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Project manager interview questions

A good project manager can make a big difference to the success of a business. Helping to drive projects forward, keep teams motivated and achieve set goals, these talented individuals can add real value and real dynamism to a company.

To find the right project manager for your company, you must ask the right questions. So delve straight into a candidate’s skillset, and find out more about their experience. This will help you to decide if the applicant is the perfect professional to lead your next project. Here are some sample project manager interview questions to ask next time you’re hiring.

Question: What metrics or success criteria do you use to determine if a project is on track?

Assessing the ongoing success of a project will help managers to ensure their team is on track. It will also help project managers bring their work to a satisfactory conclusion. In the interview, ask candidates how they assess their projects and how they measure their team’s work along the way.

Look out for candidates who understand the importance of success criteria and measuring outcomes. Time management, organisational skills and the ability to delegate are all useful for keeping a project on track. So look out for candidates who include examples of these skills in their answers.

Question: How do you work with a team that’s underperforming?

This is one of the most important project manager interview questions. That’s because, unfortunately, even the best-planned projects occasionally go awry. Project managers who can motivate teams, and individuals, who aren’t achieving their goals will add extra value to your project and boost its chances of success.

Communication, diplomacy, empathy and coaching skills are all useful when motivating a team. Ask your candidate for examples of how they’ve used these skills in the past to get a lacklustre team going.

Question: How would you cope if the project hits an unexpected roadblock?

Unexpected roadblocks are a common challenge in the world of project management. It’s essential for all prospective project managers to navigate these roadblocks. They’re the ones who can turn negatives into positives.

To overcome unexpected challenges, project managers need to think creatively and use effective problem-solving skills. Their best efforts still might be enough to produce the required results. In that case, they need to accept responsibility for mistakes made and hold themselves accountable. Ask candidates for examples of how they’ve overcome problems they’ve faced in the past.

For help finding the right project manager for your business, or for more ideas on effective interview techniques, take a look at our recruitment page or get in touch with a member of our team.