Interviews Questions by Career
Interviews Questions by Company
Interviews Questions by Topic
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

IT Project Manager Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by William Swansen
Updated October 1st, 2020 | William Swansen is an author, job search strategist and career advisor who assists individuals from all over the world.
Job Interviews     Careers     Computer Science    

Question 1 of 25

Can you describe what you spend your time doing during a typical day?

How to Answer
Example Answer
1000s of Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Suggested
Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As

Answer Examples

1.

Can you describe what you spend your time doing during a typical day?

This is an operational question which the interview will ask to determine how you go about doing your job. While there probably isn't a typical day for a project manager, you should be able to describe the general tasks and duties you perform in this role. Again, you can use this question and your answer to highlight your qualifications for this specific job. You accomplished this by aligning your answer with the requirements detailed in the job posting and the research you've conducted before the interview.

William's Answer

"I perform a variety of different tasks and duties during my typical day. I usually start with a review of the previous day's progress on the project I am managing. I then conduct brief interviews with the project team to understand their plans for the day and any challenges or impediments they have identified or anticipate. The balance of the day is spent meeting with project stakeholders, other cross-functional teams within the organization, outside resources, and other people who may contribute to the success of the project. I usually conclude the day by sending out a project status report which updates everybody on the day's progress and our plans going forward."

2.

Can you tell me about a project you managed that failed, and discuss what you learned from this experience?

Nobody likes to discuss their failures or shortcomings, but you can learn to do this in a positive way. The secret is to turn the failure into a learning experience that you can use to help you do your job better in the future. Employers recognize that nobody is perfect, and everybody makes mistakes. The idea is not to allow a failure to be repeated. Ideally, your answer to this question should not involve a project or task you will be required to do for the employer with whom you are interviewing.

William's Answer

"I was recently involved in a project requiring installing a new type of network topology. The technology we are working with had just been released, and we were one of the first customers to implement it. Unfortunately, the hardware had not been properly tested and had many problems. We didn't realize that the supplier was using us as a beta test site. We worked closely with the vendor to iron out the bugs and eventually got the topology implemented. In the end, the network performed as per the specifications. However, the project took longer and cost more than what was budgeted. The lesson I learned from this was to thoroughly vet any new technology before selecting it for the organization."

3.

What methods do you use to communicate and collaborate with customers and other project stakeholders to ensure the success of the projects you work on?

Communication and collaboration skills are important for any project manager. Interviewers are likely to ask you questions like this to confirm your expertise in this area. They also gauge your communication skills based on how you answer the questions they ask. If you claim to be a good collaborator and communicator, you should be able to demonstrate this with your answers and the way you present them.

William's Answer

"The successful outcome of a project depends heavily on effective communication with all the stakeholders as well as the internal project team, and collaborating with this same group of people to achieve the desired outcomes. My approach to this is to meet with the project stakeholders early so that everyone is on the same page as to what the expectations for the outcomes of the project are. I then provide frequent updates as to the project's status and constantly solicit input and ideas from everybody. The last thing I do is to review the project outcomes prior to the final sign off to make sure that we have achieved the results the stakeholders expected."

4.

What methods have you found to be effective in gaining consensus from your project team in the project stakeholders?

Every IT project involves project stakeholders and the technical team whose responsibility it is to execute the project. Most of the time, the interests of these two groups are aligned. However, occasionally conflicts occur. These involve timelines, project outcomes, budgets, and other critical elements of the project. As the IT product manager, it is your responsibility to gain a consensus between these two groups and mitigate any conflicts which arise. You should be able to discuss how you go about doing this and what methods you have found to be effective.

William's Answer

"In my experience, the key to gaining consensus between the project team and the project stakeholders begins in the planning process. Before beginning to execute a project, I gather both groups together, and we discuss the project outcomes, the timelines, budgets, and other elements of the project. Setting the right expectations, obtaining the necessary resources, and making sure everybody understands how the project is to be executed eliminates most sources of conflict. When conflicts do arise, I address them immediately, asking for input from all impacted parties, and allowing them to collaborate on the resolution."

5.

What are some of the key indicators you use to determine if a project is falling behind schedule?

One of the IT project manager's critical responsibilities is to keep the project on schedule. To do this, you should be familiar with some key indicators which provided information as to the status of a project and whether it is behind or ahead of schedule. You probably already recognize this as an operational question that determines how you go about doing your job. Keep in mind that operational questions are best answered directly and briefly and that you should anticipate follow-up questions.

William's Answer

"I spend a lot of time and resources, making sure that the projects I manage to stay on schedule. I employ tools such as the agile methodology, pert charts, excel spreadsheets, and other techniques. Some indicators that a project is slowing down include incomplete tasks, feedback from the project team, resources we're waiting on, and requests from project stakeholders for additional time to complete their assigned tasks. Once I recognize these, I immediately take steps to accelerate the project and get it back on schedule."

6.

Can you discuss some of the tools and technology you use to manage IT projects?

Project managers use a wide range of tools and technologies to manage the projects they are assigned. Some of these are quite simple such as a spreadsheet or word document. Others are more complex, including project dashboards and other software and technologies. You should be able to name several tools you use and be prepared to go into detail if the interviewer asks you follow-up questions about a specific tool. If possible, try to describe the tools you use which align with those the organization is currently using.

William's Answer

"In addition to using the Microsoft suite office productivity and project management tools, I also use Gantt charts to manage my projects. ProjectManager.com has an excellent Gantt chart application, which allows me to plan and manage each phase of the project. I can create dependencies, assign milestones, manage all the tasks, and shift the workload."

7.

What steps do you take to close out a project?

People are usually pretty good about starting projects, but many may not know how to close out the project properly. An interviewer will ask you this question to understand your approach to this and determine how important you think finalizing a project is. As an experienced IT project manager, you should be able to describe step by step how you go about closing out a project so that the client is satisfied and the organization can account for the project costs and properly.

For xample: "Finalizing a project and closing it out properly is one of the most important steps in managing a project. If not done correctly, it could result in less than optimal client satisfaction and challenges in assigning the costs related to the project. My approach to this is to first call a meeting of all the stakeholders after the project has been completed to review the entire project, including any deviations from the original plan, and a summary of the results we attained. We then review all the project costs and how they were allocated. Finally, I solicit feedback from both the project stakeholders and the project team about what we could have done better. Their input is invaluable, and I include it in my planning for the next project. The last step is to submit a summary of the project costs to the finance organization so the costs can be allocated, the vendors paid, and the budget closed."

William's Answer

"Finalizing a project and closing it out properly is one of the most important steps in managing a project. If not done correctly, it could result in less than optimal client satisfaction and challenges in assigning the costs related to the project. My approach to this is to first call a meeting of all the stakeholders after the project has been completed to review the entire project, including any deviations from the original plan, and a summary of the results we attained. We then review all the project costs and how they were allocated. Finally, I solicit feedback from both the project stakeholders and the project team about what we could have done better. Their input is invaluable, and I include it in my planning for the next project. The last step is to submit a summary of the project costs to the finance organization so the costs can be allocated, the vendors paid, and the budget closed."

8.

Would you recommend project management to someone interested in pursuing a career in the IT industry?

An interviewer will ask this question to get a feeling for your passion for this career. Employers not only want competent people who are skilled and experienced in the role they are trying to fill, but they also want somebody who is passionate and will bring a great deal of energy to the position. You can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job in how you answer the questions, your body language, and by engaging the interviewer by asking interesting questions. A positive answer to this question will also reinforce your passion for the position.

William's Answer

"I can't think of a better job in the IT industry than being a project manager. This role exposes you to a wide range of technology, requires you to be innovative and creative, allows you to work with teams of exceptional individuals, and provides you a sense of achievement once the project is completed. Even on the most challenging projects, I've enjoyed working as an IT project manager and can not think of anything else I'd rather be doing. I would recommend this role to anyone looking for a dynamic and diverse job in this industry."

9.

What is your risk management strategy for the projects you manage?

Managing risk is another critical function of an IT project manager. While not all risks can be eliminated, mitigating risk without increasing cost or delaying the project is a key talent you should have as an IT project manager. Be prepared not only to acknowledge that you can do this but also to discuss specific techniques you use to accomplish this objective.

William's Answer

"No project is risk-free, so mitigating risk and minimizing them is important. This must be done without increasing the cost or delaying the project. Some risks are acceptable, while others need to be addressed before they occur. I do this by engaging the project team and asking them to identify any risks they can foresee for each step of the project. We then determine if we need to take steps proactively to avoid the risk, or take a chance that it will not occur. If we choose the latter course of action, we make sure we have contingency plans in place to address the risk event."

10.

Do you do any contingency planning when managing an IT development project?

The answer to this question should be pretty obvious. Anybody responsible for managing a project should plan for contingencies. No project goes completely smoothly from conception to completion, and as a project manager, you should anticipate issues arising that need to be addressed. The more experienced you are, the easier it is to anticipate the problems you may encounter and have contingency plans in place to address these.

William's Answer

"I believe it is critically important to have contingency plans in place for every project I manage. I always assume issues will occur and will need to be addressed. Having worked on many projects, I can usually anticipate these issues based on the nature of the project, the organization I'm working for, and any outside influences which may impact the project's progress. Having the plans in place, I'm able to put the contingencies in play and execute on them as the problems arise."

11.

How do you manage to provide project updates to all the project stakeholders?

Ensuring that all project stakeholders and the project team are updated and understanding the current status of a project is a critical responsibility of an IT product manager. It would be best if you had specific processes in place to accomplish this and be able to discuss them in-depth with the interviewer. Again, having done some research about the organization before the interview, your techniques should align with the processes they are currently using internally.

William's Answer

"I believe that the most important thing I can do is keep all the project stakeholders, including my team appraised of the status of a project. This is especially critical if the project begins to slip or falls behind schedule. I do this by creating an online dashboard that anybody on the team or involved with the project can access to see exactly where the project is, the next steps, and anything that has slipped or needs attention. Different software products provide this functionality, but I prefer to use Microsoft Project Manager."

12.

What certifications do you have that qualify you for this position?

Many professions require certifications. These validate that a candidate is qualified for the position and has acquired the appropriate education and training to work in this job. While not every employer requires a certification, having them will distinguish you from the other applicants and encourage the hiring manager to review your training, skills, and experience. Many employers will acknowledge your progress towards a certification even though you haven't received it at the time of the interview.

William's Answer

"I have both a Certified Project Management Associate (CPMA) and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from PMI. I am also ITIL certified and a Six Sigma Black Belt."

13.

What is your process for planning a schedule for an IT project?

You probably already recognize this as an operational question since you are being asked about a process that you use to do your job. The best way to prepare for an interview is to review how you go about doing your job, the processes involved, the relationships you have with other people, and some of the technical information you use. It would help if you also practiced answering questions like these out loud so that when you get into the interview, you are comfortable, and it feels more natural.

William's Answer

"When establishing a schedule for a new IT project, I first meet with all of the project stakeholders to understand the requirements and to get their input on the timeline for the project. I then consult my team to make sure that the timeline is realistic. Next, I break down the project into finite processes and to assign a schedule for each one of these, noting any dependencies between them. Finally, I review the schedule with the stakeholders and my team to ensure everyone agrees that it is attainable and realistic."

14.

Which do you prefer, focusing on one project or managing several projects at the same time?

This is an operational question which seeks to understand how you go about doing your job. By stating your preference in response to this question, you establish how you will work in this organization if offered the position. To make sure that your response will align with the expectations of the hiring manager, you should conduct a great deal of research before the interview to learn more about how the company operates.

William's Answer

"During my career, I have worked in environments that require me to either focus on a single project or manage multiple projects concurrently. I am able to do both of these but prefer to work on a single project. This enables me to focus 100% on the project requirements and outcomes. I've found this usually results in better results and a more successful conclusion to the project."

15.

What is one word you would use to describe the role of an IT project manager, and why?

This is a typical question an interviewer will ask you early in the interview. The purpose of this question is to get you talking, learn more about your background, and collect information they can use throughout the interview. It also provides them with an idea of your approach to project management. You should select a word that best describes you and aligns with the role for which they are interviewing you.

William's Answer

"If I had to use just one word to describe the role of an IT project manager, I would have to say 'resourceful.' No matter how much planning goes into IT projects, there are always a great number of unknown variables that impact the project. Issues such as a lack of resources, mistakes by the project team, unrealistic expectations by the project stakeholders, and other issues occur during any project. The key is to anticipate these, have the strategy for addressing them, and resolving them as quickly as possible to get the project back on track and moving towards completion. Often the solutions need to be unique and require some imagination."

More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
25 IT Project Manager Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. Can you describe what you spend your time doing during a typical day?
  2. Can you tell me about a project you managed that failed, and discuss what you learned from this experience?
  3. What methods do you use to communicate and collaborate with customers and other project stakeholders to ensure the success of the projects you work on?
  4. What methods have you found to be effective in gaining consensus from your project team in the project stakeholders?
  5. What are some of the key indicators you use to determine if a project is falling behind schedule?
  6. Can you discuss some of the tools and technology you use to manage IT projects?
  7. What steps do you take to close out a project?
  8. Would you recommend project management to someone interested in pursuing a career in the IT industry?
  9. What is your risk management strategy for the projects you manage?
  10. Do you do any contingency planning when managing an IT development project?
  11. How do you manage to provide project updates to all the project stakeholders?
  12. What certifications do you have that qualify you for this position?
  13. What is your process for planning a schedule for an IT project?
  14. Which do you prefer, focusing on one project or managing several projects at the same time?
  15. What is one word you would use to describe the role of an IT project manager, and why?
  16. What are some of the primary methodologies you use to manage your IT projects?
  17. Can you discuss the outcome and the results of a recent IT development project that you worked on or managed?
  18. What has been one of the most significant mistakes you have ever made on an IT project?
  19. Once you recognize that a project has fallen behind schedule, what specific steps you take to get it back on track?
  20. Can you discuss your experience managing remote teams and collaborating with outside resources on a complex IT project?
  21. How do you prioritize the tasks required to move an IT project forward?
  22. What is your approach to coaching team members who are performing below their full potential?
  23. Have you ever recruited outside resources to assist you with a critical issue for a project you were working on?
  24. One of the key responsibilities of an IT project manager is to oversee the budget for the project. Can you tell me about your experience in this area?
  25. Can you describe for me your ideal project and what it would look like if you were able to design it yourself?
Disclaimer
Our interview questions and answers are created by experienced recruiters and interviewers. These questions and answers do not represent any organization, school, or company on our site. Interview questions and answer examples and any other content may be used else where on the site. We do not claim our questions will be asked in any interview you may have. Our goal is to create interview questions and answers that will best prepare you for your interview, and that means we do not want you to memorize our answers. You must create your own answers, and be prepared for any interview question in any interview.
Learn more about what we believe >
Read our Terms of Use for more information >