Interview Questions - 2 scenarios

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Interview Questions - 2 scenarios

Postby SCT » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:43 am

I have an interview coming up this Thursday (30-December) for a Project Manager role. I've been sent the following text and will be asked at the Interview to reflect on the two scenarios - and go through them providing reasons and thought processes for my answers. As I see it, its about priorities, with safety in mind. Any input from users in this forum will be greatly appreciated (though I appreciate I'm trying to lever advantage over other candidates!).

Scenario 1:
You have been in the role for 10 months now. When you arrived there were no systems in
place to monitor the different aspects of the projects i.e. project status, start dates, key
researchers on the project as well as impact and dissemination. The funder has just emailed
you and they now require an update of all the projects, their status, and the costs incurred on
these individual projects so far. It is Monday and they need this by Thursday. This task might
require a lot of input from the researchers across sites who often do not prioritise these
tasks, how would you ensure their co-operation - in order that you can meet the deadline

Scenario 2:
You arrive at work on a Monday morning (which is usually the Principal Investigator’s
external teaching day) and you have received a very angry email from a site manager at one
of the field sites where a study is being carried out and they are threatening to withdraw from
the study (at this point the study has been running for several months), they want to speak to
someone immediately. In addition another site has left a voicemail saying that the researcher
has not arrived with them and they were expecting them half an hour ago. As you arrived
into the building just moments ago the receptionist tells you that there is a huge delivery of
glasses (which you know should have been delivered to a field location) and that this needs
to be out of the reception area ASAP because the Vice-Chancellor is coming over with a
very important group of delegates. It is 9:15am and you have a very important meeting at
10am which you cannot cancel. It is also a day when the project administrator is off.
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Re: Interview Questions - 2 scenarios

Postby PG » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:08 pm

I know what I would answer but since you will need to go through your thought process and reasons we cant really give you a ready answer but I will ask some questions that might help.

Scenario 1

What have you been doing during your first 10 months in the position?

To get information now. Who needs information? Why is this person important to the people you need the information from? What can you do in three days to help with getting the information you need?

Scenario 2

Clearly you cant do everything needed yourself in 45 minutes so what are your options?
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Re: Interview Questions - 2 scenarios

Postby D.X. » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:45 pm


Hi I agree with PG with the addition of this is a bit grey line of a question to give an answer to - this is about how YOU would handle it. However from a Program Lead perspective (Say the one you would say have a dotted or direct line report to) i suggest you read what PG said - but also advise you consider your behavioral responses and leadership competencies with respect to stakeholder management, relationship building and chain of communication. There is more a behavioral aspect here linked to the technical aspect of Project Management.

These examples are typical of what a Project Manager will find, fire fighting at both reactive ( putting the flames out) and proactive (.i.e. Forecasting risk) is a key part of the job. I would also hope you would be keeping the person in the function of Program Lead informed ....ahem!


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