4 Helpful Program Manager Interview Tips


Creating an outstanding resume and a polished cover letter are the first steps to getting your dream job as a program manager. After completing these steps, you must focus on acing the face-to-face interview you’ll complete prior to being offered the positon. This meeting provides bosses with the perfect opportunity to learn more about you and how you function within the professional realm. While your resume may provide your qualifications and work history, they don’t provide bosses with the insight they want regarding your dedication to the job in question, your ability to communicate effectively and your overall professionalism, all of which are important aspects for this employment opportunity.

There are, of course, many general tips which any applicant should follow in order to ace an interview, but those looking to work in the management field should always keep these program manager interview tips in mind in order to ensure they’re putting their best foot forward during this important meeting.

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Program Manager Interview Tips

Rise to the Challenge: The job of program manager is not a simple one by any means. There will be a lot of communication between sections of the company which you’re over, a great deal of evaluating and negotiating, and several other large responsibilities which will rest on your shoulders on a day to day basis. Show that you’re ready and able to face these challenges by doing a bit of research beforehand and really laying out how you intend to battle these sometimes rather difficult circumstances with your existing skill set and what qualifies you to handle any situations which arise on the job. Providing a story of a time in which you’ve handled difficulties similar to the ones which arise in this environment can help to drive home the point that you’ve handled the likes of these monsters before and are able to do so again if the time comes.

Focus on Communication Skills: A great part of any program management position is communicating among the various departments which comprise a company in order to ensure that projects are achieved and completed regularly, leading to increases in the business’s value. Therefore, drawing attention to your existing communications skills is a must for anyone looking to do well in an interview for this position. Interviewees should be able to effectively communicate with employees of all levels within the business in question, and get feedback and reports from any and all departments quickly and effectively in order to maximize the opportunities presented by the projects. Above all else, interviewers should be able to rest assured that their new program manager can get their employees to work together towards a common goal without any misunderstandings or slip-ups.

Talk About Previous Projects: More than likely, you’ll be asked about some of the previous projects you’ve managed when you attend your interview. Your answers during this section can have a huge impact on your candidacy for the position, so being as thorough as possible is always advisable. Talk about how big the project was and specifically what it dealt with. This will give your potential employer a bit of insight into the scope of the programs you’re accustomed to working with, therefore giving them a better idea of how well the position fits your needs and vice versa. Talking about your position in the overall program reveals how much responsibility you had throughout the experience and what you were in charge of (such as technology, communications, etc.). Furthermore, talk about any challenges that arose throughout the completion of the program and how you worked to overcome them. This information is necessary for interviewers to gauge your appropriateness for the position you’re applying for and can make a huge difference in their final decision.

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Punctuality Is Key: One surefire way to make a poor first impression is to arrive late to your interview for the position, especially considering you’re supposed to set a good example for those you’re managing. Most employers advise arriving about 15 minutes early in order to settle in. This also grants you the opportunity to observe employees of the company in question, the building itself and possibly even a few practices which the business displays while you’re waiting. A cross-examination of your surroundings can prove useful during an interview, as it allows you a better grasp on the ambience and overall attitude of a company and can cue you in on how the hiring manager will expect you to respond to their various inquiries.

These program manager interview tips can help you stand apart from the other candidates for the job, hopefully resulting in a new position.