Engineering Manager Interview Process at Reforge
Interview Process and Interview Plans 💼
We'll go through each step of the process, what's happening, and how it's contributing to us hiring great engineers. It's useful for us to be aligned on the context of the whole process and what each person, filling any role, needs to do to be successful.
Additionally, you will notice that while the areas of focus are very similar, the questions and process are different for more junior tiers vs. more senior tiers within engineering. This is because more junior candidates may not have the in-depth experience to draw from for behavioral interviewing questions, and instead tend to be more focused on early learnings + potential for growth looking forward (whereas, at L3/L4+, we expect that an individual would already have that experience).
For each question, there are a few things to pay attention to:
What We’re Evaluating - These are the key areas we are looking to evaluate the candidate on. For the interviewer, think of these criteria as the “question behind the question” so you are setup for success and know where to dive deeper.
The Rubric - Each question has a comprehensive rubric. Note that we don’t think of these answers as excellent / good / bad or pass / fail. Instead, we think of them against the expectations of our current and future Reforgers, and the candidate’s ability to be successful in the competency the question dives into from the start, or whether it’s a growth area / gap in experience to be aware of.
- 🎉 Fully Prepared: If a candidate answers the question thoroughly, clearly have the experience, expertise and behavioral qualities that we would expect from a current FTE Reforger at the same level, they are fully prepared. We expect that their prior experiences would set them up for success almost immediately as they get to know our teams, our process and our technology (everyone has to onboard!)
- 🪜Growth Area: If a candidate answers the question with some level of familiarity, and is trending in the right direction but doesn’t have all the pieces, we consider this a growth area. Growth areas are common where candidates may have only been exposed to a thing for a little bit, but made strong traction in that direction, just don’t quite have all of the pieces. You can think of this as “halfway or part of the way up the ladder to fully prepared”.
- ⚒️ Significant Development Required: If a candidate doesn’t have the experience the question is asking for, or is answered at a surface level (for example, where they may have done something, but really someone else on their team did it) or they are speaking only in the theoretical (well I’ve read this as best practice), we consider this to be significant development required. This is an area where, for the candidate to be successful, we will likely need to go through several iterations of coaching, feedback and leadership to set them up for success in their role. ⚠️ Warning Note: Significant Development Required is not that the candidate has failed this question or failed the interview, and should not be interpreted this way. It’s simply a key investment area that we can use for evaluation and to set them up for success.