Project Managers are in increasing demand now a days and companies are looking for the best people they can find to fill the position. For this making an impression is the top most priority. Companies screen out individuals first; from their resumes, second and most important; from their interviews. This makes the interview the most important chance an individual has of making the right impression which can land you the job.
It is a crucial step in getting a job for it offers you the chance to show all your knowledge and skills. An interview is a chance to impress the interviewer into giving you the job. How well you perform in an interview depends on how well you have prepared for it. With the right personality, attitude and knowledge you can nail that interview and get the job.
Competition in project management is pretty tough and you should brace yourself for the questions that interviewers ask to screen out the best project managers from the rest. In a Project Management interview you will be asked the questions related to any of the projects you have done in the past. They will test your knowledge about project management and the experience you gained from the completion about various different projects. They will also want to know about any of the successful or not so successful projects you had and your learnings from such projects.
Interviewers also tend to ask questions related to your personality so as to find the best job fit. This will include questions about behavioral traits and competency skills that are related to leadership, team building, planning, goal setting, delegating, time considerations, budget allocation, and adaptability.
So what are the basic questions that interviewers ask for a project management position? Let’s start from the basics.
Tell us about your experience in managing different projects and what you learned from them?
Then they will want to know how they will benefit from your various experiences. Be brief about your most important projects, difficulties that you have faced and how have you managed them.
How can your experience in these projects contribute to our company?
Overcoming any kind of challenge in any of your prior projects is an added advantage as it sets you as a problem solver with a driven personality. Try to find commonalities in any project that you have been involved to the current company.
Describe a situation in which you were faced with a challenge and how did you overcame it?
Your roles in previous projects lets the interviewer know whether you can fit in diverse positions or not, like whether or not you are a team player, a follower or a leader.
What was your role in the last project you have worked on?
They would always want to know whether you have leadership skills as project managers have to be leaders of their teams. Be honest here.
Have you ever lead a team?
If you have then they are prone to ask you about any of the conflicts you have resolved and successful experiences that you might have gained.
Tell us about a situation where you resolved conflict within your team being the project leader.
Leadership is an essential quality of a project manager and interviewers will test out your ability to lead. Describe when your leadership role was most successfully tested.
Describe how you lead a diverse team towards achievement of a common goal and how did you motivate team members?
Describe what you are doing to lead various members of the team to the achievement of a common goal and what do you do in order to motivate them effectively.
What is the most important skill of a project manager?
Planning and scheduling tasks and activities according to their importance is a key skill of a project manager and helps then filter through facts quickly. Also, leadership plays an important role.
How do you determine realistic schedules for your project?
Describe your process for defining the tasks start and end dates.
How do you break activities into tasks and decide on their importance?
What is your process for breaking activities into smaller parts and how do you design what is important or not?
How do you react in unforeseen circumstances?
If there is a situation in the project that had not been planned or taken into account, what is your reaction about that?
Why should we hire you?
Focus on the true value that you will deliver to the company here, concerning their projects.
Other questions that can be asked by interviewers are
- How do you handle unproductive team members?
- Do you inform all the stakeholders of the progress of the project on a regular
- basis? How?
- How do you present results?
- What type of closure practices do you use for closing the projects?
- Do you typically revisit projects a few months after delivery?
- Have you ever had any training that would be of benefit to this project?
While giving an interview remain calm and confident. There is no such thing as over preparing when it comes to interviews. Remember that these questions might just come up in any interview no matter on which step of the career path you may be.