Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer

A job manager job interview can be a stressful experience if you hear questions you don’t know the answers to. If the candidate for a project management position is worried, likely, he will not get the job.

That’s why you need to be perfectly prepared for a job interview for a project manager by learning all the possible questions.
In this article, we provide you with sample questions and appropriate answers.

Tell me about the life cycle of the project you managed and what was involved in this project.

The last project I managed was related to the design and production of an innovative washing machine.

It included: Project Planning, Marketing Research, Requirements Writing, Determining Required Resources, Specifying Specifications and Hardware Delivery, Prototyping Design and Prototyping, Prototype Testing, Production Organization, and Procurement.

The project was large and had the ambition to create and sell a washing machine with a new type of control. The scope of the project was clear and the implementation time was 21 months.

There were many challenges, but the result was excellent. If you haven’t bought Bobawash yet, I recommend it. I have little credit for being so good.

What project management methodologies do you know best?

I know both the main methods used Agile and Waterfall. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages.

I prefer to combine the two by doing general planning of the whole process without going into detail. They are clarified in the process of work in each stage, each stage is controlled by the sprint method.

It provides speed, timely feedback, and clarity on deadlines at each stage of there and the whole project.

In this way, we can respond quickly and adequately to changes and have a common view of the overall picture of deadlines, resources, and finances.

How do you plan a schedule for a project?

I use the critical path method, which is a good algorithm for planning a set of project activities. It determines the critical path by identifying the longest section of dependent activities and measuring the time required to complete them from start to finish.

The idea is to build a model of the project, which includes a list of all activities required to complete the project, the time that each activity requires to be done, the relationships between activities, endpoints – stages of implementation.

As a visualization, I prefer the Gantt chart. It is clear, gives good visibility between related processes, resources, and important points that can be planned.

Last but not least, there is direct visibility for the duration of the project and any changes that are required are quickly reflected and recalculated other related parameters.

The deadlines on the schedule, the people who will be employed are them, the finances and the scope at each stage we do together with the teams and project management.

The goal is to get an optimal schedule without holes and reasonable deadlines.

What type of contingency planning do you do? How do you manage risks when working on a project?

I would say it’s important not to get caught unprepared. For this purpose, it is good at the beginning of the project to think about the possible risks in all areas – resources, finance, supplies, human resources, economic situation, expected failures in legislation or regulations and to make a plan for their management if any of them happen.

This allows for quick response and minimization of negatives. If, however, the risk turns out to be unforeseen, we will analyze and look for a solution according to its impact and the number of losses.

Have you worked on a project that failed? Tell me what happened?

No one is proud of the projects in which he failed, and in this case, the team was not to blame, but there is still the unpleasant taste of unfinished work after so much work and effort.

The project was very ambitious and was related to the introduction of an innovative approach to assessing a parameter that directly affects the company’s profits.

A lot of effort was put into research and initial software development, but in the end, it was considered that the financial investment that was calculated does not justify the expected result and the company can not afford it at this stage.

A lower-budget implementation option was found, but the results were far below expectations. This had a demotivating effect on the team and it was difficult to convince them to continue working. In practice, we had the result, but it did not fully meet the requirements. For me, this project was a failure.

What do you mean by the term: project life cycle?

The life cycle describes the individual phases of a given project. For the beginning of each project, the so-called “initiation” phase is indicated. This phase defines the reasons for the creation of the project and its goals.

The following are the phases of planning and construction of the project, indicated by the terminology “planning” and “developmental”. During these two phases, the team gets acquainted with the project, with the set metrics, targets, and deadlines.

Here we can put the discussion of the budget for the project, as well as the necessary resources for its successful completion. The “Implementation” and “testing” phases follow, during which the necessary steps for the complete completion of the project are performed.

Implementing it in a real environment and testing are the final steps, followed by the client’s opinion.

There is only one step left and it is the “closer” phase or the full and final delivery to the client and a review of the project with a final assessment given by all involved.

What would you point out as the most difficult aspect of project management work?

I think that the communication and the satisfaction of the end customer can be the most difficult. He may change his mind about certain details of the project, he may have set some parameters and deadlines and requested a change.

The end client may have unrealistic expectations for the work on the project, but all this can be avoided by maintaining constant communication with the end client. He needs to be kept informed of the work process, when the client is aware of all the processes, their implementation, and even the difficulties in the teams and how they are overcome, he will be calm.

Despite the possible difficulties in this direction, this may be the most rewarding part of the work of the project manager. Building a good relationship with the client is a good prospect for his satisfaction with the result and the work of the teams.

What should be the main tasks and responsibilities of a project manager?

There is no daily routine in this profession, sometimes there are even daily changes. Of course, the tasks and responsibilities depend on what phase the project is in – whether it has just started and is planned, or the work has started a long time ago, but the implementation faces many challenges.

Different projects have different paces and this also affects the daily work. However, as main duties and responsibilities I can point out, for example:

  • regular communication with the teams
  • strict organization of daily tasks and meetings
  • risk monitoring
  • the output of already completed and unfinished tasks
  • prioritization of tasks
  • discussing important elements with the client, Reference:

What sources of information would you use in case of ambiguities and questions in the work process?

It depends on whether these ambiguities are in the small details or something larger.

In case only certain details are unclear to me, I would turn to my colleagues, the team working on the project, and the database with company documentation.

However, if it is something larger, there is always another way out of the situation.

There are a lot of materials, books on the Internet, and events are constantly organized. Such as:

  • Global Congresses and Professional Development Events Proposed by the
  • Professional Project Management Organization (PMI)
  • Sites with access to an unlimited number of articles related to project management, Reference:
  • Certified courses if necessary
  • Social networks and professional forums on LinkedIn

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Why do you want to be in this position and what will it bring you?

I have a specific reason for my desire to develop in this field.
I would be happy to have the chance, to demonstrate the ability to take responsibility, motivate the team, and create a pleasant working environment for them.

I want to grow my career and my skills to be a plus for the company. I believe that a good project manager is known not only for his personal growth but also for how his team members develop.

The team members responsible for the work will be highly appreciated and will fight for their retraining and growth in the company.

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