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Project Manager Interview Questions
Use these interview questions to hire a project manager for your software development team.
What is the function of a project manager?
Project management responsibilities include delivering every project on time within budget and scope. Project managers coordinate internal resources and third parties/vendors for the flawless execution of projects
By now you’ll have vetted your candidates for essential hard skills such as hands-on software engineering, familiarity with project management software and a preferred methodology (Agile, Waterfall, etc). Your interview objective will be to evaluate their soft skills and situational judgment.
Excellent interpersonal communication is critical for this role. Your project manager will be responsible for interfacing with your team, all project-related vendors and all stakeholders to ensure that projects are finished on time and on budget. This person will also be in charge of collecting and presenting results. Their day-to-day activities will include negotiating the scope and resources for the project, clearly managing the flow of communication to the team, stepping up to take the blame for anything that might go wrong and resolving any conflicts of opinion.
Your ideal project manager will have a preferred process but can be counted on to make the right decision during a crisis. This sometimes means deviating from the usual script. As such, these questions are designed to navigate the gap between methodology and reality. They’re situational questions that can only be answered in a satisfactory way by candidates with relevant work experience.
Operational and Situational questions
- In three minutes maximum, tell me about a project you previously worked on. What were the deliverables of the project? What was the timeline? What was the budget?
- Tell me about a time you had to get buy-in on a project from multiple stakeholders. What methods did you use to persuade them?
- Describe a time a project fell behind on budget or time. What steps did you take to mitigate the situation?
- What are some of your preferred project management tools? What do you like about them? What are their limitations?
- What methodology do you use? Agile, something else? Describe a situation where it was necessary to deviate from the usual process. What did you do? What were the results?
- Describe a time you had to give a customer bad news. How did you deliver the news? How did they respond?
- Describe a time you worked with a team member who wasn’t pulling their weight. How did you address this?
- Have you ever had to remove a person from your team? How did you explain this to the rest of the team?
- Have you ever disagreed with a team member? What was the issue? Describe and defend the opposing point of view.
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