The most important thing to be accomplished before landing your dream job is going through the interview process. Depending on the company, role, and speed at which the hiring team will make decisions, you could go through 3 - 10 rounds of interviews. Preparing for these interviews is crucial. Not only should you have solid and natural answers for basic questions such as "Tell Me About Yourself" and "Why do you want to work here?" but you should also prepare for questions that can showcase your values and experience.
This article will focus on interview prep questions that allow you to showcase your project leadership power skills through demonstrating problem-solving, dealing with ambiguity, organizational agility, and intellectual horsepower.
To prepare, write each of these questions down and brainstorm your answer. Write the answer down and practice your response. A recommended approach would be to use the STAR method in a structural reaction that addresses the question by addressing the situation, task, action, and result. Try to find 1 - 2 examples for each question. As you go through an interview panel, they may ask the same question and compare notes. You will want to have shown a breadth of experience during your interview cycle and not a canned response. Find a trusted person to practice asking you the questions below and providing feedback on your answer.
Have you ever solved a problem others around you couldn't?
Who do you go to for advice on project management? Who have you learned the most from?
Tell me about the last time someone came to you for advice?
In your experience and perspective what do you think are the 3 most important things to know about a new project?
Dealing with Ambiguity
Can you tell me about a time when you had a problem where you just didn't know what to do? How did you solve it?
Do you prefer a work environment that is a bit chaotic, and you need to organize that chaos, or do you prefer a structured plan and to execute against that plan, and clearly track the progress?
Can you tell me about a time you had to act on something important before you had time to come up with a good answer or solution?
Can you tell me about a time you took a risk, either career or personal?
Can you tell me about a time when you were assigned a project on a strict deadline with little or no direction?
Can you tell me about a project you were working on and close to finishing, but the project was changed or canceled at the last minute? How did you feel?
Can you tell me of a time when you missed a deadline? What were the consequences?
Can you tell me about a time when you were given the opportunity to lead a special project?
Can you tell me of a time when you were not flexible and it was to your detriment?
Can you tell me about a situation in which you were only able to get your work done through other departments and not one that was in your control? What were the challenges you faced?
Can you tell me to what extent you are partnering with teams external to your own? What makes those partnerships successful? What makes them fail?
Can you tell me if you have been involved in challenging current practices or processes? What was the outcome? Were you able to influence change?
Can you tell me about your current organization; how is it structured and where do you fit in?
Can you tell me about a company you have been with that you found it difficult to fit into the culture? Why do you think that was?
Have you been sought out to participate in projects within the organization and outside your normal realm of work?
What did you do to prepare for this interview today?
Can you tell me about the most recent new project you started with new stakeholders? How did you win them over?
Can you tell me about a time that you project management expertise helped you navigate a difficult project?
Learning on the Fly
How many failures will stop you from trying any more?
Do you think you are better at learning things faster than most people?