Ask any HR executive or senior management official and they will tell you that a qualified project manager is the most valuable resource when it comes to successful project execution. It has been reported that for every US $1 billion invested in a business, an estimated US $122 million is lost to poor product management every year. Even the statistics speak for themselves!
A constantly shifting global marketplace and an uncertain economy demand a strategic approach towards project execution to deliver positive results. More and more organisations have realized this and are working on sharpening their focus on project management.
So, if you are a professional and are looking to land a job in a reputed company, we are here to help you prepare for it. After all, being shouldered with the responsibility of a project manager is no child’s play and it’s only imperative that you up your game to match the organisations that are looking to hire you.
Here, we will be looking at the top 7 project manager interview questions that you can expect HR executives to ask you. Don’t worry, we will be suggesting ways to answer these questions too so pay close attention!
Top 7 Project Management Interview Questions
Here’s looking at the top scenario-based interview questions someone applying for the position of a project manager can expect.
Question 1: What According to you is the Most Desired Skill that Makes one an Effective and Successful Project Manager?
Any skilled and experienced project manager will know that no one skill defines a successful manager. It is a combination of skills that dictate your success in this field. Strong leadership skills, compelling negotiation tactics, business management acumen, an ability to effectively delegate, and communication skills are a just few qualities that are expected from a manager. In addition to that, being able to create a culture of discipline, soliciting transparent communication, and applying a strategic approach to solve problems can help you succeed as a manager.
To answer this question, pick an incident from your past experiences to showcase any one of the above skills to justify your answer.
Question 2: What are Some of the Most Challenging Projects you have Managed in your Career? How did you Tackle and Overcome these Challenges?
This is a staple question in almost every project manager interview session. Through this question, recruiters are looking to assess how well you are equipped to deal with challenges and critical circumstances in the workplace. It is always best to avoid instances involving uncooperative team members or lack of support from corporate. A good project manager is expected to excel at resolving team conflicts and counter influences from the management.
Therefore, to answer this question, it is recommended that you proceed with a situation where external factors proved to be the challenging aspect. An example would be your project getting halted mid-way or the source of funds being cut off. Explaining how you managed the situation and helped your team through the tough time should form the rest of your answer.
Question 3: Work from Home has been on the Rise in the Post-COVID 19 Eras. Are you Prepared to Supervise and Manage a Remote Team? If So, What are your Strategies?
A show of willingness to tackle any challenge that comes your way will tip the scales in your favor. Here, you can cite examples of how project managers are often in charge of global teams and still succeed in delivering results magnificently. Let them know that you maintain a healthy attitude towards learning and are willing to work with the resources in hand to accomplish your goals; this would require a shift in your management tactics but you are up to the task.
To sum it up, your answer should reflect willingness, a zeal to learn and innovate and experiment with existing technologies to streamline the process of remote management. Outline your strategy, if you have one, to seal your answer.
It is no secret that prioritization is key to the successful execution and completion of any project. Thus, you should be ready with answers to such questions.
Question 4: If your Project Goes Off-Track, How Would you Prioritize your Tasks and Work to Bring them Back on Track?
An interviewer will ask you this question to analyse your priorities when it comes to difficult situations. A good answer to this question would be to know how to distinguish between what’s necessary and what’s not.
Once you have ascertained your project has overshot the time, budget, and other parameters, your utmost priority should be to bridge the gap between the actual progress and proposed progress. This would require resolving the discrepancy that led to the failure by proactive decision-making and diligent adjustment of your resources.
It would mean putting in extra time, effort, and resources while keeping your team focused and motivated. Checking in with your time all the whole and maintaining effective communication in your supervision will also help in getting your project back on track.
As a project manager, you are expected to have in-depth knowledge and understanding of project management principles. So, be assured that at least one domain-based question will be sent your way.
Question 5: What are the Most Common Project Management Challenges We Face Today? How would you Proceed to Tackle them?
Through this question, the interview is looking to gauge your knowledge of the industry you are working in. You should conduct your research and be prepared with your answer beforehand. You can begin by outlining key challenges.
This includes inconsistencies in the market, inadequate support from management software, lack of resources and support from the upper management, unreasonable deadlines, and lack of accountability, to name a few.
Your answer doesn’t end here. You should also be able to propose potential solutions to the problems mentioned and how you plan on dealing with them. Most solutions involve clear communication upfront to convey your needs for a particular project and encouraging greater participation from everyone involved.
Someone good at delegating tasks can do so without losing control or becoming a toxic micromanager.
A question you can expect to be asked is:
Question 6: How Well can you Delegate Tasks and Get Work Done by Others?
This is one of the most defining qualities to look for in a project manager. Your ability to delegate tasks to your team members and ensuring that you utilize their maximum potential determines how successful your performance will be. This also reflects on your leadership skills.
You must make it evident through your answer that delegating comes to you naturally. Cite an example from your past where delegation and effective teamwork has given your positive results. Further, delegating also requires close supervision. Explain how you also follow up on the tasks you assign by calling brief meetings or taking assistance from management software to do so.
Questions on this domain will come as a surprise to nobody. An interview where an interviewer does not question your long-term goals is unheard of. Formulating plans and setting goals for yourself gives the impression that a candidate is serious about the position and will work in alignment with his/her goals to the benefit of the organisation that hires them.
Question 7: What are your Goals for the Upcoming Six Months and How do you Plan on Tracking them?
The simple answer to this question would come from being honest about your goals. Express enthusiasm and passion for the type of role you visualise for yourself. Make sure to align your goals in the direction of the growth of the company you are interviewing with.
Setting goals also means ensuring your projects are on track. This makes way for uniformity in the workplace and keeps progress in check. This is where you can include an incident from your past experiences were setting a strict deadline for a project helped you track the progress of your project and keep your team members motivated till the end.
Also Read: Product Management vs Project Management
It is said the planning is half the battle won. And that is exactly what a project manager is put in place for. Any skilled project manager is crucial to the well-being and long-term sustainability of any organisation.
Therefore, simply knowing answers to interview questions will not suffice; the goal is to actually be able to visualise solutions to challenges you can face. So, gear up for the task in hand and you are half-way there.
This brings us to the end of the article. We hope these interview questions helped you get a glimpse of what you can expect at your project manager Interview. Remember to be prepared with an answer for every question. Jot down a relevant experience for every situation, research your industry well and walk confidently into that room! You’ve got this!
We hope that you found our collection of management project topics useful. If you want to work on management projects under the guidance of an instructor and learn crucial management skills, then we recommend taking our management course.