16. What is a use case, and how do you design one?
A use case is an integral part of the software modelling technique. It is a diagrammatic representation of a system that describes how someone can use the system to accomplish a goal.
The steps involved in designing a use case include identifying the users of a system and creating a profile for each category of them; defining the essential goals associated with each group, creating the use cases for each goal based on a user template, and structuring, and reviewing and validating the use cases.
17. What is scope creep, and how do you avoid it?
Scope creep, or requirement creep refers to unplanned deviations or changes in a project's scope within the same resource range. It is often a result of poor communication. It can be avoided by clearly documenting the project scope, following suitable change management methods, intimating the effects of changes to all the parties in advance and properly documenting all new requirements in the project log.
18. What is UML modelling?
UML, or Unified Modelling Language, is an industry-standard used for documenting, constructing and visualizing the different parts in a system. It is used mostly for software development, but also for describing job roles, business processes and organizational functions.
Some of the critical diagrams that business analysts use in UML modelling include state diagrams, class diagrams and use cases.
19. What is process design?
Process design is a technique that helps businesses to analyze challenges and find practical solutions for them. It involves the creation of workflows to get the best possible outcome in the shortest possible time in a project.
20. What are the essential qualities of an Agile BA?
The essential qualities of an Agile BA include collaborating with product owners and developers to elicit requirements, iteratively doing requirement elicitation, developing realistic functional requirements, and making requirement specifications as lightweight as possible.
An Agile BA also has technical soundness and awareness of agile terminology with a strong focus on the just-enough project requirement and test criteria.
21. What are some of the most critical agile metrics?
Some of the essential agile metrics include velocity, work priority, sprint burndown matrix, work category allocation, cumulative flow diagram, defect removal awareness, business value delivered, time coverage and defect resolution time.
Any employer will judge your listening skills and your ability to respond to questions. Hopefully, the list, as mentioned above, will help you brush up the basics and make you more confident for the interview. Good luck!