How Do You Prioritize A Projects Tasks
Project managers must juggle many tasks at once. Some may even juggle many projects at once, making prioritization a critical part of their job description.
Use past examples of how you prioritized tasks. Whether you used some combo of stakeholder needs, deadlines, etc., try to link your answer to the projectâs interest.
The Top 7 Project Management Interview Questions And Answers
You have an interview scheduled for a project management role youre super pumped about. While youre excited to be moving onto the next step in hopefully landing the job of your dreams, you also have those inevitable pre-interview jitters.
What should you wear? What if you get lost on the way to the office? Andperhaps the most nerve-wracking question of allwhat the heck are they going to ask you?
Of course, you should prepare for those inevitable, standard interview questionsyou know, the ones like, Whats your biggest weakness? and Why do you want this job?
But, you also know that there will be plenty of questions related specifically to the position, such as your relevant skills and experience. The thought of answering those in a way that impresses your interviewer? Well, that makes your stomach drop to your shoes and your heart start racing.
Hey, theres no need to start huffing and puffing into a paper bag quite yet. Weve pulled together seven common project manager interview questionsas well as some quality answersthat you can use to prepare for your upcoming project management interview. Youve got this!
Ace the interview
Craft your responses with our handy worksheet.
What Sort Of Project Management Tools Do You Use
Each company will have a different set of project management software. Explaining the tools you have used will demonstrate your software experience, especially if you have advanced technical skills with a certain platform. Check to see if the job listing includes the tools they use and whether you have relevant experience with them. If not, discuss the programs you are most familiar with and explain your eagerness to learn.
Example:I have primarily used Microsoft Project in the past, but my last organization used Basecamp, which was great for team collaboration. Each stakeholder was able to add ideas to the online board and select the best to address the issue or challenge at hand. I also use Trello for managing the team’s time and assigning tasks.”
How Will You Prioritize The Tasks In A Project
A: One of the most important things to do is to prioritize the tasks. It helps in successfully completing the projects within the deadline. To prioritize the tasks in a project, you can follow the points mentioned below:
- Make a list of the tasks and responsibilities
- Differentiate between urgent and important task
- Assess the importance of each task
- Order the tasks by valued efforts
- Stay flexible and ready to adapt
- Know precisely when to say NO
Do You Have Experience With Cost Or Budget Management
While not every project management position requires cost management knowledge, its a very common interview question for human resources, accounting, or finance management positions. So lets take a look at the best way to answer it.
What the question means: The interviewer is curious whether youve had to manage costs before and is likely looking for an example.
How to answer: If you dont have experience managing budgets, be honest about it and let the interviewer know how youre planning to build this skill. If you have budget or cost management experience, talk about the budget youve managed, what you were in charge of, and how you allocated additional resources when necessary.
What not to say: Dont make up budgets youve never managed or talk about how you manage your personal budget if you dont have professional experience. Being fiscally responsible is not the same as knowing how to manage a project budget. So be honest about your experience and skill level.
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How Would You Resolve A Conflict Between Two Or More Team Members
Working with teams sometimes results in conflict and being able to manage and resolve disputes among team members saves time and creates positive environments. Show the interviewer how you would successfully resolve a conflict between two team members. Consider speaking about a past conflict and how you acted as the team leader or project manager to resolve it quickly and efficiently. The STAR method is an effective way to explain your conflict resolution skills.
Example:”Every conflict is different, but the only way to truly resolve one is to understand the root of the problem. Once the root of the problem is understood, it is my job as the technical project manager to resolve the conflict in the fastest and most effective way possible.
I once encountered a situation between my business analyst and QA lead about the best way to approach user acceptance testing. The business analyst had been with the company longer, but the QA lead had more experience in testing. Since they both had good ideas, I held a short meeting with both of them to present both sides and choose the best method. At the end of the meeting, we all agreed to use the QA lead’s idea, but the business analyst would be heavily involved to ensure we followed company guidelines.”
How Do You Differentiate Between Trend Analysis And Variance Analysis
Variance analysis is done regularly and is a method for computing the variance between the actual performance and the planned numbers that’s the project baseline. It helps in tracking discrepancies so preventive measures can be taken before any risk arises.
Trend analysis determines if any patterns or variances are cropping up during the project and understanding the cause to design corrective measures. Trend analysis is done regularly but not as frequent as variance analysis.
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Project Manager Interview Questions On Goal Focus
Being focused on goals is essential for project managers. You need a clear focus to succeed. It is important for candidates to demonstrate the ability to align resources to achieve key objectives, to plan and identify ways to improve and achieve greater efficiency and to monitor and fine-tune execution with agility, hard work, perseverance, and good judgment. Key questions asked in this area are:
If We Provide You With A Laptop For Project Planning And Management What Software Would You Want On It
While this may seem like a simplistic project management interview question, it allows the interviewer to explore the software a potential hire is acquainted with, why they like it, and what problems theyve encountered using it.
If youre lucky, the answers to this question may also lead to a valuable anecdote. Additionally, if you do end up hiring this prospect, youll already know what they need on their computer.
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What Do You Know About Performance Reports
Performance reports are created to demonstrate the status of the project and its actual performance in comparison to the established baselines. While monitoring and controlling the project the team prepares different performance reports such as:
- Progress report
- Status report
- Forecast report
A progress report highlights the work completed in the project so far but a status report is focused on the discrepancies in the project performance to date.
How To Start Your Job As A New Project Manager
A: Things that you need to take care of to start a job as a new Project Manager are:
- Listen, observe and learn
- Understand the needs and wants of your clients
- Know your team members and their personalities
- Take the opportunity as well as initiative to learn some new skills
- Help out around the workplace
- Try to master the tools that are mostly used by your company
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How Have You Improved Project Management Processes At Your Current Firm
Good because: Not everyone has the chance to work on business critical, exciting projects that make for a great CV, but everyone has the chance to offer some suggestions for improvements . Look for someone who has ideas and who isnt afraid to put them forward.
Bad response: Its all pretty rubbish there but I havent bothered to do anything about it as theres no point.
Reason : Project Management Professionals Demonstrate Better Project Performance
Not all project managers are PMP certified. Consequently, project managers who lack the credential perform less efficiently than their certified peers. The standards for the rigorous PMP exam are higher than other pmp certifications, testing professionals on five project management processes: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing, providing the Project manager with a detailed, standardized, actionable set of project management best practices.
Further, in order to qualify for the PMP exam, aspirants must have an in-depth understanding of nine knowledge areas of project management, including project scope management, integration management, human resource management, time management, cost management, quality management, and procurement management.
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What Should Be Done If The Customers Are Not Pleased With The Quality Or Results Of The Product By The End Of The Project
A: Tips to handle a dissatisfied customer:
- You must show and make the customers feel that you value them
- You must try to understand why they are not satisfied
- You must try to figure out the kind of modifications they want
- Try to Implement the modifications if there is any scope
- If it is not possible, you can try to convince and explain to the customer
Additional Job Interview Questions To Ask:
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How Do You Work With Customers Sponsors And Stakeholders
Even project managers have to answer to someone. Responding to executives, project sponsors and stakeholders requires a different approach than the one they would use with teams and vendors. Part of their duties includes managing stakeholders who hold a position of authority over the project manager. That takes a subtle touch.
What Is Your Favorite Project Management Software
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. There are many great project management tools such as Monday, ClickUp, Wrike, Asana, Basecamp and others.
Make sure the project manager you hire is well versed in many digital tools for remote teams and onsite teams.
Project managers need to be able to run virtual meetings, track time, generate reports, create Gantt charts to measure progress, and budget resources.
Being up to date on various software systems with the ability to use project collaboration tools helps in this process.
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How Do You Deal With Changes To Your Project
Changes and modifications are a part and parcel of most projects. An employer wants a project manager who is flexible and adaptable to changes. The best answer can be about how you actually put in place a change management process even before the changes occur. At the same time, showcase that you are not a person shy to say no when you feel that a certain change is not suitable for the project.
What Is Your Experience In This Industry
It is not uncommon for project managers to switch industries or even go down different paths within a given industry. This is especially common in the software development realm, where there are so many different branches of development projects a project manager could pursue. For instance, game development versus mobile development. The interviewer will probably want to see your experience in their specific industry, however, so you can be a seamless fit.
Even if you are switching industries, that is no excuse not to be familiar with the one you are interviewing for. Study up on the company and their industry by reading articles or contacting project managers in similar positions to get their experiences.
Do not think that a lack of industry experience will keep you from getting the job. If you are new to the industry, list what you learned about it in your research and why you want to become a part of it. You can mention other industry experience and how skills and knowledge from it can be transferred here. Any mentions of your academic background should be fine.
Looking to grow your experience as a project manager or increase your hireability? Consider obtaining one of these Top 5 Project Management Certifications.
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What Tools And Strategies Do You Use To Monitor The Progress Of A Construction Project
In your response, explain how you collect information about your team’s success and how you analyze that data. A strong response shows project management, leadership and data analysis skills.
Example:”I start by setting baseline projections based on past projects to create a realistic idea of construction progress. I have my team members carefully track their hours and note when they complete each task so I can easily identify workflow issues.”
How Do You Improve Your Knowledge Regarding Project Management
Companies want their employees to be fully invested in the jobs that they are applying for. There are many software tools coming up and many processes being invented regularly in the project management landscape. Hence, project managers need to continually upgrade their skills to be relevant. Basically, tell your interviewer about what you are doing to grow in your field. It could be certification courses you are taking or workshops/courses you are attending. Also, you can talk about your interactions with project managers and people in the field to stay up-to-date with the latest.
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What Is The Difference Between Risk And Issues
This is one of the frequently asked project manager interview questions.
A: The differences between risks and issues can be as follows:
- Risks present the future possibilities that may arise in a project while the issues are based on the present status of the project.
- Risks can be positive in nature as well as negative, while the issues are predominantly negative.
- Risk documentation is carried out in the Risk Register while the issues are documented in the Issue Register.
Rd Scenario Based Question
Question: You should recruit two scientists in India. You have never been to the country, and you have no connections in place. You should arrange visa for the scientists and try to make them interested in working in an international team of researchers that is based at one of the universities in the United States. How would you proceed?
Answer: You can tell the interviewers that you would engage other people to work with you on the project, people who have knowledge of the Indian market, people who have some connections in the country.
From this point, you can start talking about the recruitment process, which means locating the right candidates, making an initial connection with them, presenting the opportunity, interviewing them, evaluating their skills and personality, and eventually inviting the shortlisted candidates for the final interviews in the States .
Your main goal is again to show us that you have some experience in the business, that you are ready to plan steps you would take to achieve certain goal, even though you have never worked on a similar project before
Special Tip: You can download a full list of questions in a one-page long PDF document, and practice your interview answers anytime later, even when offline:
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Reason : Greater Visibility To Recruiters
Research across industries suggests that organizations prefer hiring PMP certified project managers rather their non-credentialed peers. The PMP certification is a standard that demonstrates a professionals expertise in project management and it immediately catches a recruiters eye during profile evaluation.
Question #: How Do You Deal With Team Conflict
Managing conflict within your team can be a common occurrence in project management. Employers use project manager interview questions like this to learn how you put your conflict resolution skills to use effectively. Consider these details when responding:
- How have you approached challenging situations in the past?
- What methods do you use to resolve conflicts?
- Show that you understand your responsibilities as a project manager.
“My favourite approach to conflict resolution includes compromise and collaboration. I’ll get the conflicting parties together and identify the root cause of the problem. After that, I’ll have one-on-one conversations to get both sides of the story. Then I’ll hold a problem-solving meeting where we can all talk about the issues and hopefully reach a compromise. From this, I hope that the conflicting team members can co-create a shared solution that everyone can support. After ensuring that the issue has been resolved, I’ll continue to check-in, making sure that a new conflict isn’t surfacing.”
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In this program, you send us your resume and details of the position you applied for. Then, our expert project manager interviewer prepares customized questions for you. You come together with the interviewer at the time you will select from the available slots of our project manager interviewer. During the project manager mock interview session, the interviewer will ask you realistic questions that you will be asked most likely in your real interview. Then, the interviewer will be preparing a detailed assessment report about your project managerâs mock interview performance. In this report, you will see your strengths, improvement areas, and how well your background and skills match the position that you applied for.
You can see a sample assessment report.
Let us help you sharpen your interview skills and give you a real hands-on mock interview so you can get the job you deserve!