Common Project Manager Interview Questions And Answers
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In an interview for a project management position, the hiring manager will seek to determine whether your management style and experience are a good fit for the position. Your answers to interview questions should outline your leadership skills and relevant experience. In this article, we’ll address questions you may hear during a project management interview and explain how to answer them.
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What Is Your Communication Style With Your Team
If your interviewer asks this, youll want to assure him or her that you are an effective communicator who motivates others on your team. Not only should good project managers be encouraging when delegating to their team, but they should also be clear in their expectations. Make sure you point out that you understand the significance of being an effective communicator as a project manager.While the first question helps the interviewer assess how effectively you can handle communication in challenging situations, the second question helps understand how you engage with others, whether you demonstrate good sense and judgment, and are able to use language effectively.
Q Have You Ever Failed At A Project
Interviewers are looking for honest candidates with integrity and experience with failure. These project management interview questions test your ability to tactfully deal with a difficult situation.
However, you should not be too honest at how miserably you might have fared at your project. It could start a volley of unfavorable questions. On the other hand, you can not deny that you have a failure.
Whether it is in terms of smooth workflow, staying within the budget, completing tasks within the deadline, or product quality, it still counts as a failure. Even school projects consist of people who never work!
To answer these project management interview questions, you need to describe your role as a project manager or a quasi-project manager who headed a task. It is always very essential that you do not bring up any internal conflicts since it devalues your role as a project manager.
Answer in a way that showcases an impossible possibility and a gamble between two conflicting project management fields of thought.
Do not get too involved in the story, presenting unnecessary details stick to the point. End the narrative with a message of what you learned from the ordeal, and how you matured from experience.
You may have your share of misfortune. You must share it as a learning experience.
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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.
What Has Changed In The New Pmp Exam Format
The domains for the new PMP Certification exam have been updated to include more diverse skills and approaches.The new PMP Certification exam will focus on three domains:
The new content will also include predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches in the exam.For more detail, please refer to PMP exam updates by PMI.
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Describe The Steps Of A Project From Initiation To Completion
The best way to answer this question is by describing a hypothetical project and explaining the various phases. The interviewer wants to know how you will handle each step.
Example:”The various stages of a project areinitiation, planning, execution, monitoring & control and closing. As a project manager, it is my responsibility to see that my team handles each of these stages efficiently while staying within budget and completing it on time.”
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.
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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.
What Is The Pareto Principle Analysis
Pareto Analysis is a statistical technique in decision-making. It is basically used for the selection of a limited number of tasks which can bring a significant overall effect. This principle follows the Pareto Principle and states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions. It helps in prioritizing the work, especially in large projects with a number of small tasks
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What Is A Wbs And How Does It Help In Preparing A Good Plan
WBS is referred to as Work breakdown structure which is a crucial technique for having a complete idea about the project scope. It entails breaking up the project work into smaller and manageable chunks known as work packages.
A well-thought WBS leads to the development of an accurate and robust project plan. WBS helps the PM and the team in refining and defining the specific project requirements and scope in detail for seamless execution and tracking of the project progress. The result is coherent project management.
What Is The Salary Of A Project Manager With Pmp Training Skills In Rochester
A project manager with PMP training in New York would get a gross salary of US$93,643 per annum. Based on various factors such as education, skill, operation efficacy, and experience, the individual’s salary varies. With PMP certification training in Rochester, the individual can understand project management, which will help him be paid a higher salary.
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Tell Us About A Time When You Made The Wrong Decision On A Project The Impact And The Corrective Actions You Took To Fix It
- What is the biggest mistake youve made on a project?
Interview Question Intent
Similar to the lessons learned question, the interviewer is assessing how youve learned from past mistakes and the actions took to fix the mistake.
Interview Answer Guidance
People are fallible. Mistakes will happen as projects have many moving parts and project risks. The project manager makes decisions based on the information presented and sometimes the decision isnt the best one. It is important to communicate the actions took to fix the situation and demonstrate how you helped get the project on track. Projects will often go off-track and it is the project managers job to fix it.
Pm Interview Question #1: What Is Your Salary Expectation
This is one of the last questions that you will be asked in your project manager interview session. There is not a concrete answer to this question. However, the common practice is, aim to increase your salary by at least 20% in your next job.
Considering your current salary and compensation package, you should tell your expectations. You should not say a salary and compensation expectation that is too much above your current package.
Hint: Do not risk your next PM Job Interview! Attend in PM Mock Interview sessions, see how you perform, and improve your PM interview skills.
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What If I Dont Have Any Formal Project Management Experience
Project management is a field where people skills can make or break a candidate. If youâre less familiar with the technical side of project management, emphasize people skills you have like leadership, communication, and organization. Even if youâre not a formal project manager yet, chances are good that youâve done some elements of project management in the past. Go through your experiences and find moments when youâve helped to improve, plan, or execute new processes.
And donât worryâif youâve landed an interview, your interviewer probably already knows that you donât have formal experience but sees potential in you. Convey your enthusiasm for the job and willingness to learn.
Do You Think Integrity Is An Essential Quality Of A Project Manager
Of course, you have to say yes. Go on to describe why it is so. Any company wants an employee who shares the values and principles of the company. If you are in a responsible position such as a project manager, you are expected to show the way for others to follow. Earning the respect of your team members and the trust of your bosses can only happen when you are ethically upright.
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What Project Management Tools Are You Proficient With
As a project manager, you need to be comfortable using various project management tools, especially those your potential employers use. Research the company and check the job description to determine whether you have relevant experience using the listed project management tools. If you don’t find any, discuss common tools when answering this question.
Example: “In previous positions, I used Microsoft Project and Basecamp to manage projects and save time, costs, and energy. I’m also comfortable using Trello to oversee my team’s tasks and delivery timeline. I’m a fast learner who enjoys staying up-to-date with new project management software.”
Why Does A Project Manager Need To Be Proactive
Proactive Managers have higher chances of finding out the risks and implementing solutions in order to minimize them. Being proactive, lets them have more control over their project tasks and resources. They can keep a better track of all tasks and issues to work towards implementing small changes and improvements for higher productivity and efficiency. Organizes frequent meetings for developers to talk about their problems, brainstorm solutions, share best practices etc. Compares the actual costs and time spent on tasks on a weekly basis with the planned numbers.
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What Is The Pmi Certification
PMI or the Project Management Institute is a certification body best known for PMP or Project Management Professional credential and PMBOK or the Project Management Body of Knowledge. PMI is the world’s largest project management association and has certified more than 740,000 PMPs globally. The PMI certification shows that you have the essential knowledge, experience, and education to effectively contribute to project, strategic and organizational success. The PMP certification training is a valuable investment in your career, and yourself.
How Do You Combat Scope Creep
Budget management and time management skills are crucial elements of a project managers job. Scope creep refers to any factors that might cause you to miss deadlines or exceed budgets. From your answer, interviewers should gain a sense of how you carefully manage staff, resources, and other factors to ensure your projects stay on track. Provide a real example in your answer of a major project you steered that had both large scope and some challenges that you couldnt possibly have anticipated .
Go into detail about how you divided the project up into smaller parts that you could complete in advance and how you responded on the fly to client feedback that threatened to take the project over budget. Projects do need to change and adapt constantly due to client needs, market conditions, and other factors, so this example should prove your ability to use time management and superior communication to adapt to these issues and present finished projects in the agreed-upon amount of time.
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Project Manager Interview Questions #: What Was The Biggest Or Most Challenging Project You Managed
You have to be prepared for this type of project manager interview questions. Because your answer to this question will show your limits about your experience. Note that, this question might come with additional questions asking about how many people there were in the team, who you were reporting to, and how many projects in total you were managing at the same time.
Before sitting in your project manager interview session, go through your experience. Choose the most challenging project that you were involved in.
The following can be a good answer to this type of project manager interview questions.
The most challenging project I was involved was Golden Gate Bridge Construction Program. I was managing the project of construction of the towers that will carry the bridge. There were three architects, six civil engineers and 47 construction workers in my team. In total, I managed 56 project team members during this project. The most challenging part of the project was meeting the deadlines. Because, several other projects were dependent on my project. Any delay in my project was causing delays on the rest of the project. For instance, a one-day delay in my project was causing 200 hundred construction workers to wait for our work to be completed. And the cost of one-day delay was around $80,000. This was causing a big pressure in executive management of the company and therefore it was a big challenge for me as well.
Project Manager Interview Questions On Clear Communication
One of the essential skills for project managers is communication. Without this, everything else fails. Communication is the life and blood of any project. It is claimed at PMI® Research Conference that about 90 percent of a project managers time is spent communicating. In today’s siloed organizations, communication happens between various groups and levels, including internal as well as external groups of stakeholders. Here are two communication-related questions asked to candidates:
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What Is The Meaning Of Quality Standards In Computer Software
The quality standard is a paradigm that helps test the quality of computer software used by business enterprises. International Organization of Standardization is the governing authority that provides a rank to different software based on their processes and systems. High-quality standards ensure proper integration and functioning of the software in the business environment.Since IT project managers are responsible for the procurement of resources required to carry out the business, they must be well-versed with quality standards and similar concepts. Interviewers often ask this IT project manager interview question for the same reason to test their knowledge about software and its functioning.
How Do You Gain Agreement With Teams
Where there are people, there are conflicts, and even the best projects have people problems. Good teams collaborate and trust one another. If theres a problem between two or more project team members, it must be resolved quickly. But this can also apply to stakeholders, vendors, etc. A project manager is a bit of a psychologist who must know how to resolve conflicts quickly.
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Can You Briefly Describe A Successful Project You Handled
Interviewers ask this question to evaluate your ability to plan and execute projects successfully. It offers you the opportunity to show that you understand the required steps for project success.
Example: “My most successful project was designing a website for an online sales company last year. I worked on a similar project before, so I was confident I could meet the delivery timeline and budget requirements. After meeting with the project owners, I explained the concept to my team and assigned tasks.
I divided the project into five milestones – ideation, content creation, programming and UI designing, testing, and launching. My team completed the project two weeks before the deadline and we received excellent feedback. To date, the client still uses the website, and it helped them increase their profits. The key to success was planning the project effectively and delegating responsibilities based on my team’s strengths.”
Why Are You Looking To Leave Your Current Job
Obviously theres a reason youre doing this job interview. And the interviewer is curious what youre hoping to find here that youre lacking at your current job.
What the question means: The interviewer wants to find out one of two things : How do you speak of your former/current employer and what motivated you to apply for this position?
How to answer: Instead of looking back at your old or current employer, talk about what excites you most about this new opportunity. Are you excited about the possibility of relocating? Are you looking forward to gaining new skills or taking on more responsibilities? Perhaps youre looking to improve your work-life balance and feel like this new company is the perfect place to do so. Let your excitement for the new role shine throughthat will set you apart from other candidates.
What not to say: Dont bash your former employer. No matter how dreadful your current or past job is or was, its important to look forward and stay positive in your interview.
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