Adaptive’s EUR operations recruitment specialist Michael Radwan shares his expertise on the best techniques to prepare and perform in translation Project Management interviews.
As a specialist recruiter in the Language Services industry, I schedule and manage anything between 10 and 20 interviews in the European translation industry per week purely for Project Management roles, and have learned a lot about the process.
Here are some tips I can share on common topics and structures in PM interviews… and how to dazzle!
Attitude goes a long way
If someone were to ask for the one trait all Project Managers share, whether client-facing or back-office, it is that they are fundamentally communicators.
Working as part of a team internally and liaising continually with clients & vendors externally means that you are constantly dealing with people’s expectations and trying to keep projects moving forward through a minefield of hazards, delays and unexpected obstacles.
A positive, enthusiastic approach is crucial to making this undertaking a success!
I’ve found that even if a PM does not have the most technical profile, a positive & enthusiastic candidate shines in PM interviews more so than interviews for other positions.
Hiring managers will be asking themselves “how will this person interact with our clients, with our key vendors… will they be part of the problem or part of the solution?”
Limit the complaints!
A level above the PM team, all Ops Managers and Team Leads are trying to make a complex group of people under trying circumstances.
Sometimes workloads and clients get moved around, and you can’t please all the people all the time!
So it’s imperative to make sure that the hiring manager doesn’t get the impression that you’ll be a difficult person to manage or will bring morale down in the PM team by complaining about leadership, changes in schedule or objectives.
Prepare by brainstorming stories about difficult experiences in your former PM roles in anticipation for this question, and instead use them as a positive confirmation that you have the mediation skills the interviewer is looking for.
Show commitment to the industry
Managers want to see you’ll be in the language space for a long time, so show it!
Project Management is probably the most ‘transient’ area of the LSP hierarchy, where the greatest number of people are brought in from ‘outside’ the industry and given training. Some like it, and stay… but others move on after a year or so if they haven’t been ‘bitten by the language bug’!
Hiring managers will be keen to confirm that you are committed to the industry, and that they can confidently invest in you with training and development.
They also want to see curiosity and enthusiasm for the LSP industry outside of just a PM desk – nearly all Senior PMs, AMs, SAs and even Ops Directors began as PMs, but they are the ones who are fascinated by the industry beyond the scope of their daily roles.
Hiring managers want to see whether they are bringing on someone who is in it for the long haul, and someone who can be groomed into a higher position.
Bring examples of problem solving!
Managers love to see that if you join their team, that’s one more person who can help solve problems day to day, not one more person they need to micro-manage and hand-hold. So be prepared with good examples!
Describe the difficulties you discovered, skills you acquired and utilized in order to resolve the project successfully. When did you see inefficiency in a process, and how did you help improve it?
Operations leaders in the LSP industry are continually trying to manage complex business situations on both a high and micro level… so demonstrating that you can be an asset in solving daily issues that affect your workflow can portray you in a great light!
Project Management is, in many ways, THE essential element in the LSP service delivery model. So showing that you understand the importance of the role and preparing in detail for your interview is a must.
Giving a dazzling first interview won’t just up your chances of landing the job, it will ensure you start with your manager’s attention and are in a prime position for promotion and career advancement.
Michael Radwan is a European Recruitment Coordinator at Adaptive Globalization. He recruits for operations professionals at all levels of the LSP hierarchy, across Project Management, Engineering, DTP, Vendor Management and Production Management. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn for a networking conversation.
Tel: +44 208 123 0194
E-Mail: michael.radwan (@) adaptiveglobalization.com
Article originally published here.
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