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IT Project Manager Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your IT Project Manager interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

IT Project Manager was written by and updated on October 1st, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

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

How to Answer

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.

Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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25 IT Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

  • 2. What steps do you take to close out a project?

      How to Answer

      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."

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 9. What certifications do you have that qualify you for this position?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 14. What are some of the primary methodologies you use to manage your IT projects?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer will ask this type of question to understand how you go about doing your job. Questions like this are considered operational questions and help the hiring manager to get a better idea of your qualifications and skills for the position for which you are interviewing. Operational questions are best answered directly and succinctly, with little embellishment. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need additional information.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 15. Can you discuss the outcome and the results of a recent IT development project that you worked on or managed?

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer asks this question, they are only marginally interested in the results you obtained from a project. What they're actually looking for is how you went about obtaining those results, and any lessons you may have learned regardless of whether the project was successful or a failure. The best way to answer this question is to provide a brief description of the results you obtained and then elaborating on the techniques you used to obtain those results. Your answer should also align with the type of projects for which the organization is interviewing you to manage.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 16. What has been one of the most significant mistakes you have ever made on an IT project?

      How to Answer

      The purpose of this question is not to discover what your biggest mistake has been, but rather how you dealt with it. Everybody makes mistakes, but recovering from them and correcting them is a critical skill for an IT project manager. When answering this question, give a brief description of the mistake, take ownership of it, and then spend some time describing how you resolved the issue.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 17. Once you recognize that a project has fallen behind schedule, what specific steps you take to get it back on track?

      How to Answer

      This is a follow-up to the interview question 'What are some of the key indicators you use to determine if a project is falling behind schedule?'. As we mentioned in the advice section for that question, every time you give an interviewer an answer to their question, you can anticipate follow-up questions. This indicates that the interviewer has a specific interest in this topic and wants to explore it in greater detail. It also indicates that the topic is of significant importance to the organization. You should take additional actions to demonstrate your qualifications in this area.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 19. Can you discuss your experience managing remote teams and collaborating with outside resources on a complex IT project?

      How to Answer

      In today's technology environment, it is common to work with remote teams and external resources. This is especially true since the pandemic, where even the inside resources are working remotely. You should be able to demonstrate your skill in this area by discussing previous projects you worked on, which involved managing remote teams and collaborating with outside resources.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 20. How do you prioritize the tasks required to move an IT project forward?

      How to Answer

      This is an operational question in which the interviewer is seeking to understand your ability to prioritize tasks, schedule resources, and determine the relationships between individual tasks. Keep in mind that when answering an operational question, you should be brief and to the point. Always anticipate a follow-up question from the interviewer.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 21. 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?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 22. What is your approach to coaching team members who are performing below their full potential?

      How to Answer

      As a project manager, you are also a team leader. It is your responsibility to get the most you can out of the members of your team. This process starts with good hiring, consistent development of skills and experience, and frequent coaching and mentoring. You should be able to discuss this based on your experience executing this critical skill.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 23. Have you ever recruited outside resources to assist you with a critical issue for a project you were working on?

      How to Answer

      By asking this operational question, the interviewer is seeking to understand whether you are willing to use whatever means it takes to complete a project. There is no shame and seeking help outside of your immediate project team. The critical element is that you remain in control and take responsibility for the outcome of the project, including adherence to the budget and timeline. Whatever resources you use is up to you.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 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?

      How to Answer

      Managing a project's budget is a key skill a qualified IT project manager must possess. Not only should you be able to talk about your experience with this, but you should also include a few tips about how to make the process easier and more transparent. The more expertise you can demonstrate in this area, the more likely you will be considered as a qualified candidate for this position.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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  • 25. Can you describe for me your ideal project and what it would look like if you were able to design it yourself?

      How to Answer

      This is a general question the interviewer is likely to ask early in the interview to start the conversation, learn more about you, and collect some information they can use throughout the interview. It also provides them with an idea of your project management preferences and the type of projects you like to work on. This type of question provides an opportunity to guide the interview in a direction you would like.

      Written by William Swansen on October 1st, 2020

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