Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 September 2010 11:28 Written by Lauri Ann Scheinholtz
When it comes to interviewing, do business analysts really understand what they are doing?
It’s one thing to say that business analysts are good at interviewing. We have to be to do our jobs. It’s another thing to say we understand what we are doing when we interview someone. Despite the uniqueness of each situation there are still patterns that business analysts use and follow that we appear to be blissfully unaware of.
Whether you call it a knack, talent or skill, interviewing has repeatable techniques that we use over and over again. The problem is, we have busy lives and deadlines to meet. Who really takes the time to sit back and think about what they said and did in an interview?
In a recent survey, over 16,000 business analysts were asked to name a technique for interviewing. There was an extremely low response rate. That, in itself, is an indication that the area of interviewing is a very unstructured and unconscious part of the discipline.
Of the people who did reply, the first response was defensive, implying that they felt their techniques for interviewing were not only known but something that gave them a competitive edge over other people in the industry competing for jobs.
After a certain amount of prompting, people began to share. The techniques shared were mainly opening and closing techniques, the only “technique”, or piece of advice given, for the actual interview was listen carefully. This would indicate that there are some best practices commonly known regarding the opening and closing of an interview but that the actual questions or prompts given during the interview are completely ad hoc and are not consciously reused.
Common sense would tell us that reusable interview questions, or prompts, would save us time, and money, and endless hours of aggravation in our day to day elicitation practices. Yet, as a group, we seem unaware or unwilling to realize this fact. It appears that the costs of discovering this outweigh the benefits. If that’s so, why was it worthwhile to find these techniques in the facilitation industry and not in the business analyst industry?
Perhaps this is indeed an area we have all overlooked because we can’t properly see the benefits to ourselves as individuals, or to the discipline. Perhaps, now is the time to take that step back and think, what would life be like if we really understood what we were doing when we interviewed someone?
Login to comment.
Agile Transition - What you Need to Know Before Starting
In truth, agile is not a well qualified