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Enterprise Architect Interview Questions

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  1. Do you have any experience working with security architecture frameworks? See answer
  2. In your experience, what stakeholder groups would be included in the Enterprise Architecture life cycle? See answer
  3. Have you ever decided to change an IT process that ended up hurting business initiatives more than helping them? If so, what was your response? See answer
  4. Can you tell me about your experience with data management standards and practices?
  5. What is an essential quality for an enterprise architect to have? Can you provide examples from your previous role?
  6. Can you tell me about a time you created an architectural roadmap? Why are architectural roadmaps important?
  7. Based on your previous professional experience as an enterprise architect, how does enterprise architecture contribute to a business and its goals?
  8. How would you define the relationship between an enterprise architect and an organization’s IT department? What examples can you provide from your past?
  9. Can you tell me about a time you had to apply changes to an organization’s IT networks based on an executive’s requests?
  10. Have you ever created an IT governance process for a company? How did you determine the best way to structure it?
  11. How would you describe the importance of enterprise architecture to a company executive or employee without a technical background?
  12. What enterprise architecture frameworks do you prefer to use? Which frameworks do you wish you had more experience with?
  13. Can you define SOA design patterns and how to use them?
  14. What is the difference between top-down service identification and bottom-up service identification?
  15. What do you do during your personal time to maintain your knowledge of enterprise architecture and IT trends?
  16. What are architectural artifacts and why are they important?
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6 Enterprise Architect Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Do you have any experience working with security architecture frameworks?

A:

The ideal enterprise architect will have familiarity with using security architecture frameworks. When explaining their experience, focus on what types of security architecture the candidate has used in the past and how it has lowered risk factors and threats. Identify if your company uses similar measures, such as SABSA, COBIT and TOGAF. What level of expertise does the applicant have in each security framework?

What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of enterprise security architecture
  • Ability to follow security policies and procedures
  • Understanding of the importance of maintaining privacy

Example:

“As an enterprise architect, I have experience using SABSA, TOGAF and COBIT. I helped implement procedures and policies to decrease technical issues and lower business risks.”

Q:

Tell me about your experience with data management standards and practices.

A:

Enterprise architects must follow data management standards and practices for ethical and professional purposes. Identify any specific methods or rules that the candidate mentions. The applicant’s response helps you gauge what practices the person finds most important when storing and securing data for stakeholders. Being unaware of standard methods and practices as an enterprise architect can put a company at risk for errors and improper storing techniques.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of proper data storing methods
  • Experience applying data management standards and practices in the workplace
  • Organizational skills

Example:

“In my previous enterprise architect position, I utilized data management standards and practices set in place by my company. Each week, I would read over the practices to ensure I was staying up to date.”

Q:

In your experience, what stakeholder groups would be included in the Enterprise Architecture life cycle?

A:

The applicant’s answer may vary depending on the size of his or her previous company. An enterprise architect in a medium-to-large for-profit organization typically includes executive management, such as the CEO, CFO, COO, CTO and CIO, in the Enterprise Architecture life cycle. Specific industries might include the director of marketing or the director of documentation. Identify if the applicant has experience working with the stakeholder groups found in your company.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to keep stakeholders well-informed
  • Understanding of the importance of the Enterprise Architecture life cycle

Example:

“In my last enterprise architect position, I worked alongside the CEO and CFO regarding the Enterprise Architecture life cycle. In previous positions, I have included the director of marketing in the life cycle.”

Q:

What is an essential quality for an enterprise architect to have?

A:

The ideal candidate will be articulate and have the ability to promote data management initiatives while also being well-versed in methodology and modeling. Enterprise architects should be as politically and technologically neutral as possible to lower the risk of bias. Focus on the candidate’s explanation of the quality that they believe is most important.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Exhibit of interpersonal skills
  • Expression of articulation while explaining the quality
  • Knowledge of what makes a successful enterprise architect

Example:

“The most important quality for an enterprise architect to have is a customer-driven personality. Many people are unaware of how enterprise architects impact the sales and growth of a company.”

Q:

Tell me about a time where you created an architectural road map.

A:

An architectural road map is a critical component in designing and creating a project. It allows the enterprise architect to have all necessary and relevant information in one area. Applicants with experience creating architectural road maps are likely to know how to organize data in different domains, such as business, technology and data application. Focus on how many years of experience the candidate has and if they have experience with your industry’s road map.

What to look for in an answer:

  • A solid understanding of architectural road maps
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Experience with different domains

Example:

“I have eight years of experience creating architectural road maps at my last position. I worked with all states of the architecture, such as the baseline, transition and target.”

Q:

Have you ever decided to change an IT process that ended up hurting business initiatives more than helping them? If so, what was your response?

A:

Enterprise architects are responsible for cultivating IT networks and specific features that promote a business' success in one or more areas. However, some features and other processes may not have the effect they hoped for. This question allows interviewers to determine a candidate's ability to acknowledge their mistakes, learn from them and correct them.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to hold themselves accountable
  • Previous professional experience

Here is one example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"One time, I implemented a new communication system in an effort to streamline communication across company branches. However, the system required WiFi and consistently crashed, causing employees to resort back to phone and faxes. To remedy the situation, I met with the CTO and an external consultant to analyze what went wrong and develop a new communication system based on research and employee feedback. Overall, the experience taught me that it's not about mistakes. It's about learning and evolving from those mistakes to create something even better."

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