Going for a project management interview? Go through these top project management interview questions and prepare yourself to crack the interview.
Project Managers are required across the industry and interview process for Project Managers is different for technical developers or senior developer level. The reason is very simple, organizations have a big stake in projects and compensation which is involved. Project Stake, because the hired candidate will be responsible for the project success or project failure in which the organization has invested. And compensation because the project manager and any further senior management roles have to offer good compensation which is up to market standards.
Let’s have a look at the important areas and corresponding top project management interview questions for those areas. Definitely, this is only one viewpoint and there can be thousands of questions related to project management in the interviews with multiple viewpoints.
The focus of the organization has been drifted towards agility and flexibility in the projects due to which interview questions are also focused on the same. It’s rare that today’s organizations only need a project management specialist who knows only the traditional ways of handling projects. Keeping this in mind, we’ve created the list of top project management interview questions with the detailed answers that will help aspirants to crack the interview.
Top 20 Project Management Interview Questions
It is not very simple to crack a project management interview, the interviewer may ask you different types of questions to check your knowledge and skills at various perspectives. So, it is very important to prepare yourself with some of the latest project management interview questions to crack the interview. Understanding the value of good preparation, here we create a broad list of top project management interview questions and answers under different categories.
Experience-based Project Management Interview Questions
In this section, we cover some of the general project management interview questions that interviewer asks to check the knowledge of the candidate he/she has gained through the previous experience. If you are a fresher in project management, you may be asked some basic questions about yourself. Let’s prepare with these project management questions.
1. Share one of the challenging situation you have faced & what is the greatest challenge you feel in the offered job?
Answer: This question is basically to identify if you have experience in handling challenging situations and also if you are aware of challenges in your new role. An interviewer will also check if you are a good fit for the offered position while you are answering this question.
The person should try to use this opportunity to showcase his/her skills to handle the situations and also to show how challenging environment boost you do work.
2. What is your one greatest weakness & one greatest strength?
Answer: Weakness and strengths are there to everyone. This question is to judge whether you are open for improvements and whether you are aware of your own self in terms of your strengths.
There is no need to show oneself as the perfectionist that may work against you. You may need to smartly put your weakness to show you have areas of improvement thought you are good at it. Similarly, strengths you showcase should be in line with the need of the job and not of your personal choice. This question is very simple and repetitive but interviewer makes many decisions based on the answers you give.
3. How do you handle pressure situation? Do you use some creative problem-solving techniques?
Answer: This is one of the most common project management interview questions asked to check how much knowledge you have about the subject as well as management along with whether you have really faced tough project situations.
This is an opportunity to express the already handled situation with one or two examples. Problem-solving techniques may be a keyword for you to understand that interviewer is trying to judge if you know about some techniques commonly used by Project Managers like root cause analysis with the help of 5 whys etc.
4. Do you believe in team development? Can you share instances where you did that for your teams?
Answer: Team development and team management skill along with mentoring and leadership for the success of the project are very important for good project management. This question is to understand if you believe in that.
In this answer, you need to express the people management skills you have developed with few examples. You may explain team development procedure to demonstrate your knowledge. You need to showcase your leadership, mentoring, conflict management as well as team grooming skills.
5. What do you believe more in, a Leader or a Manager and why?
Answer: This question lies among the best project management interview questions asked to check the agile mindset where rather than managers, leaders are required and the team is self-organizing.
It’s important to answer this question as honestly as possible because both qualities are required for multiple scenarios. Leadership is required for Project Management as without that a manager can’t become a great mentor and role model for the team. At the same time, the manager is required to manage the project efficiently and has to take some tough decisions during the course of the project.
6. Why should our organization hire you for this role? Give a few reasons.
Answer: This one is to hear from you if you fit the job. Confidence and readiness for the adaptation are also judged.
The focus while answering this question should be to express how perfectly you fit the job requirements. In case of interviewer ask a question saying you don’t meet something, try to show your keenness and readiness to learn the cosmetic gaps. This is also an opportunity to express if any important point is missed in earlier questions
7. What is the reason for you to quit your current organization?
Answer: This is a general but very important project management interview question for a senior position like Project Manager. The organization is trying to judge how ethically your answer and put forward your earlier organization.
Some people start saying negative things about an organization which will act very badly. The focus should be to give reasons like career growth, keenness towards organization you are getting interviewed. No blame game as organizations will change tomorrow and whatever you are saying for ‘X’ organization similarly you would say in future of the interviewed organization in the future. Just be cautious about this and answer.
Project-based Project Management Interview Questions
The job of the interviewer is to find the best candidate for the position who could lead the project to the success. So, he will ask few questions to check your knowledge on handling projects. So, you need to be prepared with the details of the projects you have handled in your previous jobs. Let’s go through the following project management interview questions and get ready for the interview.
8. What’s the most important thing for a project manager to do?
Answer: Generally, this question can have multiple thoughts in the mind of interviewer and answer should be based on your homework about the organization i.e. whether the organization is inclined towards traditional Project Management or Agile. More the inclination towards one, the answer should be amended accordingly.
The point here is Project Manager can be expected as an integrator which is the most important thing for an ideal Project Manager to do but if the organization is agile focused, the answer should be more towards flexibility in management and inclined towards leadership. Agile doesn’t believe in traditional Project Management of allocating work and monitoring rather it believes in self-organized and self-motivated teams.
9. What is one main driver towards project success? For you, Project success is defined in terms of what?
Answer: In this project management interview question, the interviewer wants to check if you know about project success drivers based on triple constraints and the metrics e.g. schedule variance, cost variance, and other indexes.
One should be ready with the metrics used in your earlier projects and knowledge about Project Management EVM metrics. The drivers of project success in a traditional project management way will be expected majorly related to triple constraints, however, the person also has to touch upon agile projects success drivers which should be nothing but working software and regular demonstrations to the client. As per the job profile and organization, you have to take this call
10. How flexible schedule helps in a project? Do we need to compress schedule if required?
Answer: This is one of the latest project management interview questions that judges a major quality required for Project Management i.e. schedule. Project schedule and monitoring of the deadlines & milestones is a day to day activity for a manager and one has to be ready with this question.
Flexible word in the question emphasizes indirectly on the agile way of working so definitely flexibility should be related to welcoming change. But in the next section of the question the intent is if it’s a regular project are you aware of schedule compression methods as well as experienced in such situations of schedule challenges.
11. What are the risks during any project? How will you manage them?
Answer: During the project manager interview, you may definitely face this question because the interviewer wants to know if you are able to work on risk handling in a proper way or not. In any project, there will be several kinds of risks for sure and you have to handle it with the proper knowledge to make sure about the success of the project.
The project risks will depend on several factors including internal or external as well as technical. It will also depend on the type of project and the team working on it. Risk assessment and handling should be essential qualities in any project manager.
12. How can you know if the project is going off track?
Answer: Every project is unique and it is important for the manager to track and monitor the complete process to immediately know if the project is going on the right way or not. It may be one of the most common project management interview questions that you may need to face during the interview for the post of project manager.
With the help of the right tools for tracking and monitoring for the process of the project, it is possible to know if the project is going off track. With early detection of such kind of risks, you can make be required changes according to the Benchmarks in the project.
13. What will be the ideal project for you?
Answer: Most of the candidates will definitely go for the project that they are hiring for. However, it will be better to be honest while going to answer this type of project manager interview questions during the interview. There will not be any such ideal project but there may be some of the specific areas of work that you will like according to your organization.
It will be better to go with your strong points and make sure that it is relevant to the organization where you are going to join as a project manager. make sure to make some research and know about the type of projects that they will give you during your work.
14. Do you need any kind of help outside of your project team?
Answer: Of course, you are not the person that knows everything and no one is perfect in everything.in any kind of project, you may definitely require the help of other employees of the organization and you may need to discuss several things that will ensure the successful progress of the project.
During the interview, you should not say no in the answer to this project manager interview question but you should handle it in an appropriate way. You can say that there are many come situations when you may need any kind of help of other people but it will all depend on the situation.
Management-based Project Management Interview Questions
For a project manager position, it is important to have good management skills so that you can work properly as a team and bring the project to the success. So, during a project management interview, you may come across multiple questions related to management. So, read the following some of the best project management interview questions to be asked and prepare yourself to crack the interview.
15. How do you provide status at different Management levels? Any tool you have used?
Answer: In this type of project manager interview questions, time is to evaluate your management skill to demonstrate the project progress. It will also judge if you know what level of details should be communicated at different levels as well as to different stakeholders.
Reporting is one form of communication. Communication management and stakeholder’s management are two areas where a project manager spends maximum time. The answer should focus on your understanding of communication needs and stakeholders understanding. Examples from your past experience about some tough project manager will help
16. How do you manage office politics?
Answer: Conflict management is an area where project success is dependent as if not resolved at right time, it can create a lot of issues. This question is trying to judge your conflict management skills.
The answer to this question should be theoretical knowledge about different conflict management techniques like Avoid, confront etc. as well 2-3 examples from earlier experience. These kinds of management skills generally come from skills. One should be prepared for it by having certain examples thought through in advance.
17. What are the different kinds of tools that you can use for project management?
Answer: It is true that the tools can make the work much easier and f about any specific tool used by the company, you can go with the tool used by the company, you can go with that one with good knowledge. Otherwise, it will be better than you can make research in the markets to know about some of the most popular and useful tools.
With the knowledge of these tools, you will definitely get better chances of a successful interview for the post of project manager so make sure to go with the tools you have previously used or had some knowledge about.
18. How will you improve the knowledge about project management?
Answer: For any company, it is always a big investment to hire employees. They always want to see the improvements in your skills and knowledge after the post of project manager.you will definitely get lots of improvements in your knowledge and skills with the time and with the projects.
However, it will be good if you are going to use the tools available in the market as well as you will need to join the workshops so that you can grow your knowledge in this field to provide more benefits to the organization.
19. What is the preferred methodology for project management for you?
Answer: There are several different ways to manage any kind of project for the organization. You will need to get complete information about all these methods when you are going to prepare for the interview.
Either you can use traditional methods like the waterfall or you can go with hybrid methods for project management as a manager in the company. You will need to make changes in the method according to the type of project and the current situations in the workplace.
20. How will you manage a change request with the proper handling?
Answer: It is a very normal thing in any company to find the requirement of any kind of specific change in the final project or product. In this situation, the manager of the project will need to handle the change request in the proper way.
First of all, you will need to analyze the situation and the possibility of the required changes in the project. There may be some of the specific things that you can easily change while you may need to waste lots of time and money for some of the other changes. The estimation of the final project and cost will also depend on when you are going to face such kind of change the request.
Preparing to become a certified project management professional? Here’s is the list of articles that will help you in your Project Management Certifications Preparation.
So, here we’ve covered top project management interview questions and answers. Hope these questions will prove as a helpful resource in your preparation for the project management interview. As these are only 20 questions, you may find them very less to get prepared for the interview. So, to help you more, we have recently written another blog 30 most common project management interview questions. So, prepare with these best 50 project management interview questions and get ready to crack the project management interview.
Project Manager role is a very important role in a project and so high priority would be given for this interview as the employer is looking for the multiple skills in the candidate applying for the role. The role requires competencies in all the skills and also being able to show good adaptability and decision making skills. Here we have listed out the most important points that would be discussed and given priority by the employers in choosing a person for the Project Manager post.
Having a certification in project management also proves as an add-on and increases your chances of being selected in the interview. We at Whizlabs are aimed to help you in having a bright career and so we bring project management certifications online training and practice tests for you. These project management certifications training courses help you to bring your career one level up.
So, join us today and take a step ahead towards bright project management career!
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