It’s vital to know key project manager interview questions and answers. Does having the proper background and experience qualify you for a job? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get it.

There is still the final test in the screening process, the interview.

Preparing for a project manager job interview is key to showcasing the specialized skills needed to manage projects and teams successfully. This article provides critical insights into the top project manager interview questions you must be ready for, along with suggested responses. We also cover the must-have PM qualifications interviewers look for and provide additional example questions to help you practice and get hired.

There is more to job interviews than being well-spoken and confident; it’s a skill that requires preparation. The interviewer has an evaluation sheet for the most prestigious jobs, including project manager positions.

The evaluation sheet measures certain qualities by asking specific questions from a list. They ask a question or two from every category and then grade you in each quality according to your answers.

Project management interview questions and answers featured

Although there is no one answer the interviewer is looking for, there is a core idea they want to hear. The questions vary according to the job. Project manager interview questions mostly measure leadership and crisis management skills.

Knowing the questions beforehand gives you time to prepare and a huge advantage over the other applicants for the position.

What Is a Project Manager?

Knowing what the job will require from you before getting familiar with project manager interview questions is important. A project manager is responsible for overseeing projects within a company.

This includes managing everything within the project, including planning, communications, execution and delivery. Companies in every field can hire project managers. It’s important to research the company first and make sure your experience and credentials match the task.

It can vary from a construction project to software and IT to expansion marketing. Every project management job requires certain tasks, but some things are more or less always in common. Naturally, it’s important to have some degree of knowledge of the field you’re working in.

Project manager interview questions demand stats
With a huge scope for growth, there has never been a better time to get into project management. Image credit:

Responsibilities of a Project Manager

Project managers are essentially a point of contact between clients and creative or technical staff. This means that they have a range of daily responsibilities, including:

  • Planning the project from start to finish.
  • Recruiting the right people for the right jobs.
  • Budgeting the project and planning where and when these funds will be spent.
  • Communication between everyone working on the project and those in higher positions.
  • Motivating the project team and ensuring everyone knows their role and is satisfied.
  • Conflict resolution if there is an issue between team members.
  • Crisis management: should any problem in the project arise, it should be dealt with internally.

This huge responsibility is why project managers are well-paid by companies.

In other words, a project manager can’t keep the team motivated unless they are properly motivated. It’s vital to know these roles clearly and to picture what each means because this is one of the most important project manager interview questions.

Project Management Skills

Key Project Manager Skills and Qualifications

Successful project managers possess hard technical abilities and soft people skills.

Here are some of the top qualifications hiring managers assess for:

  • Leadership – the ability to set the vision, motivate teams, manage performance
  • Communication – clear written and verbal communication with various stakeholders
  • Organization – planning projects, managing schedules and resources
  • Technical knowledge – methodologies like Agile/Waterfall, tools like MS Project
  • Problem-solving – analyze issues, critical thinking, make decisions
  • Collaboration – work cross-functionally, manage stakeholders, resolve conflicts

Project Management Job Market

  • Job growth for project managers is expected at 7% from 2019-2029 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The median salary for PMs is $93,000 in the U.S. (PMI Salary Survey)
  • 76% of organizations say they will likely hire more project managers in 2023 (

Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

As mentioned earlier, the interviewer isn’t asking questions at random. Every question is a tool to evaluate you personally and professionally. The interviewer will have set metrics in mind to evaluate you on.

To provide a satisfying answer, you should be able to associate the question with the skill it measures and answer accordingly. The interviewer will have a tranche of preset questions to measure a specific skill.

Here are the most important qualities and some related questions.

Background and Experience Questions Project Management Interview Questions and Answers

The interview process can be stressful, throwing off the applicant and giving unreliable results. That’s why the first line of project manager interview questions right after ice breaking is usually personal. Project management is a crucial responsibility job.

For this reason, your background must be rich in the profession, and you must have a minimum experience set by the employers.

What is Your Previous Project Management Experience?

This is a must-ask question because it tells them if you have the proper experience and if project management is your main focus. Typically, your goal here should be to give a broad career overview.

This includes:

  • The number of years of experience you have,
  • Your previous roles and responsibilities,
  • Career highlights and key achievements.

Why did you choose this Line of Work?

It’s important to know what forces drive you professionally. Is it money? Ambition? Is it a lack of other options? This is your opportunity to show off your understanding of the role and why you’re the right person regarding your values and career goals.

Key inclusions include:

  • Why do you find project management rewarding,
  • Which problems you like to solve for your employer and clients,
  • Which of your core skills are a good match with the job description?

What Supply Chain Training do you Have?

Questions about your project management training can be general, but they can also be specific. Always prepare your relevant training credentials.

When answering undocumented personal questions, it’s okay to exaggerate a little. However, you should never lie regarding experience and previous jobs because this is checkable and may put you in a bad position.

What if they ask about a skill you don’t have a formal qualification in? When this happens, the key is to turn the question in your favour by discussing your relevant transferable skills and backing them up with hard examples.

You can then say you’d love to solidify this experience with a formal qualification. This shows off your ambition and long-term planning.

Best Project Management Software

Technical Skills Project Management Interview Questions and Answers

This is where the project manager’s interview questions turn specific. Project management is a broad profession, and every company has specific skill requirements they’re looking for.

What Qualifies You for this Job?

This question is asked in any career path. The interviewer seeks certain skills and lets you list them in your own words. Again, this is an important opportunity to show your understanding of the role.

As such, always talk about your qualifications in the context of how they will allow you to succeed.

What Software Have You Used in Previous Project Management Jobs?

This technical question shows them how updated you are with project management software. The interviewer is looking for two key things here:

  • How quickly you can get up and running in a new role,
  • What specialist skills can you bring to improve project management processes?

How Do You Approach a New Project?

The most important thing this type of question establishes is whether or not you have a system or a checklist. Beyond this, they want to know your specific approach to managing clients, colleagues and deliverables.

Take this opportunity to show off some of the concrete benefits of your particular project management style.

How Do You Prioritise Resource Spending?

Every project has an initial plan or an outline, even before hiring a project manager. The interviewer needs to know if your vision goes along with theirs. They also want to know the kinds of budgets you’ve managed and how you can deliver a return on investment.

It’s best to be thorough when answering all job-related questions.

Using examples from previous work shows them how organized and experienced you are. Having a pre-existing system indicates professionalism, but you must clarify that you’re also flexible.

Adaptability is a major aspect of the screening process; clarify that.

Social Skills Project Management Interview Questions and Answers

Communication is a major aspect of project management. The interview needs to tell how well you play with others and your leadership potential.

How Do You Manage Conflict Between Two Team Members?

Conflict resolution skills are always part of the project manager interview questions. There are several key concerns here. You should show off your awareness of maintaining internal relationships and preventing issues for external stakeholders.

Use concrete examples to show off some of the resolutions you’ve spearheaded in the past.

Project manager interview questions and answers conflict skills
Conflict resolution is a crucial project management skill. Image credit:

What Kind of Leader Are You?

Or Are you a strict leader? Project management is leadership; it’s important to see if you are the leader they need. You should tailor your approach here to the company culture. For example, if you’re going for a job managing projects with software developers who are experts in their field, an authoritarian leadership style won’t fly.

What Communication Problems Have You Dealt with in the Past?

Nearly all interviews have specific questions about your jobs. You should prepare possible problems and how you solved them, even if you must make some up. Again, focus your examples around the key skills and experience you can bring to the job.

Project Management Apps: What You Need to Know (Trello, Wrike, Asana, Basecamp, Podio, MeisterTask)

Top 10 Project Manager Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to become a project manager?

This question allows you to discuss your…[Expand with 3-5 sentences providing a sample response]

  1. How do you handle a team member who is not performing well?

Hiring managers want to assess your people management…[Provide sample response]

  1. What project management certifications do you hold?

Highlight any PMP, PRINCE2, Agile certifications to showcase your…[Provide sample response]

  1. How do you ensure projects stay on budget?

This tests your experience managing project spending and costs. Discuss tactics like…[Provide sample response]

  1. What PM tools are you familiar with?

Mention tools you have experience with…

  1. How do you communicate project status with stakeholders?
  2. How do you manage changing project requirements?
  3. How do you motivate your team?
  4. How do you prioritize tasks and manage schedules?
  5. What challenges have you faced in past projects, and how did you handle them?

Preparing for a Project Management Interview

There is no way to hack an interview, but preparation is as close as it gets. Your background and experience are only as good as what you learned from them. It’s always important to prepare scenarios of hardships from previous jobs and how you overcame them.

There are certain key features the interviewer will be looking for. Project managers have to be leaders; they have to work well with others and be able to motivate their team. Most of all,

Project managers need to be competent. That means answering technical questions with ease and familiarity. Brushing up on the latest software and new methodology is always advisable. Many project management tools make the job easier.

Preparing project manager interview questions isn’t everything because the position requires interpersonal skills. This means you must be well-spoken and witty in the interview.

Additional Project Manager Interview Questions to Prepare For:

  • What do you think makes a successful project manager?
  • How would your team describe your management style?
  • How do you gather requirements from clients?
  • What KPIs do you track in your projects?
  • What qualities do you look for when hiring team members?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as a project manager?

Project Manager Interview Questions Conclusion

Being ready to demonstrate the right mix of technical project management acumen and leadership qualities can help you shine in your next PM interview. Use these common PM interview questions and sample responses to practice articulating your skills with specific examples that prove you can fulfil this demanding, multifaceted role.

Highlight your passion for delivering projects on time and within budget and your ability to motivate, organize and communicate effectively. With the right preparation, you can land the desired project manager job.

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