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I'm going in for my second round of interviews for a technically-minded business analyst position tomorrow. The first (phone) interview went great, and they seemed to really like me, and I really like the job. I have the feeling I've already passed all of the "tests" to determine whether or not I'm qualified, but is there anything specific I should know about interviewing for this particular type of position in person? Especially since a large part of the job is working with customers (and thus requires "people skills").

Thanks!

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Can you tell us more about the "tests" and questions they've asked you already? It'll help us provide you with more precise (rather than generic) tips. It would also help if you could share a job description. –  LewisLin Aug 29 '11 at 16:15

3 Answers 3

You should find the question and answers on interviewing business analyst useful. It touches the same subject but from the other perspective.

In short answers point 3 general areas:

  • Communication skills
  • Business acumen
  • Managing requirements

Find more details in answers to the question.

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Congratulations on passing the first interview! Some advice on interviewing in person and preparing for a second-round interview for the role you mention:

On interviewing in person:

  • Make sure you know where to go and when (plan to arrive a little early), and that you present well (if you can, find out their dress code; in doubt, go conservative).
  • Take along copies of the job description and your resume, a notepad and pen (it may sound obvious but I have seen candidates turn up for interviews "hands in their pockets", which doesn't look very professional).
  • Give a brief, firm handshake, wait to be seated (or ask where you should sit); adopt a positive body language (smile, look people in the eyes, don't cross your arms, etc.); if offered, accept a glass of water (you will do a lot of talking).
  • If the room where you are interviewing has things like flip-charts or boards and you see a chance to use them (and are comfortable in doing so), go ahead (ask your interviewer(s) if it's ok first) - it helps breaking down the formality of the interview, shows you have confidence to stand up and speak in front of people, and also as a BA, actually demonstrates you are good at illustrating points and answers (through simple diagrams, charts, etc.).

On second-round interviews for a BA role:

  • Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask yourself and haven't had a chance to discuss yet (about the role, the organization, the projects you'll work on, the types of customers they have, etc.), or follow-on questions from things discussed during the first interview.
  • You are right to note that they must like you already! In a second interview, you may get the same questions again, but perhaps from different people (see next point), and likely more in-depth. You have identified that key qualities for this type of position are people skills and the ability to work well with customers. So spend a little time thinking about potential questions you may be asked in relation to this (eg. how do you manage difficult customers? how do you deal with non-technical stakeholders? how do you manage requirements and relate them to business value? etc.), and be ready with some concrete examples highlighting your strengths and experience in that area, so you can show you are competent both on the technical and the people sides.
  • Usually in second-round interviews, you get to meet different people, often more senior people than during the first interview, so try to find out something about them (such as their role in the organization and in relation to the position you are applying for). For example if you are going to meet technical and non-technical people, be ready to adapt to your audience and speak their language.
  • You are likely one of a handful of people who have made it through to the second round (it's possible you are the only one, but assume you are not). Try to find out how many other candidates they have put through (you can just ask during the interview) and be prepared to answer questions that will position yourself as the best candidate (eg. you could be asked "what makes you different to/better than other BAs?").
  • Second-round interviews are also often the place to discuss salary, terms and conditions, so be prepared to address these items. Also make sure you clarify what the next steps are.
  • Last but not least, you like the job so make sure you convey your enthusiasm in person (positive body language, smiles, positive statements, etc.). Follow-up after the interview with a short email thanking people for their time and reiterating your interest.
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I had the opportunity of sitting on a BA interview panel recently. I have compiled a list of useful tips based on the most common blunders some of the candidates made. You can find them here:

http://businessanalystlearnings.com/blog/2013/2/3/tips-for-your-business-analyst-interview

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SE culture encourages that the answers include both a link and a summary of the link contents. Your answer would be better if it included a highlight of the top points. (When I joined SE, I posted a lot of answers like this; time has convinced me that I was wrong.) –  Mark C. Wallace Feb 3 '13 at 20:33

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