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What is cognitive load and how does it impact product design?
Cognitive Load is a term that originates from the field of psychology. It refers to the amount of mental effort used in the working memory of a person.  We all have limits to the amount of cognitive load that we can reasonably sustain. And it's understood that a large amount of cognitive load makes it more difficult for people to learn and remember important details or to make decisions and complete tasks.
What are some guiding principles or tenants of UI design?

Some of the guiding principles of UI design are: Usefulness, Consistency, Simplicity, Communication and Feedback, Error Prevention and Handling, Efficiency, Workload Reduction, Designer Judgment


What is a UI Design Pattern and what are its benefits?
UI Design Patterns are an important aspect of application and website usability and user experience.  UI Design Patterns (also commonly referred to as Interaction Design Patterns) document and convey robust UI design solutions, that have proven to be successful over time, to common usability requirements.  Properly applying UI Design Patterns ensures the UI designer that the application or website will be intuitive and its features and functionality robust.
What is Gherkin and how can it help the business analyst?
Gherkin is a structured natural language that is used by business analysts to specify how they want the system to behave for given scenarios. The Gherkin language is simple.  It uses about 10 keywords (Given, When, Then, And, But, Scenario, Feature, Background, Scenario Outline, Examples) which allow the language to be read and parsed by an automation tool called Cucumber.
How would you convince management that a business analyst is needed within a team?

Answering a few key questions and summarizing the results can help you objectively present to management the need for a business analyst.

  • What are the key tasks a Business Analyst would perform within your organization?
  • How well is the team performing on each business analysis task?
  • How much time/money is lost due to poorly performed Business Analysis tasks?
  • Which tasks could the existing team improve on and which should be completed by an experienced business analyst?
  • Perform a summary level cost-benefit analysis based on your findings. 

Describe the life cycle of a User Story?
User Stories are used by agile methodologies to capture the functionality that a system or software should support.  For details about what a user story is and how to write one reference What are User Stories.
Describe Artificial Intelligence and how it might impact the Business Analysis profession?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an overarching term used to describe how computers are programmed to exhibit human-like intelligence such as problem solving and learning.  This definition of AI is broad and non-specific which is part of the reason why the scope of AI can sometimes be confusing.  As machines become increasingly capable of performing "intelligent" tasks, those tasks slowly become commonplace and as such are removed from the scope of what is generally accepted as artificial intelligence. This is known as the AI effect.  A more precise definition might be any device that takes in information from it's environment and acts on it to maximize the chance of achieving its goal.  
How might a business analyst use BPMN differently for Business Models than for Executable Models?

The origins of BPMN began in the area of executable models.  That is, it was created to be precisely interpreted by workflow engines or business process management systems in order to automatically orchestrate how information, documents, or other workflow items are directed through a system. The benefit of an executable model is that it can be changed and immediately re-executed to establish a new workflow.  At least, that’s the idea.



Once a system is developed is it reasonable to document changes with simple updates to screen mockups?

This question implies that the benefit of foregoing the creation of a more complete requirements specification document is a significant amount of time savings.  But what might we be losing in the process.

Screen mockups alone don’t clearly document requirements.  Instead, they reflect a decision made by the system designer to satisfy a particular requirement.  Often when someone views the mockup or updated system they may think the requirement is obvious when, actually, they have misinterpreted the true requirement.  


How do you prevent your application from being a confusing suite of features rather than one that meets a user's goals with ease?
Many applications are designed and completed only to result in a confusing suite of features that is difficult for the user to navigate.  So how can an analyst avoid this pitfall.  The answer is Design Thinking, also sometimes referred to as Human Centered Innovation or Human Centered Engineering.
In User Centered Design, should analysts create a separate Personas for every demographic segment?
Personas are used in User Centered Design to represent the audience that you are designing for.  Each persona is a detailed profile of a fictional character which represents a different user segment. They are created in such a way as to bring a strong sense of realism to the users they represent.  This helps create a visceral connection with the personas so that the system designer can really understand the users’ motivations for using the product.  Personas primarily focus on a user’s attitudes and behaviors. 
What are some of the primary usability heuristics that might be used in a discount heuristic evaluation?
What is a discount heuristic evaluation? It’s a method used to analyze the usability of an application or website based on a small, select group of usability principles that are intended to represent the majority of all usability guidelines.  

When talking about and researching usability principles its almost impossible to not encounter the name Jakob Nielsen.  Nielsen has outlined thousands of details usability guidelines over several decades.  However, he has also taken the time to group these and filter them down into a set of broadly applicable heuristics that he feels encompasses most of the usability guidelines you might use to evaluate your application or website.  Here is a list of 10 usability heuristics that Nielsen has outlined for a discount heuristics evaluations (paraphrased for clarity and comprehension).  
Which is better, meeting your managers expectations with consistency or giving up some consistency in order to exceed expectations?
Managers need consistent results that they can rely on.  They also need exceptional performers who can solve the tough problems.  Ideally, a manager wants someone who can do both, but that is a rare find.
What is Failure Mode and Effects Analysis and when should it be used?

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) describes a risk analysis method for identifying and documenting all of the possible ways that a system or process can fail, the likelihood of the failure occurring, and the effects that such a failure would have on customers or the business.  It is often used as part of Six Sigma and other methodologies.



How is the 100-point method used to prioritize requirements?
The 100-point method is a prioritization method that can be used to prioritize items in a group environment. Each person within the group is given 100 points which they can distribute as votes across the available items.  The votes do not need to be distributed equally; rather a weighted distribution can be used to reflect the higher priority that some items warrant.
What are the benefits of Visual Models?
Visual models communicate much larger amounts of information in a comparatively short period of time versus written communication and documentation.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  The organization, structure, and order of information in visual models can also help an analyst ensure completeness through easier identification of gaps and missing information.
What do you do to increase your value as an analyst?

Most analysis managers and recruiters who are serious about hiring quality business analysts or systems analysts want to know that you are driven and interested in constantly increasing your knowledge and skills.

You want to be able to demonstrate to them that, outside of the employer required activities, you take the initiative to continue learning.


What is The Agile Extension to the BABOKĀ® Guide?
The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide was collaboratively developed by the Agile Alliance and IIBA.  It builds on the content of the BABOK® Guide as it was first developed by the IIBA and it further extends it to incorporate Agile Development principles.
What is DevOps and how does it relate to software development?
As the name suggests, DevOps represents a union of two different sub-disciplines – Development and Operations. Most analysts are highly familiar with the Development portion of DevOps.  This is the traditional software development lifecycle used to create or make major changes to software applications.  It includes a vast network of people who assist in developing a product including product managers, business analysts, software developers, quality assurance engineers, and others. From the DevOps perspective, this stage end just prior to software release/deployment.

The Operations portion of DevOps tend to be less familiar to analysts. In years past Development and Operations operated almost entirely in their own silos.  The Ops team is made up of system and network engineers, DBAs, and others that build, manage, and monitor the IT infrastructure required to ensure the software can be properly deployed and supported.  They receive the tested software builds  and manage the release and deployment of the software onto the IT network while monitoring network stability. 

What is Infrastructure as a Service?
Infrastructure as a Service describes a model where organizations outsource hardware requirements such as database storage, networking components, servers, and database/server virtualization to an outside vendor . The organization will often pay on a per-use basis meaning the vendor charges based on actual storage space used in conjunction with data transmission rates.   The vendor provides the equipment and is responsible for its maintenance which typically offers dynamic scalability as the purchasing organization’s hardware requirements increase.  


Which is better: Waterfall or Spiral development?
The choice of SDLC methodology for a project largely depends on: (1) the type of project, and (2) the environment or organizational culture within the project takes place.  With that said, a Spiral method is superior for the vast majority of projects today, especially those which include the development of customer facing products.
What are some steps the Business Analyst can take to avoid vague, incomplete or ambiguous requirements?
Stakeholders often interpret requirements in a variety of different ways. Whether its from the natural ambiguity of conversational language or due to missing information, ambiguous and incomplete requirements can lead to project delays and budget overruns. But by keeping a few key considerations in mind the Business Analyst can dramatically improve the quality of product requirements.
What is a business entity model?

A business entity model is a logical model that documents the entities, or things, that a business or business process uses and interacts with in order to accomplish its business activities and goals. In addition to documenting entities, a business entity model may capture the attributes of an entity, relationships between entities, and cardinality information. Many business entity models are created in the form of a UML class diagram. However, it is important to note that business entity models document the logical structure of a business domain, not the physical structure.


What techniques have you used to elicit business requirements?

There are a number of methods used for eliciting and discovering requirements.  These methods can be categorized into two main categories: Collaborative Interaction and Restricted Interaction.


What is DMN and how is it used to support BPMN?
BPMN is used to define business processes as a sequence of activities. Gateways are used to show branching of different process paths.  For many years, analysts would clumsily model decision logic directly in business process models in an attempt to fully define process branching logic. This made process models messy.

DMN or Decision Modeling Notation was published in 2015 by the Object Management Group.  It's a graphical language for specifying business decisions.  DMNs primary purpose is to give analysts a tool for separating the business decision logic from the business process. 



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