Getting ready for an experienced Business Analyst interview goes beyond the basics. In this blog post, we’ve gathered questions tailored for professionals with experience in the field. These questions aim to uncover your know-how, problem-solving skills, and how well you handle real-world business challenges.
This guide is here to help you prepare for these detailed questions, offering helpful tips and answers. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking to step up in your career, mastering these questions is key to showcasing your skills in the world of business analysis. Let’s dive in and get ready for a deeper exploration into the experienced business analyst interview questions and answers.
1. As a business analyst, how does your typical day look like?
You can prepare your answer with your past relevant experience. You can refer below for your answer:
Right now, I am working on a maintenance project, and here is how I spend my day. On a typical day, I will be working on a change request sent by the customer or following up on other ongoing change requests. This involves the following:
** Taking to the customer to understand the requirement or follow up on previous changes.
** Follow up with the team for the progress of ongoing changes.
** Creating specifications for the requirements will comprise process diagrams, prototypes, and identifying business rules.
** I also do the functional testing of a change request going for UAT.
2. Describe how you approach a project
Understanding a candidate’s approach to work can help employers gauge their teamwork, project management, and organizational skills. To answer, explain general phases you work through with standard deliverables you typically produce instead of listing specific processes or tasks the interviewer may not be familiar with. Focus on your actual experience to describe your skills and how you use them.
For example, if you worked on the planning stages of a project, you could mention deliverables such as a communication plan, a work breakdown structure (WBS), a requirements management plan, and a business analysis approach, including whether it is plan-driven or change-driven.
Speak about how you have customized specific approaches to the needs of a given project. You can follow up by asking about the organization’s projects and processes to give yourself a better sense of how you would fit in and to show the interviewer that you are invested in the way they work.
Example: “I first listen to what a client needs, paying attention to what they articulate as their goals for the project. I then take a deeper look into our data to figure out how to guide them toward success or how to change the way they are looking at their goals to move forward in a more productive way. Of course, every project and every client requires something new, so I always make sure to consider the specific situation instead of automatically imposing a one-size-fits-all solution.“
You can use a few business analysis terminologies like techniques, modeling, etc. applied from your experience. This will showcase your knowledge in the relevant domain.
3. As a Business Analyst, which documents have you prepared?
A Business Analyst (BA) is responsible for preparing various documents as part of their role. Some commonly prepared documents include:
- System Requirement Specification or SRS document, which is also known as FRS or FRD document
- Use case Specifications Document
- Business Requirements Document(BRD)
- Change Request Log and Change Request Documentation
- RACI Matrix
- Gap Analysis Document
- Requirements Traceability Matrix
- Impact Analysis Document
This list is not exhaustive, but these documents are commonly prepared by Business Analysts.
4. Elucidate the difference between assumptions and constraints
An assumption is an influencing factor on the solution, you think to be true, but it may or may not be accurate. E.g. for an application with an online payment facility, it is assumed that the network is available throughout. Or any required third-party interface details will be provided by the customers.
A constraint is an influencing factor that imposes limitations on the solution. There are three parameters creating the constraints in software development: Schedule, Resource, and Quality. The organization defines the most and least valued parameter for its software development (or project management). Generally, two parameters are picked up, and the third acts accordingly.
E.g. In an agile iteration, timelines of a deliverable is a constraint to do full regression testing after the changes are implemented or limited resource is a constraint when assigning an increased number of activities to the team.
In the SRS document, assumptions are added for risk management analysis. The schedule of deliverables is created based on identified assumptions and constraints. In case any assumption turns out to be invalid, it can create an adverse impact on the project. Hence it becomes crucial to include assumptions and constraints in the SRS document.
5. What are Functional Requirements?
Functional requirements represent what the system does. It represents the functionality of a system, for example registering to become a member of a website is an example of a functional requirement. Placing an order for food items on a mobile food app is also an example of a functional requirement.
6. What are Non-functional Requirements?
Non-functional requirements or quality of service requirements do not relate directly to the behavior or the functionality of software but rather describe the conditions under which a solution must remain effective or it describes the quality that a solution must have. Typically non-functional requirements relate to security, availability, performance, and reliability.
For example, if a system is expected to be available 24×7, this is an example of a non-functional requirement.
7. What are the different techniques to capture requirements early on?
So, there are two techniques which are used. There could be more but these are two of the most important and popular techniques, that are use cases and user stories.
Use case is a type of UML diagram and it’s a visual way of capturing requirements. Use cases comprise a factor and a use case actor is an external entity, who can be a user of a software system or even an organization but it must be external to the system. The use case is for a system to be put together in a use case model. There could be multiple actors, there could be multiple use cases.
For example, a user can search and compare products, place an order, and even view the order history.
User stories are a format or a structure to represent a feature of a software system from the end user’s perspective. It’s not a visual format but rather it’s a textual format. There’s no standard format for user stories.
8. What are the differences between use cases and user stories?
Both of these techniques are used to capture requirements at a high level and early on in the project. Both of these capture the system requirements from user perspectives, but there are some differences.
To start with,
- Use cases are visual diagrams whereas user stories are textual format.
- User stories capture the purpose of doing a task in a project or in a software. It allows us to understand the actual reason why a user is doing something in the software.
9. What are the acceptance criteria?
Acceptance criteria are the set of conditions or requirements that must be met for a solution to be accepted by the stakeholders. The acceptance criteria are defined during the requirements-gathering phase and should be agreed upon by the stakeholders. The acceptance criteria can be written for the entire system or one requirement as well.
An example of an acceptance criteria for the entire system could be that all the unit test cases should be run successfully by the development team, this can be easily checked and approved.
10. What are the four Agile Values and why are these important?
As per the Agile Manifesto, there are four key aspects of this approach:
- Number one is individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Here the focus is on the team and Team Dynamics. It makes the team more important than just the processes and tools.
- The second one is working software over comprehensive documentation. Here the focus is on delivering software which is useful for the customer. It could be one module or one feature or the entire software
- The third one is about customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Here the focus is on frequent collaboration with the stakeholders to minimize errors and to also capture changing and evolving requirements.
- The last one is responding to change over following a plan that is responding to change in an efficient manner or effective manner. The frequent and the rapid delivery cycles and collaboration with the customer help in responding to change effectively
So these are the four key aspects of the agile approach and I believe that in the changing environment of today’s world, a lot of projects can be executed better by using the agile approach. However, it is not something which can be used in hundred percent of the cases, some of the projects can still use a hybrid or to an extent waterfall approach
11. Do you think agile is the best approach to executing software projects?
Not in absolute terms or not in a hundred percent of the cases. Agile methodologies are more suited for modern-day projects as they allow you to cater to changing requirements and the changing dynamics of the business. It has been designed with the ability to handle such frequent changes. However, it is not something which is easy to come by, it’s not an easy approach to implement. There are certain cases where a hybrid approach suits much better for a project, which is a combination of waterfall in agile. It is suitable for projects where requirements are pretty much standard.
For example, financial accounting software where a lot of outputs are statutory requirements, so they are fixed. Examples include profit and loss statements, balance sheets, etc.
12. What is the difference between Incremental and Iterative development approaches?
The software development methodologies have evolved over the years. We started with sequential methodology (Waterfall) and adopted Incremental and Iterative methodologies, as methodologies evolved.
We use Incremental and Iterative methodologies interchangeably though they are different in their approaches.
Incremental Vs Iterative Methodologies – In this post, we have discussed the differences between Incremental and Iterative Methodologies.
These are approaches rather than specific methodologies. We can group SDLC methodologies under these approaches, just like we have Waterfall as a sequential methodology.
13. Have you heard of Sprint Zero? What is it?
Sprint Zero is typically held before the official commencement and at the beginning of the team’s existence. The purpose of the Sprint is for the development team to come together and build a minimum amount of User Stories, a project skeleton, story mapping, and a usable product in a short period. This Sprint should be kept as light as possible while maintaining a high level of competition. What matters is the beginning of project exploration and understanding the direction you want to take while keeping velocity as low as possible.
14. What are Spikes in Agile?
A spike is a user story for which the team must also estimate how much work will be required. As a result, conducting time-limited inquiry and exploration to learn more about the problem or alternative solutions is preferable. The team will break down the features into stories and estimate them as a result of the surge.
15. What is Review Efficiency?
Measuring the success of reviews is an important metric for a team. How do we measure the efficiency of reviews?
Reviews are conducted throughout the lifecycle of the project. Project teams conduct reviews on documents as well as code. By measuring and tracking this metric, the team can reduce the cost as well as effort in re-work.
The efficiency of reviews is measured relative to the number of defects found in the project. Efficient reviews reduce the number of defects in the project (which needs re-work).
Review efficiency for Requirements Specification document
It can be calculated by the following formula:
Requirements Review Efficiency (RRE) = Total number of review defects in requirements document / (Total number of review defects in requirements document + Total number of testing defects having source as requirements phase) x 100
Let’s take an example:
A business analyst finds ten review defects while reviewing the requirements document. During unit/integration/system testing, the team found 200 defects. Thirty of these defects were identified as being created during the requirements elicitation phase. So in this case,
RRE = (10/(10+30) * 100 = 25%
This means that 25% of the defects were reduced and no re-work was required to fix them.
The formula for calculating review efficiency for the entire project is:
Review Efficiency (RE) = Total number of review defects / (Total number of review defects + Total number of testing defects) x 100
RRE is one of the quantitative performance measures for Business Analysts. I will be discussing more business analysis topics in the coming posts.
16. How do you calculate the project completion %age performance measure?
Consider the scenario below to answer the question:
A software project is estimated to take 24 person-months of effort and 110 calendar days to finish. At a checkpoint, the project has consumed 16 person-months and 70 calendar days. What %age of the project is completed?
Note: This question can be easily customized to include a business analysis context. So don’t consider it to be a project management question.
This question needs some consideration to be answered correctly. Let’s consider the facts provided.
Total estimated effort = 24 PM (person-months)
Note: A person month means the amount of effort a person will spend in a month. Considering 22 working days, on average, it will be 22 days of work.
Effort spent at checkpoint = 16 PM
So, the completion status = 16/24 = 66.67%
But, this calculation has one major assumption. In this case, we are assuming that the effort spent is equal to the work completed. The effort spent at this checkpoint is indeed, 66.67%.
But, can we say that the team has also completed an equivalent amount of work? It’s not easy to estimate.
So, how do we estimate the correct status? This is done by estimating the effort required to complete the remaining work. Let’s consider two scenarios to understand it.
Total estimated effort = 24 PM (person-months)
Effort spent at checkpoint = 16 PM
The remaining effort to complete = 10 PM (This could happen because of various reasons like resources leaving, challenging tasks, etc.)
So, the completion status = 16 / (16+10) = 61.5%
Why did I consider (16+10) as total effort? That’s because, at this checkpoint, 16 person months are already spent. The remaining work will take 10 person months, so the total effort = 16 +10 = 26 PM.
Total estimated effort = 24 PM (person-months)
Effort spent at checkpoint = 16 PM
The remaining effort to complete = 6 PM (Not so frequent case but can happen)
So, the completion status = 16 / (16+6) = 71.7%
In this case, the total effort has been reduced.
Additional Interview Preparation Materials
We consistently release valuable videos and articles based on our extensive experience conducting interviews in the corporate world. Here are some top resources:
- Tell Me About Yourself – A brief video presentation
- The Importance of LinkedIn Profiles for Job Seekers – A short video highlighting key insights
- Entry-Level Business Analyst Interview Questions – An informative article
- Interview Questions on UML Modeling – A concise video covering relevant topics
- Scenario-based BA interview questions – An article
In summary, preparing for an experienced Business Analyst interview demands a deep understanding of industry-specific concepts and practical problem-solving, crucial for success in the evolving field of business analysis. The blog covered a range of questions, from daily routines to advanced topics like Agile values and Review Efficiency metrics. Mastering these insights not only showcases expertise but positions professionals for success in the dynamic field of business analysis, emphasizing that staying informed and honing these skills is crucial for a thriving career in this evolving role.
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