Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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What approach do you take with new stakeholders and how does it benefit your work as a business analyst?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 3617 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments


One of the first things I like to do when I’m moving into a new role, or starting to work with a new set of primary stakeholders is to make sure I have a clear sense of who is who within my new circle. This means going beyond understanding job titles and roles within the organization or documenting a stakeholder list that houses names, contact info and high level information.

If I’m starting a completely new job with a new organization, I’m going to take some time to understand the org structure, read the bios of department or team leads with whom I’ll be interacting, and either ask for introductions or reach out and introduce myself. One of the cornerstones of a good business analysis practice is understanding and working with stakeholders, and you do that through building relationships with them. If your role is new to the organization, perhaps take some time to explain what a business analyst does and how you envision working with the stakeholders - emphasizing how your role supports them and the company overall. Share some of the approaches you will take when interacting with them and their team. Showcase the communications skills and active listening that makes you a stellar BA. Information you may learn in a more casual conversation with a stakeholder may help guide how you interact with them when working on a project together in the future.

If I’m approaching a new project and looking at the stakeholders directly associated with a problem that needs to be solved, I also find producing either a stakeholder matrix (mapping a stakeholder’s level of influence against their level of impact) or a responsibility (RACI) matrix (identifying stakeholders as Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed) is a good exercise in creating a better understanding of my stakeholders and their direct relationship to the project. Both methods can help inform who needs to be engaged at what level of requirements development, validation or testing, versus who may just need to be involved in general communication about the solution.

As you gain experience in your role, you will build more and more relationships - not just with organizational leaders or department heads who may be your “decision makers” but also with the individuals playing a direct role in business processes, end users of the software your team is rolling out, or the front-line staff interacting with customers. Continuously look to build relationships with all stakeholders. Down the line, having a solid relationship with a spectrum of individuals will help ease difficult requirements elicitation sessions, requirements prioritization conversations, etc.

Onalee Edwards
Business Analyst
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Michael M. Makarewicz posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 1:47 PM
I cannot agree more with you. Building relationships with stakeholders based on trust is the key to successfull colaboration and whatever goals one wants to achieve in a project.
Michael M. Makarewicz
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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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