10 Questions to ask every business analyst before you hire them

By Charlie Knight |


Finding the right business analyst for your company can be a tiresome task. This is down to the fact that the role can be very complex. A business analyst at one company may have very different roles to one at another company.

As such, a candidate's resume might not tell you all that you need to know. Naturally, you get a sense of their experience and credentials, which is a positive. But, it can be hard to figure out whether or not they’re the right fit for this particular role.

The secret to hiring the right business analyst is asking clever interview questions. You must ask things that provoke detailed and thoughtful answers. Then, you have a greater idea of the candidate's capabilities.

Bearing that in mind, I’ve got ten of the best interview questions written down in this article. Give them a read, and it will help you hire the perfect business analyst.


What Makes You Unique To Other Candidates?

This is a great question to help you dig a little deeper and find out more about a candidate. It’s a classic interview question designed to make the candidate assess their abilities. Their answer will give you a clear view on if they fit the role or not. You’re looking for someone that relates to the brand values and company policies. Someone that shows you how they can benefit your business. What you don’t want is someone to list off their personal achievements, which you can read from their resume.


Tell Me About Yourself

If you’re looking for a good starter question, then this is your best bet. It’s a simple question that gets the ball rolling. Ideally, you don’t want someone to give a long answer and waffle on about their life story. You want someone that’s straight to the point and tells you relevant information that focuses on the job.


What Is A Business Process?

Of course, you need to include some technical questions here. Honestly, you can ask them about anything related to a business analyst's job. With this example, you want them to give a detailed description of a business process. And, they should provide examples and some scenarios where they’ve come across the thing in question.


What Is The Typical Role Of A Business Analyst?

This question is great because it helps you see if the candidate understands their role. If they can tell you what a business analyst should do, then that’s a good sign. Plus, you must remember that roles differ depending on the organization. So, ensure they give an answer that fits your company, rather than a generic one.


Why Did You Choose To Become A Business Analyst?

I like this question as it often puts candidates on the spot. Here, you get a chance to see how passionate they are about their job. Watch out for their facial expressions and body language when they answer this question. It’s easy to see who’s truly passionate about their work and who isn’t. If someone says they wanted to be a business analyst because the pay is good, then you’re looking at a bad candidate. A good candidate will talk about how the always loved business. They may speak about past experiences that helped them realize this was the career for them. It’s important to hire passionate people, as they’ll strive to work much harder for you. Someone that’s in it for material reasons may lack the motivation.


What Are The Key Strengths Of Any Business Analyst?

This is another question that will show how someone understands their role. Look for answers that are more in depth than simply listing off some skills. The candidate should tell you a strength, and then give examples of how and why it’s important. For example, it’s not enough for someone to tell you that good communications skills are a key strength. They have to explain why, and maybe give examples of their great communication power. If someone is providing a personal example, then it puts them ahead of the rest.


How Do You Deal With Difficult Stakeholders?

Again, this is a question that can vary from company to company. You don’t have to ask them about stakeholders, it can be anything that may be difficult for them. A question like this will be a great barometer of whether someone fits your company. If they can deal with some of the biggest difficulties, then you’re on to a winner. Ideally, you want someone to give you a clear and concise answer here. Good candidates will tell you an exact process for dealing with difficult stakeholders. Bad ones will waffle on and not come to a complete conclusion as to the best way to go about things.


With The World Constantly Changing, How Will You Be Competitive With Other Business Analysts?

I love this question because it’s hard. Candidates find it tricky to come up with a clear answer to what you’re asking. And, that’s what you want! You want a tough question that gets people thinking on the spot. The whole idea with this is to see how a business analyst will adapt to changes. As the business world changes, how can they keep up with their competition? What can they do to be competitive and keep your business ahead of the pack? It’s a complex question, so expect a complex answer. The candidate must show you that they have the ability to change and adapt to the current climate. Again, they must provide you with examples to back this up. If they can tell you stories from previous jobs, then you should consider them highly.


How Much Daily Revenue Is Made By….?

If you want a killer question that knocks the socks off your candidates, then look no further. I haven’t finished the question as it’s totally up to the interviewer how the finish it. You want to ask them how much a certain company makes per day. It may seem like a strange question, but there’s a purpose to it. A question like this will show you how capable people are of thinking analytically. The best candidates will take their time and come up with a calculated guess. They might consider how many customers this business is likely to get per day and the price of their goods. It’s very unlikely anyone will provide the right answer. But, that’s not what you’re after. You’re interested in their thought process, and how they analyze the question. A bad candidate will take a wild guess and tell you that it was a guess. This shows no analytical thought whatsoever. For me, this is a brilliant question to ask towards the end of an interview. It unsettles candidates and helps separate the best from the rest.


Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

The best way to conclude an interview is to ask the candidate if they have any questions. If they say no, then it’s a bad sign. You want them to quiz you about the job and ask some intelligent questions. The best candidates will take this as an opportunity to flip things around on the interviewer. They’ll make you feel like the interviewee as they ask important questions about the role and your company. Obviously, they can’t ask you totally irrelevant questions. Some candidates will ask random questions because they know it’s bad not to ask any!

If you’re interviewing a business analyst, then these ten questions will make your job much easier. They’ll help you narrow down the candidates, and ensure you hire the right person for the job.

Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.

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