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Top 25 Interview Questions of Project Management

Top 25 Interview Questions of Project Management

Top 25 Interview Questions of Project Management

Q1) How will you define a project?

A project is a set of task/activities undertaken to create a product, services or results. These are temporary, in the sense that they are not routine work like production activity but most often one time set of activities undertaken.

Q2) How will you identify stakeholders and why do you need to know more about them?

The process of identifying the key stakeholders begins when a project starts. 

To recognize the decision-makers, you ask the following questions:

  • Who will furnish funds for the project?
  • Who will supply resources for the seamless execution of the project?
  • Who are the end customers for the outcome of the project?
  • Who will offer other types of support?
  • Who will be giving guidelines/regulations that need to be followed while working on the project?
  • Who will provide specifications for the project?

Knowing about stakeholders and engaging them throughout the project lifecycle is crucial for project success. The reason being that the project is being undertaken to fulfill its objectives and expectations.

Q3) How do you define an ideal project? 

This question, being one of the most important project management interview questions, intends to know the type of projects you would like to take up. By answering this question honestly, you open up an opportunity to manage projects that excite you or those in which you can excel. Your answer should include multiple points such as whether you like to work as part of a team or alone, the kind of deadlines you prefer, whether you are interested in innovative and creative projects or not, and more. 

Q4) State the difference between programs, projects, and a portfolio?

Projects are undertaken for a set of linked purposes. A program is a set of projects managed in a synchronized way to attain diverse parts of an in general goal.  A portfolio is a compilation of projects, programs and even other portfolios that help an association attain some ordinary high-level business purpose.

Q5) What is your view of Project Management?

Project management involves applying the knowledge & skills of the project team members including the project manager, application of tools and techniques available to ensure the defined tasks are completed properly. Proper completion means implies achievement of end results within given cost and time constraints. It usually means balancing of the constraints of scope, budget, schedule, quality, risks and resources.

Q6) Work from home has become the new normal in the post-COVID-19-world. How well are you prepared to manage a remote team?  

In the present world, project managers often choose their teams from a global workforce and are expected to manage teams remotely. You should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to work with team members virtually. It calls for a different management technique. Your answer to this project management interview question should clearly describe the project management methodology you may choose to manage people and resources in a remote environment. 

Q7) How will you prefer to start your job as a new project manager?

There are things that you need to consider:

  • Help out around the workplace.
  • Listen, observe and learn.
  • Try to master the tools your company possess
  • Take the opportunity to gain some new skills.
  • Understand your client’s needs and wants 

Q8) Are there distinct kinds of activities in a project?

Most often any project goes through some easily identifiable set of activities during its lifetime. Some typical activities can be identified as related initiating a project. Planning set of activities are required to plan the activities to be undertaken to achieve the defined goals. Executing group of activities help getting the project done. A related set of activities are required to monitor and correct the course of actions to keep the project on the planned course charted for it. Final set of activities are related to the systematic closure of the project. Most important of which is, of course, to formally record what has been learnt during the execution of the project. When documented, this set of documents, related forms to be used, the way estimates are to be made, database of estimates of similar projects etc. are often referred to as Organizational process assets.

Q9) What are the techniques that you can use to collect project requirements? (Mention techniques for collecting requirements + different classification of requirements.)

Requirement collection and final concurrence happen with the project stakeholders with the help of functional experts and business analysts. 

The crucial techniques used for requirement gathering are:

  • Data gathering (pondering, standardization, focus groups, questionnaires, and surveys and interviews)
  • Data analysis (examining different project documents)
  • Observation (monitoring the performance of the team members)
  • Affinity diagram (grouping of requirements and ideas)
  • Prioritization of the requirements by using techniques like MoSCoW
  • Prototyping

Gathered requirements can be classified into different categories such as transition, reliability, functional, non-functional, security, quality, and regulatory and user-interface-drive. They help the team in visualizing different aspects of the project requirements and addressing them accordingly.

Q10) Tell us about the most challenging projects you have managed so far? What were the steps you have taken to tackle the challenges?

Here, the interview panel wants to know how you respond to critical challenges and deal with conflicting situations in a project. It would be best if you did not refer to examples where you had to manage tough team members or lack of support from management. As a project manager, you should be smart enough to handle such occurrences. Instead, focus on external factors like a situation where the project was unexpectedly called off, or funding was reduced in the middle of an extensive project. Also, you should explain how you tackled the challenges and managed the team during tough situations. 

Q11) Can you explain project life cycle?

A project has distinct phases when the range of activities required to carry out the project work differ. There is a distinct “start” phase, followed by an organizing and preparing phase. “Carrying out” is the actual execution part of the project. “Closing” phase makes sure the temporary activities related to the project are closed systematically. The points in time when the phase changes happen are named variously as phase gate, exits, milestones or kill points. If a project is to be closed, it is decided at these stages based on the performance or if the need of the project has disappeared.

Q12)Name the tools used for improving the process activities?

The tools used in the industry are:

  • Cause and effect analysis
  • Flowcharting
  • Value stream mapping 
  • Hypothesis testing 
  • Comparing and baselining a method

Q13) What are the steps that you will take to do risk planning?

Effective risk planning is central to the success of a project by minimizing threats and maximizing opportunities. The steps involved in risk planning are: 

  • Discovering risks
  • Analyzing potential risks including their probability and anticipated impact
  • Prioritizing risks
  • Developing risk responses for opportunities and hazards
  • Maintaining a risk register 

Risk planning compiles all the risk events, their probabilities, impact, and response plan that will serve as a reference point for establishing cost estimates and project schedules.

Q14) Which was one of the biggest mistakes you have committed in your past projects? How has it impacted your approach to work? 

To err is human, they say. It is how you deal with the errors that define your skills. By asking this project management interview question, the interviewer intends to check your honesty and whether you take responsibility of mistakes you have made in your past projects. Rather than giving a ‘no’ for the answer, you can mention a couple of mistakes. Make sure you show that you take responsibility for the mistake as it is a way to reveal your maturity level. Also, you can explain how you had resolved it.

Q15) Define the team forming process?

After the members are together as a project team, there is turmoil before everything settles down. This is known as the forming-storming-norming-the stage process. The group people discuss a storming of relations when before deciding to the assigned role. Over time they get used to the arrangement of the relationship, that is the norming phase. It is after everybody has completed into their new roles that the team starts performing.

Q16) Define time & material contracts?

In this type of contracts, the outworking gets paid for time utilized on the project, and operating cost for material used and others decided upon expenses.

Q17) What is RAID as it related to project management?

RAID stand for risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies. These are vital items that a PM should always be aware of. There are always risks about actions and a PM must take least risk actions. Unless assumptions about any estimates or actions are clear, these can go wrong. Issues and dependencies also limit the choices of actions often.

Q18) How do project scheduling help achieve project execution?

When the activity effort and resource estimates are known getting the work done depends on how the tasks are sequenced. Dependencies with other activities have to be clearly known. The basic sequence is determined by what activities should be carried out first and what should follow. Unconnected tasks/activities can be sequenced in parallel to reduce project time. Most optimized sequencing would give you the best possible time needed given the resources allocation is ideal and there are no constraints there. Scheduling is done from activities list prepared after WBS has been finalized.

Q19) Define processes and process groups in a project management framework. 

This project management interview question aims to understand your domain knowledge. In a project management framework, processes refer to the defined way of doing tasks for completing the project successfully. On the other hand, process groups are a collection of processes that are carried out at various stages during the project. Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Control, and Closing are the five process groups.   

Q20) Define Milestone?

Milestone is a position in project timetable when some objective, a part of a result of a part of the designed services planned is achieved.

Q21) What is EVM, earned value management?

At every monitoring point the planned value (PV), earned value (EV) and actual cost (AC) are monitored. PMB, performance measurement baseline is the aggregation of all planned values. Variances from baselines are determined and Schedule variance (SV) and cost variance (CV) are calculated. If earned value is equal to the planned value then the project is achieving what it is supposed to. If there is schedule or cost variance is significant, appropriate action needs to be taken to correct the slips. Estimate at completion (EAC) is estimated and compared with budget at completion. In case there is a slip, the cost consequences will be known.

Q22) What are the techniques you may use to define the scope of a project? 

With this question, the interview panel is trying to understand your knowledge in the concerned domain. You can explain these various concepts involved in defining the scope of the project that include – Product Breakdown, Requirement Analysis, Systems Engineering, Systems Analysis, Value Engineering, Value Analysis, and Alternatives Analysis. 

Q23) Describe the team forming process you follow in project management. 

A project manager should possess knowledge about the various stages that a team goes through during the project; hence, this is one of the common questions asked in interviews and exams on project management. Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning comprises the five development stages in team formation. While you answer this project management interview question, you should describe each of these steps with clarity of thought. 

Q24) How to prioritize tasks in your project?

Prioritizing tasks in a project is very significant, and particularly if it is a widespread one. It helps in ensuring winning and timely conclusion of your project. In order to prioritize the task, you should follow:

  • Jot down the tasks and responsibilities
  • Differentiate between urgent and important
  • Charge the value of each task 
  • Order the tasks by predictable efforts
  • Stay elastic and ready to adapt.
  • Know when to say no

Q25) What does scope management include?

This procedure involves collecting requirements, essential scope, creating WBS, verifying scope and calculating the scope. The project scope statement, WBS and WBS vocabulary define the scope baseline. Controlling the scope procedure must diminish scope creep.

So, these are the following interview questions & answers for the project manager job candidates should go through it and search more to prepare well for his or her job interview.

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