No matter if you’re already a business analyst looking to advance your career or if this is your first time applying for the position, preparing for some common business analyst interview questions can make or break your chances.
Business analysts are required to have a good grasp of the industry and are no strangers to having strong technical and analytical skills. That’s why business analyst interview questions can be both technical and situational.
Something that can really go a long way in helping you excel at the interview is preparing some sample business analyst interview questions and answers beforehand.
Keep reading to explore our extensive list of business analyst interview questions and how to answer them like a pro.
How to Answer Business Analyst Interview Questions
The easiest and most efficient way to answer business analyst interview questions is to use the STAR Method.
It is a checklist you should always follow for answering any type of behavioral interview question. The letters in “STAR” are short for:
Each letter represents a component of your answer. Essentially, it means that you should always begin your answer by describing a situation, then mention what your tasks were, and continue by mentioning what actions you had to take to resolve the situation and what the end result was.
Remember that the story should always end with a successful result. This way, you’ll show your problem-solving skills and make a good impression on the interviewer.
Business Analyst Interview Sample Questions & Answers
Business analyst questions are one of the trickiest interview questions you can hear. That is mainly because they can be both situational and technical.
The trouble comes also from the fact that, for example, business analyst interview questions for the banking domain vastly differ from the ones for the telecommunications domain, among many others.
That’s why we’re here to help you come prepared and answer them with less trouble.
#1. What are the essential skills a business analyst should have?
Although the answer to this question can be a personal opinion, it’s also important to provide an example that relates to the actual job description.
That’s why you can say:
I believe that a great business analyst should be a good listener and a quick learner, driven to learn more about the industry. Besides that, I think that a business analyst should be able to think outside the box and have good analytical and problem-solving skills.
#2. How do you handle explaining findings to colleagues who are not familiar with business analytics?
A business analyst can sometimes be required to create presentations based on their financial reports. Visual examples are always a great way to show colleagues what you’ve found out without using any mumbo-jumbo.
To answer this, you can say:
At my previous job, I had a team that couldn’t fully understand what my findings were. I decided to call a meeting with them, and I created a visual presentation of our reports beforehand. I showed the presentation to the team and allowed them to ask questions after every slide.
This helped them grasp the findings better, and they had significantly less trouble continuing with their work afterwards. I truly believe that giving that extra time to help your coworkers out is what can make the biggest difference.
#3. What types of business analytics tools/programs have you worked with?
Employers want to know whether you have adequate knowledge of some common business analytics tools. If you’ve never used a business analytics program, you can mention that you’re ready to learn and master whichever one they use. This answer could help even if you have prior knowledge.
You can answer with:
I have previously worked with Google Suite and SQL. However, if your company uses other tools or programs, I’d be more than happy to master them. I managed to learn the two tools I mentioned fairly quickly, so I should have no trouble learning other tools as well.
#4. What is the role of a business analyst in a company?
The employer wants to know what you prioritize when it comes to being a business analyst. Try to tailor your question to the job description and the company’s needs, but remember to give it a personal kick as well.
It can be something along the lines of:
The main priority of a business analyst should always be making the company more profitable. I believe that to do so, every business analyst should have solid analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as a good grasp of the industry.
#5. What is business modeling?
This is one of the most common technical questions, and it is also a typical business analyst interview question for entry-level candidates.
You can answer with:
Business modeling is the step-by-step process of value proposition identification. It includes the vision, mission, and strategies that one should use to achieve goals.
#6. How do you handle a difficult client?
Employers will ask this question to see how you handle stressful situations and how you utilize your problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
Here’s how to answer this question:
I believe that every business analyst should be decently empathetic. Creating good relationships with clients should always be the main priority, and I believe that proper communication can really help in difficult situations.
I recall this one instance where one of our clients wanted to get daily reports, which was not possible at the time. I decided to meet up with her and discuss the report structure together, and I prepared some visual aids as well to help her understand the issue, which ultimately led to a compromise.
#7. What is the main principle of analytical reporting?
This is another technical business analyst question. That’s why you need to answer with a clear definition of what analytical reporting is.
You should consider answering with:
I believe that each principle of business analysis is important in its own way. However, I’d have to say that the main principle should always be the analysis of the company. It’s the best way for me, a business analyst, to understand a company’s clients, structure, and financial goals. It also helps me create the most efficient and effective business strategy possible.
#8. How would you explain technical jargon to a client?
This question helps employers check your grasp of technical and analytical jargon, as having a good one will allow you to explain it to clients and stakeholders.
You can try answering with:
The number one priority on my list is to make sure that every message I deliver to our clients is clear and understandable. To do so, I always begin the analysis by listening to my client’s short- and long-term goals.
Afterwards, I give them clear explanations of how I work and what the end result can look like. After each explanation, I give the client space to ask any questions. I believe that communicating and listening attentively is the best way to get the message across clearly.
#9. How would you convince a client to use your business advice?
Employers use these types of questions to figure out how you can make recommendations without sounding too pushy. A great answer can show your communication skills as well as your ability to persuade a client.
Here’s how to answer this question:
One of our clients was working on a “Korean Beauty” sales webpage. She wanted to expand the product line and add hair-care products as well. She was struggling with her current sales to begin with, so I asked her to get on a call with me.
I suggested that it would be a better and more profitable idea to keep selling her current makeup and skincare products rather than spend money on a different line. We decided to work on her sales method, and we managed to increase her sales with her existing products.
#10. What are the main steps in business development?
Employers will ask this question to verify your technical knowledge of business development, its steps, and what your role as a business analyst is during the development process.
A good approach to answering this can be:
I have conducted plenty of analyses on the basis of the business’s development steps. These steps include the launch, growth, maturity, expansion, and lastly, the decline. My job as an analyst is to set objectives and make analyses according to the company’s current business stage.
#11. How do you stay up to date on industry trends?
When the interviewer asks this question, they want to know whether you’re motivated enough to keep track of the latest developments and trends in business analytics. It also shows them whether you’re open to learning new things and skills.
The best way to answer this question is to do some research online or explore relevant articles and publications. This way, you’ll be sure to stay up-to-date with every change.
This is how you can answer:
I am very active on social media, and that’s where I source my information. I follow plenty of business analysis publications and writers, and this has always helped me stay in touch with changes in the industry.
#12. What does INVEST stand for?
This is a term that is used by many business analysts and project managers, which is why employers will expect you to know the answer to this question.
A quick answer to this question can be:
INVEST is an abbreviation, and it stands for: independent, negotiable, valuable, estimable, sized appropriately, and lastly, testable. This means that a user story has to be independent from others. Next, it should leave room for negotiation and always prioritize being of value to the user. A user story should also be small enough that it can be estimated easily. Lastly, each user story needs to be tested against acceptance criteria.
Expert Tips on How to Nail Your Business Analyst Interview
Here are some tips to help you nail your business analyst interview:
- Research and learn about the company. Your number one priority should always be doing research on the company before your interview. This is the best way to find out more about the company’s mission and values and what they’re looking for in a business analyst.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer. Researching the company can also help with preparing questions for your interviewer. Asking the interviewer questions shows that you’ve read up on the company and are interested in the position, so it’s always a good idea to prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask.
- Prepare relevant examples of answers. Pay attention to the job description to nail down what the position requires. You’ll then need to tailor your answers to the description so that your examples are relevant to the position.
- Brush up on formulas and technical knowledge. Since your business analyst interview will largely consist of technical questions, it’s a good idea to brush up on your technical knowledge. Do a deep dive into the industry and find out what technical requirements an analyst must fulfill.
- Practice before your interview. Lastly, make sure to always practice before your actual interview. A good way to do that is by asking a friend or family member to help you hold a mock interview. This way, you’ll notice how well you answer questions and what changes you need to make before your interview.
Although a business analyst’s role can vary depending on the company, the questions you hear during your interview will often overlap. That’s why our list should help you prepare for your interview.
Besides that, preparation and practice should always be your top priorities. Ask a friend or family member to hold a mock interview with you, and keep practicing in front of a mirror before your actual interview. This way, you’ll show up to your interview feeling more confident, which goes a long way toward helping you ace it.
We hope this guide has helped you, and we wish you good luck on your next interview!