Passing a project manager interview is a prerequisite before taking charge of a team or project. Even if you already have lots of experience in managing projects, dealing with these project manager interview questions is not an easy task. Follow this article for more effective methods of answering these questions.
Scenario-based project manager interview questions
- In your perspective, what is an ideal project?
This is a question based on your own personality and personal opinion. We will not provide a sample answer. Remember, experience and personal experience are the prerequisites for a proficient answer because you will not know “what is an ideal project” if you have never managed a project. The answer may include the following aspects: ideal duration, the direction of your team, the feature of the project (creative or traditional), or the area in which the project is directed to have a positive impact on society…
- In the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, how did you apply to manage your team?
Nowadays, project managers tend to pick up their teammates from an international workforce who can work remotely. Therefore, improving the knowledge and skills to work with teammates is virtually undeniably important. You can describe in detail the method you used to manage your team effectively. In addition, you can also mention some special tools, software, and strategies of your own.
- What are your initiatives for managing the tasks of your project?
In regard to the scope or size, prioritization is a vital factor for the success of a project. Although any given task is important, you need to prioritize the most urgent project. In case of being asked about prioritization, you should talk about the methods that you use to tell apart between urgency and importance. Remember that this question is not only used to test your leadership ability but also to test your flexibility and adaptability in each case.
- In your opinion, what do you think is the most important skill for becoming an exemplary project manager?
If you are an expert in project management, you should be aware that there is no single skill/ability which makes successful management. A good manager needs a combination of skills, experience, and knowledge. Skills may include leadership skills, problem-solving skills, or communication skills… You can emphasize your possession of a multiple skill set that can make an impression on the examiner. A concrete example post could be a big plus for this question.
- Talking about one of the most difficult projects that you have dealt with? What did you do and what is the result of this project?
This is a question asking for personal experience. The purpose of the panel is to consider the way you tackle critical challenges as well as conflicting situations among members in a certain project. Talking about mistakes/conflicts from within the project can make examiners think badly of your leadership. Instead, focus on telling about external factors (for example lack of funding). Also, be clear about how you would deal with these situations. I believe if you have ever worked as a manager, challenging situations are inevitable and you know how to overcome them.
- What types of customers have you met? How do you deal with customer dissatisfaction with your product/service?
As a project manager, you need to understand customer insights as well as how to deal with customer dissatisfaction. You should know, customer dissatisfaction can come from many factors: poor-quality products or bad customer service. When answering this question, you should show your respect for your customers and that you are willing to accept their authority without any discomfort.
- How can you deal with challenges for your industry?
This will be a question for your knowledge about your industry. Not only should you tell about challenges that you’ve faced, but also the solution for all of them. Perfect evidence can be your personal experience as well as your methods.
- Which characteristics do you think are suitable for an individual in project management?
A successful project manager often has a combination of 2 factors: experience and a deep understanding of the project. Even if you have the knowledge and understanding of how to run the project, you still need to have experience in management. Employers want to see these qualities in you, so show it off with specific examples.
Project manager interview questions about communication skill
- How do you think about the importance of communication?
Remember that one of the most important skills in project management is communication. Without communication, everything factors may fail. Communication is a great solution for all conflicts and is the most important factor in creating the solidarity of a team. Obviously, the members cannot understand each other, or the manager cannot illustrate his/her wishes without communication.
- What is your communication style with your team?
Your task is to demonstrate to the examination panel that you are a wonderful communicator in your team. Not only can you encourage and motivate your members, but also show that you can help them meet their expectations at work. A good leader is one who makes employees believe that they can achieve success by working with you. You need to be the supporter of your employees, and you need to show that through communication.
- What are the communication-related challenges that you’ve faced before?
As a project manager, effectively communicating with other team members is very necessary. Communication conflicts can arise during the work process. The purpose of the interviewer is the way you have deal with these challenges in your previous project. You need to prove you can work effectively with your team member no matter what the communication challenges are. For instance, instead of taking face-to-face communication, you can hold a public meeting for all of the members.
Project manager interview questions on the integrity
- How do you think about the importance of integrity during the working process?
Consistency and integrity are the two most important factors that make the success of a project. The project managers are responsible for managing financial resources, human resources, external relations, suppliers… Any inconsistency or lack of transparency can cause misunderstanding, suspicion, and even conflicts among members. It is the cause of the failure of a project. Therefore, transparency is a prerequisite for a project manager. Let’s remember that transparency is the currency of trust.
- How can you deal with disgruntled members?
Let’s show the interviewer that you are always concerned about your members and want to motivate them. Although it is impossible for you to please all the employees in your project, let’s assure that you always try your best to create the professionalism and satisfaction of employees in the company.
Project manager interview questions about customer service
- What is the role of project managers in understanding customer orientation?
The responsibility of the project manager is to understand the demand of the customers as well as give the method for meeting the expectations of customers. Maintaining an effective relationship with customers even after purchasing process is also important, besides building trust with them.
- Do you think that you have the ability to meet customer expectations?
In this question, the purpose of the interviewer is to evaluate whether you are a wonderful manager for any project. Obviously, meeting customer expectations is the goal of any project. Don’t answer theoretically. Talk about your own experience, even if it includes mistakes or challenges.
Project manager interview questions about team development
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, what did you do to boost the motivation of your team members?
Working from home certainly makes many employees feel stressed and unmotivated. The role of a leader/manager is to motivate and help them develop more. List your initiatives.
- What are applications that you use to boost your team?
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge in technologies as well as management skills. Please list applications that you use to boost your team and complete your tasks effectively. Besides, you can explain why you use these applications.
Project manager interview questions about responsibility delegation
- Can you talk about your delegation habit?
This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership skills. Let’s give the interviewer some examples of how you delegate your employees as well as its effectiveness.
- What are the characteristics of employees that you often delegate responsibility for?
This question will test how you value your employees as well as your vision. Let’s give a relevant example of one type of person that you often delegate responsibility for and explain the reasons.
Project manager interview questions about future career goals
- What are your short-term project goals?
You can talk about short-term project goals (maybe in 6 months). Let’s illustrate that you have the enthusiasm and you are a work-oriented person while working. In case you have to tell in detail about your career goals, remember to include your applied company in your goals. This will probably impress the interviewer.
- How can you set and keep track of the goals of your project?
Setting goals is a vital factor that makes the success of any manager because it inspires your employees. Remember to give detailed examples of how you set and tracked these goals. In case there are any challenges in this process, let’s give some solutions.
Project manager interview questions about risks management
- Talk about your method for controlling changes in your team/project.
Remember that there is no project without hitches, and the purpose of the interviewer is how you can tackle these changes in your team/project. As a project manager, your responsibility is to anticipate bad situations and quickly adapt to them. Tell about your experiences (which may include failures due to these changes) and talk about how you did to fix them. Also, you can explain why you use these methods to keep track of your project.
Project manager interview questions about task prioritizing and time management skill
- What is the importance of time management during the working process?
Having wonderful time management skills in the working process allows you to work more smoothly and effectively. It helps you prevent any procrastination that can lead to failure in your project. Proper time management skill poses a positive influence during your working process. Employers want to see your time management skill and how you apply them in managing your team. Show it off with specific examples and evidence.
Project manager interview questions about decision-making skill
- Why do interviews ask you decision-making questions?
The responsibility of the project manager is to identify and prevent any negative challenges to your project. It is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability making in avoid procrastination and decisions. Therefore, you can be asked about what you’ve done to make decisions as well as any related example.
- Give examples related to your decision-making skill?
Let’s show specific examples of how to apply your decision-making skill in the workplace, or even outside the workplace. It will help interviewers assess your abilities and whether you are suitable for the project manager position.
Some common mistakes in project manager interview
- Bragging about your previous achievement
Talking about your previous achievement is an effective way to affirm your competence and experience. Of course, employers always care and appreciate it. However, remember that one of the most important factors of a successful project manager is managing skills and how you can please other team members.
Besides talking about your previous achievement, make sure that your ability to collaborate and motivate your team member is also mentioned. You also need to ensure that you are a person who easily gets along with the team and is able to take responsibility for a team/project.
- Backbit your previous projects
In the process of working, you will inevitably encounter conflicting situations or a bad impression of the team. However, bad talk about old projects is a taboo thing. You can complain about your past project – it’s your right- but remember that an interview is not a suitable place for that. It shows that you are an immature person and you are willing to badmouth anyone.
Instead, let’s talk about how you have managed the dissatisfaction of your team member. It will demonstrate your effectiveness during the working process and demonstrate that you are qualified to take charge of any position in an organization. Give a few more examples (maybe your failures in managing the team) and your solutions for all of them.
- Lying about your ability
In fact, “overstating” your abilities or experience is not a worse idea. However, you can completely be exposed if the interviewer is an experienced person. They can quickly realize that you are just bragging about your own abilities. Instead, let’s be honest about your knowledge and skills or even your weaknesses. In addition, you can talk about the methods you are taking to improve yourself and overcome your weaknesses.
- Poor preparation
You put on a luxury suit and walked into the interview room. Do you smile confidently before the interview panel? Do you think you prepared well enough for the interview?
Remember, you need to be well prepared both in terms of appearance and knowledge. It would be terrible if you walked into the interview room without knowledge of the organization/company that you applied to. Instead, spend at least 2 hours searching for basic information about the place you talk about. That will help you make a good impression in the interview and answer the interview questions more smoothly and fluently.
The above article has provided the basic information of the project manager interview questions as well as what you should do to answer all the questions smoothly and fluently. Hope you guys can have more beneficial information for better preparation.
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