Top 20 Software Development Manager Interview Questions and Answers


The software development role requires an individual with an all-round skill set that includes managerial and technical skills. Use these top 20 software development manager interview questions and answers to assess candidates and select the most qualified individual.

1. What Qualities Should a Software Development Manager Possess to be Effective?

The interviewer tests your familiarity with the attributes that make software development managers successful.

Tip #1: State some qualities that are key to the success of software development managers

Tip #2: Show that you understand the attributes that will make you effective

Sample Answer

Strong communication skills are essential to be able to communicate effectively to the development team and clients as well. He or she should have good organization, planning, and problem-solving skills to perform effectively in this role. Other vital qualities include good time management, ability to troubleshoot issues, proactive thinking, and good leadership skills.

2. What Roles Do Software Development Managers Perform?

Here, your familiarity with the roles performed in this role is being assessed.

Tip #1: State some roles performed by software development managers

Tip #2: Give the impression that you clearly understand your roles

Sample Answer

Software development managers oversee all activities performed by the software development team. They set attainable goals for the team members, offer guidance and advice to encourage productivity, manage multiple projects, and make sure that appropriate processes and procedures are followed in software development. They also monitor and assess timelines and deadlines and ensure they are complied with, lead product review and revisions as well as train and coach personnel.

3. Which Aspects Do You Pay Attention to When Reviewing a Code Developed by Your Team?

The interviewer wants to know the approach you take to review codes.

Tip #1: Describe the aspects you focus on in your code review

Tip #2: Show that you are competent in reviewing codes

Sample Answer

I begin by looking at the functionality, security, and readability of the code. Here, I ask whether the code is simple, or bloated, cluttered, and inefficient. Then, I assess how many lines of unnecessary codes that should be removed or re-written. I also find out whether there is any weakness that might result in vulnerabilities. Besides, I check and confirm that the code has met the standards and regulatory requirements.

4. Do You Consider Unit Testing Essential or a Waste of Time?

The interviewer wants to understand how you regard unit testing

Tip #1: Describe your understanding of the unit testing

Tip #2: Show whether unit testing is vital or a time-wasting process

Sample Answer

Unit testing is vital because it helps to assess coding flaws and logic errors thereby aiding in preventing bugs from advancing to the final product. Besides, it helps to prevent regressions, where bugs that were already fixed reappear. Unit testing is considered by most professionals in the industry as a best practice in software development and code maintenance. It is part of the overall testing strategy.

5. What Do You Understand by Software Development Life Cycle?

Your familiarity with SDLC is tested here.

Tip #1: Define the Software Development Life Cycle

Tip #2: Support your answer with a brief explanation

Sample Answer

SDLC constitutes a set of guidelines or steps for developing a software product. It consists of different phases including requirement gathering, planning, analysis, development, testing, implementation, and maintenance. This software development approach has been used for years to produce high-quality software owing to the systematic process it follows. 

6. In Software Development, What Role Does a Software Project Manager Play?

The interviewer wants to assess whether you understand the role played by a software project manager in the development process.

Tip #1: State the role of a software project manager

Tip #2: Show that you are familiar with different roles in software development

Sample Answer

A software project manager is charged with driving a software project systematically. The role involves project planning, tracking project progress, resource management, risk management, overseeing execution of different development activities, and delivering a project on time and within budget.

7. Mention a Few Project Management Tools You Would Recommend in Software Projects

Here, the interviewer tests your familiarity with the project management tools that can be employed in software development.

Tip #1: State several project management tools

Tip #2: Demonstrate that you are familiar with the tools used to manage projects

Sample Answer

Project management tools facilitate the planning and implementation of projects. Some common tools are PERT Charts, MS Project, Gantt Charts, Milestone Checklists, and Status reports. These tools help to deliver software projects on time.

8. What is Your Experience with Agile Software Development Process?

The interviewer wants to know the experience you have had with the agile software development process.

Tip #1: Describe your experience with the Agile process

Tip #2: Demonstrate that you have been a part of the agile development process

Sample Answer

Agile software development encompasses methodologies that are based on the idea of iterative development. Requirements and solutions evolve through a partnership between cross-functional and self-organizing teams. Ultimately Agile development facilitates these teams to deliver projects faster with greater value, quality, and predictability.

9. Briefly Explain the Modularization Concept

Here, the interviewer seeks to know whether you are familiar with the concept of modularization in software development.

Tip #1: Explain the meaning of modularization

Tip #2: Be brief and mention the important points

Sample Answer

Modularization is the process of dividing software onto different modules or components. Each of those components is worked upon by a particular development and testing team. In the end, the various finished modules are combined into a single whole working component.

10. What is Software Configuration Management and Why is it Important?

Here, the interviewer seeks to assess your familiarity with the software configuration management.

Tip #1: Define software configuration management

Tip #2: Ensure to give the right answer

Sample Answer

Software configuration management refers to the process of tracking and controlling changes that happen during software development. The process ensures that any alteration makes when developing software is tracked using a controlled and well-defined process. Thus, the importance of software configuration management is basically to control changes made during software development and that is done through w well-defined process.

11. How Do You Motivate Your Team?

A motivated team remains productive. The interviewer wants to test whether you can keep your team inspired.

Tip #1: State how you motivate your team

Tip #2: Show that you can inspire your team to maintain high productivity

Sample Answer

I motivate my team through recognition and offering gifts. Whenever an employee achieves their goals or even exceeds them, I recognize the individual for their determination and achievement. Sometimes, I offer gifts to those that perform excellently. These strategies motivate the entire team to work hard and achieve their targets to earn some gift or recognition.

12. Differentiate Black Box Testing From White Box Testing

Here, your knowledge about black box and white box testing is tested. The interviewer wants to know whether you can differentiate the two.

Tip #1: Define black box and white box testing

Tip #2: Differentiate the two types of testing

Sample Answer

White box testing seeks to test an application with an understanding of its internal structure as well as code implementation. This type of testing is done by the developer who wrote the code and is conducted in the form of unit tests.

On the other hand, black box testing regards testing an application without knowing its code implementation or internal structure. Here, testers are only concerned about software functionality rather than the code execution or data blow.

13. Why is it Important to Conduct Feasibility Study?

The interviewer seeks to know if you understand the need for conducting a feasibility study. 

Tip #1: State why performing a feasibility study is important

Tip #2: Make sure to mention the important points

Sample Answer

A feasibility study is done on a software product to evaluate its practicability. It is also conducted to determine the benefits of a software product to an organization. Thus, the software is evaluated carefully to know the technical and economic aspects that should be developed.

14. Briefly Differentiate Quality Assurance from Quality Control

Here, the interviewer what test your familiarity with quality control and quality assurance.

Tip #1: Describe quality assurance and quality control

Tip #2: Show the difference between the two terms

Sample Answer

The quality control process ensures that product quality is maintained in the long run. On the other hand, quality assurance makes sure that the delivered software has very few defects.  

Besides, quality control is performed by a dedicated support team that is responsible for product quality while quality assurance is conducted by a project testing team.

15. If You are Working With Two Software Developers Who are Disagreeing on the Right Development Approach to Apply, How Would You Handle the Situation?

Here, the interviewer wants to test your ability to resolve disagreement among employees.

Tip #1: Describe how you would address the matter

Tip #2: Show that you can resolve disagreements among your team

Sample Answer

I will first make the developers understand what we want to achieve through the product. Then, I will lead them in assessing the most suitable approach that would help to achieve the expected outcomes. That will help us to agree on the right approach. If we settle on the approach of one developer, I will make the other developer understand that his approach could not serve the purpose based on our desired outcomes.

16. How Do You Stay Up-To-Date With the Current Trends in Your Industry?

The interviewer aims to test whether you stay current with developments in software development.

Tip #1: State how you remain current 

Tip #2: Be honest and clear with your answer

Sample Answer

To stay informed about the rapid advancement in the software development industry, I have subscribed to several newsletters that are published by leading software developers and innovators. I am also a member of the local software developers association where we regularly discuss current matters through the association’s social media networks. Sometimes, I read articles published by software development journals.

17. How Do You Measure the Performance of Your Software Development Team?

Here, the interviewer seeks to test whether you can assess and track the performance of your team.

Tip #1: Describe how you would measure your team’s performance

Tip #2: Demonstrate your ability to assess and track performance

Sample Answer

I will begin by setting goals for the development team right from the beginning of every project. Then, I will communicate these goals to ensure all members understand them and what is expected of them. This will enable them to work effectively towards achieving them. I will also set long term goals and develop ways to assess them. Thus, setting clear goals will help to assess and track employee performance

18. What is the Biggest Challenge that You Foresee in This Job?

The interviewer seeks to understand whether you can handle challenging situations

Tip #1: Describe a big challenge that you foresee in this role

Tip #2: Show that you can handle and overcome the challenge

Sample Answer

I anticipate a huge challenge when clients request for software products that may require some special skills that may not be possessed by the development team. Lack of relevant skills may result in delays as hiring a competent person may take time. In some cases where the skills are unavailable or impossible to learn, the project may never be completed. To handle this challenge, I will ensure to recommend the hiring of people with special skills temporarily to ensure delivery time is not delayed and the company saves on the cost of hiring the person on a fulltime basis.

19. What Do You Expect to Active in Five Years?

Here, the interviewer wants to hear about the goals you plan to attain in five years.

Tip #1: State where you want to be in five years

Tip #2: Show your ability to set goals and commitment towards them

Sample Answer

In five years, I expect to have gained significant experience and expertise in the management of software development. Following that, I expect to be capable of taking up more managerial roles and perform them excellently. Besides, I expect to have understood the industry better and be able to make more accurate predictions that will facilitate better planning.

20. Have You Ever Failed as a Software Development Manager? What Do You Learn?

Everyone can fail at some point but the important thing is to learn from failures. The interviewer tests whether you learn from your mistakes.

Tip #1: Describe a failure that you experienced

Tip #2: State the lesson you learned

Sample Answer

During my last assignment, I got a new client who wanted a particular software product for his business. I promised the client that the software would be ready in a month. When the development process began, we realized that some modules were a bit complex to develop and consequently they took time. After a month, the software wasn’t ready yet. I realized I had underestimated the project completion time. The client got annoyed by the failed promise. But I reassured him that we were on course. Eventually, we deliver a great product. I learned that it is essential to assess the requirements of a project carefully to know exactly how much time will be needed to deliver it.

Conclusion

Your search for an experienced and skilled individual to fill your software development manager position just got simplified. Use these interview questions for development manager to assess the competence of your candidates and in the end pick the right candidate.

Recent Posts