Program Manager Interview Questions

Program Managers are the strategy wizards in charge of multiple connected projects (programs) and project managers.

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Program Manager interview questions

Your high-potential Program Manager candidate will be a natural problem-solver with a deep understanding of change management, ROI, defining objectives, and resource allocation.

Top tips: 

  • Decide if you want qualifications: Program Managers don’t need a degree, but they do need experience. Depending on the role you might want to look for a tech expert, or a qualification in a specific area relevant for the role. 
  • Look for experience: Learn as much as possible about the candidate’s past experience, especially when it comes to the programs/projects they’ve managed.
  • Think diversity: Diversity is key for a thriving workplace. Keep an eye out for management and exec-level candidates from varying backgrounds and aim to eliminate bias from your hiring process.

Problem solving interview questions

  • How do you prioritize different projects?
  • If your program had a 6-month deadline, how would you plan and deliver it?
  • Why do projects fail?
  • How would you handle a change in the company’s strategy halfway through a project/program? 

Role-specific interview questions

  • What does a program manager do that project managers don’t?
  • Why is change management important for this role?
  • What’s your favorite program management tech?
  • Which metrics do you use the most?
  • What’s your program charters experience?
  • Are you familiar with the PMI code of ethics?
  • Why do you use six sigma?
  • How do you avoid scope creep?
  • How do you keep up-to-date with industry trends?

Behavioral interview questions

  • What was your most recent program and how did you contribute?
  • Describe your biggest challenge while managing a team. 
  • How do you measure the success of deliverables? 
  • Describe how you planned and managed a budget in a past program.
  • Have you ever dealt with a program that fell behind schedule?
  • Have you ever faced a comms problem while managing a program? What happened?
  • What was the most challenging sponsor/stakeholder negotiation you’ve dealt with? What did you do?

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