A job interview for a project manager usually involves a wide variety of questions. In the following sample job interview questions and answers, we present some useful guidelines for your upcoming interview as a future project manager. Interviewers like to provoke candidates and often require practical skills and not just theory.
Here are the questions:
What kind of communication do you prefer with your teams?
Given the different circumstances, they require different styles of communication. I think that strong communication skills are one of the best qualities of a Project Manager. The type of communication and communication can vary considerably depending on the situation. In case of a conflict, for example, I am more direct and assertive, and during meetings, I try to maintain a good tone of the whole team and openness for conversations. I believe that a strong project manager can adjust his communication style when needed, and this is something that sets me apart. Read more: “How to Become a Project Manager Without Experience and Degree”, https://scrumtime.org/how-to-become-a-project-manager-without-experience/ (Ashton Williams, 2020, Scrum Time ISSN 2652-5445)
What is Work Breakdown Structure?
WBS is called a work breakdown structure, which is a key technique for an overall picture of the scope of a project. This includes breaking down the project work into smaller and manageable pieces, parts. A well-thought-out WBS leads to the development of an accurate and reliable project plan. WBS helps to present the work that the team needs to do in precisely defining the specific requirements and scope of the project in detail for seamless implementation and tracking of project progress.
What are the steps you will take to plan your risk?
Effective risk planning is essential to the success of a project by minimizing threats and increasing opportunities. Risk planning compiles all risk events, their probabilities, impacts, and response plan, which will serve as a starting point for establishing cost estimates and project schedules. The steps related to risk planning are:
- Risk detection;
- Analysis of potential risks, including their probability and expected impact;
- Risk prioritization;
- Development of risk solutions;
- Maintaining a register of possible risks;
What details should the project plan include?
The project plan is a plan that includes detailed information on how the project will be implemented, monitored, and closed. It includes the scope of the project, work schedules, cost estimates, and budget constraints, etc. The project plan is prepared by the Project Manager with the help of the information received from the client and information from the team members involved in the design of various components of the plan.
Especially for the candidates for BVOP project management certification, we share a reference to their preparatory questions for the certification exam: https://bvop.org/posts/examtestquestions/
How do you ensure that your team meets the project deadlines?
At the beginning of each project, I announce what the expectations are before the team starts working on the task. I regularly request information about the progress of the project and if there is a delay somewhere, I organize meetings with the team members to discuss the problems and to solve a case together.
How will you deal with ineffective team members or otherwise called “underperformers”?
As a Project Manager, I have to closely monitor the performance of each member of the team to have an in-depth idea of what is happening in my team.
The ways a Project Manager should try to deal with an underperformer are:
I will have a direct and informal conversation and take an emotional approach to understand the root cause of the employee’s poor performance;
I will offer help, encouragement, and training to motivate the ineffective team member;
If the above two methods do not work, analyze the possibility of changing the role of a particular team member within the same project, after assessing his capabilities and, accordingly, replacement with another employee of the organization.
Ultimately, my role would be to be able to strike a balance between the success of the project and the support of the team members and raise the bar for their implementation. Reference: “Project Manager and HR Specialist interview questions with examples”, https://phron.org/project-manager-and-hr-specialist-interview-questions-with-examples/ (phron.org, 2020)
Why do you want to change your current job?
In my previous job, I was a sales assistant, which taught me many things, but about a year ago, I took the initiative to become a Project Leader for an international project. The moment I saw the ad, I knew it was for me – and then things just fell into place. I have started a Project Manager course and I am ready to be your Project Manager.
What qualities or skills do you think will be useful in this job?
The qualities that will be useful to me in this work, in my opinion:
I am organized. Everything must be in folders, in a certain model that works for me and everyone else.
Communicative – I can find an approach to how to work with almost anyone, I can talk to people. I can work in a team
I am proactive and intuitive. If there is an easier way, I will find it and implement it in my work or the work of others.
I am adaptable. I have taught and I have been the learner – a person can discover many things for himself by passing on to others what he knows.
I am hardworking and persistent – when I want something, I will do everything to achieve it. More on the topic: “Questions for a project manager interview”, https://projectmanagers.edublogs.org/2020/11/10/questions-for-a-project-manager-interview/ (projectmanagers.edublogs.org, 2020)
How do you stay organized?
Between budgets, deadlines, delegated tasks, and other variables, the Project Manager must monitor multiple aspects of the project simultaneously. If a ball is dropped, it can have consequences that affect the whole project.
That’s why I always use at least a few different tools in which to describe in detail both my tasks and those of my team. From a notebook, through OneNote to Work breakdown structure, to know at any moment what is happening and what’s next.
There are many more different tools that I will discover in the process of working with you, and I will be happy to get to know you in-depth.
More on the topic: “Project manager interview questions”, https://www.mmrls.org/project-manager-interview-questions/
What is your understanding of project management?
This is a whole philosophy for which so many books have been written. If we look at the theoretical side of Project Management, project management means to initiate, plan, implement, control, and close the work of teams working together to achieve specific goals. From a practical point of view – each project is a completely individual case, which follows similar implementation practices to be brought to a successful conclusion. The main challenge for Project Management is to achieve all goals within the available constraints and to create a sense of responsibility among the team for the successful completion of the project.