Interviewing for a project manager job is a little different from interviewing for other positions. In addition to probing your qualifications, hiring managers want to know how you’ll manage people, keep projects on track, and make sure that everyone stays focused and engaged. While we agree it is intimidating, you can prepare by looking at interview questions for project managers beforehand to reduce your jitters! Here are some common project manager interview questions, interviewers ask at these interviews:
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Sample Project Manager Interview Questions
There are a set of interview questions that tend to repeat in every interview, and they are standard to know the candidate a bit more. Since project manager responsibilities are more or less standardized, you can expect these questions in your interview as well!
Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person in your team and how did you handle it?
This is a question that can be asked in several different ways, but you should expect it to be phrased in this manner: “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person on your team.”
The interviewer wants to know how you handle conflict and potential conflicts. The best outcomes are always when everyone walks away feeling like they got what they wanted and not just one party. You need to show that you don’t let emotions get the best of you during these situations—that you take the high road and drive the projects to success.
You could talk about incidents during your career where it was difficult to get everyone on board. However, try to end with how you set an agreement in place so everyone could move forward without feeling like their opinion wasn’t heard or appreciated enough.
What is the one thing you would like to change about yourself as a manager?
This is a question that gives the interviewer an idea of your self-awareness They want to know whether you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and if you can be honest with yourself about both.
The best way to answer this question is by giving examples of situations where there were issues in managing people or projects and at the same time, providing an example where things went smoothly because the team worked well together.
How do you go about setting goals for your team?
The first thing to convey is that your goals are clear, measurable, and achievable. In addition to that, talk about how you have a specific set of outcomes to achieve for measuring its success.
Try to bring in the bigger picture as well, by talking about how it’s also good practice to have multiple goals at different levels of complexity so that your progress can be measured against them separately and then combined into one overall score at the end of each project phase or quarter-year period.
Tell me what steps do you take to create the best team from scratch?
- Create a project brief.
- Have a brainstorming session.
- Team building activities that you can do at work, such as putting people into groups (based on their skills), and building rapport.
- Assign each member of the group with tasks and see how well they follow through.
How do you deal with conflict within teams?
This question is similar to the first question, but this has more to do with interpersonal conflicts than a specific person causing issues. You can talk about how it is important to establish ground rules and understand the problem.
- First, you should identify the root cause of the issue and develop a solution, after which communicate and follow up on implementation plans.
- After that, evaluate the results of your efforts against your goals to see if there are any adjustments needed in future projects.
Mention how you are proactive in understanding team members’ backgrounds to make sense of miscommunication and other conflicts. You can also talk about how you aid this understanding and set measures in place so that teams resolve their internal conflicts with minimal interference.
All of these questions are just sample questions. There can be a lot more to it, which is why we suggest that you always keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. A good way to do this is by getting certified in project management by studying up on PMP Exam Prep courses and reading articles such as ours.
Try to be confident in your answers and make sure you encapsulate the essence of your working style so that recruiters are satisfied with your answers!