50+ Amazon Solution Architect Interview Questions
Amazon’s solution architect interviews can be tough to crack, and the competition is stiff. With the newly added leadership principle, “strive to be the world’s best employer,” more and more skilled candidates want to work at Amazon. We believe that it's not just preparing for the right interview questions that make you a good fit for the job but having the right skills, traits, work experience, and strong subject fundamentals.
That said, knowing what to expect in an interview helps reduce the pre-interview jitters and ensure that the entire interview goes smoothly and successfully.
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Here’s what we’ve covered in this article: :
- What Does a Solution Architect Do at Amazon?
- What Are Some Key Differences Between a Solution Architect and a Technical Architect?
- Amazon Solution Architect Interview Questions and Answers
- Tips for Amazon Solution Architect Interview
- Amazon Solution Architect Interview FAQs
What Does a Solution Architect Do at Amazon?
Solution architects are key technical members who need to have a wide spectrum of knowledge. Solution architects need to know about the inner workings of their company’s business and technical aspects.
Their role most resembles the role of a project manager, in the sense that both are responsible for ensuring that everyone involved is in sync and moving in the right (forward) direction as they move through the phases. Solution architects at Amazon need to:
- Understand AWS market segments, industry verticals, and customer base.
- Understand internal Amazon systems.
- Help customers solve technical problems using cloud computing technologies.
- Help Amazon understand infrastructure and application architectures, including integration approaches.
- Be consultative while leading a product launch to success.
- Develop deep expertise in AWS technologies.
- Help establish AWS as a leading technology platform.
- Evaluate business requirements and customer engagement with a focus on well-defined objectives and success criteria.
- Perform detail-oriented analyses that form a connecting piece between technical and enterprise architecture.
- Analyze different elements of business and IT to effectively apply and use them as building blocks for designing solutions for specific problems.
- Propose the best possible solutions based on their evaluation and analysis in the form of services, applications, or products.
- Actively manage, coordinate, and lead activities and tasks required to drive their proposed solution to successful and on-time implementation.
- Oversee technological risks involved in implementing the proposed solution to ensure the solution remains consistent and meets all requirements.
- Learn and share the knowledge of best practices with other solution architects.
What Are Some Key Differences Between a Solution Architect and a Technical Architect?
Solution architects and technical architects work with each other to effectively meet both organizational and user requirements. Here are some key differences between the two:
So while a solutions architect translates a problem into a solution, the technical architect works within a solution.
Amazon Solution Architect Interview Questions
Answering AWS architect interview questions requires:
- Solid fundamentals
- In-depth knowledge of your options while coming up with a solution
- The ability to weigh those options skillfully
- The understanding of how different technical elements fit with each other
To get a better sense of how interviewers test these skills, here are some AWS solution architect interview questions associated with Amazon:
Amazon Solution Architect Technical and Coding Interview Questions
Technical AWS solution architect interview questions try to gauge your depth of technical understanding and awareness. Let’s look at some of these technical AWS solution architect interview questions:
- You have a website that has just gone viral. You need to grow by 20x quickly and by 50x by the next year. It's currently on-prem. How would you approach this?
- What is CDN?
- What is WAF?
- Do all CDNs provide WAF?
- What is CI/CD?
- What is SPark?
- Describe Amazon EC2 and talk about some security best practices for it.
- Describe Amazon S3.
- Is it possible to use Amazon S3 with EC2 instances? If so, how?
- Describe cluster computing.
- Differentiate between block storage and object storage.
- Describe asynchronous encryption type.
- Differentiate between Amazon Rds, Redshift, and Dynamodb.
- Describe IAM and talk about its usage.
- Differentiate between scalability and elasticity.
- Describe Amazon VPC and talk about the reasons to use it.
- Differentiate between TCP and UDP.
- Describe Amazon Route 53 and CloudTrail. How do the two work together?
- Describe cloud computing and compare two popular Cloud Service Providers.
- Talk about some of the benefits of AWS’s disaster recovery.
- Talk about the type of scenarios where you’d choose Provisioned IOPS over Standard RDS storage.
- Describe Shards.
- Differentiate between scripting languages and programming languages.
- Differentiate between stateful vs. stateless architecture.
- In the context of Amazon EC2 security groups, what would the command ec2-create-group CreateSecurityGroup do?
- Differentiate between virtual machines and containers.
- Differentiate between SQL vs. no SQL.
- Differentiate between relational vs. non-relational databases.
- Describe the OSI model.
- Differentiate between relational DB and NoSQL.
- What is the difference between stopping and terminating an instance?
- Describe the workings of SSO.
- Differentiate between microservices and monolithic architecture.
- How would you connect your corporate data center to the Amazon Cloud?
Amazon Solution Architect Behavioral and Leadership Interview Questions
Behavioral and leadership questions are given great importance at Amazon. Being authentically aligned with Amazon’s leadership principles is crucial for your selection.
Go through Amazon’s leadership principles and think about instances where you caused a positive impact while demonstrating the leadership qualities that Amazon values. With this exercise, you might be able to find your best answers to some of these behavioral questions associated with Amazon’s solution architect role.
Tell me about a time when:
- You did something significantly outside your area of responsibility. Why was it crucial enough for you to do that?
- You sensed you would not be able to honor your commitment. How did you recognize the risk? How did you communicate it to the concerned people?
- You successfully delivered an important project despite a tight deadline. What sacrifices did you have to make to meet the deadline?
- You failed to manage your project well and complete something on time.
- You asked a customer for feedback and used it to drive improvement and innovation.
- You considerably exceeded expectations. What enabled you to do this?
- You took a calculated risk, and time was of the essence.
- You made an important business decision without consulting your manager.
- You made a bad professional decision. What was its impact, and what did you learn?
- You decided without enough data to be sure if it was the correct decision.
- You effectively build trust in your professional relationships.
- You learned something on your own and applied it at the job that helped you do your job better.
- You needed cooperation from a peer who wasn’t inclined to cooperate.
Other behavioral/leadership questions:
- What brings you to AWS?
- Describe the most difficult interaction you’ve ever had with a customer. How did you handle it then, and what would you do differently now?
- Describe the features of a software architecture you were significantly involved in designing.
- What, according to you, is the value proposition of AWS?
- What makes you most proud, among all the things you’ve done in your entire career?
Tips for Amazon Solution Architect Interview
Here are some additional tips to help you ace your Amazon solution architect interview:
- Having thorough technical concepts and knowledge relevant to your AWS solution architect role is crucial for your Amazon solution architect interviews.
- Expect AWS solution architect interview questions to include a significant number of define, describe, differentiate between, and compare questions. Prepare to clearly and succinctly answer such questions.
- If you are looking for AWS interview questions and answers for experienced software architects, scenario-based questions should also be your focus.
- Prepare all your significant experience stories in STAR format. When using the STAR method to answer, you describe the situation first, then move on to describe the task you had, the action you took, and finally, the results of your actions on the situation.
Amazon Solution Architect Interview FAQs
Q. Where do I start my preparation?
You can start by visiting the Amazon Jobs page and going through the requirements for some of the Amazon solution architect job opportunities you may find interesting. While you’re at it, we also recommend learning about their goals and values. You might also find our article on How to Prepare for the Amazon Onsite Interview in 2 Months helpful for your onsite interview preparation.
Q. How can IK help me prepare for the Amazon solution architect Interview?
If you need help with your prep, whether you’re a coding engineer/software developer or a solution architect, you may consider joining Interview Kickstart.
IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.