That LinkedIn profile, outstanding resume, or just word of mouth, has gotten you noticed. Whether the employer you’ve always wanted to work for has asked you in for an interview or the position you’ve wanted has finally opened up, it may have been a while since you had an interview. Wondering what project manager interview questions might be asked?
We’ve got you covered!
Preparing for a project management interview can feel intimidating. But, as a project management professional, you know that preparation is the key to success! We’ve taken some of the most common project manager interview questions and provided you with some basic advice, guidelines, and direction on how to answer them. If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, try a mock interview with a friend to help you prepare even more.
Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers
Interviews have changed and so have many of the questions. While some are universal and stay the same, like “why are you interested in this position”, the way they are answered is key to making the employer understand that you are the person they need for their project management position.
- Describe yourself and tell us a little about your background.
- Describe the most demanding project you’ve managed.
- Have you managed the budgets for projects?
- Have you ever felt that a project was a disaster? How would you handle a failed project?
- What methods do you use to keep track of projects?
- Provide me with an instance when you had to report setbacks to your team, manager, and/or customer.
- What do you do to inspire your team?
- Have you had experience outsourcing personnel or supplier management experience?
- What experience do you have with managing an international project team?
- What do you do about gold plating on a project?
- How do you manage to satisfy the customer when the project went as planned, but they seem displeased with the outcome?
- How do you deal with underperforming project team members?
- What is your strategy for conflict management?
- What three words would people use to describe you as a project manager?
- Why should we hire you?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is your current salary and compensation package?
- What is your salary expectation?
It’s common for people to say “there is no wrong answer”, but it’s not uncommon to leave an interview thinking there may have been a better one.
Below are some steps on how to answer each question so that you finish the interview wondering exactly when you’ll start your new position.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 1: Describe yourself and tell us a little about your background.
Most interviews, from ditch diggers to brain surgeons face this question in an interview. It is one of the most common questions asked and one of the hardest to answer.
Even knowing it’s likely to come up, preparation is key.
This is your chance to sell yourself. You are what they are looking for because of your experiences, your continuing education, and your ongoing ability to keep up with trends.
This is your chance to focus on keys that match you to the job at hand. Your experience will allow you to use the language the interviewer is looking for and “key in” to why you are the best choice.
Start off short and simple, where you are from, where you went to college. No need to do a full blown autobiography. A couple of sentences before you get into the meat of the matter.
A software analyst walks into an interview. No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke, unless the analyst isn’t prepared to answer the question.
This particular person hasn’t worked as a project manager, but their employer thinks they may be ready to step up. They have to go through the interview process like everyone else and this is particularly harrowing because even if they don’t get the job, the answers are still on the minds of the employers.
Sample Answer for Question #1:
I was born and raised in North Carolina and I attended college at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I received my BS in computer science and after an internship during my senior year, I was asked to apply for a full time position here after graduation. I got the position of software analyst and have been here for over 5 years.
As an analyst, I have worked on a variety of projects, the biggest one was working on an app customization project for a major international retail outlet. I was one of five analysts working on the project and as the lead I supervised the rest of the team. The app was completed and went online in 9 months thanks to the amazing team of software developers and test engineers I was able to lead. The opportunity to lead this team of over 20 members gave me the opportunity to step up and I have since been promoted to a Lead Analyst position. I am looking forward to continuing to expand those leadership qualities.
The answer provides basic background information as well as reminding the interviewer of why the individual was asked to interview to begin with. By being concise, it allows the interview to move forward at a good pace.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 2: Describe the most demanding project you’ve managed
With this question, the interviewer is looking for the limitations that you may have based on your experiences. The question is often more loaded than it seems and in many cases it leads to other questions about your team, your supervisors, or if this was the only project you were working on at the time.
This is when going through your experiences methodically and reviewing your experiences to pick the one that shows you at your best is essential.
Sample Answer for Question #2:
I was given the opportunity to work on the Airport Development Program. Working with a team of 2 commercial architects, 3 residential architects, the Army Corps of Engineers, and various contractors and construction workers I managed, in total, 35 project team members. In order to meet target dates for the city, the county, and adhere to the regulations surrounding the redevelopment of the airport into a workable planned livable community, I had to ensure that deadlines were met as well as guarantee that cost overruns didn’t delay the project. A delay of even one day may mean that a house couldn’t be started or the Community Center would be delayed. The challenge of confirming the daily targets meant saving $125,000 per additional day. The project was demanding as the end result was rewarding.
The answer emphasizes the scope of the project. It shows that you were in charge of all facets of the project as well as being aware of the demands that were made. By providing numbers and costs, it allows the interviewer to see that you are the strong candidate that they want and by listing the various entities you were involved with and overseeing it shows that you are well rounded.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 3: Have you managed the budgets for projects?
The ability to manage people and numbers is essential. Managing to keep a project within budget can be a chore and budget management is a critical quality that project managers need to possess. While it may not always be the duty of the project manager to manage the budget, you may still be managing team members that hold that responsibility.
Sample Answer for Question #3:
Most of the projects I have managed required budget management as well. The airport project alone was over 3 billion at build out. As well as procuring and approving bids, I was in charge of approving expenses and cost overruns. I was in direct contact with the contractors and vendors during the entire process and in order to acquire additional funding, I worked with a financial management company to acquire bonds for over one third of the expected cost.
By providing the costs as well as noting that you have the ability to work with other entities to keep the project on track, the answer presents the interviewer with a good idea of how you can handle projects in the future.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 4: Have you ever felt that a project was a disaster? How would you handle a failed project?
No is not an answer. As much as you may be tempted to say that you’ve never failed, this doesn’t help your success in the interview, or the interviewer in evaluating you as the right candidate.
The question is there to allow you to show how you manage what you believe are failures. This doesn’t have to be something that caused damage or harm. In fact most failures, as we see them, are small things, a meeting with a particularly difficult inspector, or a problem that you had to address before moving forward with all of 15 of the next steps to accomplish the task.
Sample Answer for Question #4:
When I was managing a project to develop a cart application for a retailer, some customers using debit cards were unable to enter their pin numbers to complete their purchase. This failure was a disaster that had to be addressed immediately.
When we did our test run, everything ran smoothly, but once the cart was launched, the client was receiving complaints and orders weren’t going through. After talking to the client, I contacted the team and called an emergency meeting to find the problem and the solution.
I had the developers and engineers investigate immediately. All personnel that weren’t already on site were called in.
I told the client that I would stay in contact with them constantly and if there were any increases in issues or additional problems that he would be put through to me immediately, no matter where I was.
We found that all customers that were experiencing the issues were using the application on their home computers. By contacting customers that had complained at random, we established that if they installed the application on their phones they were able to complete their purchase.
Finally, after making note of all of the issues, we found that the customers being affected had all updated the application as opposed to performing an initial install. Our developers quickly came up with an automatic update that allowed all previous data to be deleted when the app was reopened without the customers and the issue was resolved.
The fix took a better part of the evening and most of the morning, but the customer was satisfied with the end result.
The answer shows the steps were followed to make the rollout go smoothly. It also shows that by keeping calm and addressing the situation head on, the client was able to return to business as usual.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 5: What methods do you use to keep track of projects?
As with any job, it’s always essential to have the right tools. An electrician knows that a standard screwdriver isn’t insulated, so they need an electrician’s screwdriver. A chef knows that the right knife for the right task is key to making the meal. And a project manager should be able to show they know which tools will assist them in completing the project to keep the task at the highest quality, on budget, and on time.
Sample Answer for Question #5:
When the primary planning is complete, I set the foundation. The foundation allows me to compare throughout the process how far the project has progressed and if I might be able, or need to adjust to the upcoming jobs. Once a week I review the current costs and the timeline with my team, to ensure that we are still on budget and will meet or exceed our deadlines. I keep a record of any issues in a spreadsheet and set time limits to keep track of them until they are resolved. Depending on the team I am working with, I use the appropriate project planning software. I have used (Microsoft Project, or Google Projects, or others) When I am using (Software), I make sure that the project is on task and within the time constraints set at the foundation. I share the tasks that need to be completed with the appropriate personnel to make sure that they know where we are and what and when they need to accomplish the tasks assigned to them.
By creating a foundation, or baseline, for your project you are able to establish that you want to manage the project from the beginning and by highlighting the software systems you have used, it allows the interviewer to see that you are knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the job. This shows the interviewer that you are not merely a member of the team, but the manager they can count on to get the job done.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 6: Provide me with an instance when you had to report setbacks to your team, manager, and/or customer.
While your resume, experience with the potential employer, or recommendation from someone may have been enough to get the interview, there are some questions that have to be dealt with head on. Answering this question allows the interviewer to gauge your ability to communicate and your risk management skills.
Sample Answer for Question #6:
During one particular housing development we had obtained all properties with the exception of one. The property was vacant and overrun. It was owned by the Diocese and while we had offered well over the valued price, they were firm that they didn’t want to sell.
The Township was ready to go through with the approvals. The builders were ready to purchase the individual plots for the houses, the Army Corps of Engineers had given us the go ahead and we had bids out for the public infrastructure.
Because the Diocese had yet to agree to the sale, I contacted my supervisor and set a meeting with the Township trustee in charge of the approvals. During the meeting we discussed and came up with a plan that would allow us to build around the property. The trustee agreed to make the Diocese aware that they would be responsible for fencing, as well as increased liability insurance based on property laws previously established but not enforced.
I met with the builders and the contractors and proposed the new plans to them. While the one builder was not pleased that he couldn’t build on the property, he was willing to go forward.
I had to resubmit our applications to the Army Corps of Engineers for Wetland Remediation and just as we were getting the final approvals, the Diocese came in and accepted our last proposal and we were able to revert to our previous plans.
While the end result added an additional two weeks to the beginning of the project, the quick response from all parties involved gave us the ability to get the ball rolling and the project finished on schedule.
The steps in this answer allowed the project manager to address the situation and come up with a solution. By taking a methodical approach, meeting first with the supervisor and trustee they were able to reach the conclusion they wanted.
Keeping an open line of communication with all parties involved allowed and understanding the need to see completion of the project with or without the Diocese, was the right decision.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 7: What do you do to inspire your team?
You’re a people person, right? As ridiculous as that sounds, the fact is an effective Project Manager needs to know how to encourage, inspire, and move their team along. Even when your team is reaching all of the goals it’s essential to keep the project moving forward.
This question is critical not just for assessing your project manager skills, but to assess your answering skills. Your goal should be to motivate the interviewer just as you would motivate your team.
Sample Answer for Question #7:
By establishing a foundation I set landmarks for the project. I share the sheet with the team and when we reach a landmark event, we have an event. It may be as simple as having breakfast brought in, or pizza for lunch. For larger milestones I make sure to set aside a budget for an outing or celebration. I also set aside part of that budget for gift cards and contests. Sometimes competition produces a better result than just assigning a task alone.
I also encourage celebrating personal milestones of team members, birthdays, anniversaries, and important parts of their lives outside of the project. Most times you can’t go wrong with cake.
I take the time to make sure team members are recognized in their departments by keeping their managers up to date on their progress. This helps them with annual reviews and promotions in the future.
By taking the time to get to know the team members and celebrate not only project achievements, but personal ones, the project manager shows they understand the necessity of keeping the team inspired and motivated.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 8: Have you had experience outsourcing personnel or supplier management experience?
Whether you’re hiring a virtual assistant, a graphic artist, or a social media marketing manager, there is a difference on how you manage that personnel from the way you manage your team. Like the budget question, this question isn’t a give in at your interview. Some companies work with outsource personnel and suppliers and some don’t.
If you haven’t had experience with vendors in your project management experience, there are a few things you might want to know.
Outsource personnel are people hired on a contract or limited basis for a specific project. As mentioned above, your project may require a graphic artist to create a logo, or a social media marketer to get a website up and running. Your company may not have someone on staff that can accomplish that task, so you outsource to find the right person for the job.
Suppliers are just what they sound like, companies that provide your project with a material, equipment, or tools, that you don’t currently have access to creating on your own. You may need brochure’s printed, or specific phones to test equipment on.
Sample Answer for Question #8:
While working on a solar system upgrade for the US Army, we found that we required an engine hoist, and in order to comply with OSHA and Military standards we also needed a certified operator. We didn’t have a cherry picker and none of our team was certified to operate it. Rather than purchasing a hoist and having someone go through training, we outsourced a certified operator through ABC Equipment when renting the cherry picker. As this was a one off job, the costs to cover the rental and pay the operator were within the budget while keeping the project on-going without losing time or money.
By showing the reason for the outsourcing the candidate indicates their ability to assess the situation and by finding the solution through ABC Equipment they are able to follow through with the obligations of the project.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 9: What experience do you have with managing an international project team?
This is the question where no may be the answer. If you don’t have experience working with an international team, you should say so in the beginning. It doesn’t mean you won’t get the job, but it allows the employer/interviewer to evaluate your other answers to see if you are the right person for a specific project that they may have coming or that you are being considered for.
The question is often just a precursor to other questions if you answer yes, so be prepared with how you might answer them. They may ask about the experience you had with the team, or if you have any stories you’d like to share about the experience.
Sample Answer for Question #9:
While working as a project manager for the installation of a new manufacturing facility in Turkey, I managed 20 team members. There were construction engineers, civil engineers, architects, and general contractors on the team, as well as my support personnel in the U.S. Twelve of the team members were from Turkey, three members were from Germany, three members were from the U.K., and two members were from the U.S. Each individual was a pleasure to work with and it was fascinating to learn so many new things.
One of the first supply shipments that I received included toilet paper. I had my onsite construction manager store the supplies on racks in the back of the building so that work could continue on the placement of machinery and, logically I had him store the toilet paper, toilet, and sink in the bathroom, which was to be finished by the time I arrived back in three days. I then headed back to the U.S. to update the shareholders.
When I got back to Turkey, three days later, the entire skid of toilet paper was gone! Not only that, the toilet was set up under the mirror with water in it, there was a hole in the floor where the toilet was to sit, and the sink was gone. After standing there stunned, my construction manager came to my side and asked me what was wrong. I explained my confusion. He began to laugh and told me that most of the workers had never used an actual toilet. They thought it was a low sink so they could wash their hand when they were done and that the toilet paper was for them to dry their hands off. They had been complaining about it being too small and too soft. I explained how the bathroom was supposed to be set up and promptly talked to one of the architects to have a “staff” bathroom installed. I then put a lock on the bathroom door and ordered a new skid of toilet paper and sink.
The project manager made sure to include the various nationalities they were working with. They understood that all cultures are different and what we may find strange is normal in many places and vice versa. This project manager didn’t criticize or admonish the cultural difference. Instead they took the time to accommodate all of the nationalities to keep the project going.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 10: What do you do about gold plating on a project?
In the 1950’s, a manufacturer discovered that his engineers were adding material to the product to make them look better than the competitors. He called this Gold plating. Now a term used in project management, Gold plating or “delivering more than what is required in the scope” of the project is deemed as a bad practice. By performing beyond the scope, the project risks can increase if additional tests aren’t performed, costs are increased, and/or timelines are changed. All parts of the project have to be considered.
Best Practices for a project manager must be followed and avoiding gold plating in a project is an essential skill so the project can stay on task and on budget.
Sample Answer for Question 10 #:
I think that the first step is making sure that my team leaders understand the KPI’s when I assign the task. I work with the team to ensure that gold plating doesn’t go beyond the budget and time constraints. During a project to create an ad campaign for a new faucet, the client wanted to make sure that we included their guarantee in all facets of the campaign. In discussions with the client, we determined that our best bet was to have the guarantee in a central location and our Developer was working on pinning the guarantee on all of the updated social media platforms so we could stay under the word limit for posts. Our Social Media Manager was new and wanted to impress. He had gone ahead with getting the text created before the meeting occurred with the client. The Developer came to me with their concerns that the Manager was pushing them to get posts uploaded before we had completed the website and adjusted the social media platforms. and I called the Manager in for a meeting.
I explained to the Manager that I appreciated that he had gotten the text completed ahead of time, but that by going off on his own, he had the Developer’s recommendation which would not only reduce our time frame for delivery, but also add to our outsourcing budget for copywriters. I explained that while I understood his desire to get the posts started before the official launch, that the posts he had created weren’t within the scope of our project and he would now need to rework the posts accordingly. I told him that in the future, it would be prudent to wait for the Development team’s recommendations before diving in.
As we were outsourcing the copywriting, the Manager went forward and edited the copy himself in order to keep us within budget.
The answer provides the interviewer with a good example of the candidate’s knowledge as well as their ability to manage gold plating and keep within the scope of the project.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 11: How do you manage to satisfy the customer when the project went as planned, but they seem displeased with the outcome?
The saying goes, “The customer is always right”, but that doesn’t mean they’re always happy. It’s not uncommon for a project to go exactly as planned and authorized and still have the client come back and be dissatisfied.
The interviewer is trying to evaluate how you handle the client. They are looking at your skills of persuasion.
Make sure to demonstrate how your team followed through with the approved project. It’s important to illustrate your ability to communicate this to the client without inflaming the situation, and how you are able to resolve the conflict.
Sample Answer for Question #11:
Prior to the launch of a client’s new website the client came back with complaints about the final product. . They were refusing to pay even though we had provided them with all of the requirements of the project, including all noted changes throughout the process.
The web page included a Homepage, Contact Page, About Page, Candidates Page, Customer Page, and Job Posting Page. Each page was linked to the appropriate content via thumbnails with corresponding graphics and micro descriptions.
The client was heavily involved in all aspects of the project, from the colors used in fonts, to the constants that were to be on all pages. We reviewed all changes and discussed the impact of the changes with the client to receive approval before we moved forward. When the client received the bill, they were unhappy with the actual cost of the project compared to the original projected price before the changes.
I asked my team leaders to produce the logs for each step of the project. All of the leaders had been sure to note when changes were authorized and implemented. I brought the team into the conference room and initiated a call with the client. I asked the client to tell me what costs he was objecting to, and if he had the change orders that I’d sent him in hand. We began to go through each change order and the team leader that was in charge of that part of the project would introduce themself and go through the costs.
About four changes in, the client stopped us and asked for the breakdown of the cost logs for each change. I reiterated, diplomatically, that we had not added any additional tasks or costs to the project without prior approval from the client himself.
The client asked if he could speak with me alone, and I thanked the team and sent them out of the conference room. The client admitted that he had not taken the time to add up the costs of each change, he was just trying to get the website the way that he wanted. He agreed that he had received the end product he was looking for, and after taking all things within the budget into consideration, I offered him a 5% reduction in the final cost.
The candidate manges to approach the problem logically. They gather all of the information and team members needed to address the situation with the client and by doing so, they are able to come up with a solution that satisfies all parties involved. By showing that the project was done with the client’s expectations at the forefront of the team’s mind, they were able to save the day.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 12: How do you deal with underperforming project team members?
Keeping the team motivated is key to good project management and when you have a team member that isn’t meeting expectations, it can be difficult for the project as a whole. A project manager has to be able to pull the most from each team member and capitalize on their individual skills and abilities.
People management is crucial to keeping the project on task to achieve the desired results.
Sample Answer for Question #12:
If I feel that a team member is not performing I don’t usually jump right in. I take some time to find out if it’s a recurring issue, or just a bad day. If I find that the issue is continual, I ask the team member to come take a break with me. In a conversational tone, I ask how the project is going, what he thinks about it, and if he is enjoying it so far.
Depending on the answers I ask if there is any reason that he may be finding the tasks assigned to him difficult, or if there is anything I can do to help him accomplish the tasks. This lets me find out what the cause of the lack of motivation is, and how I can address it. It may be conflict with other team members, issues outside of work, or issues with the project itself. Until I know what the problem is I can’t address it and by taking the time to listen I work to get the team member back on course.
A landscape architect on a development I was working on wasn’t meeting submission deadlines on time after being gung ho about the project in the beginning. Three days after a missed deadline, I asked him into the break room to have some coffee with me. I asked him how the project was going and he immediately began telling me about his difficulty finding plants that would be sustainable in the soil for the green spaces of the project.
Rather than bringing this to the team and ultimately to the client for what would become a cost overrun, he was trying to find a solution to use the existing soil. I asked him if there was an alternative and he told me the only alternative was to bring in new topsoil, which at the time was at a premium. I asked him if he would mind talking to the client with me to explain the situation, as he was the expert, and after explaining it the client agreed to the change order and the topsoil was ordered. The relief for the architect was immediate and the project moved forward with all deadlines, on his part, met or exceeded from that point forward.
By taking the time to have a conversation with the team member, the project manager found the issue and by deferring to the members expertise, they showed them the value that they provided to the project.
This answer shows the interviewer that the candidate knows that taking the time to make one member of the team feel valued and heard, reverberates to the rest of the team.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 13: What is your strategy for conflict management?
Where there are people there are conflicts. The ability to sort out the conflicts, while keeping the team motivated and relationships within the team intact takes resolve. A good project manager tries to find a way to solve the problem while making neither side feel that they are unheard or unappreciated.
With this question the interviewer is gauging your temperament as well as your communication skills and conflict resolution abilities.
Sample Answer for Question #13:
When a conflict emerges, I find the best thing is to find out where it originated. Whether it’s between team members, the leader and the team, or the client and anyone involved, without finding the source, I can’t get down to resolving the issue. In an ideal world, I’m able to resolve the problem quickly and keep all parties involved feeling motivated and appreciated.
However, if this isn’t an outcome that’s possible, I analyze both sides of the situation and determine the advantages and disadvantages of all proposed solutions. I try to keep my answer to the problem as fact based as possible, to allow logic to take over emotions. I work with the individuals involved, showing them both sides of the conflict, and ask them to reconsider their position.
If they can’t come up with a consensus on their own, I go for the democratic approach. At that point I may involve other members of the team to ask them what they think of the proposed solution and/or if they have any solutions themselves.
The candidate works first to make everyone satisfied with the solution. If that doesn’t work, they take steps to attempt to have the parties involved find a solution themselves. And if that fails they take it to the team, allowing the final resolution to come from within. By allowing the individuals to resolve the issue, the project manager keeps control of the overall scope of the project without signaling anyone out and causing further discourse.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 14: What three words would people use to describe you as a project manager?
The next few questions are asked in so many interviews that they have almost become cliché.
You want to convey that you are positive and be truthful, while not gushing over yourself, and remember, especially with social media, and depending on the industry, your colleagues may be asked this question as well.
Sample Answer for Question #14:
I believe that colleagues and coworkers would say that I’m in control, outcome oriented, and logical.
I’m called Spock, behind my back. I’m not sure it’s my ears, or my personality. I think I prefer a project manager that’s more Spock than Scotty myself.
I keep fastidious notes to ensure that the project, the company, and the team is covered throughout the scope of work. I keep the final product at the head of all changes, and conflicts, and work out the steps required before execution of any plan. By keeping the end result at the forefront, I alway know where I need to be within the scope to keep the project on task.
I believe my colleagues and co-workers appreciate that they can always come to me to see where we were and where we are going. I am organized so that no matter the question or the problem I can find the information needed to answer or solve it. This allows me to anticipate many of the issues that might arise and be prepared in advance with solutions.
The candidate makes light of their tendencies, but emphasizes the importance of the qualities they possess.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 15: Why should we hire you?
Cliche question number two. From waitresses to chefs, roofers to architects, you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been asked some form of this question. This is where research comes in.
Your resume already shows all of your skills and abilities. It highlights your education and past work experience. This is where you wow them by telling them what they want to hear, and what you know about what they want to hear.
Find the company’s website for the history of the company and announcements or future projects they are working on. Check the people on their LinkedIn page if they have one and see if the person you are interviewing with has a profile. Check for them in news articles, particularly in the local area news. The more you know. . .
Sample Answer for Question #15:
To be honest, I have been hoping for an opening with your company for quite some time. In college I heard about the company when you completed the Broadway rehabilitation project, and then when I saw that you were the master developer for the Airport Redevelopment Project and looking for project managers, I knew I had to apply. I saw that you are looking for someone with 3+ years of both commercial and residential development experience.
I currently have over 3 years working in commercial development and 5 years of residential. The total, since I have worked at Forest City, is 6 years, as two of my projects were multi-use. If I’m hired for this position, I believe that my ability to cross between commercial and residential will be of great benefit to the project. It will also allow me to work with the green space initiative, integrating my current courses to assist the development in maintaining sustainablity.
The candidate indicates how they have been following the company’s projects and why they wanted to apply. They then go through some of the specifics making sure to highlight their qualifications for the job as well as their excitement at being able to expand their own abilities.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 16: Where do you see yourself in five years?
We’re not quite done with the cliches. Just a few more but preparation is key.
“I want to be in your position” may be the real answer, but probably not the best one. You should keep in mind your career path, and how this particular position will allow you to achieve your goals.
Sample Answer for Question #16:
I currently have over 6 years of project management experience. My goal is to continue on this path for the next five years and obtain the other certifications that I need to move up to other management positions within the company.
I currently hold PMP certification and CAPM certification. I would like to take my ITIL, PSM-1, and Six Sigma certification to improve my skills as a project manager. I believe this will give me an advantage when accepting various projects that might previously be beyond the scope of my education.
From all that I’ve read and heard, your company and this position will allow me to learn and grow into a better project manager.
The candidate stresses that they want to work on learning more and achieving the certifications necessary to work on a variety of projects. This allows the interviewer to see that they are willing to learn and grow within their company to give them their best.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 17: What is your current salary and compensation package? What is your salary expectation?
These are probably the last two questions you will be asked. The answers are, research, research research. The company you are interviewing with is more than aware of industry standards and you should be as well.
You don’t want to over sell or undersell yourself out of the job, so these questions can be particularly tricky. Take the time to check what salaries are currently being paid for the position in the area of the country you are in as well as the company itself.
Keep your answers short and sweet, current salary and compensation package. If you know they are currently starting people at less, and you still want the position because you believe the opportunity is too good to miss, let them know that as well.
It’s okay to let them know you have checked on what they are paying, but it’s also not a bad idea to go a little bit higher and remind them that you are open to negotiation.
Generally, you want to ask for an increase of around 14%, but double check the projected increases in your area as well as your area of expertise before you give a number. The percentage may be higher in your area, or lower within that particular company.
Project Manager Interview Questions | Question 18: Do you have any questions for me/us?
You’ve done the research and this is your last chance to wow them in this interview.
Have prepared questions about the company, the position, the future of the company at hand. Don’t be afraid to take notes.
Sign-up for a 7-day free trial! Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Sign-up for a 7-day free trial!
Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Project Manager Interview Questions – Conclusion
There will be other questions. There will be employer specific questions, industry specific questions, and position specific questions that we can’t anticipate. But by taking the time to research, make notes, and practice the answers for the questions we’ve listed above, you’ll be in a better place before the interview which will land you your new Project Manager Position.
Go through your resume, match it up to the job description, and come up with questions of your own. Take notes if you want and make sure to get the correct spelling of people’s names, email addresses if possible, and keep track of any information that they shared with you about themselves or their position in the company. Send a thank you note, either through e-mail or a card and include that information.
The personal touch makes them want you even more and keeps you at the top of the heap!
Want to make that resume shine? Make sure you have your CAPM or PMP designation. Certified project managers are more employable and earn higher salaries.
Have you led projects and are looking to earn a project management certification? You might be interested in learning about how lucrative this can be. Check out these articles.
No experience leading projects but still want to get into project management? No problem! Check out these articles.