Business analysts are professional consultants who provide insights about a company's operations. They analyze a company’s practices, policies and procedures, and provide solutions for weak areas. Comfortable with dealing with people on every rung of the corporate ladder, business analysts often bring groups together and lead projects. This job is a viable and lucrative path for professionals with keen analytical skills, as this position is needed in any industry. To land this position, an applicant must be prepared and well-researched for the job interview.
A first step in preparing for a business analyst interview is to understand the competencies for the job. As a business analyst, you'll look at a problem from many angles so that you can find workable solutions. Therefore, any display of creative thinking and problem-solving skills will be helpful. Business analysts work with and support employees and business associates from all levels of the corporate ladder, so building quick rapport with the interviewer, demonstrating your excellent communication skills and providing examples of your leadership capabilities will go a long way in helping you get to the next step in the selection process.
Companies often shift their selection process to behavioral competencies. Candidates, therefore, will be asked to give concrete examples of how and when they used business analyst skills in their work history. For instance, the interviewer may mention a certain behavior and then ask you to describe a situation where you displayed this behavior. To answer these types of questions, first, describe the situation briefly. Next, talk about the action you took. Finally, describe the result of your actions. To prepare for behavioral questions, review your career and look for evidence of business analyst skills and techniques you used that line up with the job posting. These give the interview concrete proof that you are the perfect choice for the job.
Wannabe business analysts are often asked to discuss case studies and present solutions for certain scenarios. Scenarios might include handling a difficult client, a problem the company is trying to solve, or a tough requirement change in the middle of a project. Case-study questions are typically designed to test your creativity, analytical and problem-solving skills. Be prepared to draw mockups or diagrams to show the interviewer their efficiency and your comfort in the art of business analysis. The interviewer might press for more information or challenge your responses. Relax. The interviewer just wants to see if you remain cool under pressure.
Other topics of discussion for a business-analyst interview include software development life cycle, methodologies such as Rational Unified Process, Agile modeling, tools like rational rose, Clearcase and Poseidon, traceability matrix and joint application and development session. Also, a reasonable understanding of the relevant industry is an asset in business analyst interviews. For instance, if the company is in the finance industry, you should be familiar with terms like capital and money markets, equity, dividend, budgeting, financial ratios and mergers and acquisitions.