Learn & Share

Engineering Manager Interview

Interview Process

  • 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

Resume Tips

A great engineering manager works himself out of his job by training his team at the same time keeping the promises on deliverables.

Sample Questions

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?

1:1 Meetings

  • 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

Performance management

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

Behavioral Questions

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,
    • burnout,
    • a superstar, etc.
  • “Describe your philosophy on…”
    • team decision-making,
    • recruiting,
    • 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

  • OKRs

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

Story #4

Story #5

Target Companies


  • Google - Gaurav Pandit, Samip Chakraborty
  • Facebook/Meta - Adriana Altomonte (LinkedIn contact), Aeisha Lima (Gmail)
  • Twitter
  • Coinbase - Nirmala Sistala
  • Stripe
  • Gemini - Blockchain, FinTech
  • Amazon - Ramesh, Kiru
  • Oracle - Aravind Tadakamalla
  • Wells Fargo - Pete Tsahalis



Before Interview

  • Be aware of the company’s core values and try to align your answers accordingly


  • Remote work


  • Amazon Writing Assessment


  • Amazon Leadership Principles
  • Books
    • O’Reilly 97 things every Engineering Manager should know
  • Jobs
    • Coinbase
    • Coinbase Sr Solutions Architect -