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105 Project Management Interview Questions

        posted by , January 02, 2013

The following questions may be used to interview a professional project manager.

General

1. Can you describe the responsibilities of a project manager?

2. What is the difference between a project and a program?

3. What are project constraints? Can you give me a few specific examples?

4. If you could choose up to 3 software tools to help you manage a project which would you choose?

5. What is the most common mistake project managers make?

6. What is the most challenging project you've managed?

7. Have you worked with offshore teams? What challenges did you face?

8. Can you walk me through the most recent project you managed?

Leadership

9. Can you tell me about a time you had to second guess the recommendations of a SME on your team?

10. Do politics ever stress you out? How do you handle it?

11. What are your professional values / ethics?

12. Can you tell me about a time you mentored someone?

13. How do you keep your team inspired in the face of difficulties?

14. What is better — control or trust?

15. What is your leadership style?

16. How do you handle the situation in which a powerful stakeholder is making decisions that you feel are sending a project off a cliff?

IT Project Management

17. Can you give me examples that illustrate the difference between business and technology scope creep?

18. How do you ensure that technology teams build what's defined by project requirements?

19. Have you encountered developers who add features of their own to a product? How did you handle the situation?

20. What is enterprise architecture?

21. What artifacts does a solution architect typically deliver for a project?

Methodologies

22. What is the waterfall model?

23. What types of projects are best adapted to a waterfall approach?

24. What are your thoughts about agile?

25. What are the 5 process groups of the PMBOK Guide?

Project Integration Management

26. What is project integration management?

27. What information is captured in a project charter?

28. How do you handle a situation in which the stakeholders assigned to your project lack the requisite authority or abilities (e.g. too junior)?

29. How do you handle a project that you feel is doomed to failure because of a lack of executive support?

30. How do you ensure that your team members are clear on the objectives of a project?

31. How do you manage team members who appear to be unproductive?

32. How do you manage internal conflict within your project team?

33. What is a project Statement of Work (SOW)?

34. What goes into a business case?

Project Scope Management

35. Do project managers provide estimates? Why / why not?

36. Can you tell me about a project you managed that went over time / budget? What would you do differently next time?

37. What techniques do you use to minimize scope creep?

38. How do you communicate scope to stakeholders?

39. What is a change management system? Why is it useful?

40. How do you prevent gold-plating scope creep?

41. In our industry, what percentage of projects go over budget?

42. What is the difference between project scope and product scope?

43. How do you manage the situation in which your team is providing estimates that you feel are too optimistic?

44. How do you manage the situation in which your team is providing estimates that you feel are far too high?

Project Time Management

45. What is project decomposition?

46. What is a work breakdown structure?

47. What are project dependencies? Can you give me examples of different types of dependencies?

48. What is the difference between a top-down and bottom-up estimate?

49. How do you establish accurate estimates?

50. What is the purpose of resource leveling?

51. Can you give me some examples of typical project constraints?

52. What value do milestones add to your schedule?

53. How do you deliver a project to a hard-deadline that's predefined by the project sponsor?

54. Are you familiar with any schedule compression techniques?

55. What is the typical impact of schedule compression?

56. What techniques do you use to bring a badly delayed project back on schedule?

57. When do you need to re-baseline a project?

58. Can you give me an example of a project progress metric?

Project Cost Management

59. What financial measures do you use to evaluate the feasibility of a project (e.g. in a business case)?

60. What is net present value? How is it useful?

61. What is an opportunity cost?

62. Can you give me an example of pay-back? How is it calculated?

63. What is return on investment?

64. What is the difference between internal rate of return and return on investment?

65. Have you developed a cost management plan? What did you include in the plan?

66. Who participates in project budgeting?

67. What artifacts do you need to have before preparing a budget?

68. How do you monitor / control a budget?

69. What is a project cash flow?

70. What is earned value?

71. Why do projects go over budget? How can this be prevented?

72. Can you give me an example of a productivity metric?

73. What strategies have you used in the past to keep projects on budget?

Project Quality Management

74. How do you measure project quality?

75. How do you plan project quality?

76. Can you give me some examples of quantitative metrics you've used to measure project quality?

Project Human Resource Management

77. Can you tell me about the most difficult stakeholder you've dealt with?

78. Do you prefer a collocated team? What are the challenges you've faced working with remote teams?

79. How do you help a low performer to improve?

80. How do you ensure retention of top performers on your team?

Project Communications Management

81. How do you handle a stakeholder who doesn't read your communications and doesn't attend your meetings?

82. How do you ensure that project communication is effective?

83. Do you typically gather communication requirements from all stakeholders?

84. Have you developed a communication plan? What did you put in it?

85. Can you give me an example of a time you had difficulty managing stakeholder expectations?

86. What metrics do you use to get the attention of important stakeholders during the project execution phase?

87. Are you a good listener? Why is this important?

88. What factors make for effective verbal communication? What about visual communication?

89. What is a communication matrix?

90. Do you hold project performance review meetings? What is discussed?

91. How do you report project variances?

92. What is the most common type of project variance?

Project Risk Management

93. How do you identify project risks?

94. What is a risk response plan?

95. How do you estimate the probability of a risk?

96. How do you assess the impact of a risk?

97. How do you minimize risks?

98. How do you ensure that risks are identified as early as possible?

Project Procurement Management

99. Have you recruited a project team? What process did you follow? What challenges did you face?

100. In what situation would you recommend a fix-price contract? How about a time and materials contract?

101. What is a cost-reimbursable contract?

102. What is an incentive fee?

103. Have you produced a request for proposal (RFP)? What information did it contain?

104. Are you a good negotiator? What is your technique?

105. What is a material breach of contract?

Also Check out:
120 Most Common Project Management Interview Questions
How to Hire Good, Bad and Ugly Project Managers

This article is part of the ongoing series: how to win your next job.

More interview questions can be found here.


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