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Ildar Kulmuhametov
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USA, Austin

Yevhen Piotrovskyi
CTO, Co-Founder
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12 March 2021
7 min to read

Best Guidelines For The Thorough Interview: In Search Of A High-Skilled Cloud Engineer

Ildar Kulmuhametov
CEO and Founder at Yojji | Web and Mobile Development

Since companies worldwide have shifted away from using onsite data, cloud services have become highly demanded. Analytics assure that 80% of companies are moving their business applications and data storage to cloud platforms.

Indeed, cloud engineering in 2020 was named one of the most in-demand jobs with a high salaries percentage. The recent transfer towards remote collaboration due to the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded cloud utilization by 60% across enterprises. Such global IT changes brought to an extreme need for professional cloud engineers across the world.

Generally, a cloud engineer works with cross-functional groups that embrace a combination of software, operations, and architecture. A good specialist is supposed to have a certain bag of knowledge about storage providers, networking, virtualization, and many others.

So, how to distinguish for a professional cloud engineer who will perfectly fit your company? We selected a series of most relevant questions to guide you through the interview. By following our guidelines hiring a real expert becomes easier than ever.

Interview for Cloud Engineer position: what to ask a candidate

In order to hire a good specialist, you need to have a fair idea about what kind of computing skills are required for your organization. For instance, depending on the business activity some big companies may need a professional with certain specific skills.

A cloud engineer position includes multiple roles, as well as a cloud architect, cloud package engineer, cloud security engineer, cloud systems engineer, and cloud network specialist where each position focuses on a particular computing type. Generally, a proficient specialist can both design and code software applications to make them work properly but also manage and support a range of services.

All the above requires closeness with programming languages such as Java, Python, and Ruby. Nowadays several companies seek engineers with experience in OpenStack, Linux, Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and Microsoft Azure. By the way, the knowledge of APIs, DevOps, and NoSQL should not be underestimated.

A professionally structured interview will be useful in finding a talented specialist, capable of doing what is listed above and more. Ideally, a perfect candidate is the one who’s not only good at managing technologies and coding but is willing to do extra efforts to expand their knowledge.

How can you explain cloud computing to a 5-year-old girl?

It is one of the favorite questions during Google and Amazon interviews. Asking an applicant to explain something difficult with simple words will perfectly test their communicative ability and fullness of theoretical knowledge. Candidates who describe complex processes with ease will show the best conversational results. Especially, if they have to work in a team of different professionals who might require explanations from the engineers.

How do you find the emerging cloud computing trends?

Asking about applicants’ reflections on the new tendencies will prove or not their interest in cloud computing and how they deal with the modern trends. A professional programmer who cultivates a passion for his profession will always be aware of what happens in the world of cloud engineering.

What’s the difference between cloud and traditional data servers?

To check a candidate's technical knowledge it is useful to ask something linked to the activity they will do whether they get the job. Apart from the technical differences between the two, cloud servers undergo a lower risk of being subjected to natural disasters. An experienced engineer will easily manage every kind of technical question.

Do you have any certifications?

Ambitious applicants always improve their skills and abilities by attending courses and getting certificates that confirm their engagement. This question brings the applicant to show their enthusiasm towards the acquirement of knowledge. In this way, you will be able to understand if cloud engineering is just a job for a candidate or they consider it a hobby.

Speak about the different layers in computing architecture.

Experienced cloud engineers will start their answers with names such as Node Controller, Walrus, Cluster Controller, and others. If candidates give a vague response without the names above, you can be sure they just started their programming career and you won’t fit each other.

Can you explain what AWS is and what it is used for?

Everyone is aware that AWS is a highly respected and trusted web service created by Amazon. Worldwide customers prefer the AWS platform to others to build applications with more flexibility and reliability. Whether your candidate will be capable of speaking about the leading cloud platform and list a few services which provide, will indicate how deep his knowledge in this field is.

Describe the differences between cloud service models?

There are three models of cloud service that are well-known among qualified cloud engineers. Each comes with its advantages and properties. A competent specialist will be able to list the pros and cons of each service easily. It is evident that candidates who don’t speak about IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are not experienced enough.

What are the main functions of Microsoft Azure?

Another generalized question that has to be made. Released in October 2010, Azure persists in being one of the key platforms once it involves cloud computing. It provides many services that help organizations to implement their use cases so a perfect employee must have a good knowledge of this cloud computing service.

Why is cloud security so important?

Cloud computing security is a set of safety features designed to shield cloud-based infrastructure, but also applications and data. A perfect candidate is supposed to have basic knowledge of at least how to maintain security and assess threats. However, it is also important to ask some non-technical questions to check potential candidates’ soft skills that are also relevant.

What additional skills, in your opinion, are important for your team?

Speaking about cloud computing skills is acceptable. However, a perfect answer should include more than this. The expert engineers will speak about their uniqueness and expertise in certain things that could be added as an advantage. For instance, if a potential employee is going to be part of a team that handles customers, they have to be able to communicate well and provide prompt solutions to any kind of problems that may emerge.

***What is the most challenging project you have ever worked on? ***

Cloud engineering projects can be complex and quite stressful sometimes. They all require careful insight to ensure fruitful execution. Ask your applicant to describe how they contributed to the project's success or what they learned from the failure.

Candidates that have experience in overcoming challenges are more likely to become employees who will do the same in the new company. Their answers will show you how the potential colleague perceives failures and what they do to improve the situation.

Do you usually use any time management tools? If you do, which ones are your favorite?

Nowadays a remote employee has all the freedom to manage his work process in a way he likes the most. However, a lot of people suffer from ineffective time management that can be dangerous in case of urgent projects and restricted deadlines.

Fortunately, a variety of technological solutions are available to track the time and check an employee’s effectiveness. Toggl, Evernote, Trello, Time tree are just a few of the vast choices that the App market offers.


A cloud engineer is a person responsible for building, maintaining, and linking to cloud systems for companies of different sizes. Excellent hard skills are essential, however, several soft capacities such as good time management, effective communication, approachability, and helpfulness are as well important.

Hiring an engineer that includes a combination of both hard and soft skills will bring absolute success to the company by providing excellent service, security, and maintenance. To make your recruiting process even faster, contact Yojji IT support. Our team will assign you a specialist capable of providing you with the most experienced cloud programmer.

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NL, Amsterdam

Ildar Kulmuhametov
CEO, Co-Founder

USA, Austin

Yevhen Piotrovskyi
CTO, Co-Founder