Questions To Ask

This section is a general set of useful questions to ask for:

  1. Potential clients when working with them on a tech project
  2. Choosing technologies
  3. Better understanding how your product can fit their needs

It is worth noting that with experience in particular situations, you may build up templates/personas that help you to diagnose and ask the right questions.


  1. Questions to ask when choosing a technology for your startup
  2. Vetting potential clients
  3. 20 questions to ask your client before building their mobile app
  4. Open-ended questions to get your prospects talking
  5. 15+ questions to ask your new customers to know their needs and expectations
  6. 11 questions to simplify system integration
  7. How to succeed in a system design interview - Medium
  8. Mock questions for a systems engineer
  9. How to ask the right qustions in an integration project?
  10. Software clients questions

Understanding a potential client

  1. What is your financial model?
  2. What is your capacity for writing code?
  3. What does your team know best?
  4. Is there a big enough pool of engineers to hire who can roll with your stack?
  5. What does future maintenance look like?
  6. What project management processes are in place?
  7. What development practises do they follow?
  8. Do they have suitable staging environments?
  9. Do you have experience with these kinds of projects?
  10. Tools to communicate?
  11. Estimated length of project?
  12. What are the most important features?
  13. Is there a concrete plan?
  14. Tech consultant/advisor to call on when needed?

System integration

These question can be useful for an integration engineer for deeper understanding about what they are working with:

  1. Why is the customer doing this project?
  2. What pain point is being alleviated or what need is being filled by completing the project?
  3. Does the integrator have all the information (drawings, programs, standards, etc.) needed from the customer?
  4. What does the integrator know about the customer’s existing systems? Does the customer have obsolete parts or technology that is no longer supported?
  5. Is everyone in agreement on assumptions being made concerning the project?
  6. What are all the deliverables the customer expects?
  7. How much experience does the customer have with the technology being used?
  8. How much training will be required?
  9. What quality controls measures are in place and how does the customer want to handle approvals?
  10. Does the customer understand your change order procedure and what would constitute a change?
  11. What defines overall project acceptance between the system integrator and the customer?

System design

Understanding the goal

  1. What is the goal of the system?
  2. Who are the users of the system?
  3. What do they need it for?
  4. How are they going to use it?
  5. What are the inputs and outputs of the system?

Establish the scope

  1. Do we want to discuss the end-to-end experience or just the API?
  2. What clients do we want to support (mobile, web, etc)?
  3. Do we require authentication? Analytics? Integrating with existing systems?

Design for the right scale

  1. What is the expected read-to-write ratio?
  2. How many concurrent requests should we expect?
  3. What’s the average expected response time?
  4. What’s the limit of the data we allow users to provide?

What are the system entrypoints

  1. User interaction
  2. External API calls
  3. Offline processes

Follow up questions to consider

  1. What are the required data structures and algorithms?
  2. What are the tradeoffs?

Mock Systems Engineer questions

These are worth knowing and asking yourself. Some can be used for their own retrospective when looking back on a previous project.

  1. What major challenges and problems did you face at your last position?
  2. What is your greatest weakness?
  3. How do you evaluate success?
  4. Why should we hire you?
  5. What motivates you as an application integration engineer?
  6. Ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
  7. What excites you the most about a career as an application integration engineer?
  8. Why are you the best application integration engineer for us?
  9. Describe the most creative work related project you completed.
  10. What are you doing to keep current in technology?

Asking the right questions in an integration project

These questions are to empathise from the customers point of view:

  1. How do I make an API call?
  2. How do I authenticate myself against the API?
  3. Do you have an API library?
  4. Are there any limits on the API?
  5. Do you have any developers to talk to during the integration?