How And When Should An Engineer Be Promoted
Engineer managers are responsible for evaluating their team members and placing them in positions where they are able to perform at the highest level. In asking this question, the interviewer is attempting to assess whether the candidate is competent enough to handle this role. Good engineer managers promote candidates based on their previous performance and potential to take on new duties.
As per Peter’s principle, employees are promoted until they become no longer competent. Therefore, promotions should be given based on both past performances and future expectations. In lieu of just rewarding someone for past success, I will choose the person who is best suited for the role and has good previous performance.
Think Of A Scenario Where You Have To Create A New Interface For A Web Application Describe Your Plan For Achieving It
In this question, a candidate is basically asked: On what basis do you prioritize your tasks? A good engineering manager should be able to prioritize and schedule tasks in a manner that will facilitate the creation of the final product, which is the web application interface in this case. This cannot be accomplished by simply assigning random tasks to the team and hoping for the best. Having a structured plan and system is essential, as well as knowing who is good at what in a team. Once they have developed a plan to accomplish this, they can start delegating tasks.
How Should I Address Interview Questions From Engineering Managers
First, ensure that you conduct pre-interview research so that you have a clear understanding of the company, the industry, and the product. The background context you gain will help you tell more compelling stories to the engineering manager that youll interview with.
On top of that, sometimes recruiters will let you know who youll be speaking to next. If you learn who youll be speaking to beforehand, conduct some research about the interviewer too.
Look up the engineering managers profile, GitHub profile, and any blogs or articles, or presentations that shes created. You want to understand how this person thinks because thats the person youll likely be partnering with on a day-to-day basis.
Now that you have a sense of what traits are most valuable at the organization, prepare a set of narratives that you can rely on throughout the interview.
Reflect on the last 3 initiatives that you shipped and the last 3 fires that you put out. You want to bring real, tangible examples of your operating processes so that you can share a compelling narrative about how you operate.
Whenever Im interviewing with engineering managers, I lean on the following three-step framework to address their questions.
First, I share my mental model of how I would typically tackle the problem.
Second, I discuss a real example of that situation, so that the interviewer can see how I bring those principles to life.
First, Ill begin by discussing key principles:
Read Also: Best Interview Attire For A Woman
How To Pass Full Stack Interview
This round is the same as technical screening but difficult. For Engineering Manager roles, this round is not difficult. You will not be tested on your algorithms, so no need to practice trees, graphs etc. Stick to basic and you will do just fine.
The key difference between technical screening and full stack round is that in the screening interview, you will be asked very directed and easy problems to solve. For example, count the number of words in a string, or checking if a word is a palindrome or not. In full stack round, you will be solving real scenarios using language of you choice. The sequence will still be same, where it starts with data modelling followed by SQL and then programming.
For example, how will you define a function that takes below input and calculates average overall score:
If you look at this example, this is a simple case of traversing through a dictionary and list object with basic math functions. The actual scenario will also include two or three data structures working together.
To clear this round, try doing some easy and medium Leetcode questions just to practice problem solving with basic data structures. In my opinion, doing hard problems and algorithm type questions are not much use here, stick to basics and practice as much as possible. Also, you will not find any questions on GlassDoor, so you can save that trouble.
Quick Note Regarding The Favorite Product Question
Sometimes the interviewer will ask a Favorite Product question, followed by the Product Design question. This is structured as follows:
- What is your favorite product? How would you improve it?
The second part of the question is explained in the above steps. One way to answer the first part is to format your answer using the following structure:
Read Also: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
Are You Often Willing To Contribute To Coding
Interviewers will gain a better understanding of candidates’ management styles by asking this question. Getting a sense of whether candidates are more of a mentor, a transformational leader, or a servant leader will help the interviewer determine how they would fit into the organization.
This question cannot be answered with a yes or no. When a company seeks a manager who codes, it is attempting to fill the role of a TLM rather than an EM . The answer to this question varies from candidate to candidate, depending upon the candidate’s priorities and goals. Good managers know how to prioritize their efforts so that they can have the maximum impact.
Can You Tell Me About The Project Management Tools You Are Familiar With
The interviewer’s goal with this question is to determine whether the applicant has a basic understanding of project management tools. Having experience with the project management tools the organization already uses isn’t necessarily necessary, but it is a plus for candidates if they do. Engineer managers can utilize a number of project management tools to manage projects within their organizations. Below are a few of the best project management tools:
- Planview Clarizen
- Explain how you support strong team leaders.
- Describe how you recognize quality talent.
- In case you haven’t had an opportunity to coach someone into a management position yet, discuss the coaching you’ve done, and how that has impacted their performance.
Recommended Reading: How To Prepare System Design Interview
What Are You Looking For In Your Next Role
When it comes to hiring, one of the most important factors is who is the best fit for the role. In the event that your stated goals do not align with what the company is looking for, you will probably be out of the running. The answer you give will also aid the interviewer in determining whether the job you are applying for is a good fit for your skills and interests.
- Describe the skills that you have that would be valuable in the role you’re interviewing for.
- Describe what you are good at and what you enjoy.
- Be sure to research the company and the career path that you may forge there prior to the job interview.
How To Pass Org & People Management
These interviews will revolve around the below areas:
- How do you make hiring decisions
- How do you set your team for success
- How do you manage performance reviews
- How do you manage top/bottom/average performers
- How do you deal with Mediocracy
Google is your best answer. Even if you have amazing experience in this area, I would still recommend you to google and read upon how industry deals with these things. This will give you a good way of structuring your answers.
Again, you need to give them the answers they want to hear. Period. Do not leave it to chance. If you do not have relevant examples from your experience, do not mention it to the interviewer. Simply fabricate one. The best part about fabricating these answers is that you create a fictitious scenario and handle the situation as per the best possible way. While doing this, you will actually learn how things should be handled and also help you pass the interview.
You May Like: Design Interview Preparation
Interviewing With Engineering Managers
As part of the product manager interview process, youll find that youll be interviewing with engineering managers quite regularly.
After all, product managers work closely with engineering managers on a day-to-day basis, and they jointly lead their teams to success.
Therefore, organizations must ensure that theengineering manager approves of the candidate.
But, if youve never formally interviewed with an engineering manager before, it can feel like an intimidating obstacle.
Most times, when aspiring product managers think about interviewing with engineering managers, they jump to the conclusion that itll be a technically-oriented interview filled with algorithms and data structures.
But based on my own experiences in interviewing with engineering managers, Ive found that Ive almost never been asked technical questions by engineering managers.
Impact Driven Interview Questions For Engineering Managers
When interviewing with an engineering manager you want to know how you fit within the team. Can you fill a knowledge gap that the teams lacking? Do you have the skills and personality to succeed in the position?
1. What qualities and skills does it take to be successful at your company?
2. What created the need for the position?
3. What skills are currently lacking in your current team that I can fill?
4. How do you see the role Im interviewing for fitting within your team?
5. How do you measure success for your team members?
6. What are your expectations for the role Im interviewing for?
7. Does the workload generally remain steady or is there a lot of peaks and valleys?
8. Are certain times of the year busier than others for the company?
9. What are some of the current problems facing the engineering team I can help with?
10. What behaviors do team members that are the most successful exhibit?
11. What behaviors do team members who struggle the most exhibit?
12. What do you think are the best ways to keep an engineering team motivated?
Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo
Share Some Examples Of The Ways In Which Youve Impacted Worker Safety
What They Want to Know: Occupational health and safety is a major concern of employers, especially in high-hazard workplaces like factories, chemical labs, and construction sites. Describing how youve positively impacted worker safety is a good way to add value to the impression youre providing of your management skillset.
How Would You Feel If You Were Outperformed By An Engineer
In some aspects, managing people who are more talented than you can be challenging. It is essential for engineer managers to be charismatic enough to command respect from the whole team, even those who are superior to them in some areas. In asking this question, the interviewer seeks to determine if the candidate has dealt with such people before and how they dealt with them.
- Explain that it’s perfectly normal for someone on the team to have more engineering skills. Mention that your role is not to be the smartest person in the room, but to create an environment that allows talent to be expressed and will make the whole team smarter.”
- Additionally, mention that an engineering manager must possess the best social and business skills of all engineers.
- Explain that you prefer to step back and allow employees to do their jobs without meddling too much unless something goes wrong.
Also Check: Questions To Ask A Cfo During An Interview
Types Of Management Interview Questions
An interview for a manager position will consist of questions about your experience, management style, what you’ve accomplished in the past, and what your expectations are for the future.
The hiring manager will ask questions to determine how well you will fit into the organization, and how effective youll be in the position.
To craft your answers, it will help if you share anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences. This will show the interviewer how you capably handled situations and worked with a team. Tailor specific responses, so your job qualifications will come through loud and clear.
If you’re interviewing for a management trainee position, where you’re not expected to have a lot of related work experience, you will most likely be asked about your ability to lead groups, delegate tasks, and perform related duties. It’s fine to share examples from academic and extracurricular activities to show the interviewer how you’re qualified.
How to Answer 4 Common Manager Interview Questions
Tell Me About A Time You Had To Coach Engineers To Solve Technical Debt What Processes Do You Follow
Even though many projects might incur technical debt, its important to handle it appropriately and keep it to a minimum. Some approaches that engineering managers might use to help their team members with technical debt include:
- Ensuring the software product is aligned with its expectations or requirements
- Refactoring to make improvements to software systems without altering how the code functions
- Training their engineers
- Ensuring the proper documentation is maintained
You May Like: Questions To Ask Cfo In Interview
Research The Interview Process For Companies
Each company has its own process for interviewing candidates and evaluates candidates along different core values, so 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 also be better prepared to demonstrate those values and principles during the interview. We’ve put together an extensive catalog of interview guides that give you an inside look at the interview process and criteria for most tech companies. Here are a few examples:
- Google emphasizes technical competence in their interviews and often asks system design questions.
- interviewers tend to ask about your people skillslike ability to manage conflict or dealing with difficult team members.
Check out our full list of company interview guides here:
Take Ownership Of Your Education
Big Tech interviews are both fairly standard and widely documented. There is a wealth of resources to prepare for the coding interview and a growing pile of systems design resources.
It’s easy to get lost in so much information: which is why you should make a plan on how you will get “interview-ready”.
Create a study plan with topics you want to cover for the interview types you’re expecting to have. Learn the theory, then practice this with practice and exercises where you create something from scratch: implementing a data structure, drawing up a diagram.
There is no shortage of people complaining about the difficult interview process Big Tech has. However, I know of no other industry where you can get a high-paying job with no college degree, no connections: purely through interviews that are fairly standard among the highest paying employers like Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook, Pinterest, and others.
Tech interviews being “standard” across the Big Tech makes preparing for these a high-leverage activity: study once, interview many times. Once you prepare, just make sure your software engineering resume grabs the attention of the recruiters.
Good luck – and if you are looking for more advice for senior and above interviews, I have some.
Recommended Reading: Women’s Outfit For Job Interview
Have You Ever Transitioned Between Two Teams That Were Different In Size How Did You Adjust Your Management Style
If your organization comprises several engineering teams different in size, your candidate must be able to manage both bigger and smaller teams. They must therefore know which skills are required to handle each, and the best answers will emphasize how communication will differ between teams.
Especially in a larger team, communication is critical, as it helps engineering managers ensure that all team members are on the same page.
Candidates might mention that communication tools are an essential part of their management style when managing larger teams or that video conferencing tools facilitate the processespecially if the team works remotely.
State Difference Between Leadership And Management
Leadership and management differ in the following ways:
|A leader is someone who leads a group of people and influences them to achieve a particular goal.||A manager is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling the activities of an organization or project.|
|Leading entails having a strategic perspective, managing a team, being open-minded, and promoting innovation.||A manager must possess managerial skills, communication skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills, and conformity to the rules.|
|A leader is more concerned about influencing and aligning people than with allocating tasks. Essentially, they assist individuals in envisioning the potential for future growth given their efforts in a broader context.||A manager, on the other hand, achieves his/her goals by coordinating activities and implementing tactical processes. Their work involves breaking down long-term goals into smaller segments and organizing available resources to achieve the desired outcome.|
|A leader creates circles of influence and inspires others.||A manager creates circles of power and leads by authority.|
|Leaders set directions for achieving goals.||Managers set instructions for completing projects.|
Read Also: Interview Questions To Ask A Cfo
Why Do You Want To Work As An Engineering Manager
Just do not say that you deserve the role , or that you finally want to earn a six figureannual salary. Obviously both of these are trueyou deserve the job, and everyone would love to earn more than $100K in a year. But its just not good to refer to these things when you explain why you decided to apply for the job.
What you can refer to, however, is a career change, or at least a slight transition from engineering to management. Youve had your share of solving all sorts of technical problems, you designed and optimized countless processes, and you learned what it means to lead a project from scratch to completion.
Now, after all the years focusing on engineering work, youd like to work more with people, lead and oversee the projects instead of taking care of technical aspects of the work. You believe that you have what it takes to manage and lead, and feel excited about the opportunity