HR Interview Questions For Project Manager [Ultimate Guide]

project manager interviews

Here Are The Interviews Questions For The Project Manager Jobs:

Most people command great confidence as they go about their everyday lives. It usually continues until they have a job interview. It is one hurdle we must all cross as we progress in our chosen profession. Here some questions and answers are there for the project manager interviews.

First, job interviews differ in their level of severity. Some are easy, others are moderately difficult, and a few others are very tough. Meanwhile, the severity depends on two factors. The position you are seeking is the first consideration. And the second factor is the hiring company.
A sales rep interview for a corner store would be easy. That of a sales rep at Microsoft would, however, be more difficult.

Today, we are here to discuss interviewing a project manager in any company. We can all agree that the role of a project manager (PM) is vital. The project manager is in charge of the company’s projects. And their duties include the planning and executing most-if, not all-the, projects.

Hence, job interviews for this position are usually very difficult. It makes sense since hiring managers are always looking to take candidates unaware. And what better way to see if the interviewee can answer the questions honestly?

Nonetheless, you would be more relaxed if you were aware of the process before proceeding. It means knowing what questions you would be asked and the best answers. The questions are mostly based on how to tackle project problems. Your communication and leadership skills are also important.

We have put together 25 of the most frequently asked questions in this article. These are questions you will likely face in a project manager job interview. Worthy of note is that the answers give you an idea of what to say.

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1. How Did You Begin Your Career As A Project Manager?

Soon after graduation, I began my career. But this was not as a project manager but as ordinary project staff. I loved (and still love) getting involved in developing projects and seeing them being executed.
I worked as a regular staff for 2 years at ABC Holdings [insert previous company’s name]. Then, I was promoted to the role of an assistant project supervisor (or whatever role you played before you became a PM). In that role, I led a team of seven high-spirited individuals.

We developed and delivered five major projects for the company: one, two, three, four, and five [quickly list them]. They were each executed within the allotted time and budget.

Then, the management was awarded the role of a project manager. I believe they must have been amazed by my team’s accomplishments.

2. Why Do You Want To Be A Project Manager At Xyz Limited [Hiring Company’s Name]?

First, I have always had a passion for project management. Second, I strongly believe it is my calling as an individual. I was an active member of several teams and unions in college. And I even partook in developing and executing several school projects.

While in school, my professors were my mentors. After school, I found a role model in my first manager. They all taught me how to manage time and follow a defined schedule. Also, they helped me improve my organizational skills.

Moreover, XYZ Limited has been said to offer an excellent working environment. Pros range from great internal culture to focusing on employees’ well-being, happiness, and compensation. Altogether, I believe XYZ Limited is a great place for me to show my project management skills.

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3. Tell Me About Yourself.

I recently worked as a project manager at ABC Holdings. While working there, I was in charge of our top-performing project teams.

Before that, I worked at MNO Inc. [insert another previous company’s name], where I was a project supervisor. During that period, I oversaw all projects executed in the Mumbai branch.

I truly liked my work at ABC Holdings. Yet, I would love an opportunity to advance further in my career. It is why I’m aiming to be a project manager and the reason I’m excited about this opportunity at your company.

4. Do You Think Having A Great Project Manager Is Important? If Yes, Why? 

Two factors are important to the success of any project. The first is how efficient the project manager is. Second is the cooperation of every member of the team.

I believe having an excellent expert to take charge and coordinate the entire project tasks is very important. They would ensure the project is implemented within the set budget.

It is also vital that a project manager has excellent communication skills. Relationship and leadership skills are priceless. They will enable them to carry every member of the team along. This way, getting the members to work together would be within easy reach. And achieving the project goals would be simple.

5. Can You Describe The Perfect Project Manager?

To me, the perfect project manager has excellent communication and people skills. They are a leader who is empathic yet firm and disciplined.

They are an excellent manager of time and other resources. also, think on their feet and have a knack for meeting deadlines. A great project manager knows how to utilize resources and motivate people to succeed efficiently.

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6. What Would You Say Be Your Strongest Skills As A Project Manager?

I would say my strongest skills include excellent communication and relationship skills. Time management and organizational skills are also on the same level.

Others would include critical thinking skills and my keen attention to detail. I believe these skills have been the key to my success in my career.

7. How Do You Keep These Skills Alive?

There are several ways I keep my skills alive. The first and most important way is to apply my skills to any project I can get my hands on. I understand that skill is only truly learned when applied to achieve a result.

So, I always look for an opportunity to apply them, no matter how small. E.g., I usually volunteer to handle the logistics for our family get-togethers or a project in my community.

Further, I am always looking for new information in books, podcasts, and the Internet. Make sure to read one project management book a month and watch several video tutorials on the project.

I belong to many online project management communities. I would visit them and ask important questions from people who know more than I do.

8. What Aspect Of Project Management Do You Enjoy The Most?

Project management has to do with the development, planning, and execution of a set goal. But underneath that simple outline are hours of work, brainstorming, and sometimes a conflict of interests.

People from different backgrounds have to come together to achieve a common objective. And they will have different mindsets and ideas. There must be a synergy of skills, strengths, ideas, etc.

The part I most enjoy is seeing the objective being accomplished. That moment when it all comes together, you see the reward of all the labor and time put into it.

9. How Have You Handled A Red Status In The Past?

A lot of projects encounter red status, even when an ample amount of planning and preparation goes into it. Red status usually arises from factors not (and could not have been) accounted for during the planning.

Whenever I encounter a red status in a project I am handling, I would inform my manager or director. Then, I would pause and get my team together. We would brainstorm and come up with a long list of solutions. Accordingly, we would pick the best out of them all.

When I finally completed the project, my team and I would properly analyze the entire project to see what went wrong. So, we would devise a solution to prevent it from happening again.

10. Have You Ever Handled A Project This Big In The Past?

Yes, I have handled projects of this size in the past. I have over 6 years of project management experience. And in those years, I have handled more than 10 big projects.

Yet, I have only worked in a similar-not exact-industry to yours. Despite this, I believe the core pieces of a successful project are little variations based on the type of project they are applied for jobs.

Note: If you have not handled a project that big, say…

Well, I have not handled a project this big in the past. But, I have been on teams that have handled something this big. It has helped me to gather a lot of insights into what goes into a big project.

It has also helped hone the necessary skills to head a project of this size. Also, makes me confident that I can handle this project successfully.

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11. What Is The Most Tasking Project You Have Ever Handled?

The most tasking project I have ever handled (or been involved in) is the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah construction in Dubai [replace this with the project you worked on].

I was in charge of constructing the foundation built on an artificial island. There were 50 architects, 200 civil engineers, and 5,000 construction workers on my team.

In total, I headed 5,250 project team members during this project. The part I found most challenging was the imposed deadlines. The sheik of Abu Dhabi had given a deadline and was unwilling to move it forward.

It was challenging as other significant aspects of the project depending on the portion of the project I was handling. It means that every minute counted, and any delays would ripple effect the rest of the project.

For example, there was a full 24-hour delay in delivering the iron rods for the foundation. It caused over 300 construction workers to wait. That delay cost $180,000 (i.e. ₹12,325,500). The pressure fell on the executive members, which in turn fell on me.

12. How Do You Motivate Your Team As A Project Manager?

Throughout my years of experience leading teams, I have learned that motivation comes from progress. We as humans feel happier and more confident when accomplishing goals, no matter how little they are.

And so, during the planning phase, I set short milestones between the first task and the last task at the end of the project. This way, my team gets automatically motivated when they reach a milestone. It shows them that their efforts are paying off and there is progress.

Also, I encourage them verbally and praise their efforts, no matter how small. And I constantly remind them of the big picture. Altogether, these keep them sharp and focused.

13. How Do You Approach A New Project That Has Been Assigned To You?

First, I would seek for my team and me to understand the project’s core objective fully. Second, I would understand what the client intends to achieve with the project. After that, I would conduct comprehensive research to determine the project’s scope, if it has been done elsewhere before, and how it did. Then, I would document everything I could need to execute the project.

Following that, I would draw out a list of all the tasks or steps that would take to start and finish the project. Finally, I would assign a task to each team member based on their strengths. This allocation system helps to achieve the best results.

14. How Do You, As A Project Manager, Keep Your Team On Track To Meet A Deadline?

I believe communicating is one. Making each team member accountable is crucial to helping them stay on course to meet the deadline.

I usually ensure everyone on the team knows (and properly understands) their roles. Also, each member needs to be aware of other members’ roles. It will help ensure that everyone knows how their work affects the next person, either negatively or positively.

I also set daily (or sometimes weekly) goals for each team member. And I make sure they achieve each goal. It is mandatory that everyone’ clocks in’ daily to present what they have done for the day.

Lastly, I support them with answers if they have questions. It keeps them on their toes and makes them accountable.

15. What Do You Do When Your Entire Team Disagrees With Your Methods Or Has A Different Idea?

A team is made up of people from different backgrounds and with varying perspectives.

So, there are bound to be differences in how we want to achieve an objective. I understand this and give room for it.

If my team has an opposing idea regarding a project, I will throw the floor open for discussions. They would thoroughly explain the reason behind their idea. And if it is better than my idea, I will work with it.

As a project manager, I prioritize the project, not my ego. I believe I am not always right, and not all ideas should come from me.

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16. How Do You Determine The Right Scheduling For A Project?

Well, several factors go into the planning of a project’s schedule. First, I researched how long it took for similar projects to the completed ones. Also, I analyze the scheduling method used on those projects to see how it fits mine.

Further, I would look at factors like the area where the project is being executed. It will help me observe if there are factors that might influence the project’s schedule—either negatively or positively.

Meanwhile, I would speak to the client to discuss the factors on the ground and understand why set the deadline on the given date. All these, in one way or the other, affect how the project is scheduled.

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17. Why Do You Want This Job?

First, I was drawn to the fact that it is a projected business development position (or whatever factor that makes you like the role). It is one thing to manage a project, but it is another to be able to land one in the first place.

But, what I love about this role is the opportunity to combine my project management skills with my business development knowledge. Altogether, these include skills in negotiation, presentation, and sales. I garnered them from my first job after college as a business developer.

I have been interested in combining project management with business development for a while now. And I have been developing businesses for people in my community. It tends to be a hobby that I have been involved in for a few months while looking for a job.

18. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

I would say my greatest weakness is the fact that I am new in this state (or country). Yes, this is my first time here. And so, everything seems different. I do not have adequate knowledge of how things work around here. Yet, I have strong cultural sensitivity and can relate very well to people of different backgrounds.

Note: In answering this question, you must mention a weakness that is not directly related to the position you are applying for a job. As you are applying for a project management position, you cannot say your weakness is that you lack leadership skills. That would be disastrous.

19. Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?

I suppose I am a better fit to work in a company strongly committed to mentoring its staff. And also developing their skills.

A company where both sides are very loyal to each other. A company where a culture that fosters career growth and development is cultivated.

I have come to understand that there are companies that cannot be committed to training and mentoring their employees. Also, some companies do not create an environment supporting growth and development.

Well, this might work out well for them. But for me, I feel it is not a good fit, and I prefer to work for another firm.

Note: Be careful when answering the question. It is because your interviewers might catch a sign of you bad-mouthing your previous company. And it could cost you the job.

20. What Are You Looking For In The New Position?

I have spent a few years improving my business development skills. Hence, I would love a position that allows me to employ those skills. This way, I can help my employer achieve growth.

What excites me (and is also of value to me) is that the position allows me to handle projects. But that is not all. Working with teams is one thing I cherish and enjoy. Also, the position would allow me to be involved in securing the contract. Projects. That would be a thrilling experience for me.

Again, I look forward to a role that would help me grow professionally. It is a very valuable asset as I hope to handle bigger roles in the future. And the only way to be able to do so is by growing and developing oneself.

In summary, I am looking for a position where I can visibly see the impact of my contribution. Yes, I understand that I am only a small part of the company. But, I will feel fulfilled if I can see the impact of my work.

21. What Is Your Style Of Management?

It isn’t easy to define what a management style is. Still, I would say a good manager fulfills three roles.

First, they give clear, explicit instructions. Second, they get out of the way and trust their team to handle the job. Third, they are never too far to offer assistance when needed.

I would say that is an idea of my management style. And I also try to ‘read’ my team to know when help is needed. Even without being asked, I always offer the required help.

So, I try to keep a small informal relationship with my team. It keeps ease when you work or report to me about the tasks. It also helps me gauge the level of pride they get from their work. Lastly, I try to know if there is anything I can do to make them even prouder.

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22. How Would Your Co-Workers Or Boss Describe You?

My last performance review described me as a person who never runs away from hard work. A person who takes the initiative. And also a person who takes responsibility for problems rather than playing the blame game. I think my boss liked that about me.

I have also noticed that people come to me for ideas on how to get around tight corners or tricky situations. It is because I know how to come up with steps to solve problems quickly. My team members are not afraid to approach me. They are free to talk on matters that are sensitive in nature or general issues. They believe I am considerate and discrete.

23. Have You Ever Managed A Team Of People Of Other Nationalities?

Yes, I have. I once managed a team that was made up of 15 members from 5 different countries. And the project team had diverse professionals. There were telecom engineers, building technicians, and civil engineers.

Five members were from Italy, three from Croatia, and three from South Africa. 

Two members were from Indonesia. And the other two members were from the US.

It was a thrilling experience when I was working with them. I garnered knowledge from diverse cultures.

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24. How Do You Handle A Team Member Who Is Performing Poorly?

When my team members are performing poorly, I take a few steps. The first step I take is to observe that member very well. It will help me see if it is just one incident or a recurring flaw.

I do this also to understand the member’s daily unmotivated behavior. If it keeps happening for a relatively long time (2 to 3 weeks), I would ask them out to lunch. It is where we can have a serious discussion.

After pleasantries, I would ask them several questions. “What do you think about the project? Are you happy to work on the project? Would you like to switch your current role(s)? Is there anything you find demotivating about the project?”

I would get the member to open up to me. They would tell me what might be the cause of the poor performance. Then, they could proffer solutions. If not, I could offer the solutions.

Personal issues could demotivate some people in their lives. If that is the case, I will do my best to help them.

25. Where Do You See Yourself In The Next Five Years?

I have nearly 5 years of PM experience. In the next 3 years, I want to advance my career as a project manager. I want to become a true expert at my job. I hope to immerse myself in this role. Can achieve it by learning the ins and outs of the job. And also by making the most of it.

In the 2 years after that, I intend to extend the knowledge and skills garnered in the first three years. I can extend to other departments such as marketing or finance. Also, I want to handle more important roles in this company.

I look forward to being an inspiration to my colleagues. And above all, I want to be an asset to my boss and the company.

The Best Interview Advises For Project Managers

The business climate of today’s world is extremely competitive. There are tens, hundreds, or even thousands applying for the same job or position you are applying for a job. But, usually, the company can only take one person.

It makes it very crucial that you prepare adequately for the job. The interview is the first step. Should prioritize your preparation as you would prepare for an examination. Yes, this is the only way to improve your chances of success.

Again, thorough preparation is required if you hope to be hired for the role. And so, it is important to invest time, resources, and effort into preparing for the exercise.

First, you should take out time to research the role you are applying for a job. Second, you should know what it would take to succeed. Third, you should research the company to understand its vision, mission, culture, and core values. Knowing extras like products and services and the kind of customers they serve would also help.

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The information garnered from the research will help you a lot. You will understand the reason behind some of the interview questions. It will give you the power to turn the interview in your favor.

Further, be prepared to have a long and stressful interview process, as this is the norm these days. In years past, you could get a project manager job after one interview session. However, this is no longer the case as the competition has reached its all-time high.

It is common to schedule layers and layers of interview sessions to get a single role. It, however, depends on the company. A rule of thumb is that the more renowned the company is, the interview exercises lengthier.


If you should learn anything from this article, it is that no interview question is trivial. It is because your interviewer has a reason behind every question put forward. Even seemingly casual questions are designed to squeeze out flaws or strengths in a candidate.

As stated before, take out time to prepare for the exercise. Meet people who are already employed for the same role in another company. Ask them questions about what kind of questions were asked in the interview.

Also, use the Internet to your advantage. Join forums where people share information on job interviews. Reading this extensive article already shows you are on the right path. Keep it up, and good luck!

Should you have any questions or comments, leave a message in the comment section below.

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