100 must know Business Analyst Interview Questions

Hello friends, our readers are always sending emails requesting us to list out the most common Business Analyst Interview Questions asked in Interviews. Also some job aspirants ask specifically domain based business analyst interview questions such as Finance, Healthcare domain, Mortgage, Insurance, Auto, Retail, Utility etc…

While we list out domain based interview questions very soon, first we want to give top 100 general Business Analyst interview questions and Answers.

1. How do you define a Business Analyst?
In simple terms a Business Analyst is a facilitator between top level management and Developers / Testers. Which means a BA will gather requirements from client or stake holder and understand those requirements, documents those requirements in detail steps and prepares Functional requirement specification (FRS) documents. Then those documents will be given to Developer team to start writing coding and Testing team to test the coded application.

In this process, several questions will come from developers or Testers and those questions will be answered by Business Analyst, if the BA does not know the answer then the questions will be directed to client or SME (Subject matter expert).

So in a nutshell, a Business Analyst will have to work on a continuous basis with a motive of improving the clients business.

2. How do you gather requirements from client?

Yes, requirements gathering is one of the most important responsibility of a Business Analyst. A business analyst day starts from gathering requirements. So what is requirements? requirements are nothing but foundation step of a any project. So gathering requirements is not a easy task as many think, if by any chance the project fails, then majority blame comes to business analyst. So you need to be very careful while gathering requirements. So how best you can gather requirements.

Listen clearly what client is saying, write down each and every step in a notebook, do not interrupt the client when they are explaining about requirements. Even if you have 100 questions, wait for your chance. Do not expect to clear all your questions in one sitting. Usually there will be few more meeting before we finalize or freeze the requirements.

While the discussions are going on, ask yourself few questions.  What is the purpose of these requirements? is it a new application or upgrade to existing application? or it is migration from one technology to other technology? (example: From mainframe application to Java based application). What are the road blocks in this process? Do we have proper technical resources to implement this project? Do we have enough budget? Are we getting enough time to complete this project? These are all the common questions to ask ourselves in order to get best requirements.

3. What are the essential duties of a Business Analyst?

Well, there are many tasks that a Business Analyst will do in his daily life, but just to name a few,

  • Gathering requirements,
  • Converting the requirements into functional specifications (also called FRS documents)
  • Conducting daily meetings with developers, testers and other managers to discuss about the progress of requirements, this will happen until requirements freeze.
  • Working on daily basis to improve process improvement.
  • Thinking and working towards reducing the cost and improving the business process.

4. What do you think are your strengths as a Business Analyst?

I think that I have following strengths in my past profile as a business analyst:

The right mix of functional and technical knowledge , Ability to communicate effectively between the development (whether internal or third party vendors) team and the end users. Strong levels of persistence and quick learning capability.         Finally Adaptability to the work environment as desired.

5. What do you think are your weaknesses as a Business Analyst?

I believe in turning my weaknesses into strengths, so I strive towards having a calm and cool attitude. Also, I would like to at par with the latest technology in the market but it is not always possible.

6. What can you do for us that other prospective candidates cannot?

I am confident on being the best fit for this role as my principles are I believe to be in line with the company vision and mission. I will bring to the organization my technical know-how as well as my functional expertise, striving to achieve success for the company.

7. What are your goals?

I want to go for the professional Business Analysis certifications such as ISEB and in the near future will be striving for the PRINCE 2 certification also, which will enable me to grow in the Business Analyst career path

8 . Why do you want to work here?

This is quite a well known company and its principles are in line with my principles. I believe that the organization will give me the best available platform available with the right amount of support and motivation.

9. What is the motivating factor which you expect from your job?

Believing that the work done by me is contributing in the organizational growth and success is my utmost motivation. It is a feeling of knowing that the work done by me has contributed towards the company’s good results, and being a part of that achievement, howsoever small my part might have been gives me great pleasure. I know for sure that if the company is performing well, then it will definitely down the line look after it main resources. its employees and I would be a proud party to that!

10. What Part of Your Job Do you like The Most?

The ability to analyze and research the various aspects and arriving at the solution or way forward so as to benefit the organization or at least at the project level gives me great satisfaction.

11. What Part Of Your Job Do You Dislike The Most?

There is currently no part of my job that I dislike, and I am glad that I have chosen this career path.

12. What Made You Apply For This Job And Why Do You Want It?

I have the right mix of educational background; technical and functional skills. The job role is as per my expectations and can be described as a best fit. I can add value to this role and contribute towards the success of the organization.

13. Are you aware of the various software methodologies? Name a few

There are various SDLC methodologies which are available and used by the majority of the organizations for their software development projects. Some of these software development methodologies are:

  1. a) Waterfall method : this is one of the most widely used systems development process
  2. b) Agile methodologies like RUP (Rational Unified process), RAD (Rapid Application development), JAD (Joint Application development) .
  3. c) Prototyping Model : involves the presentation of a simplified prototype of the system based on the requirements
  4. d) Spiral model :  hybrid of the waterfall and the prototyping method

14. What are the various testing stages in a software project life cycle?

The major testing stages in a software development life cycle are:

  1. a) Unit Testing : this is usually done by the developers who have coded the unit
  2. b) Integration testing : this is done by the QA team (quality assurance) and /or the business analysts to test that the integration of the units is working fine
  3. c) System testing : is done by the QA team or the Business Analysts to see whether the system is working as a whole or not
  4. d) Regression testing : is done to test whether the current parts and the new development are synchronized and there is no impact on any other system. This testing is done by the analysts.
  5. e) User acceptance testing : is covered by the end users in order to test that the requirements given for the system are in line with the developed application
  6. f) Stress and/or Load Testing : is done by the technical team to test whether the system can sustain heavy load and usage etc.

15. What are some of the challenges you have faced as a Business Analyst

As a business Analyst, one has to be an interface between the users and the technical team and provide regular support. Some of the major challenges which a business analyst has to face in his profile are:

There should be clarity regarding the requirements as they lay the foundation of the project. In case of any gaps, there can be huge repercussions.

There are several software methodologies, technologies, documentation standards in the market and they keep on evolving. The business analyst has to be on top of such methodologies and trends to be successful in the profile.

The business analyst Is regarded as the knowledge house regarding domain knowledge and has to keep on updating himself with the industry and company know-how to keep himself at par.

16. What are the documentations which you have completed in your experience? Explain in detail.

A business analyst is expected to document the following:

a. Feasibility Study

b. Scope of the project

c. Business Requirement Documentation

d. Functional specifications

e. Main content

f. UML Diagrams

g.  Prototypes(in HTML/Excel etc)

h.  Non Functional specifications

I .  Test plan, scenarios and cases

17. What is UML? What are the tools which are generally used by business analysts for UML diagrams?

UML is Unified Modeling Language and is a worldwide standard for diagram-based object-oriented modeling. Class diagrams, Use case diagrams and Activity diagrams are usually used by business analysts during their functional documentation and requirements analysis process.

Usually, business analysts use any of the following tools for UML diagrams:

MS  Visio, Rational Rose, Sparx Systems, Enterprise Architect

18 .What are non functional requirements?

Non Functional requirements include the following:

Performance Characteristics of the system  speed, response time, capacity constraints

Error and exception handling , systems logs, error logging

External Interfaces & Integration, data integration, data feed schedules.

Security  of the system , user profiles, administrator, privileges

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Plan , system back ups

,User and Training requirements , for users and technical team.

19. What is mean by logical data model?

Data model tells clear details about the data and how the data is stored physically in a database.

20 .What do u mean by high level & low level use case?

A broad view of a business process is called a high level use case. And if we divide the big view into different small sub use cases, then it is called low level use case.

21. What do you know about SDD ?

It is also called system design document. My role as a BA is just a mediator or a middle layer between business users and developers and we make developers to understand the business requirements.

22. What do understand by URS & FS ?

User requirement specifications and Functional specifications.  To keep track of these requirements, we generally use Traceability matrix.

By using Test director  we can do traceability of requirements n testing phase.

23. How do you prepare use cases?

BY using MS Visio and Rational rose.

24.  How do you participate in testing as a BA?

I participate mainly in reviewing the test cases to see if all the requirements have been met.

25. What is the main quality of a good requirement?

The requirement should be good, clear, understandable, and consistent and should be easily verifiable.

26. What do u understand by UML ?

UML is basically Unified Modeling Language. This is the standard language used in the system to understand, document, construct different components in the system.

27. What are different diagrams to be known by a BA?

Entity relationship diagram, data flow diagram, use case diagram, class diagram, activity diagram, state chart diagram, sequence diagram, collaboration diagram, component diagrams, deployment diagrams etc..

Use case diagram:  basically explains the business environment. Series of all related actions performed by actor.

Activity diagram: Used in the early stage of analysis and designing level. It describes each individual component.

Sequence diagram: It tells the objects interactions with each others arranged in time sequence.  Very useful for developers and testers to understand the system better.

28 .Where did u use rational rose & requisite pro ?

When we created different modules of requirements for different functions, and finally collected all together and made a single requirement document, we used requisite pro to do this.

And we used rational rose to create the business model as a visual representation.

a. Created High level & low level use cases.

b. Activity diagrams

c. State diagrams

d. Collaboration diagrams

e. Sequence diagrams

29 . Version control and configuration management are terms used widely in the business industry, write short notes about the terms.

By definition, version control is essentially a subset of configuration management. It is usually concerned with the handling changes arising in previous documents as opposed to configuration management which essentially handles the individual components.

30. Good documentation management systems are highly recommended in system development; briefly describe the factors that contribute to a good documentation management system.

For a documentation system to be considered good, the following factors should be prevalent in it: It should be made in such a way that it can accommodate future changes, including version changes, bearing system security features such as providing access only to the allowed users, i.e. have good authentication features. In general, one should take in data as well as information security measures in place, putting in mind that the documentation should also be able to bend to the changing needs of its users as well as the market conditions.

31. State the different software methodologies.

The term software methodology, software development methodology and software process mean almost the same thing in computer software or system development, i.e. the activities carried out by computer system engineers or computer software engineers in an attempt to procure particular computer software that servers a certain function or purpose. This includes the framework adopted, structure, plan as well as the control of the resources engaged in the software or system development process.

There are so many software methodologies and the choice as to which one to adopt is usually dependant on so many other factors such as the purpose of the given software, the prevailing conditions regarding the software development environment and the will of the company or the client procuring or intending to use the final software as some clients even look into the software or system engineers� methodology to as one of the factors determining whether to contract him or not.

Regarding the purpose of the software, lets look at the following, example is a situation of a safety critical system such as an aircraft navigation system and a business system, one would find that in a business system, one can have its prototype done and users start using it as they identify its weaknesses and tell the engineers to rectify whereas in an aircraft navigation system, no weakness would be allowed at all for it can cause huge loss of property and life thus all the possible identifiable weaknesses are eliminated first before that system comes into operation. Much stories and arguments apart, the following are the available software methodologies:

  1. i) SLDC- Software Development Life Cycle, also understood as System Development Life Cycle which encompasses activities such as Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, Inauguration and Maintenance in that order and then back to Analysis, note that it is a cycle hence once we get to the last stage, i.e. the maintenance we still go back to the analysis stage and move along to the maintenance once more iteratively
  2. ii) The RUP The Rational Unified Process, which when looked into intuitively is an iterative software development process framework that was created by the Rational Software Corporation in the US which is a division of the IBM (International Business Machine). However, this process is usually not considered as a single prescriptive framework yet as an adaptable process which can be tailored by the development team or organization selectively in order to end up with their respective results depending on the needs prevailing either on the clients side, the industry standards or even the development constraints which involve time, scope as well as the budget, Intuitively, this process has characteristics overlapping with other development processes and methodology as will be seen when considering the other methodologies below.

iii) The iterative process

  1. iv) The waterfall model
  2. v) The agile software development methodology
  3. vi) The XP (Extreme programming)

vii) The ISO 9000 methodology  provided by the International Standards Organization.

viii)  The ISO 15504 model  also provided by the International Standards organization

  1. ix) The Capability Maturing Model Integration (CMMI) which replaced the former Capability Maturing Model (CMM)
  2. x) The Six Sigma methodology
  3. xi) The Test Driven Development (TDD)

32. Describe the abbreviation OOAD as used in Object Oriented Programming.

The term OOAD is an abbreviation of the phrase Object Oriented Analysis and Design. Contrary to the traditional programming, also called procedural programming whereby the entire code of a given program is written line by line, from scratch. There is a new more powerful approach to software development or simply programming referred to as the Object Technology where predefined objects pertaining to particular situations are pre-designed by experienced software engineers and then the programmers just call them into their code in order to implement a given function in their code.

Just the way experienced civil engineers design building blocks for particular situations in a particular house so that the inexperienced mason just lays them appropriately in order to end up with a nice house is the way experienced software engineers make these objects. This helps even novice programmers to use the objects to build nice computer software or a program. It is the analysis and design of these objects with intention to make good software that is referred to as Object Oriented Analysis and Design, the OOAD. Programming languages that use the Object Technology include C++, JAVA, and the PHP among others.

33. Describe the meaning of the term data mapping.

By definition, the term data mapping is the process by which a system developer creates data element mappings that relates two models of data (databases) in order to assist in data integration. This usually assists in the following manner:

  1. i) Data mediation or transformation between the source and the destination of data
  2. ii) Assisting in data lineage analysis by identifying the data relationships

iii) Assists in data masking by discovering sensitive data

  1. iv) Assists in data de-identification process
  2. v) Assists in consolidating multiple databases into one thus identification of redundant columns and advising the developers for consideration or even elimination.

34. Describe the term black box testing.

Black box testing is the type of testing whereby the entire unit is tested as a whole without considering the contents or even how the inner components of the unit under test work, the tester is only consideration is to enter a known input signal and check whether the output behavior is the one expected out of that unit given his input signal.

35. Give the importance of using a flowchart.

It is easier to interpret as it is graphical in nature and thus all persons involved in the project development can understand it with ease.

36. Briefly explain the use case model.

This is a model used by software engineers to describe the business environment of a given project. It encompasses of a series of workflow that are pertained to a particular actor.

37. What do you understand by the term UML?

The term UML is an abbreviation of the term Unified Modeling Language which is the standard language used in construction of as well as visualization and documentation of varied system components. It has a collection of graphical notation techniques used in the development of abstract models for certain specific systems.

38. Describe the importance of an activity diagram.

This is the diagram used in a business system to show the workflow involved, activities happening as well as the completed actions. In a company comprising of several departments e.g. the medical department, accounting department, and even the human resource department, usually each department has its own peculiar privileges to the system, for instance the medical department can only be allowed to access the screens related to their activities such as medical records while the human resource department will be allowed to view only the screens which are relevant to them too, thus these activity diagrams assist in showing the relationship between particular activities with their relevant and related departments so that during coding, the coders may refer to them to implement the discrepancies accordingly. Designers too can be guided by these activity diagrams.

39. How many types of diagrams do you know and what do you know about them?

Am aware of two types of diagrams namely the use case diagram and the collaboration diagram, the use case diagram has been discussed above and as a result I will only talk about the collaboration diagram here, these are diagrams put into being by modeling the objects of a given systems and then representing the prevalent associations between the objects in questions with the use of links.

40. Describe your understanding regarding the so called alternate flow in use case.

These are the contingent flows that arise when a system fails to curb an encountered situation and thus the system doesn’t result in the expected results. When the system resorts to the alternate flow under this circumstance, it may still end up yielding the expected results.

41. Describe your understanding regarding the exception flow in use case.

This is generally unpredicted situation that may lead to undesired result under normal circumstance in a system; several methodologies called exception handlers are available to help control such situation

42. Describe the meaning of the following words as used in the use case scenario:

  1. i) Extends
  2. ii) Includes

In the use case scenario, the term extends is used to imply that a certain action needs to have taken place in order for the other to take place too whereas includes implies that it is not important, as in the action may take place or as well may fail to take place but the other will still take place.

43. What are the documents related to the use case?

There are two documents related, namely the FRD (Functional Requirement Document) and the SSD (System Design Document) or the TRS (Technical Requirement Specifications).

44. Describe your understanding regarding logical data model.

It is the data model, which is not actually physical and describes how data is physically stored in the given database.

45. Describe your understanding regarding high level and low level use cases.

The high level use case usually refers to the entire business process whereas when it is divided into smaller units, the outcome or the sub units are what are then referred to as the low level use case

46. Describe your understanding regarding the SDD.

This is the abbreviation of the term System Design Document; it acts as the mediator between business users and the system developers so as the system developers may understand the business requirements of the system they are developing in order to know where to put emphasis and end up with a quality and objective based system.

47. Describe your understanding regarding the following terms

  1. i) URS
  2. ii) FS

The URS is the User Requirement Specification whilst the FS is the Functional Specification; traceability matrix is usually used to keep track of these requirements. TEST DIRECTOR can be used to do the traceability of the given requirements during the testing phase.

48. How is use case prepared?

It is prepared using drawing application software such as the Microsoft Visio and the also the Rational rose.

49. Describe how you would participate in testing as a BA (Business Analyst).

As a Business Analyst, I would participate by reviewing the test cases to ensure that all the stipulated requirements have been met by the system in question.

50. Describe the main qualities of a good requirement.

There are several qualities regarding a good requirement but the most outstanding ones include the:

Clarity the requirement should be clear enough to be understood by its users.

Understandable  the requirements should be put in a manner easy to understand by users of all levels.

Consistent the requirement should be such that it doesn’t contradict itself, it is important noting that during system development, all users need to be consulted, including the managers as well as the junior staff, one would find that the managers would like a wider control of the system so as to monitor the junior staff to the date whereas the junior staff are objecting these view, hence a contradiction. When this issue is not considered carefully, usually through consultation or negotiation either the managers or junior staff may resent the system thus by this, once the users resent the system, obviously it will not be exploited to the maximum thus lowering the benefits the organization derives from it thus consistency must always be considered in the system development requirements.

Verifiable:  The requirements of a given system should always be verifiable as in they should be put in a manner that can be checked across in future so as one can clearly identify whether the particular requirement has been met or not, it is usually advised that the requirements are put in a manner that during verification, the answer is either true or false and nothing vague as it is during this stage that legal action can be taken by the either the contractor or client if at all the answer is no and always with the law, matters of doubt are generally not recommended.

51. What is the meaning of the word UML?

This usually is the abbreviation of the Unified Modeling Language, a standard language in the system development used to implement the understanding, documentation and construction of varied system components

52. Describe the diagrams which should be known by the Business Analyst (BA).

The Business Analyst (BA) is expected to be conversant with the following diagrams:

  1. i) Use case Diagram: this is the diagram which gives the details concerning the given business environment, this entails the series of action usually performed by given actors such as analyzing the procurement portfolio, giving out an order to a certain supplier, acknowledging the reception of the goods, processing them as appropriate, doing the relevant marketing, handing the goods to the hands of a customer at a profit, receiving payments, either by cheque or cash, printing a receipt, and entering the transactions into relevant accounts, making payrolls, preparing final accounts including the balance sheets as well as the profits and loss accounts.
  2. ii) Activity Diagram: this is the diagram which is usually employed in early analysis stages to describe the involved components.

iii) Sequence diagram: This is the type of diagram used to tell the way particular objects interact with other objects in a manner arranged in both time and sequences. This is usually very useful for system developers as well as the system testers as it enhances the level at which a given system can be understood.

53. Explain where you would use the rational rose and the requisite pro.

In a situation whereby different modules of a given requirements have been created for varied functions, then collected together and made into a single document, the requisite pro is the one which comes in handy. The other one, the rational rose, is used to create the business model as a visual representation. It is helpful in creating high level and low level use cases, activity diagrams, state diagrams, collaboration diagrams, sequence diagrams etc..

54. What is the importance of a flow chart???

Flow chart is graphical representation of the process which makes the system simple to understand for all the persons who belongs to the development of the project.

55. What is a use case model? Explain in brief ?

Use case diagram:

Use case diagrams describe the business environment. It is a series of events / flow of actions related to a process that are performed by an actor.

56. What is called an UML modeling?

UML means unified modeling language. It is the standard language for constructing, visualizing and documenting the components of a system.

57. What is the importance of an Activity diagram?

The main use of an activity diagram is to show the work flow of the business and to show the activities happening in the business system and actions completed.  In a companies there may be different sections like medical, accounting, HR etc..and each department has different privileges to the system. I.e medical dept can access only medical related screens and HR dept to only HR screens etc..So this activity diagrams shows the activities of different departments with their relation. This will be useful to the developers while designing and coding.

58. How many types of diagrams and what you know about them ?

Use case diagram &

Collaboration diagram.

59. What is meant by alternate flow in use case ?

It is a flow that will come into picture when there is a failure in the system and expected results did not come.

60. What do you mean by exception flow in a use case?

It is basically any unexpected situations or unusual results in an application.

These exceptions are handles in different ways.

61. What do you mean by extends and includes in an use case?

Extend means when there is a specific action must take place. And include means the action may or may not take place.

62. What are different documents that relate to a use cases.?

There are 2 docs.

FRD (functional requirement document)

SDD (system design document) / TRS (Technical requirements specifications)

63. What are the common tools that are used by a business Analyst?

Ans: Rational tools, MS Visio, MS word, MS Excel, Power point, Quality center/test director MS Project, And there may be some tools which are project and client specific which you do not have to worry. etc..

64. What are the documents that a Business Analyst needs to deliver?

Ans: Well there are some important documents such as “functional specification documents, technical specification documents, Requirements traceability, BRD (business requirements document), Use case  diagrams, Business flow, etc..

65. Can you tell me what a use case diagram?

Ans: First of all a use case diagram is a part of UML and it is a behavioral digram which is created from a use case analysis. The main reason or use of this use case diagram is it defines the functions of the module or system and the role of each actor associated to that function.

For Eg: “Order Management” is a main function,  and the person who receives the order in the office is an actor.

66. What do you consider is your greatest strength as a Business Analyst?

I think the biggest strength is the domain and the technical experience that I have had over the years as a business analyst. I have the right communication and leadership skills required to excel in this role.

67. What do you consider is your biggest weakness as a Business Analyst?

I would like to think that my weaknesses are like my stepping stones towards success. At present I would like to fine tune my technical abilities to the constantly changing technologies available in the market.

68. What are the methods you use for gathering requirements ?

As a business analyst, we not only have to gather the requirements but also provide solutions often with the help of the technical team

  • Requirement gathering with Zachman framework – Use the famous 5W + 1H formula (Who , What , When , Where , Why + How). Keep asking about the problem with this formula to find the principle requirements
  • Implicit requirements : we should not forget about these as they can make or break the whole project
  • Prototyping and process flows : these tools help in illustrating the requirements to the end users and confirm whether the Business analyst has done the requirement analysis correctly

69. What is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control and how are they related to the Business Analyst profile ?

Quality Assurance focuses on the process: is the method chosen able to produce the product or is the deliverable free from errors and/or defects. Quality Control speaks about the products or deliverables themselves: the final examination of the product or deliverable to ensure they stand to the specifications and they�re free from error of defect.

A business analyst has to take care of Quality Assurance as well as control is in place in the final product which is delivered.

70.  What are the challenges which you would face as a business analyst?

A balance between technology constraints and business needs should be maintained at all times. Technology is used to help fulfilling business need, so it�s usually close to the need. You also have to keep an open mind as to how a process works effectively and accurately produce the required product. Then, you must make sure that the written specifications are written properly to avoid misinterpretations.

71.  How did you handle a requirement/enhancement that was not feasible?

I know that even if I think a requirement was not feasible, I have a responsibility to explain why it was not feasible to the business representatives. So first I’d clarify the requirement, what was the true requirement there. Then, I’d explain the technical limitations in non-technical language to them as to why the requirements couldn’t be accommodated at the same time.

Most of the times, the reason was not feasible because  it is not affordable. After I present the business representatives with the estimated cost, they would decide whether or not the requirement was really needed. Whichever the outcome was, the business representatives would feel that they are in command and they are involved in the decision making process.