questions for project managers inevitably focus on past project experience. The
ability to form detailed and articulate responses is one of the top factors
recruiters look for, since the nature of the position entails so much communication.
You should also be able to demonstrate excellent organizational skills when you
describe previous projects, according to Vasanthan Dasan, CTO and VP of
Engineering for the Armada Group, a cloud computing firm in Silicon
Valley. Demonstrating time-management skills, and the ability to
identify project roadblocks in advance, are also key.
Here’s a sample of the questions you’ll be asked.
Give me an
example of a project you managed as it relates to this position.
Most project manager interview questions are related to previous
projects. The project manager should be able to articulate project details such
methodology, team management, risk management, collaboration, technical tools,
obstacles, communication and results.
The best answer is to give an example of a project that is similar
to your prospective employer’s projects. If not, you should at least attempt to
orient the answer as it relates to the position.
Here’s a sample project. How
would you go about planning, managing and completing it?
A variation on the first question, this one’s designed to test your
quick-thinking ability and depth of knowledge.
Talk about a project you
worked on that had problems and what you did to fix them.
similar question that may be asked: "Explain when an IT project wasn’t in
line with what the organization wanted. How did you get around that?"
Managers are frequently asked about challenges and to reveal a situation where
there was conflict that needed to be resolved," says Susanne Currivan,
senior account manager for Project One, a New York-based IT staffing firm.
project, how do you inform all stakeholders of progress on a regular basis?
Effective communication is key to a successful project, so you’ll
need to demonstrate numerous ways and tools used to communicate with team
members and stakeholders in the organization.
"Methodology and communication end up being a big part of the
hiring decision," says Craig Kapper, senior regional vice president for
Robert Half Technology. "Do they have the right methodology and does the project
manager consistently relay progress reports to stakeholders?"
do you typically use to monitor and control a project?
Obviously, there are numerous tools that can be used during a
project, yet some are more robust and scalable than others. The idea here is to
find out if you’re using some of the more effective tools available, Kapper says.
How did you
apply your training or certification to a previous position?
question will commonly be addressed to probe your experience or certification,
such as PMI. Interviewers may follow up with a request to give specific
you established a relationship with your project team and how you collaborated
to get things done.
is a "culture fit" question designed to discover how you work with
other people. A similar question is: "Give an
example when you received coaching and how you reacted."
Others to look out for:
What project management
methodologies are you most familiar with?
example of a time where you had a conflict with, or disagreed with a boss or
— Chandler Harris