13 Technical Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers in 2022 | ProjectPractical.com (2023)

Below are the top 13 interview questions for technical project managers you’ll most likely be asked at a job interview, plus tips and examples of the best answers.

1. Which Project Management Software And Tools Do You Prefer Using,And Why?

Project management software makes up for a major aspect of the project management industry, and interviewers want to know just how skilled you are at using them.

You need to showcase not just your formal skills of project management frameworks like Lean, Agile, and Kanban but also how you use them for the project management software.

Tip #1:Beforestepping in for the interview, look up the project management tools andsoftware that the company is familiar with.

Tip #2:Talkabout the software that you have used previously, where your expertise lies,and how you apply such frameworks practically.

Why Should We Hire You? 5 Best Answ...

Why Should We Hire You? 5 Best Answers

Tip #3:Use termslike “baseline” and “issue log”, as any manager with project managementsoftware will use.

Sample Answer

“Thefirst thing I do is create the baseline of the project, and mark themilestones. I use this baseline to compare the project progress and values andforesee the remaining costs and time period every few weeks.

I keep a log of the project using Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Project for crafting a project plan and a Jira software tracking tool to help me micromanage the process, and see how much percentage of a task has been completed.

WithJira, I have the option of customizing my dashboard for each task and thathelps me report it to the person working on it every week, and to update themif they are getting urgent.”

2. Do You Have Any Certifications ThatAre Relevant To This Position?

There are many software, tools, and programs being invented onthe regular in the project management industry, so it becomes important to stayrelevant and up to date.

Added certifications may not be obligatory but they are a sign of how serious and invested you are in your job, and companies want employees that are fully invested in what they do.

Byasking this question, the interviewer gets a better idea of your area ofexpertise and where your passions lie.

Tip #1:You canalso bring up your interactions with other project managers in the industry, asit shows that you are in touch with what is on the go.

Tip #2:If youhave a career plan as a project manager over the next couple of years and itinvolves getting new certifications, be sure to bring that up.

Sample Answer

“I intend to apply for PMP certification. I definitely see myself proceeding with the course within the next few months. I want to move up the ladder, past project management and onto program management and various other opportunities.

I am planning on taking ITIL foundation certification to add to my IT service management skills and a PMI-ACP certification to add to my agile project management skills. I believe that constantly enhancing my skills and applying for new certifications will hone my abilities to manage projects.”

3. What Specific Training Have You HadThat Would Be Relevant To This Project Manager Job?

The interviewer wants to learn about the training you havereceived over the years, which enable you to perform better as a projectmanager.

Tip #1:Provide aspecific example of any training course you underwent prior to becoming aproject manager.

Tip #2:Keep youranswer concise, i.e. highlighting how your training helps you as a projectmanager.

Sample Answer

“Myeducational background is in electrical engineering. Over the course of myeducation, I became adept at planning research and other projects. This basictraining enabled me to break down a project into different stages to ensure Icould complete it on schedule.

I have also completed a few certification courses in different disciplines of project management. A large part of my project management training has been on the job, working on a wide range of projects. I have handled projects ranging from software development to creating websites for clients.”

4. What Are The Most ImportantQualities Of A Project Manager?

Interviewersask this question because it makes the candidate pick the qualities that theythink every project manager should have. Because there is no one-size-fits-allanswer to this question, the answer will also indirectly reflect yourexperience, abilities, and priorities as a project manager.

Tip #1:Don’t bevague and try to skitter around the question; list down three concretequalities that you think are the most important in a project manager.

Tip #2:Ideally, the qualities that you list down should be the ones that are some of your greatest strengths. Team building skills, project scheduling, flexibility; whatsoever is at the top of the list of your skills are whatyouthink are the most important qualities of a project manager.

Tip #3:Talkabout how the skill is crucial to project management and relate it to thebenefit it can have for the company for which you are interviewing.

Sample Answer

“Project managers need a diversity of skills to do their job efficiently, but I would say that by far the most important is the ability to be flexible. All kinds of projects with different requirements pop up, you have to work with a whole array of personality types that often clash with each other, and more often than not the schedules, deadlines, and budgets are tight. A project manager needs to be quick on their feet, think strategically, and be flexible to adapt to a different tactic according to the circumstances.”

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5. Do You Have Budget ManagementExperience?

Budget is probably the most important part of a project, and therefore budget management skills may make or break the hiring chances of a project manager.

Ideally,project managers are responsible for the negotiation, managing, and utilizingthe allocated budget efficiently –and the interviewers want to know just howwell-versed you are at these skills.

Tip #1:Focus onthe fact that you have good budget management skills, then highlight thoseskills with a narration to cement the fact that your tactics actually work.

Tip #2:If youhave good negotiation skills, throw in the fact that you can ask for additionalfunding if necessary.

Sample Answer

“I have handled the budgets of quite a few of the projects I was assigned, but I think the highlight was when this one project had a very high budget of about 40 million dollars. It was a huge number for me compared to my previous experiences, and I was in charge of approving the expenses and procurements in every phase of the project.

Thenumbers made me a little nervous but I was particularly good at communicatingwith vendors and finance department of the company directly, so any issues thatcame up were often minor and resolved themselves quickly.

Incase additional funding was needed, I could very easily organize a meeting withthe sponsor and present the case. This project ended up costing us an extramillion dollars, but it all went by very smoothly.”

6. If You Were To Pick One Skill For AProject Manager To Have, What Would It Be And Why?

The interviewer wants to learn about the skill you give mostvalue to as a project manager. You have to back up your answer with an example.

Tip #1:Mention askill that you strong at. There’s no point going off about a skill that youcannot prove yourself adept at down the line.

Tip #2:Keep youranswer to the point. You simply have to name the skill and the reason you thinkit is crucial.

Sample Answer

“As a project manager, I value communication over everything else. From a technical standpoint, I know the people working with me are skilled, or else they wouldn’t be on my team. From my own experience, I know I can organize a project well and ensure timely completion.

The‘X factor’, in a manner of speaking, is communication. Maintaining effectivecommunication with each party involved in the project, from the client to myteam, is the key to keeping things on track. Moreover, through timely messages,I make sure that no one presses the panic button at any stage”.

7.What Have You Done To Improve Your Knowledge In The Last Year?

Thisquestion is a good measure of your own passion for your career as a projectmanager; if you’re genuinely passionate about it, you’ll be learning somethingnew just about every other year. Showing that you are open to learning willimpress the interviewer.

Tip #1:You don’thave to refer to any specific training or education you may have received. Youcan even narrate your efforts to conduct online research to improve yourskills.

Tip #2:You haveto prove that your efforts to improve your knowledge enabled you to executeprojects successfully.

Sample Answer

“Iam an avid reader. Over the past year, I have read three books on projectmanagement, which helped further my knowledge. I recently read the A Guide tothe Project Management Body of Knowledge, the sixth edition of which came outin 2017. Though I am familiar with the PMBOK methodology, the book helped melearn a few new things.

I also branched out in my previous job, taking on projects of larger scopes than I managed before. Luckily, I managed to complete the first project successfully. Thus, I learned to manage large-scale projects, which I hadn’t done before.”

8. How Would You Rate Your ProjectManagement Skills?

The interviewer wants to learn about your assessment of yourabilities as a project manager. Keep in mind that the answer relates strictlyto project management.

Tip #1:Modestywon’t serve any purpose here. Giving yourself a ‘high rating’ can show yourconfidence.

Tip #2:You haveto back your assessment with evidence. Hence, provide an example of the wayyour skills come to the fore for successful completion of a project.

Tip #3:Rateyourself from 1 to 10, to make it easier for the interviewer to understand yourrating.

Sample Answer

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my project management skills at 8. The main reason for not giving myself a full 10 is that I have worked on a limited range of projects so far and I want to broaden my horizons, which is one reason why I applied at your organization.

Mystrongest suite is project organization, where I break down the project intomanageable chunks. It helps me align the strengths of my team to the timelinewe need to follow for successful completion. I also pride myself on efficientand timely communication, apprising every party involved in the project abouteach stage we accomplish.”

9. How Would You Deal With A SituationWhere Your Project Is Running Behind Because The Resource You’ve Booked IsBeing Used By Another Urgent Project?

The intention of the recruiter behind asking this question is tosee how you reacted to a difficult situation in which resources were limited,and you still had to get the job done. They want to know if you can work inadversity and unpredictability, succeed in uncomfortable situations, and gaugehow good of a manager you are.

Tip #1:There arethree things that you need to focus on here: how limited was the staff, money,and time, how you renegotiated, and what solution you provided. The details ofthe project and the people working on it are irrelevant to your answer here.

Tip #2:The mainsolution that you can provide in a situation based on limited resources on atight deadline; this includes smart allocation of work, catering to everyone’sstrengths, reassigning work, all the while increasing incentive plan forovertime.

Tip #3:Let themknow that you are not a quitter, or slacked things off.

Sample Answer

“Iworked with a project team for a software development project and there was atight deadline of only six weeks for system design, development, and testing.We had 10 people on our team, and all of them were also working on a couple ofother projects as well, all of which were also just as urgent.

The workload was obviously too much for only 10 people, and not only was I concerned about keeping their motivation levels up because of the pressure but also that the work simply would not get done and we would potentially lose steady clients.

Irolled out an incentive plan for attendance, target achievement, and disciplineto keep the staff working overtime and motivated. I was also able to chart outa plan and communicate with the clients to hand over projects a week ahead thanusual.”

10. How Do You Allocate Resources?

Project management is not just about ordering people around, but also about managing often scarce resources according to the needs of the project. By asking this question, the interviewer is testing the extensiveness of your theoretical and ground knowledge as a project manager.

Tip #1:Talkabout allocating, as well as relocating sources –being flexible with the sourcesis what is being tested here.

Tip #2:The mostimportant resources that can be allocated and relocated are time and budget.This requires you to showcase your organization skills, time management, andcommunication and negotiation skills as well.

Sample Answer

“Ithink allocating resources entirely depends on the project more than anything,so an experienced project manager would probably not have a specific manner inwhich they do the job.

Personally,the first thing I do is analyze the needs of the project and what resources arerequired to achieve it. I then identify the sources we have and compare themwith the project that needs to get done. More often than not, there aremultiple projects going on at the same time and they require sharing of theresources, so you have to be really creative with what you are given, and begood at managing time as well.

The next thing I do is after the project has initiated is to create a usable and informative dashboard for everyone, particularly for sponsor and senior management. This dashboard contains everything, from the accomplished percentage of the project, a timeline of remaining tasks, the budget health, and the stakeholders and customer side high-level players.

In case additional funding is needed, I simple organize a meeting with the sponsor and present the case. This sounds a little technical, but micromanaging time is a really effective strategy for managing resources because everyone stays focused and productivity increases.”

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11. Do You Have Outsourced PersonnelOr Supplier Management Experience?

The interviewer wants to learn about any experience you have of working with outsourced personnel or suppliers. The question is straightforward and relates clearly to your practical experience.

Tip #1:Your answershould be on the dot. You only have to relay your experience of working withoutsourced personnel or suppliers.

Tip #2:Provideexamples of projects where you worked with outsourced personnel or suppliers toadd value to your answer.

Sample Answer

“During my first job, I handled a software development project for a client. The scope of the project meant that my existing team would not be able to handle the workload and deliver it within the given timeframe.

Basedon recommendations from our lead developer, we outsourced 25% of the work to anoutsourced team. I learnt that effective communication could become anessential tool in handling outsourced personnel. We not only managed tocomplete the project but used different tools and software to correspond on afrequent basis.”

12. Do You Have An InternationalProject Team Management Experience?

Youare likely to have worked with an international project team if you have beenworking as a project manager for a number of years. The interviewer wants a clear-cutanswer.

Tip #1:Youranswer has to be short. However, a Yes or No answer won’t suffice.

Tip #2:Offer abasic overview of the project where you worked with an international team.

Sample Answer

“Managingan international team proved a significant challenge for me. I worked with ateam on creating a website. The client required us to provide the functionalityof the site in multiple languages and hence, we had to seek help fromdevelopers based overseas to ‘localize’ the site.

Themajor hurdle was communication, as the team we were working was on a differentcontinent and in a different time zone. For the duration of the project, Iassigned my subordinate the responsibility of handling correspondence.

Hehad to change his shift timings to accommodate the requirements of the project.The key takeaway for me is that we had to rely on online tools. There, Irealized the importance of documenting each step of the project. I alsoexplained the process to the international team.”

13. What Is The Best Way To Set Up AndManage An Interdepartmental Team?

If you have more than a couple of years of experience as aproject manager on your resume, then you must have had to set up and manage across-departmental team. With this question, the interviewer wants to know theextensiveness of your experience, what it was like, and your contributions andskills in setting up and handing such diverse teams.

Tip #1:Highlightyour communication skills, negotiation skills, and motivation skills; these arethe main things that can get an interdepartmental team up and run efficiently.

Tip #2:Talkabout how you used the aforementioned skills tosuccessfullymanageinterdepartmental teams, and got the project done efficiently and on time.

Sample Answer

“Interdepartmentalteams are very diverse and need a lot of communication to set up and manage; soI have a system in place to make it work. The first thing that I do is get anidea of all the people and teams involved, how they work best, their strengthsand weaknesses –understanding them gives me a better idea on making a baselineto getting them all to work together as a macro-team.

The next thing I do is hold a focus group meeting with different individuals from all the departments. In this meeting, I highlight and outline what needs to be done by every member to work with other departments and make sure to explain it with examples relative to the departments. I feel that this phase is the most important because helping everyone understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths really goes a long way in aiding teamwork.

I craft an action plan including a priority list of tasks and actions that need to get done. I assign the tasks to the teams as an initiation plan, making sure to distribute the workload cross-departmentally, and then I schedule a follow up meeting every 40 days.

As the teams start working together, I regularly check in and keep track of their progress. This includes making a list of problems that may have occurred, and teams that do not work well cross-departmentally; I try some conflict resolution by effective communication tactics here as well.

Imake sure that the teams meet frequently in addition to the 40 days meeting,and continuously improve the teamwork. I have not met with any flaws in thissystem as of yet, so I’m hoping to continue with it for a long time.”

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