The Business Analysis (BA) market is booming. There are more BAs than there are roles. It’s a very competitive time for BAs who are looking at changing their role and it’s more important than ever that BAs make a great first impression on hiring managers.
To find out more about how BAs can stand out in the market, I sat down with Justin Kingston, Director at Cube Thinking, to explore his experience as both a candidate and a hiring manager. On this session, we discussed his experience as a BA candidate, the dos and don’ts of applying for roles, and how to structure a great BA CV. Below are some key points from the podcast, but you can listen in to the full episode here or watch the video series on YouTube.
Previously there was little differentiation between different BAs, and therefore you could go to lots of different interviews before finding a role that actually suits your skillset and expectations. Additionally, businesses often didn’t know the exact problems they needed solving, which could be incredibly frustrating for a BA who thrives on problem solving. This is slowly changing now with the increase in prefixes, a better understanding of business analysis, and more specific job specifications.
When you apply for a role and before any interview you should use your analysis skills to dive into the job advert and really analyse what the role is really about. Based on these findings you should make assumptions about what the interview will entail, the structure, what the organisation is really looking for you to highlight, and how you can best prepare. As an analyst you should never be going into a situation blind.
You should also prepare some well-structured and well-thought-out questions for the interview, that really dive deep into the business. This will show you are not scared to ask big questions and identify issues. These questions should be based on your analysis and should be relevant to the business. This is a key trait of a great BA.
Do your homework on the company vision, mission, and strategy, as well as the key business objectives. This will help you be prepared for questions, and to ask questions in the interview.
Never interrupt or take over the interview. Active listening in an interview is key. It’s easy to get caught up on what you are saying and trying to showcase your passion and experience, but it’s important to allow the interviewer time to explain things and ask questions as well. If not, your passion may be mistaken for an inability to listen or even arrogance.
Make sure you don’t exclude certain interviewers when answering questions. If you are being interviewed by multiple people, make sure you engage with everybody equally. Consider your body language and attitude. Failure to do so may be mistaken for bias towards certain interviewers and a lack of self-awareness.
It’s important to make sure you include all the key information under the standard CV headings, but it’s also important under your roles to not just describe the role. You need to talk about the impact you had on certain organisations and projects. Be specific about projects and products you have helped deliver and explain what you were responsible for and what the outcomes of your support were. This is what the hiring manager is interested in!
Listen in to the full podcast episode now on Spotify or watch the video series on YouTube to get a deeper dive into the questions above and more with Jason Kingston. If you have any additional questions around high performing BA teams, please get in touch with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, you can reach out to me directly for information on our latest BA roles or browse our current vacancies here.