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Complete List of Project Manager`s Interview Questions

During my yet not so long career of a project manager I have participated in about a dozen of interviews for project manager`s position (fortunately, most of them were successful).

After the last set of my project manager`s interviews, an idea of putting together the complete list of project manager`s interview questions has come to my mind.

To start with, I recalled the most interesting and tricky questions I have been asked during my interviews and collected some from the Web.

Right now this list comprises about 150 questions. But the main idea is that this list will be updated regularly as soon as I hear or find a question that is not in this list yet and makes sense for a project manager`s interview. So, welcome and share with me any tricky questions that you were asked during your interviews, and I will add them to the list.

I think this list will be helpful both for those who are applying to a project manager`s position and preparing to an interview and those, who are going to interview some candidates for manager’s position. To make readers life easier, I ran an extra mile and divided all the questions into several categories according. The first tab below contains the complete list, and by switching between the other tabs you may filter only the questions related to some specific area. The classification was made completely at my personal discretion. So, if you find any discrepancy, please, let me know.

You won’t find here the general questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” but this list definitely contains general questions related to project management.

In the course of time I will start answering these questions one by one. Follow the updates of the blog.

  • What are the most important qualities of a project manager?
  • If you were to pick one skill for a project manager to have, what would it be and why?
  • How long after the delivery of a project do you typically wait to revisit projects, and why?
  • How important is it for a project manager to be ‘proactive’?
  • What qualities are required to be an effective project manager?
  • Do you think integrity is an essential quality of a project manager?
  • Are there any projects that you do not want to work on?
  • What motivates you to give your best to your projects?
  • How do you improve your knowledge regarding project management?
  • Do you have any questions (to interviewers)?
  • What is SOW (Statement of Work)?
  • What are the types of risks you may encounter on a project?
  • What are fixed type contracts in procurement processes?
  • What are time & material contracts?
  • What is the primary purpose of procurement management plan?
  • What are the deliverables of the project?
  • What is the most important stage in the project management cycle? Why?
  • What is your definition of project failure?
  • Is office politics a healthy thing or is it fundamentally destructive?
  • Are you a born leader or is it a skill you have acquired?
  • What percentage of projects fail? Why?
  • If your sponsors announced that they will make large budget cuts, what would you do to defend your team?
  • How do you monitor contract compliance?
  • Should contract negotiations be win-win?
  • Is it good when a project is delivered ahead of the schedule?
  • Give a real life example of risk strategies
  • What were the communication challenges on your last project?
  • Give a few examples of proactive decision-making past projects and in your life in general.
  • What is your preference for providing status updates?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of your last project?
  • What was the least challenging aspect of your last project?
  • What type of contingency planning do you do?
  • What do you spend the most time of the working day on?
  • What is the most complicated project you have managed?
  • Have you worked on any project that failed? Describe what happened.
  • What was your most successful project?
  • What is the largest number of projects(people) you have managed at the same time?
  • Were you involved in the cost/budget management on your previous job?
  • How would you describe the outcome of your last project?
  • Do you have international project team management experience?
  • Do you have experience in managing remote teams?
  • Do you have experience in managing multicultural teams?
  • What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about project management on the previous job?
  • Can you tell us about the time when you made the wrong decision on a project, what the consequences were, and how you corrected them?
  • Have you ever had to confront an ethical dilemma in the process of completing a project?
  • Tell about the time you had to get buy-in on a project from multiple stakeholders. What methods did you use to persuade them?
  • Have you ever had to remove a person from your team? How did you explain this to the rest of the team?
  • Can you tell me about the time you mentored someone?
  • What project risk metrics have you used in the past?
  • How do you monitor and manage risks when working on a project?
  • How to classify and manage stakeholders?
  • What are the project management methodologies you are most familiar with?
    How do you start a project?
  • How do you allocate resources for a project?
  • Describe all the steps involved from the time of project initiation to project completion.
  • Do you know anything about Pareto principle/analysis?
  • How will you define a project?
  • What do you think is the difference between a project, a program and a portfolio?
  • Who is a stakeholder?
  • Can you explain project life cycle?
  • What is the purpose of a project charter?
  • What are plan baselines?
  • What are processes and process groups?
  • What is RAID as it is related to project management?
  • What does Scope management involve?
  • What is Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and how does it affect the work estimates of tasks/activities?
  • How do you define a milestone?
  • What are some techniques used for defining scope?
  • How is an activity time estimate done?
  • What is three point estimating method?
  • What is a critical path method?
  • What is effort variance?
  • What is EVM (Earned Value Management)?
  • What is quality control?
  • What is the difference between Qaulity Assurance and Quality Control?
  • What’s the need for process improvement plans?
  • What are the stages of team formation?
  • What is risk impact/risk probability?
  • Give some examples or route cause analysis techniques.
  • What is Agile methodology and what are its pros and cons?
  • What are project constraints? Can you give a few examples?
  • What does it mean to monitor a project?
  • What is the difference between controlling and managing a project?
  • Are you familiar with any quality improvement processes?
  • What estimation techniques do you know?
  • What to do if some of developers in your team can`t agree on some technical question(e. g. estimation)?
  • How would you describe your communication and leadership style?
  • How do you communicate an employee the news of his firing?
  • How do you ensure that you and your team deliver or exceed customer expectations?
  • What are some best practices you’ve used to develop excellent customer relationships?
  • What is your delegation style?
  • How do you monitor and review the delegated responsibilities?
  • How do you handle office politics?
  • Tell about the time when you had two key stakeholders with opposing views. How did you manage with that?
  • How do you resolve conflicts on your projects?
  • What kind of people do you find difficult to work with?
  • How do you communicate bad news to a customer/client?
  • Have you ever disagreed with a team member? What was the issue? Describe and defend the opposing point of view.
  • You’re working on a project for an important client and they keep changing their requirements. How would you handle this?
  • What would you do if there were conflicts about tasks prioritization in your team?
  • How do you manage organizational change (e.g. stakeholders coming and going)?
  • How do you handle a situation in which stakeholders have different visions for a product?
  • What techniques did you use to get the price and terms you required when negotiating a contract?
  • What tools do you use as a manager to plan your activities as well as that of your team?
  • What specific training have you got to be relevant to this project manager job?
  • Do you have any certifications that are relevant to this position?
  • Which project management software and tools do you prefer using, and why?
  • Do you prefer working on a single project or multiple projects at the same time?
  • What general metrics do you use to determine if a project is progressing on track?
  • How do you deal with changes to your project?
  • What are the ways to compress a project time schedule?
  • What kind of diagrams/flowcharts would you use to describe X project?
  • What information do you gather before creating a project timeline?
  • How do you monitor project resource utilization?
  • How do you prevent scope creep?
  • How do you develop a vendor short list?
  • How do you gather initial information from vendors?
  • Give a few examples of quality requirements?
  • How do you ensure that project deliverables are fit for purpose?
  • What is the value of story points?
  • What are the main Scrum roles/ceremonies?
  • What are the main Scrum artifacts?
  • What is the difference between Definition of Done and Acceptance Criteria?
  • How to syncronize front-end and backend developers?
  • How can we improve gross margin on the project?
  • How do you keep your team members motivated?
  • What to do if there is too little time left till the deadline and you see that you are not meeting the deadline?
  • What should be the team structure for any particular project(example given)?
  • How to estimate the project efforts?
  • What to do if client asks for something that can`t be done?
  • How to agree on change requests with the client?
  • How do you communicate bad news to the team?
  • How do you handle a team member who isn’t productive or breaks the working process? (e.g. coming late, not showing up at work)?
  • How do you manage the performance of your team?
  • How do you control changes to your project?
  • How do you ensure that your project is always on track?
  • How do you go about planning a schedule for a project?
  • Tell me how you schedule projects and establish timelines.
  • How do you close a project?
  • How do you help the team prioritize either competing or simultaneously urgent tasks?
  • What do you do if you see that a project is behind the schedule?
  • How do you deal with gold plating on your project?
  • How would you organize acceptance testing on your project?
  • What do you do if your colleagues challenge your decisions?
  • What do you do if your managers(clients) challenge your decisions?
  • If a customer is not happy with the result and does not accept the product, what would you do as a project manager?
  • Give a real life example of risk strategies
  • What were the communication challenges on your last project?
  • Give a few examples of proactive decision-making past projects and in your life in general.
  • What is your preference for providing status updates?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of your last project?
  • What was the least challenging aspect of your last project?
  • What type of contingency planning do you do?
  • What do you spend the most time of the working day on?
  • What is the most complicated project you have managed?
  • Have you worked on any project that failed? Describe what happened.
  • What was your most successful project?
  • What is the largest number of projects(people) you have managed at the same time?
  • Were you involved in the cost/budget management on your previous job?
  • How would you describe the outcome of your last project?
  • Do you have international project team management experience?
  • Do you have experience in managing remote teams?
  • Do you have experience in managing multicultural teams?
  • What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about project management on the previous job?
  • Can you tell us about the time when you made the wrong decision on a project, what the consequences were, and how you corrected them?
  • Have you ever had to confront an ethical dilemma in the process of completing a project?
  • Tell about the time you had to get buy-in on a project from multiple stakeholders. What methods did you use to persuade them?
  • Have you ever had to remove a person from your team? How did you explain this to the rest of the team?
  • Can you tell me about the time you mentored someone?
  • What project risk metrics have you used in the past?
  • How do you monitor and manage risks when working on a project?
  • How to estimate the project efforts?
  • How to classify and manage stakeholders?
  • How to agree on change requests with the client?
  • How do you manage the performance of your team?
  • How do you monitor and review the delegated responsibilities?
  • How do you control changes to your project?
  • How do you ensure that your project is always on track?
  • How do you go about planning a schedule for a project?
  • What type of contingency planning do you do?
  • How do you start a project?
  • Tell me how you schedule projects and establish timelines.
  • How do you close a project?
  • How do you allocate resources for a project?
  • How do you handle office politics?
  • What do you do if you see that a project is behind the schedule?
  • How would you organize acceptance testing on your project?
  • How do you resolve conflicts on your projects?
  • Describe all the steps involved from the time of project initiation to project completion.
  • How do you deal with changes to your project?
  • Who is a stakeholder?
  • Can you explain project life cycle?
  • What is the purpose of a project charter?
  • What are plan baselines?
  • What is SOW (Statement of Work)?
  • What does Scope management involve?
  • What is Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and how does it affect the work estimates of tasks/activities?
  • How do you define a milestone?
  • What are some techniques used for defining scope?
  • How is an activity time estimate done?
  • What is three point estimating method?
  • What is a critical path method?
  • What are the ways to compress a project time schedule?
  • What is effort variance?
  • What is EVM (Earned Value Management)?
  • What is quality control?
  • What is the difference between Qaulity Assurance and Quality Control?
  • What’s the need for process improvement plans?
  • What are the stages of team formation?
  • What are the types of risks you may encounter on a project?
  • What is risk impact/risk probability?
  • What are fixed type contracts in procurement processes?
  • What are time & material contracts?
  • What is the primary purpose of procurement management plan?
  • What are the deliverables of the project?
  • What information do you gather before creating a project timeline?
  • What are project constraints? Can you give a few examples?
  • What does it mean to monitor a project?
  • What is the difference between controlling and managing a project?
  • How do you manage organizational change (e.g. stakeholders coming and going)?
  • How do you monitor project resource utilization?
  • How do you prevent scope creep?
  • What project risk metrics have you used in the past?
  • How do you monitor contract compliance?
  • How do you ensure that project deliverables are fit for purpose?
  • Are you familiar with any quality improvement processes?
  • What estimation techniques do you know?
  • Is it good when a project is delivered ahead of the schedule?
  • What to do if client asks for something that can`t be done?
  • How to agree on change requests with the client?
  • What to do if some of developers in your team can`t agree on some technical question(e. g. estimation)?
  • How would you describe your communication and leadership style?
  • How do you communicate bad news to the team?
  • How do you communicate an employee the news of his firing?
  • How do you handle a team member who isn’t productive or breaks the working process? (e.g. coming late, not showing up at work)?
  • How do you ensure that you and your team deliver or exceed customer expectations?
  • What are some best practices you’ve used to develop excellent customer relationships?
  • What is your delegation style?
  • How do you monitor and review the delegated responsibilities?
  • How do you handle office politics?
  • Tell about the time when you had two key stakeholders with opposing views. How did you manage with that?
  • How do you deal with gold plating on your project?
  • How do you resolve conflicts on your projects?
  • What do you do if your colleagues challenge your decisions?
  • What do you do if your managers(clients) challenge your decisions?
  • If a customer is not happy with the result and does not accept the product, what would you do as a project manager?
  • What kind of people do you find difficult to work with?
  • How do you communicate bad news to a customer/client?
  • Have you ever disagreed with a team member? What was the issue? Describe and defend the opposing point of view.
  • You’re working on a project for an important client and they keep changing their requirements. How would you handle this?
  • What would you do if there were conflicts about tasks prioritization in your team?
  • How do you manage organizational change (e.g. stakeholders coming and going)?
  • How do you handle a situation in which stakeholders have different visions for a product?
  • What techniques did you use to get the price and terms you required when negotiating a contract?
  • How to syncronize front-end and backend developers?
  • How can we improve Gross Margin on the project?
  • How do you keep your team members motivated?
  • What to do if there is too little time left till the deadline and you see that you are not meeting the deadline?
  • What should be the team structure for any particular project(example given)?
  • How to estimate the project efforts?
  • How do you manage the performance of your team?
  • How do you control changes to your project?
  • How do you ensure that your project is always on track?
  • What tools do you use as a manager to plan your activities as well as that of your team?
  • What specific training have you got to be relevant to this project manager job?
  • Do you have any certifications that are relevant to this position?
  • Which project management software and tools do you prefer using, and why?
  • How do you go about planning a schedule for a project?
  • Do you prefer working on a single project or multiple projects at the same time?
  • How do you allocate resources for a project?
  • What general metrics do you use to determine if a project is progressing on track?
  • How do you help the team prioritize either competing or simultaneously urgent tasks?
  • What do you do if you see that a project is behind the schedule?
  • How would you organize acceptance testing on your project?
  • How do you deal with changes to your project?
  • What are the ways to compress a project time schedule?
  • What kind of diagrams/flowcharts would you use to describe X project?
  • What information do you gather before creating a project timeline?
  • How do you monitor project resource utilization?
  • How do you prevent scope creep?
  • How do you develop a vendor short list?
  • How do you gather initial information from vendors?
  • Can you give me a few examples of quality requirements?
  • How do you ensure that project deliverables are fit for purpose?
  • What is the value of story points?
  • What are the main Scrum roles/ceremonies?
  • What are the main Scrum artifacts?
  • What is the difference between Definition of Done and Acceptance Criteria?

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