Hi Andy, I have been looking through your prep-course and business analyst interview training videos for the past couple of days.
I am just taken aback by how much more clear, I am now about the business analyst interview process. Thanks for the eye opener.
I have a business analyst interview next week and wanted your input on a problem I had.
One thing that I am really struggling with is the WAI statement; I have a very diverse experience set in technology, and have held numerous analyst positions in the past. I also have a MBA but a science background.
In your prep-course you said that it is imperative that I have a clear vision of who I am and what I bring to the table (WAI). I was wondering how I can do this when I have such a diverse back ground?
Most certainly, I believe that you are referring to the WAI Statement module of the prep-course. As you know WAI, stands for “Who Am I” and it is simply a short 20 second description of who you are, and what you bring to the table.
To clarify, the WAI statement is not something that you will actually tell the interviewer word for word. It is just an exercise to clarify to yourself what are the BEST points you want to convey to the interviewer.
At the end of the day, you must remember that you are going to an interview and the interviewer sole responsibility is to hire the best person for the job.
Now, on your end, it may seem that the interviewer will remember everything you say – but in reality the interviewer will only remember some points and create a general conclusion of your fit for the position.
Therein lies the cheese,
The interviewer develops a conclusion about you. This conclusion is not exhaustive and does not encompass everything you want to get across but only a few points about who you are and what you stand for.
This is why it is so important that you have a clear WAI statement to ensure that you get across your points.
Your Best Points.
I can understand your predicament; you have a diverse educational background and a variety of experiences. You want to tell them EVERYTHING that makes you so great, you know that your previous experiences and education make you perfect for this position so you don’t want to leave anything out.
Therein lies the problem,
When you go into the interview room without an understanding of what points you want to convey, you end up trying to convey everything. The problem with this approach is the interviewer cannot identify exactly who you are and what you stand for.
This is why completing the WAI statement exercise in the prep-module is so important. It helps you identify your best points and assists you in demonstrating that in your interview.
In simple words, if I was interviewing you – what do you want me to say to myself about you when you left?
Let’s drive this home.
A pitch of a recent candidate (Neeraj) I interviewed was:
|“I am a computer science graduate and have over 3 years experience with agile and possess a solid understanding of SDLC for application development and gathering requirements from users. In my previous experiences I have led requirement gathering sessions, and produced numerous Functional Design Specification documents. I want to work for your firm because of the opportunity to learn and be a part of the 2 year x business analyst rotational program.”|
This candidate kept driving home these points and till today as I am writing this I understand that this is what Neeraj stands for. I understand that these are his best points because he conveyed them to me over and over again during the interview.
Therefore, look through your diverse experiences and develop a WAI statement that outlines the best points you want to covey. Remember, these are your best points so although you have a MBA – you don’t necessarily need to incorporate that into your WAI statement as the interviewer will already know that from your resume.
Best of luck on your interview,
Some more points about the WAI Statement:
- Have a compelling reason of why you want to be there, why that firm, why that position. In the Neeraj example the compelling reason was because he wanted to part of the 2 year business analyst rotational program.
- Know what it is that uniquely qualifies you for the role (hint: take a look at the job posting)
- Think relevant, not recent: There’s no rule that says you must talk about your resume in reverse chronological order.
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