Top Technical Program Manager Interview Questions and Answers

a picture of business professionals interviewing for a Technical Program Manager role and conducting an interview

Here are technical program manager interview questions to prepare with. Technical project managers oversee the IT components, risks, and issues in projects and teams. Interviewers may ask you a series of questions to see how well you grasp the role. 

Knowing what questions an interviewer could ask regarding a technical project management role will help you prepare your responses.

technical program manager interview questions

What is technical program management?

In the IT business, technical program managers are in charge of putting product development principles into action. 

Contributing technical experience to product development, coordinating the development of new technologies with IT experts, and guaranteeing timely product delivery are just a few of their responsibilities. 

They might also have to keep track of software performance data.

Qualifying program management questions

The interviewer will ask you some common questions to learn more about your personality and interest in the job:

  • What motivates you to pursue a career as a technical project manager?
  • Why did you decide to apply for this job?
  • What is one of your project management flaws?
  • What type of leadership characteristics do you have?
  • What is it about technical project management that you like the most?
  • What aspect of project management irritates you the most?
  • What is your preferred mode of communication?
  • Why did you choose project management's technical side?
  • What are your interests outside of project management?
  • As a technical project manager, how would you define yourself?
  • What one term would you use to characterize yourself as a project manager?
  • How would you grade your technical knowledge?
  • Why is program management vital in IT?
  • What's your greatest strength as a program manager?

Questions about your background and experience

These background questions will assist the interviewer to learn more about your project management experience:

  • Have you ever been in charge of the technical aspects of project management?
  • How much technical project management experience do you have?
  • What's the difference between project management and technical project management, and how can you tell the two apart?
  • What has been the most challenging project management difficulty you've encountered?
  • What is the relationship between your educational background and project management?
  • Have you ever worked in a quality control environment?
  • Explain to me the technical explanation of what happens when you enter a URL into a web browser.
  • How has your past experience in project management prepared you for this position?
  • What has been your favorite project to manage?
  • How would you explain technical concepts to non-technical audiences?
  • What project management tools have you used in the past?
  • How many workers have you handled for a project at one time?

In-depth questions

These in-depth questions can assist an interviewer to comprehend your extensive understanding of project management's technical side:

  • How can you determine if a project isn't doing as well as it could?
  • To you, what does an ideal project entail?
  • What kind of budgeting experience do you have?
  • What would you do if you had to manage a remote team?
  • Explain how you would use a project's outsourced resources.
  • What would you do if a team member was not performing to their full potential?
  • How would you handle an upcoming project deadline that your team wasn't prepared for?
  • How do you handle cross-functional teams and varying leadership principles?
  • How do you deal with overworked team members?
  • Describe what it's like to manage consumer or client expectations.
  • What is the most significant project-related mistake you've ever made?
  • What method do you use to prioritize project tasks?
  • What type of project management software do you prefer?
  • How do you assign responsibilities to members of a team?
  • How would you handle a team issue involving two or more members?
  • Have you ever had to persuade a client to accept a project's final product?

Technical program manager interview questions and sample answers

Here are some frequent technical project management interview questions and sample responses.

  • What is one of your project management flaws?
  • Why did you choose project management's technical side?
  • What kind of budgeting experience do you have?
  • How would you handle a team issue involving two or more members?
  • How can you determine if a project isn't doing as well as it could?
  • What one term would you use to characterize yourself as a project manager, and why?
  • What is the most significant project-related mistake you've ever made?
  • What's the critical path in project management?
  • How would you handle a complex data center?
  • How do you manage risks in your work?
  • What's the most difficult project you've worked on?
  • How do you assign responsibilities to members of a team?
  • What is one of your project management flaws?

Your response to this question demonstrates your capacity to detect and correct faults. And your desire to improve yourself. 

Briefly outline your or your weakness. As well as what you've done or are doing to address or improve it.

Example

"One of my flaws is that I occasionally delegate too much responsibility to a single individual. While I am certain that someone can execute a task, there have been moments when I have placed too much reliance on a single individual. To guarantee that the project gets finished properly, I now aim to raise a team member's burden as little as possible."

Why did you choose project management's technical side?

Your response to this question might demonstrate to the interviewer that you are familiar with project management's technical components. Because technical project managers often have greater project management experience and expertise, you may utilize this question to demonstrate your understanding of the area and job.

Example

"I've worked in project management for many years and have accumulated knowledge in all aspects of project management, including managing team members, budgets, time constraints, and customers. When I started working for a software development business, I got interested in the technical aspect. Technical project management has introduced me to a new set of difficulties that I like tackling."

What kind of budgeting experience do you have?

Many technical project managers must manage project budgets, including material costs, project team members, and project completion time. When calculating a budget for a project, a technical project manager must take all of these factors into account so that the customer is aware of the expenses before work begins. 

Explaining your experience or expertise in budget management will show the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job. Good project managers can determine close estimates of a project's budget, so explaining your experience or expertise in budget management will show the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job.

Example

"I began my project management career focusing primarily on time management and team member management, but over time, I have developed a thorough grasp of project finances. 

I can design and manage budgets for any project because of my past work, which required establishing estimates, budgets, and final expenditures for a project's cost. 

technical program manager interview questions

If a project requires more money than initially estimated, I am familiar with the procedures for seeking budget amendments as well as managing resources to keep the project on track."

How would you handle a team issue involving two or more members?

Working in groups may lead to conflict, and managing and resolving disputes among team members save time and fosters excellent working environments. 

Demonstrate how you would successfully resolve a problem between two team members to the interviewer. 

Consider discussing a previous issue and how you handled it as a team leader or project manager to get it resolved swiftly and effectively. The STAR technique is a good approach to describe your conflict-resolution abilities.

Example

"Every disagreement is unique, but understanding the source of the issue is the only way to settle it properly. Once the cause of the problem has gotten identified. Then my responsibility as the technical project manager is to resolve the disagreement as quickly and efficiently as feasible.

My business analyst and QA lead disagreed once regarding the best method to handle user acceptance testing. Although the business analyst had been with the organization for longer, the QA lead had greater testing expertise. Because they both had solid ideas, I had a brief discussion with them to present all perspectives and choose the best course of action. We all decided to utilize the QA lead's concept after the meeting, but the business analyst would be closely involved to ensure we met corporate requirements."

How can you determine if a project isn't doing as well as it could?

Some undertakings get off to a good start but eventually run out of time or money. The technical project manager's responsibility is to reassemble the project and keep it toward the end objective. 

Describe a circumstance where you had to pull a project back into a manageable schedule or budget.

Example

"There was a project at my former employment that was taking longer than planned. I began by overseeing each team member's activities and discovered that extra tasks had not been anticipated in the first strategy. 

It was critical to learn about these additional activities early to resolve in time for the project to be finished on time. 

I feel that having a solid plan from the start, with clear communication from all team members, is crucial to a successful project, as is maintaining track of time and finances throughout the project."

What one term would you use to characterize yourself as a project manager, and why?

Some interviewers may ask you to define yourself in a few words or less. Consider a few terms that you or others might use to characterize yourself as a manager, and then connect these words to real-life circumstances and experiences. 

Using phrases like organized, prepared, or efficient will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are familiar with project management characteristics.

Example

"I've gotten described as prepared by every team I've led. Whatever happened on a project, I always had a solution or method to manage any issue efficiently. There are always unknowns in projects, and I feel that my finest attribute as a technical project manager has been my ability to be prepared for everything."

What is the most significant project-related blunder you've ever made?

You can discuss a circumstance when you took responsibility for a mistake and managed it, similar to how you recognize your shortcomings. Show the interviewer how you repaired your mistake and what you did to guarantee you made better decisions in the future, in addition to describing your mistake. The interviewer is looking for evidence to learn from your errors and improve as a technical project manager.

Example

"My worst blunder was failing to keep track of a team member's progress on a project work a few years back. Their final product was critical to the project's success, and because I didn't check in on the job frequently enough, the entire team was left to finish one team member's work in the last hours before the deadline. 

Since then, I've made it a point to check in on my team members regularly to verify that the project is progressing at the appropriate pace."

How do you assign responsibilities to members of a team?

Depending on the team and each member's abilities, each project manager distributes work differently. While the company you're applying to may have a unique job delegation method, detailing how you distribute duties can demonstrate your leadership skills and ability to manage projects in a group. 

Consider explaining to the interviewer that you are adaptable to the circumstances.

technical program manager interview questions

Example

"Every person has distinct talents and skills, and in technical project management, recognizing how each individual contributes to the overall team is critical. 

While everyone on the team should be performing similar work, I also recognize that different people have various abilities. 

More complex jobs would get delegated to those capable of doing them. Hardworking team members would be rewarded and acknowledged, motivating the rest of the team to improve their deficiencies and advance their talents."

How do I prepare for a technical program manager interview?

Here's how to prepare for technical program manager interviews:

  • Focus on leadership.
  • Understand the job description.
  • Understand the company's needs.
  • Provide examples of your strengths.
  • Have energy and enthusiasm going into the interview.
  • Ask questions at the end of the interview.

What's the technical program management interview process like?

Generally, multiple interviews get conducted with the applicant. Questions will get asked regarding the management of technical programs. 

And the understanding of the technical program manager role. The hiring manager will conduct anywhere from 3 to 5 interviews. 

And in many of the interview sessions, technical questions will get asked.

An applicant should get prepared to answer system design questions and machine learning questions and explain other technical concepts.

technical program manager interview questions

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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