10 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Project Manager interview questions

These Project Manager questions have been designed for various interviews, competitive exams and entrance tests. We have covered questions on both basic and advanced concepts which will help you improve your skills to face interview questions on Project Manager.

Who are these Project Manager interview questions designed for?

All the Technical Project Managers, Senior Project Managers, Junior Project Managers, Software Engineers, Test Engineers, Test Leads, Test Managers, QA leads and QA Managers will find these questions extremely useful. All freshers, BCA, BE, BTech, MCA and college students wanting to make a career in Software Testing will be highly benefited by these questions.

Project Manager interview questions topics

This section covers Project Management topics like - Project Management Life Cycle process, Fishbone diagram, Pareto (80/20) principle/analysis, Project Manager behavioral interview questions etc.

1. Elaborate on the Project Management Life Cycle process.

Project Management Life Cycle process includes five phases that covers all aspect of managing a project from beginning to end.

The five phases are:

i.) Initiating - In the initiation phase of the project, you determine whether the project is feasible, figure out project scope, identify the major deliverables of the project and the project stakeholders.

ii.) Planning - In planning phase, you break down the larger project into smaller tasks and work on to plan the time, cost and resources.

The main steps in this phase include identifying the project timeline, estimating the budget, building the team and identifying the issues.

iii.) Execution - The execution phase is about turning your plan into action and achieving the project’s objectives. In this phase, the project manager’s job is to keep work on track, review the project, monitor quality of work and keep the project streamlined in terms of assets and resources.

iv.) Closing - You enter the closure phase, once your team has completed the work on a project. In this phase, the project manager’s job is to get the customer to accept the final deliverable, bring out the performance reports and evaluate how well the project has performed, analyze team performance, provide project closure reports to key stakeholders and release project resources.

Video : Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers - Technical and Behavioral

What is a Fishbone diagram and when would you use it?

Fishbone Diagram is also known as Ishikawa Diagram. Some people even call it Cause and Effect Diagram. It is basically a visualization tool that enables brainstorming process covering all potential root causes for the problem.

In the diagram, root causes are grouped into categories depending on the nature of the problem e.g. Man, Machine, Method, Material, Environment etc. This way it helps team members to focus on every category and cover all possible causes of the problem.

3. What do you understand of Pareto (80/20) principle/analysis?

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that in many situations 80% of effect/output is determined by 20% of the cause/input. This observation applies to project management as well. While solving issues or errors, you will notice that 80% of problems arise from a few issues, whether it’s a bad line of code, a problematic stakeholder or anything else.

4. What are the most important skills required by a Project Manager to succeed?

There are many skills such as planning, communication, leadership, motivation etc. required to be a successful Project Manager. But without planning and execution of that plan, you can't achieve success and deliver project on time and within budget. So, keeping planning and execution of plan high in the list of required skills is something that is really appreciated.

Sample Answer

There are a lot of skills required to successfully lead a project, but according to me planning and execution are the important ones to finish the project on time and within budget. You can't commit mistakes in these areas and let the client and employer down. In order to execute a plan effectively, you need to communicate effectively, possess great motivational skills and have a flexible approach to working.

I possess these qualities and have been using them to successfully, delivering results within the budget and also on time.

5. Describe the most challenging project you’ve had.

This is a real chance to describe the most important project that you have worked on. Use this question to showcase your leadership and management skills and your ability to work under pressure and even with a difficult client.

Sample Answer

I worked on a project where the client was unable to freeze the requirements because of their indecision. Consequently, my team was getting burnt out and I had pressure from employer too. I motivated my team, listened to their concerns regularly and helped them to stay focused. Without annoying the client, I spoke to them about the possible negative impact on the result of the project because of continuous changes. After all the hardship, the project was delivered on time and to the satisfaction of client. And, my work was applauded by both the client and the employer.

6. How important is it for a project manager to be proactive?

The most important quality one should expect in a project manager is his Proactiveness. To be proactive, the project manager should be able to visualize well in advance the situation that is likely to unfold.

  • A proactive PM is able to see any signs of a deviation in time or budget as early as possible. This allows timely correction and minimizes the impact.
  • A proactive PM helps in identifying the risks at the beginning of the project.
  • Stakeholders hold the high authority and are an integral part of a project. The PM needs to work proactively to fulfill their various communication needs.
  • A proactive project manager understands client’s needs and wants and puts a plan in place to meet the requirements.

7. How would you describe your communication style?

Communication both written and verbal is vital when you work under tight time constraints and pressure at such an important position. So, don't miss the chance here to demonstrate how open and honest communication can help in delivering the project successfully.

Sample Answer

I follow open and encouraging style of communication. I always believe that my team should feel free to communicate issues and potential problems with me at any time. So, I always encourage open, honest and frank discussions.

It’s important to be adaptable. I adapt my communication style to suit the needs of client or team.

I prefer listening and knowing them as individuals to see how I can communicate with them effectively.

8. How would you motivate a team?

As a Project Manager, you are the leader of the project. It is your responsibility to motivate, encourage and support your team. To answer this question, you need to state a few ways of yours to keep your team highly motivated throughout the project.

Sample Answer

I set the role of each member of the team and expectations from them at the start of the project. I follow clear line of communication to help them keep up the expectations. In addition to this, I prefer conducting weekly or monthly review sessions to discuss the progress, fix their problems and keep them motivated. Through my word of encouragement and support, I make them feel valued. I figure out a way to praise all small victories to allow each member the opportunity to be in the spotlight.

9. How would you delegate responsibility during a very important project?

Delegation is very important task for a Project manager, so to answer this question you need to emphasize the importance of knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the right person for a task is a key to deliver the results.

Sample Answer

At the time of delegating the tasks, you have to know the team well. You should identify their strengths and weaknesses. The task should be handed to a particular person based on their experience, knowledge and skills. I always take time to explain why they are chosen for the work and what is expected from them. Once the task is delegated, I ensure that they provide status report and update on a periodic basis.