MockQuestions

Senior Project Manager Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Senior Project Manager interview, here are 77 interview questions and answer examples.

Senior Project Manager was updated by on January 29th, 2024. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 77

If I were to ask one of your current co-workers to describe you in three words, what would they say?

Companies work hard to create and maintain a specific culture within the cross-functional teams that senior project managers typically have responsibility for. This question may be asked in an interview to determine if a candidate is a personality fit for the teams they will work with directly.

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77 Senior Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers

Senior project manager interviews can be challenging. Interviewers tend to ask fewer theoretical situational questions that begin with phrases like 'how would you handle', or 'imagine a time when' in favor of questions that are a direct test of your experience. Essentially, senior project manager interviews typically force candidates to prove their behavioral patterns and ability to perform under specific conditions.

To prepare, it is important to take the time to walk through the last few years of your career retrospectively. Make a list of the projects you managed and the basic details for each. Additionally, it is helpful to make a list of stories that represent your greatest successes, challenges, and even failures. Consider using the STAR Method to organize the details of your project management journey. This will ensure you are prepared to clearly communicate the details in a way that demonstrates your ability to add value at a senior level.

Not all senior project manager roles are created equally, and the jump between a project manager and a senior project manager can vary wildly between companies and industries. When preparing your list of projects and related stories, be sure to focus on the following areas:

Scale
Your interviewer needs proof you can effectively manage the budget, team, scope, and stakeholder relationships associated with the role.

Leadership
It is critical for interviewers to identify candidates with leadership styles in alignment with their teams and managerial structure. They seek candidates with the poise necessary to effectively communicate with executives and senior stakeholders. Additionally, many senior project managers play a key role in the professional development of junior team members.

Expertise
While some projects can be managed by anyone with a decent senior-level project management toolkit, many companies are looking for candidates who are experts at managing specific types of projects. For example, a company may seek someone who is adept at managing SaaS projects in a startup environment. They may require specific credentials such as PMP certification or a Six Sigma Black Belt. Be prepared to demonstrate how your experience is in direct alignment with the specific types of projects you will be asked to manage if hired. This article contains several role-specific questions that will help you prepare for this aspect of your interview.

In summary, the senior project manager interview is about proving you have the ability to effectively manage the right level of projects, proving you are the right kind of leader, and demonstrating your experience is a match for the expertise required for the role. Preparing to discuss these three aspects of the senior project manager role in your interview will help boost your confidence and convince your interviewer you are the right candidate for the job.

  • Behavioral

    1. If I were to ask one of your current co-workers to describe you in three words, what would they say?

  • Behavioral

    2. What attributes should a successful senior project manager display regularly?

  • Behavioral

    3. Imagine that an individual on your team is experiencing burnout. How would you handle this situation?

  • Behavioral

    4. Describe a time you implemented a solution that was scaled and customized to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders within a business.

  • Behavioral

    5. What steps do you take when it becomes clear your team is behind on a project?

  • Behavioral

    6. What steps would you take to develop and ensure accountable practices with the members of the projects you are responsible for?

  • Behavioral

    7. How do you move a project forward when you are faced with limited time for discovery and analysis?

  • Behavioral

    8. What behaviors contribute to success working in a remote team setting?

  • Communication

    9. How would you describe your communication style with members of the teams you work with?

  • Communication

    10. How would you describe your communication style with clients and stakeholders?

  • Competency

    11. What are the factors involved in prioritizing project work?

  • Competency

    12. What is your process for learning a new line of business?

  • Competency

    13. What are the key components of a project charter?

  • Competency

    14. What are the three components of the triple constraint?

  • Competency

    15. What is the difference between a capital budget and an operating budget?

  • Discovery

    16. What would an ideal flexible working environment look like for you as a senior project manager?

  • Discovery

    17. What do you envision as the next step in your career path after the senior project manager role?

  • Discovery

    18. Tell me about yourself.

  • Discovery

    19. What is one of your professional weaknesses?

  • Discovery

    20. Why do you want a career as a senior project manager?

  • Discovery

    21. What is your favorite aspect of project management?

  • Discovery

    22. What is your biggest growth opportunity?

  • Discovery

    23. How long have you been managing projects?

  • Experience

    24. What types of meetings do you have experience facilitating as a project manager?

  • Experience

    25. What tools do you have experience using to manage projects?

  • Experience

    26. Do you have experience managing the work of contingent resources?

  • Experience

    27. What level of budgetary responsibility do you have in your current role?

  • Experience

    28. How would you describe your comfort level analyzing data and writing queries?

  • Experience

    29. What level of experience do you have managing technology projects?

  • Experience

    30. Describe your executive or senior management presentation experience.

  • Experience

    31. Here at XYZ company, our senior project managers have end-to-end responsibility for the success of their projects. Do you have full lifecycle management experience?

  • Leadership

    32. Do you have experience as a direct manager for project managers or other resources?

  • Leadership

    33. As a senior project manager, you will lead cross-functional teams. How do you provide leadership to other seniors on a team that are experts within their area of focus?

  • Leadership

    34. What is your leadership style?

  • Leadership

    35. What level of leadership or oversight do you typically provide during a vendor implementation?

  • Leadership

    36. What is your best team leadership skill?

  • Tough

    37. Why should we hire you?

  • Role-Specific

    SaaS

    38. How would you rate your experience delivering presentations?

  • Role-Specific

    SaaS

    39. When is it appropriate in a SaaS setting to think about sales opportunities?

  • Role-Specific

    SaaS

    40. There will be times when you will be working on more than one client project at a time. How will you ensure that the needs of all of your clients are handled?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Infrastructure

    41. Describe the budget and impact of the largest infrastructure project you have managed.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Infrastructure

    42. What is the most significant risk you have faced when working with vendors?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Infrastructure

    43. The infrastructure projects we manage often support the needs of more than one customer group at a time. Describe your experience managing projects with more than one major stakeholder group.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Infrastructure

    44. Describe a time when you identified an improvement opportunity and implemented it.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Infrastructure

    45. Describe the components of a budget for an infrastructure project.

  • Role-Specific

    Lean

    46. Imagine that you are working on an ecommerce website. What are some examples of the components of the value stream?

  • Role-Specific

    Lean

    47. Describe a time when you identified waste on a project and developed a strategy to address it.

  • Role-Specific

    Lean

    48. What is motion waste, and how does it apply in an IT setting?

  • Role-Specific

    Lean

    49. As a senior project manager, you will work directly with internal and external stakeholders to identify value. What strategy will you use to learn enough about their operations to make an accurate value assessment?

  • Role-Specific

    Lean

    50. Describe how the pull system of agile feature development works.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Operations

    51. Our data center operations senior project managers manage projects that affect multiple functional areas simultaneously. Please describe your experience managing projects that benefit more than one department.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Operations

    52. Our operations department supports global operations. Please describe your experience managing global scale projects.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Operations

    53. We follow ITIL best practices for service management and hardware management. Do you have experience with ITIL?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Operations

    54. Describe your experience leading projects to implement or integrate with ServiceNow.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Operations

    55. Change management is a tightly controlled process here at our company. Please describe the change management process in your current environment.

  • Role-Specific

    Enterprise IT

    56. What third party enterprise-level systems have you worked with directly in the past?

  • Role-Specific

    Agile

    57. What does a successful partnership with a team's scrum master look like in your opinion?

  • Role-Specific

    Enterprise IT

    58. Imagine that several senior leaders within the company are arguing over the scope of a feature set for one of your projects. What techniques would you use to help them resolve the conflict?

  • Role-Specific

    Enterprise IT

    59. Who do you view as your enterprise-level customers, partners, and peers?

  • Role-Specific

    Enterprise IT

    60. Our senior project managers are expected to lead through influence. How do you plan to gain the respect and confidence of your stakeholders?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Consulting

    61. As a consulting senior project manager you will be expected to travel to client sites during critical phases of your projects. What is your level of comfort with travel?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Consulting

    62. As consultants, we are accountable to our senior management within the company and our clients. How would you handle conflicts between the goals of the two groups?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Consulting

    63. As a consulting senior project manager you will manage resources that work for other companies. What strategies do you lean on when contingent or client resources are not performing at the level necessary for project success?

  • Role-Specific

    IT Consulting

    64. Describe the last executive level presentation you delivered.

  • Role-Specific

    IT Consulting

    65. The teams you manage are likely to be different with each project. How do you plan to ensure that everyone stays aligned?

  • Role-Specific

    Agile

    66. Describe your preferred method for estimating the budget for an agile project.

  • Role-Specific

    Enterprise IT

    67. Describe a project you managed that affected more than one enterprise-level department and/or user group.

  • Role-Specific

    Agile

    68. What do you feel are the most important metrics for an agile team to track?

  • Role-Specific

    Agile

    69. Describe a time in which you were in conflict with a Product Owner. What did you do to resolve the issue?

  • Role-Specific

    Agile

    70. Imagine that you are working on a project with a limited budget and a large set of requested features. What strategies would you use to ensure your project was successful?

  • Role-Specific

    Technical

    71. What is continuous deployment, and why is it an important aspect of DevOps?

  • Role-Specific

    Technical

    72. Imagine that you were working with a client that was new to the concept of technical debt. How would you convince them that they need to invest in resolving it?

  • Role-Specific

    Technical

    73. As a senior technical project manager you will regularly discuss highly technical concepts with technical subject matter experts. How do navigate these types of conversations successfully?

  • Role-Specific

    Technical

    74. As a senior project manager, you will be required to explain highly technical concepts to non-technical peers, stakeholders, users, and leaders. What strategies do you use to communicate in this type of situation?

  • Role-Specific

    Technical

    75. Describe a time when a project team you led made a technical mistake. What steps did you take after becoming aware of the issue?

  • Role-Specific

    SaaS

    76. Describe your experience delivering IT solutions to external clients.

  • Role-Specific

    SaaS

    77. What do you feel is the biggest challenge you face as a senior SaaS project manager?

  • Questions to Ask During Your Senior Project Manager Interview

    A well-rounded interview consists of more than successfully answering the questions your interviewer poses. It should allow time for you to ask questions of your own. This serves two purposes. First, you can obtain information that will help you make an educated decision in the event you are offered the position. Second, your interviewer's answers can help you steer the remainder of your interview. For example, a well-crafted question about the stakeholders you will be working with may assist you in formulating a targeted and effective answer to a subsequent behavioral question.

    Also, you do not need to hold all of your questions until the end of your interview. Interviews tend to feel more relaxed and conversational when candidates ask questions of their own throughout the meeting. A natural approach is to weave questions in at the end of your interview responses. For example, you might ask a question about the specific methodology followed by the company you're interviewing with when answering a question about the methodologies you have experience using to manage projects.

    Finally, it is important to ask high-quality questions. To me, it is disappointing and frustrating when a senior-level candidate asks junior-level questions. Avoid questions that you can find the answer to on your own by reviewing the company's blog, or digging through their website. Avoid the go-to questions other less prepared candidates are likely to ask. Ask at least one thought-provoking question that is likely to get the attention of your interviewer. Your goal is to make the best impression possible, and asking your interviewer insightful questions of your own is a great way to help you stand out in the crowd. Here are a few examples to get you started:

    1. What is the biggest team-level challenge I can help to improve upon if hired?

    2. How would you describe the relationship as it stands currently between the stakeholders and the project team?

    3. What are the available career path options for senior project managers at your company?

    4. What are the top priorities or objectives for the XYZ project and how is success measured?

    5. What is the reporting structure like for the teams I will be working with and how is authority shared between PMs and reporting managers?

    6. Is there a PMO, and if so, how is it structured?

    About the Author

    As a former project manager, I genuinely appreciate the skills of talented professionals who take on the often challenging work of managing projects. Senior-level project managers have the responsibility for the success of large and complex bodies of work, and they rarely have direct authority over their teams. They have a wide range of skills including the advanced soft skills that can make the difference between smooth sailing and a perfect storm.

    I had the good fortune early in my career to be led and supported by a manager who worked to help me grow my leadership and communication skills. Her approach was a mix of project management best practices and things she picked up from 'the school of keeping it real'. She taught me how to deliver information confidently. She gave me opportunities to lead through influence. She let me work out solutions to problems without jumping in to save me. Most importantly, she taught me the art of navigating difficult conversations and backed me up when I needed support.

    Over time, my project management and leadership skills developed in a way that fostered a critical byproduct. My experience generated trust. My teammates and my clients trusted me to advocate for their needs. My management trusted me to keep things moving while offering the upward communication necessary for success in their own roles. My mentees trusted me to help them on their journeys. I gained a lot of valuable knowledge managing projects, but the ability to establish trust quickly was by far the most valuable skill I developed.

    I know your interviewer is likely looking for similar attributes. They want to trust their senior project manager to navigate difficult situations with poise, empathy, and integrity. They want to trust that your teams will meet the objectives of your projects smoothly. They want to know that you are looking out for the best interests of your teammates and clients. They want a leader who can help to grow others.

    I hope this Q&A set helps you to prepare for your interview in a way that helps inspire confidence in your skills and convince your interviewer that they can trust you to do an excellent job on behalf of their company. Want more? Be sure to check out the rest of the suggested MockQuestions sets dedicated to specific companies, industries, and related careers.

    Learn more about Karrie Day