20 Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 January 2023

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A project manager is someone who handles many aspects of a company's project, from managing the project's timeline to making sure there's ample communication within the team. Hiring managers often look for certain qualities and experience in a project manager and ask common questions to look for the right person. Knowing what interview questions a hiring manager may ask can help you prepare for the interview. In this article, we explore some common project manager interview questions, show how to answer them and provide example responses for you to refer.

Related: Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression

General project manager interview questions

Here are some common general questions that a hiring manager may ask to understand your personality and interests:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • What did you do in your previous job as a project manager?

  • Why do you want to work in our company?

  • What are some of your common interests and hobbies?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • Why are you leaving your current company?

  • Do you work well under pressure?

Related: Common Interview Questions and Answers

Interview questions about project management experience and background

Some hiring managers may also ask you interview questions about your previous experiences or background. Common project manager interview questions about your experiences include:

  • What was your most challenging project and how did you perform?

  • What do you feel is your biggest weakness?

  • How do you handle communication breakdowns between departments?

  • How does your work experience qualify you for this job?

  • Describe a time when you successfully motivated your team.

  • How do you think your educational background suits this position?

  • Tell us about the most challenging client you've faced and how you communicated with them.

Related:

  • Project Manager Skills and Duties (With Examples)

  • 42 Project Coordinator Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Interview questions for project managers with sample answers

After the general questions, the hiring manager may ask you more in-depth project manager interview questions to find out more about how you are as a project manager and find out if you're suitable for the role. Here are some interview questions the hiring manager may ask you with sample answers so that you can prepare for them:

1. Describe your work experience.

Hiring managers often ask this question so that they can find out about you and your experience. Knowing more about you as an individual can help them see how you can respond to issues at work and see if you're a good fit for the company's culture. This is where you can demonstrate your knowledge and experience and help them know more about you. Answer in a way that makes you seem like the best fit for the position.

Example: 'I started my career as an assistant project manager in my previous company. I've always loved leading teams, managing projects and adhering to timelines so I decided to stay in the field for the long run. For the last five years, I've been managing countless projects for big clients such as Revolut Finance and Career Finder.'

2. What do you think is the most important thing a project manager can do?

A question such as this can help you demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have as a project manager. This is where you can show what you spend the most time doing and some of the key responsibilities you have in your career.

Example: 'I feel that communication is one of the most important things a project manager can have. I manage many aspects of a project and they're all important since they contribute to the end goal. If everyone wants to do their job efficiently and well, it's important that we're all communicating well with each other and minimising any miscommunication between the team. We're also required to communicate our project's progress to our clients and key stakeholders. Without communication, our project might not be able to flow smoothly and on time.'

Related: 15 Project Management Skills a Project Manager Should Have

3. When was a time that you had a project that couldn't meet the deadline or budget? What did you do?

Missing a deadline or budget are two common problems that many project managers encounter during their careers. This is a question that can help you prove how you handle setbacks that you've encountered in your projects. You can use the STAR interview technique to answer a situational interview to show how you handled work situations in the past. The STAR method consists of describing the specific situation, the task you completed, the action you took and the result.

Example: 'There was an occasion where I was working on a project with a client, but they wanted to add a feature on their project that will set them back another three months. This would've set them back a month over the deadline. As the project manager, it was my job to decide if we could add this feature and miss our deadline by a month, or spend less time on another part of the project.

To deal with this, I met with my team to check out how much time we needed to add the feature before presenting a few options to our clients. When the clients accepted, we were able to work on this additional feature and work with the new timeline. This lets us deliver the project a hundred per cent to a satisfied client.'

Related: How To Use the STAR Interview Technique

4. What is a project you're proud of in the course of your career?

Hiring managers usually ask this question to find out more about your experience and your ability to find out successes. This question is also a way for you to show that you know your job well and show off your most successful project.

Example: 'One project I'm proud of was creating a chatbot for our client that can answer commonly asked questions. We started with a team meeting to develop a timeline and budget that could work reasonably with the team, and the steps we could take to complete the chatbot. Afterwards, we met our clients to present our options to them. One problem we ran into was the idea of our chatbot. The client double the features added to the chatbot, which would've caused more work for our tech crew.

To solve this issue, I explained to our clients that we'd require a bigger budget so that we can allocate more resources for the features. It took some convincing at first, but the client agreed to the increase in budget afterwards. To accommodate the new features, we had meetly team meetings with our colleagues and weekly calls with our clients to update them on our progress. We managed to get the chatbot delivered on time and within the budget. The client loved the robot and its functionality of it and decided to work with us on a retainer contract.'

Related: How To Answer Situational Interview Questions

5. What project management tools do you use?

Many companies have different sets of project management software. Explaining what kind of tools you've used can show the experience you have with software, especially if you have technical skills with various platforms. One way to excel in this question is to find out what program the company you're interviewing at is using to show them you're using it as well.

Example: 'I'm quite experienced with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. Most recently, I've been using Basecamp, which is a software good for team collaboration. Each person working on the project could add ideas to the online board that Basecamp had and discuss ideas to address any challenges and issues we were facing during the project.'

6. How do you handle conflicts within the team?

Managing a team is important when you're managing projects. It's important to ensure that your team can work well together during the course of the project and to manage any conflicts that arise so that you can deal with them as soon as possible. This question is a way you can show your interpersonal skills.

Example: 'Conflicts are often a serious problem in project management and I always encourage my team to keep communication lines open so that we can keep our project on track. Having good communication can also help the team work out any issues together to improve their interpersonal skills and relationships.

Once, I had to mediate a conflict between a marketing executive and a developer during a project as they couldn't agree on how to communicate with the public about the product. I decided to set up a meeting with the three of us to discuss solutions and how each party could make compromises. Eventually, we managed to come to an agreement which had both the marketer's and developer's ideas and both of them were happy about it.'

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? (With Methods and Examples)

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

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