Receiving a business analyst interview invitation only “opens the door” to getting a job. Acing the job interview will walk you through that door to actually get a business analyst job.
How do you prepare?
Following are six basic questions along with their answers that you will get during the job interview.
Be sure to modify each answer to match your experience, skills, competencies and personality to avoid sounding like a memorized script.
Are you concerned that you don’t have what it takes to succeed as a business analyst because you lack extensive paper qualifications, certifications or certain college degrees?
Well, you may be surprised to know that succeeding as a business analyst has as much to do with intrinsic factors like your personality as it has to do with the extrinsic formal qualifications you feel are lacking!
For example, if you have a passion for solving problems or you are the “go-to person” when there is an issue, you already have some of the intrinsic qualifications sought after in business analyst professionals.
The short, cut and dried answer is that both the systems analyst and the business analyst work on gathering, documenting, validating, managing requirements but the Business Analyst is more likely to do this with the objective of meeting business requirements while the Systems Analyst will is focused on analyzing, documenting or managing how the Information Technology (IT) software / hardware systems will be designed to meet functional / system requirements.
In a real-world project, the business analyst is more likely to be in charge of documenting the Business Use Case while the systems analyst will be responsible for documenting the Systems Use Case.
As humans we all process information through filters and one of those filters is your current job title / background!
Though your job title may work well for you right now, the moment you try and take on a different role, job title / background / responsibility, you end up running into a brick wall! … it is like people fold their hands and adopt a challenging, prove-it-to-me attitude!
So, in today’s post, I will answer a question submitted by (Jan) who has worked 15+ years for one of the largest IT Corporations “but still feels boxed-in / walled-in” by his current job title!
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again“, is a saying that generally works. However, if you want to increase your chances of entering the business analysis field, you will need more than “trial and error” to get a job interview!
You will need to have in hand, a resumé that shows how you qualify as a business analyst, even though your past positions were not specifically in business analysis.
When it comes to the Information Technology Industry, getting more hands-on experience is one of your most important professional development activities.
In this post, I will explain how information technology workers including business analysts, computer programmers, database developers, data analysts, project managers, software testers and infrastructure / networking professionals can gain extensive, high visibility, career defining hands-on experience!
More Opportunities To Get Hands-on Experience
By far, the number one place to find hands-on project experience in the information technology industry is in web or software development projects!
After witnessing the challenges in the lives of professionals dealing with under-performance, under-achievement, stress, anxiety, career stagnation, anger, depression or financial failure; I decided to write this article on how to make better career choices.
Choosing the right career is important because you spend the major part of your day (9 to 11 hours) at work. If you make the wrong career choice, you will put yourself in a painful, challenging situation.
So, choosing the right career ranks as one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life.
It has been said that to “keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.“
On the other hand, “if you want something you have never hard, you must do something you have never done!“
So, if your career is stagnating, step back and take an honest look at your work.
Is your work everything you had hoped for?
If the smell of fresh-brewed coffee is the biggest reward after you walk through the office door each day, it’s time to truly perk up your daily grind and reboot your career.
[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Newsletter for Information Technology (IT) professionals including business analysts, computer programmers, data analysts, database developers, technical writers, project managers and software testers.
If you, have a challenging question about your career, submit it here and we will answer yours just as we are answering this question submitted by a technical writer titled: What Software Do I Learn to Become A Business Analyst? …
How do I learn or get the software knowledge that would make me a business analyst?
Have you ever thought of becoming a consultant, contract worker, independent contractor, 1099 or freelancer and then dismissed the idea, because you thought it was too risky or because you were not qualified?
Think about it again because there are far more benefits and fewer risks to becoming a consultant than you may think.
Here is some advice on the risks and rewards of consulting, freelancing or independent contracting from someone who has actually done it!
Having good or effective project sponsors is one of the ways you can prevent project failure which is a real problem considering that nearly two – thirds of projects fail!
The project sponsor is not the business analyst even though the project sponsor helps the business analyst in gathering requirements and the project sponsor is not the project manager even though the project sponsor helps the project manager deliver a successful project.
It is the project sponsor’s job to ensure that the project team (project manager, business analysts, and team lead) have the technical or operational resources they need and that the project is aligned with the strategic needs of the organization.
As a career coach one of the challenges that many of my clients face is that of learning the most marketable skills in the current job market.
An example is a client that I will call John who has been looking for a while even though he has an advanced management degree (MBA).
He wonders why he’s constantly getting turned down for business analyst jobs even though he is certain of this: most of those getting hired are less educated than him!
[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career, job or business situations.
I get a number of questions from computer programmers or software developers looking to change their careers to business analysis or project management.
I also receive questions about the suitability of business analysis, project management or computer programming as a career.
If you sent me a question along these lines, please use this post to evaluate your choices or decide on the best career for you!
In this post, I would discuss the value of certifications in a job search or the demand for certifications by employers.
Certifications Help You Standout In A Competitive Job Market
In a competitive job market, where everyone has a lot of experience and educational qualifications, getting certifications may help you standout.
Certification As A Legal Requirement
In some professions or jobs, getting certified by a board, council or a body is a legal accreditation requirement. So, you need to be certified as a competent professional or risk facing some form of legal action or prosecution.
The Process For Changing your Career Path Starts With Your Current Employer
Here is a real-world example of how to do just that.
The current challenge facing me is how to find the right process for re-orienting my career from Web Producer to an introductory Junior position as Business Analyst.
I don’t hold any qualification in Business neither as Business Analyst but I am fully dedicated to becoming one.
I have just started reading books and doing research about this position and the responsibilities it entails.
Why Do We Need Better Requirements?
The following article is a frank, open and surprising discourse on why we need better requirements.
According to Standish or Gartner reports and other case studies, nearly “two-thirds of all IT projects fail” because of poor requirements and other causes.
Why Do Projects Fail?
Consider that a project fails when it overruns the budgeted allocation of resources, time or money or fails to deliver the intended business requirements or value.
Some teams are so deep into this, that throwing more money, people or extending the shipping date is their default solution to scope creep, budget overruns or project failure!
Identifying your transferable skills is the first step towards successfully transitioning, changing or starting a new business analysis career.
Though this article is written for those starting a business analysis career after having worked as a computer programmer, the principles presented here are helpful to anyone interested in starting any new career.
The first step in starting a new career is building self-confidence by recognizing that the career you are transitioning to has some relationship or similarity to the jobs you have performed in the past.
In some organizations, the technical lead or senior software developer is also asked to gather, analyze or document the software development requirements.
This may be the case when:
- Cowboy Coding -The Organization has not fully embraced any formal software development methodology
- Cost Cutting -The manager wants to cut costs by not hiring for full-time business analysts
- Role Differentiation – The IT / Software Development manager combines the business analyst role into the software development role
But, does combining the business analyst and software development role work or is it better to hire full-time business analysts for your team?
You are reading this post because you are interested in learning or mastering business analysis for a number of reasons like
- You may have read the US Bureau of Statistics report which predicts that the business analyst role will be one of the fastest growing occupations through 2012
- You are a computer programmer or software tester who is getting burned out on the monotony of coding or testing
- You may be interested in learning business analyst because you will gain more visibility by interacting with users and managers
The good news is that the economy is adding on jobs because it is the time of year when budgets have been approved and employers traditionally post more jobs and because the economy is also beginning to recover.
This is as good a time as any to dust off your resume, polish your act and start the career you have always wanted.
This article tells you how to do that … get back into the job market and start the business analyst career you’ve always wanted!
Do you wish to know how to succeed at business analyst job interviews? Here is the secret.
Business analyst interviews are designed to evaluate two things:
- Your business analyst skills
- Your business analyst experience
How Sharp Are Your Business Analyst Skills?
At your business analyst interview, you are evaluated based on the correctness, promptness or comprehensiveness of your answers.
Give the correct answers
Your answers are evaluated based on how precise or correct they are.
Even when the business analyst interview questions are open ended, your answers are still evaluated as correct or incorrect.
As hiring managers are cutting costs and reducing staff size they are also hiring hiring professionals with a broader range of skills
As workers are laid off, the lucky ones left behind are asked to work longer hours or work on a broader range of tasks
IT Managers are now hiring for a broader range of skill sets. Business Analysts are being asked to perform light programming jobs and software developers are being asked to perform light business analysis tasks
On of my readers needs help with finding a business analyst job, so I am posting the information I provided to him in this article.
If you have any questions about this or about your business analyst career, post it as comment at the end of this post and I would also answer or address it for you.
Here is the business analyst career question posted by my reader:
Hi – my greatest challenge is the fact that I’ve never held an IT Business Analyst position.
When gathering or analyzing requirements, it is just as important to focus on the process that you are using to develop your requirements as it is to focus on the requirements themselves.
If you have a poor requirements elicitation or management process, you risk not understanding the business problem you are trying to solve or turning out a poor product.
The cost of Information Technology (IT) project failures has become so high that one can no longer ignore the fact that business analysts need to invest a good amount of time into understanding what they intend to build.
If you are having a hard time choosing between a business analyst career and a computer programming career, perhaps it is because you can’t tell the difference.
I want to help you out by explaining the major differences between business analyst and computer programming careers.
These differences include:
1. Technical Skills
2. People / Leadership Skills
3. Educational Requirements
4. Learning Curve
5. 2007 and 2008 Job Market Outlook
6. Salaries, Wages and Compensation
7. Job Satisfaction