It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have had as a project manager or from which A-grade university you have gotten your educational training; a position of a project manager is always an esteemed and a strenuous one. A project manager plays a vital and challenging role in a company — from initiating a product or project life cycle to ending it, the roles and responsibilities of a project manager only grows and becomes all the more important by the end of each stage. It’s the project manager’s job to maintain a fine balance between budget, quality, and schedule; and perform an array of tasks like leading the planning and implementation of the project, defining scope, goals, project tasks, requirements, and a lot more, all in between. And as each company’s organizational culture and structure vary from rest of the companies out there, you are sure to go through an interview or two, before they can be sure that you will be the right choice and then go ahead with the hiring. Below are a bunch of questions that you can expect to be thrown at you. Whether you are an experienced project manager or just getting yourself started, you might want to go through the questions and learn how to reciprocate with best of the answers.
Sample Project Manager Interview Questions And Answers
We have interviewed many other candidates, how can you differentiate yourself from the rest so that we may give serious thought to hiring you?
You’re most likely to come across this question in the beginning of your interview. It is mainly directed at knowing how you can manage your nerves in answering it confidently without going overboard and yet differentiating yourself. Don’t go on blabbering about your strengths and weaknesses unless asked for. If you have prior experience, state examples about situations as to what was suggested to you and what you did. If you’re a fresher, drawing from real life experiences, state examples as to how you dealt with tough situations using your own judgment. Stay away from comparing and stating what others would have done. Just focus on your unique selling proposition.
What is the project or projects that you have handled in the past? What were the results like?
If you have previous work experience, you are bound to face this question sooner or later in your interview. Discuss in brief, about each project you have handled and for which company. Don’t cook stuff up! What the project was, what the allotted budget was, how did the project fare, what problems did you face, in what time did each of the project complete, how competent were the staff and subordinates related to each of the project, and anything you can think of. Even if you faced troubles aplenty, don’t focus on them but try to end the answer on a positive note that you achieved what was assigned to you.
What is the most stressful situation that you have come across in your projects and how did you manage it?
Whatever be the project in theory, changes and complications begin to develop as soon as the project lands into practical application. As a project manager who has a few projects under his/her portfolio, he/she is bound to have come across difficulties that required changes to be made in the project with many inclusions and exclusions. By giving examples of the situations you faced during the projects, demonstrate how you managed to hold your own during the entire project life cycle and how you resourcefully applied your key competencies of critical thinking, management skills, delegation, negotiation skills, adaptability, team work etc to overcome the problem and maintained the flow of the project.
Why are you looking for a change of company?
It’s always easy to present a negative image of the company you want to leave but is always advisable against as first and foremost as it will create a bad image about you and will make the employer speculate as to what negative word of mouth you may spread if you don’t clear the interview or leave the company in future. “I feel there are no more growth opportunities for me in that company” is always the best of replies. Or any other valid reason that doesn’t make you seem like a bad-mouther but a responsible employee.
You can never be too sure as to what questions would be put to you during the interview. These were a few among the sea of many to give you the basic idea. If you’re experienced, you’re probably used to many questions and might know how to handle. However, don’t be a smug! But if you’re a fresher: just be yourself, hold your nerves during the interview, and have faith in your abilities. Have a fulfilling career ahead!