Job Interview: Senior Technology Manager
- Job Performance
- Intelligence & Capacity for Learning
- Time Management
- Communication Skills
Your job is to consider potential answers and be prepared!
- Describe an experience in which you planned with your tech team about how you would best work together as an organized unit to gain optimal results and hit deadlines. What level of involvement did the team have and why, what was that plan, and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time you came up with an approach to an issue that one of the technical experts on your team claimed was flawed. How did you assess this, how did you respond, how did you feel about it, and what ultimately happened?
- Describe an experience which helped give you an opinion on how hierarchies within a technology team should work. What was that hierarchy, what strengths and weaknesses did you find, what conclusions did you reach, and how did it affect your approach today?
- Tell me about a time, if any, you found yourself working with a problematic team at a time before you reached management level. In what way did you consider this team problematic, how did you respond to the situation, and what lessons did you learn?
- Describe a good experience and a bad experience with a previous boss or higher management person. How do you look back on these experiences with hindsight, what credit or blame would you say is fair, and what would you expect your current boss to say about you when asked?
- Tell me about a technology project that involved a lot of pressure for both yourself and your team. What was the project, what timelines were you working to, why were you and your team made to feel under pressure, and how did you deal with it? What happened?
- Describe an experience using source or version control in a key project. What was the project, how did you assess the optimal method for making necessary changes, what potential risks did you identify, what blockers, if any, did you come up against, and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time you assigned and oversaw a unit testing exercise for a key project. What was the broader project, how did you organize the unit testing exercise for the software, how was the exercise executed, and how many bugs were identified as a result?
- Describe an experience in which a major project or release-to-deployment process had issues. What was the project and circumstances, how did you assess those issues, what solutions did you implement, and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you gained a highly productive reuse from code developed by yourself. What was the project for which the code was originally developed, how did you identify it as optimal for reuse based on reusability principles, and what was the outcome?
Intelligence & Capacity for Learning
- Describe an experience in which you used your own time to stay up-to-date with innovations and industry trends in your area and/or in general. How did the information you gleaned come in useful, and what do you do today to stay on top of technological advancements?
- Tell me about a time or times when you began to develop strong feelings about your favorite and least favorite operating systems and programming languages. What were some of those experiences, and what are your feelings on the subject today and why?
- Describe an experience in which you managed your team in taking on a key technical challenge. What was this challenge, what was your assessment and plan, how did you organize your team, and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time you changed your mind about, for example, a computer language, system, or other related item, in terms of your feelings about it. What was the experience leading to this change of heart, why did you hold your former opinion, and what did you learn from this?
- Describe an experience from early in your career when you were confronted with a technical issue beyond your experience. What did you do to quickly learn and adapt to this issue, who did you speak with, if anybody, what was the outcome, and what did you learn?
- Describe an experience multi-tasking from a technology management point of view. How did you oversee and manage team timelines, what blockers and other problems did you face, how did you resolve them, and how do you approach this issue today?
- Tell me about a time from early in your management career when you had to delegate tasks across a team for a time restricted project. How did you plan, organize and execute this, what mistakes, if any, do you feel you made, and what did you learn?
- Describe an experience in which you juggled a number of key projects, each with strict timelines for completion, and which needed your close attention. How did you prioritize these projects, how did you maintain productivity across each, and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you believed there simply wasn’t enough time to meet all your obligations while maintaining high standards. How did you cope with this, who did you speak to, if anybody, and how did you resolve the situation?
- Describe an experience in which you identified a time management methodology, or another way of helping your technology team manage timelines. What was this methodology or tailored approach, how did you identify and implement it, and what was the result?
- Describe an experience in which you needed to explain a complex technological issue to higher management. How did you approach this, in what way did you attempt to simplify the language used without compromising the issue, and what was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you had to confirm to yourself that higher management or cross-disciplinary colleagues had understood a complex issue that you had simplified for easier comprehension. How did you do this?
- Describe an experience in which you had to tell members of your team that their enthusiastic ideas about a solution or project were not shared by yourself. How did you express this and under what circumstances? Did it affect morale? What happened?
- Tell me about a time when doubts existed among team members and/or higher management about an approach you were driving. How did you go about rallying support by expressing your approach in a simpler or different way? What was the outcome?
- Describe an experience, if any, when you felt obliged to explain to higher management that a strategy they were enthusiastic for could meet serious issues on the technical side of the equation. How did you go about this and what was the result?
- Tell me about a time you put forward team ideas to improve a tech project, but met with resistance from higher management. How did you assess the reasons for that resistance, and how did you defend and speak up for your team? What was the outcome?
- Describe an experience which stands out in your mind as the biggest issue you have faced as a senior technology manager. What was this issue, how did it arise, how did you respond to it, what blockers did you come up against, and how was it resolved?
- Tell me about a time you experienced a breakdown, or near-breakdown, of professionalism in a team member or members. How did you initially react to this, how did you assess it and choose to respond, what happened, and what did you learn?
- Describe an experience in which you received a project from another department that was incomplete in terms of its goals and requirements, but with demands for concrete responses or actions from you. How did you deal with this and what happened?
- Tell me about a time when you decided how you would evaluate success, either for yourself or your team members. What criteria did you apply, what lessons did you learn from this, and what do you do today to make similar evaluations?
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