Posted on : 05 Mar, 2021, 08:32:01 PM

Top 50 Project Management Interview Questions And Answers

Top 50 Project Management Interview Questions And Answers


The interviewer needs to prepare well for an interview as interviews can make the most confident of us a nervous candidate. The interviewee should always research all the most frequently asked questions during the interview with the best reasonable answers, especially if it demands an extensive position like the project manager.    

The interviewer’s questions usually target several issues such as project management experience, compatibility of the interviewee, Knowledge of technical skills & project management tools, and leadership skills. 

 

Here are the top 50 interview questions that will help the candidates prepare for the project management job role.

 

1. What is your understanding of Project Management?

Project management is the system that helps in performing and implementing multiple methods, processes, skills, experience, and knowledge for achieving the goals of a unique project. Project management processes fall into five terms, and those are

  • Initiating
  • Preparation and Planning
  • Executing
  • Controlling and Monitoring
  • Closing or meeting up all the requirement

 

2. What are the different types Of Project Management?

There are many different types of project management frameworks and methodologies devised to handle and manage a project. Some popular project management fields are 

  • Waterfall Project Management (Focuses on sequential and requirement)
  • Lean (Opermiz separate asset, technologies, and verticals)
  • PRINCE2 (Control project environment and based on several themes, processes, and principles)
  • Agile Project Management (oppose waterfall and promote faster and flexible working)
  • Scrum (Focuses on daily standup meetings, team, and sprints)

3. What are the roles and responsibilities of a Project Manager?

A project manager takes care of every task, from planning to execution of the project. There are multiple ways to handle a project that depends on the project manager’s methodologies. The traditional duties of PM share some common roles and responsibilities those include.

  • Scope Management
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Task Management
  • Quality Management
  • Resource Management
  • Team Management
  • Cost Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Risk Management

4. How will you enhance and gain your team agreement for better results?

Agreement and trust are a core principle or factor that facilitates coordination and communication in a team that brings the best outcome. To obtain agreement from members of your team, the Project manager must have

  • Keep clear expectations from the beginning.
  • Don’t pressurize and always build achievable milestones. 
  • Frequent scheduling of accountability meetings
  • Maintain and collaborate team trust throughout the project lifecycle
  • Agreed on terms with team and their opinion
  • Establish consequences and outcome results
  • Solve conflicts among team member 

5. What is the main difference between project management, program management, and portfolio management?

  • Project Management - It is a temporary endeavor undertaken to produce a unique solution or product by an organization or company. The project is temporary in nature, follows the project-level plans with defined start and endpoints.
  • Program Management - It is a collection of interrelated projects related to or similar to one another, which are often coordinated and managed by a team instead of independently. The program is temporary in nature, follows the high-level plans but lasts longer than the project.
  • Portfolio Management - It is a group of different programs and operations managed within one group or organization to achieve strategic goals, which can be related or unrelated to one another. The portfolio is permanent in nature, follows the ongoing processes to keep on aligned changing with the strategic planning.

6. What is the project management life cycle process?

  • Initiating - Starting the project
    • Undertaking a feasibility study
    • Identifying project stakeholders, scope, and deliverables
    • Developing a business case and statement of work
  • Planning - Organizing and Preparation of project
    • Creating a project plan and workflow diagrams
    • Estimating budget and creating a financial plan
    • Gathering resources and Anticipating risks
    • Holding a project kickoff meeting
  • Executing - Carrying out the work in the project
    • Creating tasks and organizing workflows
    • Briefing team members on tasks
    • Communicating with clients, clients, and upper management
    • Monitoring quality and managing budget
  • Closure - Closing of the project
    • Analyzing project and team performance
    • Documenting project closure and conducting post
    • Accounting for used and unused budget

7.  What are the most important skills of a project manager?

The essential skills that a project manager must maintain are:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Team, Time, and Quality Management
  • Risk and Budget Management
  • Personal Organization
  • Negotiation Power
  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
  • Scheduling and Interpersonal skills

8. How will you start your career as a new project manager?

When you begin your career as a project manager first few things that an individual should take care of are:

  • Listen, Examine, and Learn
  • Understand customer’s needs and requirements
  • Understand your team members and their personalities
  • Take the opportunity to learn new skills.
  • Do practice and master tools your company possesses

9. How will you identify stakeholders and why is it important to know?

The idea of knowing the key stakeholders begins when a project starts. To identify and recognize the decision-makers, the organizer can ask the following questions:

  • Who will present specifications for the project?
  • Who will offer different kinds of support?
  • Who will furnish funds for the project?
  • Who will provide resources for the better and seamless execution of the project?
  • Who are the end consumers for the last outcome of the project?
  • Who will be providing regulations/guidelines that require to be followed while managing the project?

Understanding and engaging stakeholders throughout the project period is very important for project success because it is being undertaken to accomplish expectations and objectives.

10. How would you manage a difficult stakeholder involved in your project?

Stakeholders hold a high authority, and their consent is essential in an integral part of the project, but sometimes it becomes hard to manage or handle in cases like

  • Accept and allow their authority without fighting.
  • Eliminate all the negative emotions
  • Understand the main issue
  • Listen to them and ask for advice.
  • Be honest and tactful with your decisions.
  • Try to establish the connection by praising them.
  • Improving communication

11. What are the techniques and methods that you can use to achieve project requirements?

Requirement collection and final concurrence proceed with the project stakeholders with business analysts and functional experts’ advice. The essential techniques used to gather data to fulfill the requirements are

  • Data gathering (standardization, surveys & interviews, pondering, questionnaires, and focus groups)
  • Data analysis (examining various project documents and records)
  • Observation and Research (controlling and monitoring team’s performance)
  • Affinity diagram (grouping of ideas and requirements)
  • Prioritization requirement by using advanced technologies such as MoSCoW
  • Prototyping

12. What would be involved in project scope management?

Project scope management is a collection of processes to ensure that the project’s scope is properly mapped and defined accurately. The techniques and methods help project managers plan the amount of work and inputs required to complete the project successfully. Those techniques include several steps. 

  • Planning 
  • Collecting
  • Defining
  • Creating work breakdown structure
  • Validating
  • Controlling 

13. How would you prioritize tasks in your project?

Prioritizing tasks and duties in a project is critical and especially if the project is an extensive one. It helps to ensure the timely and successful completion of your project. In order to prioritize the tasks, the Project Manager should follow some strategies, and those are 

  • List down the assignments and responsibilities.
  • Distinguish between the important and urgent requirement
  • Evaluate and estimate the value of every task
  • Aligned the tasks by estimated efforts
  • Always ready to adapt and stay flexible. 
  • Must know when to say NO

14. What type of contract will you use to engage with suppliers and contractors?

There are three different types of contracts used to engage suppliers and contractors. Those are

  • Fixed-Price Contract
  • Time and Materials Contract
  • Cost Reimbursable Contract

15. What are the main types of risks that a project manager may encounter during a project?

Project managers face some majorly encountered risks during a project are 

  • Performance Risk
  • Strategic Risk
  • Cost Risk
  • Technology Risk
  • Operational Risk
  • Schedule Risk
  • External Risk
  • Market Risk
  • Resource Risk
  • Governance Risk
  • Legal Risk

16. Which tools are mostly used to enhance process activities?

Majorly used tools in the industry for improving process activities are 

  • Comparing and Baselining a Process
  • Value-Stream Mapping
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Flow-charting
  • Cause and Effect Analysis

17. What is RAID in Project Management?

  • Risk - It refers to potential problems that can have either a negative or positive impact on the result of the project in a deviation of the final result from an original plan
  • Actions - It refers to the task and strategy that the team performs throughout the project.
  • Issues - It refers to all the hurdles that the team face during the project lifecycle, which may derail or cause the project to fail
  • Decisions - It refers to the choice and strategies made for tasks to complete the project.

18. What is the most challenging project you have worked on?

The interviewee will ask this interview question to see a candidate’s compatibility, how you think and tackle problems, lead teams, and deal with conflicts. When working on complicated projects with tight deadlines, you should get a sense of these problem-solving abilities. It is a fantastic opportunity to check what type of project management methodologies does company prefer, such as 

  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Agile
  • Waterfall, etc.

19. What type of documents are required in the initial phase of the project?

Project initiation is the most critical and important stage of the product lifecycle. It is asked to check the candidate's knowledge about the initiation stage because no project can ever become successful without successful initiation.

The required documents that project manager often needs are the following:

  • Business Case Documents (contains the purpose, scope, objectives, assumptions constraints, and deliverables in a project)
  • Project Agreement (includes details like scope, time, cost, etc.)
  • Project Charter (includes a specific objective, formal authorization, etc.)
  • Stakeholder Register (contains the detail of stakeholder, dynamic lists, deletions depends on progress and nature)

20. What are the information and details that should be included in a project plan?

A project planning refers to a blueprint that includes specific detailed information about how the execution, monitoring, and closing, which comprises all the project baselines and those are

  • Project Scope
  • Project Scheduling
  • Cost Estimation 
  • Cost Budget 

The Project Manager prepares everything about project planning with the help of inputs given by the prominent team members that are involved in designing multiple elements of the plan.

21. Which communication style do you value or prefer the most?

There are various ways to put forward our consent, but the project is totally dependent on your communication style, the type of project, and the team you are working with. The most used and effective form of communication that project managers use are 

  • Face-to-face
  • Written
  • Responsive
  • Electronic

22. What is critical path analysis in project management?

The Critical Path Analysis (CPA) is also known as the Critical Path Method (CPM). It is the best scheduling procedure that depicts the sequence of tasks and project planning required to complete using a network diagram known as paths. 

Once the paths are defined, each task’s duration is calculated to identify the critical path by an algorithm, determining the project’s actual duration.

23. What are the uses and benefits of the critical path method?

The critical path method is a crucial part of project management that helps the project manager build a timeline and create project schedules for a project. The CPM or CPA includes 

  • Identifying necessary tasks to complete dependencies and project 
  • Estimate the duration of tasks in the projects
  • Calculate critical path to identify the critical activities based on the tasks’ duration and dependencies
  • Concentrating on preparation, scheduling, and controlling critical activities
  • Estimating stakeholder expectations and needs related to deadlines
  • Setting project deliverables and milestones

24. How will you use formal techniques and motivation principles to keep the team motivated?

Motivating the entire team is one of the core responsibilities of a project manager as it leads to project success. Some popular motivation theories are

  • Maslow’s Theory
  • McGregor’s Theory
  • Hertzberg’s Theory
  • Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
  • McClelland’s Theory

25. What is your leadership style?

Leadership is a demanded quality that every project manager must maintain because every leader has his leadership quality and style to guide their team, but some major leadership styles are

  • Autocratic Style
  • Authoritative Style
  • Pacesetting Style
  • Democratic Style
  • Coaching Style
  • Affiliative Style
  • Laissez-Faire Style

26. Which project management method do you prefer when handling the project?

There is not a single project management methodology that applies to all types of projects. PM selects what methodologies go well with the project criteria.

  • Key business operators of your project
  • Right estimation of cost and size of the product
  • Involvement of stakeholder 
  • The core value and strategic goals of an organization
  • Complexity level in the project
  • Take care of constraints in the project
  • Risks that might occur

27. What is WBS and how does it work in formulating plans?

WBS full form is Work Breakdown Structure, which is one of the critical methods or techniques for building a complete idea about project scope. It helps break up a large project into manageable and smaller chunks known as work packages. A well-managed WBS should exhibit the following characteristics.

  • Definable
  • Manageable
  • Estimable
  • Independent
  • Integratable
  • Measurable
  • Adaptable

28. What are the various forms of work breakdown structure?

There are three typical forms of structuring work with the help of Work Breakdown Structure, and those are 

  • Phase-based structures
  • Deliverable-based structures
  • Responsibility-based structures

29. What are the benefits of WBS?

  • Defines measurable and specific outcomes
  • Provides a visual representation
  • Improves productivity
  • Ensures no gaps and no overlap in resources or responsibility 
  • Provides a plan to make successful experiences repeatable
  • Breaks the work into manageable chunks
  • Helps to distribute responsibilities and with project organization
  • Enables more creativity and focus on the end goal
  • It gives teams flexibility and eliminates confusion.

30. What steps will you take to create a risk plan?

Effective risk planning is important to maximize beneficial opportunities and minimize threats to achieve success in the project. The steps that involve in risk planning are 

Project Risk Management
Step 1 Plan risk management
Step 2

Identifying project risks


 
Step 3 Qualitative risk management
Step 4 Quantitative risk management
Step 5 Plan risk responses
Step 6 Implement risk responses
Step 7 Monitor project risks

 

31. What is your ideal project?

Before deciding about your ideal project, the Project manager must consider some important aspects in the form of questions to ask yourself to help analyze and narrow your choices while minimizing threats and maximizing productivity.

  • Your interest field
  • Your creativity skills
  • Comfortable in trying new things
  • Receiving credit for the work
  • Believe in teamwork

32. What are your areas of knowledge and how relevant are those areas in a project?

Knowledge areas are the technical key subject matter that plays a crucial role in effective project management. There are 49 areas of knowledge, but some of the core technical skills required for project management are

  • Project Stakeholder Management
  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Schedule Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Resource Management
  • Project Quality Management

33. What is the difference between a risk probability and a risk impact?

Risk impact and risk probability are two parameters that are mostly used in model risk. Risk probability refers to a chance of a risk occurring during the project, and Risk impacts stand for the cost of risk if they occur in the middle of the project lifecycle.

34. What tools are mostly used to improve the process of project activities?

The most used tools and techniques to enhance the whole process of project activities are

  • Flow-charting
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Comparing and Baselining a Process
  • Cause and Effect Analysis
  • Value-Stream Mapping

35. What do you mean by the triple constraint triangle in project management?

The triple Constraint Triangle is a set of three main vital elements which act as a significant restriction on the project lifecycle. The three constraints of the triangle model are 

  • Time 
  • Costs
  • Scope

Each of the constraints takes care of quality as it is a central and important factor of every project.

36. What will you do when a client is not satisfied with the end result of the project?

This situation may arise anytime; that’s why asking and taking customer’s advice is always preferred, but if a project manager is stuck in this situation, then must 

  • Show the clients that you value and respect them.
  • Understand what the situation is and why they are not happy
  • Take client suggestions regarding modifications.
  • If possible, incorporate the modification.
  • Explain and convince them how the theme fits in a particular scope 

37. If your team members are not giving full potential, then how will you manage the team members?

To check every member in the team if they are giving their best or not is a little tricky, but bringing full potential out project manager can

  • Avoid making emotional confrontations with stakeholders and the team.
  • Help them in developing decision-making abilities.
  • Arrange a proper follow-up rule and process
  • Encourage the team to think and act to find the best way to complete their tasks.
  • Improve their threshold tolerance performance
  • Motivates and appreciate your employees
  • Reward their improvement to encourage employees more
  • Explain and clear them the real vision of the project and company

38. What is the difference between corrective and preventive actions?

Basis of Comparison Corrective Actions Preventive Actions
Point of use After the main problem arise Before the main problem arise
Process It starts with identifying the main cause of a problem. It starts with risk assessment
Nature Reactive Proactive

39.How will you identify that your project is off track?

To detect whether your project falling behind the agreed timeline or is on track, the project manager must check

  • Budget and resources are under control or not.
  • Where time is consuming too much 
  • Original objectives and aim are still present or not.
  • Is project scope continuously changing

40. What is a decision support system?

A Decision Support System refers to an interactive computer-based system that assists project managers in making the decision. It provides detailed information that allows them to make three types of difference, and those are 

  • Structural decisions
  • Semi-structured decisions
  • Unstructured decisions

41. What strategies will you follow to finish a project on time if your project is off track?

Due to any reason, if the PM feels the project is going off track, then taking immediate action to bring the project on track is very important. Project manager can 

  • Discover the core problem from its root
  • Putting more effort and time to catch up 
  • Keep open communication with stakeholders and clients.
  • Start following the original vision or goal of the project.
  • Readjust management such as finance, resource, plan, etc.

42. What is the difference between trend analysis and variance analysis?

Trend analysis determines if any variances or patterns are cropping up throughout the project lifecycle and understanding the problem to produce corrective measures or actions. It is done on a regular basis but not much frequently than variance analysis. 

Variance analysis is regularly done and is a method for computing the variations between the planned performance and actual performance that is the primary project baseline. It helps in tracking preventive measures that can be taken before any risk arises in the project.

 

43. What is the different process of calculating the three-point estimation method?

There are two methods of calculating three-point estimation are those are 

  • PERT or Beta Distribution - E = (P+4M+O)/6
  • Triangular Distribution -  E = (P+M+O)/3

 

P stands for Pessimist.

O stands for Optimist.

M stands for most likely.

 

44. What type of bidding documents can be used for procurement management?

The most crucial and popular kinds of bid documents used for procurement management are

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Procurement Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Purchase Order (PO)
  • Invitation for Bid (IFB)
  • Invitation for Quote (IFQ)
  • Request for proposal (RFP)

45. What is CR or change request?

CR refers to a Change Request that is quite common in every project baseline as it involves tweaking the project plan aspect such as technology, scope, timeline, resources, and requirements. This request can be suggested or raised by any stakeholder or client, team members, and Project manager.

  • The stakeholder can raise changes when they want some changes in the aspect like timelines and budget or want new technology and features to be added. 
  • Regulatory adjustments that the project requires to comply with lead to changes in the project’s planned strategies.
  • The Project Manager or team member can make changes in the middle to take corrective measures to resolve the issue.

46. What are the challenges of handling CR?

Some of the challenges that most of the time arises during the project lifecycle while making requested changes in the project are 

  • Lack and absence of formal change in the management plan
  • When Stakeholders informally raise CR or Change Request
  • Handling various continual CR is quite challenging.
  • The inability of the team or Project Manager to deny a CR.
  • A constant conflict between stakeholders and the team regarding Change Request

47. What activities will you do during the closing of a project?

The closing point is quite crucial, which is also a team's introspection span by consolidating all the lessons learned during the project lifecycle. The activities make the entire process hassle-free at the end or a closing phase. 

  • Ensuring and examining all the required criteria have been fulfilled in the project.
  • Handling and consolidating over the final deliverables to clients or stakeholders
  • Submission of all the documents such as SOPs, manuals, taking formal signing-off, and so on.
  • At the closer freeing up all the equipment and resources
  • Building and creating the last project report to highlight the consolidating learned lesson and key points for future reference
  • Providing feedback by conducting appraisal performance for a team or team members
  • Last but not least, praising and Celebrating

48. Define fishbone chart

The fishbone chart is also known as the Ishikawa diagram. It is the most critical data visualization and quality control tool to identify possible causes for a problem or an effect and understand the problems in one gigantic chart when a team’s thinking tends to fall into ruts. Fishbone chart also helps in managing and tracking down the reasons of 

  • Variations
  • Failures
  • Imperfections
  • Defeats 

49. What is Pareto analysis/principle?

The Pareto analysis or principle states that 80% of the result consequences come from 20% of the active actions. Pareto analysis is a statistical analysis that project managers use to 

  • Prioritizing and identifying problems and tasks
  • It helps and encourages people to organize their workloads effectively.
  • It improves profitability and productivity.

50. What was the biggest challenge you faced while working on a project?

  • Keeping and managing the team on the same page
  • Poorly defining the objectives and goals.
  • Lack of accountability
  • Risk Management
  • Miscommunication Cause Conflicts
  • Unrealistic deadlines
  • Insufficient team skills
  • Finding the accurate project management software
  • Challenges of Teamwork

 

This article brings us to the end of the top 50 project manager interview questions. We hope Wissenhive's interview article played an important role in updating your knowledge and cracking the interview. Best wishes to all of you for your interview. Happy Learning.

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