Disable Preloader

10 Killer Interview Questions and Answers For Project Management

Senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as indispensable to business success. They know that skilled and credentialed Project Managers are among their most valuable resources. The Project Management Institute reports that in the U.S. over $122 million is wasted for every $1 billion invested due to poor project performance. A good project manager should have 2 features - Experience, as well as an in-depth understanding of project management theories. While one without the other hinders performance, your potential manager must have a solid foundation in Project Management principles. Enroll in our PMP® course today and develop a strong foundation in the principles of project management. But when it comes to hiring qualified Project Managers, things get a little tricky. Having worked at senior management levels for several global organizations, I have often been on the recruitment panel for project management positions. I found it valuable to review each candidate in a number of ways. Will this person fit into the culture of the organization? Will this person get along with other team members and lead them effectively? Will this person deliver on the project goals on time? Recruiting is both an art and a science. There are a lot of unknowns, but in my experience, focusing on key competencies and asking the right questions in the interview helps to select the right candidate. So, which competencies should we assess for during interviews? And which questions will best reveal these competencies? Here are ten interview questions that will help you evaluate candidates for project management roles in your team and find the right fit. Competency: Domain Knowledge and Skills Question: What are the three key challenges for our industry today and how can these be tackled effectively? This question enables the candidate to think about the top challenges of the industry in which your organization operates. The response from the candidate reveals his understanding of the industry, the market, current challenges, and possible solutions. This knowledge is critical to the success of any Project Manager as they will be tackling these challenges inside the organization if they get hired. So this question helps the hiring managers assess whether the candidate has the domain knowledge that makes them fit for the role. Competency: Clear Communication One of the most important skills for Project Managers is communication. Without this everything else fails. Communication is the life and blood of any project. It’s claimed that about 90% of a Project Manager’s time is spent communicating. In today's siloed organizations, communication happens between various groups and levels, including internal as well as external groups of stakeholders. Question: What were the communication challenges on your last project? Question: What is your communication style with your team? The first question helps you assess how effectively the candidate handles communication in challenging situations. The second question helps you understand how the candidate engages with others and assess whether they demonstrate good sense and judgement and are able to use language effectively. Competency: Consistency and Integrity Honesty and trustworthiness are of utmost importance in the world of business. Project Managers manage critical responsibilities and resources such as material, money, and human resources. They also represent the organization to employees, customers, and vendors. They are role models for their team members. Any lack of consistency and integrity can cost the organization a lot more than money. Therefore, the key questions to ask the candidate are: Question: How do you communicate bad news? Question: How have you handled disgruntled employees? Question: What are some examples of times you’ve kept your promise even when that might have been difficult? Competency: Customer Orientation Project Managers are responsible for understanding the need of the customer and responding in a timely, efficient manner in ways that meet customer expectations. They are also responsible for establishing and maintaining effective relationships and gaining the trust and respect of customers. Here are a couple of questions I usually ask to gauge the candidate's customer orientation.