Engineering Manager Interview
- Interview Process
- Resume Tips
- Sample Questions
- EM Story Bank
- Target Companies
- Resume prep
- Recruiter screen
- research about the company in LinkedIn before this screening
- Manager screen
- talk about your tech skills and why you are good for this job
- Onsite screen
- Technical screen
- System design questions
- People Management questions
- Project retrospective questions
- Behavioral questions
A great engineering manager works himself out of his job by training his team at the same time keeping the promises on deliverables.
System Design Questions
People Management Questions
- Tell me the person you are most proud to have ever managed, how did you help them to grow and why are you proud?
- How do you help someone in the team grow?
- If I don’t like to do something on my plate, I generally ask my team who is interested in learning this and take it off my plate.
- How do you deal with superstar engineers but are jerks?
- Structure of your 1:1
- I like to keep things unstructured in 1:1 for the team members to tell me what they want to discuss. I always tell them this is their time to share what’s on their mind.
- If I see any performance concerns, I deliver constructive feedbacks in these sessions.
- I generally make every 4th 1:1 as a Retro meeting to discuss improvements to my 1:1s.
- Example of an engineer who benefitted from 1:1. e.g., someone asked for cloud Lambda work, who used to primarily work only in backend Java development.
- What is your 1:1 philosophies?
- I generally don’t focus on tactical or daily project issues on 1:1. I tend to focus on how I can help grow this person. I ask myself and my direct reports, who in the team can eventually succeed me or you and how close they are.
- Find out what drives them, what skill gaps they might want to address, and where they want to be in a year.
- How do you build a high-performance software team?
- Tell me about a time you disagreed with your cross-functional partner
There are 2 categories of questions: - Structure and process - Methods for tracking and improving performance, such as career ladders, annual performance reviews, and performance improvement plans. - Handling difficult situations - Experience navigating challenging scenarios, such as letting a team member go or explaining why someone didn’t receive a promotion.
- What is your process for monitoring and improving team’s performance?
- Tell me about a few people on your team and the career development plans you created with them.
- How do you identify signs of poor performance?
- How do you deal with an underperforming employee?
- Have you ever promoted anyone? Describe the process.
- How would you describe your role in coaching and career development?
Project Retrospective Questions
- Tell me about a project that you are most proud of
Use STAR framework for answering behavioral questions
- “Tell me about a time when you…”
- faced adversity,
- made a mistake,
- had to course-correct mid-project, etc.
- “How do you deal with…”
- poor performers,
- a superstar, etc.
- “Describe your philosophy on…”
- team decision-making,
- cross-functional partners,
- your team members’ career growth
- Tell me about one of your biggest professional failures or biggest dumpster fires you had to deal with – successfully or unsuccessfully. How did you rebuild the trust with your stakeholders? What was the postmortem like?
- Have at least 5 or 6 examples. Don’t recycle the stories.
- e.g, promised a deliverable and turned out the estimates were wrong + lost key people during great resignation
- Where did you fail most in your career and what did you learn?
- The sin is not in failure. But the sin is in failing to notice.
- How do you resolve conflicts?
- ❓ Any resources to learn conflict resolution topic?
Misc topics to refresh
EM Story Bank
Map company’s core value to your stories. Stick with stories 2 years old or less.
Choose both success and failure stories
Write the who, where, when, what and why
Story #1 - Rapid Release
Story #2 - InnerSource development
- Incentives for community growth
Story #3 - Content API
- Google - Gaurav Pandit, Samip Chakraborty
- Facebook/Meta - Adriana Altomonte (LinkedIn contact), Aeisha Lima (Gmail)
- Coinbase - Nirmala Sistala
- Gemini - Blockchain, FinTech
- Amazon - Ramesh, Kiru
- Oracle - Aravind Tadakamalla
- Wells Fargo - Pete Tsahalis
- Be aware of the company’s core values and try to align your answers accordingly
- Remote work
- Amazon Writing Assessment https://interviewgenie.com/blog-1/2020/2/5/how-to-answer-the-amazon-written-interview-question
- Amazon Leadership Principles
- O’Reilly 97 things every Engineering Manager should know
- Coinbase https://www.builtinnyc.com/job/engineer/senior-software-engineer-cloud-accounts/149315
- Coinbase Sr Solutions Architect - https://www.builtinnyc.com/job/engineer/senior-solutions-architect/142818