The Job Interview – Are you properly prepared for the Business Analysis Job Interview?
You have got the job interview appointment all set up and now you should get yourself well prepared. The good news is, most interviews follow the format described below and if you follow a few basic guidelines you will do very well!
Be Ready, before the Interview!
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You would have received the location, time and interviewer(s) names before the job interview day. Remember to take all your contact information, including the recruiters phone number.
Make sure you pretend the interview started even before you walk into the interview room. Be professional, neat and ready from the moment you step into the company offices where you will be having the interview. First impressions are (almost) all you’ve got! More on this later.
What to expect during the interview..
Introductions and first impressions
Once you are called into the job interview room you will be facing the interviewers. In general there are 2-3 people interviewing, but seldom more than that. Make sure youshake everyone’s hand, make eye contact and give each interviewer a friendly smile while you are being introduced. It is important that you give each interviewer equal attention when you start answering their questions.
They will normally have a little bit of ‘chit chat’ with you. They typically asked whether you found them OK. Even if you got lost, you answer – Yes, thanks. It was easy to find. You sound competent! Whatever they say in this first initial engagement, you must be positive and confident in your response – do not sound doubtful or unsure of yourself even if something horrible happened to you on the way to the interview! This is part of your first impressions and it only takes a minute or two – make the most of it!
Some ‘warm up’ topics are introduced
Then the lead interviewer will explain the format of the session. They will typically say that the job interview will last approximately 40 minutes, they will provide you with company background and then they will normally tell you what types of interview questions are coming up. In a formal interview they will tell you who will be asking what types of questions.
The tend to ask you at this point whether you know much about the company. The expectation here is that you just give a few high level points to show you do know what it is all about and you can mention a few general statistics you may know. The idea is just to show interest without necessarily knowing it all. No one expects you to know it all. They are expecting to be the ones to give you more detail. They will then give a company overview and typically end up with where the role you are interviewing for fits into the organization. This part of the interview sometimes happens at the end of the questions too.
The ‘meaty’ part of the interview
Typically before the actual questions start you will be asked to tell the panel a little about your professional background. (They may refer to your resume or your cover letter at this point). Where you have been and what you have done. You should keep this brief, succinct and sequential. Before you start this, you should tell the panel which sequence you will follow. You can say something like: “My career started in 1997 in Johannesburg when I worked for the Stock Exchange. Thereafter I moved to a role at Andersen Consulting who transferred me to London in 2000……..” Keep your early experience very brief and say a bit more about your relevant experience and your more recent experience.
Now the questions start! With each question you should follow the S-T-A-R format when you answer. Make eye contact with the person asking first and then engage with the other interviewers. Remember that most of an interview is people deciding whether they like you and whether they think you can fit into their culture. The content of answers are also important of course, but you manner and ability to build rapport counts for a lot! Beprepared for the questions asking about where you see your career going…
Closing of the interview
At the end of the questions part of the interview, you will be asked whether you have any questions. It is good to ask one or at most two questions about the role you are interviewing for. Another suggestion is to ask them to tell you about the team you might be joining. These questions should be short and sweet but nevertheless indicate a enthusiasm for joining the team. Don’t start talking salaries unless the interviewer brings it up and be vague and let them start the specifics!
Finally, remember to thank every interviewer for giving you the opportunity to discuss the opportunity with them.
Return from Job Interview, to Business Analysis Career..
Return from Job Interview, to Business Analysis Excellence..