We present questions for a project manager interview. You can use them for your interview sessions in discussions with candidates for a project management position in your organization. Whether you are a hiring manager or a representative of your project team, we hope you use these questions.
Also, we offer possible answers to give you a more realistic idea of what your candidates can answer.
Project manager interview questions
What makes you unique?
I have experience in all stages of product or service development. Many years of commercial experience and direct communication with customers and suppliers. Years of experience with all kinds of administrative documents from accounting to banking and legal documents. Experience with state administrations and institutions. Implementation of many types of software from administrative to warehousing and ERP systems. Last but not least, my engineering education helped me more than once in preparing technical documentation. Reference: How to Become a Project Manager Without Experience and Degree, https://scrumtime.org/how-to-become-a-project-manager-without-experience/
How do you deal with stress?
Stress is focusing on the little things. You have to look at the “big picture” I try to write down all the tasks that need to be done and set reasonable deadlines. It is good to divide the tasks into smaller ones. Proper and timely delegation of tasks also helps. With proper planning and focusing, impossible things happen, not so impossible.
How do you define success?
By definition, success is the achievement of something we have tried to do. That is why every high result achieved is a success for me. It is a great success for this achieved result to have added value for other people as well. Satisfaction with the achieved results leads to many long-term positives, and it comes after the efforts made in the implementation of the set and fulfilled goals.
What is your dream job?
I like to lead the other members of the project team and make sure everything goes smoothly. My dream job would be a leadership position, where the other members of the team are active participants and communication happens daily and without tension. To see and feel the synchronicity in the work. As in dance, movement and music go hand in hand. I like to see a project to the end and celebrate everyone’s hard work. Reference: The Project Manager and their responsibilities – how to become one, https://wikipedia-lab.org/who-is-project-manager-responsibilities-and-how-to-become-a-project-manager/
What is your management style?
Assertive approach. Achieving goals and objectives, by requiring team members, without dominating and hurting others in any way, or expressing aggression. Requiring others to deal with situations but, at the same time, ready to take responsibility.
What is your communication style and how can it change when interacting with colleagues, customers, suppliers, etc.?
To interact effectively with all participants in the project, the manager must have good communication skills and be able to find an individual approach to each. For example, clients often want only a brief description of project work and deadlines. But colleagues need more details to do a good job. Regardless of the chosen style of communication, any interaction must be recorded in writing. This can be helped by a project management tool with access for all participants, which allows us to track the status of the project in real-time. This ensures data transparency – employees have the opportunity to leave their comments and are always up to date with the latest developments thanks to immediate notifications.
How do you work with employees who do not realize their full potential in their work?
Often some employees do not work at full capacity because they do not feel responsible for the work done. We can talk to them and ask specific questions, allowing them to make their own decisions instead of blindly following the management’s instructions. Even if we know the solution to a problem or have our own opinion about the result of the work, employees are eager to realize their ideas. The project manager should not overshadow others in their work, but on the contrary, should be able to unite the whole team and lead it to a common goal and high results.
Reference: Project Manager and HR Specialist interview questions with examples, https://phron.org/project-manager-and-hr-specialist-interview-questions-with-examples/
How do you evaluate the tasks of the project?
It depends on the complexity of the project. We can evaluate the tasks “by eye” on a scale from 1 to 10 if the manager has enough experience and there is no uncertainty in the project. For a more accurate evaluation, we can use the Planning Poker method: all stakeholders in the project collect and evaluate each task, and the manager analyzes the result and selects the most common evaluation. If there are strong discrepancies, the team discusses them and votes again.
What are Agile and Waterfall and how do they differ?
Agile is a family of flexible software development methodologies. Waterfall – the activities take place in a process in which the development phases follow a specific order. They differ in their approach to work and values. In Waterfall, it is common to strictly follow the assignment, follow the plan and you cannot change the stages of work in places. At Agile, teams work in short iterations. If something goes wrong, you can always revise the work, the tools, the timeline of the project or change the direction.
What is LEAN Management?
Companies often waste resources to achieve goals that do not create added value for the customer. This leads to losses, lower productivity, poor quality, and many other problems. Detecting and preventing these losses is a challenge for operations managers and a factor for business success. One of the best management practices to deal with this problem, which is increasingly applied by companies, is the so-called Lean Management. Its purpose is to optimize production by analyzing what we do is important to the customer. With the help of this practice, production and functional managers can more easily focus on solutions that bring added value to the customer.