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Sensible Project Manager Hangout 10

Sensible Project Manager Hangout 10

Project Manager Interview Questions

“Project Manager Interview Questions” was the topic for the 10th hangout of the Sensible Project Manager Hangout Community. In this community of project managers and others who enjoy discussing project management topics, we have a weekly hangout which is hosted via Google+ Hangout. These hangouts are held each Friday at 9:00am pacific time. Up to 10 people can join the hangout and those not making it to the hangout can view the conversation via Hangouts “On-Air”.

During the hangout we discussed interview questions for project managers. Again this week we partnered with #PMChat on the Twitter platform and shared the topic in both the #PMHangout as well as on #PMChat.

I would like to thank Alan Dayley for joining the hangout.

During the hangout we discussed the fact that during the interview there is a lot to be learned from both sides of the table. Both the individuals performing the interview and person being interviewed can and should learn from the discussion. The interviewer is trying to assess if the candidate should be hired for the open position.  The interviewee is trying to assess if this opportunity and company will be a good fit for them and if this job will fit into their career path.

During the hangout, we looked at each question from two points of view.

  1. Why is the question asked by the interviewer? Understanding the answer to this, will give the interviewee and insight to how the question should be answered.
  2. How would we answer the question?

The following are the questions that were discussed during the hangout.  They are broken up into two different types of questions.

  1. Questions that the interviewer asks.
  2. Questions that the interviewee asks or learns from the interview.

Questions that the interviewer asks:

  • Can you tell me about your project management leadership style?
  • How do you deal with failure?
  • Tell me about a project that did not go well and what you would do differently?
  • Tell me how they helped someone else solve their problem.
  • If you have a (specific scenario) of conflict between team members, how would you solve the conflict.
  • Describe the most complex project you have managed start to finish.
  • In our world today it is important to learn how to communicate with each other. That means more and more everyone needs to be a teacher. Please teach me something so I can understand the topic. You have five minutes.
  • Role-play: Establish a scenario where the interviewee has to solve a problem in a role-play situation with the interviewers.
  • What is the typical size of budget that you have had responsibility for in the past?
  • When you are first handed a project, what are you going to do to start the project?

Questions that the interviewee asks or learns from the interview:

  • Can I see the work area and meet some of the people I will be working with?
  • What is the project management methodology used at your company?
  • Describe the maturity of your company’s project management environment?
  • Assuming you were to hire me, what is the first project I will be working on? What is the first problem I am expected to solve?
  • What concerns do you have of me as a candidate for this position that I can address right now?

Additional tips:

  • As the interview progresses, always look to see if you as the candidate are a good fit for the position so that both you and the company will be happy should you accept an offer.
  • Make sure to send a Thank You letter to those who interviewed you.
  • Look and act professional when you go to your interview.
  • Ask prior to the interview what the appropriate dress for the interview is and then a little better than their expectations.
  • Show confidence but don’t present yourself as overconfident.

Listen to the hangout for the suggestions on how to address each of these questions.

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