Are you currently out scouring the market for a new project manager? With thousands of seemingly qualified candidates out there, it can be difficult to narrow down the options based on resumes alone.
As with any other position, the interview is usually the deciding factor for whom you will extend the job offer.
Asking the potential project manager interview questions about their knowledge, skills, and characteristic traits will help you determine their qualifications and readiness for your upcoming project. Let’s take a look at the key qualities to look for and project manager interview questions you can ask to find the best person for the job.
What are three challenges project managers face today and how would you handle these effectively?
This question will allow the candidate to immediately prove their knowledge of the project management industry. Their response will help you determine how well they know the current market and how they will handle those challenges as they arise.
What communication challenges have you had on a past project?
Communication is possibly the most important skill for a project manager to have. Knowing how they overcome challenges in communication between different groups will provide insight for how well they will manage questions from other departments or companies regarding the project.
What tactics do you use to communicate effectively with your team?
Just as important as communicating with external parties, the ideal candidate will know how to speak only with their team. Depending on the scenario, the ideal form of communication may be an email, phone call, or in-person meeting. They will need to be aware of the best way to share and receive information with their team.
Trustworthiness and Integrity
How do you handle disgruntled teammates? Vendors? Customers?
In many ways, a project manager is the face of your company. They maintain relationships with numerous vendors, customers, and others. It will be important to know you can trust them to take care of unhappy individuals both internally and externally.
Name an example of a time you had to keep a promise even though it was difficult.
This can be an interesting topic to learn about the candidate’s integrity. You will want to know they are always going to make the proper decision in a tough situation. Their honesty, or lack thereof, can leave a lasting impact on your business name for years to come.
What steps do you take to ensure your customers’ needs are met or exceeded?
Clients want nothing less than the best when it comes to customer service. It will be vital to ensure your project manager knows how to reach these expectations to keep them happy. You can also ask them what they do to build long-lasting relationships with their customers.
How do you track your team’s performance?
Whether you already have a project team put together for your manager or not, it will be important to know that they have a plan to track overall and individual performance. These types of project manager interview questions will help you know they can monitor efficiency.
How do you keep your team members motivated?
A project manager is a leader, no matter how large or small their team. They will need to know how to keep their team on track on a daily basis.
What resources have you used to help develop your team’s knowledge and effectiveness?
Along with being a leader, your project manager will also be a teacher to their team. Confirm they have the knowledge and necessary tools to complete tasks, as well as the ability to teach others how to do the same.
How do you delegate responsibilities?
Regardless of how good a project manager may be, they won’t be able to do everything on their own. Knowing how to delegate effectively will help the team feel empowered and more will get done.
How do you track and manage these delegated responsibilities?
Maintaining control of the group is just as important as sharing the workload. The project manager will need to know how to keep tabs on who is completing which tasks and track deadlines for each responsibility.
What are your career goals for next six months, one year, five years?
Odds are that your project manager has aspirations and wants to grow. It will be good for your company’s future to know what goals your candidate has and where they want to be in the coming years.
How do you set attainable goals for you and your team? How do you keep track of these goals?
Not only should your candidate have personal goals, but they should also have ideas for where they’d like to lead your team and how to monitor those objectives.
Tell me about a situation in a recent project where you faced a high level of uncertainty. How did you tackle this situation?
Change is imminent in the world of project management. Your candidate will need to have the ability to think on their toes and make decisions in moments of doubt and uncertainty. Knowing how they handle those type of situations will give you a standard to look for when those times come.
Effective Time Management
How do you keep your project tasks on track?
A project manager will rarely, if ever, only have one thing to do at any given time. Solid time management skills will make the difference between a reached or missed deadline.
How do you effectively plan your team’s daily, weekly, or monthly tasks? Tools and resources?
This question gives the candidate the opportunity to once again prove their delegation skills. Be wary of candidates who make bold claims to be able to handle difficult scenarios and tasks on their own. They should be a team player with tools for planning and sharing the workload to ensure time is effectively managed.
Quality Decision Making
Give an example of a time in both your work life and your personal life where you made a quality decision in a difficult situation.
Being aware of how your candidate takes care of tough choices will provide the necessary comfort of knowing your project is in good hands. Asking for a personal example can give them the chance to share more about who they are outside of the office and can eventually lead them to feel more comfortable.
More Than Just Project Manager Interview Questions
Now that you have the necessary questions to ask your interviewees, it’s time to make sure your new hire has the tools necessary to achieve all of their goals. Click here to learn more about the Toggl Plan project management software and how it can help you.
Be sure to check out our blog as well for more project management tips, tricks, and software updates.
Logan Derrick is a full-time business writer and content marketing strategist. For years, he has worked closely with several project management professionals, learning from them and increasing his own knowledge of the industry. Having held multiple management positions in fields ranging from customer service to marketing, Logan has found a passion for helping others learn about project management, marketing, and the powerful tools available to professionals today.