5 Common Project Management Interview Questions

Man interviews for a project manager job

Few people are ever handed a job simply from submitting their resume. At some point in life, we are all faced with the prospect of being interviewed for a job. Believe it or not, the interview process 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 you should know how to answer:

1. Talk About Your Experience In Different Projects And How This Applies To Us.

Woman answers a common project manager interview question


This first question applies to both newcomers and experienced project managers alike. The employer only knows who a potential employee is on paper. Before hiring anyone, they want to know how they've fared in other projects and what talents they could bring to a new project.

Resume fluff is frowned upon, so before you apply for a job, make sure you streamline your resume and include only your quantifiable accomplishments on the document. This way, you're more likely to get an interview, and once you're at the job interview, you'll be able to go into depth about the different projects and responsibilities you had at previous jobs.

2. What Was Your Actual Role In The Last Project You Participated In?

Man asks a common project management interview question


This 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 has had in the past and whether they will be a good fit for a particular project.

Depending on your work experience, you may be able to share with the employer the different roles you've held at multiple organizations. Flexibility and adaptability are skills most hiring managers are looking for in project managers. Remember to read over the job description before going into your interview to ensure you highlight the right work experience to impress.

3. How Do You Handle Unproductive Team Members?

Woman smiles during an interview for a project manager position


Whether you're new to project management or a veteran in the space, this interview question is essential to know how to answer. It's a great example of a behavioral interview question. While there's no universally correct answer, it's important to articulate your thoughts in a way that helps the employer understand your problem solving abilities as well as your ability to lead a team.

The clearer you answer this question, the more likely you'll be viewed as a great job candidate and potential employee.

4. How Do You Motivate Burnt Out Or Bored Team Members?

Man answers a common project manager interview question


Again, you should be prepared to answer this interview question no matter how many years of project management experience you have.

This is another example of a behavioral interview question, and you should keep the same strategy to answer this question as you used to answer the question above. Do have any examples where you motivated your team members in the past? Can you successfully lead a team to complete a project on time, even when problems arise?

5. What Is The Most Important Skill A Project Manager Should Have?

Woman answers an interview question for a project management job


Much like the third and fourth questions, there is no right or wrong answer to this last common interview question. Everyone is entitled to a different opinion on what 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 when asking this question. What specific aspect of project management do you value the most? How have you been able to develop this skill on the job?

Download Work It Daily\u2019s free list of common interview questions

Preparation is the best tool any individual has when it comes to successfully navigating the stressful waters of a job interview. Whether an individual is just starting their career with a project management degree, or advancing up the corporate ladder, chances are these questions will come up in an interview.

So, all you project managers out there, make sure to prepare accordingly! You'll thank us later.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date.