Hiring Guide

Program Director

Specific duties of a Program Director can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Program Director interview templates

Why you should hire a Program Director

Product Directors help companies achieve success by overseeing all programs to ensure they are executed well and successfully deliver value to the company. They often manage teams and work closely with senior leaders to monitor the performance and progress of a company's projects/programs.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Program Director.

Top skills for Program Directors

Designing Programs and Operating Models

Program Design
Program Development
Strategic Planning

Implementing and Evaluating Programs

Program Management
Performance Management

Leadership and Navigation

Strategic Thinking
Business Acumen

Coordinating Cross-functional Initiatives

Relationship Building
Motivating Others

Sample Program Director job description

Program Directors are primarily responsible for designing and organizing programs and their accompanying operational work structures to execute a particular business strategy and help the business achieve its strategic goals. Their work involves an extensive amount of cross-functional engagement and coordination to implement programs and effectively manage program success. An important part of their work is developing and gaining support for a program vision while carefully adapting that vision to align with different functions in the business. They do so by consulting and involving cross-functional stakeholders to ensure the execution of the program can be done effectively across different parts of the organization. Program Directors must excel at managing stakeholder expectations, influencing leadership and other key players, and communicating their program vision and plans effectively. They must also implement and monitor program evaluation models to ensure program success.

Sample interview questions for Program Directors

Question 1

Imagine you’ve just started developing a program for a new area in the business that will involve a large segment of the teams across the company (e.g., a CSR initiative). You are responsible for creating a vision for the program. What steps would you take, and what would you consider, when defining that vision?

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Craig Lowery
VP, Senior Program Director — 38 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to define and gain support for a program vision by engaging others

Answer tips

  • Develop initial thinking to share with others (not too rigid, not too loosely defined)
  • Tie the vision to a realistic business strategy (not too high-level, not too specific) 
  • Consult relevant stakeholders to obtain input/feedback on initial thinking
  • Iterate on the vision to adapt it based on others input/feedback
  • Summarize/communicate the vision clearly to others in a way that is accessible/digestible

Question 2

When you’re creating a new program, there are often implications and expectations for a variety of different internal stakeholders/departments. What approach would you take to communicate details and gain support for the program across different functions in the organization?

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Craig Lowery
VP, Senior Program Director — 38 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to gain support for programs by providing direction and adapting where appropriate

Answer tips

  • Consult stakeholders to understand what is important to them 
  • Be open and responsive to suggestions / feedback
  • Adapt expectations / strategy where appropriate to ensure it works for others
  • Provide appropriate direction to align on vision and facilitate ownership 
  • Balance direction and engagement (define objectives but be flexible)