Program Manager

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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 how do you build consensus on a conflicted team?

One of a project manager's core responsibilities is managing groups of people. And where there are people, there are conflicts.

A good project manager knows that some conflict is inevitable -- and even healthy -- on a project team. Avoiding or glossing over conflicts that arise can be detrimental to the project's objectives and can actually exacerbate underlying issues, causing them to bubble up and wreak havoc later down the line.

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2⟩ 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.

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3⟩ 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.

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4⟩ 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”.

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5⟩ 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.

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6⟩ Explain me where have you worked before?

Rarely is an inexperienced person taken in as a project manager. Any project manager would have at least two or three years of experience either as an employee or as a project manager. Therefore, this is one of the basic questions asked. Make sure that you give a brief and concise answer to this question, without going too much into the details. Also, make sure that everything you say as an answer to this question is factual.

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7⟩ 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.

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9⟩ 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.

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10⟩ 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.

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11⟩ 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.

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12⟩ 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.

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13⟩ Tell me what are the three key challenges for our industry today and how can these be tackled effectively?

This question enables the candidate to think about the top challenges of the industry in which your organization operates. The response from the candidate reveals his understanding of the industry, the market, current challenges, and possible solutions. This knowledge is critical to the success of any Project Manager as they will be tackling these challenges inside the organization if they get hired. So this question helps the hiring managers assess whether the candidate has the domain knowledge that makes them fit for the role.

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16⟩ Explain me do you have international project team management experience?

If the company you applied for is a multinational company, international project team management will be a critical evaluation factor. You might not have this experience. In this case, say no honestly.

This question might be followed by additional questions asking about how the experience was and whether you have any strange story about your international project team management experience.

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17⟩ Where do you see yourself in five years as Program Manager?

A typical human resources interview question! This interview question assesses whether you have a career plan and if it fits with the position.

For a project manager interview, you have to draw a career plan that fits to a project management path.

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18⟩ Tell us how long after delivery do you typically wait to revisit projects, and why?

The answer to this project management interview question gives you insight into the candidate’s business skills. Some project managers will revisit a project days or weeks after completion, others wait months or a year, and some never do. There is no right answer, but there is one wrong one. A project management candidate who never revisits a project is a poor choice.

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19⟩ Tell me what don’t you want to work on and why?

Everyone has something they dread doing.

Project managers are tasked with a wide variety of projects that may frequently change. Knowing in advance what tasks your candidate dislikes can be highly beneficial. You’re looking for answers that show a candidate who is open to working on anything, even if there are portions of a particular project they may not be crazy about. They need to be flexible and ready to do what the company needs to meet its goals, even if their personal preferences aren’t in agreement with it.

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20⟩ Suppose if we provided you with a laptop for project planning and management, what software would you want on it?

While this may seem like a simplistic project management interview question, it allows the interviewer to explore the software a potential hire is acquainted with, why they like it, and what problems they’ve encountered using it.

If you’re lucky, the answers to this question may also lead to a valuable anecdote. Additionally, if you do end up hiring this prospect, you’ll already know what they need on their computer.

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