Project Manager Interview Questions
Need to interview a project manager candidate? Along with excellent analytical and modeling skills, an ideal PM should possess decent interfacing and management skills, the ability to multi-task and be focused on details at the same time. So, looking for a good candidate may seem to be a real Herculean task. However, you shouldn’t be an antique hero if you work out a sensible plan before the interview.
The Project Manager Interview Questions vary from company to company. But basically, all of them pursue the following goals: to assess the technical skills and approach, past performance, and interpersonal communication skills of the candidate.
Software Competence and Approach
In the introductory part of your interview, get the maximum insight into the interviewee’s level of proficiency in the project management tools and own methodology. The following questions may be helpful:
- Which project management software would you prefer to install on your device?
- What project management strategies are you familiar with? Which one do you prefer?
Then, to get more details, move on to your potential candidate’s own project managing ‘school of thought’:
- How do you manage scheduling?
- How do you handle allocation of resources?
- How do you provide status updates?
- How do you start and close projects?
- How do you oversee and prevent risks related to your project?
- Do you usually revisit your closed projects?
As the position of the project manager requires certain decision-making during the crisis, ask the following:
- Are you able to deviate from the planned scenario?
If you interview PMP-certified candidates (Project Management Professional), ask them:
- When did you get the PMP?
- What was the process of certification like?
- What was easy? What was challenging?
Estimate the candidate’s business acumen, judging from his past experience:
- In a nutshell, describe your recent projects. What were their deliverables, timeline, and budget?
- What challenges did you face on your most recent project?
- Describe your most successful project. Did you fail any? Why?
- What did you do when your project didn’t go well?
Bear in mind that project management implies interaction with the team, partners, and customers.
Questions about such skills can be:
- How to inspire your team?
- How to handle team members who aren’t keeping up with the tasks flow?
- How to remove non-productive team members? How to explain it to the rest of the team?
- How to act if you don’t agree with your team member?
- How do you get buy-in on a project from multiple customers?
- What is your preferable way to present results?
- How to deliver bad news to a customer?
And please note that these questions are designed for experienced candidates. Also, they are one-size-fits-all and allow certain deviations, as the requirements of every company differ. So, analyze them and tailor the list of the questions to your company’s needs.