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Interview The Interviewer For Enterprise Architects

        posted by , November 06, 2012

Enterprise Architecture requires comprehensive skills ― interviews can be tough. Typically an Enterprise Architect will be interviewed by the chief architect, CIO, enterprise architects and other top technical personnel.

If you know your stuff and the interview is fair ― it won't be difficult to shine. However, sometimes interviews go off on some obscure tangent. This is most likely to happen when being interviewed by peers. We have all been in that technical interview ― 20 minutes of questions about the implementation details of the Java Runtime Environment or some other obscure topic.

It is easy to stumble on an interview either because it is unfair or because the position is a bit of a stretch for your skills. If this happens you have one chance to redeem yourself ― your questions to the interviewer.

Most interviewers will leave about 10 minutes at the end of the interview for questions. That means you may have time for about four questions. Never waste these questions on topics such as your vacation entitlement or working conditions. Such questions should be saved for the final negotiation.

Questions to the interviewer have the power to:

enterprise architect interview

Occasionally, interviewers will leave a great deal of time for questions. In some cases, you may end up practically running the interview. Be prepared with at least ten questions. Here are some samples to get you going:

Enterprise Architecture

1. How mature is your enterprise architecture? Are blue prints fully defined? Is a formal governance process in place?
2. Do you follow a enterprise architecture framework such as TOGAF? Do you follow it religiously or have you adapted it for your organization?
3. Do you define the Enterprise Architecture or guide the business through doing so?
4. Can you tell me about your technology stack?
5. Is your team involved in IT audits? What standards are you following?
6. Can you tell me a little about your architectural vision?
7. Can you tell me about your governance process? What challenges do you have getting solution architects to follow the enterprise architecture?
8. What challenges do you face selling the value of enterprise architecture to the business?
9. Do you find it difficult to find actionable quick wins that can help drive the value proposition of enterprise architecture?
10. How does enterprise architecture get engaged with projects in your organization?

You in the Role

1. What project will I be working on?
2. Given what you know about me from this interview, do you think I will have any challenges handling this role?
3. If I am hired for this role, what top three priorities would you want me to accomplish in the first six months?
4. What’s the experience level of the team? Would I have the opportunity to mentor? To be mentored?
5. What skills are you in need of on your team? Do you think my skills could help fill any gaps?
6. Given what we have talked about today, what would I need to study / brush up on if I get this job?
7. What are the goals of the enterprise architecture team over the next 12 months? How can I help?
8. If am an hired for this role, how would I be involved in the enterprise architecture definition?
9. Are you looking for someone to help you reduce the workload of the team, or is your team taking on new scope and responsibilities that you need help with?
10. What accomplishments would make someone a top performer in this role?

Getting to yes

1. What are the next steps in this interview process?

While it is important to go into an interview prepared, the best questions are usually impromptu. Show genuine interest in the business, technology and how you can help the organization.

Gauge your interviewers level of skill and personality to determine which questions might be appropriate. Never ask a question that is too challenging for the interviewer. You don't want to make them feel they are under attack.

Lastly, be yourself and have fun. You are much more likely to be hired if you can connect with the interviewer on a personal level.

This article is part of the series: The Ultimate Guide to IT Job Search

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