New Release: The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide, 2nd Edition

Published on Feb 1, 2023

9 min read

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I am thrilled to announce the release of the 2nd Edition of my book, “The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide: Insider Strategies for Acing the Engineering Leadership Interviews. This comprehensive guide will help you master the engineering leadership interview and land your dream role at a top-tier tech company.

Insider Strategies for Acing the Engineering Leadership Interviews

With over 150 real-life management and behavioral questions from tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and more, you’ll be well-equipped for your following interview.

The second edition includes a new sections on preparing your resume, up-to-date resources, expanded sample answers, and tips on getting the interview and doing well in the onsite interview. New version 141 pages; previous version 67 pages.

Take advantage of the opportunity to ace your next engineering leadership interview and secure your dream role in tech. Order your copy of “The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide, 2nd Edition” today.

​Buy at Amazon.com

Table of Contents

  1. The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide
  2. Dedication
  3. Introduction
  4. I. Getting Started and Long-term Preparation
    1. Timelines
    2. How To Get The Interviews
      1. LinkedIn
      2. Sourcing Jobs
      3. Sliding into DMs, cold emails and LinkedIn
      4. Referrals
      5. Networking
      6. Slack
    3. Resume
      1. Resume Format
      2. Resume Sections
      3. Contact Info
      4. Summary Or Objective
      5. Work Experience
      6. Skills
      7. Education
      8. Other Information To Add To Your Resume
      9. Closing Advice On Engineering Manager Resumes
      10. Cover Letters
      11. Ageism
  5. II. Short-term Preparation & Study
    1. Coding, Algorithms, and Data structures
    2. System Design and Architecture Interviews
      1. A Design Specific To A Domain
      2. Design Of A System Your Team Worked On
  6. III. The Job Interview
    1. Phone Screens
    2. The Role and Importance of Your Recruiter
    3. Prep Call with the Recruiter
    4. Onsite
    5. Interviewing Remotely via Zoom
    6. Making a Great First Impression
    7. Take Breaks and Check Understanding
    8. Company Values
    9. Lunch Interview
    10. Managerial and Leadership
    11. The Bar Raiser
    12. Unique One-Off Interviews
    13. Panelists
    14. What to Ask the Hiring Manager
  7. IV. Mastering Behavioral and Competency-Based Interviews: Techniques and Tips
    1. Think. Why Are They Really Asking This Question?
    2. Selling Yourself
    3. Behavioral Questions
      1. How to Tell Your Story
        1. STAR
        2. Man in the Hole (fall & rise)
    4. “Disney-like” Versions with a Happy Ending
    5. The Rule of Three
    6. Don’t Hedge
    7. What to Say When You Don’t Have a Story
  8. V. Example Behavioral and Competency Questions and Answers
    1. 1. General Questions
      1. Frequently Asked and Important
        1. Tell me about yourself.
        2. Why are you interested in this opportunity (or company)?
        3. Tell me something that is not on your resume.
        4. What are you not good at?
        5. What is your management style? A common variant is also, “What is your management philosophy?”
        6. Do you have any questions for me?
        7. What is the role of an engineering manager?
        8. What are the responsibilities of a manager?
        9. What is the difference between leadership and management?
        10. What are the differences and tradeoffs between managing a small team and a large team?
        11. How is managing other managers different from managing individual contributors?
        12. How do you know that you are doing a good job as a manager?
        13. What was your purpose in moving into management?
        14. Why did you leave your last job?
        15. What are you looking for in your next role? or Why are you leaving your current role?
      2. Other Questions You May Be Asked
    2. 2. Feedback and Performance Management
      1. Frequently Asked and Important
        1. How have you managed low performers? How do you deal with performance issues?
        2. How do you manage and motivate high performers or star performers?
        3. How do you do coaching and career development?
        4. How do you deal with difficult team members?
        5. What is the point of a one-on-one meeting (1:1)?
        6. How often do you do 1:1 meetings?
        7. How do you identify engineers who could make good managers? How do you help them develop?
        8. How do you handle a great engineer with communication problems?
        9. How do you handle someone who really wants a promotion but isn’t ready?
      2. Other Questions You May Be Asked
    3. 3. Prioritization and Execution
      1. Frequently Asked and Important
        1. Tell me about a project you are most proud of, and why.
        2. How do you manage multiple requests for your team? How do you deal with competing priorities?
        3. How do you see the tradeoffs between scope, quality, and schedule?
        4. What are signals that too much or too little process is in place?
        5. How do you evaluate the success or failure of a project?
        6. Explain to me the roles and responsibilities of the members of a Scrum team.
        7. How do you manage dependencies in your team and across teams?
      2. Other Questions You May Be Asked
    4. 4. Strategy and Vision
    5. 5. Hiring Talent and Building a Team
      1. What do you look for in screening resumes?
      2. What do you look for when hiring engineers?
      3. What do you look for when hiring engineering managers?
      4. How do you spot burnout?
      5. Other Questions You May Be Asked
    6. 6. Working With Tech Leads, Team Leads, and Technology
      1. What is the role of a tech lead or team lead?
      2. What is the relationship between the engineering manager and tech lead?
      3. How would you convince a team to adopt a new technology?
      4. Other Questions You May Be Asked
    7. 7. Dealing With Conflicts
      1. Frequently Asked and Important
        1. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with another engineering manager and how you resolved it.
        2. Tell me about a time you did not see eye to eye with your manager and how you resolved it.
        3. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a product manager and how you resolved it.
      2. Other Questions You May Be Asked
    8. 8. Diversity and Inclusion
      1. What do you tell people when they come to you and ask why diversity is important?
      2. Other Questions You May Be Asked
  9. VI. After the Interview. What’s Next?
    1. References
      1. Candidate’s Perspective
      2. Hiring Manager’s Perspective
    2. Thank You Notes
    3. Debrief
    4. Interview Feedback
      1. Mock Interviews
    5. The Interview Never Ends
  10. Resources 1. Books 2. Websites 3. Articles 4. Videos 5. Groups
  11. Contributors and Acknowledgements
  12. About the Author 1. Read More / Also By
    1. Other Books 2. Contact Info

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