This summer I was interviewing for a new job. This was the first time I was interviewing for an engineering manager role. Soon I realized these interviews were wildly different from interviews for developer roles. During typical developer interviews, I solved coding and system design problems and discussed personal aspirations in behavioral interviews. In contrast, leadership interview qeustions were really open-ended. Honestly, I found it very hard to answer these questions concisely. Often I could form a crisp answer to these questions only after the interview had finished :-( Here are some example questions:
- What is your management philosophy?
- Tell me when you had to deal with uncertainty.
- Tell me about when you had to motivate a team even though you personally disagreed with the project.
- Tell me when you innovated as a manager.
I did poorly in my first few interviews because how unprepared I was to answer these questions. I got truly frustrated. So, I started looking at YouTube to see how today’s inspiring leaders answer these questions. Here’s a list of YouTube channels that I found to be very resourceful.
- David Rubnstein Show: 25 minute very high quality interviews with present and former leaders in business and technology.
- View From the Top - Stanford: Hour long interview sessions with renowned leaders.
- Technology Enabled Blitzscaling: Hour long interview sessions focusing on technology and startup leadership.
Watching these videos I developed some strategies for concisely answering leadership related questions with authenticity. I’d so love to do a formal research and write up on this topic some time. But for now, here’s the raw data for your enjoyment.
Go ahead and watch!