Right way to prepare for Manager Interview

Are you a technical team lead who is struggling to get through the manager interview? Are you not sure how to prepare for a Manager interview? Then read this blog to know the right approach to prepare for your next manager interview.

Srihari Udugani
4 min readJul 6, 2023
Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Due to lack of progression in the current organisation for Technical Team Leads, they generally aim to get to a manager position by applying for such job openings. But many of them struggle to get through the job interviews.

The reason behind is lack of preparation. In the internet there are several blogs written, which talks about the questions that will be asked in an Manager interview. This confuses as many of them are open ended questions.

So, here is an attempt I am making to clarify few things while preparing. And I am not going to give you specific questions to prepare, rather I am going to provide themes for preparations.

General Mistake while preparation

1. Too much focus on technical aspects

Preparing for Manager role interview with focus on technical aspects will not give positive result.

Since a Manager role is more towards decisions, strategies and people, the granular level of technical preparation will not help.

2. Too focused on single module or a problem

Don’t get stuck into a problem or one module that you were leading. Think from end-to-end scenarios that is going on.

A manager role is about looking at end-to-end aspects and breaking into smaller pieces and providing guidance to do it right. Without having a knowledge of end-to-end design strategies, the interview will not go well.

3. Less focus on people problems

There are so many people issues that could occur every day. Understanding various issues related to people is important and trying to solve for it is also important.

A manager role is towards building a team, sustaining it, growing it, motivating the people to take new challenges, helping people to achieve their career goals.

This requires preparation on people skills. Without any preparation on this, it will be difficult answer people scenario based questions in the interview.

So what is the right way to prepare?

1. Come out of granular technical preparation

Look at the reason why certain design decisions were made or what problem is solved by adopting certain technologies.

The preparation should be ‘why’ part of the technical work.

2. Understand design patterns and architectural patterns

The preparation should be to solve an end-to-end problem by employing some of the best practices in the industry.

With the help of architecture principles, it will help you to provide a view on how a system could be designed end-to-end and how each component interact with each other and how to integrate one another.

3. Improve on people scenario

As a manager you need to make decisions, strategies, communicate your thoughts effectively and solve conflicts and confusions within the team.

For this take courses which helps you to improve on such topics. With the help of courses, you will be able to answer the questions that will be related to managing a team effectively.

In the blog below, I have listed few.

4. Understand the benefits of Processes

As a Manager, it is important to define processes for better team functioning. Without process you will not be able to bring consistency in the way the team operates.

For this, look at best practices related project management and whether employing Agile based development processes will help.

Keeping the above themes for preparation, you can look at your current work and create samples for

  1. an end-to-end problem that you have solved
  2. design strategy that you have employed
  3. architecture principles that are employed in your work
  4. communicating ideas to your team members
  5. decisions that you took to solve problems in the system
  6. improved processes that helped bring clarity

and so on. When you have samples for the themes above, you can use it to answer any questions related to strategy, decision making, managing people.

When you show confidence in the areas of team management with end-to-end problem solving, the interviewer will definitely like to on-board you into the team.

Let me know what strategy you employed for your next manger interview and how did it help you to succeed.

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Srihari Udugani

Helping new managers to become successful to grow in their careers. Happy Management.