Project Manager Interview Questions #: How Do You Monitor Projects Whether It Is Going On Track
This project manager interview question will assess your monitoring and controlling skills and your familiarity with project management tools. The primary responsibility of the project manager is completing a project scope on time and on budget in the agreed quality levels. To do this, a project manager must use his or her skills and project management tools.
The following can be a good sample answer for this project manager interview question.
After I completed the initial project planning, I take a baseline. I use this baseline to compare the progress of the project and actual values against the baseline. Each week or in every two weeks, I forecast the duration and cost of remaining project activities with my team to determine whether the negotiated deadline and budget will be met. I use Microsoft Excel to keep track of issue log. I assign an open issue to a project resource or any external resource in project issue log. I set a deadline for the issue and I follow the issue until it is resolved. I use Microsoft Project for creating project plan. However, I have used Jira software tracking tool as well. When I am using Microsoft Project, I compare the actual values of the tasks with the baseline values. This helps me to see whether a task is on track, behind schedule or ahead of schedule. When I am using Jira, I create my own dashboards for late tasks or open tasks. I report these tasks to the assignees each week or more frequently if they are urgent.
What Are Your Career And Project Goals For The Next Six Months
Be honest about any short-term project goals you have currently, as this shows the interviewer that you are enthusiastic about your projects and that youre goal-oriented. When it comes to discussing your career goals, be sure to include the company youre interviewing with as part of your goals. If youre interviewing with a recruiter for job placement, you may not have a specific company in mind, and thats okayjust be sure to be clear about what type of role you see yourself working in.
What Tools Do You Use To Plan A Project
Interviewers might want to get a sense of how familiar you are with different project management tools.
How to answer: In preparing for your interview, make a list of all the project management tools youâve used before. These can include common project management tools like RACI charts, or collaboration software like Asana or Trello. Mention what you like about them, and how they might be improved.
Do some research to see if you can find what kind of tools youâll be expected to use. You can try to familiarize yourself with the tool, or see if youâve used any similar tools. These Guided Projects on Coursera are free, can be completed in two hours or less, and can introduce you to some common project management tools:
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What Is Your Delegation Style
This is a question that is designed to ask about leadership skills. Explain what has been best for you and use examples of how your delegation style has worked well in the past. Even if youve never technically led a team before, its important to find an example of how you mightve delegated in the past.
FREE Introduction to Project Management Course
Whats The Biggest Mistake Youve Made While Managing A Project
Here again, its important to have an honest answer prepared for this question. Every project manager has made a mistake at some point along the way. To say anything different not only seems disingenuous but also reflects an inflated ego. Your interviewer wants to see that you have the ability to self-reflect and assess mistakes or weaknesses and that you have the integrity to own and admit them.
One common project management mistake is not spending enough time in the planning phase. Sometimes, upper management and/or executives can get hyper-focused on execution and rush through planning. In these instances, its critical for the project manager to hold the line and ensure they are crystal clear on the plan for every aspect of the project. As the project manager, youre setting yourself up for failure if you lack clarity coming out of the planning phase and into the execution and monitoring stages.
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Do You Have Experience Working From Home And Managing A Remote Team
Since working from home has become the norm for many companies, its possible that youll have to manage a fully remote team either now or in the future. Project manager positions are often team leads or project leads, so your interviewer may want to learn more about your experience in this area.
What the question means: Virtual managers face more challenges than managers who share the same office space as their teammates. The interviewer wants to find out if you have previous experience managing virtual teams.
How to answer: If you have experience managing a remote team, thats great! Talk about some of the challenges youve faced not being in-person and how you overcame them. If you dont have a ton of relevant experience, talk about how you can use project management tools and team bonding exercises to connect, communicate, and collaborate with remote teams.
What not to say: Dont downplay the challenge of keeping virtual team members motivated and engaged. Your interviewer needs to know that you take team morale seriously and understand what it takes to connect with your team in a remote world.
How Do You Handle Changes To A Project
Projects rarely go according to plan which is why your position is so important. As the project manager, youll be in charge of adjusting the schedule, communicating changes, and adopting them accordingly.
What the question means: The interviewer wants to know what kind of problem-solving strategies youre familiar with. Depending on the level of your position, they may also want to know how familiar you are with change management processes.
How to answer: Showcase your ability to adapt to unexpected or uncomfortable situations when answering this question. Convince the interviewer that youre quick on your feet and have successfully handled project changes before.
What not to say: Dont be vague. If youre struggling to explain how you handle changes to a project, give a real life example instead. This will also show the interviewer that youve successfully managed a situation like this before.
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Show Interest And Passion
Enthusiastic people are interesting. Dont hesitate to share your curiosity or excitement about a subject or project. If possible, provide examples of how the subject matter is relevant to your personal life or professional experience.
Explaining why something is interesting or important to you can make you more memorable.
Tell Us About A Project Youre Particularly Proud Of
As youre looking to not only toot your horn about your past career success and why your work throughout the project was key in bringing it to its completion, youll want to answer this question in such a way as to show the methodical way you evaluate the success or failure of your projects. To answer project management interview questions like this one, use the STAR method:
The STAR method is something you should always use in a job interview to clearly explain a real-world situation and how you handled it.
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What Were The Communication Challenges On Your Last Project
As a project manager, youll need to communicate with your team for all projects effectively. Communication challenges will arise nobody expects that this wont happen. What the interviewer wants to see, however, is how youve handled these challenges in the past. It needs to be evident that even with communication issues, you were still able to work with your team effectively. For example, perhaps instead of being able to have face-to-face meetings when necessary, you were able to put together webchat meetings. Think of a time when something like this happened and how you dealt with the communication challenges efficiently to ensure that the project outcome was still a good one.
Acing The Technical Interview: A Complete Guide
Technical interviews allow you to showcase your knowledge and skills to prospective employers. They can be exciting, knowing that you’re that much closer to a job offer if you do well. They can also be intimidating especially if you’ve never done one before or struggled with them in the past. But don’t worry. We’re here to help.
Below, we’ve outlined everything you’ll need to know to ace your next technical interview, including preparation, practice, and tips for impressing your interviewer. Read on for the full guide or jump to a specific section using the table of contents below.
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How Do You Keep Your Team Motivated
If your project team doesnt feel motivated, theyll struggle to complete their high impact work. This can cause project delays and lack of quality in your deliverables. As a project manager, one of your responsibilities is knowing how to keep your team motivated and moving towards the project objective.
What the question means: The interviewer wants to find out what your tactics are for keeping a team engaged and motivated.
How to answer: You can start by describing the work environment you hope to build for your team. Besides a place where teammates feel valued, seen, and understood, its also important to set transparent goals and expectations for your team. Explain how setting realistic project milestones doesnt just keep the project on track but also fosters effective teamwork.
What not to say: Dont talk about monetary rewards like raises or promotions. Teams that complete their work for extrinsic motivation only arent going to feel as fulfilled as teams that feel an intrinsic motivation to perform well.
Score Your Ideas And Choose A Winner
After my brainstorm, I came up with 11 backlink building tactics and a few ideas about how Id approach each tactic. To help narrow things down, I assigned an impact, confidence, and ease score for each. This means rating each idea on the three areas, from 1-10:
Impact: How much of a positive impact will this have on the goals?
Confidence: How confident am I that this idea will reach the end goal?
Ease: How easy would it be to successfully run the project?
Heres a screenshot of how my scorecard looked, which I also included in my slide deck:
My top two ideas actually had the same ICE score, and I went with the first one since Id seen the most success with that tactic.
I then had a second brainstorm on potential topics for the data-backed report, and my mind kept going back to an idea that I was very passionate about: the recent growth in video conferencing. I built my project around that idea, and after joining Dialpad, I was able to turn my pitch into reality by publishing the State of Video Conferencing report.
As you score your ideas, keep in mind that the ICE score is just a guideline. There are other frameworks you can use for prioritization, such as PIE , or you can go with the project idea youd truly be excited about.
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Describe One Of The Most Challenging Projects Youve Managed And Explain What You Learnt From The Experience
When it comes to challenging project management interview questions, make sure you prepare for this interview question. Dont simply pick the first example that comes to mind. Take some time to consider a few of the most challenging projects youve worked on and which ones you learnt the most from. An interviewer is interested mostly in seeing how you dealt with a situation and how you turned a negative into a positive, and ensured the project ended as a success.
These are just some project management interview questions that you could be asked at your next job interview. While this isnt an exhaustive list of questions, its certainly a good starting point for your interview preparation.
What Experience Do You Have Managing Remote Or Distributed Teams
This question reflects the growing importance of working with remote or distributed teams in the age of COVID-19. See if the candidate is aware of the issues that arise when a team never meets in person. Do they mention details such as the effect a geographically distributed team has on scheduling meeting times?
Get candidates to describe the challenges of working with remote or distributed teams and how it differs from working with an on-site team. Their answer to this question will show if they have had to manage such a team and if they are sensitive to what’s required.
An example of a good candidate answer
I worked with remote and distributed teams on several projects prior to the pandemic. Since COVID-19’s inception, all my projects have been remote. There are pluses and minuses with a remote team. When you have the entire team on site, getting input is quicker and resolving issues is faster and easier. It’s also easier to instill a sense of teamwork and move everyone toward a common goal. On the other hand, remote and hybrid work lets people set their schedules and operate in an environment that’s more conducive to their workstyles. Remote teams are often more productive because there are fewer interruptions.
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Project Manager Interview Questions To Explore Working Style And Character:
- What makes a good PM? What makes you a good PM?
- How would your co-workers or subordinates describe you professionally?
- How would you describe your approach to managing projects? How do you manage people and projects?
- You have a team member who is not meeting his commitments, what do you do?
- How do you deal with people who arent working fast enough, or the quality of their work isnt good enough?
- What type of performance problems have you encountered in people who report to you, and how did you motivate them to improve?
- How do you manage to keep your documentation up to date throughout a project?
- What gets you stressed out on a project?
As an interviewer, establish what type of leadership style the PM has are they the type of person that just leaves people to get on with it? Or do they take responsibility, get stuck in and shape and lead the project, carrying with them the mantle of responsibility for delivering it? Do they seem like someone whod lead by example? Its useful to dig into someones approach and work out whether they like taking responsibility and taking charge of stressful situations, or whether or not they shy away from it.
What Is Your Process For Effectively Delegating Tasks
Even a superstar manager can’t do it all by themselves, so this question lets an interviewer see if you’re confident in passing on tasks to those working on your team.
Try to focus your answer on how you’ve been able to assign specific tasks to staff members. If possible, mention a situation where you identified the skills of your team and handed out tasks according to each team member’s strengths.
I take a two-step approach when delegating projects to team members: 1. I identify the skills that my team members already possess, and 2. I find areas where team members could grow by completing a task. In either case, I let those who I’m delegating projects to know the expectations using key performance indicators, as well as setting them up for success through communication and making sure team members have everything that they need.
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If The Rest Of The Members Of Our Pmo Were In A Bus Accident Tomorrow What Would You Do How Would You Handle It
I think this gives us insight into two key areas. First, the candidates ability to think on their feet. Very few candidates expect a question like this, especially junior candidates. Second, it gives us a little bit of insight into what kind of leader they are. Would they start by collecting data? Would they immediately take action? Would they delegate or try to do it all on their own? There are a million possibilities in this kind of hypothetical.
Jonathan D. Rogers, Operations Director and a Certified Scrum Master at AndPlus
Which Was One Of The Biggest Mistakes You Have Committed In Your Past Projects How Has It Impacted Your Approach To Work
To err is human, they say. It is how you deal with the errors that define your skills. By asking this project management interview question, the interviewer intends to check your honesty and whether you take responsibility of mistakes you have made in your past projects. Rather than giving a no for the answer, you can mention a couple of mistakes. Make sure you show that you take responsibility for the mistake as it is a way to reveal your maturity level. Also, you can explain how you had resolved it.
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Ready To Ace Your Interview
Wouldnt it be nice if you had a crystal ball that would tell you exactly what youll be asked in your project manager interview? Unfortunately, you arent quite that lucky. The good news is you can use these project manager interview questions and answers to prepare, and knock your interview out of the park.
Also check out the top project management myths, that could come up as a curveball question in your interview.
If youre looking for an extra edge, brush up on your public speaking, body language or leadership skills with our soft skills courses before your interview. You can also optimize your application with a project management resume template.
Eager to prepare even more for that upcoming interview of yours? Check out our other helpful resources for specific industries. Theyre no crystal ball, but we like to think theyre the next best thing: