How to Prepare for an Engineering Manager Interview

We sat down with technology coach interviewers from some of the top technical school companies including Google, Facebook, Stripe, and more to clarify what ‘s actually asked in the engineer director interview and how to prepare .Hey there! This article is part of our series on Engineering Management. For even more help and resources, check out our complete This article is separate of our serial on Engineering Management. For evening more help and resources, check out our complete Engineering Management Interview Course Engineering director interviews are some of the toughest in the technical school diligence. not only do you need to demonstrate your technical art and know with designing complex systems, you besides need to showcase your soft skills in people management. unfortunately, engineering coach interviews can much be quite opaque – EM interview questions can range a across-the-board spectrum, and it ‘s normally ill-defined what good homework looks like.

We sat down with engineer coach interviewers from some of the top technical school companies including Google, Facebook, Stripe, and more to clarify what ‘s actually asked in the engineering coach interview and how to prepare .

Engineering Manager Interview Stages

In general, the technology coach consultation has the following interview stages at most companies : 1. Recruiter screen In this 30-45min interview, your recruiter will ask questions about your sum up, light technical questions to gauge your domain cognition, and behavioral questions to assess your personality and working expressive style. In general, try to be authentic and genuine, while besides showing that you ‘ve done inquiry on the company and are authentically excited to work there. We frequently recommend looking up your interviewer on LinkedIn to understand them a piece better. 2. Manager screen In this interview, you ‘ll speak with the lease director about your technical skills and world cognition ( this is sometimes referred to as the technical screen door ). Expect to talk through why you ‘re the best candidate for the problem and how you ‘d add value to the company. 3. On-site on-site interviews besides vary, but they follow a predictable social organization. typically you ’ ll interview for 3-5 hours total with a lunch break midway through. You ’ ll go through many rounds, each 30 – 60 minutes long. EMs may be given a technical sieve or code challenge ( which likely mirrors the first technical blind, if you ‘ve been given one ) and complete 1-2 rounds of people management interviews and system design questions. There may be a separate beat for a project retrospective. We encourage you to gather angstrom much data as potential about the accurate structure from your recruiter, a well as checking our tilt of EM consultation questions that have been recently asked by technical school companies. While this is a by and large universal structure of the interview serve, the interview stages can vary across different companies. We recommend taking a front at some of the interview stages at popular technical school companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon to get a sense .

Engineering Manager Interview Questions (2022)

As mentioned, engineer coach consultation questions can vary widely from company to caller. here ‘s a list of questions we ‘ve seen most frequently asked at technical school companies in 2022. Managing Individuals

  • How do you run 1:1s with your team? Read Exponent’s answer to 1:1 questions.
  • What was some difficult feedback that you received? and why was it hard to receive?
  • How do you handle poor performers? Watch an Amazon EM answer this question.
  • How would you describe your role in coaching and career development?
  • Tell me about a few people on your team and the career development plans you created with them.

Recruitment and Hiring

  • How do you recruit great engineers? Read our guide to recruiting and hiring.
  • How would you build up a pipeline of world-class candidates?
  • What frameworks and processes have you set up on your teams to hit hiring goals?
  • What do you look for when you screen resumes?
  • What questions do you ask candidates who want to join your team?

Management and Team Execution

  • How do you set up projects for success? See how to talk about project success.
  • How do you balance feature development and technical debt? Read our example answer.
  • How would you create quarterly OKRs for your team? See our recommended approach.
  • Tell me about a time you had to lead a team through a re-organization.
  • Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  • Tell me about a time you received guidance from your manager and had to get buy in from your team.
  • What do you do when a team completely disagrees with the founder/VP on the direction of a product?

Cross-functional Communication

  • How do you explain engineering concepts to non-technical team members? View answer question.
  • When you’re planning a project involving work across multiple teams, how do you drive alignment? Read our example answer.
  • What sort of feedback would you get from a cross-functional peer? Strengths, areas for development, etc.?
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.

System Design

Preparing for the Interview

1. Develop a Story Bank

To be successful in the mastermind coach consultation, we powerfully recommend creating a story bank of your experiences before your interviews. Choose 5-10 relevant experiences that made an mental picture on you. If you ‘re prepping for a specific consultation, it ‘s good practice to map stories to company values. For model, if you ‘re interviewing at Airbnb for example, you ‘ll want at least four : one for each effect value.

For each report, write down the who, what, when, where, and why. Consider how this fib demonstrates your experience and how it fits into the larger business goals. Consider the technical decisions and tradeoffs—what complex decisions did you make a part of the project ? How do you reflect on those decisions ? besides, be sure to think through the people side of the project—how did you work with others to accomplish the goals of the project ? once you ‘ve crafted your stories, think about some of the independent lessons and values imbued in them. What values do these stories represent ? What do they say about your leadership stylus ? By reflecting on these stories yourself, you ‘ll be prepared to answer all the electric potential follow-up questions that your interviewer will ask you, while demonstrating your thoughtful and reflective leadership skills. To double check that your narrative trust has a comprehensive set of stories, browse our list of recently asked engineering director interview questions to see if your fib bank covers most of the questions. If not, try to brainstorm a few more projects to be in full prepared for the types of questions you might receive .

2. Research the Interview Process for Companies

Each ship’s company has its own process for interviewing candidates and evaluates candidates along different core values, therefore do your homework ! If you understand the mission and core values of the companies you ‘re applying to, you ‘ll not only understand more about the company ‘s culture and goals, you ‘ll besides be good prepared to demonstrate those values and principles during the interview. We ‘ve put in concert an extensive catalog of interview guides that give you an inside front at the interview serve and criteria for most technical school companies. here are a few examples : Check out our fully list of company interview guides here :

3. Prepare for System Design Interviews

System design interviews are often asked in the engineer coach interview march, and require a different type of training than the people management interviews. These interviews much are in the format of “ Design x ” where you ‘ll be asked to discuss a technical execution for a software product and consider trade-offs in construction it. For each arrangement you design in the interview, consider how it affects the adopt aspects :

  • Scalability: a system is scalable if it is designed so that it can handle additional load and will still operate efficiently.
  • Reliability: a system is reliable if it can perform the function as expected, it can tolerate user mistakes, is good enough for the required use case, and it also prevents unauthorized access or abuse.
  • Availability: a system is available if it is able to perform its functionality (uptime/total time). Note reliability and availability are related but not the same. Reliability implies availability but availability does not imply reliability.
  • Efficiency: a system is efficient if it is able to perform its functionality quickly. Latency, response time and bandwidth are all relevant metrics to measuring system efficiency.
  • Maintainability: a system is maintainable if it easy to make operate smoothly, simple for new engineers to understand, and easy to modify for unanticipated use cases.

While covering all of these concepts may not be in your initial answer, your interviewer will probable push on your initial answer with follow-up questions related to these concepts. For example, if you ‘re designing Instagram, your interviewer may ask how your design might hold up when Instagram is scaled to 1 billion users, and where the weak points might be or where you may want to rethink your system architecture. In this scenario, you may want to consider adding burden balancers or a content delivery network. Review some of the system design fundamentals in our organization design interview homework path to be in full prepared to ace these questions .

4. Practice

last, be sure to get in some practice to get comfortable answering questions and smooth out your responses. As you practice, remember to actively listen. effective engineering managers know how to actively listen to their team — it ‘s no unlike in the consultation process. After you hear an interview wonder, take the time to in truth sincerely listen to what the interviewer is asking. This means asking follow-up questions and repeating what you hear bet on to ensure you and your interviewer are on the lapp page. After each exercise seance, reflect on what you think you did well and where you could improve. As you practice, tilt out common weaknesses so you can notice patterns. As you rehearse more, you ‘ll know which areas you need to focus your preparation on more .

More Resources

ultimately, the best means to prepare for the technology coach interview is to get out there and practice. To recap, there are batch of resources on Exponent to help you commit and get ready for your approaching EM consultation : 💬 Get prepared with exercise EM interview questions 📖 Read through our Engineering Management interview guides

👯‍♂️ Practice your behavioral and organization plan skills with our consultation commit joyride. 👨‍🎓 Take our complete Engineering Management interview run. 🖊️ Software mastermind interview cheat sheet

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