Engineering Management is a specialized form of management that is concerned with the application of engineering principles to business practice. Engineering management is a career that brings together the technological problem-solving savvy of engineering and the organizational, administrative, and planning abilities of management in order to oversee complex enterprises from conception to completion.
Successful engineering managers typically require training and experience in business and engineering. Technically inept managers tend to be deprived of support by their technical team, and non-commercial managers tend to lack commercial acumen to deliver in a market economy.
Engineering professionals joining manufacturing companies sometimes become engineering managers by default after a period of time. They are required to learn how to manage once they are on the job though this is usually an ineffective way to develop managerial abilities.
Top 10 Engineering Management Interview Questions
We have prepared the list of Top 10 Engineering Manager Interview Questions which are asked in the interviews. You must go through the list and read carefully. Remember, the questions are subject to twist and change. These engineering management interview questions are not limited to.
1. Why do you want this engineering manager job?
Again, companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. (And if you don’t? You probably should apply elsewhere.)
First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem”), then share why you love the company (e.g., “I’ve always been passionate about education, and I think you guys are doing great things, so I want to be a part of it”).
2. What have you learned from mistakes on the engineering manager job?
Candidates without specific examples often do not seem credible. However, the example shared should be fairly inconsequential, unintentional, and a learned lesson should be gleaned from it. Moving ahead without group assistance while assigned to a group project meant to be collaborative is a good example.
3. What challenges are you looking for in this engineering manager position?
A typical interview question to determine what you are looking for your in next job, and whether you would be a good fit for the position being hired for, is “What challenges are you looking for in a position?”
The best way to answer questions about the challenges you are seeking is to discuss how you would like to be able to effectively utilize your skills and experience if you were hired for the job. You can also mention that you are motivated by challenges, have the ability to effectively meet challenges, and have the flexibility and skills necessary to handle a challenging job. You can continue by describing specific examples of challenges you have met and goals you have achieved in the past.
4. Describe a typical work week for engineering manager position?
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to discuss what they do while they are working in detail. Before you answer, consider the position you are applying for and how your current or past positions relate to it. The more you can connect your past experience with the job opening, the more successful you will be at answering the questions.
It should be obvious that it’s not a good idea talk about non-work related activities that you do on company time, but, I’ve had applicants tell me how they are often late because they have to drive a child to school or like to take a long lunch break to work at the gym. Keep your answers focused on work and show the interviewer that you’re organized (“The first thing I do on Monday morning is to check my voicemail and email, then I prioritize my activities for the week.”) and efficient.
5. What is your biggest weakness?
No one likes to answer this question because it requires a very delicate balance. You simply can’t lie and say you don’t have one; you can’t trick the interviewer by offering up a personal weakness that is really a strength (“Sometimes, I work too much and don’t maintain a work-life balance.”); and you shouldn’t be so honest that you throw yourself under the bus (“I’m not a morning person so I’m working on getting to the office on time.”)
Think of a small flaw like “I sometimes get sidetracked by small details”, “I am occasionally not as patient as I should be with subordinates or co-workers who do not understand my ideas”, or “I am still somewhat nervous and uncomfortable with my public-speaking skills and would like to give more presentations and talk in front of others or in meetings.” Add that you are aware of the problem and you are doing your best to correct it by taking a course of action.
6. Why should the we hire you as engineering manager position?
This is the part where you link your skills, experience, education and your personality to the job itself. This is why you need to be utterly familiar with the job description as well as the company culture. Remember, though, it’s best to back them up with actual examples of say, how you are a good team player. It is possible that you may not have as many skills, experience or qualifications as the other candidates.
What then, will set you apart from the rest? Energy and passion might. People are attracted to someone who is charismatic, who show an immense amount of energy when they talk, and who love what it is that they do. As you explain your compatibility with the job and company, be sure to portray yourself as that motivated, confident and energetic person, ever- ready to commit to the cause of the company.
7. What do you know about our company?
Follow these three easy research tips before your next job interview:
1. Visit the company website; look in the “about us” section and “careers” sections.
2. Visit the company’s LinkedIn page (note, you must have a LinkedIn account — it’s free to sign up) to view information about the company.
3. Google a keyword search phrase like “press releases” followed by the company name; you’ll find the most recent news stories shared by the company.
Remember, just because you have done your “homework”, it does not mean you need to share ALL of it during the interview! Reciting every fact you’ve learned is almost as much of a turn off as not knowing anything at all!
At a minimum, you should include the following in your answer:
1. What type of product or service the company sells
2. How long the company has been in business
3. What the company culture is like OR what the company mission statement is, and how the culture and/or mission relate to your values or personality
8. Why do you want to work with us?
More likely than not, the interviewer wishes to see how much you know about the company culture, and whether you can identify with the organization’s values and vision. Every organization has its strong points, and these are the ones that you should highlight in your answer. For example, if the company emphasizes on integrity with customers, then you mention that you would like to be in such a team because you yourself believe in integrity.
It doesn’t have to be a lie. In the case that your values are not in line with the ones by the company, ask yourself if you would be happy working there. If you have no issue with that, go ahead. But if you are aware of the company culture and realize that there is some dilemma you might be facing, you ought to think twice. The best policy is to be honest with yourself and be honest with the interviewer with what is it in the company culture that motivates you.
9. Did the salary we offer, attract you to this engineering manager job?
The interviewer could be asking you this question for a number of reasons. Obviously, the salary is an important factor to your interest in this job, but it should not be the overriding reason for your interest. A good answer to this question is, “The salary was very attractive, but the job itself is what was most attractive to me.”
10. Do you have any questions to ask us?
Never ask Salary, perks, leave, place of posting, etc. regarded questions. Try to ask more about the company to show how early you can make a contribution to your organization like “Sir, with your kind permission I would like to know more about induction and developmental programs?” OR Sir, I would like to have my feedback, so that I can analyze and improve my strengths and rectify my shortcomings.