Project Management Interview Questions and Answers

By Bhagya Shri

Last updated on May 28 2020

Project Management Interview Questions and Answers

Top 25 Project Management Interview Questions and Answers in 2020

When you reach a high level in the project management field you must have gained a sound experience of the industry, with employers, and various projects and teams. Still an efficient project manager always looks for more resources, information and understanding of latest methodologies.

 

Here we are going to discuss the top 25 project management interview questions and answers for project managers that will help PMP certified aspirants and project professionals to understand more about the requirements and how you can get through interviews. This blog will give you an idea about the most frequently asked project management interview questions to project managers non certified or PMP and PRINCE2 certified professional.

 

Now let’s start with the PM interview questions,

 

We begin our series of project management interview questions and answers with IT project manager interview questions.

This set of project management interview questions is a collaboration of management, technical and other skills.

 

Set – 1 - Project Management Interview Questions Basics Questions to begin with:

 

  1. Differentiate between Project, Program, and Portfolio profession?

 

Project Management Profession: A project is an effort taken to produce a unique product or a solution. It is generally temporary in nature with a distinct start and endpoint. A project always has a defined scope with limited changes.

 

Program Management Profession: A program is a combination of interrelated projects that are managed together. It is also temporary in nature but persists longer as compared to the project. It has a wide scope that can be changed as per the client requirement from time to time.

Portfolio Management Profession: A portfolio is a group of projects and operations that succeeded under one group to accomplish an intentional goal. It is always permanent in nature and associated with strategic planning. It trails the enduring processes that order and align the portfolio to attain planned objectives. It has an extensive scope with the calculated perspective of the entire organization.

 

  1. Define the term Project Management?

 

This is a frequently asked project management interview question for project managers and it can be answered as below.

Project management is the method that aids in applying numerous processes, tactics, acquaintance, skills, and understanding for achieving the objectives of a project.

Project management cannot be compared with the usual management. The important factor that distinguishes these two is, project management has a timeline and deliverables while routine management is an ongoing procedure.

 

  1. Explain the Project Management Life Cycle Process?

 

The Project Management Life Cycle is an arrangement of more than a few tasks that are vital for accomplishing project objectives. These benefit in organizing efforts and shortening them into a sequence of logical and manageable stages. The Project Management Life Cycle contains four phases which as below:

Project Initiation: It is the most important stage of the project management life cycle because it decides the initial scope of the project and resources.

 

Project Planning: In this stage of project management, a right level of aspect is used for the project to maneuver time, cost, and employees. It estimates the work required and achieves risk efficiently.

 

Project Execution:  In this stage, all the decided and planned work is executed in the defined timeline of the project management plan. It works mainly on accomplishing the project’s purposes. It also embraces pursuing, revising, and controlling the performance of the project.

 

Project Closure: This is the final stage of the project where all the activities performed to finalize the project work. This stage accomplishes all the work from all groups in the project. In this stage the project manager signs off the project closure report with the customer or client.  

Quick Note: The above explnation is derived form PMBOK Guide from PMI. Which is thought in PMP Certification Training program.

  1. List down the important skills that a Project Manager should have?

The skills like, Communication, Leadership, Team Management, Negotiation, Individual organization, and Risk Management are the important skills that a Project Manager must possess.

 

  1. How would you take responsibility as a new project manager?

This is the skill and experience based project management interview question for project managers. Let’s see the precise answer to it. Listen and understand the client’s requirements. Knowing the project team and their personality is important. Learn new skills related to the project. Be a helpful project manager. Explain about your expertise in the project management tools used by your organization, and also talk about the innitiative that you took to learn new skills like PMP Certification, PRINCE2 Certification while being a Project Manager. This will showcase your continueous learning ability and support the system with new change.

 

Set – 2 - Project Management Interview Questions Little Tricky Question:

 

  1. How to prioritize multiple tasks in the project?

As everyone knows there are multiple tasks in the project every day. So it is important to know how a project manager prioritizes the multiple project tasks. This procedure or skill helps in achieving the project completion in defined time and budget. Let’s see below how to prioritize the work in the project.

  • List the responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Prioritize between vigorous and significant
  • Do assessment of every task in the project
  • Prioritize the responsibilities by assessed efforts
  • Stay agile and ready to collect updates and say NO whenever essential.

This is the most frequently asked project management interview question asked during the project manager interview session.

Quik Note: The explanation is thought in PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Training program using AXELOS PRINCE2 Guide.

  1. What is an ideal project from your point of view?

The answer to the above question may be different as per individual’s interest, creativity, domain interest, work pressure handling capability, comfort, team friendliness, and many other factors. Form your answer taking your experiences and way of working into consideration. You can also add a defination of PMBOK Guide which is "It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources".

 

  1. Explain the procedures and process sets used in the project management framework?

The various procedures and process sets are an important part of the project management framework. This helps the team to perform the tasks as per the schedules to accomplish the entire project tasks in the decided time and budget. The project management framework consists of 49 procedures. All these procedures are done in a sequence. There are five process sets that are, Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Control, and Closing. All these five procedure sets are mapped with 49 procedures and 10 project management knowledge areas.

You can learn this from PRINCE2 Training Program using their AXELOS PRINCE2 Guide.

  1. Tell me the project management knowledge areas and how pertinent are they in a project?

Knowledge areas are essential technical areas and are important for effective project management of any project.

Below are the 10 knowledge areas of project management framework:

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Schedule Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Resource Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Stakeholder Management

This can be learnt from PMBOK Guide and AXELOS PRINCE2 Guide.

  1. How to manage a challenging client involved in the project?

Since the client or stakeholder holds the authority and final passing of any stage of a project, it is very important that the stakeholder passes the stage or approves the final procedure of completion of the project report. Many times the stakeholders are good but what if you are dealing with a tough and unmanageable stakeholder? So below we will see how to handle a challenging stakeholder.

  • Consent their authority without argument
  • Remove all the negative or pre-assumptions about the stakeholder
  • Try to understand their issue or requirement precisely
  • Request for advice and listen to them
  • Be thoughtful and open with your decisions
  • Admire them and try to create the connection
  • Work on your communication skills

 

Set - 3 - Project Management Interview Questions -Technical Questions:

 

  1. What is RAID? How to use it in Project Management?

The word RAID in project management can be elaborated as Risk, Assumptions, Issue, and Dependencies. These are very significant substances that a project manager must have an understanding of.

 

  1. What will you do as a project manager to accomplish the project in a given timeline when the project goes off the track?

To check whether your project is on track you must follow the following steps and keep checking them from time to time.

  • Keep checking the project budget is under control or exceeding
  • Is any stage of the project life cycle taking too much time?
  • Frequent checking of the project scope?
  • Project goals are on track?

If the answers to these pointers are as per the expectations then you can say that the project is on track otherwise you must do the tasks to get the project on track.

 

  1. Which project management practice to be used in the projects?

One cannot apply a single methodology to all types of projects. The application of project management practice must be based on the following criteria:

  • Planned goals and core values of the organization
  • Significant business drivers of your project
  • Limitations in the project
  • Stakeholders related to the project
  • Possible risks that might occur
  • Level of complication of the project
  • Projected size and cost of the project

 

  1. Tell me the project management tools mostly used for refining the process activities in a project?

The major project management tools used in the industry are,

  • Comparing and Base lining a Process
  • Flow-charting
  • Value-Stream Mapping
  • Cause and Effect Analysis
  • Hypothesis Testing

 

Most Popular and High Paying Project Management Certifications:

PMP® Certification

PRINCE2® Foundation

CAPM® Certified Associate Project Management

PRINCE2® Practitioner

PRINCE2® Foundation Practitioner

PgMP® Exam Prep training

 

 

  1. How to deal with the team members who are not working to their fullest talent or potential?

To make the best out of your team members, you must do the following,

  • Try to avoid emotional confrontations with the team or stakeholders
  • Encourage the team to think and perform in their ways
  • Encourage your team members in emerging their decision-making abilities
  • Improve their performance patience threshold
  • Reinforce the potential of weak employees by providing them the learning opportunities
  • Recognize motivating activities for your employees
  • Organize a suitable follow-up process
  • Rewards and appreciation are encouraging activities to boost employee performance

 

Set - 4 - Project Management Interview Questions - Analytics Questions:

 

  1. How to achieve team agreement for results as a project manager?

Trust and agreement on any one decision while performing multiple tasks in a project is a tough thing to handle and it is something a project manager has to do. In this the communication skills of the project manager play a major role. To achieve the agreement, the project manager must follow below rules,

  • Keep your prospects clear from the initial stage
  • Build attainable milestones so that team members don’t feel pressurized
  • Work together and keep the team trust throughout the project
  • Reach to agreements on the terms with the team & respect their opinions
  • Schedule regular responsibility meetings
  • Work on any conflicts between the team members as soon as it arises

 

  1. Explain the Ishikawa/ Fishbone diagrams?

The fishbone diagram is also referred as a cause and effect diagram. It is a tool for visualization for classifying the possible causes of a problem in order to recognize its root causes. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa who is a Japanese quality control expert, invented this fishbone diagram to help employees to dodge solutions that will simply address the symptoms of a larger problem.

 

  1. Explain the team forming procedure followed by you for your team.

The team forming process is consisting of various stages. We will see them below in detail.

Forming: This stage mainly focuses on the relationship-building among the team members. Here entire team unites together to understand each other’s personalities. This is a very important stage as building professional as well as friendly relations among the team members helps the work to get easy.

 

Storming: This stage concentrates on understanding the opinions of each team member in the team. Here the conflict or miscommunication (if any) gets cleared. So, this stage is also important to have a transparent communication among the team members.

 

Norming: This stage helps the team members to get clarity on the point which is necessary to get ahead with the project. This stage is performed in multiple intervals as it helps all the team members that are on the track of the project and can go-ahead for the next stage of the project life cycle.

 

Performing: This stage enables the team members to trust each other and make them perform their tasks autonomously and become a competent team member of the project. This stage also makes an individual capable of making various decisions on their own without the supervision of the seniors.

Adjourning: This is the last stage of the project that is at the completion of the project. In this stage the team members are released from their role.

 

  1. What is Work Breakdown Structure (WBD) and explain how it affects the work estimates of tasks?

Work breakdown is the separation of numerous activities and their sub-activities that are performed during the project for the completion of the project. These activities can be segregated as per the hierarchical structure where all the main activities are arranged into sub-activities. There are two methods of WBD, Top-down approach and Bottom-up approach.

 

Set - 5 - Project Management Interview Questions - Ability Level Questions:

 

  1. Explain the benefits of and proactive Project Manager?

Getting a proactive project manager helps the project in many ways. Proactive Managers have greater probabilities of finding out the risks and applying solutions in order to reduce them. Being proactive allows them to have more control over their project responsibilities and resources. They can keep a better follow up of all tasks and issues to work towards implementing small variations and enhancements for advanced productivity and efficacy. The proactive project manager organizes recurrent meetings for developers to dialogue about their glitches, brainstorm solutions, segment-best practices, etc. The proactive project manager also relates the tangible costs and time spent on responsibilities on a weekly basis with the scheduled numbers.

 

  1. Which communication style do you use in your projects?

The type of communication that is been used in any project depends upon the type of project and team. The most used type of communication styles by various project managers are, written, electronic, face-to-face, and responsive. Whichever is the most effective and necessary, it is always used by the project managers.

 

  1. List some of the major types of risks one might encounter in a project?

The major possible risks in a project are,

  • Cost Risk
  • Schedule Risk
  • Performance Risk
  • Resource Risk
  • Technology Risk
  • Market Risk
  • Legal Risk
  • Strategic Risk
  • Governance Risk
  • Operational Risk
  • External Risk

 

  1. How you would deal with resentful employees?

Here, the interviewer wants to analyze your critical thinking and effective problem-solving capability. In such a case even if you haven’t handled such a situation you must answer that you always care for the team members and would like to go till the root cause of their unsatisfied nature about the work and would like to resolve the same. Here, the interviewer only wants to know whether you would take efforts to know the reason and resolve the issue if any among the team members during the project. This is one of the important project management interview questions and one must answer it wisely.

 

  1. How do you describe a milestone in project management?

Milestone is a stage in the project calendar when some objectives, a fragment of a result, or a part of the prearranged services are achieved. This question is frequently asked during the program manager interview.

 

Conclusion:

So, here we have discussed every possible project management question that is asked during the project manager interview questions and answers session. I hope all these PM interview questions guide you well for your interview preparation.

If you are starting a career in project management, getting CAPM certification will help and if you are a project manager aiming to enhance your career, get a high paying job and update your skills, getting a PMP certification is a great option. For full details about project management certifications, chat with our course expert, or reach us at Click Here. We’d be glad to help you find a certification that fits your career needs and benefits you.

 

 

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Bhagya Shri

A technical content writer with an interest in the field of project management and other popular career domains.

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