5 Top-Asked Project Manager Interview Questions with Answers

If you have applied for the Project Manager post and you want to be aware of the Project Manager Interview Questions then you are at right place. Here we have listed the most important interview questions that are frequently asked by an interviewer.

Project Manager Interview Questions

Project Manager Interview Questions

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What was your most challenging project?

You will be for sure face this question during the interview, however, the form of the question might vary. An interviewer might ask that what are the challenges that you have faced in your recent project and how have you handled them. You can choose to let them know up-to two challenges and how you were able to solve these for the successful delivery of the project. It is upon you to keep on giving relevant information to the interviewer.

If not explicitly asked, you should let the interviewer know how many employees were there in your team. Were you handling a team that was co-located or the one that was geographically distributed? How many projects do you handle at a given time and what was the revenue/margin of each of these projects that you completed.

Your project challenges could vary from aggressive timelines, budget overrun or could be conflicts between team members within the same team or different team. You should start briefly explaining about the project, why this challenge was so critical for project delivery and how did you resolve the challenge. You will be able to impress the interviewer by quantifying the impact in figures e.g. the velocity of the team improved by X story points, you were able to save x amount of dollars or were able to increase the client satisfaction and thus helped your organization to up-sell/cross-sell. Don’t be modest.

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This question is your perfect opportunity to show that you like to take challenges head-on and will be able to solve the challenges in your upcoming engagements.

Have you failed in any of your projects? How can you handle failures?

Success and failures run parallel in your professional life. With success, failures are equally important for growth. Saying that you have never failed in a project will have a negative impression on the interviewer and will end your chance to get shortlisted. Being candid about your failure and giving your interviewer the confidence that you can learn from your failures will go a long way. This question is mainly asked to gauge that if presented with the same situation again, what would you have done differently.

The failure, that you share with interviewer could be as large as project getting scrapped to not being able to deliver the project on time. One could deliver the project on time and under budget but then too can see the project failed due to high attrition of project team members, extended work hours and not being able to get repeat business from the client. You should practice to answer this question in front of the mirror (or, friends) and should proactively tell the interviewer that how this failure has imparted you life learning experience and have made you a better project manager.

Most of the successful project manager is successful not because they have the highest IQ but due to various experiences and failures, they have seen across their career. As the response to this interview question, It is better to tell a failure that impact project, client and employees. Not being able to handle one meeting at the start of the project might be considered a good example if you were not able to gain business due to a failed proposal as an outcome of this meeting and if you have now mastered the art of these meetings. Telling a true example from your real life project will project sincerity and will help you answer any cross questions confidently.

What tools have you used to monitor projects?

The main responsibility of the project manager is to complete the project on time and within the assigned budget with all quality meeting. That was the classic triple constraint theory. Morden project manager has to do even more. Apart from the triple constraint of cost, quality and schedule, these days project manager also have to manage client satisfaction, internal team satisfaction, scalability and have to ensure that team members are learning at a sustainable pace to improve the speed of delivery to market.

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Apart from this, one of the important parts of the project manager job is to report risk, issues, dependencies on regular basis and ensuring that all risk and dependencies are resolved as per the schedule. Hence to monitor the project, he or she must use various project and skills management tools. This question is asked to assess your technical knowledge. For planning purpose, people use Microsoft tools like Excel online, Microsoft project plan(MPP), JIRA and Confluence in addition to MSWord and PowerPoint. Few of the organization uses SAP, Clarity and other in-house custom tools.

What did you do to motivate your team members?

If your team members are demotivated then it is not possible to achieve project objectives. For a good project manager, you must know your team members. One of the ways to know your team members better is to have one-on-ones, know about their family and work preferences. You as a team should not miss out to celebrate the birthday/anniversary of your team members. Celebrate occasions like product demos and conduct team events that will improve your team bonding and encourage co-operation within teams.

You should have a reward and recognition framework which encourages the team to appreciate high performing individuals. The appreciation can vary from a simple email, clapping to monetary award depending on budget of your project. Apart from appreciations, ensure that team members are upgrading their skills sets and have the autonomy to make decisions. As a project manager, you should ensure that any bureaucracy, infrastructure dependencies which is slowing down the team members get taken care of proactively.

As a project manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that you pass feedback of deserving team members upwards in your organization so that they can get just salary increment and timely promotions.

Have you handled any international project?

If you were in the multinational company then at some point in time you have handled the international project. Along with this question, another additional question comes with your experience like how the experience was and how you handled the international projects? While giving an answer, you need to mention the number of the project members that come from different zone and nations. Tell him or her, an experience you feel after working with different culture people.

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