21 Program Manager Interview Questions & Answers

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Here’s the FULL LIST of PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Q1. Tell me about yourself and why you want to be a Program Manager?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“Since I first started working as a Program Manager, I have focused intently on improving my knowledge, my experience, and also my ability to bring instant and sustainable value to my employer by managing and delivering difficult and challenging programs. Just some of the skills and qualities I can bring to your organization include, strong program management capabilities for projects of all sizes and complexities, knowledge of all useable program management methodologies and tools, and also the ability to see how my work is intrinsically linked to the commercial objectives of your organization. I am strategically driven and I will always focus on how I can add considerable value within my role as the Program Manager. I am also a strong communicator with excellent interpersonal skills, and I can be relied upon to manage a portfolio of projects, allocate resources effectively whilst also managing budgets responsibly. Finally, I want to be a Program Manager simply because it is a role I am immensely passionate about, it is a role I have in-depth experience in, and it is also a role I am confident I can succeed in. If you hire me as your Program Manager, I will be able to contribute quickly so that you start to see an immediate positive return on your investment.”

Q2. Why do you want to work for our organization as a Program Manager?

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“As a Program Manager, I believe it’s important to choose your employer carefully. To be effective in the Program Manager role, you need a supportive senior management team, a robust and ambitious brief to work towards, and also a team that is entirely focused on achieving the goals that are set by the organization. Before applying for this Program Manager position, I carried out extensive research into the organization to make sure it was somewhere I wanted to work long-term, and also where I was certain I could contribute to your vision whilst also observing your values and ethics. Due to those reasons specifically, and also coupled with the fact you have a strong reputation within the industry and also with your customers and clients, I want to work for your company and establish myself as a reliable, productive, and reputable Program Manager.”

Q3. How would you deal with difficult team member as Program Manager?
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Q4. Tell me about a program you were involved in that was failing to deliver the expected results and how you overcame the challenges?
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Q5. Tell us about a time when your integrity was threatened and how you dealt with it?
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Q6. What are the most important skills and qualities of a Program Manager?
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Q7. What’s the most challenging program you have ever worked on?
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Q8. What is the program management lifecycle?
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Q9. Talk me through the initial steps you would follow when starting a new program?
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Q10. What steps would you take as the Program Manager to monitor the performance of the projects and teams under your control?
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Q11. Have you ever been involved in a program that failed? If so, what happened and what did you learn from it?
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Q12. Tell me a time when you had to speak to a team member about their performance at work?
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Q13. Describe your style of communication during the management phase of a program?
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Q14. Tell me how you would motivate a team of people during a difficult and challenging program?
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Q15. You are managing an important program with very tight deadlines and you need to delegate essential tasks. How would you approach the process of delegation?
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Q16. Which part of being a Program Manager will you find the most frustrating?
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Q17. As our Program Manager, would you prefer to be feared or loved?
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Q18. What is AGILE in terms of program management?
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Q19. What’s your greatest weakness?
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Q20. What are your salary expectations in the role of Program Manager?
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Q21. That’s the end of your Program Manager interview. Do you have any questions you would like to ask the panel?
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Program Manager Key Duties and Responsibilities


A program manager is responsible for managing and delivering a number of projects (or programs) that are all specifically aligned to one commercial definitive objective or outcome. A Program Manager is required to coordinate a large number of teams to ensure the program is delivered on time, to specification and to budget. Whilst it is true a Program Manager needs to have strong project management capabilities, they do not manage projects per se. 

DUTIES OF A PROGRAM MANAGER

  • Responsible for implementing and managing the program management lifecycle.
  • Utilize effective communication and interpersonal skills to build strong relationships with project managers, senior management team members and stakeholders.
  • Ascertain program controls, policies and procedures to ensure the final program is delivered.
  • Responsible for stakeholders and interested parties by using strong communication skills.
  • Plan and organize program management to ensure all processes are adhered to in-line with the strategic objectives of the organization.
  • Responsible for the management of a program budget and also the allocation of resources.
  • Management of risk all the way through the program actions.

HOW TO PASS A PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW – 5 KEY TIPS!

TIP #1 – Prior to attending your Program Manager interview, it is important you RESEARCH the organization you are applying to join in details. Find out as much as possible about the organization you want to work for, especially in regard to their latest news stories, their reputation in the industry, their USP and also what their future goals and ambitions are.

TIP #2 – If you are applying to become a Program Manager with a large, multi-faceted organization such as Amazon, make sure you prepare answers to leadership competencies and principles interview questions. For example, Amazon has a set number of leadership principles (14 in total) and you are likely to be asked questions centered on these during your interview.

TIP #3 – When preparing answers to leadership principles interview questions, or even standard behavioral interview questions for that matter, we strongly recommend you use the STAR method to structure your answers effectively.

TIP #4 – To prepare fully for your Program Manager interview, we recommend you prepare answers to all of the interview questions listed on this page. Although there is a lot of work for you to carry out in doing so, you will have high levels of confidence and your answers will be strong and evidence-based in nature.

TIP #5 – It’s important you prepare a minimum of 3 questions to ask at the end of your Program Manager interview. Make sure the questions you ask the hiring manager are ambitious, considerate and professional.

To increase your chances of success, we strongly recommend you download a copy of Richard McMunn’s 21 PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS!

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