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Questions you should ask an engineering manager in an interview

When an engineering manager asks you “do you have any questions?” Take this opportunity to show a genuine interest in the company and don’t be shy about it.

It’s important to be prepared and have interview questions ready for engineering managers so you learn about each other and see if there is a culture, personality, and skills fit with the team.

Cultural Fit Interview Questions For Engineering Managers

As you’re interviewing with an engineering manager you want to get a feel for their management style, their personality, and what motivates them.

Does this person enjoy their job?, Does this person like working at the company? Do they enjoy teaching and training others? Are they laid back or demanding? Do they view the company’s future prospects as positive or negative?

These are important questions you want to know but you do not want to necessarily ask them in such a direct way. 

Below are some questions you can ask engineering managers to get a better idea of the type of manager they are and convey a genuine interest in the company.

1. What made you decide to join the company?

2. What do you like about working for the company?

3. What are you most passionate about in your position?

4. What excites you most about the company’s future?

5. How would you describe the company culture?

6. Where do you see the company headed in the next 5 years?

7. Can you describe your management style?

8. What is a typical day like at the company?

9. Where do people usually eat lunch?

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 I’m interviewing for fitting within your team?

5. How do you measure success for your team members?

6. What are your expectations for the role I’m 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?

Closing interview questions for engineering managers

Towards the end of the interview, you want to get an idea of what you’re up against.

Is the company looking to fill the job quickly or does it seem like there isn’t a rush to hire someone? Have they mentioned other interviews?

Getting answers to some of these closing questions will help you and the engineering recruiter your working with have a better understanding of when and how the hiring decision will be made.

1. What is a general career path for someone in this role?

2. What type of personalities generally work well within your team?

3. How does this position contribute to the company’s short term and long term goals?

4. How long has the position been open?

5. How do I compare to other candidates that you’ve interviewed? 

6. How soon are you looking to get someone started? 

7. What are the next steps in the interview process?

By showing you’re prepared to ask questions during an interview with an engineering manager you set yourself apart from other candidates and gain a better understanding of the manager’s management style, the company’s culture, and where the company is headed in the future.

You’re also able to convey your priorities, work habits, skills set, and engineering knowledge in an informative way.

11 Questions you shouldn’t ask engineering managers in an interview

1. What will my compensation be?

2. What’s 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 it’s 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.

Traits hiring managers look for in an engineering employee

  • A sense of personal responsibility
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Self-motivated
  • Driven to succeed
  • Dependable
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • A positive attitude

Skills hiring managers look for in an engineering employee

  • Superior problem-solving ability
  • Sound engineering knowledge
  • Excellent mathematical knowledge
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Professionalism
  • Ability to see the bigger picture
  • Ability to work well within a team
  • Ability to solve complex engineering problems
  • Works well under pressure and deadlines
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Sound engineering judgment
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • A love of learning

As recruiters talking to engineering managers daily, a type of feedback we sometimes get is the candidate who interviewed didn’t ask enough questions and seemed uninterested. 

This is a common mistake that engineering recruiter’s prep candidates for. Unfortunately, engineering job seekers don’t always follow through during the interview by asking enough or the right types of questions. 

Read over the information and hopefully, it will help you in your next interview.

If you’re interested in exploring new career opportunities reach out to the engineering recruiters at Apollo Technical

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