V.P. of Engineering Interview Questions

Karim Fanous has a post of behavioral interview questions he has encountered as a V.P. of Engineering along with commentary1:

  1. If someone on your team were to guess what it is you do on any given day, what would they say?
  2. How do you structure engineering teams? How does PM fit into this structure?
  3. What is the reasonable interaction between PM and Engineering? What do you need from a PM organization?
  4. What are some of the friction points between Product & Engineering and how do you handle them?
  5. What is your biggest accomplishment leading an engineering team
  6. How do you increase your team’s throughput?
  7. Why did they ultimately leave their company for the next role?
  8. If I called your previous CEO, how would they describe you
  9. Tell me your story
  10. How do you scale an engineering team?
  11. Have you fired employees, why and how
  12. What people programs did you put in place as the team grew? How?
  13. What’s your weakness? What’s your biggest failure
  14. How does engineering support sales?
  15. Walk me through a challenging customer interaction. What happened and what did you do
  16. What’s interesting to you about this company? What do you think you can add to the team?
  17. What are the challenges in scaling a company from 0-20M in revenue/ARR?
  18. What are some of the challenges you’ve seen when acquiring enterprise customers?
  19. We’ve had quality issues, what do you do?
  20. What can you do to accelerate product delivery?

One area to focus on in how a VPE was able to enact change. There is an ability to coast through a plan, but a strong VPE will make things better for their company and their employees2.


Fanous, K. How to interview a VP of Engineering. Cumulative Substack Newsletter at https://karimfanous.substack.com/p/how-do-you-interview-a-vp-of-engineering (2022).
Hedlund, M. Interviewing VP of Engineering thread. at https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1479731951162380288.html (2022).