PROJECT MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers!
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PROJECT MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers!

Hi there everybody, my name is Richard McMunn,
and in this training video, I’m gonna teach you how to pass successfully your project
manager’s interview. So I’m gonna give you seven really important
project manager interview questions, and also sample responses. So please watch the video from beginning to
end. I’m also gonna tell you where you can get
a copy of these slides, so you can download them for free, and you can start using them
during your preparation. So let’s get straight into it. As I say, my name is Richard McMunn. A very, very warm welcome from me. That’s me there on the right-hand side, the
bald chap. I’ve been helping people pass interviews for
about 20 years now. A lot of my work is on YouTube, also on my
website,, and in this video, I’m gonna specifically focus on helping you
pass your project manager’s interview. So like I say, watch it from beginning to
end, as I’m gonna give you the slides. Just a couple of things I would very appreciate
if you could do for me. If you’d subscribe to the channel by clicking
the link below, you’ll get notified as soon as I create more free videos, you’ll get an
email straight away, you’ll never receive any spam or anything like that. And also, I would very much appreciate it
if you do like this video, if you would give it a thumbs up. Also, say hi in the comments section below,
let me know what interview you’ve got coming up, and if you’d like me to create some sample
questions for you to help you prepare further, please just mention it in the comments section
below. Okay, so seven questions, seven project manager
questions. First and foremost, question number one, “What
are the most important skills of a project manager, and why?” Now there’s obviously loads of different skills
required to be a successful project manager, but you need to list them, but also state
what the most important ones are for you. I’m gonna tell you what I would say as a project
manager, and the reasons why. So here’s some tips first of all, before I’ll
give you a sample response. Obviously, there are many skills required
to be a successful project manager, and they are all as important as each other. However, I recommend you state that both planning
and the execution of your plan are the main ones. Now there’s loads of different elements to
that. Obviously, strategic planning, communicating,
motivating your team lead and etc., but planning and execution, without those, you don’t get
the project delivered on time and within budget. Also, be prepared to give an example of where
you planned and executed a difficult project. I’m gonna cover one of those in a second,
so make sure you stay tuned. But be prepared to give a specific example. Okay, here’s my response for you. Don’t forget, you’re gonna get these slides
anyway, but do feel free to take notes. So the question is, “What are the most important
skills of a project manager and why?” Here’s my answer for you. “A competent project manager would need to
have numerous skills and attributes to be successful. However, the most important ones in my opinion
are planning and execution. As a project manager, you are ultimately responsible
for delivering the project on time and within budget. The only way you can successfully achieve
these goals is to plan thoroughly and execute the delivery of your plan. If you fail in these two areas, the client
or your employer is let down, and the consequences can be far-reaching. Now, in addition to planning effectively,
and the thorough execution of the plan, you also need to communicate effectively, both
in writing and verbally. You need to have outstanding motivational
skills, be enthusiastic about the project yourself, have a flexible approach to working,
be a great negotiator, be unwavering in the face of adversity and challenges, and also
be confident in your own and your team’s abilities. I believe I have all of these skills and qualities,
and can be relied upon to deliver fantastic results on budget and also on time.” Now, you’ll notice that that response, even
though I focus on the planning and execution and I state why they’re important, because
without those, you don’t get the project delivered, I also give my understanding that there are
others, too, so I’ve listed those. So that’s question one, “What are the most
important skills of a project manager and why?” Question number two, “Describe the most challenging
project you have worked on and why?” Okay, so this is your chance to give them
a really good project you’ve worked on. Here’s some tips. Make the project as difficult as possible. Now, this could include maybe time constraints. I know all projects have them, but in particular,
difficult time constraints. Maybe changing dynamics, where things are
going wrong and you have to deal with them, or even a difficult client. Another tip, demonstrate you have the ability
to work under pressure and deliver the project successfully. You know as well as I do as a project manager,
you’ve gotta focus on the task really hard, and make sure it’s delivered regardless of
what happens. So use this as an opportunity to showcase
your skills, your qualities, your attributes and your experience. And you’re gonna focus on your management
style, your leadership, and also your ability to communicate effectively. So let’s take a look at a sample response
to the question, “Describe the most challenging project you have worked on and why?” Here’s my response for you to use. “One particular project immediately springs
to mind. I was managing a project for a client who
had specific requirements that continually changed. Now, every week, they would change their mind
on what they required, but I focused on completing the project successfully, on budget and on
time, whilst motivating my team. Now, the project was particularly challenging
because some members of my team did not like the client, and they were threatening to quit
because they kept changing their mind. I motivated my team continually and listened
to their concerns as and when they raised any issues. I found that by communicating with my team
regularly, it helped them to stay focused on the project. I did decide actually to discuss tactfully
my concerns with the client. I felt it was important to communicate with
them how their indecision could potentially have a negative impact on the project. Now, whilst I assured them the project would
be delivered, I felt it was my responsibility to inform them of the potential negative impact
their indecision could have on the overall result. Now, they took on board my comments, which
was great, and my suggestions, and they thanked me for my honest feedback. The end result was that the project was delivered
on time and to the satisfaction of the client. Now, at the end of the project, I conducted
a meeting with my team members, and we all discussed what we had learned from the project,
so that we could improve for next time. I always find an honest and open approach
to managing projects works really well.” So you can see that I’ve given a specific
example, and that’s the key thing, is to use a specific example of a project that you’ve
worked on. Now obviously, mine’s not based on a particular
one, but if you can say, “Yes I was working for this organization, this was the project,”
and you can give more detail, then that’s great. Question number three of the project manager’s
interview, “Describe your communication style during the management of a project.” Here’s some tips. Having an open communication style with your
team and your client or employer really are important. Have an honest communication style where open
discussion is encouraged. This will help you and your team to continually
improve. Now, of course, there are gonna be times,
especially when there’s a strict time constraint and there’s high pressure on, where communication
might be limited, but obviously, you know as well as I do communication is absolutely
vital. I used to work in the fire service for about
17 years, where I would turn up at incidents and had to manage quickly and make decisions,
but I always found that being highly communicative with my team worked really well. So communication, honest communication, is
important. So here’s my answer for you. “Describe your communication style during
the management of a project.” “My style of communication is always open,
honest and encouraging. I believe that, by having an open and encouraging
style of communication, my team will discuss with me any issues and potential problems,
which will in turn allow us to deliver the project on time and to specification. Now of course, there are times when a limited
communication style is required, especially when we are operating to an extremely tight
deadline. However, wherever possible, I always encourage
open, honest and frank discussions where the team feel they can communicate with me at
any time.” Okay, question number four. We’re making really good progress now. Don’t forget, if you’re liking this, I would
appreciate it if you gave the video a thumbs up. Put in the comments section below what you
think of the training so far, and at some point soon, I’m gonna tell you where you can
download these slides, and you can use them during your preparation. Question four, “How do you motivate a team
during a project?” Tips. I think it’s important to demonstrate that
as a project manager, you are fully aware of the importance of motivating your team
to get the job finished, and to a high standard. As a project manager, you are also a leader,
don’t forget, you’re a visionary, a strategic visionary, whose responsibility is to motivate,
encourage, and support the team, constantly driving them to complete the project successfully. Let’s take a look at my sample response for
you, “How would you motivate a team during a project?” “I would motivate my team in three ways. First of all, through a thorough brief at
the start of the project. Secondly, by laying out the required standards
of the project from the get go. And thirdly, by communicating with them and
also supporting them periodically throughout the project duration. Now, I feel a thorough brief at the start
of the project, that lays out the plan and key tasks is essential. Now, if everyone knows their role within the
project, then it’s far more likely to be a success, and the team will feel motivated
throughout. Now, also by setting out the required standard
and expectations at the start, none of the team members will have any cause to complain
or feel demotivated. Now, clear lines of communication and expectations
are essential to motivating a team. Finally, by speaking with the team throughout
the project, and also offering words of encouragement and support, each team member will feel valued,
which is a key driver to delivering a successful project.” Question number five, “How would you delegate
responsibility during a very important project that has tight deadlines?” So as a project manager, you have to delegate. Some people find it hard. I find it quite easy to delegate, but that’s
because I know my team really well. So, here some tips. Remember, delegation is an essential part
of delivering a successful project. Now, the only way this can be achieved is
by knowing your teams’ strengths and weaknesses, of course. Identify your key players within your team,
trust them, and allow them to get on with the task in hand. So here’s my sample response for you, for
the project manager interview question, “How would you delegate responsibility during a
very important project that has tight deadlines?” “Now, one of the most important things with
regards to delegation is to know your team’s key strengths and weaknesses. That is why it’s important to get to know
your team inside out as soon as possible. Now, if you know your team well, you should
not have a problem delegating tasks. To specifically answer your question though,
I would draw up a list of tasks that needed to be delegated during the planning phase
of the project, before identifying which team members should carry out each particular task,
based on their strengths. Now, once the tasks were delegated, I would
ensure each team member was fully aware of the brief. I would also make sure they provided me with
a situation report and update on a periodic basis. This would then allow me to benchmark against
my plan, to ensure each task was working towards delivering a successful project, on time and
within budget. I would always trust my team to deliver based
on the fact I would be fully aware of their strengths and their weaknesses.” Great response. Question number six, “How would you ensure
a project is delivered on time and within budget?” Couple of tips. Now obviously, the only way a project can
be delivered on time and within budget is through thorough and effective planning. State you would ensure the project was delivered
on time and within budget by planning, by support during the execution phase, and also
by having a flexible approach to working. So, here’s the response. “All projects I take control of are delivered
by: proper planning, support during the execution phase, and also by having a flexible approach
to working. Now, the planning phase is always done well
in advance of the project start date, and this allows me to strategically plan for any
eventuality. I will always create a vision board during
the planning phase, to identify the key issues that could arise during the execution of the
project. Now, this is important because it then allows
me to prepare in advance for any eventuality. Then, if something happens to potentially
put the project off track, it is not a surprise, because I have a contingency plan in place
to deal with it. Now, support during the execution is whereby
I provide motivational support to the team, and also look strategically for potential
problems with the plan. This allows me to foresee issues and deal
with them properly. Finally, by having a flexible approach to
the project, you are not set in your ways and blinkered by your own thinking. It’s always important to listen to your team
members and other stakeholders, as they may foresee a better way of working that allows
us to deliver the project more efficiently and cost effectively.” Question number seven, “What is your strategy
for working with an underperforming team member?” Now, we all get these as project managers. Here’s some tips. This is where your coaching and motivational
skills will definitely come into play. Mention the word empathy if need be, as this
can sometimes be an important part of your project management skills. Now of course, you are being paid to deliver
a project, and some people will argue, “Oh, I don’t need to have empathy,” but you do. It can be a great tool, if used wisely. Tell the interview panel that you would follow
the three steps to deal with an underperforming team member by identifying, by coaching, and
supporting. And I’ll elaborate what I mean of each of
those in a second. Question number seven, here’s the answer,
“What is your strategy for working with an underperforming team member?” “My strategy would be to use a three step
approach that has always worked for me in the past whenever a situation like this arises,
and that three step approach is: I identify the issue that is affecting the team member. This would mean sitting down with the team
member, and getting to the root of the problem. Obviously, knowledge is power, and if I understand
what is causing them to underperform, I can resolve the situation quickly. Now once I’d gathered the information during
step one, I could then put in place a coaching or development plan to help them improve. If it is something in their home or personal
life that is causing them problems, I can create a plan for them based on their needs. However, if it is solely a performance-related
issue, I would put in a plan in place to help coach and develop them, and provide additional
training if required, while showing empathy if needed. I would then support them for the required
period of time, to ensure they got back on track with their performance. Now, whatever the issue the team member had
that was making them underperform, I would get to the bottom of it really quickly. I’d support them, show empathy where appropriate,
and put them on track to get back to peak performance as soon as possible.” Okay, I want to give you some more project
manager interview questions and answers. Now, I’ll tell you where you can get these
slides. Now, there’s two things that I’d like you
to do. If you click the link below the video, in
the description, directly below the video, you can either go to my website,,
where you can get access to a free interview training course, or, for those people who
are on LinkedIn, if you click the description below, I’ve put a link where you can download
these slides on SlideShare. SlideShare’s owned by LinkedIn, so you can
click that, and you can download the slides free of charge, and then just use them during
your preparation. I’ll also put a link to my LinkedIn account
below, in the description, so if you wanna connect with me on LinkedIn or say hi, please
do. I’ve really enjoyed creating these videos,
and I hope you found that useful. Say hi in the comments section below. Please, sorry to keep asking, but it’d be
great if you gave it a thumbs up, the video. It motivates me to do more, and don’t forget
to subscribe to the channel. Guys, thank you for watching, and I wish you
all the very best in your pursuit to passing your project manager’s interview.

About Bill McCormick

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100 thoughts on “PROJECT MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers!

  1. Thank you very much for this video very insightful and thought provoking. May I add that this can easily be adapted/added to by thinking about the type of methodology you would use in a project for the company you are interviewing for. It would be well worth your time to investigate before hand how the company your applying to currently conducts their projects. For example if the advert doesn't use any method specific keywords for the role and does not say which methodology they are using, then look at the sector they are in. Construction tends to be based around PRINCE2, software and some engineering will be AGILE, manufacturing may be LEANSIX. So using the great advice given in this video adapt it slightly in include keywords used in your method and also aim the answers in regard to your method's principles. I have a phone interview tomorrow and will be using this video as a guide, fingers crossed hey, thanks again.

  2. I have an interview soon for a project manager, involved in innovation. The team is split in different countries. Any tips on answers and examples to cover? Many thanks!

  3. really excellent video for those who are preparing for interviews. I think it helps us in the future while answering the questions during interview. looking forward for the new ones. thank you for your support, Sir.

  4. I Honestly appreciate this as part of my prep for a pending interview. This can be applied to other PM positions

  5. Good day sir, i am preparing for an interview for the position of Project Control Engineer ( the job description involve so much of risk management). Please help me with some tips. My email: [email protected] thank you

  6. Excellent video. I wished I had seen this video earlier, it would have helped me a lot. But I will now start using these tips for my upcoming interview preparation. I give this video 5 out 5 stars !!!

  7. I've spent a day looking for ways to address and articulate my responses for these target questions. Much appreciated, very informative video! Keep it up!

  8. I have an interview for the position of an EPC planner, what possible questions can you put together for to win?

  9. Hi. Thank you for the tips. I am a recent graduate and looking for my first job. It can be overwhelming. Watching your vid helped.

  10. hi, thank you for the training, however, I would like to learn more on conflict management within your team members

  11. I am interviewing for a manager position for retail. Very nervous. How to answer motivation and leadership questions.

  12. Hello, I have a job interview for a PM position, currently a technician at same company that I'm interviewing , any tips would be appreciated

  13. In India they ask methodology or terminology of PMP is that important if yes then which topic we need to focus before interview

  14. Hi Richard, great video I just love it. I have an interview coming up at the end of this week any insight for me? The position is scrum master/ project manager. Haven’t been a project manager before

  15. Hi Richard – thank you for putting this video together. It’s definitely giving me more confidence going into my interview next week. One question that I had was how to best answer this question: Can you tell me about a time when you missed a deadline? (Or critical milestone, etc.)

  16. Hi Richard McMunn, this is a very good stuff and it is very educating. When I subscribed was expecting a dialogue form where I could feel my details in terms of email. Kindly add [email protected] it is my most active email.

  17. Hi
    With your help with the job specification I got a job 9 months ago. I am l applying for internal roles now. Do you have any tips for the interviews??
    Thanks for all you do

  18. Hi Richard, Excellent video. I have a Program Delivery Manager interview next week. Any interview Q&A tips that you could give would be great?

  19. Sorry but I think your answer to Q2 was gobbledygook and what I call PM speak; skirting around the question and talking nonsense.

  20. Hi Richard, i have an interview next tuesday for digital marketing project manager, what kind of questions should i expect? thanks for your help

  21. Video is really good. But I would like to suggest something. If you can reduce your speed. It will help viewer to go along with you.

  22. I am tired from being a PM and cant wait to end my career and something totally different. Something less stressfull and more flexible with my own time.

  23. This is really great. I need these slides. I am finally getting certified, although I have been on projects, clients won’t give me the pm title.

  24. I purchased your course on Aug 28, 2019. Today is Sep 23, 2019 and I still don't have access to the initial set of questions you promised!! What a con game

  25. I think it's very useful because when watched before the interview it helps to keep the right flow of thoughts. I find it very helpful – sort of mind opening and insping rather than giving the right answers. Thank you for that!

  26. Project Manager Skills presentation:
    1. what are the most important skills of a project manager and why? planning and execution within budget.
    2 Describe the most challenging project you have worked on and why? time constraint, changing dynamic, difficult client.
    3. Describe your communication style during the management of a project? honest and open communication with encouraging.
    4. How would you motivate a team during a project? trust their ability and encouragement with periodically coaching and standards of expectations.
    5. How would you delegate responsibility during a very important project with tight deadlines? knowing team their strengths and trusts their ability.
    6. How would you ensure a project is delivered on time and budget? proper strategic planning with visibility.
    7. What is your strategy for working with an underperforming team member? empathy with identify, coaching, support.

  27. Hi Richard, thank you for uploading this very concise and interesting video. However each time I clicked on the link for slideshare it was taking me back to your website

    To me the most important skills of a project manager will be Communication, and Leadership, and yes, planning and execution is also among the skills that will be required throughout the project lifecycle

  28. Really very helpful. Just what I needed. Can you share the questions and answers as I am in the interview process would like to go through it.

  29. excellent video, but why speak so fast? more breaks would be better for us to have time to learn and remmember, moreover people with poorer english skils…

  30. excellent video, but why speak so fast? more breaks would be better for us to have time to learn and remmember, moreover people with poorer english skils..

  31. Useful Q/As! Can you please describe some interview question answers around Values and Ethics

    Thinking things through

    Effective Interpersonal Skills

    Client Service

    Oral Communication

  32. Hi, I am attending for Cisco India interview, i have an interview with project manager. Could you please help me to clear the interview?

  33. Hi I need to speak with you i going to have interview and need to discuss with you as apart of my preparation could you please respond me

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