Top 6 Tips for Interviewing well a strong PM Job Candidate

ziprecruiter blog image 1The role of the project manager is very challenging. It is described as a critical link to management, clients and the project team that keeps the project moving forward on-track, on-schedule, and on-budget. According to the PMI’s Global Job Report, economies around the world continue to share a strong demand for project managers. This demand started in 2010 and is predicted to continue up to 2020, stronger in some countries and industries than others. As a senior project manager of a growing or expanding organization, you may have the task to interview candidates for new PM jobs for your team or company.

If you come across good potential candidates, there are some tips in how to investigate and evaluate them further during the interview process. Some of the obvious signs to look for in a PM job candidate are their confidence and their ability to answer questions clearly indicating their technical and interpersonal skills, methodologies used, and how they worked previously with project sponsors. You may be interested in reading our top 5 sites for finding pm candidates.

1. Is there Chemistry?

It is also important to note how easily they connect with the interviewer. Chemistry between people is something hard to define, but is something very observable. Observe if the applicant is relaxed during the interview, is able to maintain a sense of humor, and is seen as generous with his or her answers. However, if trying to connect with the applicant seems to be a struggle, no matter how hard you try, it can be a potential problem of relating to others.

2. Spend More Time

Time is precious, both for the interviewer and the applicant. However, spending more time on the job interview to get to know the applicant better is negligible compared to the potential cost of a wrong hire. Spend a longer time with a strong candidate, to ask specific, follow-up questions to good but general answers. Observe also the candidate’s behavior as the interview gets longer, to see if there is any indication of impatience or any other change.

3. Long-Term Goals

As a senior project manager with the company, you understand the vision, goals and commitment of the organization. Thus, it is important to ask applicants for the PM role about their long-term goals as well. They may be well-suited for the short-term or urgent project at hand, but you may be looking for someone to be part of the company for the long haul. Knowing their long-term goals can give you an idea if it is aligned with your and the organization’s goals. Having a long-term goal also shows the applicant’s career direction and planning skills.

4. Offer to Clarify

The job interview should clarify as many things as possible, not only for the interviewer but also for the applicant. If a strong candidate was able to answer many questions well but also have some questions about the job or the company, welcome it by providing clarifications. If the candidate is a little hesitant, offer to clarify anything but be mindful of company policies and confidentiality. This resolves any misunderstanding or wrong impressions about the job, role or the company that can cause serious issues later on.

5. Invite for a Second Interview

It is important also not to hurry the interview process. If there are many good candidates, and an initial interview only narrowed the choices a little, invite the stronger candidates for a second interview. This is a chance to compare and contrast several applicants with more direct and specific questions and job scenarios. It is also a good opportunity to see who is consistent from the first interview, and who has become undecided or uninterested.

6. Talk about Salary, Check References

In the later stages of the interview with a potentially strong candidate, it is important to discuss salary expectations. It can be all smooth and well up to this point, until compensation requirements and expectations do not meet the actual offer. Unless one is willing to compromise, this can be the end of the road. There are also ways to make sure that strong candidates will more or less accept the salary offer, and this is by checking their references and previous salaries. Unless the new job is dramatically more demanding than what they have previously performed, the expected salary of the chosen candidate will also not be significantly and unrealistically higher.

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at actively recommend the following:


Visit website Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.

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2 ClickUp

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ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

Learn more about ClickUp

3 Wrike

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Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.

Learn more about Wrike

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