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5 Common Project Management Interview Questions

Few people are ever handed a job sight unseen. At some point in life, we are all faced with the prospect of being interviewed for a job. Believe it or not, the interview is a process that can make or break an individual’s chances of getting the job of their dreams, or the job they need to secure their finances. No matter how impressive an individual’s resume looks, chances are good the difference between getting the job and being passed over will be the success of the interview. An interview is a crucial step in the job hunting process because it is a chance for an individual to showcase their knowledge and present themselves as a well put-together individual worthy of the position. An outstanding interview has the potential to erase questions employers have about an individual’s work experience, but it also has the potential to expose flaws that don’t appear on a resume. Those hoping to break into a career with a project management degree, and those looking to advance their career, are going to sit through an interview at some point in time. In order for individuals to prepare themselves for a potential project management interview it helps to know some common questions they might here. Individuals just entering a career with a project management degree are likely to face a different set of interview questions compared to those working in the field already seeking advancement to higher positions. Nevertheless, there are common questions that will be asked. In no particular order, here are five common project management interview questions from employers:

  • Talk about your experience in different projects and how this applies to us.
  • What was your actual role in the last project you participated in?
  • How do you handle unproductive team members?
  • How do you motivate burnt out or bored team members?
  • What is the most important skill a project manager should have?
The first question applies to both newcomers and experienced project managers alike. The employers at a new company know only who a potential employee is on paper, but before hiring anyone they want to know how they’ve faired in other projects and what talents they could bring to a new project. Fluff is frowned upon on resumes by some employers, but that doesn’t prevent a resume from containing a few extras anyway regardless of their relevance. The second question applies primarily to those who already have a career with a project management degree. By asking potential employees about previous responsibilities and roles, employers get a better idea of what level of authority an individual had in the past and whether they will be a good fit for a particular project. The third and fourth questions apply to both newcomers and veteran project managers alike. Neither question has an answer that is universally correct, or by the same token incorrect. Rather, employers ask these questions to gauge an individual’s problem solving abilities as well as their ability to successfully lead a team. Much like the third and fourth questions, there is no right or wrong answer to the fifth question. Everyone is entitled to a different opinion on what skill or skills are most important for a successful project manager. Generally speaking, employers are looking to gain an idea of an individual’s approach to project management in asking this question. Preparation is the best tool any individual has when it comes to successfully navigating the stressful waters of an interview. Whether an individual is just starting their career with a project management degree, or advancing up the corporate ladder; chances are good these questions will come up in an interview. Photo Credit: Shutterstock