Interviews can be hard to prepare. However, to help you increase your chances of passing your director of an engineering job interview, we have prepared the top questions that are commonly asked by the hiring managers. They include sample answers to help you know how best to respond to each of the questions.
1. Who Is The Director Of Engineering?
The Director of engineering is a person who leads all the engineering projects and activities within an organization including recruiting and training team members to handle tech projects. He also prepares the budget for the team as well as participates in technical and strategic roles inside the organization. The Director of Engineering has a track record of managing complex tech projects as well as having knowhow of building products and features from scratch.
2. Why Do You Want To Become A Director Of Engineering In Our Company?
I read your job posting and I believe that I am the best fit for this role. As a director of engineering who has been in the field for three years, I have gained extensive experience as an engineer. I am therefore looking for an opportunity that can allow me to manage complex tech projects like the ones available in your company. Should I get this offer, I will build products and features from scratch to ensure that all systems in your organization function securely and effectively. Additionally, I am eager to use the skills and experience I have gained over the years to coordinate your internal teams such as IT, developers, and security personnel. I am very confident that I can handle your engineering projects and activities end-to-end as well as implement new systems.
3. Highlight The Roles Of A Director Of Engineering
The director of engineering performs the following roles:
- Hire engineers and facilitate their training
- Oversee organization’s project, activities, and teams
- Control reliability and functioning of internal systems to enhance improvements
- Ensuring that the organization stays in line with the security and policies set by the government or the regulatory body.
- Preparing the engineering departmental budget
- Developing development strategies based on the company’s overall objectives as well as ensuring that those development projects are within the company’s resources.
- Enforce innovative technologies
- Monitoring policies that are significant to internal systems as well as equipment
- Collaborating with external stakeholders in case of new tools and integrations
- Setting goals, requirements, and timelines for any software development projects
4. What Do You Think Are The Qualities Which Make A Good Director Of Engineering?
For a director of engineering to be effective in his roles, he needs to have a solid understanding of agile methodologies, experience in cloud technologies and modern human-computer interfaces. He should also have excellent project management, leadership, research, communication, innovation, and creativity skills. He or she must also have an action- mindset and possess up-to-date development trends of the industry.
5. Describe Your Experience That Relates To This Role
I have been holding a similar position for four years now. During this time, I have gained a lot of experience in ensuring that the organization stays in line with the security and policies set by the government or the regulatory body. I was also tasked with preparing the engineering departmental budget and this made me an expert in designing development strategies based on the company’s overall objectives as well as ensuring that those development projects are within the company’s resources.
Additionally, I have developed a lot of skills such as project management, leadership, research, communication, innovation, and creativity skills. I have also acquired a solid understanding of agile methodologies, experience in cloud technologies and modern human-computer interfaces.
Should I get this job, I will use all the skills, knowledge, and experience that I have gained to enforce innovative technologies that will help manage all the engineering projects and activities within your organization.
6. Why Should We Hire You Over The Other Candidates Who Have Applied For This Job?
I have an undergraduate degree in computer science and a master’s degree in business administration. I also have 10 years of experience in management and 5 years in leading engineering projects and activities. In the course of practicing in this field, I have developed important skills necessary for this role including analytical, research, communication, project management, time management, communication, innovation, leadership, and creativity skills. Besides, I am a critical thinker, team worker, and self-driven engineer. If I get hired for this role, I will effectively lead all the engineering projects and activities within your organization including recruiting and training team members to handle tech projects. I will also use all the budgeting skills that I have gained over the years to prepare the budget for the team as well as participate in technical and strategic roles inside the organization. I believe that I will maintain my track record of managing complex tech projects and the know-how of building products and features from scratch.
7. How Do You Communicate About Complex Subjects And Technical Plans?
I have a variety of communication techniques. It depends on who I am communicating with. Sometimes, I can use email and chat. Email helps me send information at once to various team members regardless of their location. When I require a faster response, I switch to chatting. This enables us to make decisions and has real-time conversations. When we are discussing critical issues together, I prefer holding a virtual meeting or web conferencing. This is a platform that also allows us to brainstorm new ideas live. Additionally, I use a file-sharing platform such as google drive, dropbox, and box to share large files fast and securely.
8. Which Project Management Tool Are You Familiar With?
I am familiar with Kanban and Primavera P6. While using Kanban, I find it easier to visualize any challenge and look for alternatives for improving workflows by reassigning roles.
On the other hand, I use oracle Primavera P6 to plan, manage, and execute project work. I find this tool very efficient to handle small and large projects such as IT and construction. Oracle primavera p6 is flexible, especially when organizing many activities on one platform. This has helped my team to work simultaneously on the same tasks across the company. I also discovered that primavera p6 allows real-time reporting hence information is passed quickly either scheduled or on-demand.
9. Why Are Project Management Tools Important?
Project management tools allow smooth collaboration. They give room for team members to interact with one another, raise their concerns and get help immediately. They enhance file sharing, reporting, and documentation.
Project management tools enable easy and quick planning of projects and activities. The director of engineering can effectively organize a hierarchy of tasks hence being able to identify the most important and how each depends on the other. Project management software helps to optimize the cost as well as maximize profits through progress tracking, time tracking, and budget reporting. There are other importances of using project management software including easy data sharing, continuous project monitoring, easy resource allocation, and management.
10. Conflict Are Common At Workplace. What Strategies Do You Use To Manage Them?
I am well aware that conflict can cause tension at the workplace and destroy the morale for work resulting in poor job performance. To prevent this from happening, I use compromising and collaborating techniques to address any conflict that may arise at the workplace. I like compromising because it seeks a mutual agreement between parties to find solutions to a problem. On the other hand, collaborating is effective for me for it enables the victims to negotiate and agree on a solution.
11. What Makes Conflict Resolution Important While Managing Project?
It is very important to solve any conflict at the workplace in order to build strong relationships. Resolving issues enhances better collaboration between employees hence leading to strong working relationships. When the working relationship is good, tension is prevented and morale for work is maintained.
12. As A Director Of Engineering, What Is Your Management Style?
I believe in building and working with a team. Each member of the team should be clear on their role, know where they fit in, and feel as though they can depend on one another. I also believe in real-time feedback. If you do something wrong you should know it immediately. Regardless of right or wrong, the further removed feedback is in time, the less effective it is. Additionally, I am born a leader capable of motivating other people to achieve set goals. I am an empathetic person who relates well with other team members. I believe that it is important to delegate both responsibility and authority. This helps a team to develop and grow without being held back by a low ego.
13. Describe What You Understand By The Term “ Post Implementation Review”
The post-implementation review refers to the analysis done after completing the project. It helps the director of engineering to determine whether or not the objectives of the projects were met. It also showcases how the project was run, future lessons as well as what needs to be done to make the best of the benefits from the output of the project.
14. Are You Conversant With The Local Building Codes And Laws?
Yes, I am. Having held a similar role for eight years, I have familiarized myself well with the state and local laws. However, during this time that I have been working as a director of engineering, I have gained up-to-date knowledge of the local and state regulation related to engineering projects and management. I am aware of the importance of meeting the state and local requirements in this industry.
15. Briefly, Take Me Through Your Ideal Working Schedule.
I like working on a flexible schedule that enables me to work independently while still meeting deadlines. I can work well under pressure and I am always willing to take on added responsibilities when am required to do so.
16. How Do You Measure Underperformance?
In my opinion, underperformance happens when a team members’ work decrease below the expected level. I categorize underperformance as when an employee fails to execute his or her responsibilities to meet the required standards. I also consider an employee with negative, unacceptable, and disruptive conduct as underperforming. Lastly, I also view employees who fail to comply with set policies, rules, and procedures as underperforming.
17. What Steps Would You Take To Manage An Underperforming Team Member?
I would discuss that behavior with the victim while showing him or her some empathy. I would carefully seek to understand the root cause of that behavior. Once I identify the cause, I would then address it one on one with the victim as I demonstrate that I am ready to support that employee to improve. If after following up and the employee underperforms three more times after having several conversations with him or her, I would go ahead and replace that employee.
18. What Kind Of Mindset And Strategy Is Required For This Role?
The director of engineering needs to have an active mindset and be a strong problem solver because there will always be unexpected circumstances that arise. It’s important to have self-control and patience while staying in power. I believe I am a perfect fit for this role because of my ability to work on several projects at once and remain calm under pressure.
19. Suppose A Team Member Ignores You In Front Of Everyone, How Will You Handle The Situation?
I would remain calm and pretend that I was not hurt by the behavior of that colleague. This will help me not to run wild but instead focus on analyzing that situation. I would then design a strategy of addressing that behavior one on one with that team member in the absence of the other team members
20. What Are Your Goals For The Next Five Years?
In five years, I aim to be highly skilled in this industry. I want to be referred to as someone with deep expertise in this sector. I know that this is something that I will be able to get in this organization. I look forward to taking more managerial roles as well as handling more complex and challenging engineering work when called upon to do so.
21. Share With Me Your Strengths That Would Help You Be Successful In The Director Of Engineering Role
My greatest strength is that I’m self-motivated, patient, and a team player. In addition, I have excellent communication skills that enable me to express my project plans in a simple way that is easy to be followed by other team members.
22. What Is Your Weakest Point As A Director Of Engineering?
My weakest point is when I have to discipline, dismiss, or replace a member due to reasons such as underperformance. It is never easy for me. I am learning to accept that a degree of firmness is important as far as this role is concerned. However, knowing that performance is key for the sake of an organization’s production, some of these things must be done anyway and failure to do will result in poor results on the side of the company’s output.
23. Stress Is Inevitable At Times. How Would You Handle Stress At Work?
I always maintain a work checklist to streamline my work properly. However, in case I find myself under stress, I try to remain calm at work so that I can handle stressful situations with the presence of mind. Additionally. I do not get agitated at work. I handle every task calmly to get the right results.
24. Describe Your Ideal Work Environment.
I would prefer to work in an environment where people work towards a single goal. I believe that a perfect work environment is one where other colleagues do not pull down each other’s effort but instead work towards team building. After doing my own research regarding the working culture of this organization, I am sure that I will get this environment here for me to thrive in my roles should I get this job.
25. Explain To Me Your Strategy To Handle Work Pressure.
I believe that stress is inevitable at work. However, if properly managed, stress can have a positive impact on employee performance. Personally, I stay organized as well as plan for any eventuality. This helps me to reduce the stress that can emanate from work. If I find myself in a stressful situation that I didn’t foresee, I remain calm as I figure out how to solve it. This strategy has helped me to solve many challenging situations since it allows me to view difficult situations with purpose and clarity.
The above questions and answers give you tips to help you prepare for the interview for a director of engineering position. Just to remind you, carry printed hard copies of your cover letter and resume during the interview. They can be of great help since you can refer to them throughout your interview. It would be very important if you issue the hiring managers with some hard copy.