Project management is an expansive field that can exist in any industry—any team working on a project can benefit from the oversight of a project manager. Project managers can have a significant impact on the timeliness, quality, and success of their team, so it’s important for hiring managers to thoroughly assess each candidate.
To understand the skill level of project manager candidates, you need details about:
- Their understanding of project management methodologies
- What types of projects they’ve managed
- The size of the teams they’ve overseen
- Their experience with project management software
- How they respond to challenges and problems in the workplace
- Their interpersonal skills
By asking questions on a variety of subjects and topics, you can develop a well-rounded understanding of how each candidate would function on your team. Whether you’re in IT, finance, utilities, healthcare, or any other industry, this list provides you with inspiration for both specific and general questions you can ask. Need to make a job description for your project manager role? Use our free Project Manager Job Description Generator.
Basic Project Manager Interview Questions
When first getting to know a candidate, it’s a good idea to learn about their general professional experience and career goals. While you can gather basic details about a candidate’s career from their resume, having a conversation can give you further insight. Try asking these questions to help you start off the interview:
- Summarize your experience as a project manager.
- Tell me about your most recent project and its outcomes.
- Why are you interested in project management?
- How do you define success?
- What strengths help you succeed as a project manager?
- What do you see as the most important skills for a project manager?
- What are your main weaknesses, and how are you addressing them?
- How do you learn about developments and trends in the project management field?
- How do you communicate expectations with your team during a project?
- How do you define and manage risks?
Project Manager Interview Questions for Soft Skills
Project managers use soft skills such as organization, communication, and conflict resolution to ensure that everyone on a project can collaborate successfully. By asking about various soft skills, you can learn about how each candidate manages their own workflow and interacts with others on a team:
- Tell me about a time when you resolved a conflict on your team.
- How do you stay organized when managing a complex project?
- How do you establish trust with a new team?
- What strategies do you use to manage timelines and meet deadlines?
- Describe your leadership style.
- How do you motivate your team during long, tedious projects?
- How do you maintain communication during a project?
Project Manager Interview Questions for Technical Skills
Successful project managers have the knowledge and hard skills to implement specific project management strategies. You can learn about a candidate’s technical skills by asking about their education, subject matter knowledge, and experience using specific techniques.
- How do you manage scope creep?
- What project management software tools do you use?
- What are the 10 areas of project management?
- Describe your process for accurate project forecasting.
- What quality management processes do you use to monitor your projects?
- How would you use a Gantt chart to support your projects?
- Describe the basics of the Scrum framework.
Situational Interview Questions
Situational interview questions ask candidates to consider how they would respond to hypothetical situations in the workplace. One of the key roles of a project manager is to respond to changing circumstances and use their best judgment to solve problems, so situational questions can help you understand each candidate’s thought process. Here are a few examples:
- What would you do if you suddenly needed to rush a project timeline?
- How would you handle a reduction in your project budget?
- How would you manage a team working remotely?
- What would you do if one of your team members was consistently underperforming?
- How do you ensure that each team member understands project expectations and requirements?
- What would you do if you realized a project needed additional resources?
- What would you do if you felt a project’s scope and budget were unrealistic?
- How would you respond if a client wasn’t happy with a final project?
When deciding on what interview questions to ask, aim to create a balanced mix of questions that target different areas of project management. By choosing the most relevant questions from this list and adjusting them for your specific team, you can thoroughly assess each candidate.
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