Program Manager Interview Questions

Use the below-given Program Manager interview questions to find candidates who can accurately perform administrative tasks.  You can also modify these questions to suit your particular requirements.



Program Manager Interview Questions

Program Managers are responsible for overseeing a company’s inter-connected programs (projects) and also for supervising the Project Managers. While Project Managers handle the technical aspects, Program Managers ensure the program adds value to a business. They are commonly found in the public sector, educational institutions, as well as in private companies.

The experience required for this position entirely depends on what programs you are hiring them for. In many cases, it is better to look for candidates with a technological background such as candidates with a degree in software engineering or a similar field. Likewise, you can look for candidates with a degree in some relevant field (e.g. a degree in medical science for medical research programs). If you are hiring for a senior position, it is better to find candidates who are certified in program/project management.

When interviewing the candidates, dedicate adequate time to learning their past experiences. Try to learn what projects/programs have they managed and what were the outcomes. The best candidates for this role must demonstrate problem-solving and leadership qualities along with a sound knowledge of all strategic aspects of a company such as resource allocation, ROI, change management, defining objectives etc.

Behavioral questions

  • Describe a time you encountered difficulty in negotiating with a sponsor/stakeholder. What did you do?
  • What are the communication problems you face while managing a program? How do you resolve them?
  • Have you ever dealt with a program that was lagging in the schedule?
  • How do you develop the budget and allocate resources for a program?
  • Describe how you measured the success of deliverables in your last program. How did you select the suitable metrics?
  • What was the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while managing a team of Project Managers?
  • What was the most recent program you managed? Describe your contribution to its success.

Role-specific questions

  • How do you keep yourself aware of industry trends?
  • How much do you know about change management? Why is it important for this role?
  • How do you avoid scope creep in a program?
  • What is six sigma?
  • How well do you know the PMI code of ethics?
  • How experienced are you with program charters?
  • Which metrics do you use most frequently? How do you use them?
  • How technology contributes to the success of program management?
  • What does a Program Manager do that Project Managers don’t?

Operational and Situational questions

  • Suppose you are halfway through the completion of a program and there happens a change in the company’s objectives or business strategy. What would you do?
  • Suppose you are assigned a program with a deadline of six months. Explain how you would plan it ensuring its timely as well as successful completion.
  • How do you prioritize your work when you are working on more than one projects? Also, describe how will you monitor them.
  • According to you, what are the most significant reasons behind the failure of projects?