How could you hire an excellent Microsoft Azure Solution Architect?
What kind of questions should you be using in the interview?
We hope to answer this question in this article, describing first relevant duties and responsibilities needed for a senior Microsoft Azure Solution Architect, it includes their relevant skills and knowledge required. After that, we’re going to share some tips around make good questions and finally, we’re sharing what kind of interview questions are recommended for hiring the best Microsoft Azure Solution Architect to your company.
Microsoft Azure Solution Architect
The Azure Solution Architect is a leadership position, he/she drives revenue and market share providing customers with insights and solutions leveraging the Microsoft Azure services to meet their application, infrastructure, and data modernization and cloud needs, to uncover and support the business and IT goals of our customers. This role will demonstrate the business value of the Microsoft Platform and drive technical decisions at the customer, thus securing long-term sustainable growth for Microsoft.
This is a technical, customer-facing role that is accountable for the end-to-end customer cloud deployment experience in identified next-generation high potential cloud customers. This role will own the Azure technical customer engagement including architectural design sessions, specific implementation projects and/or Proofs of Concepts.
The ideal candidate will have experience in the customer-facing roles and success leading deep technical architecture and application design discussions with senior customer executives to drive cloud deployment.
Azure Solution Architects are trusted technology advisors that build deep relationships with our partners and that significantly influence partner innovation, strategy, and adoption of Microsoft technologies. They are responsible for all aspects of the solutions engagement, including architectural design sessions, driving proof of value/proof of concept and the driving final project engagements.
The ideal candidate will have both customer-facing consulting experience. The outcome will be to drive long-term revenue, accelerate cloud consumption and digital transformation through a set of practices leading to workload/industry based co-sell.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Accelerate Azure consumption in next-gen high potential customer accounts by providing deep technical expertise and support for Datacenter Transformation, Custom Applications, Data Estate Transformation (ML and AI), and Security/Compliance/Privacy.
- Drive the deployment of customer workloads into Azure and increase their consumption of the platform by providing deployment guidance, supporting the development of the customers? cloud adoption model, and providing appropriate recommendations to overcome blockers.
- Establish deep relationships with key ITDMs and BDMs, who drive long-term cloud adoption within their company. Identify, validate and grow opportunities to accelerate consumption in next-gen high potential customer accounts, in partnership with the sales team, by driving solution architecture for both Microsoft and 3rd party solutions.
- Lead deployment of projects, the creation of collateral, and training of sellers and partners in your area of specialization.
- Keep up to date with market trends and competitive insights.
- Coach other technical sellers to become certified in required Azure technical certifications.
- Deep understanding of cloud computing technologies, business drivers, and emerging computing trends
- Proven track record of building deep technical relationships with senior executives and growing cloud consumption share in large or highly strategic accounts
- Proven track record of driving decisions collaboratively, resolving conflicts and ensuring follow through with exceptional verbal and written communication
- Capability to design and implement practice-based architectures or equivalent competitive experience.
- Extensive experience of working with virtual teams across functions and geographies
- Inclusive and collaborative driving teamwork and cross-team alignment
- Strong partner relationship management and solution development skills
- Problem-solving mentality leveraging internal and/or external resources, conflict resolution, and follow through with partners.
- 10+ years of related experience in technology solutions/practice development, Cloud / Infrastructure technologies.
- 5+ years of success in consultative/complex technical sales and deployment projects
- 5+ years of architecture, design, implementation, and/or support of highly distributed applications
- 2+ years of experience in “migrating” on-premise workloads to the cloud
- Oversight experience on major transformation projects and successful transitions to implementation support teams
- Strong executive presence including communication and presentation skills with a high degree of comfort to large and small technical audiences.
- Prior work experience in a Consulting/Architecture position within a software and/or services company with cloud experience such as Amazon, SalesForce, VMware, Google, IBM, Avanade, T-Systems, Wipro, CSC, HP, Infosys, ServiceNow, Dell, TCS, Rackspace, Softlayer
- Location is flexible near a Microsoft office
- Experience migrating or transforming legacy customer solutions to the cloud
- Professional experience architecting/operating solutions built on Microsoft Azure
- Familiarity with common enterprise services, products and enterprise architecture and management frameworks
- Experience working within software development or Internet-related industries
- Willingness to travel between 30% – 50%
Obviously, it is recommended that an Azure Solution Architect has the relative certification: MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. According to the Microsoft Certification website, an experimented Azure Solution Architect is required to have:
- Two or more years hands-on experience designing and deploying enterprise cloud architecture on Microsoft Azure
- Skills needed to run a highly efficient and modern data center, with expertise in cloud technologies, identity management, systems management, virtualization, storage, and networking
What to Ask?
Based on information and previous requirements, now we could think about “What to ask?” and start for discovering if the candidate is:
- An IT Leader that can transform how an Enterprise uses the public, private and hybrid Cloud
- Someone who works equally well with executives and technologists
- Someone that is a technology evangelist
- A professional that is interested in joining a highly technical team that invests in your success by providing a comprehensive learning program
- A professional that has a passion for helping customers design large distributed systems and enterprise architectures
- A person that enjoys doing architecture using the world’s most advanced cloud computing technologies
- An Architect that has a knack for helping organizations understand application architectures and integration approaches, architecting advanced cloud-based solutions and launching the build-out of those systems
- One of those rare technologists with the consultative leadership skills to help guide major projects to success
The best interview questions describe the person and professional beyond his resume, revealing the job candidate’s personality, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills, and abilities as required before.
The best interview questions focus on the skills and qualifications that the hiring company want candidates to have and the contributions that want the candidate to make to their company.
Those questions help you assess the prospective employee’s work experience and his approach to architecting enterprise solutions. Those would help you understand how the candidate interacts with people and their future work environment.
These are some of best interview questions to ask an Azure Solution Architect with their relative purpose without an order predefined:
If an organization is facing a major change, what is your approach as Azure Solution Architect to suggest you face it?
What steps are you’re going to do? How could resolve this situation?
|Reveal if the candidate possesses an open interest about a future customer and understand their business model and actual changes and challenges|
|From your point of view, what are the relevant responsibilities of an Azure Solution Architect?
|Understand the point of view of the candidate about responsibilities, duties, and challenges for an Azure Solution Architect.|
|How do you normally take Azure architecture requirements through to design?
|Identify some procedures and methodology for establishing relationships and how to understand business requirements from customer.|
|What are key considerations/guidelines when you’re going to make some Azure Architecture recommendations?
|Identify how the candidate take decisions and make recommendation about Azure Architecture topics|
|How do you approach a pre-sales engagement? How do you establish a relationship with Azure salespeople? Please describe…
|Understand how the candidate create relationship and collaborate with other Azure work teams|
|What challenges are you looking for in the position as an Azure Enterprise Solution Architect?||Discover what is the candidate purpose and objective of the company or running this role|
|How do you share (teach) your ideas and knowledge about Microsoft Azure services/technologies to customers or other people on your team? Please describe…
Could you please show us?
|Reveal about if the candidate has excellent communication and presentation skills and really enjoy sharing their expertise and knowledge as advocate|
|Could you please describe a situation, where you interacted with CxOs people or other business leaders?||Understand if the candidate has had communication and relationship with C-level people, and how has managed those relationships|
|Please describe a successful project that reflects your design/implementation/consulting experience about Azure Solution Architecture?||Discover practical experience based on project executed before around Azure Solution Architecture|
|What enterprise architecture and management frameworks do you know? And how are you have used them?||Reveal their knowledge about enterprise architecture, business architecture, architecture, and management frameworks. Based on experience, how the candidate has used them.|
|Please describe a before problem or issue during your career? How did you handle them?||Understand how the candidate handles issues and problems|
|What have you done to improve your Azure knowledge in last year?||Discover if the candidate has invested in their personal and professional growth by herself|
|What are most important characteristics of an Azure solution that you need take in count when you design it?
|Understand if the candidate uses Microsoft and Azure best practices or framework and if the candidate has a holistic view of a business solution|
|Please describe or tell us about a special contribution you have made to your last employer?
|Know how the candidate has performed in the past and any special contributions that the candidate could bring to your company|
|Who are you? Please tell us about yourself?||Discover if the candidate is the best one for the job position and who the candidate is|
Table #1. Some of best interview questions to ask
Maybe, you should enrich those before questions, with specific Azure technical questions that evaluate if the candidate has required qualifications from Microsoft Azure service and technology perspective.
Tips for Asking
When you’re interviewing people to join to your team you must get creative and avoid “Yes/No” questions type.
It’s preferable using “Descriptive” questions type, with those ones you obtain long answer and explanation about what you want to know. Also avoid asking directly “Why” questions, because those may sound like a judgment. You’d better ask: What was the reason to…?
My final advice is not just asking, if you create a scenario or business case to develop and play a role base interview workshop, it would help you to understand if the candidate located in front of you is the best Enterprise Solution Architect to be hired by your company. Such a technique would reveal the behavior of the candidate against a situation.
What are you waiting to hire him for?
Whizlabs Azure Solution Architect Practice Tests Practice Tests help students to get mentally prepared for the actual certification exam. Practicing several times through AWS mock tests before the certification exam, makes you better prepared for the real one.
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