How to Answer Project Management Interview Questions

Providing insightful answers to project management interview questions will increase your chances of being hired for management positions. Being ready for such an interview requires reflecting on past work experiences, identifying complex project circumstances and preparing effective responses regarding how you reacted to and learned from challenging management situations. Here are some useful strategies for answering project management questions during an interview.


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    Study the mission, purpose and values of the interviewing company. Understanding these facets of the company will allow you to highlight how your management approach aligns with the company's needs. For example, the company may take a service-centered approach to meeting client needs. Knowing this fact, you can identify past project successes that resulted from actively prioritizing the needs of clients.
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    Review the job description in detail. The interviewer will expect you to be familiar with all of the details provided in the job posting. Specific job responsibilities, knowledge of relevant software and tools, and job requirements like travel or overtime may have been outlined in the job description.
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    Inquire about the interview format ahead of time. Some interviews take place one-on-one and others involve an entire team of managers and employees. Knowledge of the interview structure will allow you to prepare a different set of responses and questions for various team members.
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    Anticipate the questions you might be asked. Based on your knowledge of the industry, the job description, the company information and your general experience with project management, create a list of possible interview questions.
    • Place yourself in the interviewer's shoes. A company owner will have different concerns and considerations than a team member who may be reporting to you. The company owner may be interested in effective leadership and time management skills. A subordinate may be more concerned about your communication skills and approachability.
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    Consider specific interpersonal experiences. You may be asked to elaborate on how you addressed conflict between your team members. Be prepared to explain a particular situation, why it was problematic and how you resolved the conflict or prevented the conflict from interfering with the progress of the project.
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    Prepare answers related to project planning and logistics. The interviewer may ask you to explain what thought processes and tools you generally use to plan out a project from beginning to end.
    • Identify your approach to project planning. You might explain that you are detail oriented and map out the entire project using white boards, Excel spreadsheets and other organizational tools. Alternatively, your approach to project planning may involve discussions with team members, delegation and a collaborative approach.
    • Avoid discussions of unnecessary details. Unless asked to elaborate on the details, limit your explanation of project planning and logistics to a few sentences that highlight your general approach without excessive focus on step-by-step activities.
    • Address your perspective on meeting deadlines. You may be given a scenario to assess how you address fast-approaching deadlines. Missed deadlines can result in excessive costs and loss of business. Reflect on how you accelerated a process in the past by working overtime, cutting out an unnecessary step in a process, motivating team members or other solutions that demonstrate your ability to manage deadlines.

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Categories: Interview Skills