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Unity any idea of testing an applicant, beeing a project leader

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Dear community, our company is sitting in an extra special dilmena: we announced a job offer for a position as project leader; hence one of our last project leaders had - name it - "some personal trouble" with our CEO, because of telling "wrong skill information" (sorry, don't know how to call this), we are now in the situation that we want to test the current applicant... but how ? From the "technical" side, it's no problem: we setted up a small programming test, regarding some customizations in our application/product. Here the person was not bad, in respect that she had written code the last time over 6 years ago. But the problem is, as you can guess, that we have no idea of how to test her regarind the "project management skills", soft skills ect. Yes: you can ask questions, you can talk about some situations you had with customers, you can talk about typcial behaviour of the developers ect.. But: this is not enough, in our oppinion - because we don't have the money, currently, to fill this position again with someone where we find out - 6 month later - that he/she is completely improper for this position. So, perhaps someone of you may have an idea ?

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Project Management skills are very hard to test for without seeing the person in action unfortunately. Some possible indications can be gained from thier past work however:
-You could ask for some of the applicants previous projects (if applicable) - if they have completed them succesfully, then they are more likely well organised and able to handle themselves - moreso in the case of prior team projects, especially if they have been in a lead position before.
-You could also ask for referees - talk to previous employers and/or clients, who may be able to give you an indication of how well this person works and what thier skillset covers. Be careful though, you may end up speaking to friends of the applicant, who are unlikely to want to say anything negative, so take it with a grain of salt.

This is a very tricky area to judge without actually seeing them in action though. Perhaps others will have some other good suggestions for you.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You can try some scenarios:

-- Business / Negotiation skills --

"A distant uncle you never knew about dies and leaves you the owner of a satellite company. The company operates 7 low-orbit satellites for the armed forces; the contract ends in two months and the army said they will not renew the contract because the satellite coverage over the poles was poor. From an acccounting perspective, the company is worth US$50M. But a call from a friend of your uncle called and said he would buy the company for US$100M, a good bargain he said. Q: Do you sell? If not, what are your next steps and why?"

A: the candidate should try to explore what it is REALLY worth to THEM before agreeeing on a sales price. Best is to try to get as much info on this guy's business plan and model and see if you can do it yourself instead (hey, if this guy is about to make tons of money with your satellites, why isn't it YOU instead!).

-- Management Skills --

"You have spec'd out a game jointly with marketing and have started the development cycle. The engine is stable and 20% of the levels are completed. It looks like you will finish 1 month ahead of time. Upon this news, Marketing decides to add a few levels to the development that were originally cut out at the planning stage. Q: How do you rework your plans?"

A: only an experienced project manager would know how to answer this. The discussion should be about "feature creep", resources planning and risk management.

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