One of the professions that people seem to have taken a great liking to is that of a project manager. Naturally, it only makes sense that an interview for such a position would only be a strenuous if not a grinding experience. Such an interview is carefully crafted to judge your reactions and assess your abilities and skills to manage different situations and tasks. You can never know what to expect from such interviews and that’s precisely what makes them so intimidating at times. However, there are a few common questions which help your employer to judge your skills and knowledge.
Some of the most commonly asked project manager interview questions that you can prepare for are as follows:
Tell us something about yourself
Off the bat, this is a question you’ll be asked in every single interview that you give in your life. It is basically an opportunity given to you by the employer to tell them about your personality. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to sound impressive whenever they are asked this seemingly simple question and they go off on a tangent that is not required in an attempt to devise the best possible answer. A simple trick to know is to tell them about your present and then dive into the future about what you’d like to achieve. Tell them about your past experiences in the work and whether you have a project management certification. While answering make sure you sound like a person who is ambitious and wants to make a difference to the company.
What was the last project that you managed?
To land the job people often conjure up little extravagant ideas about how they helped to bring a project to fruition in a bid to impress the higher-ups. Understand that it doesn’t matter how big of an enterprise you undertook last time and focus on the actual details. Start off with the objective that you had to achieve and slowly describe how you approached the whole task. Tell them about the difficulties you faced and how you overcame them to achieve the overall goal. Lastly, it is highly recommended that you’d delineate what you learned as this is what they’d want to ultimately hear.
How do you go about your task?
Always be cognizant of the fact that people who are interviewing you have a very good idea that all aspects of a project rarely go smoothly according to plans. So, naturally one has to give certain tasks priority to ensure that the ship keeps on sailing. Given this generally accepted notion, tell them about which tasks you prioritize and which ones you take care of later. Also, don’t hesitate to give examples from your previous projects and tell them briefly how you went about your work then.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in project management?
This is basically a question to understand what you, as a project manager, consider to be a success. A lot of people again here make up stories about how they managed an imposing task at hand but what they don’t realise is that recruiters can often separate the person who is lying from the person who is telling the truth. Instead, try, and stick to the facts at all times. Tell them about your strengths without sounding braggadocious about them and also why you consider it a success and go into detail about what you did to make it happen.
Questions based on a situation related to work
This is where many people drop the ball as they are unable to give proper solutions to a problem. This gives the employer the idea that you are under-experienced and simply not ready to undertake such a role. Be aware that the recruiters know that the position you’re interviewing for is a highly sought-after role, so if you aren’t able to give them a satisfactory answer then they would not hesitate to try some other person out. Instead of being intimidated, try, and relate that situation with your past experiences and make the connection to tell them how you would handle the issue if it were brought up. Also, ensure that you tell them your first priority would always be the team that you are looking after. Try and tell them that you’ll do anything that it takes to ultimately fix the problem.