5+ Best Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers
We’ve compiled the absolute best project manager interview questions and answers to help you in your upcoming job interview. Being a project manager is a great way to get your foot in the door as a future manager. Often times project managers become product managers or something similar along those lines of roles, depending on the type of company it is you are working for. Project manager is an essential part of the success of working with clients. They are also an essential part of ensuring teams work together to produce exactly what needs to be done.
As a project manager some of your duties will include client communication, information gathering, goal setting, team communication, team task management, progress reports, general reporting, time tracking, billing, expense reporting and much more. Your primary goal as a project manager helps your team members be able to execute against your client's goals in the allotted time they were given.
Let’s take a simple creative agency for example if you are telling your client that you are going to have their new website designed, developed and finished within 4 weeks. Then the tasks that break down to be able to accomplish that goal, accounting for those milestones and reaching the final product, would be of assistance of the project manager. A project manager may work on one to five projects simultaneously, depending on how busy the organization is that you are working for.
Project managers who have a good chance of getting hired are those who take initiative, who have the entrepreneurial spirit, who show great communication skills, show great planning skills, and are able to withstand pressure as sometimes that can ensue for your clients.
Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers
Below are some of the best project manager interview questions I could put together based on my years of experience working and hiring project managers. As always, you can’t anticipate these being the exact questions that will be asked in the interview. Take some time to sit down with a friend and go through these interview questions as well as any ‘curve-ball’ type of questions your friend can come up with to truly prepare yourself. The more you practice, the more confidence you will have in your answer and the better job you’ll do in the interview.
1. What type of software would you use for project management?
There’s a variety of tools I would use in modern project management. One of which would be some type of chat communication tool with my team, like Slack. Another would be some type of project management tool in general, like Basecamp, Jira or Trello. Then I would probably use Excel spreadsheets to communicate with the client certain deadlines and milestones. These are just some of the pieces of software I would use in my weekly and daily work to help project manage efficiently.
2. How can you encourage communication with the client?
Communication with the client can be encouraged by managing expectations early on about deliveries, milestones and when communication will be had. That means monthly, bi-weekly and quarterly phone calls all of which have the opportunity to gain further information from the client to able to course correct or calibrate the efforts of the team.
3. How can you encourage communication with your team?
Communication with the team should be similar to communication with the client. That means we should be meeting on a weekly basis, reviewing our goals and expected outcomes for the week. Then understanding how that is going to apply to our broad or largest milestone. Then we should be meeting on a daily basis, sometimes referred to as a ‘standup’ to be able to communicate any needs that might arise that day or the day prior to be able to remove any roadblocks.
4. What is agile methods?
Agile methodology is the act of which we are delivering results on a regular basis. Contrary to this would be "waterfall", which means that we are delivering one final result for our client after a given period of time. While in the creative design services industry, this might not make the most sense, there are things we can learn and apply from agile methods. For example, we can show clients work at an early stage so that we can gather their feedback and course correct our executions if they are displeased or if we misunderstood some of their needs.
5. What types of team members would you work with?
Project managers will work with a variety of team members. Ranging from creative directors, designers, visual designers, UX designers, backend engineers, front-end engineers, technical team leads and potentially account managers or someone on the sales team. This is what would make up a team that is able to execute on nearly anything in the custom digital creative space and equip us with being able to facilitate not only everything the client needs but what our business needs as well (for example, billing the client based on our hours).
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