This interview is performed by the hiring manager and one peer manager.
There are more questions here than can possibly be answered in one interview. Your goal is to touch on most of these topics and go deep on a few.
With great candidates, the conversation will unfold very naturally and you will ask contextual followup questions. Once you are satisfied (or have spent sufficient time to know you won’t be satisfied), move on to another topic instead of rigidly sticking to the script.
Culture and values
- Does this person understand what good engineering leadership looks like?
- Are their answers thoughtful, structured, and not unnecessarily verbose?
- Do their answers provide evidence that they have experience or have thought about these topics in depth?
- Would their management style be a valuable addition to our team?
- Describe in your own words what the job of an engineering manager is.
- How do you measure if you are doing a good job as an engineering manager?
- By that measure, did you do a good job at your most recent role?
- Does this person model and facilitate continuous growth.
- What career growth have you achieved in your most recent role?
- What did you get better at?
- What did you struggle with?
- What have you done in the last year to become a better engineering manager?
- Can you describe a recent example of how you have helped an engineer grow in their career?
- What is this person’s process for scoping the work of their team?
- How do they make tough prioritization decisions?
- How do you set priorities for your team?
- What do you do if your team is being asked by multiple stakeholders to do more work than they can achieve?
- How does this person challenge and push engineers to grow in their careers?
- How do they ensure that everyone is meeting expectations and what actions do they take when someone isn’t meeting expectations?
- Talk about an engineer who you are proud of and whom you helped grow in their career. How did they grow and what did you do to facilitate that growth?
- Talk about an engineer who you managed and wasn’t meeting your expectations. How did you handle that situation?
- What made you realize they weren’t meeting expectations?
- Would you call the outcome a success?
- What did you learn from the situation? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
- How do you attract, hire, and retain excellent engineers?