Project management is a common profession in a wide variety of industries. After gaining the experience and qualifications required to secure it, one last hurdle remains: acing that interview.
To help you prepare adequately, this article is a complete guide on how to respond to the top 10 project management interview questions.
Lets get started:
1. How would you rate project management as a career on a scale of 1-10?
This question seeks to measure your passion for project management. Obviously, employers don’t want to hire a person who doesn’t like his job. A higher score will generally show your love for the career while a low score will depict you as a person in the wrong profession. So, how high should you go? Anything between 7 and 9 is fine. If you have to go with 10, be sure to say it with sheer confidence. Note that you might be required to give a reason for your rating.
2. Which projects don’t you want to manage?
It is impractical that a company can hire a project manager for each project. Employers want managers who are able to respond to various business needs. If you are interested in getting hired, don’t be choosy. You simply must be ready to accomplish every project that is thrown your way.
3. What is a project manager’s most important role?
How well do you know the project management profession? Can you describe a typical day in the life of a project manager? If yes, then you should be able to state the project managers’ most important role. Although they have many roles, their major task is to deliver assigned projects on time and within budget.
4. Which project management skills do you possess?
Many interviewees tend to provide skills that are common to other professions as well. Your interviewers are not certainly interested in your stellar communication skills. No! They want to know whether you are a competent analyzer who can think on his or her feet. Planning, coordination and time-management should also rank top among your skills.
5. What software would you want in your laptop?
There are several project management software packages available today. Because various projects require the use of different software, you should conduct extensive research on the programs that are commonly used in the industry. For example, if you are looking to become a construction project manager, builder Trend, co-construct and procore should top your list.
6. How do you work with project owners?
This question is commonly asked by project management companies. The firm wants to know whether you can maintain positive work relationships with contractors, government inspectors, project owners and other stakeholders. Even if you have not previously had the opportunity to work as a project manager, you can give examples of tasks you accomplished that involved regular contact with senior managers.
7. Is there a time you didn’t delegate? What happened?
Your honesty is being tested here. A candidate who is honest enough will be willing to talk about something that went wrong. Honesty is an indicator of a candidate who is willing to learn from their mistakes and work towards avoiding them in future. Delegation is crucial in project management and employers prefer a project manager who understands this. If there is a time you dint delegate and something went wrong, confess!
8. Have you ever had to make a difficult ethical decision on a project? Which was it?
This question tests your knowledge of ethics in project management. If you have not been faced by a situation that put your integrity to test, say so and add that you are conversant with all ethical guidelines. If you have made a difficult ethical decision, describe it to the panel and give solid reasons to justify your actions.
9. Which innovative problem-solving approaches do you use?
This question problems your creative and problem-solving abilities. Employers want to know whether they can trust you to steer the boat when the sea turns stormy. Ideally, you should give an example of a situation where you engaged your intelligence and imagination to resolve a problem without incurring additional project costs.
10. How have you promoted the use of project management methods in your current company?
Here, interviewers want to determine whether you are a fearless influencer. They are easily attracted to interviewees who have helped managers in other departments to adopt project management strategies, such as preparing a reverse timeline, and who are able to devise winning strategies and avoid project failure altogether. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, say you are looking forward to sharing your methods with the company’s administrators.
Finally, don’t only focus on project management questions. Interviews cover diverse aspects of the job. Work on your confidence and speaking skills, too. Good luck!