If you’ve managed to secure yourself a job interview, congratulations! You may have put a lot of hard work in to get to this stage, but don’t leave the rest up to fate. You now need to impress the interviewer, face-to-face. You’ll need to show your competency, share your experiences, explain your communication style, discuss your challenges and let your personality shine through.
Interviewing for a project management role can be daunting, but some simple preparation before the big day can help you take one step closer to securing that dream job.
Examples of project management interview questions:
To help you get started, here are six popular project management interview questions, along with our advice on how to answer them effectively:
1. What would you say is the most important skill of a Project Manager and why?
A Project Manager is responsible for planning and executing projects. Whilst they may not be working directly on the specific activities that create the end-result, they work alongside the team to ensure that everything runs smoothly, on-time and the pre-agreed deliverables are met. They are also the first point of contact for any issues. This means that a Project Manager needs to master certain key skills, such as communication, teamwork and organisation.
When preparing for upcoming project management interview questions, consider what you think is the most important skill and how you have demonstrated it in your career. You could also think about what the business you’re applying for is looking towards. Did they give any clues in the job description perhaps? Circle back to the original job ad if you have to.
2. How would you describe your communication style?
One of the most important skills of a Project Manager is communication. In your role, you’ll need to be able to communicate with lots of different stakeholders, such as your customers, team members and business managers. Being a strong communicator can be the difference between a project being a complete success, or it missing its deadlines and deliverables.
Take some time to think about how you communicate. Ask your friends or colleagues if you’re unsure. For example, do you get straight to the point to avoid wasting time, do you have an “open door” policy, or are you assertive in your communications? Share some real-world examples of where you used this communication style and how it worked well for you, in that particular situation.
3. How do you keep team members motivated throughout a project?
As a Project Manager, it’s important to keep your team members motivated at all times. In an interview, a good place to start is by showing your understanding of the importance of a motivated team. Explain what techniques you have personally used to ensure morale stays high and give examples to back this up.
4. How easy do you find it to delegate responsibility to your team?
Another important element of project management is delegation. You can’t simply do everything yourself, otherwise, it’s likely your project will fail. However, whilst some people find it easy to delegate, others struggle to hand over responsibility to other team members. Often though, by having trust in your team and strong communication, delegation becomes easier and improves over time.
In your interview, make sure you show that you fully understand the importance of effective delegation and explain how you personally delegate tasks. If you sometimes struggle to delegate, make sure you explain what you’re actively doing to improve on this.
5. There are many available project management tools. Which do you use and why?
There are a large number of project management tools available, such as Asana, Trello and Aha!. Consider some of the tools that you have used in your previous positions. If there are other tools that you like, but you haven’t had the chance to use, make sure you share these too, giving your reasons why you want to use them. Understanding both their strengths and weaknesses is important. However, you could also explain why project management tools as a whole are increasingly beneficial to businesses. For example, they help Project Managers assign tasks to employees and track progress, they can help to improve communication and encourage effective collaboration. This is increasingly important today, where staff members may work remotely, or teams could be spread all around the world.
6. Describe one of the most challenging projects you’ve managed and explain what you learnt from the experience
When it comes to challenging project management interview questions, make sure you prepare for this interview question. Don’t simply pick the first example that comes to mind. Take some time to consider a few of the most challenging projects you’ve worked on and which ones you learnt the most from. An interviewer is interested mostly in seeing how you dealt with a situation and how you turned a negative into a positive, and ensured the project ended as a success.
These are just some project management interview questions that you could be asked at your next job interview. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of questions, it’s certainly a good starting point for your interview preparation.