Project Manager Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

No matter what industry, project managers can help keep things running smoothly and prove to be an essential part of many businesses. Since project manager positions are usually in high demand, you want to make sure that you stand out from the applicant pool when you interview for the job.

Getting noticed during the hiring process can be difficult since hiring managers and recruiters see so many resumes when they try to find someone to employ. One crucial step of the hiring process is the interview. It provides a unique opportunity for you to show off and sell yourself to your interviewer.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of interviewing for a project management job. We’ll take you through some common interview questions and give you some example answers. Plus, we’ll give you some tips for impressing your interviewer.

Looking for a job? These position are hiring now near you:

  1. Project Manager
  2. Senior Project Manager
  3. Program/Project Manager
  4. Consultant/Project Manager
  5. Manager, Project Management

Project Manager Interview Tips

When you’re interviewing for a project manager position, it’s important to prepare and do your homework. Some of the best ways to prepare are by reading over tips to make sure you put your best foot forward and checking out some sample interview questions.

To help you do your best, we’ll give you some tips for nailing your project management interview:

  • Update your resume. When you go in for an interview, make sure you have an updated and accurate resume with you. Bring a few copies of your resume to the interview so you can provide one for the interviewer (or interviewers) and keep one for reference during the interview.

    Bringing a copy of your resume is a nice professional courtesy since interviewers don’t always have a chance to review your file before a meeting. It’s also useful as a reference to help you make sure that you mention important experiences or skills.

  • Research the company. When prepping for an interview, one of the first things you should do is research the company you’re interviewing with, your interviewer, and the position.

    Show your interviewer that you’re excited and engaged by understanding and showing that you know about the product or service the company provides. It’s also a good idea to take it a step further and try to find some information on your interviewer so you can learn more about them before you meet them.

    It’s also a good idea to refresh yourself on the basics of the position, like the job description, or try finding people at the company who hold a similar job title.

  • Know your interviewer. Interviewing isn’t just a time for a company to grill you, but a unique opportunity to share more about your experience. Take this time to both explain why you’re a great fit and ask questions to learn more about the company.

    Part of this is asking questions about your interviewer and getting to know them and their role. Ask what their day-to-day tasks look like, or what their favorite part about the company is. Use the opportunity to learn more about the company culture and day-to-day life in the office.

  • Watch your time. Showing up to an interview on time is good, but showing up early is great. Make sure you show up a little early so that you can leave time in case you get lost or need to fill out some visitor identification.

    Arriving early can also help you build rapport with an interviewer and get to know them ahead of your interview. It leaves time for small talk where you can show off your personality before the formal interview.

  • Sell your skills. While you’re interviewing, make sure to bring up essential project manager skills. Talk about your experience and how you exhibit these skills to emphasize what you’re good at and sell yourself.

    Some skills to talk about include strategizing, organization, leadership, teamwork, compassion, communication, relationship management, and software know-how (like ability to use project management software).

  • Use examples. When talking about your skills, always give examples about how you used skills in the past.

    Don’t just tell an interviewer that you have great communication skills, explain a time when your communication skills saved a project or prevented a catastrophic misunderstanding.

  • Ask questions. Sometimes impressing an interviewer is as easy as showing up prepared with questions to ask. Prepare a few questions before your interview and show your interviewer that you’re engaged and curious about the role.

    You can ask questions about the job itself, the company culture, or get specific and ask the interviewer about their role.

  • Dress for success. Whether you’re doing a virtual interview or an in-person interview, you should be dressed for the occasion. Go the extra mile and try to figure out the dress code of the company when you pick out your interview outfit.

    Some laid-back companies allow for a business casual look everyday, or other companies with more strict dress codes expect business formal outfits. Dress for your interview with this in mind, but always lean on the side of caution and overdress instead of underdress.

Top 15 Project Manager Interview Questions Answers

One of the best ways to prepare for a project management interview is to review commonly asked questions. This can help calm your nerves if you know what to expect during the interview and it gives you a chance to brainstorm your responses ahead of time.

You can use our example answers as a starting point for your responses, but make sure you make them your own and sell your skills and experience.

  1. What drew you to project management as a career?

    “I’ve always been a very organized person who likes to manage and direct things. I always found myself organizing and planning group projects in school, then tackling larger projects in internships and jobs. Eventually, I realized that project management aligned with my skills and began to pursue it as my profession.”

  2. Can you explain to me what a stakeholder analysis and a Power-Interest grid are?

    “A stakeholder analysis is a list of all of the people who could be involved in a project and what their role might be. Once you have a stakeholder analysis, you can create a Power-Interest grid to show which stakeholders are more invested and organize them by priority.”

  3. What is the most important part of a project manager’s job?

    “For me, I will always prioritize good communication. Good communication allows you to effectively explain, delegate, and contribute to projects. I would rather take extra time to make sure everything is clear to a team instead of just starting and making up for lack of communication later. Good communication keeps everything running smoothly.”

  4. What has been your most successful project?

    “I worked on implementing a patient satisfaction survey for a doctor’s office, which included doing all of the preliminary research and creating a system to manage and respond to the survey responses. I consider it a success because some at the practice were hesitant about spending the money to either hire someone to create and maintain an in-house survey or pay to outsource it to a survey company.”

    “By the end they were all glad that the survey was implemented and improved the practice’s ability to help their patients. The practice was able to act on patient responses quickly, addressing concerns or complaints that arose and implementing suggested improvements.”

  5. Have you ever had a project that went on past the deadline?

    “Yes, one time we could not meet the deadline because the client requested changes to our final product that far passed the expected scope of our work. When we received the changes, we communicated with the client that their work would take extra time and an increased budget to complete.

    “We explained how their request was outside of the initial scope and pushed the deadline back by a few weeks, so communication saved us from not fulfilling our commitment.”

  6. What documents are necessary before starting a new project?

    “I always make sure to have a business case document, a signed agreement, a clear project charter, and a stakeholder register before starting work on any project.”

  7. What types of projects have you worked on?

    “Since I started early with many project management internships, I have been lucky enough to work across industries. I started with an architecture firm and oversaw their design projects. Then I interned with a consulting agency and managed many business analysis projects. Most recently, I have worked with a doctor’s office to oversee the implementation of new technology.”

  8. What is your communication style?

    “I always prefer direct and to-the-point communication, while remaining compassionate. I always try to be as direct as possible and tell stakeholders, clients, and teammates things as they are. While I do like to be frank, I also approach communication with compassion and try to be an active listener and empathetic problem solver.”

  9. What’s your favorite way of motivating your coworkers?

    “I like to approach a working relationship as a personal relationship. I always find that knowing your coworkers and building rapport allows for better working relationships, and it helps me figure out how I should motivate and reward the people I work with. This flexible approach allows me to recognize everyone the way that they like to be recognized and keep them on-track.”

  10. Which project management tools are you experienced in?

    “I’m familiar with most project management platforms and can navigate around them, but I’m most comfortable with Asana, Basecamp, and Trello since I’ve worked with them extensively in the past. I prefer to work with Asana since I am a Certified Pro through their training program.”

  11. What do you do when team conflicts arise?

    “For me, I’ve always seen the most success when I let the team try to work things out, then step in when necessary. If the people who have a conflict can talk it out and resolve it, the issue usually goes away. But, if I’m the one who steps in and implements a fix, I’ll still see the same issues cropping up between the team.”

  12. What is a traceability matrix?

    “Traceability matrix is a chart that shows every step of the project and the requirements to achieve a phase of a project. The matrix lets you see everything in one place and make sure everything gets done before starting on the next phase.”

  13. What does WBS stand for?

    “WBS is a work breakdown structure that maps out all of the parts of a project, or work packages. It makes a project seem less overwhelming and helps figure out the steps necessary to complete a project.”

  14. What steps are involved in risk planning?

    “The steps involved include: Discovering risks, analyzing potential risks, prioritizing risks, developing risk responses, and maintaining a risk register.”

  15. Why do you think you’re a good fit for this job?

    “I think that my work experience in projects for tech implementation makes me a great candidate. I know how to get tech-based projects going and completed, and they can prove to be challenging if you don’t have experience. My experience in other types of projects also allows me to be flexible and think outside the box, so I can bring that knowledge to this position and your company.”