Interviews for the Project Manager position may cause nervousness for some candidates. In any organization, the project manager’s role is critical as they are responsible for the execution of a project on-time and within allocated resources.
Therefore, candidates for this role need to prepare themselves for particular questions to qualify for the interview. If you have an idea as to what type of questions interviewing managers ask, you will be able to prepare yourself well before the interview.
Typically, the following questions are the part of most of the interviews for the Project Manager’s role
1. How Do You Describe Yourself
This is the foremost question that every candidate needs to answer before they come across other questions. You have to be precise and relevant. Briefly introduce yourself; your introduction should include your educational and professional background.
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If you have already served as a project manager, highlight your projects that relate to the job you are interviewing for. However, if you do not have any experience, you can describe your college projects.
This question provides you with an opportunity to promote yourself. In other words, through this question, you can make a strong first impression.
2. Do You have experience of managing project in our industry/field before?
General skills and excellent professional experience count in organizations, but for the project manager role, companies tend to hire professionals with specialized experience.
If you have hands-on experience in a particular field such as technology, finance, construction industry or others, you will have an advantage. Relate your experience with the requirement of the job you are interviewing for.
You have to convince interviewing managers that you are suitable for this position. Companies look for relevant experience.
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Example Answer: I have worked as a project manager for ABC Limited International branding project. I managed a large team comprising technical, creative and clerical staff. I ensured that all the deliverables are achieved on-time. I was able to complete the project within budget.
3. How do you explain your leadership and communication style?
A good project manager also possesses excellent communication and leadership skills. These characteristics are essential to lead a diverse team. With effective communication and leadership style, managers can keep all the team members motivated.
The hiring managers want you to provide an example from your previous experience. Also, they want to determine how self-aware you are about your skills?
Example Answer: I have a proven track record, which suggests that I have been an approachable manager. I always believe in open and honest discussion. I communicate the line of action to everyone, and I welcome questions in that regard.
I believe in the democratic style of leadership, i.e. to value everyone’s viewpoint. I always lead from the front. I practically demonstrate the essential elements of the project to my team members.
4. As a Project Manager, what general metrics do you follow to figure out if the project is on the right track?
For project management, a manager should be able to balance competing priorities. Through this question, interviewers want to determine how you can be competitive.
This question provides you with an opportunity to describe your problem-solving skills and ability to delegate. The organizations want project managers to complete the project within the specified time and allocated resources.
Example Answer: I always structure every project because, in this way, every team member works effectively on different segments. I focus on small milestones that collectively lead to the achievement of the primary objective.
I show confidence in my team so that they could give their best to the project. I always appreciate the opinions or feedback from my side.
5. How do you help your team prioritize competing or urgent tasks?
In the best-case scenarios, projects progress along linear trajectories. However, in the real world, there are competing tasks that require immediate attention and adequate resources.
Through this question, interviewers want to know how a candidate will deal with some constraints that may occur suddenly. A good project manager always leads the team from the front under challenging times.
Example Answer: Under challenging situations, I would urge my team to identify the tasks that are critical to the mission. This strategy helps the entire team to move forward. It is always essential for the team to evaluate the priorities and assess if things are going in the right direction.
6. How do you deal with an underperforming team member?
In diverse teams, project managers may have to deal with the members who do not perform up to the standard. The characteristic of motivating people and identify problem areas is an essential quality in a good project manager.
Example Answer: My prime objective is to extract the best out of every team member. My initial step would be to have a one-to-one session with the member who is struggling to perform well.
I would allow them to discuss any issues with me. I would try to resolve the issue and encourage them to do well without feeling any pressure.
7. How do you describe the result of your last project?
Every project has different criteria for success, and several factors contribute to the outcome of a project. This question helps interviewers evaluate that how a candidate measures performance and success.
Example Answer: When I completed my last project, the client and sponsor expressed complete satisfaction. However, I believe there was still some room for improvement. I was able to learn how to identify issues when they occur. Next time, I would be able to spend less time in a similar project.
8. What is your approach when things do not work as per the plan?
In the project management, sometimes best planning does not deliver the required results. Interviewers want to know how quickly you decide to sort out things.
Example Answer: My philosophy is to take prompt actions. I believe in teamwork; so, I would work with the team to investigate the area of the problem. Once, we can identify the problem, and I would employ all my resources to make sure that things are going in the right direction.
Interviews for project manager position aim to evaluate candidates’ problem solving, team management, time management and resource management skills.