Asking questions is more than just a science for a Business Analyst. There is a way of asking the “what, how, who, where and why” of a situation without putting your client, or in this case, a hiring manager on the defensive.
However, as an interviewee, asking questions at a job interview is a good opportunity to position yourself and show your capabilities as a Business Analyst. After all, a job interview should be a two-way conversation so that you are also playing a part in deciding your future.
By asking questions, you can follow up with at least one example of how your experience aligns. This way you are value adding to the discussion and further demonstrating experience that may not have come to light during from the interview. It also gives you a better picture of what is required of you.
When I sit an interview, I like to ask questions during the course of the discussion. But there is usually an opportunity at the end of the session for any questions – and your elevator pitch!
I also ask questions when I need to clarify the question asked of me. It’s better being clear on what the interviewer wants than to give the wrong answer (I know this from experience). In this context, asking questions also helps me refine my responses and give me a little time to think.
So here are some questions that you could leverage to further highlight your experience and capabilities.
- What is required of me on a day-to-day basis? (just in case it’s still not clear)
- What do you need me to deliver? (if ongoing or if project based)
- Do you have an outcome in mind already? (if it’s a specific initiative)
- Who else will be working with? Who do I need to engage with?
- When do you expect me start? Where will I be based? Where is the project?
- What are the expected deliverables? What format? When?
- What methodologies and approaches should I use? What tools will I use?
- What technology will I be using or need to know about?
- Is there any existing documentation for the project? (if the role is for a specific project)
The interviewers may have covered these questions, but not always as they can get caught up with asking and scoring pre-set requirements. Also, you could use the “5 Ws” against pertinent points in the conversation. Try to demonstrate how you behave in certain situations and solve problems (especially when dealing with stakeholders).
Of course, there’s a fine line between not asking enough questions and too many. So be mindful of this and use your questioning to your greatest benefit – not just for the sake of asking questions. Keep your questions clear and basic, and be mindful of looking like someone who sucks time and energy. Don’t be a show-off. Communicate as someone who listens and reflects.