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How to Crack Engineering Manager Interview Questions at FAANG+ Companies

by Interview Kickstart Team in Interview Questions
June 14, 2022

How to Crack Engineering Manager Interview Questions at FAANG+ Companies

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Cracking an engineering manager interview at FAANG+ companies is extremely difficult due to stiff competition and high hiring standards. Even with years of experience, answering tough engineering manager interview questions can be challenging. If you're preparing for an engineering manager interview, knowing your approach, areas to focus on, and navigating the various stages of the interview is essential to crack the interview.

In this article, we’ll look at the various things you need to know to nail your engineering manager interviews. We’ll look at the type of engineering manager interview questions, some notable tips, and FAQs on cracking the engineering manager interviews.

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

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Let’s go ahead and look at some engineering manager interview questions, the interview process, and prep tips that will help you nail your interview.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Engineering Manager Interview Process at FAANG+ Companies
  • Sample Engineering Manager Interview Questions
  • Prep Tips to Crack Engineering Manager Interviews
  • FAQs on How to Crack Engineering Manager Interviews at FAANG+ Companies

Engineering Manager Interview Process at FAANG+ Companies

The interview process for engineering managers is similar to that for software engineers. Only for EM interviews, there’s a greater focus on design and behavioral interviews. Let’s quickly look at the different rounds in EM interviews at FAANG+ companies.

  1. The Recruiter Screen - A recruiter from human resources will get in touch with you and ask you basic questions about your qualification, experience, skill-set, and expectations from the role. 
  1. The Technical Phone Screen - A hiring manager conducts this round. The types of engineering manager interview questions asked in this round involve coding problems to understand your approach to problem-solving. You can be asked to write code via a remote interviewing tool or a shared doc. Given that it is an EM interview, the hiring manager might want to hear your thoughts on an ongoing project or a challenging problem you previously solved. 
  1. The On-site Interview - The on-site interview for engineering managers usually comprises 3-4 rounds. The type of rounds and the type of engineering manager interview questions asked are:
  • A Coding Round - you are asked 1-2 coding questions on algorithms and data structures.
  • One or Two Systems Design Round - you’re asked to build an arbitrary system in line with the given pre-set specifications.
  • A Behavioral and Leadership Round - you’re asked questions on team management, conflict resolution, challenging past projects, and leadership.

Sample Engineering Manager Interview Questions

In this section, we’ll look at the type of interview questions to expect at Engineering Manager interviews. We’ll look at engineering manager interview questions on coding, systems design, and leadership.

Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Coding

Coding is an important part of the assessment process for Engineering Managers. Let’s look at some sample engineering manager interview questions on coding. Before that, here are the important topics to prepare for the interview:

Here are some sample engineering manager interview questions:

  1. You are provided with a string in the form of a sentence. Write a program to display the characters of the string in reverse order. 
  2. For an array of integers and unique values, write a program code to decipher if the sum of any two integers in the array is equal to a given value. 
  3. For a given two-dimensional array with integers of unique values, write a program to make the entire column or row of the array zero if any element in the array is zero.
  4. You are given two linked lists. Each of the linked lists has an integer value. Write a program to add the two linked lists and return the value of their sum. 
  5. You’re given the root of a binary tree. Write a code to show the node values at every level. 
  6. For a given binary search tree where two nodes of the tree are swapped, write a program to correct the binary search tree. 
  7. For a given String S, write a program to find non-letter substrings that are palindromes. 
  8. You’re given a list of stock prices with the value of buying and selling for each stock. Write a code to determine what level of buying and selling maximum profit can be derived. 
  9. For a given unsorted array with positive integers from 1 to n and one missing element, write a program to find the missing element in the unsorted array. 
  10. Write an error-free program to validate a given IP address.

For more software engineering interview questions on coding along with optimal code solutions, visit our Problems Page.

Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Systems Design

In this section, we’ll look at some engineering manager interview questions on systems design. Here are the concepts that you should cover:

  • Systems design case studies
  • Loading
  • Caching 
  • Sharding Techniques
  • Network Protocols
  • Database management
  • Scalable systems
  • Concurrency
  • API modeling
  • Servers and maintenance

Following are some sample engineering manager interview questions on distributed systems design:

  1. How would you go about designing a proximity server?
  2. Explain how you’d go about designing a chatbot service that provides users with notifications while also allowing them to interact with the AI unit?
  3. How would you design a platform like Uber?
  4. How would you go about setting up security for multiple servers?
  5. How would you perform API modeling while handling multiple remote servers and systems?
  6. How would you go about designing a platform like Instagram?
  7. How do you design a shared drive on the cloud?
  8. How do you design a search engine? What aspects should you consider while designing the algorithm for a search engine?

Check out these System Design Interview Preparation Tips to nail system design questions at your engineering manager interview.

Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Leadership and Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral and leadership interviews are essential while hiring engineering managers. In fact, considering the seniority associated with EM positions, behavioral and leadership interviews carry substantial weight and significantly impact hiring decisions.

Below are some sample engineering manager interview questions on behavioral psychology and leadership.

  1. Tell us about how you guided your team to complete a challenging project
  2. Tell us about a time when you had to make a big project-related decision with little available information
  3. Tell us about a time when a member of your team was stressed. How did you go about handling the situation?
  4. Tell us about a time when there was a conflict between your team members. How did you handle the situation?
  5. How do you ensure to maintain the productivity of your team?
  6. How do you ensure that your team avoids unnecessary distractions?
  7. What lessons have you learned from the most challenging project you worked on?
  8. Tell us about a time when you worked on a project that required multiple teams to collaborate.
  9. What are your thoughts on the importance of vacations?
  10. What are your thoughts on team-building exercises and activities?

These engineering manager interview questions will help you form a concrete idea of the type of questions asked at Engineering Manager interviews. Practice these questions to get ahead and ace your upcoming interview.

Prep Tips to Crack Engineering Manager Interviews

These tips will tell you what you need to do to crack engineering manager interview questions at FAANG+ companies. 

  1. Focus more on systems design concepts and acing the design interview. While coding is an important element of the interview, systems design interviews carry far more weight. 
  2. Behavioral and leadership interviews are more important than you think, given the seniority and leadership attributes required to carry-out managerial roles. 
  3. You don’t particularly have to practice Whiteboard coding for managerial interviews.
  4. Create a strong project portfolio. Make a list of all the challenging projects you’ve worked on in the past and list them in the STAR format. 
  5. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile and resume have all the necessary information, with keywords distributed evenly. 
  6. Think out loud during your interviews. That way, hiring managers will know your approach and award you points if your solution angle is correct.
  7. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are succinct. 
  8. Practice mock interviews with industry experts and FAANG hiring managers.

Answering mock engineering manager interview questions is essential to nail tech interviews. One of the keys to succeeding in tough technical interviews is to enroll in a good interview prep course. With Interview Kickstart’s highly experienced instructors who are hiring managers at FAANG+ companies, you’ll get precisely the edge you need to tide over the competition and land your dream job.

FAQs on How to Crack Engineering Manager Interviews at FAANG+ Companies

Q1. What type of behavioral interview questions are asked at EM interviews?

Behavioral interview questions asked at EM interviews are typically around team management, leadership traits, past projects, team productivity, and work-life balance.

Q2. How many systems design rounds do EM interviews generally have?

Engineering Manager interviews typically have two systems design rounds. These rounds occur during the On-site interview. 

Q3. What important systems design concepts should you prepare to answer engineering manager interview questions?

The important systems design concepts that are important to answer engineering manager interview questions include - caching, sharding techniques, loading, network protocols, servers and databases, file systems, online processing systems, systems design case studies, and API modeling. 

Q4. How many years of experience do you need to apply for EM positions at FAANG companies?

To apply to Engineering Manager roles, you should typically have 10+ years of experience in your relevant field. 

Q5. What core topics should you prepare to answer engineering manager interview questions?

To solve engineering manager interview questions at technical interviews, you should thoroughly cover core data structures, algorithms, systems design concepts, and leadership-related concepts (for behavioral interviews).

Crack Your Next Engineering Manager Interview

If you need help with your prep, join Interview Kickstart’s Engineering Manager Interview Coursethe first-of-its-kind, role-specific tech interview prep program designed and taught by FAANG+ instructors. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, proprietary teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview. 

Sign up for our FREE webinar to uplevel your career!








WEBINAR +LIVE Q&A

How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

Hosted By
Ryan Valles
Founder, Interview Kickstart
Our tried & tested strategy for cracking interviews
How FAANG hiring process works
The 4 areas you must prepare for
How you can accelerate your learnings

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