Adeshola, AKA “Mama Hawk” is now on her 22nd success story as a mentor. Her candidate just secured a project manager role within the financial sector.
Would like to share my story to encourage and support you all. I started a new job March 2016 as a PM just about the time Adeshola became my mentor.
I attended the DBT Training Dec 2015 because I wanted a radical change given my background is Finance. In January I rewrote my CV to be PM focused and started very actively looking. When I got the call from the recruiter, he grilled me on my CV to make sure I was a perfect fit.
So my first piece of advice is to take time out to ensure your CV has the right keywords to catch the recruiters eye. Please do not add any keywords you cannot defend either as experience or knowledge.
The project was already 6 – 9 months in but due to resource constraints they now needed a PM. At the interview, the first question I was asked was how I would manage a project of this type given some of the deliverables were already at a near red status. My answer was simply that I would assess where they were in the project, draw out all issues and risks, identify my stakeholders, re-scope or rebaseline the plan if need be, develop a communication plan and communicate, communicat, communicate all the way. My response was pretty high level because I could see them watching the clock but the key message was communication. They then asked my preferred method of communication and I should give examples of a time when I did various things. I used every opportunity to throw in examples from my experience having studied the job description thoroughly.
I got a second interview and another key question which I was asked was how do u manage difficult stakeholders. I never fall for that question anymore instead I asked them to give me some examples of their difficult stakeholders and I then told them how I would manage each type of stakeholder. Advice here is to know stakeholder and risk management inside out and be able to give examples.
By day 4 into the job I was managing 7 work streams instead of the 4 I started out with.
In part 2 of this story I will tell you a bit more about what I am working on, my interview with the Project sponsor (the big boss) and how Adeshola is mentoring me with regards to a role I thought was project management but is actually change management.