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101 Enterprise Architecture Interview Questions

        posted by , January 11, 2013

It is not easy to interview an Enterprise Architect (EA). Enterprise Architects are an organization's most important technical influencers and innovators. A good Enterprise Architect should have the following skills:

enterprise architect

That's a lot to go though in an interview. Here are a few questions that may provide a starting point.

Core Enterprise Architecture
1. What is Enterprise Architecture?

2. Typically, what stakeholders would be involved in the Enterprise Architecture lifecycle?

3. What is an architectural pattern?

4. How do you manage changes to the Enterprise Architecture in
a turbulent environment?

5. What recent technology trends are important to Enterprise Architecture?

6. What are the most important artifacts of an Enterprise Architecture?

7. Walk me through a time when you led Enterprise change.

8. What personal qualities make for a good Enterprise Architect?

9. How do you sell the benefits of SOA to executives?

10. How does Enterprise Architecture support business goals and strategy?

11. How can you tell if an Enterprise Architecture is comprehensive?

12. Is it possible to calculate ROI for SOA?

13. How do you go about identifying the key business activities in an organization’s value-chain?

14. Can you give an example where you created a architectural roadmap? How did you align project solutions with the roadmap?

15. Can you give an example where you championed a project? How did you justify the project to the business?

16. What was the most complex project in which you assumed a leadership role? What challenges did you face?

17. How would you go about appraising an Enterprise Architecture in terms of completeness of scope?

18. What metrics can be used to validate conformance of a solution to an architecture?

19. Can you give an example where you helped establish a IT governance process?

20. Can you provide an example in which you provided break-through architectural thinking?

21. Can you give an example where you applied strategic architectural thinking to impact business results?

22. Can you give an example where you championed a business stakeholders’ requirements?

23. Is it possible to calculate ROI for Enterprise Architecture?

24. Can you give an example in which you evangelized architectures and strategies to executives?

25. Can you give me an example in which you allocated architectural activities to multiple architects?

26. Can you give an example where you guided an organization’s strategy?

27. Can you give an example where you pointed out weak links in technical plans?

28. Can you give an example where you drove a business initiative by promoting cross-organizational participation?

29. Can you provide examples where you applied different data modeling techniques for different purposes?

30. Can you provide me an example where you proposed a solution that satisfied business requirements? What architectural alternatives did you consider?

31. Have you ever introduced a new standard into an organization? What was it? How did you ensure adoption of the standard?

32. Give me an example where someone challenged your architectural decisions.

33. What was the most difficult architectural question anyone ever asked you? How did you answer it?

34. Give me an example where you defined and executed a strategy.

35. What IT industry trends are you most interested in at the moment?

36. How do you maintain your skills and stay current with IT trends?

37. Have you ever helped to mediate opposing architectural viewpoints?

38. What tools have you used to create and manage Architectural artifacts?

39. Can you describe a situation where a key decision you made was wrong? How did you correct the situation?

40. Can you describe a document you created that demonstrated your ability to effectively communicate architectural decisions? Did the document generate two-way communication?

Enterprise Architecture Frameworks
41. What is your favorite Enterprise Architecture framework? Why?

42. Do you have experience with any TOGAF Certified Tools?

43. What four architecture domains does TOGAF deal with?

44. What is the TOGAF Enterprise Continuum?

45. Can you describe the TOGAF Architecture Compliance Review Process?

SOA Architecture
46. Can you give me a recent example of your SOA projects? How did you handle security?

47. What is a SOA service contract and why is it important?

48. What is the difference between services and components?

49. What SOA design patterns have you used in the past?

50. What design principles do you use when architecting SOA services?

51. How can you achieve loose coupling of services?

52. How do you define a successful SOA?

53. What works better top-down or bottom-up service identification?

54. How can services supporting long running processes be scaled effectively?

55. How can a SOA avoid redundant service logic?

56. What is the difference between agile and scrum?

57. Give me an example where you worked with stakeholders to document functional and non-functional requirements. How did you prioritize the requirements?

58. Can you give an example where you worked with a project manager to identify elements of a project plan that put the project plan at risk?

59. What is a project communication plan?

60. What is a project charter? What essential elements should be captured in a project charter?

IT service management
61. How would you migrate a traditional application to cloud infrastructure?

62. How might IT service management processes differ between a small-scale and large-scale enterprise?

63. Can you give an example where you prepared a Risk Assessment for IT Services?

64. Can you name 3 kinds of SLA?

65. What is Network Policy Enforcement?

66. What is a Operational Level Agreement?

67. What is ITIL?

68. What is the difference between Incident Management and Problem Management?

69. What is the difference between Change and Release management?

70. What are the key activities associated with Capacity Management?

71. What is Cross Site Scripting?

72. Can you give me an architectural overview of public-key cryptography?

73. From a security perspective, what is more important to focus on: threats or vulnerabilities?

74. What is the goal of enterprise information security?

75. What is Federated Identity Management?

Solution Architecture
80. What innovative solutions have you created?

81. How do you version a service inventory?

82. If you had to both compress and encrypt data for transmission, which would you do first? Why?

83. Can you explain the bridge pattern?

84. What is a design pattern?

85. What is the difference between Object Oriented and Aspect Oriented design?

86. In Java, when should you use an interface and when an abstract class?

87. What is the difference between an Abstract Factory and a Factory? (Design Patterns)

88. What is a UML deployment diagram?

89. What factors impact project success?

90. Can you describe the role of a solution architect during the different phases of the SDLC?

91. Are you a Big Picture thinker? Can you give me an example?

92. What do you know about our company?

93. What do you do to build and manage your professional network?

94. Have you ever worked within an organization that has a siloed structure? How did you deal with it?

95. What was the best project you ever worked on? How did you contribute?

96. How do you deal with difficult people?

97. What are the three tools you need most to do your job?

98. Can you describe your leadership style?

99. Have you ever mentored someone?

100. Where do you see your career 5 years from now?

101. What is your experience in the area of IT financial management?

This article is part of the ongoing series: how to win your next job.

More interview questions can be found here.

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