1. What is your view on PMP?
Answer: As a project manager, one has to face the uncertainties throughout the time. It is essential for the manager to identify risks and communicate appropriately. This question will show you their priorities and how determined a project manager is. Besides this, you will know whether they are a perfect fit for your team.
2. Name the four Ps of Project Management?
Answer: These are:
1. Plan – It defines the culture adopted by a team engaged in project development
2. Process – A project is basically an array of a combination of a lot of processes and thus a process can be the submodule of the predetermined task.
3. People – It is considered as one of the essential components of any project objective
4. Power – It is the strong factor that describes the policies, decision making, execution, as well as authority.
3. What do you spend most time carrying out every day?
Answer: This will give you a hint of how a person does his/her job. If he/she spends all day at the pc can suit your environment or someone who visits clients most days of the week. So, if you find something that fits with the post, you can consider for further process.
4. What is Earned Value Management (EVM)?
Answer: At every monitoring point, the planned value (PV), earned value (EV) and actual cost (AC) are monitored. Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) is the aggregation of all planned values. Variances from baselines are determined and schedule variance (SV) and cost variance (CV) is calculated. If the earned value is equal to the planned value, then the project is achieving what it is supposed to. If the 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 the budget at completion. In case there is a slip, the cost consequences will be known.
5. State the role of Ishikawa/ Fishbone diagrams in determining root causes of risks?
Answer: This is a graphical method of determining cause and effect relationships leading to a specific risk. One could then determine mitigation actions for that risk.
6. What do you understand by the Pareto (80/20) principle/analysis?
Answer: This is a statistical analysis method that helps a PM prioritize between several actions. The basis is that there are about 20% actions which, when executed gets you 80% of the results. In quantitative analysis, this is used to identify the 20% of the causes that create 80% of the problems.
7. What is a risk register?
Answer: It is a register/document that contains all the identified risks of a project, including a list of actions/potential actions.
8. What are the most important values and ethics you should demonstrate as a leader?
Integrity: being truthful and trustworthy and having conviction is an essential leadership competency. The effective leader demonstrates values and ethics in personal behavior and integrates these values and ethics into organizational practices and activities. A good leader acts with the courage of his/her convictions. While leaders are open with their employees and model honesty, transparency and fairness, they do not violate confidences or divulge potentially harmful information.
9. What are the knowledge areas you must pay cognizance to as a project manager in order to efficiently handle the project and attain the anticipated outcome?
- Scope management
- Resource planning
- Cost optimization
- Application of Lean Six Sigma
- Procurement and risk management
- Benchmark analysis
- Process improvement
- Quality planning
- Root cause analysis for major deviations
10. What are some techniques used for defining scope?
Answer: Some of the techniques used for defining scope are product breakdown, requirements analysis, systems engineering, systems analysis, value analysis, and alternatives analysis. Alternatives analysis can be achieved by lateral thinking brainstorming and pairwise comparisons.
11. What is a work breakdown structure (WBD) and how does it affect work estimates of tasks/activities?
Answer: Work breakdown structure defines the work activities required for the project and the sub-activities of each of the work requirements. The breakdown goes down to levels where all the work required is clearly understood. The work breakdown dictionary includes additional details that help define the tasks. Time and effort estimates can be accurate when everything about the work and dependencies is known.
12. What was the most difficult decision you have made? Answer: It will show their knowledge of PMI code and their approach towards work. The interviewers want to know how they have handled the new challenges and stressful situations. Get this one right to score major points.
13. What criteria did you use to improve the project management process?
Answer: This will demonstrate what is significant to you at work. Everyone gets an opportunity to tender suggestions for improvements. Look for someone who has superb ideas and exciting projects to put forward.
14. What are the ways a project time schedule can be compressed?
Answer: Crashing and fast-tracking are two methods for accelerating a project time schedule. The crashing method tries to optimize the schedule, making use of the time floats available while keeping costs under control. Fast-tracking is to make selected activities faster by applying additional resources if necessary. It may mean paying team members overtime or paying for the time of a consultant.
15. Tell me about a situation in your previous projects wherein you had to adapt and manage change and what were the challenges involved?
Answer: The best forte a project manager can display is adaptability to change and the mental agility to decide when to alter the plan. If you have prior experience in project management, you must have encountered a situation like this and you must produce an honest account of the situation encountered. Make sure while answering the question, that you bring across your understanding of agile project management effectively.
16. How have you encouraged the learning and development of employees?
Answer: Learning happens at every opportunity. Your answer to leadership interview questions like this should demonstrate that effective leaders develop employees by mentoring, coaching and providing performance feedback on a daily basis. Leaders act as models for their employees, but the most effective leaders not only teach by example, they take a personal interest in the learning of others and serve as mentors. Additionally, they manage to learn throughout the organization by continually focusing attention on the learning agenda and providing the resources to facilitate it. Finally, leaders monitor learning by getting regular feedback.
17. What is the critical path of a project or a schedule network diagram?
Answer: The critical path is simply all the tasks that determine the end date of your project schedule. If one of those tasks is late by one day, then your project end date will be extended by one day. Often, there will be tasks that are not on the critical path; this is due to the slack in the project schedule. Slack is the amount of time a task can be delayed without impacting the start date of a subsequent task. If you refer to your current schedule, you can examine the Gantt chart and quickly identify the tasks that have some float compared to the tasks that have no slack.
18. How have you persuaded employees to follow your strategic vision for the organization?
Answer: Leaders develop ownership by involving employees in the decision-making and planning process. They provide resources to facilitate employee success and empower employees by devolving authority to get things done efficiently. Effective leaders develop processes that engage employees in achieving a strategic vision.
19. What are your greatest achievements in your professional life?
Answer: Apart from the portfolio, everyone has some project or aspect of their jobs that they hold close to their heart. This is the time to inform the interviewer about what your favorite project was and why. Of course, you have to make sure that you do not go on a ramble and genuinely discuss some of your favorite projects.
20. Have you ever faced any disagreements in your previous job? How did you solve it out?
Answer: A project manager has to take into consideration several disagreements. They can be between employees, between the superior and the employees, or even the client and the employees.
If you reply that you have never had any disagreements, the interviewer will wonder whether you were really a project manager for your skills or simply because you are a people pleaser.
Make sure that you come up with at least one incident where employees and superiors had differences in thought and you were instrumental in changing the scenario.
21. How will you define a stakeholder?
Answer: Any entity that has a clear impact on it due to any activity related to a project can be considered as a stakeholder.
22. Why does a PM need to be very proactive?
Answer: A PM needs to be able to see any signs of a deviation in time and/or cost to project progress as early as possible. This gives the team as much reaction time as possible to correct the situation or to minimize the impact.
23. How do you keep team members motivated throughout a project?
Answer: As a Project Manager, it’s important to keep your team members motivated at all times. In an interview, a good place to start is by showing your understanding of the importance of a motivated team. Explain what techniques you have personally used to ensure morale stays high and give examples to back this up.
24. How easy do you find it to delegate responsibility to your team?
Answer: Another important element of project management is delegation. You can’t simply do everything yourself, otherwise, it’s likely your project will fail. However, whilst some people find it easy to delegate, others struggle to hand over responsibility to other team members. Often though, by having trust in your team and strong communication, delegation becomes easier and improves over time.
In your interview, make sure you show that you fully understand the importance of effective delegation and explain how you personally delegate tasks. If you sometimes struggle to delegate, make sure you explain what you’re actively doing to improve on this.
25. How do you estimate using three-point estimating methods?
Answer: Three-point estimation is based on three different estimated values to improve the result. The concept is applicable to both cost and duration estimation. This helps in mitigating the estimation risk. It also takes into consideration uncertainty and associated risks while estimating values. Estimation can be carried out for an entire project, or for a WBS component or for an activity.
In a three-point estimation, the expected value of a task is determined by calculating the mean of three different values. These three different values are Optimistic Value (O), Pessimistic Value (P), and Most Likely Value (M).
26. What is the difference between a project, a program, and a portfolio?
Answer: Projects are undertaken for a specific or a related set of purposes. A program is a set of projects managed in a coordinated manner in order to achieve different parts of an overall goal. A portfolio encompasses a set of different programs and other portfolios that help the organization achieve a high-level of business purpose.
27. What are Project Baselines?
Answer: Baselines are nothing but the last stage format of all the plans related to a project. It gives clear information about every sub-module to the team engaged in the development of a project.
28. What creative problem-solving techniques can you use for unique problems?
Answer: It is important to engage the team in solving unique problems as brainstorming can often yield positive results. Additionally, the Fishbone diagram and De Bono’s thinking hats can also help one approach a problem creatively and effectively.
29. Define RAID in the context of project management?
Answer: RAID stands for risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies. These are vital components that a project manager (PM) should always be aware of. There are always risks about actions and a PM must take the least risk action. Unless assumptions about any estimates or actions are clear, these can go wrong. Issues and dependencies also limit the choices of actions.
30. How do you determine the communication needs of stakeholders?
Answer: The communication needs of stakeholders depend on their position in the power/influence grid, power/interest grid as also impact/influence grid. Salience modeling is another technique to determine who is the most effective for the interest of the project. This is a qualitative assessment and will determine the kind and details of communications they need for the project.
31. Have you ever had disappointments?
No job is without its disappointments. The disappointments can be anything, from an employee who left for personal reasons or the project that you did not bag because of the financials involved.
Make sure that you provide a quick and factual answer to this question.
Share one of the challenging situations you have faced & what is the greatest challenge you feel in the offered job
This question is basically to identify if you have experience in handling challenging situations and also if you are aware of challenges in your new role. An interviewer will also check if you are a good fit for the offered position while you are answering this question.
A person should try to use this opportunity to showcase his/her skills to handle the situations and also to show how challenging environment boost you do work.
32. What three skills do you think are most important to be an effective project manager?
Answer: What it’s asking: Of course, the employer has specific skills that they’re looking for in their next project manager. But, they want to hear from you about what you think are the most important competencies that you bring to the table.
How to answer: As you might suspect, you’re going to want to pick skills that are not only important to be a project manager, but also skills that you actually possess. You don’t want to plant seeds that undermine your qualifications, after all. You can even mention the “Talent Triangle” — which are three skills required to get your PM certification — to demonstrate your knowledge of the area.
“Of course, strong communication skills, excellent organization capabilities, and a keen ability to manage time are all crucial for being an effective and respected project manager. But, when looking at the overarching qualities that are necessary to be a strong project manager, I think the ‘Talent Triangle’ is the perfect breakdown. The combination of technical project management, leadership, and strategic and business management makes for a well-rounded project manager who’s willing to work and manage in a variety of business functions.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a crystal ball that would tell you exactly what you’ll be asked in your project manager interview? Unfortunately, you aren’t quite that lucky. The good news is you can use these project manager interview questions and answers to prepare, and knock your interview out of the park. Good luck!
33. What is bug management what is its significance?
Answer: A bug is nothing but an error in coding or any part of a project. Most of the time it creates a problem related to the functionality of a project. There are chances of multiple bugs too in a project. Bug Management is actually done by the testing team. They have to report about all the bugs to the developing team post which they are neglected. A bug can be as small as it can be eliminated in a few minutes or it can be a huge one that it can affect the whole project. Bug management is important and without the same, there are chances of certain other issues and things that can go wrong.
34. What do you mean by the term CCPM?
Answer: It stands for Critical Chain Project Management and is basically a strategy of managing a project through planning and coordination. More emphasis is given on emphasis of scheduled processes. Critical Project chain management is basically a term that is used for the projects where complexity related to development, design, bug handling or for any other module is higher.
35. How do you ensure that your project is on schedule to meet the deadline?
Answer: What they’re asking: You need to live and breathe deadlines—you know that much. The employer’s goal with this question is simple: They want to confirm that you’re someone who can deliver a project on time and on budget.
How to answer: Start by recognizing that even the best-laid plans experience a curveball every now and then—every realistic project manager knows that. Then, explain in detail your typical approach to ensure that projects run smoothly. Try something like this:
“Meeting deadlines involves a balance of scope management and schedule management. First and foremost, I ensure that the team has a solid grasp of the scope of the project. Everybody needs to understand what needs to be done before it can be done on time. Then, I move on to schedule management, including time management processes required to complete the project by the deadline. I think it’s important to make sure these processes and a detailed schedule are somewhere that the entire project team can easily access, so there’s no confusion or question about when pieces need to be delivered. Of course, this schedule is flexible and will likely change as circumstances arise. But, that’s why I also think it’s important to frequently check in on progress and roadblocks to make sure things are coming together in accordance with the process and timeline.”
36. Please describe yourself, your background briefly?
Answer: Actually, this is a typical job interview question. You can face this question not only in a project manager interview but also in any job interview.
Consider this question as a self-promotion opportunity. Because, you will be telling about your background, your education, work experience and projects you have completed. If you are a new graduate, you can tell about your university projects. If you are an experienced professional, job interviewer will look for the keywords in your background that will match the requirements of the job.
For instance, if you are 5+ years of professional looking for a project manager position, you should not start from your primary school when answering this project manager interview question. Briefly, describe your place of birth, where you grew up and your university education. These should not be more than two or three sentences. Then, you should highlight the critical points in your background that is relevant to the position you applied for.
For instance, let’s consider that a software analyst working in a software vendor has applied to a project manager position. He has not any project management experience. However, he wants to get this project manager position and the employer invited him to the project manager interview.
37. What should this guy answer to this question?
Answer: Sample answer for this project manager interview question can be as below.
I was born in 1991 in New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey and went to high school there. I have completed my university education at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the field of computer science. After I graduated from university in 2013, I applied for the software analyst position of Accenture in Plano, Texas. After a couple of interviews, I got the job and since 2013, I am working at Accenture as a Software Analyst. I have worked in eight projects until now and the biggest one was shopping cart customization project of Walmart website. The project took eight months to complete. There were four software analysts and me worked as the lead analyst and supervised the other three analysts. There were 11 software developers and 6 test engineers. In total, the project team had over 20 members. Last year, I got a promotion from the employer and my title has changed as Lead Analyst. This is my background in brief.
This will not take more than two minutes if you speak it in a project manager interview session. As highlighted, the project manager candidate gives the critical points in his background that can qualify him for the project manager position he applied to. He highlights that he worked as the lead analyst in a project. This shows that he has people management skills, which is crucial for a project manager position. He also adds that he got a promotion, which shows that his current employer appreciates and treasures him.
38. Name a few important methods of Project Controlling?
1. Expert Survey
2. Value Benefit Analysis
3. Risk Analysis
4. Investment Analysis
All PMP Interview Questions
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