Interviewers use Power BI interview questions to determine your knowledge and experience. But not everyone can think on their feet. By reviewing the most common Power BI questions and answers in advance, you can practice your answers and improve your shot at an A+ interview.
Before heading into your next interview, test your technical skills with these common Power BI questions.
How to Use Power BI Interview Questions and Answers
Whether you create flashcards or download our PDF, you should run through the most common questions and answers at least a few times. If you have difficulty understanding anything, take time to open the Power BI platform to practice your skills.
Reviewing these Power BI interview questions and answers should help you identify areas of your knowledge that still need work. You can learn more about Power BI in the comfort of your own home and avoid feeling caught off-guard at an interview.
Basic Power BI Developer Interview Questions
Maybe you only have under a year of experience with Power BI. Or, perhaps Power BI just wasn't a major duty in your last job. These interview questions are sufficient if your prospective role is entry-level or beginner.
1. What is Power BI?
Power BI is a business analytics service provided by Microsoft. It offers data visualization and reporting tools to help users gain insights from their data through complex data analysis.
2. What are the different versions of Power BI?
There are three versions of Power BI:
- Power BI Desktop. This version is designed for individual users and can be installed on a local machine.
- Power BI Service. This cloud-based version offers collaboration features and allows users to share their reports and dashboards.
- Power BI Mobile. This version provides access to Power BI reports and dashboards from mobile devices.
Frequently, all three versions will be used in tandem by a team.
3. What is a data model in Power BI?
A data model is a collection of tables and relationships representing the data in a Power BI report. The data model creates visualizations, such as charts and graphs.
Think of the data model as a database or spreadsheet that contains data, while the visualizations, charts, and graphs are a way of interacting with and presenting the data.
4. What is a dataset in Power BI?
A dataset is used to create visualizations in Power BI. A dataset can be created from various sources, including Excel, CSV, or SQL databases.
5. How do you connect to data sources in Power BI?
To connect to a data source, click the "Get Data" button in the Power BI interface. This will open the "Get Data" dialog, where you can select the type of data source you want to connect to.
6. What are some of the most common data sources used in Power BI?
Some of the most common data sources used in Power BI include Excel, CSV, SQL databases, and web APIs. Power BI can be connected to data lakes and data wells and can connect data from multiple disparate data sources.
7. What is a dashboard in Power BI?
A dashboard is a collection of visualizations that provide an overview of the data in a Power BI report. Dashboards can be customized and shared with other users. You should use a dashboard to review related data or critical data.
8. What is a report in Power BI?
A report is a collection of visualizations that explore a Power BI dataset’s data. Like dashboards, you can customize reports and share them with other users. A report is the core of the Power BI analysis system.
9. How do you create visuals in Power BI?
You can create visuals in Power BI with the "Create Visual" button in the toolbar. This will open the "Visualizations" pane, where you can select the type of visualization you want to create. Visualizations are used to create human-readable data; while the data remains the same, it's easier to understand when visualized.
10. What are some of the most common visualizations used in Power BI?
Some of the most common visualizations used in Power BI include bar charts, line charts, and pie charts. Visualizations used in Power BI are very similar to other Microsoft product visualizations, such as in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft PowerPoint.
Intermediate Power BI Developer Interview Questions
Perhaps you've been a Power BI developer for at least a few years. You know the ins and outs of the program, although you may not be an expert. An intermediate or associate job interview will expect in-depth knowledge of how Power BI works from their candidates. You should also have a few stories about how you've used Power BI in the past.
11. What is a measure in Power BI?
A measure is a calculation used to aggregate data in a Power BI report. You can create measures using the DAX language, a simple internal language used to analyze Power BI data.
12. What are calculated columns in Power BI?
Calculated columns are generated based on an algorithm, and created with the DAX language. Think of them as functions in Microsoft Excel, which are similar.
13. How do you create relationships between tables in Power BI?
You can create relationships using the "Manage Relationships" button in the Power BI interface. This will open the "Manage Relationships" dialog, where you can select the tables you want to create a relationship between.
14. What is DAX in Power BI?
DAX is a language used to create measures and calculated columns in Power BI. DAX includes many functions that can manipulate data, much like Microsoft Excel.
15. What are some of the most common DAX functions used in Power BI?
Some of the Power BI’s most common DAX functions include SUM, AVERAGE, and COUNT. SUM will add up values, AVERAGE will add them up, and COUNT will count the number of entries.
16. What is the Power BI service?
The Power BI service is a cloud-based platform that allows users to share reports and dashboards and collaborate with comments and likes. In an increasingly remote world, the Power BI service has become even more useful than the desktop application.
17. What is Power BI Desktop?
Power BI Desktop is a desktop application that allows users to create and edit reports. You can publish Power BI Desktop reports to the Power BI Service and access the same data through Power BI Mobile.
18. What are some of the most common uses for Power BI?
Power BI’s most common uses include creating reports and dashboards, sharing reports with other users, and collaborating on reports. Power BI is generally used to collect and analyze data.
19. How do you share Power BI dashboards and reports?
You can share dashboards and reports with the "Share" button in the Power BI interface. This will open the "Share" dialog, where you can enter the email addresses of the users you want to share the dashboard or report with.
20. How do you collaborate on Power BI content?
You can collaborate on Power BI content using "Comments" and "Likes" features. Furthermore, you can add comments to reports and dashboards, and everyone can access these reports together.
Advanced Power BI Interview Questions for Experienced Professionals
You're a Power BI professional applying to an advanced or leadership role in Power BI. The majority of your past work has been working in Power BI. You've created many projects in Power BI and encountered many different scenarios. Try to share personal stories and examples when answering the below questions.
21. What are some of the most common problems you can solve with Power BI?
You can use Power BI to solve problems, create reports and dashboards, and share or collaborate on reports. An example might be to analyze sales productivity and efficiency to identify the highest performing sales professionals.
- What was the last problem you solved with Power BI?
- How did you use Power BI in particular to solve that problem?
22. How do you work with large datasets in Power BI?
There are a few different ways to work with large datasets in Power BI. One way is to use the "Query Editor" to filter and aggregate the data as needed. Another way is to use "DirectQuery" mode, which will directly query the underlying data source.
- Give an example of a particularly large dataset you had to work within Power BI.
- What new challenges did you encounter with this data set?
- How did you interact with it?
23. What are some of the most common performance issues you see in Power BI?
Some of the Power BI’s most common performance issues include slow loading times, slow refresh times, and high memory usage.
- Was there a project you worked on in Power BI that encountered performance issues?
- What was the cause?
- Importantly, how did you resolve it?
24. How do you troubleshoot Power BI issues?
There are a few different ways to troubleshoot Power BI issues. One is to use the "Power BI Diagnostics" tool, which is a tool that collects information about Power BI issues. Another is to use the "Power BI Helper" tool, which can help troubleshoot Power BI issues.
- What was the last time you experienced major Power BI issues?
- What steps did you take to resolve the problem?
25. What are some of the most common Power BI deployment issues you see?
Some of the most common Power BI deployment issues include incorrect permissions, incorrect configurations, and missing dependencies. Often, these deployment issues are related to incorrectly launching Power BI, which is why deployment is an incredibly important stage.
- Have you ever experienced a Power BI deployment issue?
- How did it impact your organization?
- How was the deployment issue eventually resolved?
26. What are some of the most common data governance issues you see in Power BI?
Data governance issues in Power BI can include incorrect data privacy settings, data security settings, and data retention settings. All of these settings can have a major impact on the way data is used and accessed in Power BI.
- Have you ever run into a data governance issue?
- Did you report, escalate, or otherwise address the issue?
- What had caused the governance issue—and how was it avoided in the future?
27. How do you handle security in Power BI?
You can handle Power BI security in a few different ways. One way is to use the "Power BI security model," which is a maturity model that defines how data is secured in Power BI. You can also follow basic Power BI security best practices to secure your data.
- What were your security protocols in your organization?
- Can you think of a time when you needed to implement stricter security measures?
- How did your organization manage the security transition?
28. What are some of the most common compliance issues you see in Power BI?
Compliance issues in Power BI can include incorrect data privacy settings, data security settings, and data retention settings. These settings can have a major impact on how data is used and accessed in Power BI.
- The most common compliance issues generally involve employees.
- What compliance issues have you experienced in the past?
- Was your organization able to implement processes to avoid this?
29. What are some of the most common Power BI integration issues you see?
Similar to compliance and data governance issues, Power BI integration issues also include incorrect data privacy settings, data security settings, and data retention settings. The main impact? How data is used and accessed in Power BI. Third-party integrations can also present major security issues if the third-party solution isn't completely secure.
- What Power BI integrations have you seen used?
- What issues have you experienced with integrations, and how were they resolved?
- Have you ever had a system that could not natively integrate with Power BI? How did you manage it?
30. How do you optimize Power BI for performance?
We mentioned some common Power BI performance issues. But how can you optimize Power BI? One way is to use the "Power BI Performance Analyzer" tool, which collects information about Power BI performance. Another way is to use Microsoft's Power BI Performance Best Practices guide, which outlines best practices for optimizing Power BI performance.
- How much performance management have you gone through for Power BI?
- If you were going to proactively optimize Power BI, what steps would you take?
Power BI Scenario-Based Interview Questions
These questions may actually sit you in front of a simulation of Power BI and ask you to solve problems right there in the interview room. Go over some of these scenarios step-by-step to prepare.
31. How would you use Power BI to analyze sales data?
- Data. You must first connect to a source that contains sales data. This might be a sales program or a customer relationship management (CRM) suite.
- Integration. Next, create a report in Power BI with sales data. You might create a top performers list, a year-over-year performance comparison, or sales by product listing.
- Analyze. Finally, analyze the sales data to identify trends and insights. You might use bar charts, column charts, or pie charts to visualize sales data.
32. How would you use Power BI to track website analytics?
- Data. First, connect to a data source with website analytics data, like Google Analytics.
- Integration. Next, create a Power BI report with website analytics data. You might create a report that shows website visitors over time or by geographic location.
- Analyze. Analyze the website analytics using charts that display interactions over time. Line charts are usually the best choice for this scenario.
33. How would you use Power BI to monitor social media metrics?
- Data. Connect to a data source with social media data, like Twitter or Facebook, a social media manager, or an aggregation service.
- Integration. For social media metrics, you might create a report that shows how many times a particular hashtag was used, or how many likes a Facebook page has.
- Analyze. Analyze the social media data in the report to identify trends and insights. Social media data is intricate; you should start by determining what your organization wants to track. Likes? Follows? Engagements? Conversions?
34. How would you use Power BI to track KPIs?
- Data. Connect to a data source that contains the KPIs you want to track. This could be an Excel file, SQL database, or data warehousing solution. KPIs are highly situation-dependent, so choose one as an example, such as conversions.
- Integration. You might create a report that shows how each KPI is performing over time. For conversions, you might want to match conversions, conversion sources, and even customer lifetime value.
- Analyze. What type of reports would you use to visualize KPIs? For conversion, you might just need a line chart or a graph.
35. How would you use Power BI to forecast future sales?
- Connect to your sales data silo.
- Bring sales data in and analyze year-over-year, quarter-over-quarter, and month-over-month.
- Forecast data utilizing past performance and projected growth data.
36. How would you use Power BI to predict customer churn?
- Connect to your customer data well.
- Use Power BI to pull data from customers who have left.
- Identify current customers who fit the profile of customers that have left.
- Use this to identify the customers that are most likely to churn.
Tips for Your Next Power BI Interview
Apart from brushing up on technical interview questions, review your personal experiences with Power BI. Are there any projects you took over that involved Power BI? Did you build any Power BI applications or installations yourself — and have you ever had to troubleshoot the Power BI system?
Tips for your next Power BI interview:
- Be prepared to answer both technical and non-technical questions about Power BI.
- Before your interview, review the most common Power BI interview questions and answers. This will help you identify any areas of weakness in your knowledge.
- When answering scenario-based questions, take your time to think through each step of the process. If you get stuck, don't be afraid to ask for clarification from the interviewer.
- Remember to focus on your experiences with Power BI. Be prepared to share any stories or examples that showcase your skills with the platform.
- Practice an interview with a colleague or a knowledgeable friend. You won’t be caught off-guard by questions.
- Consider looking at the Power BI knowledge center. The Power BI knowledge center will give you more information about using and optimizing Power BI.
Remember that the person interviewing you about Power BI isn't necessarily an expert either. Don't get thrown off if they need clarification or additional information from you; it's possible you know more than they do!
Don't let a Power BI interview intimidate you. If you have experience in Power BI—or even if you've just studied it in school—you should be able to develop the knowledge you need. After studying these Power BI interview questions, you might consider expanding your knowledge even more. Take a refresher course in Power BI or walk through some Power BI lessons online.
Power BI is an extraordinarily useful tool throughout many industries today and a sought-after skill in many business environments.
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Interested in using other data analytics tools? Check out our list of the best analytic tools.
What Are Interview Questions in Power BI?
Interview questions in Power BI can vary depending on the position you're interviewing for. Generally, interviewers want to test your technical skills and knowledge of Power BI. They may also ask scenario-based questions to get a sense of how you would handle real-world situations.
What Skills Are Needed For Power BI?
To use Power BI, you'll need to be proficient in programming languages like SQL and have a working knowledge of data warehouses. Additionally, it's helpful to understand business intelligence tools and techniques. Some Power BI users are data scientists, while others are consultants and business professionals.
What Are the Basics of Power BI?
Power BI is a business intelligence tool that helps organizations visualize and analyze data. You can use it to create reports, dashboards, and data visualizations. Power BI includes several features, such as data modeling, security, collaboration, and connectivity.
What Is the DAX Language?
DAX is a formula language used in Power BI to calculate measures and columns. DAX includes several functions, such as SUM, AVERAGE, and COUNT. DAX also allows you to create custom measures and columns. If you've ever used an Excel spreadsheet, you can use the DAX language.