business interview questions shared by candidates
50,000 shoppers with a 0.5% conversion rate for a chair that costs $250. Wayfair makes a 27% profit. Next, 50,000 shoppers will get a 10% discount. What is the conversion rate they must achieve to achieve the same profits as before?17 Answers
This is incorrect Old revenue = 50000*250*.005=250*250 New revenue with conversion rate r% = 50000*r*250*.9 = old revenue = 250*250 r = .55%
Number 2 is wrong, number 1 is right. Just because revenues equal doesnt mean profits will equal - they sacrifice profits when they decide to give the sale
Do they expect you to do this in your head, or will they give you pen/paper and a minute?
July 9th Answer is the correct answer. It is not hard: Initial profit is = 50000 * 0.005 * 250 * 0.27 (No need for the calculator yet) After sale profit = 50000 * x * 250 * 0.01 * 0.27 (Still don't need the calc) The question asks for the conversion rate such that profit are the same before and after the sale, so... Initial profit = After Sale profit 50000 * 0.005 * 250 * 0.27 = 50000 * x * (250 - (250 * 0.01)) * 0.27 (divide through & cancel) 0.005 * 250 = x * 225 x = (0.005 * 250) / 225 x = 0.0056 or 0.56%
You don't actually need to calculate anything other than the new conversion rate. Why? Look at the equation below: (customer sent = 50000) * (customer bought / customer sent = 0.005 conversion rate) * (revenue / customer bought = 250) * 0.27 (profit / revenue) gives (profit / customer sent). this should be equal to the one after discount. only (revenue / customer bought) changed -> it decreased 10%. therefore, conversion rate needs to increase by (1/0.9), which gives 5.56%.
July 9 is correct. Nov 21 is incorrect.
July 9 is wrong because the profit margin changes(As sale price changes, but the cost doesn't change)
$250 is the actual cost of the chair (profit not included) or the price listed？？
Answer from Nov 21 is correct while July 9 is incorrect. The latter one is just making the revenues equal before and after the sale. It is ignoring the fact that profit % i.e. cost price is also changing after the sale. Before the sale cost price is 182.5*250. After sale cost price would be 182.5*(no >250), as with new conversion rate more customers will be buying. So even if the revenues are equal, profits won't be equal.
Total Shoppers 50000 Conversion Rate 0.5 Total Customers 250 Selling Price 250 Profit % 27 Cost price 196.8503937 Profit in $ 53.1496063 Total Sales 12500000 Total Profit 13287.40157 Scenario 2: Selling price 225 Profit 28.1496063 Customers required 472.027972 Conversion Rate in % 0.944055944 Please note that the $250 selling price is (Cost price + 27% profit) on it. So Nov 21, 2014, assumption of doing .27*250 to get the profit is wrong.
The correct answer is 0.79%. If the selling price is reduced by 10%, the profit margin will not remain 27%. It actually becomes 18.9%. People who calculated 0.56% assumed the margin was static at 27% despite the price reduction.
The new conversion rate is 0.944, Profit from case 2 = $16,875 and the third part, if this scenario actually occurred I would give a 10% discount (with the new conversion rate .944%) because the overall profit margin would remain same i.e. $16,875
Wow!!! All I can say is if these are the types of questions asked, it is no longer a mystery to me as to why corporate people are COMPLETELY out of touch with reality of the field experiences!!!
How would you deal with a stakeholder who was insisting that a complex process would be the ideal solution to an existing problem?7 Answers
I would explain to the stakeholder that the purpose of the Business Requirements elicitation meeting was designed to identify the business need not to design the solution.
Great answer and exactly right!
Try to present alternate possible process that you think is less complex. Patiently explain pros over the process insisted by stakeholder. Alternatively, try to make the stakeholder understand what would be the risk, challenges and cons of the process they are insisting. If they still do not agree, we will have to escalate or deal the discussion in presence of upper management.
I would agreee with the first answer if we were told that the interaction occurred during a requirements meeting. What if the stakeholder was insisting while you were working on the solution? I agree that the answer should be to either propose the alternate solution and explain why it is the better approach.
I would put down all the data in front of him and lay down the pros and cons of having that process. Previous to that I would do my homework and talk to developers to check if that’s even possible. Offer an alternate solution, If everything else fails, I will talk to higher management.
How do you give about giving a presentation without preparation or knowledge of the subject?6 Answers
Job description said NOTHING about giving presentations nor did anyone offer that this would be a quality expected of a BA when directly asked about it (if so, I would have prepared an adequate response). That information was deliberately withheld from me in an effort to trip me up in the formal interview.
I'd answer this by saying that these were actually two different questions - how one feels about giving a presentation on something you have knowledge about but on the fly, versus how one feels about giving a presentation about which one lacks knowledge. Clearly, the first situation would be preferable.
I guess you could see it that way, but it wasn't that way at all. By virtue of the fact that they wouldn't move on to the next topic/question after it was answered, it was clear to me that this was a question intended to disqualify/trip me up.
Personally, I would say that this question isn't about giving presentations; it's about how you handle uncomfortable situations that can arise in business with little warning. How do you give a presentation on a subject you know little about? Don't give a speech, instead, utilize a roundtable discussion method to bring any knowledge the audience might have into the discussion in the hopes that the group's knowledge will help to make the presentation more fruitful and beneficial for everyone. Often, interview questions are not about specific job responsibilities, but rather about skills they are looking for in potential candidates.
A basic template for presentation is responding to this set of questions: What, Why, Where, When, Who, and How? Some people add How much?
To be honest , I would just play it off . I would use all my knowledge and understanding of the topic and say it . If I don’t know nothing , then I don’t say nothing . Easy you shouldn’t be forced to give a presentation with a lack of knowledge, that is plain dumb . Don’t play yourself . It’s better not to say nothing and just excuse your self :
You own a Beach souvenier shop that sells primarily 4 items. Calculate Profit per month. What are some issues you could forsee in your revenue streams? After additional information is given, calculate seasonal income.2 Answers
Being told to calculate profit is always a tricky scenario, especially for an analysts perspective. You want to be clear about the profit they actually want calculated. Remembering that profit, in base form, is going to represent anything after that break even point. Simply put, as the owner, your salary is going to be configured into the operating costs. So, let's say your operating cost is 100k a year and this includes your salary, then any dollar made after 100k is "profit". However, this does not totally detail other forms of profit, such as economic profit. This is where you are measuring and analyzing missed and made opportunities versus the profit you brought in. So, one issue you could foresee in your revenue stream is that carrying a 5th product may increase opportunity costs, but potentially the 5th item causes the 4th item to sell at a higher rate as they're often sold in conjunction. Studies show, for example, that a person that buys a beach volleyball is not likely to buy a volleyball net. But those that buy a beach volleyball are 3x as likely to buy a portable air pump. I don't mean to over think it, but you'll notice there's four items that are being sold. You own a business that is contingent about the seasons of the year, which there are also four. To me this speaks directly to the significance of weather in your business and this is not something the employer would want you to miss. Issues in revenue streams here would be a lack of product adjustment due to weather. To me, in an instance like this, if an employer asks you such a soft, information less question, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not start asking them questions about what they want. Be sure to clarify if they're asking you to calculate profit or forecast profit.
From an analyst’s perspective, simply being told to calculate profit can be a tricky demand, especially in an interview setting. You want to be clear about the profit they actually want calculated. Remembering that profit, in base form, is going to represent anything after the break-even point. Simply put, as the owner, your salary is going to be configured into the operating costs. So, let's say your operating cost is 100k a year, and this includes your salary, then any dollar made after 100k is "profit". However, this does not totally detail other forms of profit, such as economic profit. This is where you are measuring and analyzing missed and made opportunities versus the profit you brought in. So, one issue you could foresee in your revenue stream is that carrying a 5th product may increase operating costs; but potentially, the 5th item causes the 4th item to sell at a higher rate as they're often sold in conjunction. Studies show, for example, that a person that buys a beach volleyball is not likely to buy a volleyball net. But those that buy a beach volleyball are 3x as likely to buy a portable air pump. I don't mean to over think it, but you'll notice there's four items being sold. You own a business that is contingent upon the seasons of the year (also four). To me this speaks directly to the significance of weather in your business and this is not something the employer would want you to miss. Issues in revenue streams here would be a lack of product adjustment due to weather. To me, in an instance like this, if an employer asks you such a soft, information less question, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not start asking them questions about what they want. Be sure to clarify if they're asking you to calculate profit or forecast profit. Also, any time someone asks you what issues could arise in revenue streams, immediately think SWOT. Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Always think SWOT when heading into any BA or PM position. It will quickly allow you to analyze almost any situation.
Describe the different parts of an SQL statement2 Answers
I described a simple statement: Select (Name all columns from tables or use * for all) From (table name(s)) Where (any conditions, join statements ect) Group By / Order By to sort or aggregate the data
SELECT for which columns to include in the result, (tables must be present in the FROM clause), can also include aggregates like COUNT(), SUM(), AVG() FROM for which tables to select rows/attributes from WHERE which is used to filter rows based on a given criteria with comparisons (=, !=, , and keywords LIKE and BETWEEN), INNER JOIN and LEFT/RIGHT OUTER JOIN to combine data across multiple tables ORDER BY DESC/ASC to specify ordering of a specific column name GROUP BY to group data based on the tables passed HAVING to filter rows based on an aggregate used in the SELECT statement that cannot be used with the WHERE clause
Tell me about a time you used analysis to make a business-critical decision. Walk me through the analysis and outcome.2 Answers
I analyzed the output of all the machines on our factory sales floor and determined what the bottleneck machines were. I put in a request to purchase more of the bottleneck machines. The new machines alleviated the bottleneck in production, drastically speeding up the total output of the factory in the process.
So is this a kind of Leadership Principle questions? Thank you for sharing your experience. Wondering have you tried Rooftop Slushie for your interview prep? I saw some posts similar with your experience - which are really useful for me so far. rooftopslushie.com
What is a clustered/non clustered index.3 Answers
I explained how a clustered index was in sequential physical order on disk and a non clustered index used pointers or a hash table for index lookup. I started to explain the advantages/disadvantages of each index type but the two guys interviewing me just seemed so confused and lost. I think I would have been better of simply saying "it makes lookup faster".
I explained how a clustered index was in sequential physical order on disk and a non clustered index used pointers or a hash table for index lookup. I started to explain the advantages/disadvantages of each index type and how I would use them.
Whats the difference between inner join and outer join?2 Answers
Inner Join returns values where the key between the two tables are the same, and values are present in both tables. Outer Join returns the Values from both tables, based on the key, even if there is not any data the joining table. If not value is available, then NULL is returned for that specific Row Data based on the Key
Specified in the WHERE clause, joins simply combine data from multiple tables in the result. INNER JOIN, the most common, returns the rows for which the given ON condition is satisfied for both tables. LEFT/RIGHT OUTER JOIN statements return all the rows from the specified table regardless if there is a match in the unspecified table, with the matching rows specified in the ON condition in the unspecified table.
How do you manage project timelines with change requests?1 Answer
To do time estimations on the change request and then you swap something that is in scope for the change being requested.
What's the most creative or proud example you have of an exceptional insight you got from analytics work?1 Answer
Gave an example of when I worked at a media agency where I solved a question the client had for 20+ years.
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