Ace Engineering Leadership And Management Interviews Through STEM Secrets For Interviewing

Secrets For Interviewing

Despite your qualifications, you cannot secure a job without a successful interview. So, what can you do to impress your interviewers for engineering leadership and management roles? The answer lies in this article; we will discuss how you can prepare for the interview and share the secrets to ace STEM interviews for leadership and management positions.

Engineering Leadership and Management Interview Overview

Step 1: Preparation

Preparation makes the man perfect. Before the interview, you need to prepare everything. This includes creating a resume suited for the job you are applying for. Avoid using one generic resume for every position.

During the preparation, you should study the company and learn all you can about the position you are applying for. Be sure to run a mock interview with a friend, family member, or, better yet, someone already working in a similar position.

Step 2: The Recruiter Interview

The first step includes a preliminary interview to ensure you tick all the boxes. They will ask basic questions about your qualifications and skillset to ensure you are fit for the job role. If you clear all the requirements in the application, you can expect a call for an interview with the recruiter. This is your chance to showcase your excitement about the position. Research the questions a recruiter can ask and answer accordingly.

Step 3: The Manager Interview

If you pass the initial interview, you can expect another interview with the manager. They will test your technical skills and practical knowledge. It’s the make-or-break moment. Be sure to be confident in your answers, thoroughly explain your understanding of the basic concepts, showcase your problem-solving skills, etc.

Step 4: On-site Interview

The final stage will put you in action. Here, you are expected to test your skills to check if you can handle the job responsibilities for this engineering leadership and management position.

Common Questions Asked in an Interview

Q: Tell me about yourself.

You can expect to have this question regardless of whether or not you are in STEM. However, your response to this question might determine your future with a company. It is often used as an icebreaker, but you must customize your answer to fit the company and the position you’ve applied for.

In your response, thoroughly cover your work history and explain why you are interested in this company and this position. If you’ve ever done volunteer work, you can also highlight them.  

Q: How do you manage team performance?

If you are interviewing for a position in engineering leadership and management, you can expect questions about how you manage team performance. This is how you can answer:

As an individual responsible for my team’s performance, ideally, I will engage in one-on-one meetings to build a report and address their performance head-on.

Every team has an underperformer, and my job is to help them. I will work closely with them to determine the root cause and set milestones to help them progress.

Another way to improve team performance is recognition. Make sure to reward positive performances because it motivates your team to do better. Depending on company policy, I can reward them through bonuses, promotions, or other opportunities to excel in the company.  

Q. How can you retain talent?

Gone are the days when an employee would spend 10 to 15 years in the same company. Today, an employee is more likely to leave your company in two years. As the manager, you will have an important role in retaining top talent that your rivals may entice. How you keep this talent will be a testament to you as a manager. Thus, your answer here needs to be spot-on.

You can say something like, “To retain talent, I will focus on creating a positive work environment by offering competitive compensation, providing opportunities for growth and development, recognizing and rewarding achievements, fostering a culture of open communication, and ensuring work-life balance.”

Q: How would you handle employee mistakes?

Formulate your answer according to this:

The worst thing you can do when an employee makes mistakes is become defensive. While you might have a different approach to the solution than the team, you must be open-minded. The right manager aims to build a relationship with the team and find a solution everyone can agree on. A collaborative effort to find the solution is only possible through communication.

You might want to consider changing your approach to communication. You can use techniques such as the “yes and” to help the team feel heard. It is vital to ensure they feel listened to and respected. This should also be reflected in your communication style.

Your communication skills will also be vital when you provide feedback to the team or a team member. These difficult conversations are unavoidable for a manager, and you need to show the interviewer that you can handle them professionally.


As we reach the end, we hope you now better understand how interviews are conducted for engineering leadership and management positions. Memorize these answers and practice as much as you can; you might have a strong grip on your skills, but your communication style impresses an interviewer. Check out Jeffrey Harvey’s STEM Secrets for Interviewing. The guide includes the answers to the top 71 frequently asked questions in STEM interviews. It also helps you explore the four mindsets essential to conquer interviews.

Grab your copy today and land your dream job. Good Luck!

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