How to Get a Business Analyst Job – 6 Steps to Being Hired
If you are looking for how to get a business analyst, BA, job over many other candidates, the tips given in this post will help you do so easily and as quickly as possible.
6 Steps to Get a Business Analyst Job
Here are the steps you can follow:
1. Prepare for the Business Analyst Job
Getting a job as a business analyst in the face of tough competition begins with adequate preparation.
You need to find out what employers mostly require from the person they want to hire for the position so that you can better prepare yourself for the job by getting the requirements.
The requirements include skills, knowledge, abilities, experience, and educational qualifications.
Highlighted below are major requirements most employers set for the BA job that interested candidates should satisfy:
- Work experience (number of years depend on the level of the role) in data centers, supply, capacity planning, or consulting
- Bachelor’s degree in Science, Economics, or Engineering, or in lieu of education 6 years plus experience in supply, data center, capacity planning, or consulting
- Program management experience involving managing large scale technical and dynamic
- Highly motivated, result-driven, and self-starter
- Possess MBA
- Excellent problem solving and communication skills, as well as the ability to manage project effectively
- Ability to think analytically, strategically, and uphold the best standards of business, confidentiality, discretion, and ethics
- Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills
- Excellent multi-tasking ability
- Ability to prioritize duties and be effective in a fast-paced work environment
- Ability to work effectively with large volumes of data, systems, and tools
- Advanced skills in PowerPoint, MS Word, Excel, and Visio
- Advanced knowledge and experience working in Agile SDLC and JIRA.
You will effectively be preparing for the business analyst job and a successful career by developing or acquiring the above qualities, competence, and education.
Acquiring Business Analyst Skills and Knowledge
To be hired as a business analyst, you will need to meet the skills and knowledge requirements set by the recruiter.
To acquire the skills and knowledge you need to obtain the relevant certifications and succeed in a business analyst position, here are the right training courses you can take:
2. Find a Business Analyst Job
There are various ways and places you can search for and find available business analyst jobs. These include:
Accessing your network:
You may already belong to one or more business or professional networks either on the social media or in the physical world or both (if not, do find one or two to join), which can be very effective in securing a business analyst job for you.
You should contact members of your network(s), letting them know that you need a new job; you will be surprised how fast they can turn out a job for you.
An advantage of jobs through networks is that someone in your network might recommend you highly to an employer, therefore making it easy for you to eventually nail the job.
Reaching out to alumni:
Your mates at school can be helpful to you in getting a business analyst job, so become an active member of your alumni association and attend its meetings regularly.
Using LinkedIn effectively:
LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals and has been found to be effective in getting a job. You can connect with people responsible for hiring into top positions in the corporate setting such as the human resources managers and general managers.
You can streamline your target audience to hiring managers in your business sector. For instance, if you are in the insurance industry, you can connect with hr and general managers in the industry for good result in finding and getting a job as a business analyst.
You will need to gradually develop a relationship with your target contacts and ensure your profile and activities on the LinkedIn platform portray you as a top performing business analyst anyone would love to hire.
You can learn more on how to achieve great result in job hunting using LinkedIn by searching for resources online.
Using job boards:
Job boards are popular platforms online where most employers post their job vacancies and look for the right candidates to apply. There are several of them you can find online, so pick a few to regularly check up on.
Some offer opportunity to submit your resume for employers to access. Make sure to submit a compelling resume to improve your chances of being contacted by employers.
Working with headhunters:
Headhunters have also shown to be effective in getting a business analyst job. They can assist you to find those jobs that are not advertised, therefore, finding a few headhunters online to work with can increase your chances of getting the desired job.
3. Apply for the job
When you have found the right business analyst job opening – that fits your qualities, skills, and experience – the next thing to do is to prepare your application.
You will need to send a resume and cover letter to the recruiter.
Your resume should be carefully created to match your skills, competence, knowledge, experience, etc with the requirement of the job.
You should not make a general resume for use in applying to all business analyst jobs you are interested in, but make one particularly for each job. You will get better responses from employers this way.
You can learn more about creating winning resumes here: What does a good resume look like.
4. Prepare for pre-employment assessment tests
To qualify for an interview, the hiring process for the business analyst job may involve taking and passing one or two assessment tests.
Most employers may want to confirm if truly you have what is required to succeed on the job by having all candidates take the relevant assessment tests. You can learn more about this here: job assessment tests.
5. Prepare for interviews – Major Business Analyst Interview Questions and Answers
If you make it to the interview stage, you are just a step away from grabbing the job, so you really need to give it your best performance.
At the interview, the recruiter will primarily want to confirm that you have the required experience, abilities, and skills to excel as a business analyst by asking questions that will require the application of the qualities.
Therefore, to prepare for the interview, take a study of the employer’s job description to learn what their requirements are.
Then practice answering the questions that will be thrown at you using the skills, experience, knowledge, and abilities that you have in solving work problems.
In a nut-shell, when answering the questions, do well to explain how you will or have applied relevant skills, knowledge, and/or experience in handling a business analysis situation.
This will help project you as a competent business analyst who can achieve great result for their organization.
Here are common questions to expect from interviewers if you are seeking a business analyst job:
- Let’s get to meet you – tell me about yourself: You will have to be careful not to bore interviewers with irrelevant information; rather, give a summary of your profile and quickly highlight your best business analyst skills, experience, qualifications, and achievements (if any).
- Tell me about a time at a previous employer when you developed long-range plans: The interviewer wants to see how you applied a technique or skill in achieving the feat. Give a detailed account of what you did.
- What is a business process, data dictionary, or use case? To impress the interviewer, your answer should be brief followed by using a specific and relevant experience to buttress your answer, showing the application of a skill.
- Tell me how you handled difficult stakeholders you’ve had to work with: The employer wants to see how you apply your transferable soft skills. Give a direct answer to the question and then discuss a similar situation you had with a previous employer and how you handled it.
- What is your typical approach to a project? With this question, the hirer wants to determine your business analysis process as well as your flexibility. Instead of reeling out lists of deliverables and processes which can easily put off the recruiter, a better answer will be to speak on the types of deliverables or general phases that you desire to create. Also, make it clear that you have customized approaches to each project’s needs. Also, make sure to ask about their business analysis and project processes.
- When are you finished with requirements? This question expects that you clearly state the criteria for finishing a set of requirements. You should discuss how you took the business analysis effort from beginning to finish, and show that you know how to finish.
- What is the major strength of a business analyst in your view? This question allows the employer to confirm if you are aware of the skills BAs need to succeed on the job. You can give an effective answer to this question by discussing a particular business analyst role and particular skills required to produce excellent performance on the role.
- Do you have any questions for me? This question seeks to test if you are able to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions, which is an important quality business analysts must have. You should be prepared to ask a few questions. And much more importantly, you should turn this session into a discussion where you share your experience and/or proffer suggestions to the employer on their business analysis processes and projects.
6. Follow up: Send a “Thank You” note
Sending a “Thank You” note to your interviewers after the interview can help in improving your chances of being picked for the job.
The note should be brief, thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to prove why you should be considered for the business analyst position.
It should be sent quickly, like within 24 hours after the interview session when the event is still fresh in their minds and can remember you, and when they have not made their hiring decision.
You should direct the note, either in handwritten form or by email, personally to the person who interviewed you or separately to each member of the panel if the interview was conducted by a panel.
The thank you note can also be an opportunity to emphasize certain skills or experience that you believe is vital to the role and was brought up at the interview.
It also gives you the opportunity to try to make up for an answer you didn’t quite deliver well at the interview.
If you are looking for how to get a job as a business analyst as quickly as possible, this post provides the tips and ideas you can follow to make it happen.
Getting a BA job may not be easy as you face tough competition with other candidates, however, with good preparation using the information in this post, you can be sure to be able to beat the competition and come up tops.