Be prepared for your next project manager interview by planning your response to standard project manager interview questions.
Understand how to best translate your track record of successful, challenging projects to each job interview.
Demonstrate that you know how to properly use project management methodology by using the STAR method.
Read on to find out how your project management experience and a polished job interview can help you nail your next project manager position.
Qualities of a Successful Project Manager
Every management team wants successful projects, and the secret to a project’s success is a capable, effective project manager. Companies know that finding a person who embodies the skills needed to successfully lead different and complex types of projects is essential to company health.
Make the hiring manager’s job easy by demonstrating that you are the best project manager for the job. Regardless of your current job, if you are a good project manager, your skills will transfer to any industry or kind of project.
The interview team will be looking at these primary project manager qualities and important skills in your responses:
- Organization and time-management skills
- Leadership style and relationship management
- Communication skills and communication styles
- Leadership skills
- Technical knowledge and expertise
Six Tips to Highlight Your Project Management Experience
Use the following six interview tips to demonstrate that you possess the desired project management skills.
1. Be Prepared
Find out as much as you can about the company and the job. Carefully read the job description, research the company on LinkedIn, social media, and through contacts. Review your past project plans and work breakdown structures. Practice your answers to “what are your strengths and weaknesses,” and other common questions using specific examples that will set you apart from other candidates.
2. Be Professional
On your scheduled interview day, arrive promptly, dress appropriately, and be courteous to everyone. Always use proper and professional language and speak positively about your past employers and coworkers.
Keep in mind that the interviewer has already seen your resume. They know you have your PMP, and the project management tools and project management software you use, like Microsoft Project, Excel, and Trello. LISTEN to the questions, and answer succinctly. Good listeners come across as good communicators.
4. Be a STAR
One of the best techniques for highlighting your different projects is by using the STAR method, developed by DDI, a global consulting firm.
- ST: Situation/Task – Explain the situation or task so others understand the context.
- A: Action – Give details about what you or another person did to handle the situation.
- R: Result – Describe what was achieved by the action and why it was effective.
When you get questions that begin with phrases like, “tell me about,” “what do you do when,” or “walk me through an example,” use the STAR framework to draw a compelling picture of your adaptability in the project management role.
This is the perfect format to highlight your PM strengths, including risk management, conflict resolution, your problem-solving ability, and your project prioritization process.
5. Be a Team Player
Good project managers can keep a project on task, and adjust the project schedule as needed to ensure milestones and deliverables are met, but it takes the entire team to bring it to completion. You can hype your role, but give credit where credit is due by acknowledging the hard work of the employees, stakeholders, and clients. This shows you are a team player.
6. Be the “Right Fit”
More than likely, among the common project manager interview questions, you will also be asked why you want the job. Here is when you say that you have the right character traits, career goals, skills, and cultural fit to transition to the company and to complement any project team. Your homework on the company will give you an idea of specific items to highlight.
After each interview, make a mental note of how you can improve and begin preparing for your next one. Best of luck on your job search!