Interviewing for a new role is challenging, particularly when candidates need to go through a technical knowledge check and answer business analyst interview questions. Business analysts need to communicate difficult concepts to non-technical staff and stakeholders, so being able to do so in an interview is essential.
Business analyst interview questions can be divided into two categories: those concerning the business analyst role and those focusing on specific business analysis techniques. We polled some of our own experts to help you understand the types of questions that might be asked, and how you can best prepare yourself to answer them.
Meet Anastasiya Belskaya, Business Analysis Team Leader. Anastasiya is a Certified Technical Interviewer (TI) and TI mentor with EPAM Anywhere, and she'll share some examples of questions asked at our technical interviews. Tolkynay Kartabayeva works as a business analyst with EPAM Anywhere, and she'll share her own hands-on experience of passing a technical interview at EPAM Anywhere for a business analyst position.
The interview process at EPAM Anywhere involves several different stages, as it does at many companies. Tolkynay shared that in her case, she went through three different stages — the general interview, the technical interview, and the offer interview.
Tolkynay specified that the most important interview stage was the technical interview that determined whether she would get the role or not. There were two Lead BAs from EPAM Anywhere’s side that asked her questions during her interview.
"The first question was to talk about yourself and your experience (for approximately 5 minutes). Before answering, I thanked them for sharing their time and giving me an opportunity to have this interview. I described my experience at a high level, not giving any details, but mentioning that if they were interested in any of my experiences, I can describe them in more detail. My advice: prepare your intro in advance and match your applicable skills and experience to the role you are applying for."
Preparation is key for any project, even one that hasn't yet started. The business analyst should be prepared to ask questions about the project's goals, objectives, and deliverables. They should also be able to identify stakeholders and their roles in the project.
The requirements analysis phase is when the business analyst works with the stakeholders to understand the problem that needs to be solved. This is done through interviews, workshops, and other means of gathering information.
Some common IT business analyst interview questions about this phase include:
If you're the only business analyst on the project, you'll need to perform the requirements gathering and analysis by yourself. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as interviews, workshops, and document analysis. Once you have a good understanding of the problem, you can start working on potential solutions.
When preparing answers to these questions, some key terms should be included to better demonstrate knowledge and expertise, such as:
Stakeholders are people or organizations who have a vested interest in the success or failure of the project. As a business analyst, you should get to know them when starting a new project.
For example, if you're working on a software development project, the stakeholders might include the development team, the product owner, and senior management.
Each stakeholder will have different goals and objectives for the project. It's important to understand what these are so that you can align your own goals with theirs. For example, if the development team is focused on delivering the product on time and within budget, then your goal as a business analyst should be to help them do that by providing clear requirements and identifying potential risks.
This is a common senior business analyst interview question related to stakeholder analysis. There are many different artifacts that can be used for efficient stakeholder management, but some of the most common ones are:
"I didn’t have any experience of stakeholder analysis before, but I had theoretical knowledge and I was honest with the interviewer about that and I explained what I know: Onion diagram, RACI matrix, and interest/influence power diagram, and provided details about how to use all of them."
It is very important to understand that being honest about your strengths and weaknesses when answering business analyst interview questions goes a long way.
When approaching a prioritization question, it can be helpful to use the MoSCoW method, which stands for:
Some other key terms to keep in mind when thinking about prioritization include:
"I mentioned that at my previous projects we didn’t use any specific prioritization techniques because the projects were small and we used business value versus complexity. However, I described all the techniques that I know in theory, and provided some clarification on each and explained how the technique would be used in the real world."
When thinking about questions related to documentation, consider using the following terms:
"My experience in documenting requirements was diverse and depended on the project methodology. For projects I worked on that were based on the Waterfall model, I wrote BRD, technical specification, and technical feasibility documents. On Agile model projects, I described requirements by using user stories, acceptance criteria, use cases, and business rules. I also attended project meetings to take minutes for the team and document what was discussed and decided."
Change management is a critical phase of any project since it encompasses the activities that ensure successful adoption of new processes, technologies, and/or behaviors. It's important for a business analyst to be familiar with various change management models and tools to effectively manage changes that occur during a project.
Some questions you may encounter during this section include:
In your answer, consider using such terms as change request and impact analysis.
There are many different techniques that can be used for requirements elicitation, but some of the most common ones are: interviews, focus groups, workshops, questionnaires, surveys, observation, brainstorming, and document analysis.
During the interview process, other common questions related to requirements elicitation include:
There are different types of software development methodologies, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common software development methodologies are Waterfall and Agile.
"Luckily, I worked in both models and shared my experience with both, identifying the pros and cons. Hint: do not criticize either model, because each model is suitable depending on the domain subject of the project. For the oil and gas sector, it’s obviously better to work on the waterfall model since there is some risk to the employee's health or even life. In startup projects or small innovative projects, it is better to work with an agile methodology. Try to show that you are able to work in different methodology according to business needs and preferences."
Diagrams are a visual representation of the different phases of the project, how they're related to each other, and the order in which they need to be completed. Candidates should be familiar with the following types of diagrams:
Another common question that might be asked is:
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are two separate fields that, together, make up the design of a product. UX is the process of making products that are useful, easy to use, and enjoyable to users. UI is the graphical layout of a product, and how users interact with it.
Some common questions asked in UX/UI interviews include:
Key terms to use in your answer include:
When launching a project, it's essential to make accurate estimations, which is a key skill for business analysts. You'll be expected to give your project manager an idea of how long a task will take, as well as the risks and dependencies involved. This will allow them to create a more accurate project plan. There are different methods that can be used for estimation, such as using story points or using an analogy method.
Some common questions asked in interviews about estimation include:
Key terms to use in your answer include:
“My answer here was also based on my experience. In the waterfall model, I mostly estimated BA effort at a high level by decomposing it into small tasks using top-down or bottom-up estimation. Estimation was done beforehand since, in G2B projects, the estimation should be done at the end of the year to make a budget for future project activities. In Agile projects, it is best to plan poker with story points (effort, difficulty, uncertainty) in Fibonacci, and do a high-level T-shirt size estimate. A tip from me: try to combine your experience and some theoretical knowledge if you know some more techniques but haven’t used them in your previous work.”
There are a few different ways to answer this question. One way would be to describe the steps you'd take to integrate the two systems. Another way to answer would be to provide a high-level overview of how you'd approach the integration project.
Key terms to use include:
Such technical interview questions are designed to assess a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and experience in a particular area or technology. When preparing for a technical interview, it's important to brush up on your skills and knowledge in the specific area of technology that you'll be interviewed on. It's also helpful to have a few sample questions and answers prepared so that you can practice your interviewing skills.
A sample practical question for a BA role could be something like the following:
Tolkynay had a similar practical question in her interview which she details here:
"I had the following practical task: you are a BA for an e-commerce B2C project in healthcare where our client is a private hospital that wants to enable prescription issuing and appointment booking for their patients via a new platform. As a BA in the discovery phase, explain what kind of platform we should create for this customer. So, I said that I would ask questions to collect the requirements and then prepare user stories for my development team with a possible solution."
"Don’t worry, be confident, don’t lie, and don’t give up. Even if you don’t know the answers, try to think logically and find a proper solution. The interviewers from EPAM Anywhere are all very calm and polite. They are highly experienced and will give you detailed feedback after the interview finishes. I wish you good luck and hope that you join the best team ever — EPAM Anywhere!"