27 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES

To ace That Dream Job offer!

Practical Interview Techniques for a Program Management Role

As featured on FORBES India

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    Here’s the Perfect Solution If You Want to Ace Your Interview and Get Your Dream Job as a Program Manager. Are you looking for a new position but your interviews are not going well and you’re not sure what to do? Go ahead and download the book and prepare for an awesome journey !

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    Marvel at the excellence in craft of this book with Comprehensive and well-detailed answers, beautiful layout, Useful in creating a new perspective towards Program Management, Relatable and applicable techniques and Having it in a soft copy version !

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    Using the pro-tip for every answer in the book, customize your responses using your own experience in the programs.

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    Shine in an Interview

    Implement the best techniques through 27 laser-sharp questions with comprehensive and well-written answers and give the best interview of your life. Impress your prospective employer, succeed and get your dream job!

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What will you be learning through this book ?

 

 

WHEN DID YOU HANDLE CHAOS?

Of course there have been several occasions, as you can imagine from a career as Program Manager, but let me share the one which is close to my heart. This happened when I was part of a major e-commerce organization. While I was there one of the biggest challenges I was given was to increase the market share in China. Of course, like every other global company, we wanted to grow in China.

We were given a budget and after about 3 months we were halfway through. All of a sudden, the budget started to get shrunk into just 10% and we were asked to make all kinds of cuts which almost threatened all the jobs which I had under me. These were the people who were in direct line reporting to me.

Now we were heading into holiday season – Thanksgiving and Christmas
in US and Chinese New Year shortly thereafter. It was evident that during the holiday season we were going to get lots of sales, and if we went to that season with minimal or no work done on the project, we were not going to succeed.

So, when the bad news of budget shortfall was conveyed to me I was shocked, but I decided not to walk to my team immediately and communicate the bad news. First I regained my senses and became calm and collected and stepped back to first do the following things:

  • Fully understand the situation.
  • Do the best thing for my people and team. Do the right thing for the Business.

So, here’s what I did:

  • I told my team that there was some crisis coming. However, it was not immediate, so they shouldn’t lose focus. At the same time I was transparent with them.
  • I spoke with my stakeholders and took them to the exact list of functionalities that must be done for the holiday season to be successful. As an example, one of them was levels of discounts that we offered: only 3 in the US.

Now for China, we needed to customize to 5 levels of discount, without which the sales would be affected. So, if they were not able to apply those levels of discounts and convert those leads into customers, sales would receive a backlash.

The business stakeholders were responsible for the budget and understood how critical the work we were doing was. Somehow when they were making the budget constraints they missed out on the fact that my team was working on mission-critical stuff. So I made them aware.

I revived some part of the budget back to my portfolio and conveyed to my team that we were running on low budget with just the next 2 months of work. So I turned this from a 15-day budget to a 2-month budget and my team knew, as did my managers sitting in corporate headquarters, that this project had only 2 months runway, therefore allowing the following:

  • We could serve our customers in a better way during holiday season and
  • The people could find the next opportunity before the current assignment came to an end.

This is how I handled the chaos which was unleashed on me by my stakeholders. I received an award for this project in the company town hall.

Pro Tip : Focus on the way you handled the chaos, thinking about the business and your people at the same time.

Be Succint !

Make more impact using fewer words. You have a limited time during the interview.

Share your Accomplishments !

Emphasize on your Accomplishments instead of just the tasks you did as a Program Manager in response to your question. Bring Data and Metrics in your response.

Focus on the Outcome !

Have more focus on the Outcome of the Program rather than Output of the Program. Bring Empathy in your response, one of the most important qualities of a Program Manager.

“It's not over until I win !" - An interview with Kumar Saurabh

Questions Overview

You will be delighted to read the answers for the following questions in the book and ready to grab that dream offer !

Cohort 1

- WHAT IS PROGRAM MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP?
- WHAT ARE THE CORE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PROGRAM MANAGER?
- HOW WILL YOU IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM IN THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION?
- WHAT ARE THE METRICS YOU USE IN YOUR PROGRAM? HOW ?
- WHEN DID YOU HANDLE CHAOS?
- WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO PEOPLE MANAGEMENT?
- WHEN WERE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS HAPPY?
- HOW DO YOU MANAGE CONFLICTS?
- HOW DO YOU RESOLVE CONFLICTS? (A Different Way)

Cohort 2

- HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED CONFLICT? AND HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT?
- HOW DO YOU DO AGILE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT?
- WHY A PROGRAM MANAGER ROLE?
- HOW DO YOU MANAGE REQUIREMENTS?
- WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK FOR OUR COMPANY?
- WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN SPRINT GROOMING / PLANNING?
- WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO IDENTIFYING DEPENDENCIES?
- HAVE YOU EVER HAD A CONFLICT WITH YOUR BOSS? HOW WAS IT RESOLVED?
- YOU HAVE 130 STORY POINTS’ WORTH OF WORK. YOU ARE UNABLE TO ACCOMMODATE THEM ALL INTO THE SPRINT. HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT DECIDING WHICH ONES TO PUSH OUT?

Cohort 3

- HOW DO YOU WORK WITH PRODUCT MANAGEMENT AND ENGINEERING?
- WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE?
- TELL US ABOUT A TOUGH DECISION YOU MADE.
- TELL US ABOUT A TIME YOU FAILED.
- WHEN DO YOU DELEGATE?
- TELL US OF A TIME WHEN YOU HAD TO CHANGE YOUR STYLE OR YOUR APPROACH.
- TELL US OF A TIME WHEN YOUR DECISION WAS CHALLENGED BY YOUR MANAGER
- TELL US OF A SUGGESTION YOU MADE THAT WAS IMPLEMENTED IN YOUR DOMAIN
- DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR ME?
BONUS : Lessons Learnt from the Circus that fit well for Program Managers !

Endorsements !

A few reviews since my first launch 🙂

About the Author

Here I Am !

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