To find out information about an organization's take on Project Management and what they can offer you in that space, you can orientate your questions along the following axis (I am not suggesting you ask every single question there, but try to cover each area):
1) Level of organization's project practice:
This will help you understand whether this company can provide you with access to an interesting range of projects. Sample questions:
- How many projects do you currently have running?
- How many dedicated Project Managers do you have?
- What is the average project size (budget, team size, project duration, etc.)?
- What are the current/upcoming important projects?
2) Projects organization:
This will give you a sense of how the company organizes itself when it comes to projects: the more projectized the organisation, the more chance you have to be in a full-fledged project-driven environment and get support as a Project Manager working there. Sample questions:
- How are projects typically organized (e.g. who is accountable, who do project resources report to, etc.)? Who do Project Managers report to?
- Do you have a Project Management Office?
- Are projects consolidated under program management and portfolio management?
- Do your projects have strong business sponsorship and representatives involvement (other than IT)?
3) Project methodologies and tools:
This will help you get a sense of how seriously the organization views Project Management, and whether they truly see it as a competency in its own right. The more emphasis on methodologies, harmonized PM processes and tools, the more mature the organization is with PM as an area of expertise. Sample questions:
- Does your organization have a specific, common PM methodology used across all projects? Which one (eg. PMBOK, PRINCE2, Agile, in-house methodology, etc.)?
- Do PMs in your organization hold specific PM certifications? Which ones?
- What PM tools do you use? Are tools used consistently across all projects?
4) Career development for Project Managers:
This will help you understand how much this organization invests in their project managers:
- Which projects could I expect to work on to start with, with what kind of responsibilities?
- What type of Project Management training do you provide (in-house training, external courses, etc.)?
- Do you support PM certification programs?
- How do you evaluate performance for people working on projects?
- What is the typical career path for an aspiring Project Manager in your organization?