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30+ Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions to Crack the Interview

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Software engineering manager interviews at top tech companies are significantly challenging even for experienced engineers. To answer challenging software engineering manager interview questions, spending a good 5-6 weeks preparing is highly recommended. 

Interview questions for software engineering managers at top companies are fundamentally around core data structures, distributed systems design, and behavioral psychology. Given the seniority of the position, there is a higher focus on design and behavioral interviews for software engineering managers. 

In this piece, we’ll look at some popular software engineering manager interview questions asked at FAANG+ interviews. These questions will give you a good idea of the type of questions asked and also guide your prep strategy. 

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! 

Having trained over 12,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Our alums consistently land offers from FAANG+ companies. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

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Let’s go ahead and look at some popular software engineering manager interview questions asked at FAANG+ companies. We’ll look at software engineering manager interview questions on coding, systems design, and behavioral psychology:

  • Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Coding
  • Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Systems Design
  • Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Behavioral Psychology
  • FAQs on Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions

Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Coding

Coding is an integral part of software engineering and engineering manager interviews. Your ability to solve tricky and complex problems in core data structures and algorithms is evaluated in technical discussions. Software engineering manager interview questions on coding are essentially based on the following list of topics:

Here are some software engineering manager interview questions that you can practice for your upcoming interview. 

  1. For a given rotated array that is sorted, write a program code to find a particular element in the array. 
  2. Write a program to check if a binary tree is a valid binary search tree. 
  3. Write a program to find if the permutation of a string (given) is a palindrome or not. 
  4. Write an error-free program to check if a given binary tree is balanced or not. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. You’re given the root of a binary tree. Write a code to show the node values at every level. 
  10. For a given binary search tree where two nodes of the tree are swapped, write a program to correct the binary search tree. 
  11. For a given String S, write a program to find non-letter substrings that are palindromes. 
  12. You’re given a list of stock prices with the value of buying and selling for each stock. Write a code to determine at what level of buying and selling maximum profit can be derived. 
  13. 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. 
  14. Write an error-free program to validate a given IP address. 
  15. Write an error-free program to clone a given linked list “L” with the next arbitrary pointer. 

Visit our Problems Page to find more sample software engineer interview questions on coding. 

Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions on Distributed Systems Design  

Systems design is a crucial component of software engineering interviews. As a matter of fact, design rounds are more important and carry higher weightage than coding rounds at software engineering manager interviews. 

In this section, we’ll look at some sample software engineering manager interview questions in systems design. Before that, here is the list of topics that you ought to prepare for your interview: 

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

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

  1. What are the security aspects to consider while building an e-commerce application
  2. How would you go about designing a proximity server?
  3. 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?
  4. How would you design a platform like Uber?
  5. How would you go about setting up security for multiple servers?
  6. How would you perform API modeling while handling multiple remote servers and systems?
  7. How would you go about designing a platform like Instagram?
  8. How do you design a shared drive on the cloud?
  9. How do you design a search engine? What aspects should you consider while designing the algorithm for a search engine?
  10. What do you understand about load balancing? Why is it important, and where is it useful?

Do you know the best way to answer system design interview questions like “Design Twitter or Instagram”? Click here to find out. 

Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions in Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral rounds are an extremely important part of the hiring process for Engineering manager positions. Appearing unprepared at behavioral interviews can turn hiring decisions against you even if you’ve performed exceptionally at the coding and design rounds. 

Software engineering manager interview questions on behavioral psychology are fundamentally based on:

  • Your general professional attitude and characteristics of your personality
  • Your response to workplace-related situations and how you dealt with those situations in the past
  • Team management experience and challenges that were presented to you in the past
  • Learnings from past projects

Following are some sample software engineering manager interview questions on behavioral psychology asked at software engineering interviews:

  1. Tell us about the most challenging project you worked on 
  2. Tell us about a time when you had to make a big decision for a crucial client project
  3. Tell us about a time when you disagreed with your superior
  4. Tell us about a conflict you had at your workplace
  5. What, according to you, are important aspects to maintain productivity at the workplace
  6. How would you avoid distractions at work?
  7. What lessons have you learned from the most challenging project you worked on?
  8. Tell us about a time when you had an uncooperative coworker and how you dealt with the situation?
  9. What are your thoughts on taking periodic vacations?
  10. Tell us about a time when a project suffered because of your superior’s inability to make tough decisions.

Check out this article for more behavioral interview questions.

These software engineering manager interview questions will help you understand what type of questions to expect at engineering manager interviews. Practice these questions to get ahead of your competition!

FAQs on Software Engineering Manager Interview Questions 

In this section, we’ll look at some FAQs on Software Engineering Manager interview questions.

Q1. What are the different types of software engineering manager interview questions asked at technical interviews?

Interview questions for software engineering managers are primarily based on coding, distributed systems design, and behavioral psychology. 

Q2. How many interview rounds do software engineering manager interviews at FAANG+ companies have?

Engineering manager interviews at FAANG+ companies consist of three main rounds of interviews: The Initial Recruiter Screen, which involves interacting with a recruiter from human resources; The Technical Phone Screen, which involves solving 1-2 coding problems; and The On-site interview, which consists of coding, design and behavioral rounds. For more details, click here

Q3. How many rounds of interviews does the software engineering manager on-site interview have?

While this might be different at different companies, the on-site interview for Software Engineering Managers generally consists of one coding round, two systems design rounds, and one leadership interview. 

Q4. How many coding questions can you expect at a software engineering manager interview?

At engineering manager interviews, you can expect 2-3 questions on coding. You can expect 1-2 problems in the Technical Phone Screen round and 1-2 problems in the on-site round. 

Q5. What type of behavioral psychology questions are asked at software engineering manager interviews?

Software engineering manager interview questions on behavioral psychology are typically around work-life balance, leadership, team-handling experience, workplace ethics, professional challenges, and workplace-related situations. 

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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