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Telephone interview cheat sheet: Project manager

Originally Published:
Nov 2018

This cheat sheet is designed to provide a consistent and systematic way to record job candidates’ qualifications, experience, professional goals, and temperament. It includes a section for general information followed by position-specific questions. We’ve supplied sample answers to help you complete the form. You can replace them with your own candidate information.

From the cheat sheet:

Do you have experience managing shared project resources?
The candidate described her successes working within a blended matrix organization managing support technicians, field engineers, and various other subject matter experts who were shared resources who regularly served multiple teams.

Are you comfortable managing competing priorities?
She provided examples of methods she adopted to ensure she was dedicating time and resources to the correct priorities. One specific example was her drafting and publishing on her firm’s SharePoint portal a regularly updated project status report that used simple color-coding to note when certain projects were taking priority over others. The dashboard she created displayed when projects were in danger of missing a scheduled milestone, with a corresponding menu showing which party was responsible for the potential delay.

She also provided examples of planning “push” efforts in which she and her staff would work extra hours to complete specific critical tasks or ensure that a project stayed on track.

How have you previously managed problematic scope change requests?
The candidate described occasions in which she followed established project management processes to monitor initiatives, track scope changes, develop corresponding budgets and schedules, and have stakeholders approve and sign-off on specific scope change request budgets and schedules before implementing those changes within an established project. The candidate does not come across as one who readily completes tasks on the fly but instead requires teams follow established processes and procedures.

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