Common business analyst job interview questions

Hanah Lopes

Job hunting can be stressful. “Securing the bag” requires effort, patience and perseverance as you await feedback from the recruiter regarding your application. However, are you prepared for the words “you are a shortlisted candidate – when can we set up an interview?”

Cue the adrenalin music!

Business analyst job interviews are full of complex, technical questions requiring you to understand more about the business, the industry, and the technology you will most likely use in the role. These interview questions are designed to test the candidates’ knowledge of the role they are applying for.

You need to have the skills to succeed in the job interview. This article contains the most frequently asked questions to prepare for the job interview.

Question #1: What is the most crucial aspect of analytical reporting?

When an employer asks you this question, they test your analytical skills and want to determine whether you are a critical thinker. When posed with this question, consider explaining your positive impact with analytical reporting in previous roles.

Analytical reporting is a critical part of being a business analyst. The reporting consists of helpful information, thorough data analysis, and recommendations based on what is working and what is not. Analytical reporting provides clients with data that will help them make better decisions.

Question 2: Describe your familiarity with SQL queries.

Since the primary role of a SQL developer is to create, update and improve a database to suit a business’ needs, an HR manager may want to test how knowledgeable you are in this field. SQL allows you to work with structured data, which may be necessary for your day-to-day.

For this role, you may not need advanced technical skills. However, this skill is advantageous and can be beneficial when negotiating your salary. An employer may ask you to explain the elements of a SQL Statement. In your answer, be sure to provide an example of how you have used SQL to make an impact in your previous BA work.

Question 3: Have you ever successfully explained data findings to co-workers unfamiliar with business analysis?

Part of your role is to give presentations based on the reports you create. Often, you will present to colleagues who do not necessarily understand data analysis as you do. This question aims to find out whether you can discuss complex topics in a simple way for anyone to understand. An effective way to answer this question is to think about a specific report you created in your previous or current role. Mention the skills it took you to package and present that report (analytical thinking, extensive research and verbal communication skills). A bonus would be to mention how the information positively impacted a client or a colleague to make a better decision.

Question 4: Which business analytics tools or systems have you worked with?

This interview question is intended to assess your technical skills and evaluate whether you are competent for the role. Based on what you have written in your CV, you may be required to elaborate on the tools you have worked with. Have a look at the job description before your interview to refresh your memory of the company’s specific systems. If you have experience using them, mention it in the discussion. If you do not have experience with a system, be honest about it and state how you plan on upskilling yourself when you get the job.

A job interview does not have to be stressful. Come prepared by practising the answers to these questions in a mirror and get ready to ace your next interview. Good luck!

Common business analyst job interview questions

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