Thursday, July 25, 2024

Software Engineering Manager Technical Interview Questions

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Questions You Shouldnt Ask Engineering Managersinan Interview

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1. What will my compensation be?

2. Whats your bonus plan look like?

3. How do I request days off?

4. Can I work from home if I want?

5. How long does it take to get promoted here?

6. What type of benefits do you offer?

7. Is it ok to be late sometimes for work?

8. Is a drug test required to get the job?

9. Does this job have any special perks?

10. How many vacation days do I get a year?

11. How often do people get raises here?

When interviewing with an engineering manager you should never ask about benefits, compensation, or other perks. Save those questions for when an offer is made or if negotiations have started.

If you are working with an engineering recruiter its best to have them negotiate the compensation and benefits package for you as they will act as a go-between the two sides.

A good recruiter will frame and negotiate benefits package requirements in a way that will not offend the employer and aim to get you the best offer possible.

Software Engineering Manager Interview Stages

Interviews for software engineering managers are centered around data structures, systems design, and behavioral psychology. The interview process for engineering managers is similar to that for software engineers however, given the seniority of the position, there is a greater emphasis on design and behavioral rounds. Lets briefly examine the different rounds of engineering manager interviews at FAANG and MANG companies:

1. Recruiter screen:

A recruiter will get in touch with you and will ask basic screening questions about your resume, qualification, experience, skill-set, and expectations from the role. Try to be authentic and genuine while showing that youve done research on the company and are genuinely excited to work there.

2. Technical screen:

This round will be conducted by the hiring manager generally over the phone, focusing on your technical skills, domain knowledge and may include coding problems to understand your problem-solving approach. The hiring manager might also want to hear your thoughts on an ongoing project or a challenging situation you previously solved.

3. On-site:

The on-site interview for engineering managers usually comprises 3-4 rounds, each lasting for 30 – 60 minutes. A typical on-site interview structure comprises:

Technical screen or coding challenge: You will be asked 1-2 coding questions on algorithms and data structures.

Systems Design Round: You may be asked to build an arbitrary system per the pre-set specifications.

Questions Related To Hiring Talent

Software engineering managers are typically hiring managers responsible for hiring new talent for your team and often have the final say about who joins the company. Recruitment and hiring questions are designed to evaluate how you screen potential candidates, interview applicants, and present potential hires to upper management.

Here are some questions about hiring you may be asked:

Where do you find the talent, and how do you test its quality?

How would you describe your approach to the hiring process?

How do you hire top engineering talent?

What are your thoughts about diversity in your team? What do you do to ensure you have diversity?

What aspects of software development do you consider when hiring new talent?

How do you structure orientation and onboarding practices for new joiners?

How do you work with recruiters?

What do you look for when hiring a new developer, QA analyst, or data engineer for your team?

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How Do You Help Your Team Members To Improve

An engineer manager is a leader. They need to help everyone on their team to improve their productivity and efficiency. With this question, the goal is to assess if the candidate has practical strategies that they can use to help your engineers to get better at their day-to-day tasks. You should also determine if their suggestions can be applied in your companys current setup.

While Working In Your Previous Role What Decision Proved To Be The Most Challenging

Software Developer Interview Questions

Answering this question will give the interviewer a sense of the candidate’s ability to reflect and their decision-making process. An engineer manager must be able to make tough decisions when there is no right or wrong answer.


  • Discuss the importance of defining the problem, constraints, and thinking clearly.
  • Describe what factors you considered when making that difficult decision.
  • Describe what you learned and what impact the decision had.

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Most Popular Software Engineering Interview Questions

Enlisted below are the most frequently asked Software Engineer Interview Questions with answers.

Lets Explore!!

Q #1) What is SDLC?

Answer: SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle. It defines the step by step approach for the development of software. SDLC involves the following phases i.e. Requirement Gathering, System Analysis, Design, Coding, Testing, Maintenance, and Documentation.

Given below is the high-level representation of the various phases involved in SDLC.

Q #2) What are the various models available in SDLC?

Answer: There are several models available in SDLC for efficiently carrying out software development. Some of the models include the Waterfall model, V-Model, Agile model, etc.

Q #3) Explain the term Baseline.

Answer: A baseline is a milestone on the project which is usually defined by the project manager. Baselines are used to track the progress of the project from time to time to assess the overall health of the project.

Q #4) What are the responsibilities of a Software Project Manager?

Answer: A Software Project Manager is responsible for driving the project towards successful completion. It is the responsibility of the Software Project Manager to make sure the entire team follows a systematic and well-defined approach towards the development of software.

A software project manager is also responsible for the following tasks:

  • Project planning
  • Project delivery within time and budget.

Q #5) What is Cohesion?

Q #6) What is Coupling?


The Interview Process For Engineering Managers

The engineering manager position is a role with a big responsibility within a company. You will be given your own budget, the ability to hire and fire people, and also to manage projects from start to finish.

Naturally, companies don’t want to gamble on somebody with unproven experience. You will most likely be put on a multi-stage process, interviewing with multiple teams.

Some companies will test your technical skills, others do not. You can expect to be asked about architectural, design, and management topics.

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Roles And Responsibilities Of A Software Engineer

You need a software engineer to perform the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Studying the business requirements
  • Understanding the technical solutions and providing inputs to creating them
  • Collaborating with testers, DevOps engineers, etc. to establish an effective Continuous Integration /Continuous Delivery environment
  • Creating specifications for new applications
  • Coding and unit testing of new applications
  • Working with testers and DevOps engineers to testing and deployment
  • Maintaining existing applications
  • Communicating effectively with the relevant stakeholders
  • Working with the project manager, architect, and other team members to deliver sustained and tangible value to clients.

What Questions To Ask In A Software Engineering Manager Interview

Google Coding Interview With A Normal Software Engineer

You should ask many questions throughout your interviews. Any time a problem is described to you, make sure to clarify the constraints of the solution that the interviewer is looking for. Are they looking for a certain time complexity? Does the solution have to work for any specific inputs? Try to weed out any edge cases ahead of starting to write code, and ask your interviewer how they expect you to handle them.

Once you have a clear idea of the problem and are starting to write code, you should continue asking questions as they arise. And especially if you are stuck, its a good idea to continue to ask questions about the problem to help you think. Questions can also help your interviewer understand whether you are on the right track or not, letting them provide more guidance and help.

Once youve solved the problem, you can ask more general questions about the team you’re joining as well as questions you might have about the team and culture overall.

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Fundamentals Of An Em Interview

Engineering Managers in most tech companies are expected to play this intersectional role between People, Tech, and Product/Business. They are entrepreneurs for their own little startups and are held accountable for its success. The real question every company wants to answer is Can this person drive sustainable, long-term success for this area of the business? So they model the interview process to capture signals that can give them reasonable confidence about the candidates ability to drive that sustainable, long-term success. Obviously, it is impossible to categorically determine that, so companies resort to reasonable proxies. The proxies that Ive seen end up falling into these categories:

  • Technical Domain Experience

Lets look at each of these in detail and see how they manifest in various interview formats across different companies:

Hire An Engineering Manager With Distantjob

Hiring an engineering manager is about making sure they have the necessary hard skills they need for the job as well as leadership and management skills.

Once you got in an remote interview with the possible candidate, after the recruiter found you the right one, it all comes down to you, as the hiring manager, to ask the right questions and decide if he/she is the right fit to manage your engineering team.

If all these questions and processes make you feel as if you were floating in a galaxy far-far away, adrift in space, dont worry. At DistantJob, as remote tech recruiters, we can help you hire a talented engineering manager in no time! Contact us and let us scale your team with the best talent from all over the world.

If youre interested in exploring new career opportunities reach out to the engineering recruiters at our Job Page.

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What Is The Role Of An Engineering Manager

The primary role of an engineer manager is to finish all key projects and engineering tasks in an efficient way that meets business goals. This involves planning and allocating tasks to the different engineers and any other people on his team. An engineer manager also has to ensure that all engineers on his team have the tools they need to do the work assigned to them.

Software Engineering Manager: Job Responsibilities

Autocad or CAD Interview/ Viva questions (2020) for interviews, PSC ...

The list of day-to-day tasks of an engineering manager is drastically different from that of a developer. Programmers are focused on building solutions and writing code. Engineering managers are focused on encouraging the team to not stray from best development practices and creating a comfortable working environment for the team.

Heres a brief rundown of the responsibilities of a software engineering manager:

If you have open programming positions as well, take a look at top software developer interview questions to ask job candidates.

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Technical Experience Required For An Engineering Manager

From my experience, an engineering manager needs to show at least the same amount of experience as a senior engineer if not more. In some cases, they might not need to be so up to date with the latest frameworks, but they definitely need to understand the broader picture of software development in general. They must understand software system design principles, architecture principles and how to prepare a development plan.

As they are managing a team they must be highly proficient in agile methodologies and be able to run the role of an Agile coach or a scrum master.

What Do You Believe Youll Achieve As An Engineering Manager That You Couldnt Achieve As An Engineer

I believe my role as an engineering manager will make communication between clients and engineering teams easier for our company. In this position, Ill help the clients understand the process and help the engineers understand the clients expectations. This will make it much easier to set the right budgets and expectations, so everyones satisfied with the outcome. I also look forward to offering my insight into the engineering talent at our company.

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Differentiate Black Box Testing From White Box Testing

Here, your knowledge about black box and white box testing is tested. The interviewer wants to know whether you can differentiate the two.

Tip #1: Define black box and white box testing

Tip #2: Differentiate the two types of testing

Sample Answer

White box testing seeks to test an application with an understanding of its internal structure as well as code implementation. This type of testing is done by the developer who wrote the code and is conducted in the form of unit tests.

On the other hand, black-box testing regards testing an application without knowing its code implementation or internal structure. Here, testers are only concerned about software functionality rather than the code execution or data blow.

Develop An Algorithm That Output Your Current Location And A List Of Atms Locations In That Area Get You The Closest K Atms To Your Location

Confessions from a Big Tech Hiring Manager: Tips for Software Engineering Interviews

Create a method getDistance that calculates the distance between a and b.


import java.util.HashMap import java.util.Map import java.util.PriorityQueue public class PrioRQueueExample ) PrioRQueueExample pqe = new PrioRQueueExample //Number of ATMs to return i.e. Kint num_ATMs = 3 double curr_loc = 0.00 Map< String,Double>  nallATMLocs = new HashMap< String,Double> //Map of ATM names and their distance co-ordinatesnallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.put nallATMLocs.forEach -> else}}) pq.forEach) }private double getLocation}

These interview questions will also help in your viva

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How Do You Measure Success

In asking how you define success, employers are trying to determine the kind of employee you will be. This question can give interviewers insight into what candidates prioritize and find most important.


  • Describe a time when you felt successful, and explain how it happened.
  • You can mention that success is a process, like achieving daily, weekly and monthly goals. When success is viewed as a process, small accomplishments can help lead to bigger accomplishments.

What Do You Consider To Be The Most Important Skills For This Role

Many lead developer interview questions will help you understand how a candidate thinks and how they will act on the role. Despite looking simple, this question will help you perceive how an engineering manager understands their role and responsibilities.

Many skills make up this job, but the ones that they answer you are the ones they likely consider crucial for their role. It might be a mixture of soft skills with hard skills, or maybe just hard skills. But the aspect to highlight with this question is that you will understand if a candidate is in sync with the skills you value the most for the job.

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How Do You Imagine A Typical Day In Work

The most important thing is to show realistic expectations. Many engineers and project managers love the technical part of the job so much, that they talk mostly about it at this point. Thats a big mistake.

As an engineering manager, you will do exactly what the job title suggestsmanaging engineers. That means hiring new staff or assigning existing staff to projects, training the people, overseeing their work, intervening when necessary, for example when they struggle to move forward.

You may also respond for budgeting and some money stuff, but more than anything else, you will work with people, engineers. Try to center your answer around people youd manage.

Whats more, you should show proactive approach to work. Ensure the interviewers that you plan to spend a lot of time in the workplace, observing the work of the engineers, and having regular one on one with your people, to ensure that they progress in the right direction, and have the resources they need in their work.

You wont simply wait in your comfy office until someone calls you and asks for help. Youll be out there, talking to people, trying to identify issues before they grow into something bigger.

What Can You Do To Resolve Tech Debt

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Technical debt refers to the implicit cost of additional rework caused by choosing a faster and easier approach over a more efficient one in software development. It is inevitable that every project will suffer from tech debt at some point during the development cycle. It should, however, be managed and minimized. Test, refactoring, proper documentation, and engineer training are all ways to deal with tech debt in engineering.

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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?

How Do You Determine A Projects Success

While releasing high-quality software is vital, software that doesnt address the needs of the user and the business produces little value. Employers want to know that you are thinking beyond the technical aspects and aim to solve real-world problems. This often comes down to identifying a metric to improve and creating a testable hypothesis of your expected project impact.

Example:”Before a project is even started, success metrics are laid out. I will identify the key performance indicator that we are hoping to impact and begin gathering information to formulate ideas. These ideas are stated as a falsifiable hypothesis. For example, We believe that reducing checkout steps will increase sales conversion. An increase of 2% will be considered a positive signal. This keeps the team focused on the impact of our projects on the businesss bottom line.”

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