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Symantec Principal Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

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Principal Program Manager Interview

Principal Program Manager
San Francisco, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Symantec in September 2012.

Interview Details – A phone interview was arranged with the hiring Director before visting the San Francisco office. Setting up the interview was easy and the Recruiter at Symantec was very helpful. The onsite interview consisted of 4 sets of panel interviews. Each panel had two interviewers. Team members are Symantec were pleasant and cordial.

Interview Question – This team is very focused on implementing Agile and almost all the interview questions centered around Agile Methodologies.   Answer Question

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6 people found this helpful

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Principal Program Manager Interview

Principal Program Manager
Lindon, UT

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Symantec in January 2010.

Interview Details – Submitted my resume online and received email contact within 5 days that there was interest in my background. Initial contact through the in-house HR recruiter. He arranged a first phone interview with the hiring director which took place about two weeks later. The phone interview took about 30+ minutes and was a general review of experience/accomplishments. It was enough to get me to the next level of phone interviews. Over the next week I had two more phone interviews with senior program and product managers...either part of the team I would be on or a related team I may work with. These are basically additional screenings to determine if you'll make the cut for on-site interviews. Each interview style was a bit different, but one of them (and most of the on-site interviewers) liked situational questions (e.g., "Tell me about a time when you confronted such and such situation and how you handled it").

I passed these additional phone screening and was invited for on-site interviews the following week. This was a full-day event where I met with four new people 1:1 for an hour each, the hiring director for an hour lunch, plus was required to give a 15-20 minute presentation to the group. Most interview questions were situational, but one of the interviewers was more relaxed and mostly talked about the company and people vs. asking me a lot of questions. The presentation could be on any topic and any format. I chose 'What makes a good Program Manager", highlighted some of my qualifications and experiences (through stories) as to why I was a superior candidate and used some PowerPoint slides during the talk. With some breaks, I think the day was just under 7 hours long.

I sent thank you notes (emails in this case) to each person I met with and then waiting while I followed up with other candidate companies I was courting. About 1-1/2 weeks later I received contact from the HR recruiter that we were still moving forward and they wanted a list of five professional references. I provided those and a day later the recruiter notified me they were planning to extend an offer. Received the written offer two days later.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had conflict with someone on your team (who was not a direct report) and how you handled it.   View Answer
  • Describe the most frustrating aspect of your current (or previous) job. What have you done to address it or deal with it?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The salary was about 10% below my target. I was able to negotiate an additional 5% increase, which was satisfactory for me. I did this directly with the recruiter and had a final offer about three days later. Advice: you need to know what you want and when you're willing to walk away (always gracefully...even if you turn down an offer, you never know when you'll meet many of the same people again at your next interview). Once you have an offer, it's OK to be open about your expectations and ask if there is any room for negotiation on their side...and in different areas. I think there's usually a bit of wiggle room (5-10%) on the salary side, but not always. Sometime you can get additional stock options or vacation, but I've found those are often fixed by HR for most positions except exec level. I think if you are relaxed in your approach, always polite and gracious, the negotiators are willing to be open to make it work and let you know what's possible and what's not. They definitely want you to be happy as you first come on board.

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