Effective Hiring Interview Techniques for Project Managers


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This presentation comes to you from International Project Management Day 2013 - the annual global virtual summit from IIL that brings together business and technology leaders from around the world to discuss the latest trends and methods in business, leadership and communications. To view the accompanying video keynotes and presentations connect to the event here bit.ly/1blJSkE or purchase the DVD collection http://bit.ly/1fZ9Yc0

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Effective Hiring Interview Techniques for Project Managers

  1. 1. Effective Hiring Interview Technique for Selecting Project Managers Harvey Stein ©2013 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Effective Hiring Interview Technique for Selecting Project Managers Do you ever get an uneasy feeling when you realize that you are not sure if the PM you just hired will really be successful? If you are like me you have been through this angst. You can reduce the risk of hiring the wrong PM for your organization by following these interview techniques.
  3. 3. Harvey Stein, VP Infor Consulting Services (ICS) Harvey is responsible for the Project Management Office (PMO) within ICS. Harvey has a long record of success managing complex, global software implementation projects and programs. His focus over the past several years has been on the advancement of project management maturity with world class initiatives for PM talent management and training, mentoring, certification, methodology, quality assurance and portfolio reporting. Harvey is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and represents Infor as an active participant in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Global Executive Council. The Infor PMO provides the common methods and tools by which projects are quoted, managed and delivered. The group enables the project community by facilitating a rigorous training curriculum and internal certification program. Additionally, Harvey is responsible for project portfolio management which includes regular monitoring and quality assurance for customer projects. The PMO staff of top project and program managers engage in the field to provide governance and project start up to complex projects and programs.
  4. 4. Agenda Introduction Prepare - Before the interview The Interview Process Introduction - Getting the conversation flowing Interview Content – Gather Information and conclude Wrap Up – Next Steps Decide – After the Interview
  5. 5. Introduction Purpose – Select project management candidates who will be successful in the role to control turnover cost (Cost of Hiring) Candidate behavior during the hiring process is a good predictor of future behavior – be observant of interaction outside of the interview Assumptions Initial screening compete and candidate has high interest Face to Face Interview as part of the hiring process This interview is a one on one phone interview All job offers For PM roles require a PMO interview as part of the Job Offer Approval
  6. 6. Prepare - Before the Interview Visualize the ideal candidate for the role, know what skills experience and personal traits are required for success Prepare areas of focus based on hiring documents including other interview notes Prepare fact finding questions to determine if candidate has a track record of success and is credible Suggested time for interview – 60 minutes
  7. 7. Interview Process 40 – 50 minutes 3 – 5 minutes Introduce Conversation Candidate Responds Flow Prepare Before Interview Yes Ask Open Ended Question Ask Drill Down Question 7 – 15 minutes . Conclusion? No Gather Information and Conclude Wrap Up Next Steps Decide After Interview
  8. 8. Interview Introduction Getting the conversation flowing Explain the structure of the interview Provide a very brief personal introduction Minimize talking, maximize listening. Listen 80% -90% of the time Find something innocuous to get the candidate at ease to start the conversation flow, then transition to deeper content questions Skills and experience questions start general open ended, then drill down
  9. 9. Interview Content Role: Experienced ERP software implementation PM for a consulting organization of a software company for on site customer projects Minimum Requirements Project Management Emotional Intelligence Technical Travel Language Experience Education/Certification Project Complexity Project Size Company cultural fit Job Stability Scope Quality Financial & Staff Issues & Risks Stakeholder Work Management Governance PM Methodology Project Rescue Role Specific Personal Traits Technical Inward - Self • Awareness • Accountability • Confidence Outward - Others • Communication • Interaction • Conflict Resolution • Team Motivation Leadership Estimating Implementation Method Business Requirements Design & Build Testing/QA Organizational Change Cutover Global Rollout Product Knowledge Credibility Detail Orientation Dedication Problem Solver Customer Orientation Ethics, Honesty Enthusiasm Pragmatic approach Independent
  10. 10. Be Aware – Listen and Observe Very formal with textbook answers – Has the candidate really managed a successful project, emotional intelligence to succeed? Talker/bragger/controller – too much send, not enough receive, interrupts, answering question before you finish asking Role mismatch – suitable for an account manager role The scatter brain – too much jumping around, not enough focus Wrapped around the axle – too detailed to achieve results Lost in the stratosphere – Responses are too high level, vague, One trick pony – answers are similar for most questions The perfect person – has never made an error and learned
  11. 11. Interview Wrap Up Allow the candidate a few minutes to ask questions Explain next steps and when someone will get back to them Tell them who to contact if they don’t hear back by a specific date
  12. 12. Decide Review the conclusions of the 5 content areas and summarize pluses/minuses Does the candidate have the skills and experience to be successful? Is it believable that the candidate was successful in a previous PM role? Would you want the candidate to report to you directly and be on your team? Trust you intuition – examine your feelings, what is the driver? Will the minuses still allow the candidate to be successful? Avoid the halo effect – Are one or two high pluses clouding your judgment to overlook show stopper minuses
  13. 13. And Finally Remember… The Golden Rule – Treat candidates the way you want to be treated. Respect their time, be prompt on responses, be decisive Need a tie breaker - don’t hire, trust you intuition If candidate does not accept position, maintain communication, obtain referrals
  14. 14. Questions?
  15. 15. Intelligence – Integrity – Innovation We invite you to take a closer look at what we can accomplish together. Please visit iil.com or contact learning@iil.com to learn more about our training, consulting, coaching, customized courses and other pathways for professional development. Connect with Us: facebook.com/IIL.Inc @IILGlobal bit.ly/IILlinkedin ©2013 International Institute for Learning, Inc., All rights reserved. bit.ly/IILgoogle youtube.com/IILGlobal allpm.com