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 their skills are validated and experience in the very field.
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.
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.
Achieving certification is not enough to become a Project Manager in any organization. Rather, after achieving the specific certification, one should prepare to go through exhaustive interview rounds.
As a Project Manager is required in every industry vertical, an aspiring project manager should always be ready to answer various types of top project manager interview questions and answers related to different 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 relating with knowledge and skill. They have to be competent enough to pass any type of related field interview.
It is recorded that most of the interviews conducted for project manager roles are exhaustive and comprehensive. One has to prepare very well in order to pass their Project Manager 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 manager interview questions and answers.
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 on their first attempt.
The scenario-based questions are asked to an individual to check in and evaluate their experience in project management. There are many types of scenario-based questions that can be asked by the interviewer.
So, to become more confident in the project manager interview process, one should consider going through scenario-based questions as much as possible.
Given below are the lists of common top project manager interview questions and answers you’ll encounter for a project manager position.
1) Define an ideal project?
This is the most common question that is asked of a Project Manager in an interview. To answer this question, one has to be clear about their interests in a particular field.
While answering this question, one makes sure to mention all the points like; if they want to work with a 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 on 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 be open about their ideas while answering such questions.
2) Presently working 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. They should be able to manage remote teams from various regions of the world at once and strategize their plans beforehand.
They should be able to explain their plans to their project teams over a virtual meeting. However, they should stick to strict protocols of Project Management to carry out such types of meetings and refer to the principles of Project Management in managing remote teams.
3) How would you prioritize the tasks?
While encountering such questions, they should understand that they are being tested on the basis of their flexibility and adaptability. Prioritization of tasks it is an indispensable step. A Project Manager prioritized tasks in order to determine the success rate of a project.
It aims to determine the time of completing each phase of the project and 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 by using points like the urgency of a project stage and the importance of any present stage.
4) What do you think 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.
A candidate 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:
- Budget Management
- Time Management
- Risk Management
Apart from the above skills, a project manager should also concentrate on developing various other skills to move along with time.
5) Suppose a project has gone off track. As a Project Manager, how would you bring it back to track?
When the project goes off track, then there must be a cause that has disturbed any stage of progress in a project. In that case, a project manager should look forward to prioritizing new plans which can help them to bring their project back to track.
In such situations, critical thinking is required 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.
6) On the basis of your Project Management experience, tell us about the most challenging projects that you have ever run.
When this type of question arises from the interview panel, and then a person should answer in a manner that does not sound like they are 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. Must 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.
7) Be vocal about the biggest mistakes you have committed as a Project Manager and explain the approach that influenced that mistake
This type of frequent question is asked by the interviewer to evaluate the honesty and passion of a person regarding Project Management.
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. They have to manage a whole project team while they are also responsible for taking and giving 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 never ignore these questions.
Ignoring such questions creates a bad impression in the minds of the employer, and that can be the end of the interview too.
8) How would you describe a failed project? Can you relate it to your Project Management experience?
Success and failure come along with every project. There are possibilities that a project can become successful or fail for some reason.
Many instances follow 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 from 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.
9) 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. For every mishappening or any type of project-related issue, a Project Manager is answerable.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, then a Project Manager should look forward to taking all the suggestions from their customers.
They should also try to understand the customer needs and can plan their projects on the basis of the customers' basic requirements.
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.
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.
10) What is the process of calculating the three-point estimating method?
The three-point estimate can be calculated in the following ways:
1) PERT Distribution E = (P+4M+O)/6
2) Triangular Distribution E = (P+M+O)/3 Beta
Where P denotes pessimist, O is optimist, and M denotes most likely.
11) What are the motivation theories and formal techniques to drive team motivation?
The following motivation theories and techniques are essential for project success:
- Herzberg’s Motivation Theory
- McGregor’s Hypothesis
- McClelland’s Hypothesis
- McClelland’s Three Needs Theory
- Maslow’s Theory of Motivation
- Theory of Hertzberg
- Vroom’s Prediction Theory
12) 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.
13) 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 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.
14) What do you mean by RAID?
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.
15) What techniques are used to define the scope of the project?
There are a number of techniques used to define the scope of any project which involves:
- Product Breakdown
- Analyzing requirements
- System Engineering
- Analysis of Systems
- Engineering the values
- Analyzing the values
- Analyzing alternatives
16) 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 five 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-based questions are asked to evaluate the knowledge of a Project Manager. A Project Manager should have deep knowledge of various domains of project management.
We have listed below a few project manager interview questions and answers enough to provide the required insight into such types of questions.
17) What do you know about the three key challenges that the industry faces today? How would you tackle those challenges efficiently?
This is one of the commonly asked project interview questions. This question is asked by interviewers to evaluate the conceptual knowledge of a project manager.
A person should clearly define all three key challenges that the industry faces in running any project.
If a person is able to answer and explain each of the challenges perfectly, 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.
A person should be highly attentive as the response of the candidate will explain the candidate’s knowledge to the interviewers.
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.
18) 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.
To tackle such questions, 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 having communication issues with their teams or any other members."
19) 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.
- They are not only responsible for leading teams, but for motivating their team members to do a certain amount of work to gain the planned objectives.
- They should play the role of an effective communicator.
- Listen and count team suggestions and helping them to understand some of the complex terms that arise while working on a project.
- Ensure that team member understands the motives of a project. Such question is asked by the interviewers to check the tone of the candidates. By doing so, the interviewer can easily understand that he or she is sensible enough to become an effective communicator while leading a team.
The responsibility of a project manager requires understanding customer intent and reverting in a matter of time given to achieve customer expectations.
They must build trust and effectiveness, developing and maintaining professional relationships with customers.
Given below are some of the interesting project manager interview questions and answers to tackle customer orientation questions.
20) Define good customer focus
The factors to good customer focus rely on:
- Understanding customers and their needs.
- Deliver Client products or services as expected.
- Identify and resolve problems as possible that meet customer satisfaction.
- Implementing methods to track, measure, and maintain customer satisfaction standards.
21) What is the method to handle angry customers?
Here are the simple ways to deal with angry customers:
- Keep calm and listen to their main issue.
- Take things practical.
- Apologize and sympathize while collecting the grievances.
- Search for a solution.
- Keep lightheaded.
For achieving real-time results, enforcing strong team activities is essential. Project managers in this aspect have to take an active part in developing, mentoring, coaching team members, and taking and offering feedback.
The following project manager interview questions and answers gauge the candidate’s intelligence quotient on customer focus.
22) How to deal with managing the team's performances?
Leadership is an important skill to utilize for boosting team performance. The key skills include:
- Getting brief on assigning tasks versus daily targets of respective teams.
- Conducting sessions, meetings, and discussions.
- Feedback on managing improvisation
23) How do you motivate team members?
A key role for a project manager is to act as a catalyst of motivation and the right guide on any project they are investing in.
For instance; giving a compliment on the job done can result as a sign of motivation.
With the curated lists of frequently asked project manager interview questions and answers discussed, interested professionals or freshers can be prepared for facing such interview questions.
Moreover, if an individual wants to crack their Project Management interview at once, prioritizing and going through the top project manager interview questions and answers is a must-go.
Cover the top project manager interview questions and answers and crack the interview rounds.
These project manager interview questions will not only enhance the understanding scope of the intellectual level of the interviewer but aids a candidate to create a style of answering the different types of questions.
If you are looking for a project manager role career, consider the PMP Certification Training Course with Sprintzeal.
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