Project and management, these are the two things any and every company needs. So the tasks and responsibilities of a project manager are designed around managing the activities round the various projects of the company.

Project managers are the individuals supervising all the activities of a particular project and maintaining sync between all the tasks performed in the project. In definition, a project manager is responsible for the planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing of projects.

To help you prepare for the nerve-wracking interview, we’ve prepared a detailed interview question guideline that are most asked for project management roles. The guide is divided into 3 parts: Behavioral, Theoretical, and Technical.

Let’s get started:

Behavioral

1. What do you think about the term project management?

Project management is defined as a combination of several operations including skills, tools, knowledge, and techniques that are required for the success of a specific project. In the project management, it is also essential to manage time, success rate, and cost of the project.

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2. How will you explain the project life cycle?

A project will go through several phases before completion by the team. From beginning to end, a project needs to go through stages that form the complete project life cycle. As per PMBOK, every project goes through 5 phases, namely:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Control
  • Closing

3. Can you explain the projects that you have handled with your previous company?

You’ll be asked this question if you are an experienced project manager. Remember that the interviewer is not interested in the particulars of every project you’ve handled. Pick the projects that had decent success rates or the ones that you enjoyed doing. Make sure you’re mentioning plans and presenting them in a way relevant to the position you’re applying for.

4. What are the main qualities required for a successful project manager?

There are many skills a project manager should go for, apart from technical skills. Indeed, there isn’t a single skill that is enough for the project manager. So answering this question is somewhat generic, you can include leadership skills, decision-making skills, risk management skills, time management skills, and prioritization skills. If the interviewer asks you about the qualities of a successful project manager, here are the ten qualities that are expected to be in a project manager to become successful:

  1. Vision
  2. Integrity
  3. Communication
  4. Compassion/Empathy
  5. Delegation
  6. Competency
  7. Enthusiasm/Passion
  8. Team Building
  9. Composure
  10. Problem Solving

5. How will you start a new project as a manager?

The interviewer is trying to understand how would you approach any new project. As a good project manager, you will take the proper steps to understand the project and make the appropriate strategy to start it. You will first understand the objective and purpose of the project for starting it with your team.

6. How will you deal with any of the changes in the project?

You should know that there may be several situations when you will need to make changes and modifications in a project. The employer wants to know about your flexibility and adaptability to specific changes in the project. In this answer, you can talk about how will you react when there will be changes and how will you manage a time effective and cost effective approach for the inevitable changes with your team on the project.

7. Scenario-Based Question

You are working on a major project as a project manager, and halfway into the project, you realize that you’ve made a mistake due to which you will have to start the project from scratch. How will you handle this situation by meeting the deadline for the project?

This is a scenario-based project management interview question. This type of question is asked to check your skills to handle pressure in different situations. You can answer this question in the following manner.

“I’ll first stop whatever I’m doing to find out the mistake. I’ll investigate if the error is small enough to correct it instantly. If the error requires complete rework on the project, and it may even delay the delivery beyond the deadline, I’ll inform the supervisors immediately and brief them on the situation.

Depending on the nature of the project, my team and I will go back to the drawing board to re-strategize. If required, we’ll take extra time to meet the deadline without affecting the project. Although it will be time and resource consuming, I’ll learn from the situation and make a note of the scenario so it can help us in the future.”

8. Did any of the employees or managers challenge your decisions in your previous job?

“No” might seem like the perfect response because it will tell them that there was no friction or doubt in your last company with employees or managers. But it’s wiser to go ahead and tell the interviewer the truth. There are hardly any projects that cause no disagreement between co-workers; it is very common to face conflict in projects.

9. How will you ensure that your team will stay on the right track to complete the project on a deadline?

For the answer to this project management question, it is possible to say, “I will communicate on the grounds of expectations from the project before starting it with the team. I’ll take regular updates on the progress, and I will discuss every phase of the job with the team. With feedback and appreciation from the team members, I will make sure that they will complete it within the specified timeline.

10. If any of the customers are not happy with the quality or results of the product, what will you do as a project manager?

This is a typical scenario based project management interview questions, and the answer should also be scenario-based. Customer satisfaction is one of the priorities of any company. You must demonstrate that you appreciate your clients with your response. You may see what sort of changes they anticipate from the business in the product. Following that, by talking with your staff, you may attempt to accomplish the job and satisfy the necessities of the client.

11. How should project managers communicate on the failure of any project with the team?

As a project manager, you must have the quality to handle the failures properly with your team. When your team works on any project, and it fails, you should make sure that the fault doesn’t affect the focus and morality of the team members. You can tell that instead of charging any of the team members, you will discuss the reasons for failure with collective responsibility.

Theoretical

12. Explain The Popular Software Development Life Cycle Models?

Waterfall model:
This is the oldest model. It represents the sequence of stages; the output of one stage becomes the input of others.

Spiral Model:
This is an improved version of the waterfall model. Here we have scope to reiterate and go back to the earlier stages number of times as project progresses.

Build and fix model:
This is a risky and most unorganized model. In this, developers keep writing code until the customer is happy.

Rapid Prototype Model:
In this model, we develop a prototype which acts as a final product. Once the prototype is approved, then the actual development starts.

Incremental Model:
In this model, the product is divided into sections, and each part of the product is created and tested separately.

13. Define CAR And DAR?

CAR – Causal analysis and resolution:
CAR identifies the problem and performs a root cause analysis of the same. CAR needs to be performed at every project phase. The fishbone diagram is one of the ways to deliver CAR.

DAR- Decision Analysis and Resolution:
This is to analyze possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that identifies alternatives against current resources.

14. What Is CMMI? What Are The Five Levels In CMMI?

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a maturity model of specific business processes in software engineering. The CMMI identifies five levels of process maturity for an organization:

  • Initial – the starting point for the use of a new process.
  • Repeatable – the process is used repeatedly.
  • Defined – the process is defined or confirmed as a standard business process.
  • Managed – process management and measurement takes place.
  • Optimizing – process management includes deliberate process optimization and improvement.

15. What Is MPMM?

MPMM is a Project Management Methodology which provides a complete “framework” for managing projects. This framework provides you with a step-by-step walkthrough of the phases, activities, and tasks to be undertaken to complete a project. By following the Project Life Cycle framework for your project, you will significantly enhance your chances of project success.

16. What Is V Model In Testing?

The V model does the mapping of the type of testing to the stage of development in a given project. In this model of testing, there is a testing stage for every development stage which means a mapping between the development and testing

17. Who Forms The Part Of Six Sigma Implementation Team?

Attaining Six Sigma is a team effort. An organization that wants to achieve Six Sigma needs a lot of restructuring and change in attitude. It includes building up the following roles to take up the required responsibilities:

  1. Executive Leadership-Includes CEO and other top management team members. They set up the vision of Six Sigma and empower their teammates with the freedom and resources required for the improvements in the process.
  2. Champions- They are responsible for the implementation of the process in an integrated manner throughout the organization. They come from Top management.
  3. Master Black Belts – They act as an in-house expert coach for the organization. They assist Champions and train Black Belts and Green Belts.
  4. Black Belts – They apply Six Sigma methodology to specific projects. Their focus is on the execution of activities for Six Sigma.
  5. Green Belts – These are like the soldiers on the war front who actually implement the planned action.

18. What Is Six Sigma?

Six sigma is a business management strategy used to improve the quality of process outputs, which identifies and removes the causes of defects and variations in manufacturing and business processes. It implements a set of management methods and creates a particular infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in these methods. A well-defined sequence of steps is followed by each six sigma project and has quantified financial targets.

19. What Are The Different Elements In Functions Points?

The elements in functions points are:

External Inputs: It is a simple process that allows the data to cross the boundary from outside to inside.
External Outputs: An elementary process which allows the the data to pass across the boundary from inside to outside
External Inquiry: It is an easy process that has both input and output components, which results in data retrieval from one or more internal logical files and external interface files.
Internal Logical Files: An identifiable group of logically related data that resides entirely within the boundary of the application and is maintained through external inputs.
External Interface Files: An identifiable group of logically related data that is used only for reference purposes. The data is completely persisted outside the application and is maintained by another application.

20. What Is A Fishbone Diagram?

Fishbone diagrams, also called Ishikawa diagrams or cause-and-effect diagrams, show the reasons behind a particular event. In project management, this tool is used in Quality Management & Risk Management processes.

21. Explain the Pareto Principle?

The Pareto principle states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions. This is a statistical analysis that is used by project managers to prioritize work. The study and concentration is done for only 20% of the vital problems. In a project, the critical problems are the first 10% and the last 10%. Apart from explaining what it is, talk about how you used it in your previous job.

22. What Are The Functions Of Project Management Tool?

  • Following are the functions of a project management tool:
  • Task management.
  • File storage.
  • Reporting functions.
  • Commenting and message boards.
  • Client access.
  • Subcontractor task assignment.
  • Time tracking.

Technical

23. What Are The Different Project Management Tools?

The different Project Management tools are MS Project, Templates, eBooks, flowcharts Compliant with PMBOK 4th Edition, EPOs (Electronic Project Offices), etc.

24. What do you mean by business object?

Business Object is a new query and reports software program. It is a part of the CSC software package. It is capable of performing more sophisticated mathematical calculations than IQ objects.

25. What do you mean by condition object?

Condition Object is a mode, state, situation, and a condition that imposes upon an object without which knowledge and thought are alleged to be impossible.

26. What Do You Mean By Customizing Object?

A customizing object in an SAP component is an object which is customized with the same contents in another element. The materials of the customizing objects have to be corresponding in different systems in a system landscape. 

27. What do you understand by plan baselines?

Baselines are the final version of all plans before the project execution starts. Project baselines are the starting versions of all detailed plans of a project, be it the time schedule, the quality plan, communication plan, or whatever. This acts as the reference against which project performance is measured.

28. What are the ways a project time schedule can be compressed?

Crashing and fast-tracking are two methods of speeding up a project time schedule. The crashing method is used for the optimization of the schedule with 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 over time, paying for the time of a consultant, etc.

29. What is effort variance?

It is the difference in estimated effort and the effort needed. Work performance is monitored periodically to find if there is any variance in efforts so that corrective actions could be taken.

30. What is EVM, Earned Value Management?

Earned Value Management (EVM) helps project managers to measure project performance. It is a systematic project management process used to find variances in projects based on the comparison of worked performed and work planned. EVM is used on the cost and schedule control and can be very useful in project forecasting.

31. What Is A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is the process of dividing complex projects into simpler and manageable tasks. The goal of a WBS is to make a large project more manageable by breaking it down into smaller chunks. This means work can be done simultaneously by different team members, leading to better team productivity and easier project management overall.

32. How do you determine the communication needs of stakeholders?

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 the communications they need on the project.