Top Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers 2021

By Aradhya Kumar

Last updated on Oct 11 2021

Top Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers 2021

List of Best Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers 2021 (UPDATED)

 

Every organization knows the value of a Project Manager. Most employers ask for a certified Project Manager. When the Project Manager is certified, it shows that he or she has validated their skills and experience in the field of project management. However, when it comes to a Project Management certification, an organization demands a globally recognized certification like PRINCE 2 certification, Project Management Professional certification, CompTIA project+ certification so on.  

 

What is the need for a Project Manager to be certified?

 

Well, according to a survey conducted by the Project Management Institute, it came out that more than $122 million is being wasted by organizations for every $1 billion investment. Such a huge amount of loss takes place due to the inferior performance of the project. This is the reason why nowadays every organization demands a certified Project Manager. So, it is recommended for an aspiring Project Manager to achieve a well-recognized certification that is accepted all over the world.

 

Further, the demand for certification has expanded to such an extent that presently every organization is asking for certification even for the entry-level Project Managers position.

 

Project Manager Interview Guide

 

Achieving certification is not enough to become a Project Manager in any organization. Rather, after achieving a Project Management certification, one should prepare to go through exhaustive interview rounds. As a Project Manager is required in every industry vertical, so an aspiring Project Manager should always be ready to answer various types of interview questions related to various types of industry verticals. 

 

Moreover, the job of a Project Manager is to think critically first, and then they are supposed to work according to the framework used by an organization. A Project Manager has to be conceptually and practically clear in every knowledge area and skill area of project management. They have to be competent enough to pass any type of interview related to project management. 

 

It is recorded that most of the interviews conducted for Project Management jobs are exhaustive and comprehensive. One has to prepare very well in order to pass their Project Management interviews on the first attempt. They have to go through a plethora of questions that are based on the different knowledge ideas of project management. In this article, we will comprehensively discuss the best and most commonly asked Project Management interview questions.

 

Project Management Knowledge and Skill Areas

 

To make all these questions easier for an individual to understand, we have categorized all the questions on the basis of different knowledge and skill areas. We have broadly classified all the questions on the basis of:

 

  • Scenario-based questions Domain knowledge and skills-based questions
  • Questions based on clear communication

 

So, without further ado, let's get started with all the interview questions that can help an individual to crack their interview at their first attempt.

 

  • Scenario-based questions

The scenario-based questions are asked to an individual to check in evaluate their experience in project management. There are many types of scenario-based questions that can be asked by the interviewer. And, most of the questions are based on different scenarios in the Project Management interviews. So, to become more confident in the Project Management interview, one should consider going through scenario-based questions as much as possible.

 

Basic Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

 

  1. Define an ideal project?

This is the most common question that is asked to a Project Manager in an interview. To answer this question, one has to be clear about their interests in a particular field of project management. While answering this question, one has to be sure about mentioning all the points like; if they want to work with the team or the world to work alone to complete any project. On the basis of this answer, the proceedings of the interview will take place. It is highly important for an individual to be clear about the ideal project they want to run in the future. Further, they should also mention their strong points in certain areas of a project they choose to work as a Project Manager. They should also mention the type of deadlines they prefer, while they should also be vocal about working on types of projects. For instance, they can share their idea for working on an innovative project. And they should be open about their ideas while answering such questions.

 

  1. Presently work from home has become a common thing after the prevalence of COVID 19. So how do you think that you can manage a remote team?

Presently, a Project Manager needs to be equipped with vast knowledge and skills related to virtual project management. A Project Manager should be able to manage remote Project Management teams from various regions of the world at once. They should be able to strategize their plans first. And then, they should be able to explain their plans to their project teams over a virtual meeting. However, they should always remember to follow the strict protocols of Project Management to carry out such types of meetings. They should always refer to the principles of Project Management in managing remote Project Management teams.

 

  1. How would you prioritize the tasks?

When such questions are asked to a Project Manager, then one should understand that they are being tested on the basis of their flexibility and adaptability. Prioritization of tasks in Project Management is an indispensable step. A Project Manager prioritized tasks in order to determine the success rate of a project. While it also helps a Project Manager to determine the time of completing each phase of the project, and it also helps to manage the time for future stages of the project. Task prioritization is a crucial part of running any project. So, it is recommended for an individual to answer this question by using points like the urgency of a project stage and the importance of any present stage.

 

  1. What do you think which skill is required the most in order to become a successful Project Manager?

Project Management is such a field that a single skill is not enough to carry on any project. Instead, a Project Manager should possess a wide range of skills. If an individual wants to become a successful Project Manager in the future. Then he or she has to learn and develop new skills continuously to meet the demands of other stakeholders with trending methods. Further, when it comes to the in-demand skills of a Project Manager. one can look forward to describing skills like:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Budget management skills
  • Time management skills
  • Risk management skills

These are some of the skills a Project Manager should possess by every means to become successful in project management. Apart from these skills, Project Managers should also concentrate on developing various other skills to move along with the time.

 

  1. Suppose a project has gone off track. As a Project Manager, how would you bring it back to track?

When the president goes off track, then there must be a cause that has disturbed any stage of progress in a project. When a Project Manager finds out that a project is going off track, then he or she should look forward to prioritizing new plans which can help them to bring their project back to track. In such situations, a Project Manager should think critically to eradicate any type of disturbances that are created due to mismanagement. They should consider re-evaluating and re-adjust resource management, and they should be prepared to put in extra efforts to bring the project back to track.

 

  1. On the basis of your Project Management experience, tell us about the most challenging projects that you have ever run.

And this type of question arises from the interview panel, and then a person should answer such question in a manner that does not sound like their complaining. For instance, to answer such questions, one should not refer to the unavoidable and known risks or challenges, like they should not talk about how they handle a tough team or a team member. Handling a team or team member is one of the preliminary aims of Project Managers in any organization. Instead of describing such types of scenarios, a person should consider describing scenarios about external disturbances. They should describe the extra-terrestrial challenges they faced while managing any project. They should consider describing the challenges they faced while a project was called off during progress. They should talk about the challenges they faced while fundraising was stopped for any project. After describing those challenges, they should also discuss how they manage to handle such situations.

 

  1. Be vocal about the biggest mistakes you have committed as a Project Manager. and explain the approach that influenced that mistake

This type of question is asked by the interviewer to evaluate the honesty and passion of a person regarding Project Management. This is one of the most common questions that are asked by an interviewer in a Project Management interview. A Project Manager is a normal human being who has expertise in handling projects. Becoming a Project Manager does not defy the fact that he or she is a human being. As a Project Manager, a person has to work along with numerous responsibilities. A Project Manager has to manage a whole project team while they are also responsible for taking suggestions and give suggestions to the higher authorities. He/she creates a bridge of communication between the stakeholders, higher authorities, and project teams. It depicts that the job of a Project Manager is exhaustive, so it is obvious that a Project Manager can make mistakes while running any project. However, no human is errorless; mistakes are made by even the higher authorities too. While answering this question, an individual should be very honest, and they should never ignore this question. Ignoring such questions creates a bad impression in the minds of the employer, and that can be the end of the interview too.

 

  1. How would you describe a failed project? Can you relate it with your Project Management experience?

Success and failure come along with every project. There are possibilities that a project can become successful for some reason, but as there are also possibilities that the project will also fail for some reason. There are many instances where even after taking all the required measures, the project has failed. At the same time, there are instances where a project has become successful despite mismanagement. There are many factors that influence the success rate and failure rate of any project. One of the most influential factors that need to be taken care of while managing a project is managing possible risks. While answering this question, an individual should be honest. They should openly discuss their failed projects. Further, they should also discuss what type of experience they gained by their failure in managing the project. The reason for asking this question is to check a person's risk management capability, another such capability that is required to minimize the chances of failure of a project.

  1. Suppose your stakeholder is not satisfied with the quality of the outcome of any project. So, as a Project Manager, how would you handle such situations? What would you do to make your stakeholders happy?

A Project Manager is the face of any project. And for every mishappening or any type of project related issues, a Project Manager is answerable. When it comes to the satisfaction of the customer, then a Project Manager should look forward to taking all the suggestions from their customers. While they should also try to understand the needs of the customer, further they can plan their projects on the basis of the basic requirements of their customers. Only then a Project Manager can make their customers happy with satisfactory outcomes. If the stakeholders do not get what they want as the outcome of a project, then it is obvious that they will be unhappy. And when a stakeholder is unhappy, then he or she has the audacity to question project management. To answer this type of question, a person should discuss how he or she could strategize and make plans to meet all the demands of their customers.

 

Intermediate Level Project Manager Interview Questions

 

  1. An ideal Project Management team should work in a collaborative manner. But there are possibilities of internal conflicts in a Project Management team are high too? As a Project Manager, how would you handle such situations?

This question is asked to the knowledge of a person's knowledge of the domain in the framework of project management. The process can be defined as completing tasks of a project successfully. At the same time, the process groups can be defined as a series of processes that are needed to be carried out in various phases of the project.

 

  1. Differentiate between risk and issues.

Risk can be defined as a condition of uncertainty that may influence a project both in a positive and a negative manner. Sometimes risks can be unavoidable, so a Project Manager should always be prepared to tackle any type of risk. It can influence a project for a longer period of time. It may ruin a project at once, or it may also make a project successful.

 

And on the other hand, issues can be defined as an uncertain event that occurs instantaneously. Risks are the major factors of stimulating issues. However, in comparison to risks, issues are always considered as an event that impacts negatively do any process or procedure of a project.

 

  1. What do you mean by RAID in project management?

RAID is an acronym used to imply Risks, Actions, Issues, and Decisions. The RAID is one of the most important tools for a Project Manager. In order to track risks, take actions, tackle issues, and make decisions, the Project Manager uses the RAID tool. 

 

  1. What techniques are used to define the scope of the project?

There are a number of techniques that are used in Project Management to define the scope of any project. Those techniques are:

  • Product Breakdown
  • Analysing requirements
  • System Engineering
  • Analysis of Systems
  • Engineering the values
  • Analysing the values
  • Analysing alternatives

 

  1. How would you form teams in project management?

For each phase of any project, different types of rules are allotted to team members involved in a project. A Project Manager should have knowledge of the domain related to forming teams. This domain comprises 5 stages of development that are: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. By following these five developmental stages, a Project Manager can easily form a team in every stage of the project.

 

  • Domain knowledge and skills-based questions

Domain knowledge-based questions are asked to evaluate the knowledge of a Project Manager. A Project Manager should have deep knowledge in various domains of project management. Under this, we have added only one question, and it is enough to provide the required insight into such types of questions.

 

Advanced Project Manager Interview Questions

 

  1. What do you know about the three key challenges that the industry faces today? And how would you tackle those challenges efficiently?

This is one of the most asked interview questions and Project Management interviews. This question is asked by interviewers to evaluate the conceptual knowledge of a Project Manager in project management. When this question is asked in an interview, a person should clearly define all the three key challenges that the industry faces in running any project. If a person is able to answer this question and explain each of the challenges perfectly, and it is possible that the interviews may not ask any further questions based on domains and knowledge. 

While answering this question, one should think about the challenges that may arise in operating any type of project according to the present market situation. While answering this question, a person should be highly attentive as the response of the candidate will explain the knowledge of the candidate to the interviewers.

  • Questions based on clear communication

These questions are asked to evaluate the candidate's communication levels and skills in managing projects. A Project Manager is a professional who is expected to be highly skilled in communicating with stakeholders, the leadership body, and their team members clearly. Project Managers should be able to communicate in such a way that they can easily explain the complex terms of a project in simple terms. 

 

  1. Define the challenges you faced in communicating in your previous projects.

While managing projects, it is possible for a Project Manager to have communication issues. There are no such constraints that the Project Manager will be able to communicate with their teams and higher authorities effectively all the time. And when this question is asked, then it is important for a candidate to describe the past communication issues they faced. After describing the communication issues, they faced, they should move on to describe "how they handle such situations despite of having communication issues with their teams or any other members."

 

  1. Describe your style of communication with your team.

It is never possible for a Project Manager to complete any project and accomplish all the project goals without efficient project management. Whatever the phasor situation may be, a Project Manager has to discuss each and every complexity of any situation that may arise in a project. A Project Manager is not only responsible for leading teams, but he or she is also responsible for motivating their team members to do a certain amount of work to gain the planned objectives. 

 

So, when it comes to communicating with a team, a Project Manager should play the role of an effective communicator. They should talk to their team members politely while listening to their suggestions and helping them to understand some of the complex terms that arise while working on a project. 

 

They will have to make sure that each team member understands their motives behind leading a project or directing a project. And this question is asked by the interviews to check the tone of the candidates. By getting the response from the candidate, and the interviewer can easily understand that he or she is sensible enough to become an effective communicator while leading a Project Management team.

 

Conclusion:

 

So, these were some of the most important and most frequently asked questions in the interview of project management. If an individual wants to crack their Project Management interview at once, they should be prepared for answering such interview questions. These project manager interview questions will not only enhance the scope of understanding the mentality of the interviewer but it would also help a candidate to create a style of answering the different types of questions.

 

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

 

To get full details about the best project management certifications, chat with course expert

 

Suggested Read – Best Project Management Certifications in 2020

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Aradhya Kumar

With years of experience and a vast amount of knowledge in Project Management, Agile Management, Scrum, and other popular domains, Aradhya Kumar is well-versed in creating content for audiences from various fields and industries. 

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