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10 Interview Questions for Cloud Engineers

June 3, 2021

Knowing how to answer some of the most often asked interview questions for cloud engineer positions can improve your odds of succeeding in an interview for the role. Regardless of your background and experience, the way you answer interview questions can have a direct impact on its outcome. Being familiar with the questions that you're likely to encounter during an interview is a valuable skill, but it requires research. In this article, we list some of the most widely encountered interview questions in cloud engineer interviews and provide some sample answers to help you prepare.

Cloud engineer interview general questions:

These are some of the general questions you should expect in an interview for a cloud engineer position:

  • What are the main large-scale cloud computing software platforms available at the moment?
  • What is cloud privacy?
  • What are the main differences between cloud architecture and standard architecture?
  • What is a good way of securing data for cloud transport?
  • What are the different layers of cloud computing architecture?
  • How do you use APIs in cloud services?
  • What are the different phases involved in cloud architecture?
  • How do you keep up with the latest trends and practices in cloud computing?
  • What are the most important metrics in cloud computing?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Related: 22 Best Jobs for Software Engineers

Cloud engineer interview questions about experience and background

These are some questions regarding the applicant's experience and background:

  • What are the main aspects that you look for in a new job?
  • Can you describe a major professional challenge that you were faced with? How did you manage to overcome it?
  • What do you consider to be your biggest strengths?
  • What do you consider to be your biggest weaknesses?
  • Why do you think you are right for this role?
  • How did you hear about this job opening?
  • Do you have more experience as a team player or working alone and which do you prefer?
  • Where do you see your career in a decade?
  • What's the difference between scalability and elasticity?
  • Can we answer any questions for you regarding this job or the organization?

In-depth cloud engineer interview questions

These questions go into specific aspects of cloud engineering:

  • Can you talk about the different data center deployments of cloud computing?
  • What are the most important components of AWS?
  • What is Hypervisor in cloud computing, and what are its types?
  • What version control systems have you used in previous roles and why?
  • What kind of DevOps have you previously used and why?
  • Did you ever experience a major security breach at one of your previous cloud computing-related jobs and if so, how did you handle it?
  • What is a multi-cloud and what is a multi-cloud strategy?
  • What is edge computing and how is it related to cloud computing?
  • How would you deal with a client who wants an application with higher availability than their budget can handle?
  • Can you tell me about your experience with UDP?

Cloud engineer interview questions with sample answers

These are some of the questions that you're likely to encounter during an interview for a cloud engineer position, with sample answers for each:

What is a cloud and what is cloud computing?

Some interviewers choose to start the discussion with fundamental questions that are meant to assess the applicant's basic understanding of cloud computing. The best way to answer this question is usually to give a brief definition and explanation of the terms.

Example: “A cloud is a system of networks, services, storage devices, hardware and interface that work together to deliver computer as a service to its users. Its three users can be end-users, business management users and cloud service providers. Cloud computing as an advanced way of using cloud services, as it gives users a way to access several worldwide servers and access various services from anywhere around the globe.”

Related: What Is a Cloud Engineer?

What do you think are the main benefits of cloud computing?

This is also a basic question and you should provide a straightforward answer that briefly mentions the most important advantages of using cloud computing.

Example: “The main benefit of cloud computing is that it allows users to freely and easily backup and store large amounts of data on powerful and secure servers. This is usually much more cost-effective than storing data locally, therefore, improving productivity.”

Can you say a few words about the different cloud service models?

One of the most often encountered interview questions for cloud engineers is asking them to describe the three predominant models of cloud service. It's usually best to provide brief descriptions that outline the main characteristics of each cloud service model, without getting into very advanced details and concepts. If the interviewer then wants you to elaborate on an aspect, they are likely to specifically ask for it.

Example: “There are three main cloud service models:

Infrastructure as a Service: This allows users to access various hardware resources without needing to purchase and install them. It's highly scalable, mainly due to it being highly automated, meaning that it offers each user exactly the resources they need.

Platform as a Service: It is a way to manage and customize applications that require cloud components. It is especially helpful in situations where multiple developers work on the same project, allowing each to contribute separately toward a common goal.

Software as a Service: This is a service model that implies various apps being made available to the end-user via cloud platforms and subscriptions. They are usually very convenient to use, as they don't require additional installations and run on multiple devices from any location with an internet connection."

What are the different types of models commonly used for deployment in cloud computing?

Cloud deployment models are ways to define the most appropriately located servers for each user and the characteristics of the cloud infrastructure depending on the user's needs. You should briefly mention the four most popular deployment models.

Example: “The four deployment models in cloud computing are: private cloud, community cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud.”

What is the difference between cloud computing and mobile computing?

The interviewer may want to assess your wider knowledge regarding IT in general, especially in subjects that are close or related to cloud computing. Your answer should show the interviewer that you fully understand what mobile computing is and how it's different from cloud computing.

Example: “Although the two use similar concepts, the main difference is that cloud computing is done entirely via the internet, not through an individual mobile device. Mobile computing uses apps that run on remote servers, but some storage and management options are available locally.”

6. What are the layers of Platform as a Service architecture?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud computing service that allows end-users to create and use various business apps remotely. It's one of the most predominant cloud service models, along with Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service. Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge regarding this crucial cloud service component.

Example: “The layers of PaaS architecture are:

  • Cloud controller: automatically generates virtual machines and controllers, opens applications, connects to various services and automatically scales up and down depending on the user's needs
  • Storage services: Mechanism for storing and retrieving various files, such as Object, NoSQL, Relational and Block storage
  • Apps that are stored with the help of storage services: Applications that scale according to the user's needs and that can easily recover from failure"

What is a distributed cloud?

The concept of distributed cloud computing is a crucial aspect of cloud engineering and this question aims to assess your knowledge regarding the subject. A good answer usually comprises a brief explanation of the concept.

Example: “Distributed cloud refers to how various cloud services are distributed across multiple physical locations. Most major cloud service providers have data centers in multiple locations around the globe and use centralized data centers to properly distribute their resources.”

Related: 19 Career Paths for Software Engineers

What is a cloud-native application?

By answering this question you not only show the interviewer that you're familiar with the concept of cloud-native applications but also know what a cloud service's main characteristics are.

Example: “Cloud-native applications are created specifically to work within a cloud and encapsulate all the original concepts of cloud computing, such as scalability, elasticity, ease of sharing and the fact that it's service-based.“

Briefly describe how security management is handled within cloud computing

Security is a crucial aspect of IT-related services of any kind, especially those that are entirely based on remote servers. You should be able to mention and briefly describe the main security management components in cloud computing.

Example: “The main aspects are:

  • Identity management, which provides specific users with the authorization to access cloud services
  • Access control, which is the permission given to users to have full controlling authority over another user within the same cloud environment
  • Authentication and authorization, which are the protocols that provide various permissions solely to authorized and authenticated users

Related: 11 Benefits of Cloud Computing

What are some of the largest cloud providers and databases?

The interviewer may want to test your wider knowledge regarding different cloud and database providers. You should mention several key names, although depending on the hiring company's chosen cloud providers you may need to elaborate on some of them.

Example: “Some of the largest such providers are Amazon Simple Database, Google Bigtable, SAP, EnterpriseDB, Cloud SQL, Azure and Rackspace.”

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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