21 Senior Program Manager Interview Questions & Answers!

How to Pass YOUR interview at the first attempt!

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

Q1. Tell me about yourself?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“Over the years, I have built up a diverse set of skills and qualities that have turned me into a productive and effective Senior Program Manager. I am a strong leader who always ensures the work I carry out is in line with the strategic aims of the business. I have exceptional interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills, and I have the ability to research, analyze and recommend best practices for my team. In previous program manager roles, I had a track record for delivering high-quality projects on time and for my ability to quickly solve challenging problems by analyzing data and information to achieve the best results possible. If you hire me as your Senior Program Manager, you will quickly see a positive return on your investment due to my commitment to the role and my hard-working nature.”

Q2. Why do you want to work here as a Senior Program Manager?

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“I genuinely believe that, in order to be effective as a Senior Program Manager, you must work for an enthusiastic and ambitious employer who will support you in your daily functions. I carried out extensive research into your organization, your culture and your future plans prior to applying for the position, and everything pointed to the fact you will be a great organization to work for. As a Senior Program Manager, I will have a responsibility to assist in your corporate strategic planning activities, and I will need to apply my experiences to real-world business challenges. This is something I am very much looking forward to doing whilst working for your organization over a long period of time.”

Q3. Tell me about a time when you received difficult feedback?
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Q4. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an unreasonable request?
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Q5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
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Q6. 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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Q7. Tell me about a time when you managed a difficult contractor or stakeholder?
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Q8. What skills and qualities are needed to be an effective Senior Program Manager?
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Q9. Tell me about a time when you worked on a particularly challenging program?
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Q10. Talk me through the program management lifecycle.
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Q11. Would you ever sacrifice quality in order to meet a deadline?
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Q12. Tell me how you would deal with a client who has a project with pre-determined specifications which are not workable, but they refuse to alter them?
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Q13. Tell me about a time when you worked in an environment where there was resistance to change?
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Q14. What steps would you take as the Senior Program Manager to monitor the performance of the projects and teams under your control?
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Q15. What are the biggest challenges facing our business both now and in the future?
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Q16. Tell me about a time when you successfully resolved team conflict?
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Q17. Describe a time when you had to use effective negotiation and persuasion techniques to achieve your goal?
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Q18. Describe a time when you solved a complex project-related problem? What idea did you utilize and how did you make it effective?
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Q19. What can you tell me about AGILE?
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Q20. What are your salary expectations in the role of Senior Program Manager?
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Q21. That’s the end of your Senior Program Manager interview, do you have any questions?
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Senior Program Manager Job Description, Skills & Qualities


A Senior Program Manager is responsible for coordinating a multitude of different projects within an organization across a variety of different areas. The areas can include tech, information technology, healthcare, product management & development, logistics or even customer service. It is a pressurized role that requires a unique ability to implement and manage change expectations whilst ensuring all projects are completed on time to help the organization achieve its strategic objectives. Whilst a senior program manager is not directly responsible for working on each project, they are responsible for overseeing them to ensure they are delivered as required, on time and to specification.

Senior Program Manager Duties & Responsibilities

  • Overseeing programs and activities in line with the strategic objectives of the business or organization;
  • Managing teams of people to ensure the appropriate skills, talent and expertise is disseminated appropriately;
  • In-depth project and program management skills including the ability to manage large teams of people;
  • A thorough understanding of the program management life cycle;
  • Developing long term goals that are aligned to the strategic vison of the company;
  • Keeping senior management team updated with the program management life cycle and the status of each project or program;
  • Writing funding proposal for programs and presenting them in a clear and concise manner to the company directors and shareholders as required;
  • Meeting with stakeholders and contractors to ensure the programs they are responsible for are delivered on time and to specification.

Senior Program Manager Skills & Qualities

  • Exceptional program management and project management skills;
  • Outstanding communicating and influencing skills;
  • The ability to build strong relationships with teams and stakeholders;
  • A thorough understanding of the program management lifecycle including AGILE processes;
  • The ability to manage budgets and deliver presentations;
  • An unrivalled passion for program management and the ability to deliver projects on times;
  • Excellent multitasking and coordinating skills;
  • Planning and organizing capabilities.

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW TIPS – HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR JOB INTERVIEW!

The following essential tips will help you to prepare fully for a Senior Program Manager interview. Whether you applying to work for Amazon, or any other large corporate organization, read the interview tips that follow carefully and implement them into your pre-interview preparation strategy.

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW TIP #1

One of the most important tips we can give you is to ensure you prepare answers to all 21 interview questions listed on this page. The interview questions are the most common ones asked during Senior Program Manager interviews over the last 12 months.

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW TIP #2

Be prepared for both motivational and behavioural interview questions. Behavioural interview questions assess any prior experience you have as a Senior Program Manager and it is important you answer them by giving specific previous situations you have been in. The motivational interview questions include:

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. What experience do you have relevant to this role?
  3. Why should we hire you?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  5. Why do you want to leave your current job?

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW TIP #3

It is essential you carry out plenty of research into the organization you are applying to work at as a Senior Program Manager. Visit their website and their LinkedIn page and draw up a list of positive things you can talk about at the interview that focus on their success stories and their future plans. The more you know about their company, their products and their services, the better you will come across at the interview! Remember, preparation is key to success at your job interview. 

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER INTERVIEW TIP #4

Have three questions to ask at the end of your Senior Program manager interview. Here are 3 smart questions to ask the interview panel once the interview comes to a close:

QUESTION 1. What are the strategic aims of the organization over the next 3-5 years and how could I help you as your Senior Program Manager to achieve them?

QUESTION 2. What would be the first major program you would like me to focus on within the first few weeks of starting?

QUESTION 3. If I am successful, I would be keen to make your life as easy as possible. On that basis, what frustrations, if any, have you experienced with previous Senior Program Managers who have occupied this or similar roles? 

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