MockQuestions

Solutions Architect Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Solutions Architect interview, here are 33 interview questions and answer examples.

Solutions Architect was written by and updated on April 1st, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 33

Give an example where you worked in collaboration with other departments on solution architecture to shape up a project? What went well? What went wrong?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

This is an example of a behavioral question. Interviewers use behavioral questions to determine how you react to specific situations which are likely to occur in the workplace. These situations typically involve conflicts, challenges, issues around integrity, or other situations in which you have choices as to how you respond. By asking a behavioral question, the interviewer hopes to better understand how well you will fit into their corporate culture and respond to similar situations in their environment.

Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

Next Question

33 Solutions Architect Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Give an example where you worked in collaboration with other departments on solution architecture to shape up a project? What went well? What went wrong?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is an example of a behavioral question. Interviewers use behavioral questions to determine how you react to specific situations which are likely to occur in the workplace. These situations typically involve conflicts, challenges, issues around integrity, or other situations in which you have choices as to how you respond. By asking a behavioral question, the interviewer hopes to better understand how well you will fit into their corporate culture and respond to similar situations in their environment.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can structure your answer using the STAR format when responding to a behavioral question. You begin by describing the Situation, followed next by stating the Task(s) you needed to accomplish. You then move on to the Actions you took and finish your answer by discussing the Results you attained. In this particular question, the interviewer is expecting you to describe both the success you had as well as some challenges you encountered and how you overcame them.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I was recently tasked with creating an internal system that would allow the organization's employees to make changes in their benefits program using an online application. The stakeholders for the project included the HR Department, Finance, and a representative from a Corporate Leadership team. I kicked off the project with a team meeting to discuss our objectives, project scope, resources, and timelines. Once we understood these elements, I gathered my engineering team and began working on the various architectures required for this system. Due to our experience, we were able to deliver the system's prototype well within the allocated timeline and budget. However, the representatives of the HR Department continued to add additional requirements to the system once they understood the application's capabilities. This scope creep meant that we were continually reengineering both the software and hardware elements of the solution. After several iterations, I was able to lock down the parameters for the project by appealing to the organization's Finance and Leadership teams. The system we created functioned as specified and delivered the results the stakeholders were anticipating."

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. Do you prefer to create programs aligned with interfaces or implementations, and why?

      How to Answer

      Creating programs aligned either with interfaces or implementations are two methodologies used when developing software. Knowing the differences between these, including their benefits and liabilities, is important. Being able to describe this to the interviewer will help you establish your qualifications for this role and separate you from the other candidates. Since this is a technical question, keep your answer brief and to the point.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Creating programs aligned with interfaces refers to the client code holding the interface object. Coding for the implementation requires that the class must have already been implemented. I prefer creating programs aligned with interfaces since these can control what operations are performed and allow them to be changed by the program at runtime. Programs aligned with interfaces are also easier to maintain."

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. What is your strategy for securing the IT assets and intellectual property of an organization?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During an interview for a solutions architect role, you will be asked many questions about how you go about securing the organization's IT infrastructure and the data the company uses to conduct its operations. IT security is a top concern among today's business organizations and is one of the reasons they seek to hire experience solutions architects. You should discuss different security measures you take and have several examples prepared of how you've done this in your previous positions. These will serve as proof that you're qualified for this role and encourage the employer to offer you the position.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I take several different steps to secure an organization's IT assets and intellectual property. These include employing robust security measures such as VPNs, user authentication, educating the workforce about IT security, and other similar methodologies. I also ensure that all the company's data is replicated and backed up, enabling it to be restored if there's an outage, natural disaster, or other incidents that take the IT infrastructure offline."

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. How do you ensure that the software you develop will scale?

      How to Answer

      Organizations anticipate that they will continue to grow and expand over time. Therefore, the applications they use should be able to grow or scale as well. This makes the applications more effective and reduces the additional programming and development required to keep up with the organization's expansion. As a solutions architect, you should describe how you create programs that scale with the organization and anticipate future growth. You need to balance scalability with the number of resources the applications require when the organization is still small.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Communication

    5. How would you describe Amazon Web Services (AWS) to someone outside of the IT organization?

      How to Answer

      As a solution architect, you are expected to collaborate with teams and individuals from across the organization. This requires you to have well-developed communication skills. One of the challenges is discussing technical topics with people who do not have a technical background. The best approach is to keep your language simple and easy to understand, avoiding acronyms and industry jargon non-IT professionals may not be familiar with. Throughout the interview, the interviewer will be evaluating your communication skills based on the answers you provide to their questions.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Communication

    6. Please discuss some of the differences between asynchronous and parallel programming?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a solutions architect, the interviewer will expect you to be knowledgeable about a wide range of topics related to information technology and how computing systems address business issues within an organization. While it is virtually impossible to be familiar with all the terminology, processes, and procedures used in an IT organization, you should be knowledgeable about the more common ones, especially those that the organization with whom you are interviewing may be using. You can identify these by researching the company. Sources for information include their website, the job description, and conversations with current and former IT staff members.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Communication

    7. Can you explain CAP Theorem?

      How to Answer

      CAP is an acronym that stands for consistency, availability, and partition tolerance. The CAP theorem states that a distributed computer system can at best optimize only two of these at the same time. Your answer should communicate this to the interviewer and then discuss the tradeoffs between the components of CAP. You may want to provide examples of how you have reduced one of these components to strengthen the other two in certain situations.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Compatibility

    8. What do you believe your role is concerning supporting the organization's functional analysts?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Solutions architects and functional analysts work side-by-side within any organization. The functional analyst's role is to look at the organization's processes, procedures, and guidelines to ensure they are effective in helping the company attain its business objectives. The solutions architect converts these business strategies into IT services the organization uses to conduct its business. These two teams must collaborate effectively to achieve this goal. The interviewer wants to ensure that not only are you aware of this, but you also have experience working with functional analysts.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Compatibility

    9. What is a lower latency interaction, and why is it desirable in an application?

      How to Answer

      Latency is the time it takes for a communication to occur within an IT Network. The higher the latency, the slower the applications of the more time the user spends waiting for responses to their queries or input. Therefore, low latency is always more desirable. Not only should you know this, but you should be able to provide the interviewer with examples of how you reduce latency between applications and across the network.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Compatibility

    10. Please explain domain-driven design.

      How to Answer

      There are many types of design methodologies used when developing software applications. While you may have ones that you prefer, you should be aware of all of them so you can discuss their merits, benefits, and the rationale for why you use the ones you employ. Knowing the types of design methodologies the organization uses will help you frame your answer as compatible with theirs or recommend alternatives to help them become more efficient and productive.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Compatibility

    11. What are the benefits of clustering?

      How to Answer

      Clustering involves connecting computer resources that perform similar functions and use similar data with each other. The key benefits of clustering include availability and performance. Interviewers will ask you about this technology to determine if you have used it before and know how to cluster IT resources. This also indicates that they employ clustering in their environment. When discussing the benefits of clustering, you may also want to bring up its vulnerabilities.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Creative Thinking

    12. Can you describe a creative solution to a challenging problem you developed in your role as a solutions architect? (Begin Here)

      How to Answer

      Interviewers will ask you about solutions you have provided to challenging problems to understand your capabilities and determine if you are qualified to address some of the issues they are facing. When preparing for an interview, you should put together two to three stories of how you helped your previous employers address issues similar to the ones described in the job description for which you are interviewing. These stories will help you confirm your qualifications and describe your services to the prospective employer.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Creative Thinking

    13. Please talk about a time when you analyzed a difficult problem and came up with an innovative solution.

      How to Answer

      Employers prefer people who are creative, innovative, and good problem solvers. Being able to describe when you created an innovative solution to solve a complex challenge will set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your qualifications for this position. If possible, describe a situation that aligns with the organization's needs with whom you are interviewing. These requirements can be found in the job description or on the company's website.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Discovery

    14. Do you subscribe to the theory of 'Fail Early and Fail Forward?'

      How to Answer

      Fail early and fail forward refers to the philosophy of taking risks in a process before they have greater impacts and learning quickly from your failures so they can be corrected and avoided in the future. Some organizations subscribe to this practice, especially entrepreneurial and innovative companies. More conservative companies avoid failure and take additional precautions when developing new processes, procedures, or applications. How you respond to this question will depend on the nature of the organization. Try to gauge the company's tolerance for risk and the consequences of failures before answering the interviewer's question.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Education

    15. How do you define high availability, and what are some steps you take to ensure this?

      How to Answer

      As the name implies, availability addresses the ability of a user or process to access a computing resource within the network. As you can infer, organizations prefer high availability since this enables their workforce to perform their duties at any time using IT resources. There are several steps you can take to ensure the increased availability of IT Resources. The interviewer is interested in learning about your knowledge of these and ensuring that you can use them within their organization.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    16. What are some of the steps you recommend to protect an organization from a DOS attack?

      How to Answer

      One of the key responsibilities of a solution architect is to work with the IT organization to develop systems that protect the organization's proprietary information and other confidential resources. Interviewers will ask you about your ability to do this and may ask specific questions similar to this one about certain types of attacks they have already experienced. Suppose the interviewer asks multiple questions about a specific type of security threat. In that case, you can assume that it is challenging the organization, and you should focus your answers on how you've prevented or defeated these types of attacks in your previous roles.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    17. What are the advantages of using a NoSQL database instead of an RDBMS?

      How to Answer

      One of the technologies solutions architects deal with frequently is databases. Therefore, you should have a deep understanding of the different types of databases and compare and contrast them. Knowing which type of database to use for a specific situation will demonstrate your qualifications for this role. If possible, you should try to determine which type of database the organization is currently using to emphasize this when answering these types of questions.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    18. Give an example of where you used an architecture framework. What characteristics were helpful, and what characteristics were not helpful?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question for several reasons. The first is to confirm your expertise and experience as a Solutions Architect. Being able to describe a specific architecture framework and its characteristics demonstrates that you have both skills and experience in this role. Another reason they will ask this question is to see whether the architecture you describe is similar to the one their organization has deployed. Organizations will frequently hire individuals who have experience aligned with their current operations to reduce the time it takes to onboard and integrate the individual into their workforce. Finally, interviewers often ask this question is to determine if you have the expertise to bring innovative and creative ideas to their organization to improve their operations or reduce their costs.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      How to Answer

      It is always a good idea to take some time to research the organization before the interview. This will help you learn about their current operations to prepare answers to the interviewer's questions that demonstrate your skills, experience, and expertise as a Solutions Architect. The research will also help you align your answers to the organization's operations, demonstrating your ability to quickly integrate yourself into their solutions architecture team. Finally, your research may identify opportunities to improve their operations using the architecture frameworks you created in your previous positions.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Experience

    19. Describe how your training and experience have prepared you to succeed as a Solutions Architect.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Even though the interviewer has already read your resume, which describes your training and experience, they will ask this question to explore this topic in more detail. They want to learn more about the hard and soft skills you acquired during your training and work experience, which may not be detailed in your resume. Also, your response to this question will indicate to them which of these skills you feel are critical for this role. Finally, your description of the skills and experience will provide an example of your communication skills, which are important in this job.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, do not list the specific classes you took, skills you acquired, or all the details of your experience. Instead, describe the key topics which are critical for this job and to the employer. You can provide a few details about each topic to illustrate your answer and your rationale for considering these to be important. The interviewer will likely ask you follow-up questions if they need more information or want to explore the specific skill, training, or experience in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Leadership

    20. Can you describe a key project you recently led as a solutions architect?

      How to Answer

      Organizations hire individuals for one of three reasons: to help them make money, save money, or save time. The fact that you're sitting at an interview in a case that you of demonstrating your ability to do one of these three things in your resume, LinkedIn profile, or from comments from your references. The interviewer will explore this in more detail during the interview by asking you about specific accomplishments and achievements from your previous positions. You should develop between three and five stories of how you've helped your previous employers make money, save money or save time. You can use the star framework when telling the stories. Start by stating the situation, then describe the task you needed to achieve, followed by your actions. Finish by talking about the results you achieved and how they contributed to the business's objectives.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    21. Are there any issues with employing sticky sessions in your systems architecture?

      How to Answer

      This is an example of a follow-up question. Interviewers will ask follow-up questions if they need more information about a topic or want to dig into it in more detail. You should anticipate follow-up questions any time you provide the interviewer with an answer. If they immediately ask a follow-up question, they indicate a strong interest in the topic, and you should spend more time discussing it. If the follow-up question is asked later in the interview, it is a way for them to correlate your answers to ensure you are consistent throughout the interview. Keeping your answers brief and to the point and not fabricating answers will help you to maintain consistency.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    22. How are DRY and DIE principles used in software engineering?

      How to Answer

      By asking this question, the interviewer assumes that you know the acronyms DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) and DIE (Duplication is Evil) and how they are used in software engineering. If you know the acronyms, answer the question using them since the interviewer has indicated that they know what they mean. If you are not familiar with the acronyms, state this to the interviewer and ask them to clarify the question. You always why make sure that you are answering the question which the interviewer is asking.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    23. Can you define the acronym SOLID and discuss its key principles?

      How to Answer

      For example: "SOLID is an acronym for the first five object-oriented design principles. These are:

      S - Single responsibility. A class should have only one job.
      O - Open-closed. Objects should be opened for extension but closed for modification.
      L - Liskov substitution. Addresses solving objects for type S, where S is a subtype of T.
      I - Interface segregation. Clients shouldn't be forced to implement an interface or depend on methods they do not directly use.
      D - Dependency Inversion. States that a high-level module should depend on abstractions, not on a low-level module."

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    24. What does system resiliency refer to, and how do you achieve this?

      How to Answer

      System resiliency is similar to high availability in that it relates to systems being available when needed. Solutions architects build resiliency into systems using several different methodologies. Interviewers will be very interested in your ability to do this since organizations lose money when their IT systems are down, and their employees can't do their jobs. It would be best to have a portfolio of solutions to design system resiliency and high availability.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    25. What does the acronym ACID stand for?

      How to Answer

      This should be easily identifiable as a technical question since it asks you to define an acronym. No interviewer expects you to be familiar with all the acronyms, terminology, processes, and procedures used in this profession, but you should know about the more common ones. To be prepared for these questions, you should review these items before the interview so that they are fresh in your mind. If you don't know the definition of an acronym, admit this to the interviewer, then discuss how you would locate the information.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    26. Please discuss the concept of Elasticity as used in your role as a solutions architect and how it contrasts with scalability.

      How to Answer

      As with any profession, some of the terminology used may have special meanings. The interviewer asks you about a concept specific to your role as a solutions architect and asks you to contrast it with another concept. Reviewing the terminology, processes, and procedures used in this job before the interview will keep them fresh in your mind and allow you to easily respond to these types of questions. Knowing where to find the information is another way to respond to the question if you are unfamiliar with the topic.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    27. Can you describe some of the differences between concurrency and parallelism?

      How to Answer

      Sometimes the interviewer will ask you about two terms that seem to be similar but are slightly different. Only the most qualified solutions architects will be familiar with the nuances of these types of terms. An excellent way to answer a question like this is to first the terms' similarities and then contrast, demonstrating that you are aware of their differences.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    28. What are monolithic, SOA and microservices architectures, and how do they differ from one another?

      How to Answer

      Solution architects develop many different types of It architectures. These are designed specifically for the types of operations an organization executes and the needs of its users. IT infrastructures can support different times of architectures and services, utilizing the resources within the infrastructure. The interviewer may be interested and your familiarity with these and whether you implemented them in your previous roles.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    29. When would you use a NoSQL database, and when would using a relational database be better?

      How to Answer

      This question may seem similar to the one you were asked earlier in the interview. Interviewers will ask similar questions throughout the interview to explore a topic in more detail or calibrate your answers. This question helps them determine if you are fabricating some of the information you are providing and if you are being consistent throughout the interview. Keeping your answers brief and to the point and not making up answers if you don't understand the topic will ensure that you are consistent.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    30. What Do You Mean By "Session Affinity, and how does this relate to the concept of sticky session load balancing?

      How to Answer

      Session affinity, sticky sessions, and load balancing are interrelated and address how processes are run within an IT architecture. Knowing this and describing it to the interviewer will demonstrate your qualifications as a solutions architect. Since these terms and concepts are unique to the IT industry, try to keep your answer simple and easy to understand, avoiding the use of acronyms or industry jargon the interviewer may not be familiar with.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    31. What are the differences between a binary and mutex semaphore?

      How to Answer

      Once again, you are being asked about two terms used within this profession. In this case, the interviewer wants you to compare and contrast these. This will confirm your knowledge of the topic and inform the interviewer whether you've used these items in your previous jobs. Since this is a technical question, you should keep your answer brief and to the point, using simple and easy-to-understand language. You should also be prepared for a follow-up question indicating that the interviewer has a specific interest in this topic.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    32. What is meant by the Single Responsibility Principle, and how do you use this in your work?

      How to Answer

      There are many principles used in application programming. The interviewer is asking you about one of these. You should be able to easily answer this question based on your education and experience. The key is to use non-technical, easy-to-understand language when describing a principle to the interviewer. You may not be familiar with the depth of their technical background or their ability to understand complex concepts. Communicating clearly and effectively helps you in the interview and demonstrates your ability to collaborate with individuals from across the organization regardless of their technical knowledge. Interviewers are always looking for this skill when interviewing solutions architects.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    33. How is the term Deadlock used in your role as a solutions architect?

      How to Answer

      As with any profession, solution architects use terms, concepts, processes, and procedures specific to their daily activities. This is an example of a term having a meaning similar to one with a more general definition. Since this is a technical question, you should keep your answer brief and to the point and anticipate a follow-up question from the interviewer. You may also want to confirm that your answer aligns with the interviewer's understanding of the term.

      Written by William Swansen on April 1st, 2022

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view