21 Questions: Project Management Job Interview

The role of a project manager is as varied as the scope of the projects and the size of the company with which you will be dealing. You will be filling a specific role with specific objectives, so your project management interview questions will focus on your ability to perform well. Use examples from your training and experience to demonstrate that you will be the perfect fit for whatever the interviewer needs.

Like most job interviews, a project management interview includes behavioral questions to determine how you would perform in a given situation. Your interview will also include competency-based questions that test you on essential project management skills such as planning, scheduling, organization, problem-solving, team-building, negotiation, communication, adaptability, and leadership. The overall goal is for your project to come in on-time and on-budget (or under-time and under-budget) with a high-quality result.

A project-based background or education will come in handy when tackling the tough interview questions. Because most organizations are demanding more from employees, your odds of being hired as a project manager will improve if you have a project manager certification (most notably from the Project Management Institute) or have gone through a project management degree program. You should be familiar with how to use project management systems, such as Microsoft Project, Basecamp, activeCollab, and ManagePro.

Project Management Interview Questions

Some of the most-asked project management interview questions are noted below. Use this list to prepare for your next interview and get hired.

How to answer project management interview questions

A word of caution: keep your answers concise but detailed. The interviewer is looking for specific traits and skills, so she does not care about everything that happened every day of the life cycle. Practice describing your experience in managing your last three projects and any other project that you think would be relevant to the interviewer. The interviewer wants to know about

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– the skills and abilities you have developed across your projects (delegation, being fair, being practical, clearly defining expectations, conflict management)

– the difficulties you encountered and how you resolved them

– how you will use your knowledge in this new position (most important) (reduce expenses, improve quality, strengthen efficiency, increase customer satisfaction)

Most of your competition will focus on only the technical aspects of project management. If you keep demonstrate a well-rounded approach, you are more likely to get the job.

Examples of project manager interview questions

1. Tell me about your experience in managing different projects.

2. Tell me about a time you managed a diverse team and arrived at a successful or unsuccessful project.

3. Describe the most complex project you have managed from start to finish.

4. What do you use to set realistic schedules for the project?

5. How do you go about selecting and allocating resources?

6. How often do you update stakeholders and how do you communicate those updates?

7. What are your risk management procedures?

8. What project management methodologies are you familiar with?

9. What project management software have you used?

10. How do you close a project?

11. Rank your assertiveness.

12. Are you a listener or a talker?

13. How would you describe your leadership skills?

14. When was the last time you made a big impact in a leadership role?

15. How critical are you of others’ mistakes? What percent of the time would you point them out?

16. Are you planning to every go on for your masters?

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17. How would you convince a manager at a hospital that your solution would help them? What if they continually pushback?

18. You are a group leader. You want to do option A and everyone on your team wants to do option B. What do you do?

19. Now reverse the situation. What would you do if your boss chose an option that was not what you wanted/thought was bad for the company? How would you deal with this?

20. How would you deal with a team leader who is ineffective and consistently fails to meet deadlines?

21. Name five things that you are not.

With some enthusiasm, a bit of preparation, and a lot of confidence, you are sure to ace your project management interview questions. To increase your chance of success, you should also be prepared to answer the standard job interview questions.