Careers
Companies
Topics
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

Project Support Officer Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 29

Tell me what the difference is between risk and issues. What are some risks you might come across in a project?

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.

Project Support Officer Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me what the difference is between risk and issues. What are some risks you might come across in a project?

      A risk refers to an event or condition that may cause problems for the project in the future. Some examples include cost, communication, scope, time, and resource risks. An issue, on the other hand, is an existing problem that currently impacts the project. The interviewer wants to know that you are familiar with these differences as project support officers should know how to avoid, mitigate, and handle both risks and issues when they occur.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As I've progressed in my career, I've become more aware of various risks that can impact projects. This awareness allows me to help the project manager to proactively avoid encountering them. One example of a risk is when one doesn't thoroughly define the purpose and scope of a project, which can clearly cause problems down the road. Another common risk is not fully determining deliverables at the beginning of the project. Risks refer to conditions that might negatively affect the project later on. Issues, on the other hand, are problems that are happening in real-time, like when we lose a valuable team member or receive an equipment delivery late during the project."

  2. 2.

    What's the biggest mistake you've ever made during a project?

      The interviewer knows that everyone makes mistakes. They are looking to find out how you handled an error and what you learned from it. Make sure that you take responsibility for the mistake you made, discuss how you resolved it, and talk about how you carried the lesson you learned away from it.

      Ryan's Answer

      "At my last job, our CEO let us know that he wanted to replace the company's existing computer system with a new one. Given that I'm not a tech expert, I did my best to support the project manager and tech department with this project, but I made the mistake of not initiating a review of software upgrades at the same time that we replaced the hardware. As a result, only a short few months after we disrupted all the employees to replace their machines, we had to disrupt them again to perform software upgrades. From this experience, I learned to always consult experts about my overall project plan before I move forward with it. If I had done that in this instance I would have known to upgrade the software at the same time as we replaced the machines. This would have saved time and money."

  3. 3.

    Tell me about the last project you worked on.

      The interviewer wants to hear more details about how you help run projects. You'll want to talk about a recent project you were involved in, the role you played in it, the actions you took, and how it ended. Explain your accomplishments and any setbacks you experienced and resolved. You want to impress the interviewer so they can envision you running their company's projects too.

      Ryan's Answer

      "The last project I worked on involved creating a new website for our client. I assisted the project manager in creating a budget for the project, in addition to assembling strong teams to work on it and using an online program to set up goals and keep track of all the tasks. We had one setback when the first mockup we created for the client didn't satisfy them. They came back with a lot of feedback that required us to explain how this change in scope would affect the project's budget and timeline. Ultimately, we agreed on what changes to implement and the end result was an amazing website and a happy client."

  4. 4.

    What do you think is the most important skill needed to excel as a project support officer?

      There are many skills that a project support officer needs to be successful, including leadership, organizational, negotiation, communication, and time management skills. As a result, there are many ways you can choose to answer this question. Whatever skill you claim is most important, however, base it on your past experiences and support it with sound reasoning.

      Ryan's Answer

      "A project support officer needs to possess a variety of skills. They need to be very organized so they can stay on top of many moving parts. It's beneficial if they are responsible with money and budgeting. They need to know how to manage their time and lead teams. Most importantly, however, I believe that they need to be strong communicators. In the past, I have had to calm upset clients, soothe unsettled sponsors, stand up to pushy vendors, and motivate distracted team members. Being successful in this role largely depends upon one's ability to communicate clearly and appropriately to a variety of different types of people and groups."

  5. 5.

    Have you ever managed remote employees before?

      In today's world, many times project support officers have to work with people they've never met before, sometimes from other countries. The interviewer wants to determine if you're comfortable managing and/or working with remote employees and coworkers. Let them know if you have experience doing this. If not, mention that you look forward to this challenge and discuss how you would handle it.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Within my current role, I work with individuals who I've never met before in person. This isn't a problem for me at all; in fact, I enjoy doing this. To communicate, I use tools like Zoom, Skype, and Facetime, in addition to talking on the phone and texting or instant messaging. There are also dynamic project management tools out there where everything is online and accessible from anywhere. I have used these to help coordinate and plan projects with remote teams many times before."

  6. 6.

    What project management software do you like to use?

      There are many different project management programs available. The interviewer wants to know which one(s) you prefer to use and why. You will want to show that you stay abreast of new software. Many project support officers use Gantt charts to plan projects; you might mention this if you are familiar with this type of tool.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I've used several different project management programs throughout my career, including Basecamp, Zoho Projects, and Trello. I'd say that Basecamp is currently my favorite program to use because it is very collaborative and it sends out a daily recap email to the team, which I find helpful in terms of keeping everyone on track. I read industry blogs to stay up on new programs and am always excited to try new ones."

  7. 7.

    What are the various stages a team goes through during a project?

      There are well-defined stages that a team moves through during a project, which include Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. The interviewer wants to know that you're knowledgeable in this area as project support officers need to know how to support and motivate teams. Explain the different stages a team will go through and how you will facilitate their success.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In college, I learned about Tuckman's Stages, and I've seen them play out in real life since then. After the project manager and I have assembled a team they come together for the first time in what's referred to as "

  8. 8.

    What kinds of projects have you worked on?

      Project support officers work in many different types of industries, handling all kinds of projects. Going into the interview you will want to have an idea of the types of projects this company will need you to work on so you can tailor your response appropriately. You will want to relate your past project experience to their needs. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself and your skills.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In the past, I've worked in the advertising and web design industries, both of which are very applicable to this role. I've handled both small and large projects; this varied experience has made me flexible and adaptable. In many cases, I have interfaced directly with clients, and I would be happy to do so again in the future. I am personable and able to communicate effectively. I'm also very comfortable working closely with software developers and design folks, which I believe will be helpful in this role as well."

  9. 9.

    What kind of relationship do you typically have with project sponsors?

      A project sponsor is a person or group who provides resources for the project, in addition to giving feedback to the project manager as the project progresses. Being that they play such an important role in the success of the project, the project manager and project support officer must keep them updated throughout the project. Let the interviewer know how often you would contact the sponsor and why.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my experience, sponsors can vary in terms of how frequently they wish to be updated. Generally, for larger, more complex projects I've found that they prefer to be contacted more often than for smaller projects. When this is the case, I typically arrange a weekly meeting with the sponsor so either the project manager or I can deliver updates and bring necessary issues to their attention. Additionally, I would make sure to reach out if any major issues arise that require their input."

  10. 10.

    How do you handle a team member who is underperforming?

      No matter how much effort is put into assembling strong teams to carry out a project, at some point someone inevitably won't do what's expected of them. The interviewer wants to know how you would handle or assist the project manager in this type of situation. Discuss what you would do to nip an underperforming team member in the bud.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I recently encountered a similar scenario to this. The project manager and I had worked together to create some amazing teams, but midway into the project, there was someone on the tech team who wasn't pulling their weight. To fix the problem, I first gathered together facts and evidence based on my own observations of the person's performance. Next, I provided them with immediate feedback so they had the opportunity to fix the problem. When the issue persisted, I arranged a meeting with them so we could discuss the problem and come up with a short-term action plan. This ended up turning the person's performance around. If it had not, I would have escalated the problem to their manager. Luckily, in this case, that wasn't necessary and the team member drastically improved their performance after our meeting."

  11. 11.

    Tell me how you deal with stakeholders and customers.

      Project support officers have to manage many different people throughout a project, and how they communicate and deal with stakeholders, executives, and customers will differ from how they interact with vendors and teams. The interviewer wants to know how your approaches will vary depending upon who you're engaging with during the project, particularly when it comes to those people who hold a position of authority over you. Discuss how you will alter your approach and style as needed.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Recently I helped oversee a large project that involved furnishing hotel rooms in NYC. This project required that I work with many different groups of people from vendors to construction workers to the bigwigs at the hotel. I am fully capable of adjusting my approach depending upon who I'm communicating with and what I'm trying to accomplish. For the hotel bosses, I provided succinct overviews as the job progressed. For the construction team, I communicated tasks in a manner that was straightforward and clear so there wouldn't be any confusion about expectations. In terms of the vendors, I have built relationships with many of them so there's a friendly camaraderie there, and we work well together to achieve our mutual goals."

  12. 12.

    What techniques would you use to define the scope of a project?

      It's imperative to well define the scope of a project to ensure its success. The interviewer wants to hear how you would go about doing this. Walk them through the steps you would take to determine the scope of a project.

      Ryan's Answer

      "One thing I've learned during my career in project management is how incredibly important it is to spend time thoroughly defining the scope of a project during the planning stage. Doing this allows one to properly assign resources and to create a reasonable timeline for the project. The scope also greatly affects the project's budget. So at the beginning of any project, I work with the project manager to identify the needs - or what and why - of the project and its goals and objectives, which should be specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. We also consider what the expectations of the end-user will be so we can assure their satisfaction. Finally, we take into account any obstacles or constraints that exist and decide how we will tackle them."

  13. 13.

    What do you do when there is conflict on one of your teams?

      Project support officers have to know how to handle people, especially when a conflict arises. If a problem comes up between team members, or even vendors or stakeholders, it can interrupt the flow of the project. The interviewer wants to hear that you know how to handle this sort of situation. If possible, give examples; if not, discuss how you would quickly work to resolve any conflicts.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I think one of the most crucial aspects of this role is putting together strong teams. Having a strong team helps ensure that there will be collaboration and trust between team members. But sometimes, even in the case of an amazing team, two people will butt heads and not get along. My goal is to identify this sort of strife quickly and address it immediately before it festers. I also always meet privately with the people in question so that they can air their grievances openly without team judgment. I then encourage and help create an action plan that focuses on compromise. It's not about one person being right and the other being wrong; it's about understanding the difference of opinions and finding common ground so we can move forward."

  14. 14.

    What are your career goals for the next three years?

      The interviewer wants to see that you are motivated and goal-oriented. They also want to sense that you are passionate about project management so it's a good idea to indicate that you plan to progress within this area. Remain truthful but definitely play up any interest you have in their specific industry.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I've been a project support officer for a few years now, and I love it. Personality-wise, I thrive in high-pressure situations and I like interacting with different people every day. I also really enjoy the variety of the job; it keeps me on my toes! I definitely want to remain in project management and especially in this industry, which really interests me. My goal is to continue progressing upward and after I gain more experience I'd love to become a project manager myself. I plan to continue learning as I assist others right now and then one day move up the ranks."

  15. 15.

    Explain what RAID analysis is and how you would use it.

      Many project managers and project support officers use RAID analysis at the beginning of a project for organizational purposes and to identify critical risks and issues. The interviewer wants to know that you're familiar with this concept. Explain how you would use it during a project. If you have past experience using the tool, talk through an example or two.

      Ryan's Answer

      "To start, RAID stands for Risks, Assumptions, Issues, and Dependencies. In my opinion, it is always wise to run a RAID analysis at the beginning of all projects. It allows you to conduct a broad environmental scan as you plan so any issues or potential risks are preemptively brought to light. It's also helpful from an organizational perspective; it helps to keep the project on track and puts all relevant matters affecting the project in one place. Prior to any project, I would use an online tool like GroupMap, for example, to run a RAID analysis."

  16. 16.

    How would you handle a situation when the customer isn't happy with the outcome of a project?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  17. 17.

    Do you have any experience with process development?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  18. 18.

    How do you control and prevent 'scope creep'?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  19. 19.

    What kinds of escalation paths do you use?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  20. 20.

    Tell me about your most successful project.

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  21. 21.

    Have you worked in this industry before?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  22. 22.

    Do you delegate or prefer to handle things yourself?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  23. 23.

    What would you do if you noticed that your supervisor had made a mistake?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  24. 24.

    How do you stay on track with a project when you're feeling overwhelmed?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  25. 25.

    What project management methodology do you prefer to follow?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  26. 26.

    Do you have any experience in managing a budget?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  27. 27.

    How can you tell when a project goes off track? What do you do to get it back on track?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  28. 28.

    How do you describe your communication style?

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  29. 29.

    Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.

      View All 29 Project Support Officer Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.