Failing manager screenings :( - help New manager

NVIDIA RTX??
Sep 20 13 Comments

I am relatively newish engineering manager ~ 1.5 years with a total yoe of 9 years.
I am starting to look out and had a few interviews lined up.
I ended up getting rejected for all of the Manager screening calls either with the recruiter or the first round with the hiring manager.

I have some responses prepared - but I am not sure what I am doing wrong
I would like to gain some insights from the community as what to highlight and what not to say or your essentially your take on some of the common questions

The questions are the typical ones like
1. Describe your manager style - really clueless on what to say here.
-- I often say things like I prefer to incorporate frameworks and transparency and trust with the team.

2. Describe your regular workday - how much time are you spending on technical /managerial /coaching etc.

How do you talk strategy in managerial interviews ?

I have been saying that my job entails -
part project management with the team and the stake holders; setting roadmaps and goals and resource planning; working with product management team on forward looking projects ; architecture and design ; feedback and coaching the team.
Currently we are in a place where we aren't hiring much so there isn't much activity there going on that spectrum.

Is there something else that I should be mentioning ?

I get the feeling that I am not coming forth as a manager and more of a team lead. (One of the interviewers asked me that if I am team lead or a manager)

How could I present myself better for the managerial interviews.

Help me

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TOP 13 Comments
  • Yelp JPOe05
    A couple things,

    For EM roles, you are competing with folks with many more years experience ahead of you. So I won't take it to heart too much.

    Your answers look reasonable to me. Only thing is I might move the team coaching and growth part higher on the list. Being more of a TLM right now could be a great point on why-move and what kinda growth opportunity you would like in the new company. So I won't hold that against you either.

    Unlike IC hires, EM hires has very clear team in mind. So it's quite likely they don't see you as a great fit to the team, or someone else ahead of you on the pipeline just signed the offer. Timing and randomness takes a bigger role, compared to regular IC hires.

    You can also wait another half year so you have more experience at hand while applying. Many companies prefer promoting from inside so they rather hire experienced from outside.

    Overall, I don't think you need much help. You might need time. We have all been there.
    Sep 20 0
  • Oracle bmwz
    Your answers seem to rely on jargon than coming from the heart and experience. Don't provide textbook answers or try to use language that isn't your natural vocabulary. People would see through this and notice your discomfort. Be more genuine and honest. That will find some receptive audience who might pardon your shorter experience.
    Sep 20 3
    • NVIDIA RTX??
      OP
      There is some truth in it. But this is same as we do for ICs where we incorporate certain keywords in our answers and follow structure to for answering such questions. The content is definitely based on my limited experience.

      What would be a better response ? Or how would you answer these questions.
      Sep 20
    • Oracle bmwz
      Only with experience. You will have to learn this by yourself. You're still looking for template answers. Maybe if you were clear about why you became a manager, you wouldn't be asking this. You're not asking for advice on how to manage, but asking about how to answer interview questions. Even IC interviews should not favor a candidate who relies on jargon. If that's been your experience, you haven't seen any good hiring practices, I'm afraid, and that's what's catching up with you.

      If you cannot handle vagueness, rethink your career plan.
      Sep 20
    • NVIDIA RTX??
      OP
      You're right, time and experience are the best teachers.

      I am not looking for template answers. I am not asking for management advice, but looking for how to improve my management interview skills. Those 2 things are quite separate.
      A lot of times you might be doing something as a manager, but wouldn't really know to mention it in an interview or how to highlight certain insights.

      It's easy to discern jargon from true experience with follow up questions, but trying to understand what the Manager speak in interviews essentially looks like to understand if I am fundamentally missing something.
      Sep 20
  • Sounds like you’re a dumbo manager that no one wants to work for. How can you not answer basic questions like management style??
    Sep 20 1
    • NVIDIA RTX??
      OP
      Thanks for the insight. Feel free to share your responses
      Sep 20
  • NVIDIA RTX??
    OP
    I am answering questions using the star methodology. Picking up some of the leadership principles stuff from Amazon and incorporating those as well with concrete examples.
    Sep 20 0
  • Cisco
    @2yubacity

    Cisco

    BIO
    Cloud dev ops
    @2yubacitymore
    What's reason to move from IC to manager ? Don't wanna do coding ? for command and control over ICs?
    Sep 20 1
    • NVIDIA RTX??
      OP
      I can now work on and execute on multiple projects with my team. I didn't want to get away from coding as such and I see it as a growth opportunity.
      There is certain amount of satisfaction and challenge in envisioning a product and the laying out the vision to your boss, executing it with your team, planning, resourcing and achieving success for not just you but the whole team.

      I am enjoying the Manager work, but Nvidia seems limited in terms of the project and the people we can get right now.

      Trying to figure out how the Manager interviews really work after years of being and interviewing as an IC
      Sep 20
  • General Motors cali007
    P
    Sep 21 0
  • Amazon jsjzjzjzns
    Did the job descriptions mention that they were looking for someone with 3 or 4 year plus experience? If so, recruiters don't know better and might filter you out just because you don't meet that bar
    Sep 20 0
  • Cisco
    @2yubacity

    Cisco

    BIO
    Cloud dev ops
    @2yubacitymore
    Too young to manage 18+ yoe IC
    Sep 20 0