Program Manager Interview Preparation Guide
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Program Manager related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with job experience as Program Manager. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts

50 Program Manager Questions and Answers:

1 :: Explain me what are your greatest achievements in your professional life?

Apart from the portfolio, everyone has some project or aspect of their jobs that they hold close to their heart. This is the time to inform the interviewer about what your favorite project was and why. Of course, you have to make sure that you do not go on a ramble and genuinely discuss some of your favorite projects.

2 :: Tell me what were the communication challenges on your last project?

This question helps you assess how effectively the candidate handles communication in challenging situations. The second question helps you understand how the candidate engages with others and assess whether they demonstrate good sense and judgement and are able to use language effectively.

3 :: Tell me how do you tackle these uncertainties?

A Project Manager must tackle multiple tasks and issues. To be successful, the Project Manager has to choose their battles wisely. Since resources are always limited, they need to be prioritized. Time is a valuable resource for the project because once lost it cannot be recovered easily. As a result, time management is one of the key skills for a Project Manager. The Project Manager is responsible for creating efficient ways to execute tasks.

4 :: Tell me a few examples of a time when you made a tough decision and it backfired?

It tells you how honest they are with themselves and compels them to talk about an instance when they failed. It shows how the candidate handles failure and learns from it.

I hope that this list of competencies and related questions will help hiring managers to recruit the right candidates. These 10 areas are not an exhaustive list but will structure an interview in a way that covers the most important project management skills a candidate will need to succeed.

5 :: Please explain what was the most difficult ethical decision you’ve had to make on a project?

It can demonstrate their awareness of PMI Code of Ethics and even if they aren’t aware of that, their general approach to work. You can also use it to open up an interesting discussion and allow you to judge how they will fit into your business culture.

6 :: Tell me what was the biggest or most challenging project you managed?

You have to be prepared for this project manager interview question. Because, your answer to this question will show your limits about your experience. Note that, this question might come with additional questions asking about how many people there were in the team, who you were reporting to, and how many projects in total you were managing at the same time.

7 :: Please explain me an example of how you communicated a failure to your team, manager and customer?

This project manager interview question will assess your risk management and communication management experience together. Bear in your mind that, failures, emergencies or critical points about a project must be communicated face to face. If face-to-face communication is not possible, then, you should choose teleconference meeting or phone call.

8 :: Tell me how do you deal with gold plating in your project?

This project manager interview question assess your technical knowledge and scope management skills. Gold plating is a technical term in project management. Gold plating is delivering more than what is required in the scope. If the project team performs an extra activity and delivers extra work, which is not in the scope of the project, this is called gold plating.

9 :: Tell me why should we hire you as Program Manager?

This question is not special for a project manager interview. Most of the human resources personnel ask this question to evaluate a candidate during job interviews.

There can be hundreds of other applicants that you have to surpass to get a project manager job. Your background, skills, and resume should be impressive and matching the requirements of the job description. This is obvious. However, you have to be unique when providing answer to this question. Interviewer must say, “Wow, he knows what we exactly look for”.

10 :: Tell me what is your approach to managing a project?

Every work culture is different. By asking this question, you get an idea of how the candidate handles their daily workload, whether they are more hands-on or prefer sit back and observe their team in action.

You’ll get a good idea of how their personality blends with your organization, and may be able to lead from this question into examples of how or if they may have improved processes at their previous job.