Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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What are the essential components of a use case?

Posted by Chris Adams

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Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Use Cases, Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA), Business Rules


1) Use case name:  The use case should be labeled so that it immediately describes the purpose of the use case. Usually, VERB/NOUN is sufficient. For example, “Place Order.”

2) Actors: Identify who the main individuals and systems involved in the use case are going to be. Any actor that is used in the use case’s flow of events must be named up front.

3) Assumptions/Pre-conditions: Define what the state of the world is prior to the beginning of the flow of events described in the use case.

4) Post-conditions: Explain what the state of the world will be once the flow of events described in the use case occurs.

5) Business rules: These are the operating rules that govern or constrain the environment in which the process flow happens. For example, “placing an order can only happen between 9AM and 5PM” is a business rule. The use case must obey these rules.

6) Normal process flow: Define the “happy path” for the process flow, step by step and sequentially numbered. The “happy path” essentially means what the default flow is, without accounting for exceptions, conditions, or errors. It should lead to the successful conclusion stated in the post-conditions.

7) Alternate process flows: When there are major decision points or exceptions that create a different path to the conclusion of the use case, then each of those alternate process flows must be defined step by step just like you did with the normal process flow. If you numbered the normal process flow sequentially and the alternate flow begins in a certain step, you can just start the description of the alternate flow from there.


Joe Barrios
Business Analyst Career Coach



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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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