MockQuestions

Project Manager Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Project Manager interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Project Manager was written by and updated on June 27th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Do you prefer to work on one project or multiple projects at the same time?

How to Answer

Consider what the company will likely need from you. If you think this company/industry will require you to juggle multiple projects at once, go in that direction with your answer. Be truthful but thoughtful.

Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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30 Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Do you prefer to work on one project or multiple projects at the same time?

      How to Answer

      Consider what the company will likely need from you. If you think this company/industry will require you to juggle multiple projects at once, go in that direction with your answer. Be truthful but thoughtful.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I've had experience both juggling multiple projects and focusing on only one at a time. I think in many ways it's ideal to only have to worry about a single project at once because then you can direct all of your time, energy, and ideas to it. But there's something to be said about the excitement that comes from handling multiple projects at once. It keeps me on my toes! And, honestly, with the available project management software on the market these days it's easier than ever to keep track of several projects at one time. I have experience doing both and see value in either method. At times it's inevitable that projects might overlap as well; that's just part of the job and something I have no trouble handling."

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2. What are some risks and issues you've dealt with in the past during projects?

      How to Answer

      Project risks commonly involve resources, time, scope, communication, and cost. They tend to refer to a condition or event that may impact the project in the future, whereas an issue is an existing problem that is currently affecting the project. The interviewer wants to know that you're familiar with risks and issues because as a project manager you need to be able to prevent, mitigate, and manage any risks or issues that arise during a project.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I've learned throughout my career that in many cases the project manager can take actions to help avoid project risks. For example, making sure the project's purpose, need, and scope is well-defined prevents significant problems down the road. In terms of risks that I've encountered during past projects, they would include contractor delays and not having control over my team's priorities. I've learned techniques to combat these risks like including late penalties in contractor contracts and briefing team managers on the importance of the project. In terms of issues, I recently had to quickly adapt when a key member of my team was unexpectedly hospitalized. Luckily, I had identified back-up employees and was able to tap some of them to fill in while this person was incapacitated so the project timeline wasn't impacted."

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. Tell me about your typical relationship with project sponsors.

      How to Answer

      It's imperative that project sponsors be kept in the loop throughout the entirety of the project since they provide resources that the project needs to be completed. In addition, project sponsors can provide valuable feedback to project managers as the project progresses. Talk to the interviewer about how often you typically contact sponsors and in what manner.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Throughout my career, I've encountered many different kinds of sponsors. Sometimes they want to be very involved in the project and other times they don't. When I'm introduced to the sponsor(s) at the beginning of the project I try to determine their preferences and then communicate accordingly during the project. If a problem arises that my team and I are unable to resolve on our own, I would definitely reach out to the sponsor to get their thoughts. In many cases, the feedback that the project sponsor provides is extremely helpful. For many of the sponsors I've worked with during larger projects, I scheduled weekly meetings or calls with them where I gave updates and discussed outstanding issues."

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I have been fortunate to have some great leaders in the position of Project Sponsor in my projects. I feel it is important to have a bi-directional exchange with my sponsors so that if issues arrive that require their assistance or input, they are well informed and can provide pertinent advice or direction."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like you prefer a collaborative relationship that supports dialogue and information exchange. This is a good opportunity to showcase your communication and relationship-building skills by telling the interviewer how you build strong relationships and how that has benefited your projects. Do you agree on expectations of their involvement at the beginning, meet regularly to provide updates, or ask the sponsor for feedback to ensure the project remains aligned in scope and deliverables? If you've had a really positive experience with a specific sponsor, consider talking about how that strong relationship translated into a positive outcome for the project.

  • Behavioral

    4. Do you prefer to handle things yourself or to delegate to others?

      How to Answer

      This is the interviewer's way of finding out if you are a micromanager or not. Most likely, the interviewer is looking for someone who is comfortable delegating tasks to others because trying to do everything by oneself is a recipe for disaster, particularly during a large project. You want to show that you are a leader who puts together strong teams and then allows others to do their jobs so you can do yours.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. Give me an example of a time when you successfully handled intense pressure.

      How to Answer

      Project managers need to have the ability to juggle urgent deadlines, various personalities, sometimes unreasonable expectations, and more during complex projects. All of these moving parts can create a lot of stress, and the interviewer wants assurance that you can effectively manage high-pressure situations. Provide an example of a time when you did so successfully.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    6. Tell me how you communicate with others. What kind of communicator are you?

      How to Answer

      It is vital that a project manager be able to effectively communicate with many different kinds of people, including stakeholders, vendors, and employees, among others. Prior to the interview, brush up on the various kinds of communication styles out there (for example: passive, aggressive, assertive, passive-aggressive, analytical, intuitive, functional, personal) and identify which relate to you. If possible, provide an example of a time when you used your communication skills to resolve an issue.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    7. Are you experienced with process development?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer who works for a startup might ask this question since when a company is small and growing it may have a need for more structure and processes. You will want to let the interviewer know if you have experience in this area or not. If you do, provide an example or two; if you don't, talk about how excited you are to have the opportunity to put new processes in place.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    8. What project management methodologies do you follow?

      How to Answer

      There are many different project management methodologies out there. You will want to discuss the ones that you personally use and explain why you choose to follow them. Try to give an example or two of the times you've used various methodologies. Show that you are knowledgeable in this area and that you understand that some methodologies work better in certain situations than others.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    9. What kinds of project management software do you use and why?

      How to Answer

      Most project managers have a favorite project management program or two that they prefer to use. Talk to the interviewer about the software that you like and why. You'll also want to show that you stay current on new tools and programs so consider mentioning how you educate yourself in this area. To avoid pigeon-holing yourself in case the company uses a different program than the one you prefer, let the interviewer know you are a quick learner and comfortable using different programs.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    10. What do you do to prevent "scope creep"?

      How to Answer

      Scope creep can be a real problem for project managers. It occurs when the project's objectives shift as it progresses, which can lead to the project going over its budget and/or timeline. The interviewer wants to be assured that you know how to recognize and handle scope creep. Talk to them about how you would prevent it from occurring and what you would do if it did happen.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    11. What kinds of risks do you encounter during projects and how do you handle them?

      How to Answer

      A risk is an event or condition that may cause problems for the project in the future. It is different than an issue, which currently exists and presently impacts the project. Talk to the interviewer about different risks that commonly affect projects. If possible, give examples of times when you've dealt with risks, and explain how one might avoid, mitigate, or handle them.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    12. What kind of experience do you have managing budgets?

      How to Answer

      It's imperative that project managers know how to manage money so they don't end up overspending. Give the interviewer examples of times when you've successfully managed budgets. Discuss the tools you use to keep track of project costs and what you do if part of a project costs more than anticipated.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    13. What is the most important skill that a project manager needs to be successful?

      How to Answer

      Given that project managers use and rely on many different skills, there are several ways you can answer this question. Let the interviewer know what skill you believe is most important to your job - whether it be related to organization, communication, negotiation, leadership, or time management - and back up your opinion with a related example if possible.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    14. How do you go about defining the scope of a project?

      How to Answer

      One of the most important responsibilities of a project manager is to determine the scope of projects. If this isn't done correctly, it can negatively impact the project's budget, resource usage, and timeline. Explain to the interviewer what techniques you use to define a project's scope and how this helps guarantee its success.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    15. What do you do to ensure a project doesn't go off track? If it does, how do you fix it?

      How to Answer

      One of a project manager's biggest responsibilities is to make sure that projects stay on track to meet their deadlines. But projects are easily knocked off course. Explain to the interviewer what tools and techniques you might use to monitor a project's progress and what you would do if something didn't go as expected.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Competency

    16. How experienced are you in using RAID analysis?

      How to Answer

      Project managers commonly use RAID analysis at the beginning of projects to assess risks and issues. You will want to show the interviewer that you know what it is and, if possible, walk them through a past project when you used RAID analysis. In addition, mention any software that you use to run this type of analysis.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    17. What is the biggest mistake you ever made during a project?

      How to Answer

      Everyone makes mistakes so be truthful and tell the interviewer about a time when you messed up. It's important, however, to emphasize what you learned from the mistake you made and what you do now to ensure you don't repeat it. Own the error and explain how you resolved it.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    18. What do you hope to achieve in the next five years?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to ensure that you are dedicated to a career path in project management. They don't want to invest in someone who is going to leave a year or two down the road. Be honest but emphasize that you plan to continue building your project management skills and progressing within the industry. Show that you are ambitious and goal-oriented, as well as passionate about project management.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    19. What is the last project you worked on?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is considering you as someone who might one day run projects for their company. As a result, they want to hear more about how you manage projects. Share details about the last project you worked on and, if possible, try to relate what you worked on with their company/industry. Show that the skills you have are transferrable to their open position.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    20. Tell me about the types of projects you've handled in the past.

      How to Answer

      It's important to do some research prior to the interview so you know what kinds of projects you'll be working on if this company hires you. You will want to customize your response to show that the skills you have are relevant to the types of projects they'll potentially have you working on. Practice your response to this question before the interview so you can really sell yourself.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    21. What experience do you have in our industry?

      How to Answer

      Project managers work in many different industries. Fortunately, if you don't have direct experience in the interviewer's industry, you can discuss the skills you've gained in other industries that will transfer over and still be applicable. Many methods, tools, and skills that project managers use are standardized and used in multiple industries.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    22. What is the most successful project you've managed to date?

      How to Answer

      Remember that the interviewer is considering hiring you to oversee complex projects for their company. And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. The interviewer wants assurance that you're capable of managing projects so give an example or two of past projects you've led that ended successfully. Clearly explain the details of the project, your role and actions, and the final result.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    23. How do you facilitate the success of your teams?

      How to Answer

      As the person in charge of the project and all the teams who are making it happen, you need to be someone who can motivate and manage others. The interviewer wants to know how you do this. Mention the stages that all teams move through (forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning). Discuss how you've supported and led teams before.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Management

    24. How do you handle the escalation of an issue and when might you do this?

      How to Answer

      There are going to be times as the project manager when there is a conflict that you are unable to resolve. During times like these, you may have to take the issue at hand to another entity higher up the chain. Explain to the interviewer the process you follow in situations like this and what would provoke you to do so in the first place.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Management

    25. Tell me about any experience you have overseeing remote teams.

      How to Answer

      Nowadays it is very common for a project manager to work with teams who are located elsewhere. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable in this area. Provide examples of times when you've successfully led remote workers. If you haven't yet done this, talk about how you would handle it. Be sure to mention how you would communicate with and oversee this kind of employee.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Situational

    26. What would you do if a client was unhappy with the project's end result?

      How to Answer

      There are going to be times when a customer isn't happy with certain aspects or outcomes of a project, although a project manager can minimize this likelihood by maintaining open lines of communication throughout the duration of the project. Explain how you would avoid this situation in the first place and what you would do if it did happen. Emphasize how important the customer's satisfaction and happiness is to you.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Situational

    27. How do you keep a project on track when you feel overwhelmed?

      How to Answer

      Running a complex project can be very stressful and the interviewer recognizes this. Discuss how you proactively manage stress, anxiety, and distractions to ensure they don't negatively impact projects. Show that you can deal with these kinds of feelings while also keeping yourself motivated.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Situational

    28. How do you manage customers and stakeholders?

      How to Answer

      Project managers interact with and oversee many different groups during projects, ranging from vendors and teams to customers, executives, and stakeholders. The interviewer wants to know how you change your communication style and approach depending on who your audience is, particularly when the person or group you're addressing has authority over the project. Discuss how you convey the project's objectives, costs, and timelines to customers and stakeholders.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Situational

    29. How do you handle it when one of your team members makes a mistake?

      How to Answer

      It's inevitable that people on the teams you are overseeing during a project will occasionally make mistakes. Sometimes they will be distracted or lack a good work ethic. The interviewer wants to know how you, as the project manager, will manage these kinds of situations when they arise. Your answer should show them that you are professional, tactful, respectful, and ethical. You will also want to show that you can keep the project on track and the client satisfied. Provide real-life examples if possible.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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  • Situational

    30. How do you handle conflict between team members?

      How to Answer

      As a project manager, you need to know how to create, lead, and manage teams. This includes effectively handling any conflict that arises, whether it be between team members or with the project's stakeholders or vendors, so it doesn't derail the project. Tell the interviewer how you try to prevent conflict and how you manage it if it occurs.

      Written by Marcie Wilmot on June 27th, 2021

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