Ask Joy: What do you look for in a Business Analyst right out of college?

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Holly asks: What are the professional skills you look for in a Business Analyst out of college who has no real-world experience?

Answer: Holly, even without real-world experience, college students definitely have the opportunity to practice some mature professional skills. So in our interview process, I’d look for simple things at first – did they show up on time and well dressed. Both of these are very important to the BA role when they meet with the customer. Often BAs have to have leadership skills, so I look for any stories they have from college to demonstrate them – be it on a team project or a student group. I also think usiness analysts / product managers must be humble and in fact, intellectual honest is one of our values. I don’t have specific interview questions that dig into this deeply, but I do try to develop an initial impression about it and perhaps ask some tough questions about mistakes that will highlight how comfortable they are with this. Oh and I look at their writing and analytic skills as well, but those are less about professionalism.

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