Mind Map Your Interview

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

Interviewing for a high-visibility project internally or a new opportunity outside your company can be nerve-wracking. Using mind-mapping techniques to organize your introduction, elevator speech, key experiences and follow-up questions can help you prepare. Here’s a primer for a typical 30-minute interview.

As project managers, we are often looking for the next available project as the current project closes. Regardless if you’re seeking a new position in the market or the next internal high-visibility project, interviews are a common occurrence in the project management domain. Understandably, senior management and perspective employers want to “audition” and approve the project manager before handing over a multi-million dollar program or project.
 
Preparing for an interview is a nerve-wracking experience. You know everything you say and do is being evaluated. You are concerned about your appearance, making a good first impression, responding with articulate answers, and hoping you’re providing sufficient detail without overwhelming the hiring manager about past project nuances, acronyms and tidbits. The amount of preparation may vary depending on your risk tolerance, interview skills and the job importance.
 
Some project managers can simply walk into an interview with little or no preparation and describe their qualifications like a …

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