Behavioral Interview Strategies for Business Analysts
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Employers love behavioral interviews because they are effective at weeding out weak candidates.
I want to give you 3 bullet-proof strategies for behavioral interviews.
You already know that employers use behavioral questions to determine your core competencies.
What you may not know is that behavioral interview questions account for at least 40% of your interview.
So, what happens when you're not prepared?
You end up looking like your skills do not match up to your resume and you walk away from the interview without a job offer.
I want to help you change that, so let’s take a look at some behavioral strategies you can use on your next interview.
1. Carefully listen to your interviewer and the question they are asking you. Let them finish asking you the question BEFORE you determine how to answer it. You might even repeat the question back to them to help you get a better feel for it.
I like to use paraphrasing in this situation if I’m not 100% sure what they want. If the interviewer said ‘tell me how you go about doing your tasks for a new project you’ve been assigned. I’ll paraphrase that and say “So, what I’m hearing Jane is that you’d like me to explain the steps I take during the analysis phase of a project. Did I understand that correctly?”
Instead of repeating back word-for-word what they said, put it in your words and confirm it before you answer. There’s almost nothing more frustrating to the interviewer than if you are answering the wrong question.
In the above example, I confirmed they were not talking about everything I do for the entire length of the project, but only the tasks specific to the analysis period of the project (I assumed that’s what they would be most interested in since it’s a BA interview, but I confirmed my assumption rather than just running with it).
2. Carefully choose your language when answering their questions. Try to use language that is specific to your job, but not necessarily your industry, unless you are applying for a position in the same industry.
For example, if you are currently a business analyst in the banking industry, and specifically in the mortgage area it’s OK to use mortgage language related to that industry if you are applying for another BA job in the mortgage area of another company. However, if you are applying for a BA position in another area of a bank or a completely different industry, like healthcare, do not use acronyms and language specific to mortgage when you are answering questions.
On the other hand, you absolutely can use language that is standard for business analysis – things like BA, BRD or business requirements document, FDD or functional design document, vision and scope documents, etc. Those terms apply to business analysis in a general way, regardless of business industry so the person interviewing you is most likely familiar with them. You can play it safe though and still avoid acronyms, so spell it out instead of saying “BRD”.
3. When giving your answers, don't go into extreme detail, just give them the basic facts.
A shorter answer allows the interviewer to ask follow-up questions about some of the details.
This shows you what they’re really interested in based on what types of follow-up questions they asked. Now you’re getting more insight on what’s important to them so that you can tailor your answers to their objective.
Why should the hiring manager be confident in you if you are not confident in yourself?
When you follow these guidelines, you’ll be much more prepared for the type of questions that are coming at you, which allows you display your own confidence in your abilities.
The 135-page Guide to Successful Business Analyst Interviews is packed with strategies that will enable you to answer any behavioral question.
There are 50 examples of how to answer behavioral questions by turning your past work experiences into powerful behavioral answers.
You can go here to learn more.