"Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant » HTP" - 5 new articles
I’m a big fan of auditions in an interview. (I have many posts about auditions in this blog.)
However, some hiring managers and teams push interviewing and auditions too far. When you’ve had three interviews, and your interviewer asks you to solve a problem for them—again—is it a hiring issue, or are they asking you to consult for free?
Here is a way that works for auditions and interviewing:
That’s it. You don’t need a third round of interviews. You don’t need that person to meet with more people. You should be able to decide based on your data to date, assuming you have organized your questions and auditions.
You don’t need the perfect candidate. That candidate doesn’t exist. You need someone who fits your culture and can learn fast enough for you.
If you have people do more than two 20-minute auditions, and/or meet with more than 8 people, you are dangerously close to asking for free consulting. Do you mean to do that? I find it demeaning to the candidate. It doesn’t show your company in the best light.
You might want to read this post: Three Tips to Streamline Your Interviews and Auditions, Part 4.
Remember, the best interviews are conversations. If you pay attention to your candidates as human beings, you will get farther faster, than if you decide they are “resources” that you can take advantage of. (People looking for work talk to each other.)
Some of you would like to know how to answer questions about the metrics you can gather and discuss when you look for a job as a project or program manager. Here are some tips:
Tip 1: Separate the quantitative questions from the qualitative questions.
I bet you have qualitative “measures” that you use either by design or by intuition. Here is one of mine.
This provides me data about how the team feels. I can probe further or look at risks differently.
Tip 2: Tell the interview what you normally measure and why.
Tip 3. Ask what the interviewer needs as measures.
Ask the interviewer what they normally measure and explain how you get to the same data, especially if you get there in a different way.
Tip 4: Explain what you never measure and why
Everyone has their little bugaboos about project measurements.
I have other measures I can use for projects. I use different, more holistic measurements for programs.
Do you see how what you measure creates a conversation with the interviewer?
If you don’t manage projects the way I do, or you have non-software projects, you won’t answer these questions the same way. That is why it’s impossible for me to provide you the Right Answer to these questions.
See also Interview Questions for Project Managers, Interview Questions for Program Managers, 4 Tips for Preparing for a Project or Program Manager Interview and 6 Tips to Answering Project Manager and Program Manager Questions.
If you are looking for a job, see Manage Your Job Search.
If you are hiring, see Hiring Geeks That Fit.
I have a post on this site, Interview Questions for Program Managers. There are a number of comments. Some ask how to answer the questions. Some want more information. Maybe you also read Six Tips for Answering Project and Program Manager Interview Questions or Interview Questions for Project Managers and want more detail. This is the detail.
If you are a project or program manager and you want to know how to answer these questions, do this:
Here’s why there is no right or wrong way to answer questions. I did a PMWar with a colleague on projectmanagement.com. I only answered about 8 questions. I think I got 4 of them “wrong.” The reason I put wrong in quotes is that one of the questions was something like, “How many tools do you have to resolve conflict?” The answers were 6, 7, 8, 9. I answered 9 because I know of at least 9 ways to resolve conflict. (I would argue there are an infinite number of ways to resolve conflict.)
My answer, 9, was wrong. There are some number of ways according to some authority to resolve conflict. Bah! I don’t buy it. And, I have the stories to prove it.
That is why you can’t win with, “this is the right answer for a given question.”
On the other hand, you might like to know some ways to answer questions about metrics, specifically. I’ll address that in another post.
To summarize the four tips:
There are no “right” answers for the questions you will encounter in a project manager or program manager interview. You need to answer questions truthfully based on your experience. When you prepare for your interview, you will have more success.
I gave a webinar this past week to the BU Career Connection. We had a great turnout. I have posted my slides: Eight Traps (and Tips) of Networking When Job Searching.
The slides are based on Manage Your Job Search. Since I published the book and have given talks about it, I have discovered more traps.
I hope you enjoy the slides.
I’ve given webinars and talks about hiring for cultural fit for years. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Waterloo/Kitchener, Ontario. When I spoke for Communitech, I updated my talk, Hiring for Cultural Fit.
It’s easy to get cultural fit wrong. It’s more difficult to get it right. I hope you enjoy the slides.
BTW, if you want the details on how to hire for cultural fit, read Hiring Geeks That Fit.
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