How to sell yourself in a cloud computing job interview

Christine Wright, Senior Vice President, Hays US

Cloud computing is a very well-paid industry, with professionals potentially earning more than £60,000 per year in the UK and around $100,000 in the US - with demand for such roles increasing greatly in recent years. The pandemic is also accelerating the number of cloud migrations, further increasing demand for a host of IT cloud jobs.
 
This trend shows no signs of stopping. Gartner predicts worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 18.4 per cent in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020.
 
With this level of demand, now is the perfect time for many tech professionals to start applying for cloud computing jobs. But if you do not have much experience in the cloud, how can you stand out from the crowd during a job interview?
 

Demonstrate your business acumen when applying for cloud computing jobs

Every company has a reason to migrate to the cloud. But if you can position yourself as a candidate who understands why a cloud migration is important to an organisation, this exhibits your wider knowledge.
 
Remember, every company is at a different stage of its cloud migration. While 81 per cent of companies have at least one application running on the cloud, most are still developing their cloud migration strategies. However, the majority of businesses will also know what they want to get out of the cloud – even if they are still not sure how to get there.
 
That’s where you come in. If you can link your previous tech roles to the wider enterprise, you are clearly demonstrating that you understand the big picture. Plus, it shows that you’re a well-rounded candidate who is willing to adapt to the business, which is another important skill to emphasise.
 

Remember, cloud computing jobs require expertise and adaptability

During any interview, you are usually asked about your qualifications and career development plans. This is your opportunity to not just reel off a list of exam results and past projects, but to also demonstrate your knowledge of the latest cloud computing advancements.
 
So, before your job interview, ensure you’ve researched the industry thoroughly. You can then use this research to structure your responses to any questions about your continuous education and professional development.
 
If you’re moving from a role as a solutions architect to a cloud solutions architect, for example, try to demonstrate and explain how you have prepared for this shift. You may have taken on additional responsibilities in your current role or completed a continuous education course, for example. This prep would certainly be worth your while; an AWS/Azure cloud architect earns more than £100,000 on average per year (in the UK). And in the US, a cloud solutions architect could earn around $150,000. Whereas an infrastructure architect earns around £83,000 in the UK.
 

Developers: brush up on cloud native applications and tools

Cloud-based applications development is a growing field and one that is attracting a lot of talented software developers. During an interview, it is important to highlight your understanding of developing applications specifically for the cloud.
 
To start, you must be familiar with a range of cloud platforms and understand the implications of designing a tool with scalability in mind. Also, while a cloud-based app can technically be unlimited in size, remember cloud hosting is not free. So, data size optimisation and condensed user requests could help, for example. And don’t forget to brush up on your cloud security knowledge, too.
 
Cloud-native development also covers emerging development areas such as containers, continuous delivery, orchestration, and microservices. Even if you are still developing your skills in this space, it is important to show your awareness and understanding as much as possible.
 
If you are unsure on the technical details, focus instead on how such areas can help the business and show your willingness to learn.
 

Explore the link between DevOps and cloud computing jobs

Cloud DevOps is an emerging area where cloud computing and DevOps are both essential for any digitisation initiative. Now, cloud professionals often find themselves working under a DevOps methodology.
 
DevOps essentially empowers developers to respond to the business in near real-time. In other words, your development efforts are highly accelerated. The centralised nature of the cloud provides DevOps efforts with a standard platform for development, testing and production. As such, the cloud and DevOps are often intrinsically linked.
 
During your interview, it is important to have an understanding of DevOps and demonstrate your familiarity with some best practices in this space. You may want to ask questions about how the organisation embraces DevOps practices, for example, to further showcase your knowledge.
 

Understand why multi-cloud management matters

Multi-cloud initiatives are growing in popularity, with IDC predicting more than 90 per cent of businesses will rely on some form of cloud computing by 2022.
As a result, there is now demand for tech professionals that can work across multiple vendors, developing cloud-agnostic tools. If you want to demonstrate your expertise in this area, you could work towards a certification in AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, or another popular cloud platform. Then, learn how other organisations manage their workloads across multiple clouds.
 
For example, senior engineer AWS jobs earn around £80,000 in the UK, depending on the role and your experience. But if you can demonstrate your knowledge across multiple cloud platforms, you could realise a higher salary.
 
To summarise, the world has changed a lot in recent times, massively accelerating many organisations’ digital transformation efforts. This has provided tech professionals with the perfect opportunity to explore new skillsets and careers.
 
Cloud computing is an area that is predicted to grow and grow in the years ahead. And if you can market yourself effectively, you could secure one of these highly lucrative and in-demand cloud jobs.
 

Author

Christine Wright
Senior Vice President, Hays US

Christine Wright is responsible for the growth and expansion of the Central and West US Region and leading national strategic projects. This is the latest function in her extensive 25-year career with Hays where she has lead the establishment, turnaround and management of high performing businesses across 4 continents. Prior to her current role Christine was the Managing Director of the Asia region where she was responsible for the day to day operational management and significant growth of Hays in Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and India. Christine has also played key roles in the management of Hays’ business in Australia and in the United Kingdom. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Statistics and Computing, has attended business programs at IMD, Ashridge, De Ruwenburg business schools and is a member of the Director Institute of Australia. Christine lives in Denver with her husband and is an executive mentor in her spare time. 

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