Introduction: Project Manager Interview
So you have cleared the first few rounds and have finally landed a project manager interview. You might want to prepare well before going for that interview. Interviewing for different job profiles means completely different project manager interview questions. Of course, there would be the most common questions like ‘Introduce yourself,’ ‘Why do you want this job?’ and ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?.’ But after these generic questions, you would get questions specific to the role you are applying for. So if you are applying for a job as a project manager, be prepared for project management interview questions.
What skills are your employer looking for?
Every job requires you to have different skills. While in an interview, your interviewer will try to look for skills that can help you do the job efficiently. If you are applying for a job in the project management role, your interviewer might look for the following skills
As a project manager, you would need to assess and allocate funds and resources with efficiency. Of course, the resources would be limited. To complete the project successfully, you would have to find the best way to utilize the resources, including time and energy.
Planning is the most critical part of any project execution. As a project manager, you would be expected to break the task at hand into small actionable pieces. You would need to plan the project perfectly, or the execution is bound to fail.
Your interviewer will try to look for reasons as to why you should be the project manager and not just another team member. You have to show your leadership skills to convince your interviewer that you can lead a team towards success.
Your job would require you to deal with people on an everyday basis. You will have to explain the different tasks to your team members, solve their problems, listen to them, and resolve conflicts in the team if they may arise. So make sure to display your communication skills while answering project management interview questions.
Top 8 interview tips for a successful project manager interview
Let us look at a few tips that can help you ace your project manager interview. Of course, it isn’t enough just to answer the posed project management interview questions correctly. You also need to keep a few more things in mind to ensure that your interview goes smoothly.
- Be well versed with your CV so that you aren’t lost when the interviewer asks you something from your CV.
- Be prepared to answer questions related to why you quit your last job. Have genuine reasons and try to be honest.
- If you have to be in a physical location for your interview, make sure that you know the directions. Start early and keep traffic in mind. Reaching there before interview time is the best idea.
- Appear confident. If you want a job as a project manager, you have to look confident. Smile, shake hands firmly, and sit straight.
- Expect the interviewer to ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview. So it is best to prepare two to four intelligent questions before going in for an interview.
- Dress appropriately for the interview.
- Talk positively about your past employers, and don’t mention any insider details of the job as it might give your interviewer the idea that you love to gossip.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question posed to you, be direct and honest. Don’t try to spin it. Your interviewer will know.
7 exemplary questions and tips to answer them
- Can you tell us about the different kinds of projects you have worked on?
- Keep in mind the job description and what the company does.
- Tailor your answer accordingly.
- Show versatility. Enlist different kinds of projects you have worked on.
- If you don’t have many projects to list, don’t panic.
- Show your willingness to work on new projects.
- Display adaptability skills.
Additional questions to keep in mind
- Have you been a part of this industry before?
- If you have been a part of the industry, talk about your experience.
- If not, don’t panic. It is not a game-closer. Most industries have the same job requirements for a project manager.
- Mention previous examples of going from one industry to another and being successful.
- Look confident when you answer. Convince the interviewer that you can handle the job.
- Tell us about a project that is close to your heart.
- Display enthusiasm while talking about the project.
- Subtly mention all your leadership and communication skills that made the project successful.
- Make sure to mention things like team cooperation. Do not make it sound like you did the entire work, as it shows poor delegation skills on your part.
- Tell us about a time you had to deal with a challenging project. How did you manage?
- Answer using the STAR method. Enlist the situation and the task you had at hand. Then, mention the actions or the steps you took to handle the situation. Finally, mention the results.
- Frame your answer in the STAR format as you speak. Don’t mix it, as it might confuse the interviewer.
- Make sure that you choose an instance where you could actually solve the problem.
- Mention the skills that the project required
- Mention the lessons you learned.
Mistakes you should avoid
- Sounding over-confident in your skills while answering.
- Being adamant and dogmatic.
- Talking too much about your personal life
- A bad body language.
- Use of slang.
- Letting your nervousness show.
- Going for an interview without any practice or preparation.
Now that you know what your employer is looking for, what questions to expect, and how to answer them, you are ready for the interview. Please keep in mind that these are not the only project management interview questions that can be asked of you. These are merely examples to give you an idea about what to expect and what are points that your answer should consist of. Make sure to be well prepared to answer all the questions, generic questions, and specific project manager interview questions.