With the growth of big data, the demand for people to handle data and business is also growing. A business analyst has the power to turn the tide in favor of a business with his/her analytical thinking and data understanding. And that is exactly what recruiters and hiring managers want to see in you. All business analyst interview questions revolve around understanding your grasp on the core concepts of business analytics.
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This article talks about what a business analyst is, how it differs from a data analyst and business analytics, its roles and responsibilities, and what skills are needed to be a business analyst. Along with a comprehensive list of business analyst interview questions with answers, FAQs for business analyst questions, and business analyst interview questions for freshers.
Let’s get started.
Business Analytics – DefinitionBusiness analytics drives practical, result-oriented insights by transforming the data.
The business analytics process involves acquiring and pre-processing the business data, data mining, applying statistical tools, optimizing, stimulating, predicting the forecasts, performing A/B and multi-variable testing, and visualizing the data for finding business insights.
Who is a Business Analyst?
A business analyst is a very important connector or link between a firm’s business and the IT (Information Technology) team for communicating the business needs to the IT team. It conveys how to build the product or application and the technical terminology specifications detailing how the business wants the final product or service as a result. It is responsible for understanding, planning, analyzing, monitoring, improvising, drafting, and documenting an organization’s business requirements.
The business analyst must understand the business objectives, logic, operations, and policies. He/she should know the firm’s structure and suggest any improvisations such as upgrading or improving the services or product’s quality, be proactive about the development activities, and provide technical solutions to the business problems, enabling the stakeholders to leverage more value and profit.
Roles and responsibilities
A BA’s role can differ based on the industry, company, and project or domain. The business analyst can wear many hats, from being a business planner, data analyst, developer, product or application designer, organization analyst, support or system analyst, product support associate, business architect, or technical architect. The functional or domain knowledge depends on the employer or the project requirements. Some demand IT and technological expertise, and others ask for financial & accounting or marketing domain knowledge.
Also read: How to become a Business Analyst?
A business analyst primarily identifies the business needs, problems, or challenges and offers resolutions, which are essentially IT or technological solutions.Now, let’s look at the business analyst questions for the interview. These comprise business analyst interview questions for freshers and other experienced prospects as well.
Top 35 Business Analyst Interview Questions for Freshers
There is no set question paper that you can follow when sitting for an interview, but these business analyst interview questions for freshers cover all the basic concepts around which questions happen.
Here’s your cheat sheet for your BA interview: 35 most frequently asked business analyst interview questions and answers for freshers.These interview questions for business analysts apply to experienced professionals as well.
(1) How is Business Analysis different from Business Analytics?
This is a very basic but important business analyst interview question for a fresher. Understanding the basics of supposedly similar terminologies is important to get the job done.
The key difference between Business analysis and Business analytics is the first one is more functions and process related whereas the second one is data related.
|Parameter||Business Analysis||Business Analytics|
|Refers to||Business analysis refers to the functions and processes||Business Analytics is related to data|
|Purpose||The purpose of business analysis is to determine the business requirements and the respective resolutions (essentially technical solutions)||Business analytics manages and analyzes the data for driving meaningful insights for a business, helps in the decision-making process, and results in business reports|
|Tools and techniques||Some of the business analysis tools and techniques involved are SWOT, MoSCoW, PESTEL, CATWOE, MOST, FIVE WHY||The techniques used in business analytics are descriptive analytics, decisive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and predictive analytics The tools used are Big Data and Business Intelligence|
(2) Can you differentiate between a data analyst and a business analyst?
|Parameter||Data Analyst||Business Analyst|
|Role||The role of the data analyst involves solving problems and analysis of the data||The role of the business analyst is more of making decisions and visualizing the data|
|Role type||A Data analyst role is an operational role||The business analyst role is a strategic role|
|Skills required||Data mining, statistics, and database knowledge (SQL)||Knowledge of Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Analytics, etc. is required for this role|
(3) How is SDLC different from PLC?
|Parameter||Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)||Project Life Cycle (PLC)|
|Function||SDLC is used to develop specific software products||PLC is used to develop a new product in the business|
|When is it used||SDLC includes only a single software across different phases||PLC includes the usage of multiple software for a customer scenario|
|Phases in the process||The SDLC phases are requirement gathering, coding, documentation, operations, and maintenance (SQL)||The phases in the PLC involved are Idea generation, screening, research, development, testing, and analysis|
(4) What are the different SDLC models?
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is also known as the System Development Life Cycle or Application Development Life Cycle. The different SDLC models are as follows:
- Waterfall Model
- Iterative Model
- V-Shaped Model
- Spiral Model
- Prototype Model
- Agile Model
(5) What is the difference between the Fish model and the V-shaped model?
The Fish model is preferred when there are no uncertainties present in the requirements. As compared to the V-Shaped model, the fish model is more expensive and it also takes more time to deal with the requirements.
(6) How many stages are there in a business project?
There are five stages of a business project or project management. They are:
- Monitoring and Control
(7) What is meant by Benchmarking?
Benchmarking means measuring the performance of a company against the standards set by the industry. It includes measuring the company’s procedures, policies, rules, performance, and programs to compete in the industry. The aim of benchmarking is to know the areas where the scope lies for a company to improve and compete with other companies within the industry.
(8) What is the difference between risk and issue?
Risks are unfavorable events or situations that are predictable or known beforehand. On the other hand, an issue refers to the risks that have occurred. A business analyst is responsible for mitigating this risk and controlling the damage by suggesting solutions. As an analogy, the risk is walking on a bridge with a sign of “Danger Warning Sign”. An issue occurs when the danger actually happens which leads to a problem at hand to handle.
(9) What do you understand by the term project deliverables?
Project deliverables are the result or outputs of a project. These are the set of measurable services or products that are delivered to the end user.
(10) What do you understand by the term requirement? According to you, what is the difference between requirements and needs?
Requirements are goal-based and targeted results for attaining the business-specific objectives. The SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle is the function of these requirements and makes the basis of a project and its lifecycle. The projects are evaluated by the stakeholders against the set requirements before the execution of the project. It is necessary to document the requirements for future references. Whereas, needs can be seen as a bird’s eye-level view of the future goals or results that a business wants to accomplish.
(11) What do you understand by requirement elicitation?
Requirement Elicitation is a methodology for acquiring information from stakeholders and clients. It involves ways or strategies of directly interacting and cooperating with the customers or users. The requirement elicitation techniques include but are not limited to the following:
- Analysis of the Documents
- Interface Analysis
- Focus Group
- Requirement Workshops
- Reverse engineering
- Filling surveys or questionnaires
(12) How will you conclude that a requirement is good or perfect?
The requirements must align with the business objectives. A rule called SMART rule which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely is the barometer to assess if a requirement is good or perfect.
- Specific: The description of the requirement or condition must be specific, easy-to-understand, and precise.
- Measurable: All the necessary parameters for a successful good requirement must be measurable.
- Attainable: All the resources needed for the fulfillment of the requirement be attainable.
- Relevant: The conditions or the needed elements also should be relevant to the given requirement.
- Timely: The required conditions for the requirement must be revealed in a timely manner.
(13) Do you know anything about SCRUM
SRCUM is an Agile method. It is a framework of specific roles, rules, events, and artifacts for developing iterative information systems. In this approach, smaller tasks are delivered regularly over shorter sprints which typically work for one to four weeks or 30 days. The purpose of the scrum methodology is to regularly deliver.
(14) What is ETL?
ETL is an acronym for Extraction, Transformation, and Load. It is a data processing technique that is used for extracting from a source system, transforming it on a secondary processing server, and then eventually loading the data into a data warehouse or data lake.
(15) What is a misuse case?
A misuse case is an activity that is malicious. This activity carried out by the user is causing system failure leading to misguides within the flow of how the system functions.
(16) What do you mean by GAP Analysis? What are the different types of Gap Analysis?
Gap, as the word, suggests there is a gap or empty space between two things. Taking it further, the GAP Analysis is a methodology for knowing and analyzing the differences between the existing processes and the requirements of the business.
The types of gaps that can occur during analysis are as follows:
- Performance Gap: The performance gap tells the variation between the expected and actual performances of a company.
- Profit Gap: The profit gap is the change between the estimated and the actual profit of the company.
- Manpower Gap: It is the change between the actual and required workforce strength in a company
- Market Gap: It is the difference between the estimated and the actual sales.
In short, GAP Analysis in our context assesses how the performance of the current system and the functionalities of a business differ and suggests ways and the tasks required to bridge the gaps in the performance and meet the requirements of the business.
(17) What are the steps to develop a product from an idea?
Following are the steps included while developing a product from an idea:
- Market Analysis: Market analysis is to study the market thoroughly for understanding how the market varies and responds to changes. It is a very important business planning framework.
- SWOT Analysis: SWOT Analysis is conducted to assess and know the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of a firm.
- Personas: The purpose of Personas is to understand the behavioral pattern of the users in different scenarios, which is done by mirroring the clients on the functional design level.
- Competitor Analysis: While developing a product, one must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors.
- Strategic Vision and Feature set: Strategically move towards the vision of the end product or the service to be delivered.
- Prioritize Features: List out and prioritize all the features required to develop the product.
(18) What is business process modeling? List the benefits of business process modeling.
Business process modeling is a part of business process management. It is a graphical representation of a firm’s workflow for identifying the areas for improvement. The purpose of business process modeling used to improve the business process.
The advantages of business process modeling are:
- It offers clarity of the business processes.
- It provides consistency and control over the processes of the project.
- It identifies and removes errors, inefficient processes, and bottlenecks.
- It shows a clear pathway for the business process without obstacles.
(19) What are the various kinds of business process modeling tools?
The various types of business process modeling tools are:
- SIPOC Diagrams: SIPOC, is a visual tool, which stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes to improve, Outputs, and Customers receiving the outputs. This diagram is useful for the documentation of the business process from start to end prior to the execution of the requirement.
- Unified Modeling Language (UML) Diagrams: UML is an object-oriented, general-purpose visual diagram depicting the complete system for the purpose of business process in a standard way.
- Gantt Charts: Gantt charts are very useful for a firm to assess if meeting the required deadlines. These are used to split complex tasks into various multiple smaller tasks to complete within a specific timeline.
- Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN): BPMN is a graphical representation of a business process. This processing modeling component is used for controlling the flow of interactions, and the sequences of the processes. The five elements of BPMN are Flow Objects, Data, Connecting Objects, Swimlanes, and Artifacts.
(20) Why is the Requirement Traceability Matrix used?
Requirement Traceability Matrix is used for recording all the requirements specified by the business or the client and ensuring that all the prerequisites are met.
(21) What is FMEA?
FMEA means Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, which is conducted to identify the different failure modes and the respective severity in a system. It is a failure analysis applied primarily in product development, system engineering, and operations management.
(22) Do you know the difference between the techniques MoSCoW and SWOT?
MoSCoW means Must or Should, Could or Would. MoSCoW helps a business analyst to compare every need with others so can know which requirement to prioritize.
Whereas, SWOT is for identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Analysis of a firm so it can use this information to allocate resources in an optimum manner.
(23) Define Personas. How is the persona useful in user-centered design methodology?
Personas are user-centered design methodologies that are created for understanding the behavioral patterns of clients or users in various situations. Personas enable systems or applications to perform on a demographic basis. In a user-centered design technique, the application is developed keeping the end-user in mind.
(24) What is Pareto Analysis?
Pareto Analysis is the 80/20 rule. The rule says 20% of the resources or inputs generate 80% of the output. This technique is used for decision-making and also for quality control and finding resolutions for defects.
(25) What is UML modeling? What is the use of UML?
Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a general-purpose, developmental modeling language. It is a standard modeling technique used for documentation, construction, and envisioning the different elements of the system. UML is used to describe job roles, organizational functions, and business processes.
It is also applicable to detect and remove the errors such as bottlenecks by rationalizing the behavioral system. Class diagrams, state diagrams, and use cases all form the part of UML and these diagrams are used by business analysts.
(26) What is requirement prioritization? Name the different types of requirement prioritization techniques
Requirement prioritization is a business process for the allocation of the requirements on the basis of the various SDLC phases, scheduling, and costing. The different requirement prioritization techniques are as follows:
- MoSCoW Technique
- Kano Analysis
- Five Whys
- Requirements Ranking Method
- 100-dollar method
(27) Briefly describe Kano Analysis
Kano analysis technique is used for analyzing the effect of system requirements on the customers. It is to know how satisfied the users are with the product and the needs of the clients. The key characteristics of the Kano Analysis are
- Threshold Attributes: Threshold attributes are the minimum necessary requirements that a customer needs in the product.
- Performance Attributes: Performance attributes are not mandatory requirements in a product yet are additional requirements that are a bonus.
- Excitement Attributes: Excitement attributes describe the requirements that the customer is not aware of but is excited about receiving in their product.
(28) What is meant by scope creep or requirement creep and how can one avoid it?
Scope creep or requirement creep refers to the uncontrolled or unexpected variation in the scope of the project without any deviation in the other resources of the project. It reflects improper project management and is a potential risk to the project.
The plausible reasons for scope creep are
- Miscommunication between the project’s stakeholders
- Not proper documentation of the project’s requirements
- Improper monitoring of the project
(29) What do you understand by the term INVEST?
INVEST is an abbreviation meaning Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Sized Appropriately, and Testable. The term is often used by business analysts and project managers for delivering good quality services and products.
(30) What is a use case? What are the steps that must be followed to design a use case?
A use case is a graphical representation of a system describing how a client uses the system to achieve the business requirements or objectives. Use cases form an important aspect of the software engineering and software modeling methodologies because it describes the targeted features and the respective solutions to errors that may occur. The steps in designing the use cases are as follows:
- Step 1: Identify the clients or the customers of the system
- Step 2: Create the profile of the client stating all the roles a user may take and is appropriate for the system.
- Step 3: Identify the crucial objectives related to each role.
- Step 4: Structuring the use cases and designing the use cases specific to each requirement.
- Step 5: Validation and Reviewing of the user’s
(31) What strategies or best practices to follow for designing a use case?
Some of the best practices or strategies to write a use case are as follows:
- A use case must be precise, well-defined, and correctly documented
- Use cases must offer value-added to the stakeholder
- Use cases must properly capture the functional and non-functional requirements. It must include use case diagrams and user interface details
- The use case needs to have one or more alternate flows along with the main flow.
- The use case must not describe what the design does but must only describe what the system does
- Validation and review of the use cases must be described
(32) What is an exception and alternate flow in a use-case diagram? How are they different from basic flow?
- Basic flow: It represents the operations or the activities as required by the company
- Alternate flow: It indicates the path and actions performed apart from the basic flow and also is taken as an optional flow
- Exception flow: As the word exception suggests, this flow and actions are taken in case of any exception or error occurs
(33) Differentiate between BRD and SRS
|Parameter||Business Requirements Document (BRD)||System Requirements Specification (SRS)|
|What is it||BRD is a formal document or contract between a client and the firm describing the requirements. It is a high-level functional specification of the software||SRS is a set of documents describing the features of the software application or system requirements|
|Purpose||BRD is a high-level functional specification of the system||SRS is an overview of the functional, non-functional, and technical specifications of the software|
|When is it created||BRDs are created after the interaction between the business analyst and clients||SRSs are created by System Architects|
|How is t derived||BRD is derived from the requirements and client interactions||SRS is derived from the Business Requirement Specification (BRS)|
|When is it used||BRD is used during the initiation phase||SRS is used in the planning phase|
The important elements of SRS are as follows:
- Scope of Work
- Functional Requirements
- Non-Functional Requirements
- Data Model
- Acceptance Criteria
(34) What is the difference between Agile and Waterfall models?
|Agile Model||Waterfall Model|
|1)||Agile uses lightweight methodologies such as Rapid Application Development (RAD), Extreme Programming (XP), and Scrum||The waterfall model uses the structured software development methodology|
|2)||Agile is flexible as we can incorporate changes in the requirements||In the waterfall model, the requirements need to be clearly defined as it is difficult to execute changes|
|3)||Agile is an incremental technique and hence can do testing in every phase||The waterfall model is a sequential design process and therefore testing can only be conducted in the final phase|
|4)||Agile’s major focus is client satisfaction||The waterfall model’s process does not need the participation of the client|
(35) As a business analyst, what are the different types of diagrams that you have used? How do they impact the work?
|Diagram||What is it|
|Activity Diagram||The activity reflects the operations of a system. An activity diagram is a diagrammatic representation of the workflow from one activity to another activity and showcases the variations within departments of the firm.
It visually represents the various activities of a firm with the respective workflow across different departments of a firm such as Marketing, HR, Sales, Finance & Accounts, et al.
The important components in the activity diagram are initial nodes, activities, control flows, decisions, a fork, guard conditions, joins, and end nodes
|Data Flow Diagram||A data flow diagram models how the data traverses within and out of a system and how it is shared between a firm and is graphically represented.|
|Use-case Diagram||A Use-case diagram illustrates the performance of a system via a set of actions, functions, and services that the system or the project needs to do.
It helps in graphically representing the functional requirements of a system, finalizing the development priorities, and also in identifying the external or internal factors that influence the project. The use-case diagram is also known as a behavioral diagram.
|Class Diagram||Class diagram models the structure of the system by highlighting its classes, objects, methods or operations, attributes, et al. It is the key building block for comprehensive modeling i.e., is used for programming.|
|Entity Relationship Diagram||An entity relationship diagram is the diagrammatic representation of the entities and the relationships between them. This is a data modeling technique|
|Sequence Diagram||A sequence diagram depicts the interaction between the various objects such as how the objects operate and also shows the time sequence of the messages that flow from one object to another object|
|Collaboration Diagram||The collaboration diagram illustrates the relationships and communication between the software objects in the Unified Modeling Language (UML).
It visually represents it by showing the messages flowing between them. These are also known as interaction or communication diagrams
|Flowcharts||Flowcharts visually demonstrate the entire flow of the system making it easy for the stakeholders both technical and non-technical to understand the operations|
Handy tips for Business Analyst Interview Questions
The following things must be kept into consideration to perform well in the interview questions for business analysts:
- Do thorough research using the company’s website, and publicly available data and know well about the organization.
- Be ready to answer what value will you add to the organization based on your current skills, and experience
- Answer comprehensively about your previous projects
- Must know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly be honest and sincere in your answers.
- Ensure you write in your CV only what you know and are comfortable with. Be ready to answer all that you write or mention in your CV/resume.
We saw that a business analyst has a key and integral role in the life cycle of a project. It assesses the business, its structure, and systems and helps in the identification of the business requirements and solving the challenges or issues of the business technically.
It is involved and responsible from the initial stages of planning, conceptualizing, and drafting the strategy to designing the enterprise architecture. The business analyst is also responsible for the documentation of the business process within the firm and also for the evaluation of the business model.
We have covered in detail the business analyst interview questions and answers and hope it is helpful in your preparation as a business analyst.
1) What questions will be asked in a business analyst interview?
The common business analyst interview questions and answers comprise situational and behavioral-related questions such as:
- Walk me through your CV (in chronological order).
- Why do you want to be a business analyst? What interests you in this role?
- What is the role of the business analyst? What are its responsibilities?
- What skills do you think are needed to be a good business analyst and what all skills do you have?
- According to you, what are the key skills or competencies of a business analyst?
- What all tools have you worked with?
- Have you gone through our website? What do you know about our company? Why are you interested in our company?
- What are your strengths?
- What is your biggest achievement?
- Tell me about your greatest weakness. And, how did you overcome it?
- What has been the most challenging situation for you in your career?
- What are the ways by which you update yourself about the latest business trends and knowledge?
- Give a brief about your experience of working in a team.
- Can you share a situation when you had a disagreement with your teammates and/or had difficulty in getting an agreement with stakeholders? How did you handle it?
- What’s your take on how you would approach the business analyst job?
- How do you manage yourself in a stressful situation?
- Can you share about a time when you did not meet a deadline or could not deliver within the TAT?
- Share your experience of the time when you had to pursue the stakeholder/team member about your decision.
- How will you manage or deal with difficult stakeholders?
- How will you convince multiple stakeholders?
- What is your approach or how will you manage the frequent changes to requirements by a client or user?
- What is your approach to working on a project? What strategies do you follow?
- How will you manage the pre and post-implementation problems of a project?
- How would you perform a requirement gathering?
- What are the challenges faced by a business analyst?
- Why is it important for a business analyst to get involved during the implementation or execution of the requirements?
- Suppose you have a situation where a new business process is in the conceptualizing stage and requires you to acquire knowledge about a new technology or subject and another task is where a client needs a resolution. Which task will you prioritize and why?
2) How do I prepare the business analyst questions?
To prepare for the business analyst interview questions with answers, you must remember the above tips, be well-versed with technical and business knowledge, and read and know about the organization.
3) What are the 3 most important skills of a business analyst?
The 3 most important skills of a business analyst are analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, technical knowledge (along with comprehending the business requirements), listening, verbal and written (documentation) communication skills, and leadership skills.
4) What are the key strengths of a business analyst?
The key strengths of a business analyst are:
- Good verbal communication skills
- Intuitive Listening skills
- Understanding the business requirements
- Comprehending the objectives
- Be detailed oriented or have good eye-to-details and diligence
- Ability to prioritize tasks
- Analytical, logical, and strategic thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Able to communicate with the stakeholders and client servicing skills
- Able to facilitate the team members
- Documentation, technical writing, and presentation skills
- Business structure and application knowledge
- Scrum and Project management
- Technical knowledge and understanding, especially of databases, data modeling
5) What tools do Business Analysts use?
The tools used by business analysts are as follows:
- MS Office Suite, especially Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, MS Project, SQL, Google Documents, OneDrive, Enterprise Architect, ERP Systems, and Database knowledge.
- Other technologies depending on the business requirement such as Hadoop, Cloud Services such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform for storage, Tableau or PowerBI for visualization.
- There are also packages such as MS Visual Studio and StereoLogic which can be configured to create instant reports and charts without taking much time.
6)Can you list some of the documents used by a business analyst?
A business analyst deals with or manages the following documents in its day-to-day operations:
- Initiation Document
- Project vision document
- Requirement Management Plan
- Functional Requirement Specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)
- Technical Specification Document or Technical Design Specification
- System Requirements Specifications Document (SRS) or System Requirement Document (SRD)
- Business Requirement Document
- Use Case Diagram or Use case Specifications Document
- Use or Test Cases
- Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)
- Gap Analysis Document
- ORB Document
- Incident Document
- Service Request Document
- Change Request Document
7) What are the skills of a business analyst?
The effective skills for solving any problem that a business analyst requires are as follows: