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Project Management Interview Questions

Getting ready for a PMO interview

PMO Interview Questions

PMO roles include management level roles like PMO Manager and supporting roles like PMO Analyst. The types of roles are also dependant on the type of PMO set up.

In this section we look at interview questions for the various levels and types of PMOs.

PMO Interview Questions

 

PMO Management

What key competencies make you a good PMO Manager?
Choose a combination of technical and soft skills

How does organisational maturity link to good project management best practice?
Show you are up to date with guidance like P3M3 and the links to PMO

How would you set up a centre of excellence for the first time? What would be your top three priorities?
A real opportunity to show your experience by not just providing a theoretical answer


Where - in your previous PMO - did you really feel the pain? What didn't work? What needed to be improved or scrapped?
We know PMOs have growing pains and most learn from past experiences - so what are your lessons learnt?

How do you manage conflicting resource requirements for your PMO staff?
An opportunity to demonstrate the technical and softer aspects to resource management and staffing levels

Other than project management experience, what skills or experience are crucial for a PMO Manager?
Think about the corporate or business skills that are needed

We're looking to implement a project management dashboard across the organisation - what are the pros and cons?
Draw on past experiences - think about the data and information pains you've had and why a software solution may not be a 100% fix.

You need to gain support for a new PMO or new process originating in the PMO, who is your first port of call and how do you gain their support?
PMO Managers need to influence, negotiate, build relationships etc

Define what a PMO is
There are lots of definitions so what would you say if asked this question

How do you show the benefit and value the PMO brings to the organisation?
This is an area that has been debated for a while - what are the tangible and intangible benefits? How do you measure performance?

 

 

 

 

 

PMO Analyst

 

What key competencies make you a good PMO Analyst?
Choose a combination of technical and soft skills

How do you track and record progress on the project?
Looking for theoretical and practical experience

You are asked to look at a new process for risk management; where would you start?
Again looking for theoretical and practical understanding


How do you manage conflicting deadlines?
A classic question for a PMO Analyst; looking to see how you deal with deadlines, stress and managing expectations

You are asked to mentor a junior member of the team; what key competencies do you need to do this well?
Think about the softer skills needed; time management; managing workloads and managing progress.

How could you improve your monthly timetable of reporting?
An opportunity to think about all the reporting requirements over the month and your own opinion in how this could be improved - no right or wrong answer!

Why is it important to track issues? How do you provide support in this area?
A theoretical and practical answer again

What would your peers in the PMO say about you when asked what is your strongest skill in PMO?
An opportunity to blow your own trumpet - but be aware the answer might be flipped to ask about your weakiest!

What is a P3O?
Making sure you're reading up on the latest guidance; have a broader understanding of PMO and CPD

How are interdependencies best tracked on a programme?
A theoretical and practical answer again

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Getting ready for a project office support interview

Project support roles include are; "Individual project support roles are positions such as Project Co-ordinator, Project Administrator or Project Planner where tasks and activities are performed for one project or multiple unlinked projects."

In this section we look at interview questions for this level of role.

Project Support Interview Questions

What are your main reasons for applying for this role? / Why do you think you would be an ideal fit for this role?
A simple question - so do your homework on the role specification and give a great answer.

What do you think are the main tasks for an Project Co-ordinator / PMO Analyst / Project Admin and Why?
Interviewers are looking for keywords in your answers, too (competency-based interviews).

Tell me how you would deal with a PM who constantly misses the deadline in sending reports to you?
A classic question and you should be banking on one coming up like it.

Which elements of the project co-ordination do you enjoy the most / the least?
Again a question that often comes up and you need to have an answer ready including turning the negative into a positive.

You're asked to prepare a document that outlines a process that you're not familiar with, how would you handle this request?
Looking for some of the softer skills a project support possesses when dealing with unknown territory.

What activities and tasks are expected to be completed by a Project Co-ordinator in the area of planning / risks / issues / reporting, etc?
How well can you describe the role you perform, interviewers are looking at the depth of your knowledge.

What level of expertise would you say you were using MS Project?
Not just looking for a expert / intermediate answer here - give examples of where and how you have used it.

When asked by friends and family about your career - how do you describe what you do?
A fun question that most project support people have faced at some point in their life... yeah, just what is it that you do!?

In a project you've supported what did you learn in terms of the management of the project?
This question is almost certainly about your understanding of the whole project framework and how project delivery does try to hit pre-determined costs, time and scope.

Tell me about something new you've learnt in project support recently?
You do make sure you're constantly learning and challenging yourself don't you?