Have you always wanted a career in project management? Always had a knack for it, but a thought of cracking a project manager interview seems hard?
Below is a detailed list of most popular project management interview questions which shall help in brightening your chances in your forthcoming interview.
1. What is your understanding of Project Management?
Project Management can be defined as a complete work-flow cycle, which starts with planning & drafting of scalable plan of action, optimal use of available resources, a seamless delegation of work right up to achieving cost-efficient desired results.
To support your answer further, you may provide any real-world example of effective financial models to demonstrate in-depth knowledge. You may use any popular examples of work models that you have studied or implemented in your professional career
2. According to you, what qualities should an effective project manager possess?
Since a project manager is overall accountable for the whole project, therefore a project manager should necessarily be technologically sound.
Should have a strong command over communication to ensure communication is seamless throughout the project, avoiding buzz during task allocation.
Should be skilled in systematic allocation of resources & time management should be on point.
3. Who according to you is a stakeholder?
Any organization or entity that can either have a positive or negative effect by any change in the project is known as a stakeholder.
Since their interest is of subsequent prime importance, their positive interest must be kept in mind & any negative impact should be minimized before planning or executing any activity during a project.
4. Can you explain what an usual project life cycle is?
Since a project has an enormous activity chain, which has a direct impact on an ongoing project, hence it can be broken down into a cycle for easy understanding.
Every phase of this cycle is distinct.
Start Phase: Wherein detailed planning & prioritizing of resources is done. This is followed by an "organizing phase", which is also known as the preparing phase, all the necessary resources & permissions are organized promptly.
Carrying Out Phase: Here all the execution part happens.
3)Closing Phase: Wherein various activities which are temporary are closed in a systematic manner.
5.Tell us something about the term project charter?
Project Charter is a project authorization document that mentions high priority requirements for successful completion of the project.
It starts with an initial requirement list with a clear listed outcome goal.
6. What are plan baselines?
Plan Baselines are a finalized plan of action prepared before the execution phase. Plan baselines are the initial versions of every relatable plan which is connected to a project.
Some of its broad baselines are the Quality plan, efficient scheduling of time, a strong plan of communication & so on.
This is simply a point of reference against which specific performance of the project is measured.
Project baselines are the starting versions of all related plans of a project, be it the schedule, the quality plan, the communication plan or whatever.
This is usually taken as a point of reference for performance measurement of a project.
7. What do you know about processes and process groups?
The process is generally a plan of action determining the way of getting things done.
The process systematically determines the sequence of actions that need to be taken.
Whereas process groups are somewhat different, wherein a collective set of processes which are carried our from time to time.
8. What are the key knowledge areas for successful completion of a project?
Some of the obvious relevant knowledge areas are scope management, time management & cost-effectiveness.
Apart from the obvious ones, there are few more areas which hold key importance.
Such as; Project integration knowledge, communication management knowledge, Risk management, procurement management & most important human resource management.
9. What is the term RAID & how is it connected to project management?
The term RAID stands for Risks, Assumptions, issues & dependencies. This definition holds a certain value & is most important for a project manager.
Any emerging risk in various actions shall be taken care of by a project manager & should make sure least risky actions are taken.
10. What are the important processes for project integration management?
Project Integration Management is a step by step management system method. It is initiated with the development of the project charter.
Developing a plan for project management is yet another important activity that follows.
Monitoring & controlling seamless execution of actions in a project is the next step.
The final step is the closing of the project. The changes made are often well thought of and unavoidable, hence project integration management system makes systematic changes effective.
11. Tell us something about SOW? How is it useful?
SOW is a technical jargon used for Statement of Work. SOW is a descriptive overview of the outcomes of a project in hand.
It is used to analyze products, various services & to forecast results that can be expected from a project.
12. Explain WBS? What does it help in achieving?
WBS or Work Breakdown Structure is broadly defined as breaking down of different levels of work wherein all the required work is understandable.
In other words, it’s just a detail of activities required. These activities are further divided into subcategories.
13. What are the components of scope management?
Usually, Scope management is a process which involves many components.
It's main components are collecting priority requirement, analyzing & defining the scope, creating a detailed WBS, Control & verification.
14. Which is the best way to control various changes in a project?
The best way to control changes in a project is by drafting an integrated change control process.
It's worth mentioning that all requested changes have to be approved by the change control board.
Once the list of approved changes is issued, only then they can be included in the final document.
15. What exactly is a milestone in a project?
Milestone, as the name suggests, is a high point in a project wherein through various methods & execution.
Objectives is achieved as per planned in efficient time period.
16. Describe various scope defining techniques?
Scope defining techniques include system engineering, product breakdown, value engineering, value analysis, requirement analysis & alternate analysis.
All these together pave way to define the scope of a project in a better understandable manner.
17. How can you estimate “Activity Time” of a project?
Three basic techniques used for estimating activity time are
analogous estimates, parametric estimates & three-point estimates.
18. What is the most common representation of the project schedule time?
A diagram which is commonly known as activity scheduling network diagram is one of the most common representative forms of project schedule time.
Usually, for providing an overview of the whole data, a detailed milestone chart & bar charts are often presented with it.
19. Give us a simple understanding of "Floats"?
Initially while scheduling activities, some activities have a tendency not to have a critical start or end time.
However, due to various dependency factors, some of the tasks can be started way before there scheduled start time.
Similarly, some activities can be completed later than the scheduled completion time. All these variable time pads are collectively known as floats.
20. What is a critical path in schedule network diagram?
Critical path in schedule network diagram is simply described as planned activities which have to follow a scheduled activity plan from start to finish.
These activities can’t simply be delayed as they have a direct impact on the project completion time.
Tip: If you wish to learn more about Critical Path Method (CPM), you can go through The Ultimate Guide to the Critical Path Method on Project Manager.
21. What is effort variance?
Simplified already by its name, effort variance is simply the graph of estimated effort required and actual effort needed.
In a project, work performance is monitored from time to time to determine any effort variance only to take concrete corrective actions promptly.
Project Manager HR Interview Questions & Answers
Here are some frequently asked HR interview questions & how should you answer them well.
1. What qualities do you think is important to be a successful Project Manager?
Of course one of the most important skill is technical knowledge, which should be at par with present-day technological advancements.
Apart from that, a project manager should be a leader, should be able to motivate his/her team.
A project manager should be an effective decision-maker, should possess risk management skill, time management skill, etc.
If a follow-up question is asked about the elaboration of these skills, use examples to support your answer
2. What has been your biggest challenge during a project so far & how did you manage to tackle it?
Confidently describe any real-life crisis during a project & describe your positive approach towards solving the issue. Make sure you present yourself as a team player, even if you had solved the problem by yourself.
Also read: 55 HR Interview Questions & Answers
Tips for Answering Project Manager Interview Questions
Study The Organization
Before you walk in for an interview, make sure you have researched well about the organization.
Get a detailed idea of the job role & responsibilities thoroughly.
This shall give you an edge to prepare your answer well in sync with the requirements of the job.
Get your basics right
Before you start with your interview, make sure you have brushed up on the technical basics of project management & have insights about the project management domain as a whole.
Be Punctual & well-groomed
One of the most important aspects of project management is time management.
Make sure you are on time for your interview & are well-groomed.
This shall not only reflect professionalism from your end but also add as a catalyst to boost your confidence.
Be Confident & Ask Questions
Confidence is a synonym to leadership. To be a successful project manager, you must showcase your confidence through strong body language & strong communication.
Be confident enough to clarify any doubts you shall have during the interview & don’t refrain from asking questions.
Be Clear & Polite
While you answer questions, make sure you have a strong, clear communication pattern but not impolite.
Speak freely & clearly but at the same time make sure you sound humble & polite.
Popular Project Management Books
Here are some must read project management books.
Popular Project Management YouTube Channels
Here is a list of some of the most popular Youtube Channels on project management
Popular Project Management Blogs
Here is a list of popular project management blogs:
Also Read: Interview Questions & answers tips & hacks
Believe in yourself, nothing can pull you down.
Best of luck!