Guidelines for Project Manager Interview
Please note that these are guidelines and sample questions only. Use only the questions that seem appropriate, and feel free to add your own.
Note: If the interviewee wants to remain anonymous, that’s fine. If not, please include his/her name and place of employment as a project manager in your paper. Let him/her know that you are doing this interview for a class assignment and that the information may be shared with others.
The main purpose of these interviews is for students to gain more insight into what project managers really do, what challenges they face, what lessons they’ve learned, what concepts/tools you’re learning about that they really use, and what suggestions they have for you and other students as future team members and project managers. People often like to tell stories or relate particular situations they were in to get their points across. To this end, here are a few sample questions.
- How did you get into project management?
- If you had to rate the job of project manager on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate it?
- Briefly explain the reason for your rating. What do you enjoy most and what do you like least about being a project manager?
- Did you have any training or special talents or experiences that qualified you to be a project manager? Are you certified or have you thought about becoming certified as a PMP?
- What do you feel is the most important thing you do as a project manager? On what task do you spend the most time each day?
- What are some of the positive and negative risks you’ve encountered on projects? Please describe any notable successes and failures and what you’ve learned from them.
- What are some of the tools, software or otherwise, that you use, and what is your opinion of those tools?
- What are some steps a project manager can take to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a team? How does a new project manager gain the respect and loyalty of team members? Can you share any examples of situations you faced related to this topic?
- What suggestions do you have for working with sponsors and senior managers? Can you share any examples of situations you faced related to this topic?
- Do you have any suggestions for future project managers, such as any specific preparations they should make, skills they should learn, etc?