Help Needed - Example Interview Questions for PMO roles

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Claire in Princeton, New Jersey

120 months ago


Hoping someone can help... One of the Senior Programme Managers here needs to set up a new PMO in support of a major government initiative and I need to recruit the staff to support this. I was wondering if anyone had any questions I could ask contractors to determine their suitability for the below roles?...

Programme Planner / Scheduler

QA Analyst (Programme quality not technical - so not someone with testing experience)

Change Controller (or Config Management Analyst)

Document Production Team Member (to draught and edit docs - needs to understand templates, diagrams, etc) - (entry level role)

Document Controller (entry level role)

Thanks in advance


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Ava Reinstein in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

120 months ago

Ask them about projects that did not go well and what they have learned. If they tell you they don't have any, move on, they are not telling the truth

I often give the applicant a scope document and ask them to develop a high level project schedule (any application they like) before I'l interview them. The serious ones will do the schedule or get assistance doing it. Either way, they know how to do it or use their resources.

Hope this helps.

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Ava Reinstein in Hollywood, Florida

118 months ago

We never really had a "document controller" function. Our model had a shared folder for each project and the project manager was the one to file the documents. We started to play with Enterprise project management, which sets up a site that allows complete revision control. If I had to make up a couple of questions, I would ask the followong:

1. What naming convention do you suggest using and why?
2. How do you handle multiple versions of the same document
3. What storage medium for the documents do you prefer (shared drive, web...) and why?

If you are going to keep documents in PDF versions that you do not want edited, you might want to asses their skills with creating these types of documents.

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Margaret Van Der Mark in Portland, Oregon

116 months ago

For any role within a PMO it it critical that they understand the role of a PMO; so you might want to ask the following;
'what is your understanding of the necessity or not of a PMO and how do you think your role fits within that structure'
'what do you think are the main components of the role you are applying for' - if they know the job well this should be an easy one for them
'tell me your strengths within the role' - this should elicit some weaknesses as well, if not ask that question
'Give them a requirements doc and ask them to do a simple plan' - this will give you an idea of how well they know the tool
'What have they have done to improve the overall methodologies they have used in that role' - this will give you some idea of their proactiveness and thought processes
Ask them the difference between CHANGE CONTROL and CHANGE MANAGEMENT, when they have stumbled through that one (has been my experience that most do not know) ask them who is responsible and the process for each of those, that will sort them out for you
These are generalist questions that should bring out some of their strengths and weaknesses.
I have found that if I explain the job to them first they will gauge their answers to fit the role, I want to know what they think they know about the job before I go through the position.
Good luck

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