Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts


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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

Which is better, meeting your managers expectations with consistency or giving up some consistency in order to exceed expectations?

Posted by Chris Adams

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Categories: General

ANSWER

It’s not an easy answer, and I certainly wouldn’t give a hiring manager a simple, matter-of-fact answer of one or the other.  This needs to be a qualified answer where you explain the clear advantages and disadvantages of each. 

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.

Most managers have more than one person on their team, so they may strike a balance of employees who consistently deliver but struggle with the tougher assignment versus those that are less consistent but can handle the tougher challenges.  Those that can do both will rise to the top.  But over the long term, someone who delivers results consistently and make a conscious and active effort to improve should do better than the person who delivers less consistently but shows remarkable achievements from time to time. 

Consistency isn’t a “have it” or “don’t have it” quality, it’s a full spectrum of possibilities ranging from not delivering ever to delivering as expected every single time.   Since nobody is perfect the frequency in which you fail to deliver is the key factor. 

If you are the inconsistent star, that means you’re letting your manager down far more often than an associate who falls closer to the “always consistent” side of the spectrum.  If you are letting someone down too often, it will catch up with you. 

Of course, the inconsistent star also stands out in the mind of the manager for the assets they bring to the team.  It’s always good to be noticed.  But this is where the balance of the two extremes gets a little bit trickier to evaluate.  Not all things are equal, meaning that exceeding your manager’s expectations once won’t necessarily cancel out the one time you let him or her down. 

So the best type of answer to give that hiring manager is probably along the lines of “I strive to outperform and exceed whatever expectations exist of me, and in the past I’ve always been able to do so.  But I never allow myself to sacrifice performing consistently in order to achieve those outstanding results.   Instead, I focus on taking active steps to improving my skills and abilities every single day.  I improve at a steady rate than can be maintained over the long haul so that is doesn’t cause me to burn out and jeopardize my ability to deliver consistent results.”

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Chris Adams
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.





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