30 Business Analyst Interview Q&A
High rates of growth have been seen in the need for Salesforce Business Analyst. Salesforce orgs have changed and grown more complicated over time. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to look at the changes that are wanted, get a full “lay of the land,” and then make sure everyone is “on the same page.” This is why a Business Analyst should be hired by a company.
Business Analysts are involved every step of the way. From the idea to discovery (finding out what needs to be done) and process planning, and then making sure the project is finished, enough testing has been done, and users like using the system (i.e. user adoption), the whole process takes a long time.
Business Analysts also help “steer the ship” when it comes to technical debt, which is caused by picking shortcuts or the wrong/incomplete answer instead of taking the time to find out what the business needs in the long term. When an organization has too many tools and technologies that it no longer needs, the time and money it takes to do more work is a drag.
Salesforce Business Analysts, or Salesforce experts who are good at business analysis, are in demand because of the need for the right amount of control, alignment with partners, and paperwork. The Salesforce Business Analyst Career Path and the eagerly awaited Salesforce Business Analyst degree are both proofs of that.
Another important thing to say is that the jobs of business analysts will take different “forms.” You could work for your own company as a Business Analyst or for a Salesforce training partner. The things you’re asked at an interview will rely on the organization and the size of the job they want to do.
- If you work on your own company’s Salesforce org as a Business Analyst, you should also look over the Admin Interview questions.
- You should look at the Consultant and/or Project Manager interview questions for Business Analysts who work outside of Salesforce, like at Salesforce consulting partners.
In this article, I’ve put together a list of some of the more specific questions you might be asked during an interview for a Salesforce Business Analyst job, along with some tips on how to answer them.
Questions to get started
Tell me about yourself.
Even though it’s not a question, almost every interview, whether it’s with Salesforce or not, starts with a chance to talk about yourself.
Don’t make the mistake of making it a long list of every job you’ve ever had, bullet by bullet. This could be your only chance to tell the reporter about yourself and what you want them to know. Carefully pick your words and practice what you’re going to say before you say it. Try to answer in less than two minutes.
This is a good time for Salesforce Business Analysts to talk about how they found Salesforce and what soft skills they have that can be used elsewhere.
Why use Salesforce?
People who work in Salesforce are known for loving Salesforce, but saying “I just love it” isn’t enough here. Some reasons you could give in the interview to explain why you love the person:
- The Community: Tell your interviewer that you can use the Salesforce “Ohana” to learn more about Salesforce, find out best practices, and keep up with changes. Your interviewer will like this answer even more if they are a Salesforce MVP or Trailhead Community Group Leader.
- Trailhead is free, all-inclusive, and fun. It is the learning management system and community boards for Salesforce. Mentioning Trailhead demonstrates that you know where to go to get help with Salesforce, discover new features and products, and network with other industry experts. With this answer and the last one, you’ll seem creative, good with people (which is very important for BAs), and willing to keep learning so you don’t have to rely on your boss for all of your Salesforce knowledge.
- Helping People and Businesses: Business analysts are often excited by how digital transformation can change the way people work by getting rid of pain points and making business processes more efficient. Salesforce is a great way to reach this goal, which is why BAs often choose to use it.
What business analyst skills do you have?
If you’ve worked as a business analyst before, this question is pretty easy to answer. If you haven’t, it’s time to show off your other skills. Ask yourself if you’ve ever had a job or even a personal role (PTA meetings count!) that needed you to:
- Talk to someone about a problem so you can fully understand it and then offer a solution.
- Write documentation?
- Be customer-facing?
- Run meetings?
- Create slideshows?
You should talk about these and other useful skills, like when you did work that a BA does but didn’t have the title.
What do you think a good Salesforce Business Analyst should have?
A Salesforce BA is the link between the technical team and the business team. To do this well, a BA needs strong communication skills, like being able to write easily and explain scientific ideas in a way that isn’t too technical. They need to be clear and sure when they talk.
Business research needs more than just soft skills, though. It also needs emotional intelligence. When working with business partners, it’s important to have empathy. When you start a digital change project, business partners may feel like they need to defend themselves. They might think that their ways don’t matter or that you’re going to try to come in and tell them they’re not doing a good job.
Sometimes business requirements Interviews can feel like business therapy meetings, but tapping into pain, anger, and frustration when gathering requirements often means you’re getting to the real picture of the business, which is a great thing. When your clients feel like you’re really there to help them, it’s easier for them to trust you as a guide.
Do you have any questions for me?
Usually, this comes at the end of the interviewer’s or interviewers’ questions. Don’t drop the ball here!
This is your chance to show the reporter what it would be like to meet with you to talk about business needs. Now is the time to ask questions to make sure you understand what the job entails, what the company does, and what success looks like. Take charge of the meeting like you would in an interview with a client and ask great questions with confidence.
What would you do if a business partner added new requirements that went beyond the agreed-upon area of work?
Any Salesforce project has a big risk of scope creep, which is why it’s so important to have a clear, well-defined project plan. Still, stakeholders will be stakeholders, which means they may ask for things that are outside the scope of the project in the hopes that you can “squeeze it in.” As a BA, it’s important to listen to the new need and then lay out the risks and choices for the job. Should there be a second phase? Should something be taken out of the scope so that it can be put in?
Having an official review and approval process for changes will make sure that unapproved changes don’t stop the project.
What would you do if an investor…
- being dishonest about information?
- Being difficult?
During a BA interview, it’s possible that you’ll be asked how to deal with a difficult business partner. Having a stakeholder management plan that everyone agrees on will help set standards about what each stakeholder is responsible for. It will be easy to point out when a partner does something that goes against the plan.
Once a difficult client has been found, a common way to deal with them is to set up a one-on-one meeting to remind them how important they are to the project. If you can figure out what they want and what worries them, you might be able to win back their trust. At the same time, it’s important to keep going forward with the job. If the client doesn’t agree, the BA may have to tell the project manager about the risk.
What do you do when you can’t figure something out?
How you do this will depend on what you’re having trouble with. In general, BA work usually involves a team that you can reach out to for help, including your project manager. Outside of your team, you can show how smart you are by using the Trailblazer community, Salesforce help, and Trailhead to learn about features and solutions you may not know as well. The important thing is to show that you’re sure you’ll always be able to find the answers, even if you don’t always have them.
What other kinds of tools have you used as a business analyst besides Salesforce?
Depending on your experience and the projects you’ve worked on, this could look a little different, but here are some programmes that business analysts often use:
- User Stories: Jira, Elements.cloud, Salesforce, Trello.
- Visio and LucidChart can be used to map business processes.
- Documentation for training is available for Confluence, OneNote, Notion, Google Suite, Microsoft Suite, and Salesforce.
- Jira, Smartsheet, and Notion are project management tools.
- Note Taking: One Note, Google Suite, Microsoft Suite.
- Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Teams can all be used for meetings.
Have you ever been on an Agile team?
“The role of Salesforce business analyst is to improve business,” says Trailhead. Since Salesforce tasks are usually built on projects, it’s important to know that they usually use Scrum or other Agile methods to get things done. BAs usually need to have a clear idea of how an Agile team works.
I can’t say enough good things about getting a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Product Owner credential from the Scrum Alliance, even if you haven’t worked with Agile before. They are both simple, two-day classes that will help you answer this question easily:
“Have you ever worked on an Agile team?” asks the interviewer.
You: “I’m certified as a Scrum Master.”
If you don’t have an Agile certification, the interviewer will try to figure out how much training they would have to give you on the method if they hired you. By showing that you know how a normal Scrum team works and using Agile terms like “Sprint,” “Retrospective,” and “Definition of Done,” you’ll do a lot to show them that you’re ready to start right away.
Which approach do you prefer? Agile or Waterfall?
This one is a little bit of a trap. The agile technique is used for most Salesforce projects, but it’s not always the best way to finish a project. This kind of question is meant to find out if you know what the differences are between the two methods and if you are happy with them. The most important facts are:
- Waterfall works best when the money or time to finish a project is set, the result is reliable, and the standards are clear.
- Agile is used when it is believed that the needs will change and the project will be done in small steps. During the whole process, the business partners are very active.
- To avoid offending anybody who could utilize a hybrid of Waterfall and Agile as their usual project delivery technique, it’s best not to publicly disparage either approach. This is particularly true of consultancies.
So, “Tell me more about the project” might be the best answer here.
How do you find out what needs are? What sorts of things do you ask?
Some popular ways to find out what people want are:
- Meetings to think of ideas
- Examining a document
- showings of how things work now
- Surveys / Questionnaires
- Workshops for Needs
You have to include the word “why?” in this answer.”. BAs aren’t supposed to just take orders. A Salesforce BA needs to know why a business process works the way it does.
Some other popular questions are:
- What makes you feel bad?
- What paperwork do you have about this procedure?
- What do you think success looks like?
- How do you do this today?
- Who are the people who are involved?
- How do the other tools fit into the process?
- What do the handoffs look like?
- Any exceptions? “What if…” questions
- Did I forget something?
Instead of just naming methods, this question is a great chance to talk about things like how important it is to have the right people in the room. For instance, managers and workers often have very different wants and ideas about how well a process works. You can also talk about how important faith and understanding are when gathering requirements.
How would you figure out what parts of a business process need to be fixed?
This is a great time to talk about business process mapping and to ask the stakeholders what they think (pain points almost always lead to business process improvement). Mentioning something like a Value Stream Map will not only show that you have tools in your BA toolbelt and have a good language, but it will also show that you know when to use those tools.
Ash Finnegan, the Digital Transformation Officer at Conga, gave me a great phrase to use in this answer. It stuck with me, and I always use it in interviews: “If you add technology to a bad process, all you get is a faster bad process.”
How do you decide which business needs come first?
This is a great question to talk about how you and the Product Owner would work together to sort the list. Getting the word “backlog” into your language is important, and if you want to be fancy, you can use Agile prioritisation methods.
When do you know you have all the conditions you need?
When requirements-gathering meetings don’t lead to any big changes in the requirements and you keep hearing the same things, you’re probably done. Reviewing your requirements with the business and making sure you’ve written down everything they wanted you to know will also help you figure out if there’s anything else you need to know.
What’s the difference between user tales and acceptance criteria?
The goal of a user story is to describe what a user wants and why they want it. It pays more attention to how the end user feels. On the other hand, acceptance criteria show what must be true for the user story to be considered given successfully. Most of the time, user stories on their own are not good enough to set up or code from. When the user story and the acceptance criteria are put together, that’s when the magic happens.
Have you ever written a story about a user? How does a good one work?
If you have written a user story, the first part of this question should be easy. Those who haven’t should! BAs can set up Salesforce development orgs to practice configuring just like aspiring admins do, but they should try writing out the user stories first. You can also get free hands-on practice writing good user stories by taking part in a Clicked Skills challenge or an admin/analyst quest.
Agile’s INVEST term can help us figure out what makes a good one:
- It shouldn’t be the same as another user story or conflict with it. This lets the user story list be prioritized in different ways.
- User stories will change over the course of a project, so they can be changed.
- Valuable: There’s no point in writing it differently if the person doesn’t find it useful.
- You should have a good idea of how long it will take to finish.
- Small: Smaller user stories are easier to predict, make the team feel like they’ve done something, and don’t hold up big pieces of functionality if something goes wrong later in the application lifecycle.
- Testable: Acceptance factors are the key to delivering a user story successfully, so the user story needs to be clear enough that success is clear.
Have you ever mapped out or drawn out a business process?
At the end of the day, what needs to be clear is that business process mapping is one of the tools in your BA toolbox and that you understand and can explain its value. Business process mapping is often a better way to explain complicated processes than other types of paperwork because it shows them clearly. They are great for finding waste, ways to make a process better, and suggesting changes. Universal Process Notation (UPN) is becoming more and more famous for describing business processes in Salesforce projects, so it would be great to mention it here.
Even though there are many types of official business process maps, it’s better to have drawn something in an unusual way and talked about it here than to have done nothing.
Do you prefer to work in a group or on your own? Why?
As I said before, Trailhead says “Salesforce business analyst is a project-based, business-improvement role.” Project-based means “team-based,” so make sure your answer to this question is “team” all the way. As for “Why,” you can talk about how much you love working with people, how you’ve helped record team processes, and how you know it’s important for the BA job to be the link between the business and the team.
How do you think a team can do well?
This is a great place to talk about how Agile teams work. Agile teams change so that as the project goes on, they get better and better. To do this, you have to be dedicated to the team, the project, and the Agile ideals. The best Agile teams can organize themselves, work across functions, and work together a lot.
Aside from how great Agile is, this is a great place to tell a feel-good team story from the past. Whether they are agile or not, most people have worked on a team of some kind before they go on a job interview. Even if you know the secret to the success of your kindergarten Little League team, you should tell the interviewer about it. Interviewers remember stories.
Have you ever made a flow in Salesforce?
If this question comes up, don’t worry. Interviewers often use the flow question to see how comfortable they are with the low-code setup. What matters is being honest. If you’re applying for a Salesforce BA job and they want you to be an expert on flows, it’s possible that they’re not looking for a Salesforce BA and the role might not be a good fit.
Having said all that, if you can write a great flow, say so. Tell a story about how you found the business problem, fixed it with the flow, wrote down the flow, and how much time or money it saved.
If you can’t write a great flow yet, be short and honest, and then focus on what you can give a team in terms of setup. Do you like following rules? UI/UX? What kind of help can you give to a team that is already setting up things? You can also talk about how excited you are to learn more about the setup to deepen your knowledge of Salesforce (if that’s the case).
As a final note, Salesforce BAs who at least understand the power of Salesforce automation and the possibilities and boundaries of using flow are much better at teaching their peers what is possible.
Do you have any training from Salesforce?
Again, be honest, because Trailhead makes it easy for any possible company to check your Salesforce credentials. You can also use this time to talk about any other degrees or awards, like the CBAP, ACBA, or CSM, that show off your business analysis skills.
When people have asked me, this is the certification path I would suggest for a Salesforce Business Analyst:
- Salesforce Admin: It’s needed for almost every Salesforce BA job.
- See the answer to Question 10 above to find out why I think this is a good one.
- Salesforce Consultant (Sales, Service, Marketing, etc.): Get a qualification if the cloud you want to specialize in has one. Even though the Salesforce Business Analyst Certification is useful, it is still new, so not many Salesforce customers know about it yet. Consultant certifications will also make you better prepared for delivering a whole job.
- Business Analyst for Salesforce: No need to explain. If the admin test was hard and you need a quick win, it’s usually fine to do this one before the consultant exam.
Strategist, User Experience Designer, and Platform App Builder come next.
Which “clouds” of Salesforce do you know how to use?
A popular question where they will want to make sure that their tech stack matches your experience. After you talk about your Salesforce experience, you can talk about any big AppExchange products you’re familiar with that might be important to the company you’re meeting with, based on what they do.
It’s also a good time to talk about how you’d like to learn more about Salesforce by studying new clouds. Have some ideas ready in case they ask, “Which ones?” Doing some study on the AppExchange before an interview with a Salesforce Partner can help you figure out which clouds might also be important to that company.
How do you stay up-to-date with your Salesforce skills and knowledge?
Use some of the tools already mentioned in this article, like Trailhead and the Trailblazer community. This is also a great time to talk about how you keep up with Salesforce’s three annual releases.
As a business analyst, especially one who works for Salesforce customers, you will probably have to learn about the new features that will be released, present the ones that are important to business stakeholders, get their feedback, add them to the backlog when necessary, and see them through the implementation lifecycle.
Have you ever taken part in a User Acceptance Test (UAT)? What part did you play?
Business analysts usually have a big part to play in UAT because they know the needs so well and stay close to the clients. User story approval factors are also often used to build UAT Test scripts.
If you’ve ever helped test the software before it came out, you can say “Yes” to this question. You were a tester? Did you write tools for testing? Did you write the directions that the testers had to follow? Have you done everything in the UAT process? Did you write down any gaps between the test results and the standards that you found? How were they dealt with?
When people see new features or apps for the first time, they have to deal with a lot of things. Make sure your answer shows that you have experience and that you know why UAT must be thorough and well-documented before a go-live.
Have you taught end users how to use Salesforce?
Training Salesforce end users is one of those things that must be done and done well to ensure growth (there’s no point in making something no one uses), but there is rarely a committed resource to do it. Since Salesforce BAs work so closely with the end users, they often end up teaching them, so don’t be surprised if this question comes up.
If you’ve ever had to train end users, you can say how many hours of training you’ve done or how many people you’ve trained. This is also a good place to talk about other ways training has helped. You gave the training in person, right? Did you make films for training? Did you help make the lesson plans? Did you help set up anything like In-App Guidance or Guidance for Success to help with training?
If you haven’t done any training for Salesforce end users, feel free to talk about the training you’ve done for other projects. You can also talk about how much you care about end users and how well you understand their business processes. This will show that you are the best person for the job.
Tell me about a project you worked on in Salesforce and what you did
This question, like Question 3, tries to figure out how much knowledge you have. Here are a few ways to deal with it:
- If you haven’t worked on a Salesforce project before, talk about a Clicked Quest or a charity Salesforce project. If not, talk about what you’re most excited to contribute and where you think your skills could add value to your first Salesforce project based on other successful projects you’ve worked on outside of Salesforce or your studies of Salesforce.
- If you only have experience as an end user: It’s fine to talk about your experience, even if it was only as an end user who helped roll out a new feature or gave helpful feedback. What went well, and what would you have changed?
- If you have more than one project to choose from, pick the one that fits the business and job you are looking for the most. Don’t forget to talk about the size of the project and what you did, with a focus on business analysis skills like writing, elicitation, and managing stakeholders.
Have you ever written something down? Please elaborate.
Even if it wasn’t for a Salesforce project, you can talk about times when you made training materials, how-to papers, maps, or even helpful to-do lists. The best examples are professional ones that show what you did, why the paperwork was important, who it was for, and how it helped.
In the worst event, you can talk about the time you left specific directions for your teenager on how to use the washing machine while you were out of town and they didn’t burn the house down.
Is the goal to become a BA or an admin? Where do you want your job to go?
Most of the time, it’s not a good idea to lie, but companies tend to hire people who feel called to do the kind of work they’re selling. So why do people love Salesforce Business Analysis so much? Here are some good ones:
- They love using Salesforce to make people’s lives easy.
- They are curious and like to figure out how things work and make them better.
- They love organizing information, taking pictures, and writing it down.
- They like working on projects with other people and teams.
- They know that good business research is needed to make sure that the right things are built in Salesforce.
People can stay in business analyst roles for as long as they want, but as BAs learn more about the technical side of the Salesforce platform (which they should do by constantly learning), they often move into functional consultant, solution architect, product manager, and product owner roles.
Describe a time you made a mistake. What did you do after that?
You should keep one of these stories “in your back pocket.” Even if it’s not about BA, showing a time when you found a mistake, took responsibility for it, and then took steps to fix it (with a happy finish) can show that you’re ready to give bad news.
BAs are the link between the business team and the technical team, so they often have to tell clients and sometimes the technical team bad news. Maybe a demo didn’t go well, or maybe the amount of work was misjudged, or maybe the results of UAT mean that the go-live date needs to be moved. As a business analyst, it’s important to be able to frame a difficult situation in a way that will get the people involved to work together to fix it with as few hard feelings as possible.
In addition to the questions above, the employer will also try to figure out if they feel safe putting you in front of a business partner or not. In any interview, it’s important to show confidence, be friendly, smile, ask good questions, and talk clearly, but it’s especially important for Salesforce BA jobs.
You might also be interested in
- How to Utilize Salesforce Labs for Maximum Efficiency
- The Essential Guide to Salesforce Solution Architect Responsibilities
- salesforce interview questions and answers – Basic
- Salesforce Developer Interview Questions and Answers
- Restriction Rules in Salesforce with Example
- The Best Trailhead Badges in 2023
- What does Salesforce data skew mean?
- Highlights of TrailblazerDX ‘23
- How long will Salesforce be in the market?
- Lightning Web Components Explained