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Project Manager Case Study Interview Questions And Answers


Project Manager Case Study Interview Questions And Answers is a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for a project manager case study interview. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the types of questions you may be asked during a project manager case study interview, as well as tips and strategies for answering them. It also includes sample questions and answers to help you practice and prepare for your interview. With this guide, you will be able to confidently and effectively answer any project manager case study interview questions you may be asked.

How to Prepare for a Project Manager Case Study Interview

Preparing for a project manager case study interview can be a daunting task. However, with the right preparation, you can ensure that you are well-equipped to answer any questions that may arise. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a project manager case study interview:

1. Research the Company: Before the interview, take the time to research the company and the project you will be discussing. This will help you to understand the company’s goals and objectives, as well as the challenges they are facing.

2. Understand the Case Study: Read the case study carefully and make sure you understand the problem and the proposed solution. Take notes and think about how you would approach the problem.

3. Practice Your Answers: Once you have a good understanding of the case study, practice your answers to potential questions. This will help you to be more confident and articulate during the interview.

4. Prepare Questions: Have a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. This will show that you are engaged and interested in the project.

5. Be Professional: Make sure to dress professionally and arrive on time. Be polite and courteous throughout the interview and make sure to thank the interviewer for their time.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for a project manager case study interview. Good luck!

Common Project Manager Case Study Interview Questions and Answers

1. Describe a project you managed from start to finish.

I recently managed a project for a large retail chain that involved the implementation of a new inventory management system. My role was to coordinate the efforts of the IT team, the store managers, and the corporate office to ensure that the project was completed on time and within budget. I worked closely with the IT team to develop a timeline for the project, and I coordinated with the store managers to ensure that they had the necessary resources and training to use the new system. I also worked with the corporate office to ensure that the project was properly funded and that all stakeholders were kept informed of progress. In the end, the project was completed on time and within budget, and the new system has been a great success.

2. What challenges have you faced while managing a project?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced while managing a project is dealing with stakeholders who have conflicting interests. For example, I recently managed a project for a large manufacturing company that involved the implementation of a new production system. The IT team wanted to move quickly to get the system up and running, while the production team wanted to take their time to ensure that the system was properly tested and implemented. I had to find a way to balance the needs of both teams and ensure that the project was completed on time and within budget.

3. How do you ensure that a project is completed on time and within budget?

When managing a project, I ensure that it is completed on time and within budget by setting realistic timelines and budgets, and then closely monitoring progress. I also make sure to communicate regularly with all stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any potential issues are addressed quickly. Finally, I make sure to have contingency plans in place in case of any unexpected delays or issues.

Tips for Answering Project Manager Case Study Interview Questions

1. Prepare thoroughly: Before the interview, research the company and the project you will be discussing. Make sure you understand the project’s scope, timeline, and budget.

2. Be organized: Have a clear structure for your answers. Start by introducing the project, then discuss the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

3. Showcase your problem-solving skills: Demonstrate how you identified and solved problems during the project.

4. Highlight your communication skills: Explain how you kept stakeholders informed and managed expectations.

5. Demonstrate your leadership skills: Describe how you motivated and managed your team.

6. Showcase your results: Explain how you achieved the project’s goals and objectives.

7. Be honest: Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes and discuss how you learned from them.

8. Ask questions: Show that you are engaged and interested in the project.

What to Expect During a Project Manager Case Study Interview

A project manager case study interview is an opportunity for a potential employer to assess your skills and knowledge in the field of project management. During the interview, you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to analyze a project and develop a plan to complete it.

The interviewer will likely present you with a case study that outlines a project and its objectives. You will be asked to analyze the project and develop a plan to complete it. This plan should include a timeline, budget, and resources needed to complete the project. You should also be prepared to discuss any potential risks or challenges that may arise during the project.

The interviewer may also ask you to explain how you would handle certain situations that may arise during the project. This could include how you would handle a conflict between team members or how you would manage a budget that is overrunning.

The interviewer may also ask you to provide examples of projects you have managed in the past and how you handled them. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your experience and knowledge in the field of project management.

Finally, the interviewer may ask you questions about your communication and leadership skills. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate with team members and stakeholders, as well as your ability to lead a team.

Overall, a project manager case study interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the field of project management. Be prepared to discuss the project, analyze potential risks and challenges, and provide examples of projects you have managed in the past. Additionally, be prepared to discuss your communication and leadership skills.

How to Demonstrate Your Project Management Skills During a Case Study Interview

When participating in a case study interview, it is important to demonstrate your project management skills in order to stand out from the competition. Here are some tips to help you showcase your project management skills during a case study interview:

1. Prepare: Before the interview, take the time to research the company and the project you will be discussing. This will help you to understand the context of the case study and be able to answer questions more effectively.

2. Listen: During the interview, make sure to listen carefully to the questions and take notes if necessary. This will help you to understand the problem and provide a more comprehensive solution.

3. Analyze: After listening to the problem, take the time to analyze the situation and think of potential solutions. This will demonstrate your ability to think critically and come up with creative solutions.

4. Structure: When presenting your solution, make sure to structure your answer in a logical way. This will show that you are organized and can effectively communicate your ideas.

5. Detail: Provide as much detail as possible when discussing your solution. This will demonstrate your understanding of the project and your ability to think through the details.

By following these tips, you can demonstrate your project management skills during a case study interview and stand out from the competition.

Strategies for Acing a Project Manager Case Study Interview

1. Prepare thoroughly: Before the interview, research the company and the project you will be discussing. Familiarize yourself with the project’s timeline, budget, and scope. Additionally, review the job description and the skills and qualifications required for the role.

2. Practice: Practice answering questions related to the project and the role. Consider potential questions related to the project’s timeline, budget, and scope. Additionally, practice responding to questions about your experience and qualifications.

3. Be organized: During the interview, present your ideas in an organized and logical manner. Use diagrams and charts to illustrate your points.

4. Demonstrate problem-solving skills: During the interview, demonstrate your problem-solving skills by providing solutions to potential issues that may arise during the project.

5. Show enthusiasm: Show enthusiasm for the project and the role. Demonstrate your commitment to the project and your ability to work as part of a team.

6. Ask questions: Ask questions about the project and the role. This will demonstrate your interest in the position and your ability to think critically.


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Project Manager Interview Questions (with Sample Answers & How-To Guide)

Project Manager Interview Questions (with Sample Answers & How-To Guide)

IYKYK — Project Manager interviews are intense and challenging. The questions focus on your ability to navigate complex scenarios, manage diverse teams and stakeholders, and drive projects to completion.

You need to show how you handle real-world project dynamics.

You need to show you can do strategy, but also execution.

You need to speak about your decision-making processes, adaptability, and interpersonal skills.

Above all, you need to give concrete examples and talk about project deliverables and budget management, so you have to come prepared with “hard data”.

In this guide, we cover the core questions you can expect and offer strategies to help you prepare.

Want to get an offer after every interview? Our interview preparation tool will guide you through all the questions you can expect, let you record and analyze your answers, and provide instant AI feedback. You’ll know exactly what to improve to turn your next interview into a job.

Big Interview: the best interview preparation tool

Don’t waste days compiling overused interview techniques. Get original answers to every single question you could expect.

Common Project Manager Interview Questions

Here’s a list of most common project manager interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself .

What do you enjoy about working in project management?

How do you prioritize tasks in a project, what project management tools and software are you familiar with, describe a time you led a project under tight deadlines., tell me about a challenging project and how you managed it., discuss an instance where a project did not go as planned. how did you handle it, explain how you manage project risks., can you share an experience where you had to manage a difficult team member, how would you initiate a new project, imagine you have multiple projects with the same deadline. how would you handle the situation, if stakeholders are unhappy with the initial project results, how would you manage their expectations, what steps do you take to ensure project quality, how do you keep your project team motivated, especially during challenging phases, how do you integrate new technologies into your project management process.

  • Describe your experience with budget management in projects.

How do you handle change requests from clients or stakeholders during a project?

What techniques do you use for stakeholder analysis and management, basic interview questions for project managers.

You’re most likely to hear these at the beginning of your project manager interview. The interviewer typically asks them to assess your experience, skills, and approach to managing projects.

Tell me about yourself.

Tips on how to answer:

  • Be ready to answer this question! “ Tell me about yourself ” is a common opener for any job interview. They could also ask similar versions like: “Walk me through your resume” or “Could you share a bit about your background?”.
  • Use the Present-Past-Future formula to make a point: start by explaining your current role, then go back to the past and briefly mention your experiences that helped you get where you are now. Then talk about what kind of work you’d like to do next and how this role aligns with your plans and wishes.
  • Don’t make this about your personal life or rehash your entire life story (or your resume).
  • Be honest — if you love the problem-solving aspect of the job, say it.
  • As you list the reasons why you like the job, try to weave in your top skills crucial for effective project management.
  • Show them that you have a structured approach. Mention tools, priority matrices, or a task management software you use.
  • Support your answer with examples from your own experience to show how you effectively prioritize in real life.
  • The interviewers want to see if they’ll need extra time to onboard you because of the technology, so mention all PM tools and software you’ve used and how you’ve used them.
  • Bring up the classics that you’ve worked with. This shows you’re adaptable and ready to use the newest tools, while also staying faithful to well-established ones when necessary.

Behavioral Interview Questions for Project Managers

Behavioral questions are all about your past projects and what you learned.

To answer them well, you need to refer to your experience and previous roles. The interviewers ask about your past decision-making, leadership, and technical skills so that they can predict how you would do in your next role.

The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) will help you organize your thoughts into concise stories that highlight your project management skills. But more on this approach later.

Here are the behavioral questions that often come up in project manager interviews:

Tips on how to answer: 

  • This is a typical problem solving question, so highlight the challenge.
  • Next, focus on solutions, and discuss the specific actions you took to overcome the challenges.
  • Briefly mention the key skills that helped you complete the project despite the setbacks.
  • Pick the right example. Make sure it’s a major incident that will illustrate your problem-solving abilities. If you’re interviewing for a management role or a position you’ll need to head a team, pick an example that showcases your leadership skills.
  • Keep your answer structured. It’s easy to start rambling when discussing complex situations. Focus on making a clear point and providing only the most important details to support it.

Sample answer: During a high-rise apartment building project, we ran into an unexpected issue with the foundation. Routine soil tests hadn’t revealed any major concerns, but during excavation, we discovered a layer of unstable bedrock that required additional reinforcement. This could have caused significant delays and potentially compromised the building’s structural integrity.

First, I prioritized safety. The crew halted excavation, and I brought in a geotechnical engineer to assess the situation. Working together, we developed a plan for reinforcing the bedrock with additional pilings. This meant collaborating closely with the structural engineer to adapt the building plans and with the procurement team to secure the necessary materials quickly.

Transparency is key in construction, so I kept the client informed every step of the way. We discussed the issue, the proposed solution, and the potential impact on the timeline and budget. Thankfully, due to great communication and early intervention, we were able to minimize delays. The additional pilings were installed, and the project continued safely and on schedule.

  • Frame it as an opportunity to demonstrate your resourcefulness and adaptability.
  • Tie it to your strengths. After explaining your actions, connect this experience to one of your top strengths.

Sample answer: My approach to risk management is proactive. I recently had a project I can use as an example. At the outset, we brainstormed every potential roadblock, no matter how unlikely. One major risk we identified was a key vendor potentially facing supply chain delays, which could throw off the whole hardware supply for the project.

Analyzing the situation, we realized the likelihood and potential impact of this delay were high. We couldn’t afford to wait and see, so we got to work and developed a contingency plan. I researched alternative suppliers and negotiated back-up options with flexible terms. We even made some strategic adjustments to our timeline upfront to buy a bit of breathing room. Keeping everyone in the loop was essential. The Risk Register became our focal point and we updated it constantly with new information and mitigation status. In the end, the initial vendor did experience delays, but because we were prepared, we switched suppliers quickly and kept the project on track. So, you can say my risk management philosophy is all about anticipating problems, developing those “Plan B” scenarios, and making sure the whole team is actively involved and ready to adjust as needed.

  • Choose a situation where you acted proactively.
  • Explain your process of analyzing risks and detail the mitigation strategies, contingency plans, resource adjustments, and enhanced communication strategies you used.
  • This is not about you venting about a difficult team member. It’s about the actions you took to address the situation.
  • Finish with a positive outcome. Explain how your actions and guidance resulted in improvements for the individual, the team, or the project as a whole. This will establish you as someone who can create a positive change.

Get a full guide on how to answer behavioral interview questions .

Situational Interview Questions for Project Managers

Situational interview questions, unlike behavioral, put you in a hypothetical project scenario and ask how you’d handle it. While the situations themselves aren’t real, these questions are a chance to show your project management skills by drawing on your past experiences. Here are some common questions with example answers and why they work.

  • Have a robust work breakdown structure. Clearly outline the steps you take during project initiation.
  • Explain how your every step in the kick-off process ties into project success.
  • Explain the process behind prioritization. Show the interviews that you consider factors like client importance, project complexity, business impact, and any existing contractual obligations.
  • Emphasize resource management. Discuss how you’ll handle resource allocation when projects compete for the team’s time.
  • Show you can work under pressure.
  • Choose an example where you provided outstanding client experience despite problems and explain how you made that happen.
  • Show you can own your mistakes. If the project setbacks stem from a clear miss on your team’s part, don’t shy away from acknowledging that.
  • Describe the quality checks you perform and explain how the approach helps you spot potential issues early on.
  • Spotlight your communication efforts. Explain how communication plays a role in completing projects successfully.
  • Manifest the right energy. Interviewers want to see optimism, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude even in tough times.
  • Choose an example that shows how you provide support and resources to your team.
  • Focus on communication and recognition, but also your ability to set clear goals and timelines to keep the team on track.

If these hypothetical scenarios seem difficult to answer, check out this full guide on answering situational interview questions .

Role-specific Interview Questions for Project Managers

Project management interviews tend to be a mix of general and some very PM-specific questions.

These vary wildly based on the project, the company, and the methodology. Regardless of that, their purpose is to see how well you understand the industry and the technologies involved.

Here are 4 common questions you can expect:

  • Balance enthusiasm with analysis. Show you’re proactive about exploring new tech but emphasize your assessment process.
  • Briefly outline your assessment process. Phrases like “adoption feasibility” or “measurable ROI” will convince the interviewer that you think beyond the initial implementation.
  • Illustrate with a very specific, real-life example.

Describe your experience with budget management in projects

  • Explain how you do budget planning and forecasting.
  • Discuss how you track and monitor project spending against the budget to identify and address variances.
  • Explain how you keep the client informed, with regular updates on actual vs. projected spending.
  • Show how change requests don’t disturb your flow. The key here is to show you’re open to exploring possibilities and assessing the impact of the change.
  • Show you’re aware of how the change could affect resources, timelines, and budget.
  • Highlight your communication skills that helped you find alternative solutions.
  • Emphasize the WHY, not just the WHAT. Don’t just list techniques. Explain the strategic thinking behind your choices. Why would you use power-interest mapping in one instance, and SWOT analysis in another? This shows a deeper understanding of the topic.
  • Focus on relationship building. Show (through an example) how you have built trust, addressed concerns proactively, or turned potential resisters into supporters.

Pro tip: While this guide can prepare you for common themes, don’t skip your homework — research the company and the role. This will help you predict the role-specific questions you can expect in the interview.

How to Answer Project Manager Interview Questions

Project management interviews often focus on your ability to solve problems, lead teams, and deliver successful outcomes. One of the best ways to showcase these skills is by using the STAR method when answering their questions.

Use the STAR Method

The STAR method is a formula that provides a structured format for telling stories about your past work experiences. It’s mainly used for responding to behavioral and situational project manager interview questions.

STAR is an acronym standing for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Here’s how to use it to your own advantage and impress the interviewer:

Here’s a candidate’s response we already discussed and how they implemented the STAR formula:

Situation: A client needed to migrate their entire database in just two months. The tricky part is that it was a multi-phase project with different teams and super tight deadlines. Any hiccup for one team meant trouble and delays for everyone else. 

Task: I had to keep everything coordinated and ensure quality.

Action: I started by breaking the project down, giving each of the phases and teams clear deadlines. Then, it was all about communication — meetings, updates, and keeping everyone in the loop at all times. I also had to plan for problems. We had to be ready to minimize the impact, be it because of unexpected delays on new equipment or wrong backup licenses.

Result: In the end, we pulled it off. Thanks to our coordinated efforts and focus on clear communication and milestone tracking, the new environment was up and running exactly as the client expected. 

Show you’re a leader who can problem-solve

Project managers are expected to be decisive problem solvers who can take charge, inspire the team, and keep plowing through despite challenges. Interviewers will look for evidence of these qualities in your responses.

Don’t be vague. Showcase that skill by describing a specific project challenge and the systematic way you approached resolving it. Emphasize your ability to analyze issues, identify solutions, and implement them effectively.

Focus on project outcomes

Interviewers want to know you’re results-driven. Instead of just listing the tasks you completed, emphasize the impact of your work.

Did you deliver the project on time and under budget? Say it.

Did your team exceed client expectations? Explain how.

People don’t trust plain theory, so quantify your successes whenever possible.

Talk about methodologies or software used

When preparing to answer project manager interview questions, one particularly effective strategy is to discuss the specific methodologies or software tools you’ve leveraged in your past roles.

This both highlights your technical competence and gives the interviewer insight into your approach to project management.

Pro tip: Mentioning methodologies like Agile, Scrum, or Kanban, or project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Microsoft Project can significantly strengthen your answer.

Practice for the interview (even if you’re a senior)

Remember how we said you need to come prepared?

You can 10x your interview if you can come up with great stories to answer scenario-based questions, remember concrete examples, budgets, and project deliverables.

But even if you manage to keep it all in your head, your body language, poor eye contact, or speaking too fast can cost you the job.

A great way to increase your chances of securing the offer is through mock interviews. You can use interview simulation software like Big Interview to practice. Once you record your answers on camera, you’ll get AI feedback on 12+ criteria, including the relevance of your answer, but also pace of speech and use of filler words.

project manager interview questions

If you’re already a Big Interview user and want to try this out, head over to Interviews , then Practice Sets , and choose Project Management under Industry .

Summary of the Main Points

  • A Project Manager role is extremely versatile, and interviews tend do reflect that.
  • Expect to be asked a lot of “what would you do if…” questions where you’ll need to go back to exact past situations and explain what you did or explain how you would react in a hypothetical scenario.
  • Most of the questions will focus on key project manager skills like communication, time and budget management, resource planning, risk management, and problem solving.
  • To answer project manager interview questions successfully, prepare many examples from your career and learn to answer using the STAR format .

How to respond to interview questions with limited project management experience?

You can still effectively respond to interview questions with limited project management experience. To do it well, highlight the transferable skills you gained in other roles: organization, communication, leadership, and problem-solving. If you led small teams or earned certifications like PMP or Agile, mention them to show your commitment and motivation.

What are the most challenging questions a project manager might face?

Candidates consider behavioral or situational questions to be the most difficult because they require you to remember specific situations that may have happened a long time ago or think of hypothetical scenarios you might have never encountered.

What questions should a candidate ask at the end of a project manager interview?

  • Could you give me more information about the type of projects this role entails?
  • What methodologies are you using?
  • Can you give me an example of projects, their duration, range, and budget?
  • Does this position entail working with clients from different time zones?
  • What’s an average number of projects one PM is handling at a time?

What’s the appropriate attire for a project manager interview?

Dress slightly more formal than the daily work attire. For most project manager interviews, business professional is a safe choice. If you wear a suit (matching jacket and trousers or a skirt) with a shirt or blouse, you’ll be fine. Whatever you choose to wear, make sure your clothes are clean, pressed, and well-fitted. Stick to simple, professional accessories such as a watch, belt, and minimal jewelry.

What are the best practices for researching a company pre-interview?

Start with the company’s website to learn about their values, mission, products, and services. Pay attention to any recent news and press releases. For more information about key people and team members, check out their People section on LinkedIn. Glassdoor provides employee reviews and ratings for companies. This can give you a better idea about salary ranges, company culture, and any red flags.

case study interview questions for project managers

Bojana Krstic

Briana Dilworth

Fact Checked By:

Pamela Skillings

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Project Manager Interview Questions (14 Specific Questions + Answers)

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Are you preparing for a project manager job interview?

Here are some of the most common interview questions you’ll likely encounter. I got these insights from an HR manager of a software development company, but these project manager interview questions and answers apply to any industry.

1) What is your experience in managing and leading cross-functional teams?

case study interview questions for project managers

Start by giving a concise overview of your relevant experience, focusing on roles where you managed or worked with cross-functional teams.

Highlight specific instances where you led or were a part of cross-functional teams.

Describe the scope of these projects, the various functions involved (like marketing, finance, IT, operations, etc.), and the size of the teams.

Sample answer:

“In my previous roles, particularly in the tech industry, I have extensive experience leading cross-functional teams, often comprising members from development, marketing, and customer support departments. For instance, in my most recent project, I led a team of 20 to develop and launch a new software product. This required careful coordination among diverse groups to ensure alignment with both technical and business objectives. My approach emphasizes open communication, regular cross-departmental meetings, and using collaborative tools like Jira and Slack. One significant challenge was aligning differing priorities between the development and marketing teams. I facilitated a series of workshops to establish a shared vision and understanding, which led to a more cohesive team effort and a successful product launch. The project not only met its deadlines but also exceeded expected sales targets in its first quarter. I believe this experience, particularly my skills in fostering collaboration and alignment among various functions, would be highly beneficial in the project manager role at your company, especially emphasized cross-functional teamwork.”

This response demonstrates your experience in managing cross-functional teams, your strategic approach to leadership, and how your skills apply to the role you’re pursuing.

2) How did you first become interested in project management, and what drew you to this career path?

When answering this question, it’s important to share a personal and engaging narrative that highlights your passion and commitment to the field.

“My interest in project management began early in my career when I was involved in coordinating a small team for a marketing campaign. I was drawn to the challenge of organizing diverse tasks and aligning them toward a common goal. The satisfaction of seeing a plan come together effectively and efficiently resonated with me. Over the years, I pursued further education and certifications like PMP to deepen my understanding and skills. A pivotal moment was leading a complex product launch project, which was a tremendous learning experience and a major success. It reinforced my passion for this field – the dynamic environment, the need for creative problem-solving, and the impact of effective leadership on project outcomes. This passion is what brings me here today. I'm excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and enthusiasm to your team, tackling new challenges and contributing to your organization’s success.”

This response effectively narrates your journey into project management, showcasing your passion, growth, and relevance to the role you are applying for.

3) How are projects tracked, evaluated, and reported on at the portfolio level?

Explain how projects within the portfolio are evaluated and describe how you report on project status and portfolio health to stakeholders.

Don’t forget to describe the tools and methods you use for tracking projects at the portfolio level. This might include project management software (like MS Project, Jira, or Asana), dashboards, or customized spreadsheets.

“In my experience, effective portfolio management is key to ensuring that all projects align with the organization’s strategic goals. I typically use project management software like Jira, complemented by customized dashboards, to track project progress, resource allocation, and budget status across the portfolio. For evaluation, I rely on techniques like Earned Value Management to assess each project’s performance against its objectives and overall portfolio health. Reporting involves regular updates to stakeholders, where I provide an overview of project statuses, highlighting any areas needing attention or action. For instance, in my previous role, I managed a portfolio of IT projects, and through effective tracking and evaluation, I was able to reallocate resources from underperforming projects to those with strategic importance, enhancing overall portfolio ROI. Continuous improvement is a critical aspect of my approach, where I analyze portfolio performance to identify and implement improvements in our project management practices.”

This response demonstrates your comprehensive understanding of portfolio management, your ability to use various tools and methods for tracking and evaluation, and your experience in making data-driven decisions.

4) Have you ever managed a remote team, and what strategies did you use to ensure effective communication and collaboration?

When answering this question, honesty is key. 

If you’ve managed a remote team, talk about the challenges of leading a group of people who you never met face-to-face. Discuss how you built a cohesive team and how you tracked progress and fostered collaboration.

If you haven’t managed a remote team, explain how you would or what team management experience you have and how it’d translate to a situation where the team was not working together under one roof.

Sample answer if you’ve managed a remote team:

“In my previous role, I successfully managed a remote team of 15 members working on a software development project. To ensure effective communication, we used a combination of Slack for day-to-day interactions and Zoom for weekly team meetings and ad-hoc discussions. I established a routine of daily stand-ups and regular one-on-ones to stay updated on individual progress and address any concerns promptly. For collaboration, we relied heavily on Jira for project management and Google Drive for document sharing. It was crucial to set clear expectations right from the start regarding deliverables, timelines, and communication protocols. Regular check-ins and transparent feedback mechanisms helped us maintain project momentum. One particular success was when we encountered a major technical roadblock; through a series of focused virtual brainstorming sessions, the team collaboratively devised a solution. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of adaptability and ongoing improvement in remote team management practices.”

This response showcases your experience in managing remote teams, highlights the strategies you used for communication and collaboration, and reflects your adaptability and problem-solving skills.

Sample answer if you haven’t managed a remote team:

“While I haven't had the direct experience of managing a remote team, I have worked on projects where team members were located in different offices or regions. In these situations, I've effectively used tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to facilitate communication and collaboration. I understand that managing a remote team requires a keen focus on clear communication, regular engagement, and ensuring everyone is aligned with the project's goals. If given the opportunity, I would implement regular virtual check-ins and use project management tools like Asana to keep track of tasks and deadlines. I’m adaptable and quick to learn new technologies and methodologies, and I’m eager to expand my skills in this area. My experience in leading diverse project teams and my strong communication skills would be beneficial in managing a remote team effectively.”

This response demonstrates your understanding of remote team management essentials, your readiness to adapt to new working environments, and your ability to leverage existing skills in a new context.

5) How do you ensure that you keep all stakeholders up-to-date throughout the project lifecycle?

Start by explaining how you identify key stakeholders for each project and understand their specific information needs and preferences. This shows your proactive approach to stakeholder management.

Explain how you schedule regular updates and meetings, such as weekly emails, monthly reports, or steering committee meetings, to keep stakeholders informed.

“In my approach to keeping stakeholders updated throughout the project lifecycle, I start by identifying all key stakeholders and understanding their specific needs. Based on this, I developed a tailored communication plan, which details how and when updates will be shared. I utilize a mix of tools for communication, including regular email updates, project dashboards in Microsoft Project, and collaborative discussions on platforms like Slack. For example, in my last project, I implemented weekly summary emails and bi-weekly stakeholder meetings to keep everyone informed and engaged. I ensure that the communication is transparent, especially when addressing project challenges, and I continuously adapt the communication strategy based on the project's progress and feedback from stakeholders. Finally, I believe in closing the project with a comprehensive review, involving stakeholders to discuss successes, areas for improvement, and key takeaways for future projects.”

This response shows your strategic and thoughtful approach to stakeholder communication, your adaptability, and your commitment to transparency and continuous improvement.

6) What is your approach to risk management, and how do you identify and mitigate potential risks?

When answering this question, describe how you identify risks and how you develop risk response plans. This includes strategies like avoiding, mitigating, transferring, or accepting risks. Share how you create specific action plans for high-priority risks.

“My approach to risk management involves a systematic process, starting with risk identification. I conduct thorough brainstorming sessions with the team and consult with stakeholders to uncover potential risks. For analysis, I use risk matrices to assess the impact and likelihood of each risk, prioritizing them accordingly. Then, I develop risk response plans, tailoring strategies like mitigation or transfer based on the nature of the risk. For instance, in a recent project, we identified a potential supply chain disruption as a high-risk factor and developed contingency plans with our vendors. I ensure that the project team and stakeholders are actively involved in this process, fostering a collaborative approach to risk management. Regular monitoring and updates to the risk register are key, as is effective communication of risk statuses. I believe in continuously learning from each project, using these insights to refine our risk management strategies in future endeavors.”

This response demonstrates your comprehensive and proactive approach to risk management, emphasizing your ability to identify, analyze, and mitigate risks effectively.

7) What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a project manager, and how have you overcome them?

When answering this question, it's important to demonstrate your problem-solving skills, resilience, and ability to learn from difficult situations.

“One of the biggest challenges I faced was managing a project with extremely tight deadlines coupled with resource shortages. The project was critical for the company, and failure to deliver on time could have resulted in significant revenue loss. To address this, I initiated a thorough review of our project plan, identifying tasks that could be fast-tracked or done in parallel. I also negotiated with other department heads to temporarily reallocate resources. Effective communication was key; I ensured that the team and stakeholders were regularly updated on our progress and any changes. Despite the pressures, we successfully delivered the project on time, which significantly boosted client satisfaction and team morale. This experience taught me the importance of flexibility, proactive planning, and clear communication under pressure. I believe these skills are particularly relevant to the project manager role at your company, especially given the complex and dynamic nature of the projects you handle.”

This response showcases your ability to handle difficult situations, your strategic thinking, and your capability to learn and grow from challenges, all critical qualities for a project manager.

8) What motivates you to pursue excellence in your work, even in the face of setbacks?

Begin by discussing what fundamentally drives you in your work. Talk about your strategies for staying motivated and focused, even when things don’t go as planned.

Then, Explain how pursuing excellence aligns with bigger-picture goals, like the success of the project, client satisfaction, professional growth, or the impact on the organization.

“My motivation to pursue excellence, even in the face of setbacks, is primarily driven by my passion for delivering impactful results and my commitment to continuous learning and improvement. In my experience, setbacks are growth opportunities. For instance, in a previous project, we faced significant scope changes that threatened our timeline. This challenge pushed me to innovate and think critically, leading to a more efficient project approach. What keeps me focused is setting clear goals and reminding myself of the bigger picture – the success of the project and its impact on the organization and the client. Collaborating with a team, sharing our challenges, and working through them together is also a great motivator for me. Each project, with its unique challenges, contributes to my professional growth, enhancing my ability to lead and deliver under various circumstances. This mindset of turning challenges into opportunities and continuously striving for improvement aligns with the values of your organization, and I am excited about the opportunity to bring this approach to your team.”

This response effectively communicates your intrinsic motivation, your resilience in the face of challenges, and how these qualities make you a strong candidate for the project manager role.

9) Describe a challenging project or situation you've faced in your career, and how you overcame it

Choose a project or situation that was genuinely challenging and relevant to the role you're applying for. It should highlight your skills and abilities as a project manager.

“In my previous role, I was tasked with managing a software development project that was critically behind schedule. The challenge was to bring it back on track without further inflating costs. The situation required a thorough reassessment of the project scope and resources. I initiated a series of meetings with the project team and stakeholders to identify areas where we could optimize our efforts. We reallocated some of our resources to critical tasks and renegotiated deadlines for less urgent features. I also implemented more frequent check-ins to closely monitor progress. Through these efforts, we were able to deliver the project within a revised but acceptable timeline, meeting the key requirements of our client. This experience taught me valuable lessons in flexibility, stakeholder communication, and crisis management. It highlighted the importance of being adaptable and maintaining open lines of communication with all team members and stakeholders. I believe these skills are directly applicable to the Project Manager role at your company, especially given the complex and dynamic nature of your projects.”

This response clearly outlines a challenging situation, your approach to resolving it, and the positive outcomes, showcasing your capabilities as a project manager.

10) How do you manage team members that aren’t working to their full potential?

When answering this question, it's important to demonstrate your leadership skills, empathy, and your ability to motivate and support your team.

“In managing team members who aren’t working to their full potential, I first seek to understand the root cause through open and empathetic communication. For instance, in a previous project, I noticed a team member's performance was declining. After a one-on-one discussion, it became clear that they were unclear about certain aspects of their role. We clarified their responsibilities and set specific, achievable goals. I also provided additional training resources and scheduled regular check-ins to offer support and monitor progress. This approach not only helped improve their performance but also boosted their confidence and engagement in the project. I believe in empowering team members by providing the necessary support while maintaining clear expectations and accountability. This not only helps in addressing individual performance issues but also contributes to a positive and productive team environment.”

This response shows your ability to handle underperformance with empathy and effectiveness, emphasizing your skills in communication, support, and maintaining team morale.

11) How do you deal when you’re overwhelmed or underperforming?

Begin by acknowledging that feeling overwhelmed or underperforming can happen to anyone, including experienced project managers. This shows self-awareness and honesty.

Discuss the specific strategies you use when feeling overwhelmed and explain how you address your own underperformance. Highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and practicing self-care, as these are essential for long-term performance and well-being.

“I recognize that feeling overwhelmed or underperforming is a part of any challenging role, including project management. I’ve learned to identify early signs, such as difficulty focusing or meeting deadlines. My first step is to reassess my workload and priorities, breaking down tasks into more manageable parts and delegating where appropriate. I also find that clear communication with my team and supervisors about challenges and seeking their input can be incredibly helpful. In terms of underperformance, I take a proactive approach to identifying areas for improvement, whether it’s through seeking feedback or engaging in relevant training. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is also crucial for me, as it helps to recharge and maintain long-term productivity. I believe in turning challenging moments into opportunities for growth and learning, which in turn enhances my capabilities as a project manager. This approach not only helps me manage my workload effectively but also aligns with the resilience and adaptability needed in the dynamic environment of your company.”

This response demonstrates your self-awareness, proactive approach to managing stress and workload, and commitment to continuous improvement, all of which are valuable qualities in a project manager.

12) Do you have budget management experience?

When answering this question, it's important to clearly articulate your experience and skills in managing project budgets. Honesty is key since there’s no point in lying.

Sample answer if you have budget management experience:

“Yes, I have extensive experience in managing budgets for various projects. In my previous role as a project manager for a construction company, I was responsible for overseeing project budgets ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. My duties included preparing detailed budget forecasts, allocating funds across different project phases, and tracking expenditures against the budget. I frequently used Microsoft Project and Excel for budget planning and monitoring. For instance, on a recent project, we faced unforeseen costs due to delayed supplies. I worked closely with the procurement team to renegotiate terms with suppliers and restructured the project timeline to stay within budget, ultimately delivering the project with a 2% cost saving. This experience sharpened my skills in adaptive budget management and effective cost control. I’m committed to continually enhancing my budget management abilities, and I’m confident in my capacity to manage project finances effectively in line with your company's financial objectives.”

This response demonstrates your experience and capabilities in managing budgets, providing concrete examples and highlighting your strategic approach to budget challenges.

Sample answer if you don’t have budget management experience:

“While I haven’t had direct experience in managing project budgets, I have been closely involved in financial tracking and resource allocation in my previous projects. I understand the critical role that budget management plays in project success, ensuring that resources are used efficiently and objectives are met within financial constraints. I have strong analytical skills and attention to detail, which I believe are essential for effective budget management. In my last role, I was responsible for monitoring project expenditures and reporting financial data to the project manager, which gave me insight into budget considerations. I am proactive in expanding my knowledge and skills; I am currently completing an online course in project finance management. With my strong foundational skills and eagerness to learn, I am confident in my ability to quickly adapt to and effectively manage budget responsibilities in your projects.”

This response honestly addresses the lack of direct experience while highlighting relevant skills and a strong commitment to learning and growth, showing your potential as a capable candidate for the role.

13) How do you know the project is off track?

Start by stating that regular monitoring and evaluation of project progress against the plan are crucial. Then, discuss the specific signs you look for that indicate a project might be off track.

“In my experience, the key to knowing when a project is off track is consistent and vigilant monitoring of its key parameters. I regularly review project KPIs, milestones, and budget reports. Signs like missed deadlines, budget overruns, or feedback from team members often serve as early indicators of potential issues. I use project management tools like Asana for real-time progress tracking and maintain regular communication with my team and stakeholders to stay informed about any challenges they are facing. For instance, in a recent project, I noticed a pattern of slipping deadlines and upon investigation, found that the scope was gradually creeping beyond the initial plan. We conducted a review meeting, redefined the scope, and reallocated resources to bring the project back on track. This proactive approach, combined with a clear understanding of project goals and constant vigilance, helps me ensure projects stay aligned with their objectives. Learning from each project’s challenges is also a crucial aspect of my methodology, enabling continuous improvement in project management processes.”

This response demonstrates your active approach to monitoring project progress, your ability to recognize and address issues promptly, and your commitment to project success and continuous learning.

14) What was your most successful project?

This question is a great opportunity to highlight your strengths, skills, and achievements. Clearly state the successful outcomes of the project.

This could be completing the project on time and within budget, exceeding project goals, achieving high client satisfaction, or the project's impact on the company.

“My most successful project was leading the development and launch of a new software product within a tight 12-month timeframe. As the project manager, I was responsible for coordinating a team of 25, including developers, designers, and marketers, and managing a budget of $1.5 million. One of the main challenges was integrating feedback from key clients into the development process without derailing our timeline. We addressed this by adopting an agile methodology, allowing for flexibility and continuous improvement throughout the project lifecycle. The project was delivered on time and 10% under budget, which was a significant achievement considering the complex scope and client involvement. The software received excellent feedback for its innovation and user experience, leading to a 20% increase in company revenue. The success of this project was largely due to effective team collaboration, clear communication, and proactive risk management. It honed my skills in agile project management and stakeholder communication and taught me valuable lessons in flexibility and adaptability. I believe these experiences and skills are directly applicable to the Project Manager role at your company, especially given the emphasis on delivering high-quality solutions in dynamic environments.”

This response effectively demonstrates your project management skills, ability to overcome challenges, and the positive outcomes of your leadership, making a strong case for your capabilities as a project manager.

What to dress for a project manager job interview to get hired

During a project manager job interview, you can expect a range of questions and possibly practical assessments aimed at evaluating your skills, experience, and fit for the role.

Here's what you typically might encounter:

1. Questions About Leadership and Team Management: Expect questions about your leadership style, how you motivate teams, handle conflicts, and manage diverse or remote teams.

2. Questions on Budget and Resource Management: You might be asked about your experience and strategies in managing project budgets, resources, and timelines.

3. Questions on Communication and Stakeholder Management: You may encounter questions on how you communicate with and manage the expectations of different stakeholders, including clients, team members, and senior management.

4. Case Studies or Practical Exercises: Some interviews may include practical exercises like analyzing a case study, developing a project plan, or even a role-play scenario.

According to an HR manager at a software development company, demonstrating your expertise in project management, your ability to work well with a team, and your fit with the company culture will be key to a successful interview.

What to expect from a project manager job interview

In a project manager job interview, the interviewer is typically looking for several key qualities and competencies that are crucial for effective project management. Understanding these can help you better prepare and tailor your responses. Here's what interviewers usually look for:

1. Leadership and Team Management: The ability to inspire, lead, and manage a team. They want to see that you can delegate tasks effectively, motivate team members, and maintain a productive team environment.

2. Organizational and Planning Skills: The ability to organize resources, plan projects, and manage time effectively. Interviewers assess your skills in creating and executing project plans, meeting deadlines, and prioritizing tasks.

Skills in managing budgets, allocating resources efficiently, and cost control are often assessed, especially for projects with significant financial implications.

3. Adaptability and Flexibility: Projects often face unexpected changes and challenges. Your capacity to adapt to changing situations and be flexible in your approach is a key trait that interviewers look for.

4. Technical Expertise: Depending on the project or industry, technical expertise might be important. This includes the understanding of specific methodologies (like Agile, Scrum, Waterfall), tools (like MS Project, Jira), and domain-specific knowledge.

Understand the interviewer’s point of view

To make a good impression, understand and prepare examples that demonstrate these skills and traits. They can greatly increase your chances of success in a project manager job interview. Good luck!

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20 project manager interview questions and answers

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Landing a project management interview is a big accomplishment. But you’ll only get a chance at the job if you prepare for the interview properly. In this article, we cover some of the most common project manager interview questions and answers so you can ace this interview and get hired.

Take a deep breath—we’re here to help. If you have an interview for a project manager position coming up, this post is for you.

What does a project manager do?

Before we dive into common project manager interview questions, let’s take a look at what a project manager actually does. 

The title project manager has changed significantly over the years. Initially, project manager roles were highly specialized technical positions, and project managers themselves were certified in complicated, complex project management tools. Luckily, modern project management tools have made project management accessible to a broader variety of roles—and now, more often than not, a project manager is less focused on the technical element and more focused on aligning stakeholders, driving clarity, and hitting project goals. 

The definition of project management varies between companies, departments, and positions. For example, at Asana, we believe that if you’re managing projects, you’re a project manager, regardless of your job title. 

To get a sense of what your interviewer expects from you as a project manager, study the job description closely to understand the main responsibility of the position you applied for. Is it people management, cost management, risk management, program management , or something entirely different?

If you know what exactly this project manager job will entail, you can use this information to better prepare for the interview. This will also help you figure out which of the questions and answers below are going to be the most helpful for your interview prep.

1. Tell me about yourself.

While it’s technically not a question, more often than not, this is going to be the first thing an interviewer wants you to talk about. Think of your answer as your elevator pitch—this is your chance to briefly summarize who you are, why you’re here, and what makes you the best candidate.

What the question means: For the interviewer, it’s a great way to ease into a conversation, give the candidate a chance to settle in, and give a first impression. The interviewer wants to find out who you are as a person and why you’ve applied. 

How to answer: Briefly explain your last project or current position. Then name a few project planning skills you’ve learned in your previous job and how they’ve prepared you for this position. Stay positive, be truthful, and let your passion shine through. 

What not to say: Don’t just restate your resume. The interviewer has that right in front of them. Tell them something they don’t know and can’t find out from your resume alone. Also, keep it professional and read the room—not every interviewer cares about your new puppy (unfortunately).

2. Do you have experience working from home and managing a remote team?

Since working from home has become the norm for many companies, it’s possible that you’ll have to manage a fully remote team either now or in the future. Project manager positions are often team leads or project leads, so your interviewer may want to learn more about your experience in this area.

What the question means: Virtual managers face more challenges than managers who share the same office space as their teammates. The interviewer wants to find out if you have previous experience managing virtual teams .  

How to answer: If you have experience managing a remote team, that’s great! Talk about some of the challenges you’ve faced not being in person and how you overcame them. If you don’t have a ton of relevant experience, talk about how you can use project management tools and team bonding exercises to connect, communicate, and collaborate with remote teams.

What not to say: Don’t downplay the challenge of keeping virtual team members motivated and engaged. Your interviewer needs to know that you take team morale seriously and understand what it takes to connect with your team in a remote world.

3. How do you keep your team motivated?

If your project team doesn’t feel motivated, they’ll struggle to complete their high impact work. This can cause project delays and lack of quality in your deliverables. As a project manager, one of your responsibilities is knowing how to keep your team motivated and moving towards the project objective .

What the question means: The interviewer wants to find out what your tactics are for keeping a team engaged and motivated. 

How to answer: You can start by describing the work environment you hope to build for your team. Besides a place where teammates feel valued, seen, and understood, it’s also important to set transparent goals and expectations for your team. Explain how setting realistic project milestones doesn’t just keep the project on track but also fosters effective teamwork.

What not to say: Don’t talk about monetary rewards like raises or promotions. Teams that complete their work for extrinsic motivation only aren’t going to feel as fulfilled as teams that feel intrinsic motivation to perform well.

4. What is your leadership style of choice?

There are several different leadership styles out there and while some may be more popular than others, there is no right or wrong leadership style. In fact, your team members may benefit from different leadership styles depending on their unique personalities, the projects they’re currently working on, and the challenges they’re facing. 

What the question means: While the terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably, not every manager is a leader and not every leader is a manager. If the interviewer asks this question, they’re probably looking for someone who can be both—so it’s important that you know what your leadership style is. 

How to answer: Be sure that you know what different leadership styles entail. Know the risks and benefits of your leadership style so you can confidently answer follow-up questions about your specific leadership skills, like:

As a democratic leader , how do you ensure that your team still trusts you when you make a decision without their input?

How do you approach conflict resolution as an affiliative leader?

As a transformational leader, how do you combat pressure your team may feel because of your constant involvement?

What is your communication style as a transactional leader ?

As a laissez-faire or delegative leader, how do you keep your team on track?

What not to say: Don’t wiggle your way out of the question by simply saying your leadership style depends on the situation. If that’s true and your leadership style is in fact situational , talk more about how you adapt your style and give examples of when you’d apply a supporting, coaching, delegating, or directing style.

5. How do you communicate bad news with your team?

Part of your job description as a project manager will be to deliver news to your team—good and bad. Whether you’re managing people or projects, at some point, you’ll likely have to relay bad news to your team.

The way you handle sticky situations, like communicating that you’re not hitting a project’s goals or are losing funding for an exciting initiative, will be a reflection of how qualified you are to be a manager.

What the question means: The interviewer likely wants to find out if you have both the integrity and communication skills to deliver bad news to your team without causing misunderstandings or issues.

How to answer: Acknowledge that the challenge of communicating bad news is that you have to balance representing and understanding both the emotional response of your team and the decision of higher-level executives. Explain that the best way to effectively communicate bad news is to prepare yourself. 

Once you’ve prepared and practiced how you’ll deliver your message, you’ll do your best to use direct language when communicating the news to avoid misunderstandings. It’s also important that you set aside time for questions from your team and establish next steps so they feel prepared for what’s to come.

What not to say: Don’t try to answer this question with a positive spin. Bad news is bad news and there’s no reason to sell it as something it’s not. Instead, be realistic and ensure that you show the interviewer that you understand the potential risks and severity of a scenario like this.

[inline illustration] how to prepare for your job interview (infographic)

6. How do you prioritize tasks?

As a project manager, your workday can change in an instant. New tasks, change requests, or a confused stakeholder who needs clarification right away can throw off your entire schedule. It’s important that you know how to prioritize work if you want to excel in this position.

What the question means: The interviewer is looking for a very direct and detailed answer on how you prioritize tasks. 

How to answer: Explain your go-to time management method . Perhaps you use the Eisenhower Matrix to find out which tasks need to be done right away or can be scheduled for later, delegated to someone else, or deleted altogether. 

Maybe you prefer to eat the frog and get your biggest and most complex task done first thing in the morning. Whatever your preferred method of task prioritization is, quickly explain what it is and give a specific example of how you’d apply it—or better yet, how you’ve applied it in the past.

What not to say: Don’t just say you go with the flow. A skilled manager will use tools and techniques to prioritize tasks by importance and urgency, so make sure to share your go-to approach with your interviewer.

7. How do you define an ideal project?

The answer to this is not “one that goes according to plan.” This question intends to find out more about what type of projects you prefer to work on.

What the question means: The interviewer wants to know what type of projects you feel most comfortable and confident working on. This is not going to be a guarantee that you’ll get the kind of project you describe but it’s going to give the interviewer a better sense of your skill set.

How to answer: The best way to answer this question is to be honest. Tell the interviewer what kinds of projects excite you the most. Perhaps you prefer projects that are super collaborative and innovative. Maybe you do your best work when a project is streamlined and there aren’t too many moving parts at the same time. Or you may do really well managing multiple small projects that run simultaneously. Whatever it is that you feel the most passionate about—tell the interviewer. And, if you can, give an example of a specific project you’ve done in the past that was really rewarding for you.

What not to say: Don’t lie and say you can handle any type of project. Even if that’s true, really dig into the type that excites you the most so your answer is more genuine.

8. How do you handle changes to a project?

Projects rarely go according to plan, which is why your position is so important. As the project manager, you’ll be in charge of adjusting the schedule, communicating changes, and adopting them accordingly. 

What the question means: The interviewer wants to know what kind of problem-solving strategies you’re familiar with. Depending on the level of your position, they may also want to know how familiar you are with change management processes .

How to answer: Showcase your ability to adapt to unexpected or uncomfortable situations when answering this question. Convince the interviewer that you’re quick on your feet and have successfully handled project changes before.

What not to say: Don’t be vague. If you’re struggling to explain how you handle changes to a project, give a real-life example instead. This will also show the interviewer that you’ve successfully managed a situation like this before.

9. What project management methods have you used in the past?

There are many different project management methodologies and chances are you’ve used or experienced more than one before. Whether you’re familiar with Agile work environments, the waterfall model, or running teams on Scrum —this is the time to showcase your knowledge.

What the question means: The interviewer wants to find out whether the project management methods you use fit the organization's style.

How to answer: Talk about the project management methodology you’re most familiar with and give an example of how you’ve used it. For example, you could talk about your experience with Scrum teams or talk about projects that you managed using Kanban boards . Explain why you used the given methodology and how it worked for your team and project.

What not to say: Don’t just toss around buzzwords. Make sure that you know what Agile means if you’re going to talk about applying this methodology. Interviewers notice whether or not you understand a methodology so it’s best to be prepared for follow-up questions.

10. What project management tools do you have experience with?

There is an array of project management software available and chances are, you’ve used your fair share of them. There really is no right or wrong answer to this question but you can get a few extra points if you personalize your answer.

What the question means: The interviewer wants to gain a sense of how many and what types of project management tools you’re familiar with.

How to answer: Truthfully answer what project management tools and software you’ve used in the past. If possible, find out what tools the company you’re interviewing for uses. You may find information on their website, on a review site, or get this kind of insight from an employee via LinkedIn. With this information on hand, you can tailor your answer to the tool the company uses and let the interviewer know that you’ve used it or something similar in the past.

What not to say: Don’t judge any project management tools. You may have a favorite (Asana, right?) or even a tool that gives you a headache just thinking about it, but now is not the time to pass judgment. Simply list the tools you have experience with and explain your skill level, if applicable.

11. Do you have experience with cost or budget management?

While not every project management position requires cost management knowledge, it’s a very common interview question for human resources, accounting, or finance management positions. So let’s take a look at the best way to answer it. 

What the question means: The interviewer is curious whether you’ve had to manage costs before and is likely looking for an example.

How to answer: If you don’t have experience managing budgets, be honest about it and let the interviewer know how you’re planning to build this skill. If you have budget or cost management experience, talk about the budget you’ve managed, what you were in charge of, and how you allocated additional resources when necessary.

What not to say: Don’t make up budgets you’ve never managed or talk about how you manage your personal budget if you don’t have professional experience. Being fiscally responsible is not the same as knowing how to manage a project budget. So be honest about your experience and skill level.

12. What motivates you to give your best to a project?

This is an excellent opportunity to talk about a project that went really well and explain why it was one of your best projects to date. Chances are, you were passionate, inspired your team, and led the project to success because you felt so motivated. 

What the question means: Motivation looks different to everyone. The interviewer wants to find out what keeps you motivated to get a better understanding of your personality.

How to answer: Think about what motivates you when you’re working. Is it a great team that loves to collaborate? Do you love showing up for work to solve problems? Do you get excited about learning new things and widening your skillset? Whatever satisfies and excites you to do your best in a project, share it with your interviewer and give an example if you can.

What not to say: Don’t say “money.” It’s obvious that money is a factor in why you’re motivated to show up for work every day but the interviewer is asking this question to find out what other factors drive you.

13. Tell me about a challenge you’ve faced and how you handled it.

As a project manager, you’ll encounter plenty of challenging projects. Share a challenge that turned into a successful project or a great learning experience with your interviewer to prove that you can handle roadblocks or setbacks.

What the question means: The interviewer wants to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you approach challenges. They’re looking for a specific example.

How to answer: The best way to answer this question is to apply the STAR method. This method allows you to break down a situation into four categories: 

Situation : Start with the situation you were in. For example, explain that your project team suddenly got smaller because two people were out sick for an extended period of time.

Task : Explain how you wanted to resolve the situation. For example, your goal was to ensure that you could still deliver the project on time.

Action : Describe the actions you took to reach your goal. For example, you first tried to get help from another team. When that didn’t work out, you had to outsource some of the simpler tasks to a freelancer to give your team the bandwidth for their work.

Result : Finish with the outcome of the situation. For example, hiring a freelancer allowed your team to focus on the important tasks and complete the project without delays. Plus, you ended up hiring that freelancer for your next project because they did such an amazing job supporting your team.

[inline illustration] STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result (infographic)

What not to say: Don’t talk about a personal challenge. The interviewer wants to know how you handle challenges like lack of resources, negative feedback, or project delays. Whether you have prior experience as a project manager or not, we’ve all faced difficult times at work before, so talk about a situation where you showed how well you can handle a challenge.

14. Why are you looking to leave your current job?

Obviously, there’s a reason you’re doing this job interview. And the interviewer is curious what you’re hoping to find here that you’re lacking at your current job.

What the question means: The interviewer wants to find out one of two things (or both): How do you speak of your former/current employer and what motivated you to apply for this position?

How to answer: Instead of looking back at your old or current employer, talk about what excites you most about this new opportunity. Are you excited about the possibility of relocating? Are you looking forward to gaining new skills or taking on more responsibilities? Perhaps you’re looking to improve your work-life balance and feel like this new company is the perfect place to do so. Let your excitement for the new role shine through—that will set you apart from other candidates.

What not to say: Don’t bash your former employer. No matter how dreadful your current or past job is or was, it’s important to look forward and stay positive in your interview.

15. Name three tactics you’ve used to develop and maintain great customer relationships.

Depending on your field, you may have to deal with customers or clients on a regular basis. If you’re skilled at creating and maintaining solid relationships, you’re going to be a great asset to your company.

What the question means: Happy clients or customers are important—the interviewer wants to know if you have more than one card up your sleeve when it comes to fostering meaningful professional relationships.

How to answer: Think about your past customer relationships and what they valued. Did they appreciate your quick and positive communication? Did you make them feel like they were your only client or customer? Did you consistently exceed their expectations? Were you able to understand their goals and speak their language? All of these are tactics proven to build and maintain strong business relationships. 

What not to say: Don’t brag about how great you are with clients or customers. Humility is one of the many tactics that help maintain positive professional relationships so make sure you’re staying humble in your interview to prove you’re capable of this.  

16. How do you inspire underperforming team members?

A successful project manager must be able to motivate their team, and this question probes both your communication and management styles.

What the question means: The interviewer is seeking insight into your leadership skills, specifically how you identify, address, and turn around instances of underperformance within your team. They're interested in your ability to inspire and motivate, rather than just manage.

How to answer: Begin by emphasizing the importance of understanding each team member's strengths, weaknesses, and personal motivators. Share a past experience where you identified the root cause of an underperforming team member, such as a lack of clarity, insufficient training, or personal challenges. Explain the steps you took to address the issue, which might include setting clearer goals, providing additional support or resources, or adjusting project roles to better align with team members' strengths.

Highlight the positive outcome of your actions, such as improved performance, increased team morale, or the successful completion of a project. It's crucial to convey empathy, adaptability, and a commitment to developing your team's potential.

What not to say: Avoid suggesting that underperformance is solely the team member's fault or implying that punitive measures are your go-to strategy.

17. How do you handle changes to a project’s scope, especially in the middle of a project?

This question explores a project manager's adaptability, strategic planning skills, and decision-making process—all of which are critical for managing the inevitable changes that occur during the project life cycle.

What the question means: The interviewer is looking to understand your process for managing scope creep and your ability to maintain project objectives, timelines, and budgets in the face of change. They're interested in your stakeholder management skills, decision-making process, and how you communicate changes.

How to answer: Start by acknowledging that changes to a project's scope are common and can sometimes lead to better project outcomes. Describe your initial step of evaluating the impact of the requested change on the project's timeline, budget, and resources. Emphasize the importance of good communication with stakeholders to understand the reasons behind the change and to set realistic expectations.

Share a past experience where you successfully managed a scope change by conducting a thorough impact analysis, obtaining necessary approvals, and adjusting project plans accordingly. Highlight how you kept the team informed and motivated, managed stakeholder expectations, and ensured the project remained on track. Stress the importance of flexibility, but also of having robust change management processes in place to assess and integrate changes efficiently.

What not to say: Avoid suggesting that you resist all changes to project scope or that you accommodate changes without assessing their impact and obtaining the necessary approvals.

18. Can you describe your experience with Agile project management?

This question targets a project manager's familiarity and proficiency with Agile methodologies, which are vital for managing projects in dynamic and fast-paced environments.

What the question means: The interviewer is gauging your understanding of Agile principles, practices, and frameworks (such as Scrum, Kanban, etc.) and how you've applied them in real-world projects. They're interested in your ability to adapt, collaborate, and deliver value quickly and efficiently.

How to answer: Briefly explain your understanding of Agile project management and its importance in fostering collaboration, flexibility, and customer satisfaction. Then, share past experiences in which you successfully managed projects by applying Agile practices. Discuss how you facilitated sprint planning, guided daily stand-ups, and conducted reviews to ensure continuous improvement and stakeholder engagement. Highlight any challenges you faced, such as resistance to change or team alignment issues, and explain how you overcame them.

It's also beneficial to mention any certifications or training you've completed in Agile project management. This demonstrates your commitment to professional development and your proactive approach to managing projects.

What not to say: Avoid giving the impression that you are unfamiliar with Agile methodologies or that you prefer not to use them, especially if the organization you're interviewing with follows Agile practices.

19. Can you briefly tell us about the last project you worked on?

This question offers a window into your recent project management experiences, showcasing your project planning skills, challenges you've overcome, and ability to deliver results.

What the question means: The interviewer is seeking a snapshot of your project management style, including how you handle project schedules, dependencies, and metrics to ensure success. They're interested in your ability to lead, adapt, and apply lessons learned to future projects.

How to answer: Begin with a brief overview of the project, including its objectives, scope, and team dynamics. Highlight your specific responsibilities, such as planning, execution, stakeholder management, and any particular methodologies or tools you used (e.g., Agile, Waterfall, Gantt charts, etc.). Discuss a key challenge you faced and how you addressed it, demonstrating your problem-solving skills and resilience.

Conclude with the project's outcome, emphasizing any successes or achievements, and reflect on a valuable lesson learned or how the experience has prepared you for future projects. This approach shows your competence, leadership, and ability to reflect on and grow from your experiences.

What not to say: Avoid giving a vague or overly general response that doesn't provide insight into your capabilities or the specifics of the project. Also, steer clear of placing blame on others for any difficulties encountered during the project.

20. What is your experience with stakeholder management, and how do you balance conflicting priorities and demands?

A successful project manager must be able to communicate with stakeholders while balancing conflicting priorities. This project management interview question gauges your capacity to resolve conflicts and prioritize effectively.

What the question means: The interviewer is seeking insight into your ability to engage with various stakeholders, each with their own interests and expectations, and how you navigate the complexities of competing demands and priorities that are a reality in most projects. They want to know if you can maintain a strategic perspective while ensuring stakeholder satisfaction and project alignment with business goals.

How to answer: Begin by summarizing your approach to stakeholder management, emphasizing good communication, transparency, and relationship building. Provide specific examples of how you've identified and engaged stakeholders in past projects. Then, transition into discussing your methods for prioritizing demands, such as using a decision-making framework, leveraging project management tools, or applying negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

Highlight a past experience where you successfully balanced conflicting priorities, detailing the outcome and what you learned from the experience. It's essential to convey that your approach is systematic, adaptable, and tailored to the unique needs of each project. 

What not to say: Avoid suggesting that you prioritize tasks solely based on intuition or without a clear, consistent methodology.

Tips for acing project management interview questions

Knowing what to say is important, but a job interview is about much more than just saying the right things. You’ll want to leave a great impression and make sure that your personality stands out from the rest of the candidate pool (especially in person or via Zoom). Here are our favorite tips to leave hiring managers and recruiters with a great impression.

[inline illustration] how to make a great impression at a job interview (infographic)

Understand PM terminology. You should familiarize yourself with common project management terms . That way, when they come up during the interview, you don’t have to ask what they mean first and potentially risk your chances of getting the job.

Practice clarity and confidence. Besides rehearsing answers to common interview questions, work on delivering your answers with confidence and clarity. This includes practicing your body language to make sure it conveys confidence.

Ask for clarification when needed . If a question is unclear or you're unsure of what's being asked, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. It's better to get more information than to answer incorrectly due to a misunderstanding. This also demonstrates your communication skills and attention to detail.

Prepare with real-world examples . Equip yourself with past experiences that demonstrate your project management skills and accomplishments. Tailor these stories to the job description and the skills it requires, showing how your background makes you the perfect fit for the role.

Go get that project manager job!

Now that you know what to say (and what not to say) during your job interview, we’re sure you’re going to nail it. 

And if you land the job, make sure you utilize tools that make your life easier, like Asana’s project management software that’s designed to minimize app switching. That way, you and your new team can keep everything from messages to timelines in one place and focus on what’s really important.

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Project Manager Interview Questions

The most important interview questions for Project Managers, and how to answer them

Getting Started as a Project Manager

  • What is a Project Manager
  • How to Become
  • Certifications
  • Tools & Software
  • LinkedIn Guide
  • Interview Questions
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Professional Goals
  • Resume Examples
  • Cover Letter Examples

Interviewing as a Project Manager

Types of questions to expect in a project manager interview, behavioral questions, technical project management questions, case study and scenario-based questions, leadership and team management questions, stakeholder management and communication questions, preparing for a project manager interview, how to prepare for a project manager interview.

  • Research the Company and Its Industry: Gain a deep understanding of the company's projects, industry, and the specific challenges it faces. This insight will allow you to tailor your responses to show how your skills can address their unique needs.
  • Master Project Management Methodologies: Be prepared to discuss various project management methodologies such as Agile, Waterfall, PRINCE2, and how you have applied them in past projects. Highlighting your flexibility and adaptability in using different methodologies is crucial.
  • Review Your Project Portfolio: Be ready to discuss specific projects you have managed, challenges you faced, how you overcame them, and the outcomes. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique to structure your responses.
  • Understand the Tools of the Trade: Familiarize yourself with common project management software and tools such as Microsoft Project, JIRA, Asana, or Trello. Be prepared to discuss how you have used these tools to manage projects effectively.
  • Prepare for Behavioral Questions: Expect questions about how you handle conflict, manage teams, and communicate with stakeholders. Reflect on past experiences where you demonstrated leadership and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop Questions for the Interviewer: Prepare thoughtful questions that show your interest in the company's approach to project management and how they measure success. Inquiring about their expectations for the role can also demonstrate your forward-thinking mindset.
  • Conduct Mock Interviews: Practice with a mentor, friend, or colleague to refine your answers, get comfortable with your delivery, and receive constructive feedback.
  • Review Financial and Business Acumen: Brush up on your understanding of business cases, ROI, budget management, and resource allocation, as these are often relevant to project management discussions.

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case study interview questions for project managers

Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

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Project Manager Job Title Guide

case study interview questions for project managers

Related Interview Guides

Driving agile teams to deliver high-value projects, fostering adaptability and growth

Driving tech projects from concept to completion, ensuring efficiency and quality

Orchestrating multiple projects, ensuring alignment with strategic objectives and goals

Orchestrating project details, ensuring smooth execution from inception to completion

Leading agile teams, optimizing workflow and ensuring timely, quality project delivery

Driving tech projects from conception to completion, ensuring efficiency and innovation

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Top 45 Project Manager Interview Questions For 2020

Jeff Gillis 0 Comments

case study interview questions for project managers

By Jeff Gillis

Being a project manager requires you to wear a ton of different hats while in your position. At anytime during the life of the project you may need to be a leader , a planner , a “budgeter” , an organizer , a politician (yep!) and more. (Let’s just pause to recognize how much of a badass you are!….Ok pause over.)

Because of all these different needed skill sets, it can be a bit daunting trying to prepare for a project manager interview. I mean how do you show the hiring manager you have all the qualities they’re looking for??

By delivering tailored answers to the questions they throw at you, highlighting the skills they’ve put in the job description of course!

But in order to do that, you need to know what questions you’ll most like face in a project manager interview. That’s why we’ve compiled the top 45 project manager interview questions right here for you…

Top 3 Tips For A Project Manager Interview

Before we get into our top 46 interview questions let’s go over a few critical points you need to be aware of before you sit down for your project manager interview…

1. Have several “Success Stories” ready

Odds are pretty high the hiring manager is going to ask you to discuss past projects you worked on. That’s why having specific examples ready is critical. The key is, you want your success stories (in this case past examples of projects) to be clear, concise and highlight the qualities and skills you know they are looking for.

2. Study the job description to find the qualities and skills the company is looking for

This tip follows on from tip 1. In order to craft great success stories, you need to be aware of the skills and qualities this particular project manager position requires. How do you figure this out? By combing over you project manager job description . Too many job seekers read the job description once and leave it at that.

Big mistake.

The job description is a gold mine. The company has taken time to layout exactly what their “perfect candidate” needs in terms of skills and qualities.

For a project manager some of those qualities are most likely going to be: leadership , communication (for example, your ability to talk to both your team and shareholders), organization and planning . There will most likely be more. That’s why you need to pay close attention to the job description.

Once you have these, make sure the success stories you prepare showcase these qualities.

3. Try and find out what project management software the company uses

Working as a project manager you will almost certainly be working with some form of project management software. Some examples are:

  • Liquidplanner

There’s a decent chance you aren’t a master of all of these different solutions yet it can be a pretty critical part of working as a project manager. First look through the job description to see if they mention what kind of software they use.

If they don’t mention it, then I recommend heading over to Glassdoor.com and doing a little detective work. Type in the company you’re interviewing for and comb though the various past employee comments. There’s a chance some of them will discuss what project management software the company uses. If it’s one you haven’t used before you can do some online training on Youtube so you’ll be ready for any interview questions discussing the software.

45 Project Manager Interview Questions

  • Tell me a little about your background and experience…
  • What is your project management style?
  • What’s type of project would you most like to work on?
  • How do you handle an under-performing team member?
  • What, according to you, is an important quality to have as a project manager in order to succeed?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a project?
  • Do you have budget management experience?
  • How do you communicate bad news?
  • Do you have international project team management experience?
  • How do you deal with changes to your project?
  • Which project management software and tools do you prefer using, and why?
  • How do you manage people on your team who are resisting change yet leadership is requesting something different?
  • Suppose you are working on a project with an original scope of a few months and you are told that you instead now have a few days — how would you handle it?
  • Describe a project that you have managed and the steps you took to see that project completed.
  • Do you have outsource personnel or supplier management experience?
  • What is your delegation style?
  • What do you do when you realize a project is off deadline?
  • How do you begin a newly assigned project?
  • Has a colleague or manager ever challenged your decisions? And if so, how did you handle it?
  • How do you set goals for your team? And how do you track these goals?
  • What project management software do you use?
  • What’s the most critical or difficult issue you’ve had to deal with while managing a project?  How did you solve it?
  • Tell me about a situation where you were faced with a major project altering decision where you had to go over your managers head…
  • How do you improve your skills and abilities regarding project management?
  • Can you work with a company that does not have project management software?
  • How do you resolve conflicts as a project manager?
  • What is the first thing you do when you start a project?
  • Do you prefer working on a single project or multiple projects at the same time?
  • How do you handle risk in a project?
  • Why do you like being a project manager?
  • Have you worked in this industry before?
  • What’s your leadership style?
  • Do you seek help outside of the project team?
  • How do you prioritize tasks on a project?
  • Describe the agile development process…
  • Which project management methodology do you prefer? And why? (Agile, Waterfall, Scrum , Kanban) – If you want to brush up check out this helpful flowchart. The approach will depend on the project https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/agile-vs-waterfall-vs-kanban-vs-scrum )
  • How do you communicate with customers, sponsors and stakeholders?
  • How do you keep your team members motivated?
  • Tell me how you schedule projects and establish timelines…
  • What is the largest number of projects you have handled at the same time?
  • Are you PMP certified?
  • When do you know the project is off-track?
  • How did your last project end?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Putting It All Together

A lot of the questions above are from real project manager interviews. As you can see they often focus on past projects and how you work and communicate with other people. Keep these questions in mind when preparing your “success stories”. If you need more help with success stories, our Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers 101 article might be of help.

As always, good luck!

case study interview questions for project managers

Co-founder and CTO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site , with his work being featured in top publications such as INC , ZDnet , MSN and more.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Jeff gillis.

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Co-founder and CTO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site , with his work being featured in top publications such as INC , ZDnet , MSN and more. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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case study interview questions for project managers


30 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Common Project Manager interview questions, how to answer them, and example answers from a certified career coach.

case study interview questions for project managers

So you’ve landed an interview for a project manager position—congratulations! As someone who thrives on organizing chaos, solving problems, and leading teams to success, you know that your skills are in high demand.

Project management interviews often delve deep into not only your technical knowledge but also your ability to communicate effectively, manage resources, and adapt to changing circumstances. To help you prepare for this critical test, we’ve compiled a list of common project manager interview questions along with tips on how to answer them confidently and insights that will set you apart from other candidates.

1. Can you describe your experience with project management methodologies, such as Agile, Scrum, or Waterfall?

Hiring managers ask this question because they want to gauge your understanding of different project management methodologies and how you apply them in your work. Knowing your level of expertise in each methodology helps them determine if your skills align with the company’s approach to managing projects. They may also be interested in your adaptability and ability to choose the best methodology for a specific project to ensure its success.

Example: “Throughout my career as a project manager, I have had the opportunity to work with various methodologies, including Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall. My most extensive experience is with Agile and Scrum, which I’ve used in several software development projects. In these projects, I facilitated daily stand-up meetings, sprint planning sessions, and retrospectives to ensure effective communication and collaboration among team members. This approach allowed us to adapt quickly to changing requirements and deliver high-quality products on time.

On the other hand, I have also worked on infrastructure projects where the Waterfall methodology was more suitable due to its linear and sequential nature. In these cases, I meticulously planned each phase of the project, ensuring that all tasks were completed before moving on to the next stage. This method provided clear milestones and helped maintain control over the project’s scope and timeline.

My diverse experience with different methodologies has equipped me with the ability to choose the most appropriate approach for each project, considering factors such as project type, team dynamics, and client expectations. This flexibility allows me to effectively manage projects and achieve successful outcomes.”

2. How do you ensure that all team members are on the same page regarding project goals and expectations?

Project success hinges on effective communication and collaboration among team members. By asking this question, interviewers want to gauge your ability to lead, coordinate, and maintain open lines of communication within a diverse team. Your response will demonstrate your leadership style, your understanding of the importance of team alignment, and your strategies for fostering a collaborative environment focused on achieving project objectives.

Example: “To ensure that all team members are on the same page regarding project goals and expectations, I start by clearly defining the objectives and scope of the project during the initial planning phase. This involves creating a comprehensive project plan that outlines tasks, timelines, responsibilities, and resources required for successful completion.

Once the project plan is established, I conduct kickoff meetings with the entire team to discuss the project’s purpose, objectives, and each member’s role in achieving those goals. During these meetings, I encourage open communication and invite questions or concerns to address any potential misunderstandings early on. Throughout the project, I maintain regular check-ins and progress updates with the team, both individually and collectively, to monitor performance, provide feedback, and adjust plans as needed. Additionally, I utilize collaboration tools such as shared documents and task management systems to keep everyone informed about the latest developments and changes in real-time. This proactive approach ensures alignment among team members and fosters a collaborative environment focused on achieving common goals.”

3. What tools and software have you used for project management, and how proficient are you in using them?

As a project manager, your ability to skillfully use various tools and software is essential for staying organized, meeting deadlines, and ensuring smooth communication within your team. By asking this question, interviewers want to gauge your familiarity with popular project management tools, your proficiency in using them, and whether you can adapt to their company’s specific project management systems. This will help them determine if you’re a good fit for their team and if you can hit the ground running.

Example: “Throughout my career as a project manager, I have used various tools and software to streamline project management processes. Some of the key tools I’ve utilized include Microsoft Project for scheduling and resource allocation, Trello for task management and collaboration, and Smartsheet for tracking progress and generating reports.

I consider myself proficient in using these tools, as they have been an integral part of my daily work routine. My experience with them has allowed me to effectively manage projects by keeping track of deadlines, assigning tasks, monitoring progress, and ensuring clear communication among team members. Additionally, I am always open to learning new tools and technologies that can further enhance my project management capabilities.”

4. Describe a time when you had to manage a project with limited resources. How did you handle it?

Resource constraints are a common challenge in the world of project management, so hiring managers want to ensure you can effectively navigate these situations. By asking this question, they’re looking to see if you can think creatively, prioritize tasks, and make tough decisions to keep a project on track even when resources are limited. Demonstrating your ability to adapt and find solutions in these circumstances can set you apart as a strong candidate for the role.

Example: “I once managed a software development project where we faced budget constraints and limited team members. To handle this situation, I first conducted a thorough analysis of the available resources and prioritized tasks based on their importance to the project’s success.

I then implemented a lean approach by focusing on delivering the most critical features while minimizing waste in terms of time and effort. This involved breaking down the project into smaller, manageable tasks and assigning them to team members according to their expertise. We also utilized collaboration tools to improve communication and ensure everyone was aware of their responsibilities and deadlines.

Throughout the project, I closely monitored progress and made adjustments as needed to stay within our resource limitations. In the end, we successfully delivered a high-quality product that met client expectations despite the constraints we faced.”

5. How do you prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities among your team members?

A key aspect of project management is being able to efficiently allocate tasks and resources to ensure the project’s success. Interviewers want to gauge your ability to analyze workloads, identify team members’ strengths, and assign tasks effectively. This question helps them understand your decision-making process, leadership skills, and how you handle the complexities of managing a diverse team to achieve project goals.

Example: “When prioritizing tasks, I first identify the project’s critical path and key milestones to understand which activities have the most significant impact on the overall timeline. Then, I assess each task based on its urgency, importance, and dependencies with other tasks. This helps me create a priority list that aligns with the project goals and ensures timely completion.

For delegation, I consider my team members’ strengths, expertise, and workload. I communicate with them regularly to understand their capabilities and preferences, which allows me to assign tasks effectively. When delegating responsibilities, I clearly define expectations, deadlines, and any necessary resources. Additionally, I maintain an open line of communication for feedback and support, fostering a collaborative environment where team members feel empowered to take ownership of their tasks.”

6. What strategies do you use to keep a project on schedule and within budget?

Time and budget management are critical aspects of a project manager’s role. Employers want to ensure you have the necessary skills and strategies to keep projects on track and avoid unnecessary delays or cost overruns. Your ability to prioritize tasks, allocate resources efficiently, and manage potential risks effectively will showcase your value as a project manager who can deliver successful outcomes for the organization.

Example: “To keep a project on schedule and within budget, I employ a combination of proactive planning and continuous monitoring. During the initial stages, I develop a detailed project plan that outlines tasks, deadlines, and resources required. This involves collaborating with team members to identify potential risks and constraints, as well as establishing contingency plans for addressing them.

Throughout the project’s lifecycle, I maintain open communication channels with stakeholders and conduct regular progress meetings to ensure everyone is aligned and informed. This allows me to promptly address any issues or deviations from the plan and make necessary adjustments. Additionally, I use project management tools to track progress, resource allocation, and expenses, which helps me monitor the project’s health and make data-driven decisions to stay on target.”

7. Have you ever had to deal with a difficult stakeholder? If so, how did you handle the situation?

Project managers often face the challenge of balancing the needs and expectations of various stakeholders. Interviewers are keen to know if you can navigate through complex interpersonal dynamics, maintain professionalism, and keep the project on track even when faced with difficult individuals. Your ability to manage challenging stakeholders while maintaining positive working relationships is a key indicator of your potential success in the role.

Example: “Yes, I have encountered difficult stakeholders in the past. In one particular instance, a stakeholder was resistant to changes we proposed for a project and frequently questioned our decisions. To address this situation, I first ensured that I fully understood their concerns by actively listening and asking clarifying questions. This helped me gain insight into their perspective and identify any potential gaps in communication.

Once I had a clear understanding of their concerns, I arranged a meeting with the stakeholder, my team, and other relevant parties. During the meeting, we presented data-driven justifications for our proposed changes and demonstrated how they aligned with the overall project goals. We also encouraged open dialogue, allowing the stakeholder to voice their opinions and ask questions. Through this collaborative approach, we were able to address their concerns, build trust, and ultimately gain their support for the project’s direction.”

8. Can you provide an example of a project where you successfully managed risks and mitigated potential issues?

This question is essential for employers to gauge your ability to assess and manage risks in a project environment. It demonstrates your experience in foreseeing potential problems and taking proactive steps to mitigate them, ensuring the project’s success. Your response will reveal your problem-solving skills, adaptability, and understanding of project management methodologies, which are all critical in delivering projects on time and within budget.

Example: “Certainly, I was once responsible for managing a software development project with a tight deadline and limited resources. Early in the planning phase, I identified potential risks such as scope creep, resource constraints, and unforeseen technical challenges. To address these risks, I implemented several mitigation strategies.

For scope creep, I ensured that all stakeholders had a clear understanding of the project objectives and deliverables by conducting regular meetings and maintaining open communication channels. This helped to keep everyone aligned and focused on the agreed-upon goals.

To manage resource constraints, I worked closely with team leads to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively. We also established contingency plans, including identifying additional personnel who could be brought in if needed.

Regarding technical challenges, I encouraged my team to proactively identify potential issues and propose solutions early in the development process. This allowed us to address problems before they escalated and impacted the project timeline.

As a result of these risk management efforts, we successfully delivered the project on time and within budget, while maintaining high-quality standards. The client was extremely satisfied with our work, which led to further collaboration opportunities.”

9. How do you measure the success of a project, both during its execution and after completion?

Success measurement is a critical aspect of project management. Interviewers want to understand your approach to evaluating project progress, identifying potential pitfalls, and making necessary adjustments. They also want to see if you can effectively determine whether a project met its goals and objectives upon completion. Your ability to measure success demonstrates your strategic thinking and analytical skills, which are vital for a project manager role.

Example: “During a project’s execution, I measure success by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that are aligned with the project’s objectives. These KPIs may include metrics such as schedule adherence, budget utilization, and quality of deliverables. Regular monitoring of these KPIs allows me to identify potential issues early on and take corrective actions to keep the project on track.

Upon completion, I evaluate the project’s success based on whether it has met its predefined goals, such as delivering the desired outcome within the agreed-upon timeline and budget. Additionally, I gather feedback from stakeholders and team members to assess their satisfaction with the project management process and the final results. This feedback helps me identify areas for improvement in future projects and contributes to continuous learning and growth within the organization.”

10. Describe a time when you had to make a tough decision that impacted the outcome of a project.

Decision-making is a critical skill for project managers, as they often face difficult choices that can significantly affect the project’s success. By asking this question, interviewers aim to gauge your ability to analyze situations, weigh the pros and cons, and confidently make decisions that lead to the best possible outcomes. Sharing your experience demonstrates your thought process, leadership qualities, and ability to navigate challenges under pressure.

Example: “During a software development project I managed, we faced an unexpected issue with the integration of two critical components. The deadline was fast approaching, and resolving this issue would require additional time and resources that could potentially delay the project’s completion.

After consulting with my team and assessing the risks involved, I decided to temporarily halt work on other less-critical features and reallocate those resources to address the integration problem. This decision wasn’t easy, as it meant postponing some planned functionalities, but it was necessary to ensure the successful delivery of the core product.

As a result, we were able to resolve the integration issue within the revised timeline, and the project was completed successfully. Although some features were delayed, our client appreciated our transparency and commitment to delivering a high-quality product. This experience reinforced the importance of making tough decisions in the best interest of the project while maintaining open communication with stakeholders.”

11. How do you handle scope creep and prevent it from derailing a project?

Scope creep is a common challenge faced by project managers, and the ability to effectively manage it is essential to successfully complete projects on time and within budget. Interviewers want to know if you have the skills and experience to identify scope creep, address it with stakeholders, and implement strategies to prevent it from happening. Your response will demonstrate your ability to maintain control of a project and ensure it stays on track, which is a critical skill for a project manager.

Example: “To handle scope creep, I first establish a clear and detailed project scope during the planning phase, which includes well-defined objectives, deliverables, and timelines. This provides a solid foundation for managing any changes that may arise throughout the project.

When faced with potential scope creep, I follow a structured change management process. This involves evaluating the proposed change, assessing its impact on the project’s timeline, budget, and resources, and discussing it with relevant stakeholders. If the change is deemed necessary, I update the project plan accordingly and communicate the adjustments to all team members and stakeholders. This ensures everyone remains aligned and aware of the updated expectations.

To prevent scope creep from derailing a project, I maintain open communication channels with stakeholders and conduct regular progress meetings. This allows me to address concerns or requests early on and manage expectations effectively. Additionally, I emphasize the importance of adhering to the agreed-upon scope and encourage team members to raise any issues they encounter promptly, so we can proactively mitigate risks and keep the project on track.”

12. What is your approach to managing cross-functional teams with diverse skill sets?

Employers are interested in your approach to managing diverse teams because project managers need to effectively coordinate and lead people with different backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives to achieve a common goal. Your ability to demonstrate adaptability, empathy, and strong communication skills when working with cross-functional teams is essential to ensuring project success and fostering a healthy work environment.

Example: “When managing cross-functional teams with diverse skill sets, my approach is to focus on clear communication and collaboration. I start by ensuring that everyone understands the project’s objectives, their individual roles, and how each team member’s contributions fit into the bigger picture. This helps create a sense of shared purpose and responsibility.

To facilitate collaboration, I establish regular check-ins and progress meetings where team members can share updates, discuss challenges, and brainstorm solutions together. This open dialogue encourages knowledge sharing and fosters an environment where team members feel comfortable seeking assistance from colleagues with different expertise. Additionally, I use project management tools to track tasks, deadlines, and dependencies, making it easier for everyone to stay informed and aligned throughout the project lifecycle.

As a project manager, I also recognize the importance of being adaptable and responsive to changes in project scope or team dynamics. I continuously monitor progress and adjust plans as needed, while maintaining open lines of communication with all stakeholders to ensure expectations are managed effectively. This approach has consistently led to successful outcomes when working with diverse, cross-functional teams.”

13. How do you maintain open lines of communication between team members, stakeholders, and clients throughout a project’s lifecycle?

The success of a project often hinges on effective communication at every stage. Interviewers want to know whether you possess the ability to foster collaboration, transparency, and understanding between all parties involved. As a project manager, you’ll need to demonstrate your ability to identify potential communication gaps, establish clear channels of communication, and continuously adapt to changing project dynamics to ensure everyone stays informed and aligned with the project’s goals.

Example: “Maintaining open lines of communication is essential for a project’s success. To achieve this, I establish clear communication channels and protocols from the outset. For team members, I set up regular meetings, such as daily stand-ups or weekly progress updates, to ensure everyone stays informed about the project status and can address any concerns promptly. Additionally, I encourage an open-door policy where team members feel comfortable discussing issues or sharing ideas.

For stakeholders and clients, I schedule periodic update meetings and provide comprehensive reports detailing the project’s progress, challenges, and achievements. This ensures they remain engaged and well-informed throughout the project lifecycle. Furthermore, I make myself available for ad-hoc discussions and actively seek their feedback to maintain transparency and foster trust in our working relationship.”

14. Can you discuss your experience with change management and how you’ve implemented changes within a project?

Change is often an integral part of project management, and interviewers want to know that you can adapt when faced with shifting priorities, resources, or deadlines. Demonstrating your ability to analyze the situation, identify necessary changes, and successfully implement them while maintaining the project’s momentum is an essential skill for any project manager. Sharing examples of your experience managing change will show potential employers that you are proactive, adaptable, and able to lead your team through challenging transitions.

Example: “Certainly, change management is an essential aspect of project management, as it ensures that any alterations to the project scope or objectives are effectively managed and communicated. In one of my previous projects, we faced a significant change in client requirements midway through the development phase. This change had the potential to impact our timeline and budget.

To address this situation, I first assessed the implications of the new requirements on the overall project plan, including resource allocation, costs, and deadlines. After evaluating the changes, I discussed them with the project team and stakeholders to ensure everyone was aware of the adjustments and their consequences. We then revised the project plan accordingly, reallocating resources and adjusting timelines to accommodate the new requirements.

Throughout the process, I maintained open communication channels with all parties involved, providing regular updates on the progress and addressing any concerns promptly. This proactive approach to change management allowed us to successfully implement the required changes while minimizing disruptions to the project’s overall goals and maintaining stakeholder satisfaction.”

15. What steps do you take to ensure quality control throughout a project?

Project managers are responsible for delivering successful outcomes within the constraints of time, cost, and quality. Interviewers want to know that you have a plan in place to ensure quality control throughout the project lifecycle. This demonstrates your ability to identify potential risks, implement best practices, and consistently monitor progress to ensure that the final deliverables meet or exceed the expectations of your stakeholders.

Example: “To ensure quality control throughout a project, I start by setting clear expectations and defining measurable objectives during the planning phase. This involves collaborating with stakeholders to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the project’s goals.

Once the project is underway, I implement regular progress monitoring through status meetings and reports. These checkpoints allow me to track KPIs, identify any deviations from the plan, and take corrective actions as needed. Additionally, I encourage open communication within the team, fostering an environment where potential issues can be raised and addressed promptly.

Another essential step in maintaining quality control is conducting periodic reviews or audits of the project deliverables. This helps ensure that they meet the established standards and requirements. If discrepancies are found, I work closely with the team to address them and implement improvements. Ultimately, this proactive approach to quality control enables us to deliver successful projects that meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.”

16. Describe a time when you had to recover a project that was off track. What actions did you take?

As a project manager, you will inevitably encounter projects that veer off course due to unforeseen circumstances, misaligned expectations, or resource constraints. Employers want to know that you can identify when a project is off track and have the necessary skills to bring it back in line with its goals. Sharing your experience in handling such situations showcases your adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and leadership skills – all of which are essential in managing projects successfully.

Example: “I once managed a software development project that was falling behind schedule due to unforeseen technical challenges. The team was struggling with integrating new features into the existing system, which led to delays and increased pressure on all members.

To recover the project, I first conducted a thorough analysis of the situation by identifying the root causes of the issues and assessing their impact on the overall timeline. Then, I organized a meeting with the team to openly discuss the problems and brainstorm potential solutions. We decided to prioritize critical tasks, allocate additional resources where needed, and adjust the project scope to accommodate the changes.

Throughout this process, I maintained open communication with stakeholders, keeping them informed about the progress and any adjustments made to the project plan. This transparency helped build trust and ensured everyone was aligned with the revised objectives. As a result, we were able to overcome the challenges, deliver the project successfully, and meet client expectations.”

17. How do you stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices in project management?

Staying current with industry trends and best practices is vital for any successful project manager. Hiring managers want to ensure that you, as a candidate, are proactive in your professional development and are continually expanding your knowledge and skills. This question helps them gauge your commitment to staying informed and adapting to new methodologies, tools, and techniques in the ever-evolving field of project management.

Example: “To stay current with industry trends and best practices in project management, I actively participate in professional development activities. This includes attending conferences, workshops, and webinars that focus on the latest methodologies and tools in the field. These events not only provide valuable insights but also offer opportunities to network with other professionals and learn from their experiences.

Furthermore, I subscribe to reputable project management publications and blogs, which help me keep abreast of new developments and case studies. Additionally, I am a member of several online forums and LinkedIn groups where project managers discuss challenges, share knowledge, and exchange ideas. This continuous learning approach ensures that I remain well-informed about emerging trends and can apply the most effective strategies to manage projects successfully.”

18. What methods do you use to assess the performance of your team members and provide feedback?

Understanding your approach to evaluating your team’s performance and providing constructive feedback is essential for interviewers. As a project manager, your ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and help them grow is critical to the success of any project. By asking this question, hiring managers are looking for insight into your leadership skills, communication style, and how you foster a supportive and productive work environment.

Example: “To assess the performance of my team members, I use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitatively, I track key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to each team member’s role, such as task completion rates, adherence to deadlines, and budget management. This data-driven approach helps me identify areas where individuals excel or may need improvement.

Qualitatively, I observe how team members collaborate, communicate, and contribute to problem-solving during meetings and project-related discussions. Additionally, I gather feedback from other stakeholders who interact with the team members to gain a well-rounded perspective on their performance.

To provide constructive feedback, I schedule regular one-on-one meetings with each team member. During these sessions, I discuss both their strengths and areas for improvement, using specific examples from recent projects. I also encourage open dialogue, allowing them to share their thoughts and concerns. Together, we develop an action plan to address any identified weaknesses and set goals for personal and professional growth. This balanced approach ensures that my team members receive comprehensive feedback and support to enhance their performance and contribute effectively to our projects.”

19. Have you ever had to terminate a project before completion? If so, what were the reasons and how did you handle it?

Terminating a project before completion is a challenging but sometimes necessary decision. Interviewers want to gauge your ability to recognize when a project is no longer viable, and how you handle the process of shutting it down. This demonstrates your capacity to make tough choices, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and navigate the complexities of project management while prioritizing the company’s best interests.

Example: “Yes, I have experienced a situation where we had to terminate a project before completion. The project involved developing a new software application for one of our clients. However, midway through the development process, the client’s business requirements changed significantly due to an unexpected market shift. This change rendered our initial solution no longer viable or cost-effective.

Upon realizing this, I immediately called for a meeting with the project stakeholders, including the client, to discuss the implications of these changes and explore potential alternatives. After thorough analysis and discussions, it became clear that continuing with the original project plan would not meet the client’s revised objectives and could result in wasted resources. We collectively decided to terminate the project and focus on reevaluating the client’s needs to develop a more suitable solution.

Although it was disappointing to halt the project, open communication and collaboration with all parties involved allowed us to make an informed decision that ultimately served the best interests of both our team and the client. It also reinforced the importance of being adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances in project management.”

20. How do you manage and resolve conflicts within your project team?

Conflict management is an essential skill for any project manager, as it directly impacts the success of the project. Interviewers want to know how you handle disagreements or tensions within your team, and whether you can address and resolve issues while maintaining a positive and productive work environment. Your answer should demonstrate your ability to identify, assess, and address conflicts in a constructive manner, ultimately leading to stronger team dynamics and project outcomes.

Example: “When conflicts arise within a project team, my first step is to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent it from escalating. I begin by gathering all parties involved in the conflict for an open and honest discussion. This allows everyone to express their concerns, frustrations, or misunderstandings while ensuring that each person feels heard and respected.

After understanding the root cause of the conflict, I work with the team members to identify potential solutions and reach a consensus on how to move forward. This may involve compromise, reassigning tasks, or adjusting timelines to accommodate different perspectives and priorities. Throughout this process, I emphasize the importance of focusing on the project’s overall goals and maintaining a collaborative mindset.

Once a resolution has been agreed upon, I monitor the situation closely to ensure that the conflict does not resurface and that the team remains cohesive and productive. If necessary, I also provide additional support or resources to help the team overcome any lingering challenges related to the conflict.”

21. Can you discuss a time when you had to adapt your project management approach based on the specific needs of a project?

Flexibility and adaptability are essential qualities for a project manager. Every project is unique, and there will be times when the usual methods may not be the most effective. By asking this question, interviewers want to assess your ability to recognize when a change in approach is needed, how you adapt to new situations, and how you ensure the project’s success despite unforeseen challenges. This also demonstrates your willingness to learn, grow, and evolve as a project manager.

Example: “Certainly, I recall a project where we were implementing a new software system for a client. Initially, our team planned to follow the traditional Waterfall methodology, as it had worked well for us in previous projects. However, during the initial stages, we realized that the client’s requirements were evolving rapidly and they needed more flexibility to accommodate changes.

Recognizing this need for adaptability, I decided to switch our approach to Agile project management. This allowed us to work in shorter sprints, enabling the team to quickly respond to any changes in the client’s needs. We also increased communication with the client through regular meetings and progress updates, ensuring their feedback was incorporated throughout the development process.

This change in approach proved successful, as it allowed us to deliver a solution that met the client’s expectations while staying within budget and timeline constraints. It reinforced the importance of being adaptable and selecting the right project management methodology based on the specific needs of each project.”

22. What is your experience with managing remote teams, and how do you ensure their productivity and engagement?

In today’s increasingly global and remote work environment, project managers need to be adept at managing diverse teams, often located in different time zones and with varying work styles. This question aims to gauge your experience and ability to effectively lead remote team members while maintaining productivity and engagement. It also provides insight into how you adapt your communication and collaboration strategies to accommodate remote work scenarios, ensuring successful project outcomes.

Example: “I have managed remote teams in several projects, and I understand the unique challenges that come with it. To ensure productivity and engagement, I focus on clear communication, setting expectations, and fostering a sense of team unity.

Clear communication is essential for remote teams. I use various tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software to keep everyone informed about project updates, deadlines, and any changes. Regular check-ins and virtual meetings help maintain open lines of communication and provide opportunities for team members to ask questions or raise concerns.

Setting expectations is another key aspect. At the beginning of each project, I establish goals, roles, and responsibilities for each team member. This helps them understand their part in the project’s success and allows me to track progress effectively. Additionally, I encourage team members to set personal milestones and share their achievements during our regular meetings.

To foster team unity, I create opportunities for team bonding through virtual team-building activities and informal chats. This helps build trust among team members and promotes collaboration, even when working remotely. In my experience, these strategies have proven effective in maintaining productivity and engagement within remote teams.”

23. Describe a situation where you had to balance multiple projects simultaneously. How did you prioritize and allocate resources effectively?

Time management, prioritization, and resource allocation are essential skills for any successful project manager. By asking this question, interviewers want to gauge your ability to juggle multiple projects while ensuring each one progresses smoothly and meets its deadlines. This will help them determine if you can effectively allocate resources, manage competing priorities, and make strategic decisions that contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Example: “During my tenure at a software development company, I was responsible for managing three projects simultaneously, each with different deadlines and resource requirements. To effectively prioritize tasks and allocate resources, I first conducted a thorough analysis of each project’s scope, objectives, and constraints.

I then created a detailed project plan for each, outlining milestones, dependencies, and potential risks. This allowed me to identify critical tasks that required immediate attention and those that could be scheduled later. Using this information, I prioritized the projects based on their urgency, complexity, and impact on overall business goals.

To allocate resources efficiently, I assessed the skill sets and availability of team members and assigned them to tasks where they could contribute most effectively. Additionally, I held regular progress meetings to monitor performance, address any issues, and adjust resource allocation as needed. This proactive approach enabled me to successfully manage multiple projects while ensuring timely delivery and optimal use of resources.”

24. Have you ever managed a project that required collaboration with external vendors or partners? If so, how did you coordinate efforts between all parties involved?

Collaboration is a key aspect of successful project management, and working with external vendors or partners can introduce additional challenges. Interviewers want to know if you have experience navigating these situations, as well as how you effectively coordinate efforts among different parties. Demonstrating your ability to communicate, problem-solve, and maintain strong working relationships under these circumstances will show that you can handle the complexities of managing projects in a dynamic environment.

Example: “Yes, I have managed several projects that required collaboration with external vendors and partners. One notable example was a software development project where we needed to integrate our system with an external payment gateway provider. To ensure smooth coordination between all parties involved, I took the following steps:

1. Establish clear communication channels: At the outset of the project, I set up regular meetings and designated points of contact for each party. This helped streamline communication and ensured everyone stayed informed about progress, issues, and decisions.

2. Define roles and responsibilities: I worked closely with both internal team members and external partners to clearly outline their respective roles and responsibilities. This clarity prevented confusion and overlapping efforts while ensuring accountability throughout the project.

3. Monitor progress and address challenges: Throughout the project, I actively monitored progress against milestones and addressed any challenges or roadblocks as they arose. When necessary, I facilitated discussions between stakeholders to resolve conflicts and maintain momentum towards our goals.

This approach allowed us to successfully complete the project on time and within budget, ultimately delivering a seamless integration that improved our customers’ experience.”

25. What strategies do you use to motivate your team members and maintain high levels of morale throughout a project?

Project success often hinges on the motivation and morale of the team members involved. A project manager’s ability to inspire and maintain a positive work environment is critical to keeping the team engaged and focused on the end goal. This question allows interviewers to gauge your leadership style, interpersonal skills, and understanding of human dynamics, as well as your ability to adapt to different personalities and situations when managing projects.

Example: “One strategy I use to motivate team members is setting clear expectations and goals from the outset, ensuring everyone understands their role and how it contributes to the project’s success. This helps create a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members. Additionally, I encourage open communication and collaboration, fostering an environment where ideas are valued and everyone feels heard.

To maintain high morale throughout the project, I regularly check in with team members, providing feedback on their progress and addressing any concerns or challenges they may face. Celebrating milestones and acknowledging individual achievements also plays a significant role in boosting morale. Lastly, I strive to lead by example, demonstrating enthusiasm and commitment to the project, which often inspires the same level of dedication from my team.”

26. How do you handle unexpected obstacles or challenges that arise during a project?

Facing the unexpected is practically a given in the world of project management. Interviewers want to know that you can adapt, think on your feet, and find creative solutions to keep the project on track. Demonstrating your ability to manage challenges effectively and maintain a positive attitude can reassure the hiring team that you’re the right person to lead their projects to success.

Example: “When unexpected obstacles or challenges arise during a project, my first step is to assess the situation and gather as much information as possible. This helps me understand the root cause of the issue and its potential impact on the project timeline, budget, and overall objectives.

Once I have a clear understanding of the problem, I involve relevant team members and stakeholders in discussing potential solutions. Open communication and collaboration are key to addressing challenges effectively. We evaluate each solution based on feasibility, cost, and alignment with project goals before selecting the most appropriate course of action.

After implementing the chosen solution, I closely monitor progress to ensure that the issue has been resolved and the project remains on track. Additionally, I update the risk management plan to account for any new risks identified during this process, helping us better anticipate and mitigate similar issues in the future.”

27. Can you provide an example of a project where you successfully managed tight deadlines and high-pressure situations?

Deadlines and high-pressure situations are inevitable in the world of project management. Employers want to know if you have the skills and experience to navigate these challenging circumstances. Demonstrating how you’ve successfully managed tight deadlines and high-pressure situations in the past gives employers confidence that you can handle similar situations in the future and deliver projects on time and within budget.

Example: “Certainly, I was once tasked with managing a software development project for a major client who needed the product delivered within an unusually tight deadline due to their own internal pressures. The stakes were high as our company’s reputation and future business opportunities depended on meeting this deadline.

To tackle this challenge, I immediately assembled a skilled team and conducted a thorough risk assessment to identify potential bottlenecks and obstacles. We then developed a detailed project plan with clearly defined milestones and responsibilities, ensuring that each team member understood their role and the importance of timely delivery. To maintain momentum and address any issues promptly, we held daily stand-up meetings where progress updates were shared, and concerns were discussed openly.

As the project progressed, we encountered some unexpected technical challenges which threatened to delay our timeline. However, by reallocating resources, implementing creative problem-solving techniques, and maintaining open communication with both the team and the client, we managed to overcome these hurdles without compromising quality. Ultimately, we successfully delivered the project on time, exceeding the client’s expectations and securing further business opportunities for our company.”

28. What role does documentation play in your project management process, and what types of documents do you typically create and maintain?

Documentation is a critical aspect of project management, and interviewers want to ensure that you recognize its importance. The purpose of this question is to gauge your ability to maintain clear, organized, and up-to-date records throughout the project lifecycle. This includes understanding the various types of documents needed—such as project plans, status reports, and risk assessments—and how they contribute to a project’s success. Proper documentation helps ensure that project goals are met, stakeholders are informed, and potential issues are addressed in a timely manner.

Example: “Documentation plays a critical role in my project management process, as it helps maintain transparency, track progress, and ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page. Proper documentation also serves as a reference for future projects, enabling teams to learn from past experiences and improve their processes.

Some of the key documents I typically create and maintain include project charters, which outline the project’s objectives, scope, and stakeholders; work breakdown structures (WBS), which break down tasks into manageable components; risk registers, which identify potential risks and mitigation strategies; and communication plans, detailing how information will be shared among team members and stakeholders. Additionally, I maintain status reports and meeting minutes to keep everyone informed about the project’s progress and any decisions made during meetings.

To manage these documents effectively, I use project management software and establish clear version control protocols. This ensures that all team members have access to the most up-to-date information and minimizes confusion caused by outdated or conflicting documents.”

29. How do you ensure that lessons learned from previous projects are applied to future initiatives?

Learning from experience is a key aspect of being an effective project manager, and interviewers want to know that you understand the value of continuous improvement. By applying lessons learned from previous projects, you can avoid making the same mistakes, foster a culture of growth and development within your team, and ultimately increase the likelihood of success in future initiatives.

Example: “To ensure that lessons learned from previous projects are applied to future initiatives, I implement a structured process for capturing and sharing knowledge. After the completion of each project, I conduct a thorough post-mortem analysis with my team, where we discuss what went well, what could have been improved, and any challenges faced during the project lifecycle.

Once we’ve identified key takeaways, I document these lessons in a centralized repository accessible to all relevant stakeholders. This allows us to reference past experiences when planning new projects and helps prevent repeating mistakes or overlooking successful strategies. Additionally, I incorporate these learnings into our standard operating procedures and training materials, ensuring that both current and future team members can benefit from this accumulated knowledge.

Furthermore, I encourage open communication and collaboration within the team, fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their insights and experiences. This culture of continuous improvement not only helps us apply lessons learned but also drives innovation and efficiency across all our projects.”

30. In your opinion, what are the most important qualities for a successful project manager to possess?

Project managers must lead teams and oversee numerous tasks to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. By asking this question, interviewers want to gauge your understanding of the essential traits required for effective project management. They’re also interested in your personal approach and whether it aligns with the company’s culture and expectations for the role.

Example: “I believe that effective communication and adaptability are two of the most important qualities for a successful project manager. Communication is essential because it enables the project manager to convey expectations, goals, and updates clearly to all team members and stakeholders. This ensures everyone is on the same page and working towards a common objective. Additionally, strong communication skills help in resolving conflicts, negotiating with vendors, and presenting progress reports to senior management.

Adaptability is equally vital as projects often face unforeseen challenges or changes in scope. A successful project manager must be able to adjust their approach and find creative solutions when faced with obstacles. This flexibility allows them to keep the project moving forward while maintaining a positive attitude, which ultimately contributes to the overall success of the project.”

30 Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

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  • Project Management
  • Project Management Scenario

Project Management Scenario Interview Questions and Answers Project Management

  • 55 Question(s)
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Project management scenario is an explanation of what proposals will look like once it's completed. A project management scenario helps planners identify potential problems that might take place in the process so they can be taken care of in the project planning for a smooth outcome. Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate or experienced in creating project management scenarios, this write-up will aid you in increasing your knowledge of project management scenario. The questions below are broken down into several topics. You can find step-by-step explanations for each question and understand the concept in detail. With Project Management Scenario interview questions, you can be confident about your preparation for the upcoming interview.

Basic & Advance

1. how will you initiate your new project.

Knowledge Area:Project Integration Management

As a PM, I need to understand the objectives and the goals of the project clearly. I need to establish a formal understanding with my sponsor and other key stakeholders about the project needs to be fulfilled, objectives and final goals to be achieved. I will seek formal authorization for starting the new project. I also need to start identifying all the stakeholders of the project, both within our organization and also from the client side.

Two documents namely project charter and stakeholder register are prepared during project initiation.

  • Project charter is initiated by the sponsor to officially appoint the PM and also to establish the agreed project objectives and goals.
  • Stakeholder register is prepared to capture the detailed list of all project stakeholders, with all relevant information about the stakeholders.

2. Will you need more information about the project? If yes, how will you find out more details of the project at this stage?

Knowledge Area:Project Integration Management  

Since this is the initial stage of the project, I will seek more information about the project from the sponsor and business development team of our organization. If needed, I will also plan discussions with other key stakeholders to understand the reasons for doing this project and to understand the business needs and expected outcomes from the project.

3. Which documents you will like to refer to in order to have a clear understanding of the project?

Since this project is to be done for an external client, there must be an agreement/contract already signed between the client and our organization. I will request to get access to a copy of the contract. I will also request to see a copy of our proposal and internal estimation done by our team before signing the contract. The contract/agreement will provide more information about the expected goals of the customer. From the contract I can understand about the scope of the project, and other constraints such as time and cost which are being agreed.

4. What will be your expectations from your sponsor at this stage, which will facilitate a smooth initiation of the new project?

As a PM, I will need support from senior management from time to time with regards to mobilising resources, getting the funding in time, coordinating with other functional groups for project work and making various project decisions in a timely manner etc. I will look forward to my sponsor for his/her support on above matters as needed. I will explain about the importance of his/her timely and unstinted support for the project success and request for the same.

5. Will you need to know who all will be your stakeholders?

Knowledge Area: Project Stakeholder Management

Yes, very much. I will need to know about all the stakeholders in the project in hand.

6. Why you need to know about the stakeholders?

Knowledge Area: Project Stakeholder Management  

Stakeholders are the real people or groups or organizations whose interests have to be fulfilled through the project. Project is being undertaken to fulfil stakeholder expectations and needs. Hence knowing them and engaging them through the project right from initiation will be critical for project success.

7. How will you identify your stakeholders?  Who are they?

Stakeholders are all the people or organizations or groups who are directly involved in the project, whose interests may be positively or negatively impacted by the outcome of the project, who can influence and impact the project with their power and money.

A stakeholder register is prepared. We can identify the stakeholders by asking the following questions to ourselves –

  • Who will use the end product/solution created from the project
  • Who will help with their skills and knowledge in developing the final product of the project
  • Who will give the requirements for the project
  • Who will provide funding for the project
  • Who will provide other kind of support
  • Who will provide resources for the project
  • Who will provide any kind of special guidelines or regulations to be followed/complied to while working in the project

8. What is a stakeholder analysis and Power-Interest Grid used for?

We need to make an exhaustive list of all stakeholders who will be somehow connected with the project. Once the list of stakeholders is prepared, there is a need to prioritize the stakeholders in terms of their significance in the project.

One of the practical and popular methods for analysing the stakeholders is analysing and assessing their level of power and interest in the project. The stakeholders are classified into different groups such as:

  • How Power – High Interest,
  • High Power – Low Interest,
  • Low Power – High Interest and
  • Low Power – Low Interest groups.

This helps in prioritizing their positions in the project, which in turn will be helpful in devising appropriate stakeholder engagement strategies for each group.

For more detailed understanding about stakeholder management, refer: Stakeholder Management

9. What do the following documents contain and what is the significance of these documents during project initiation?

  • Business case document:

Understanding the financial feasibility and reasons of doing a new project is important. Business case provides a detailed financial analysis of investments to be made and benefits to be reaped from the project with a final justification either to do or not do a project. Business case document is one of the first documents to be referred for an internal project to be initiated.

A document which is a contract siged with an external customer and is used for initiating a new project. This document will lay the boundaries of the new project with regard to the scope, time and cost and the agreed terms and conditions between the requesting organization and performing organization. It is one of the initial documents the project manager will like to refer to understand about the project.

  • Project charter:   

This is the very first initial document of any new project getting initiated. Project charter establishes the formal authorization for the new project. This document will lay down the objectives of the project, the name of the PM and will be approved by the initiator/sponsor. The business case and/or the agreement will be referred while preparing the project charter document.

Please refer to the link for more details on this: Project Charter

  • Stakeholder register:

This is a very important document which is used to list all the stakeholders and all the relevant information about each stakeholder. This document is also used to include the information about their interest and power towards the project, their current levels of engagement such as resistor, neutral or supporter of the project. This is one of the first documents created during the project initiation. This is a live dynamic document. As new stakeholders are identified through the project life cycle, their relevant information will be added into the stakeholder register.

10. Understanding detailed requirement is fundamental to a successful project. How will you collect requirements for the project?  From whom will you collect requirements?  List few techniques you will use for collecting requirements. Different classification of requirements

Knowledge Area:  Project Scope Management

  • The detailed project requirements will have to be collected from the various stakeholders. In the case of an ERP, we need to collect requirements from all levels of stakeholders. We need to understand the expectations of CXO level stakeholders, department head level stakeholders, departmental experts, end users of the solution in each department, from their IT department who later on will own the solution.
  • The requirements will have to be collected and understood through different mode of interaction with the stakeholders. Stakeholders initially may not know very clearly about all their requirements. Some cases stakeholders may find it difficult to explain and articulate their requirements. The project manager and the team will have to drive this process of requirements gathering by facilitating and driving the process.
  • Data Gathering (Brainstorming, Benchmarking, Focus Groups, Interviews, Questionnaires and Surveys)
  • Data Analysis (Analysing various existing documents of the project such as business case, agreement, regulatory documents, proposals etc.)
  • Observation (Shadowing and observing how people are working)
  • Categorizing and grouping of ideas and requirements (Affinity Diagram)
  • Prioritizing the requirements (Nominal Group Technique – Voting with the group. Using MuScoW and other techniques of prioritization )
  • Prototyping
  • A detailed requirement document is prepared using the above techniques as applicable. The requirements thus gathered can further be classified in various categories such as functional, non-functional, reliability, security, user interface related, quality, and regulatory, transition etc. Such classification will make it easier for the team to visual different aspects of the requirements and accordingly give appropriate focus in addressing them.
  • For more detailed understanding of this process, please refer: Requirement collection

11. What is a requirement traceability matrix? What is the utility and significance of maintaining a requirement traceability matrix?

Knowledge Area:  Project Scope Management  

The requirements are collected in consultation with various stakeholders. Once the requirements are agreed, the project team will have to develop the end product/solution and make sure that all the requirements are fulfilled and nothing is missed.

When the project team is finally ready with the product and will be seeking final acceptance from stakeholders, it is often observed that few requirements may be missing. Having missing requirements at this stage will become a serious issue. The missing requirement will have to be immediately addressed and completed. It may require huge amount of rework in some cases and lot of unnecessary embarrassment for the team.

A requirement traceability matrix is used to address this phenomenon of missing requirements. Mostly requirements may be missing because of human error and oversight. A well designed traceability matrix will track each requirement in every phase of development. And will ensure a phase cannot be closed unless all the requirements initially collected have been successfully taken care of in the phase. This way, the team will track every requirement before closing each phase. This enables the team to ensure that no requirement misses the attention of the team and goes unnoticed to the next phases.

This is a very simple mechanism, but a powerful and effective mechanism to ensure that every requirement gathered initially gets delivered finally without any miss during the development phase.

12. Developing a comprehensive project management plan is very important. What is a project plan? What do you plan during project planning? What are the details that will be there inside the project management plan? Who will prepare the project management plan? What is a project baseline?

  • A project plan is a comprehensive document which contains detailed information about how the project will be executed, how the project will be monitored and finally how the project will be closed. A project plan is similar to a blueprint or a guideline for the team to be followed during the project.
  • Project planning is a structured approach to develop an integrated project plan by developing and integrating the subsidiary plans of scope, schedule, cost, resources, quality, communication, risk, procurement and stakeholder.

The final project plan will include the above subsidiary plans. It will also include the detailed project scope, detailed schedule and detailed cost estimates and expenditure plan. These are referred as the scope, schedule and cost baselines.

The project plan also will include the project life cycle and the associated phases, change management plan, configuration management plan etc.

  • The project planning will be carried out by the project manager by taking the help of the core team members who will assist in developing the different components of the plan. The core team will also assist in estimating. The team will refer to the project charter document to understand the initial constraints of scope, time and cost as laid down. The detailed plan will be prepared to meet these constraints or goals.

The team will first start with elaborating the project scope, developing estimates for duration, cost and resources for each activity or work package in the project scope. In addition the team will also prepare a risk management plan, risk responses, communication management plan, quality management plan, stakeholder engagement plan, and procurement management plan to complete the overall project plan.

  • Once the detailed project plan is prepared by the team, the plan finally gets approved by the sponsor or by the customer. The approved plan will have the scope, time and cost baselines approved. The project baselines will be used as a reference for measuring performance once project execution begins. Any deviation from these baselines will be treated as project variances. These baselines form the boundary of the so called triple constraints.

13. WBS is an important part of the project plan. What is a WBS? How does a WBS help in preparing a good plan?

  • WBS (Work breakdown structure) is the most important tool & technique for understanding and organizing the complete project scope. The WBS later is used for developing a more robust and clear project plan.
  • The project scope is the most fundamental aspect of the project. During project initiation, the project scope will be defined in very high level as an objective statement such as “Implement the HR, Finance and Inventory modules of ERP within 12 months”.
  • It is important to define and refine the project objective and project requirements. Thereafter the team needs to elaborate the project scope in detail. Project scope will include all the deliverables of the project and all the associated work that needs to be done to fulfil all the requirements.
  • Estimating the duration, cost and resource for each smaller component with higher accuracy
  • Clearly assign roles and responsibilities of different work components among the team members
  • Develop an Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS) based on the WBS
  • Monitor and track each work package with clarity
  • Identify project risk much more comprehensively for each group of work packages
  • The above points are the benefits of making a WBS. A good WBS leads to a very credible and accurate project plan, which will facilitate smooth execution of work and meaningful tracking of progress. If there is no WBS, essentially there is no meaningful and credible project management. Hence WBS is the most fundamental part of the overall project management plan.
  • For more clear understanding refer: Work breakdown structure
  • Also refer to this to know more on scope planning, Project scope definition

14. What is a critical path? Is this important in project planning? How does it help?

Knowledge Area : Project Schedule Management

Once the project scope of work is well understood and captured in the form of a work breakdown structure, then all these work packages will have to be scheduled to complete all the work as per an overall time deadline. All the work packages (which are smaller deliverables) are further decomposed into activities, all the activities are sequenced based on the dependencies between them, duration estimation of each task is done and finally a project schedule is prepared.

The project schedule will look like a network diagram connecting all the activities from the beginning till the end. There will be multiple paths in the network diagram, since there will be many parallel tasks also running (where there is no dependency), with different scheduled activities. Activities in all the paths of the project network will have to be completed to complete the project.

The overall minimum project duration to complete all the work will be the duration of the path having the longest duration. This path with longest duration is the minimum time to complete the project as a whole. This longest path is referred as “critical path”.

“Critical path” is the most important path to monitor. All the activities on the critical path must be completed in time to complete the project in time. Hence the only rational and clear method for completing the project in time is to ensure that all the critical activities (all activities on critical path) must not be delayed and must be completed in time.

Hence identification and management of the “critical path” is a must for completing the project in a timely manner. There is no flexibility as such on the critical path.

For more detailed understanding of critical path, refer to: critical path method cpm

15. What is the difference between cost estimating and cost budgeting?

Knowledge Area: Project Cost Management

Cost estimating is the process of identifying all the cost drivers and arriving at the total monetary amount needed to be provisioned for completing the project. The resources to be used for developing the ERP solution will cost money. Cost estimation will take into account all the resource cost (man power, machine, material, facilities etc.).

Cost budgeting is the process of identifying the cumulative expenditures at major milestones of the project by aggregating the individual cost estimates over a time. This process includes dividing the total project estimate against the project schedule and prepares an expenditure plan and arrives at the funding requirements at different stages of the project. Cost budgeting will help the management to accordingly arrange for funds in a timely manner for the project.

16. What kind of resources you will need for the project?

Knowledge Area:Project Resource Management

The project will require various kinds of resources such as:

  • Human resources (Business analysts, Technical Experts, Developers, Testers etc.)
  • Machines (Equipment, Hardware, Software etc.) (Development and Test Environment)
  • Facilities (Office space, Labs, storage and warehouse etc.)

Resource needed for the project have to be estimated diligently. Typically resource estimation will be done at the activity level and the entire resource requirement for all activities will be aggregated to arrive at the total resource requirement.

Project resource estimate (quantity and duration) will become the major input for completing the project cost estimate.

17. What is a RACI matrix? How does this help in resource management?

Knowledge Area: Project Resource Management 

Once the project execution begins, it will be important to clearly assign roles and responsibilities among the various team members. Multiple people and stakeholders may be involved in every task. Hence clarity on who will be doing what is very important to eliminate all kinds of ambiguity.

RACI is a matrix based responsibility assignment chart for the above purpose. The possible roles include “responsible”, “accountable”, “consult”, and “inform” as per this chart. RACI charts are used extensively as this is one of the most popular matrix based responsibility chart.

For more detailed understanding, please refer: Raci chart tool

18. You are aware that various risks may occur during the project. What are project risks? How do you plan for the project risks? What steps do you take in risk planning?

Knowledge Area: Project Risk Management  

Risks are uncertain events which may occur during the project bringing about a positive or negative impact on the project objectives of scope, time, cost and quality. If the event brings a positive impact, they are referred to as positive risks or opportunities, and if the event brings a negative impact, they are referred to as negative risks or threats.

Risks are potential future events or situations which may occur during the project life cycle. Managing such events proactivel y is critical to manage the project successfully. Risk management will thus include maximising the opportunities and minimising the threats.

Risk management steps will include the following:

  • Identify risks
  • Analyse risks (their probability and impact)
  • Prioritize risks
  • Develop risk responses proactively for opportunities and threats

A risk register document is prepared which contains all the risk events, their probability and impact, ranking and response plan for each of the risk event. The risk register document becomes an important reference for completing the overall project schedule and cost estimates.

For better understanding of Project Risk Management, refer: Project risk management

19. What is cost of quality?

Cost of quality includes all the cost incurred to ensure that the customer has a quality product. It includes the cost of conforming to quality and cost not conforming to quality.

  • Cost of conformance includes cost of all the proactive steps taken to ensure quality. It includes prevention and appraisal cost.
  • Cost of non-conformance includes all the cost incurred in rework, scrap, replacement, warranty, failure cost etc.
  • Cost of conformance is the investments made to ensure the cost of non-conformance to be very minimal.

20. You have to ensure quality of the final deliverables. You have heard about Quality Assurance and Quality Control which are used for managing quality. What is the difference between QA and QC?

Knowledge Area: Project Quality Management

Managing the quality of the project deliverables is extremely important. Quality of the deliverables is ensured by doing both Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

Quality Assurance comes from the laid down processes and standards to do the project work. Adherence to the processes and standards assures that the final deliverables will meet the expected standards of quality. This is done proactively through the execution and development.

Quality Control is the process of monitoring the final deliverables and results created by the team after adhering to the chosen processes and standards. Quality Control uses inspection to check if the final deliverable is correct in all respect and meets all the expected specification or not.

For more detailed understanding on the above topic, refer: Qualty assurance and quality control

21. If your project will require, procuring man power, goods or services or even outsourcing some part of development to third parties.

Knowledge Area:Project Procurement Management

  • How do you plan for your procurements?

We will quickly do a make or buy analysis. We check our existing resource pool and capabilities to decide if we can do the entire development or we will need some kind of assistance from third parties. IF we will realize that we need to outsource some development work or if we realize that we may have to augment our team by hiring some expert staff members contractually for the project, we will need to plan for procurement. We need to clearly decide and define what we need to procure.

To know more about procurement management, refer our article at:  procurement management

  • What are the different types of bid documents you may be preparing for procurement management?

Once we decide what we need to procure, may it be man power or may it be outsourcing a chunk of work, we will have to develop a statement of work. We also will have to identify other terms and conditions which we expect the suppliers to fulfil. We also need to identify clear criteria for selecting the suppliers. We than need to put all these information in a formal document referred as a bid document.

Some of the popular bid documents include request for proposal (RFP), request for quote (RFQ), request for information (RFI), request for bid (RFB) etc.

The above documents as appropriate then will be floated and shared with prospective bidders/suppliers so that they can understand our requirements and can prepare a proposal for us.

To know more about them, refer our article at: procurement documents

  • What contract types you will be using for engaging with suppliers and contractors for different procurements?

There will be a need for getting into a formal agreement with the selected suppliers. These agreements will be legally binding agreements for safeguarding the interests and rights of both sides, while defining the obligations of both sides as well.

There are a number of contract types which exist, and can be appropriately selected in different situations. Broadly the contract types include the following:

  • Fixed Price Contract
  • Time and Material Contract
  • Cost Reimbursable Contract

To know more about contract types, you can refer our article at: project contract types

22. Stakeholder engagement is very important for project success.

Knowledge Area:Project Stakeholder Management

  • How do you plan for stakeholder engagement?

Once the stakeholders are identified and listed in the stakeholder register, we also do a stakeholder analysis using power-interest grid to segregate them into different groups so that we can develop appropriate engagement strategies for each group of stakeholders. Below are the high level strategies we adopt to engage them:

  • High Power – High Interest -   Manage closely
  • High Power – Low Interest  - Keep satisfied
  • Low Power – High Interest  - Keep informed
  • Low Power – Low Interest  - Monitor

The above helps us to prioritize our attention and efforts accordingly.

  • What are a stakeholder engagement matrix and the usage of the same?

While developing the stakeholder engagement strategies, it is also important to quickly check the current level of engagement of each stakeholder and the desired level of engagement of each of them for project success. Once we identify the current level and desired level of engagement for each stakeholder, we can then define very specific actions which will help us to move the stakeholders to the desired level of engagement.

The stakeholders may fall in one of five levels of engagements such as “unaware”, “resistant”, “neutral”, “supportive” and “leading”.

Below is a matrix:

Stakeholder 1

Stakeholder 2


Stakeholder 3


The above matrix once prepared, provides clarity to the team to define right actions and strategies for moving each of the stakeholders from their “ C urrent” level to “ D esired” level of engagement.

23. Communication management is central to project success, ensuring right information flows to each stakeholder for effective engagement.

Knowledge Area: Project Communication Management

How do you plan for communication?

Communication is the only way of engaging with stakeholders. Right information should be sent to the right stakeholder at the right time in a manner preferred by the stakeholder. A communication approach should be developed for effective and efficient information sharing to attain the required level of stakeholder engagement.

There are various types of communication such as written, verbal and non-verbal. Information can be shared using different technologies or medium. Information can be shared using various methods such as interactive, push and pull. Each stakeholder may have specific information need and may have specific preference in terms of how the information should be shared with them. We need to understand their preferences and accordingly prepare a communication plan.

A communication plan will include:

  • Who needs information?
  • What information do they need?
  • When the information is needed including frequency?
  • How the information will be sent to them?
  • Who in the team will be responsible for sending the needed information?

Please refer this link for more information on communication planning, communication management

24. What are the first few things you will have to do to start project execution?

Once the plan is ready, the immediate first things to be done during execution will be to identify and acquire the right resources for the project and also select the appropriate contractors/suppliers for the project work. It is the team and the suppliers who will be actually doing the project work. Assigning responsibilities to different team members and suppliers for different pieces of the project work is extremely important.

During the project execution, the project manager will have to act as a leader, working closely with the project sponsor, other stakeholders, with team, with other peers in the organization. The project manager will have to use mostly the inter personal skills, communication skills during project execution.

25. What are some of the key activities you will have to do as the PM during project execution? What are your responsibilities as the PM during execution?

During project execution stage, the project manager will be doing the following important activities, which are some of the core responsibilities of the project manager:

  • Acquire the right resources for the project
  • Select and bring on board the most suitable suppliers and contractors as needed
  • Assign roles and responsibilities among the team
  • Lay down the Quality Management processes and standards to be followed by the team for creating the final deliverables
  • Implement all the risk responses
  • Initiate and ensure constant communication with all stakeholders as per the communication management plan
  • Start engaging with all stakeholders understanding their needs and expectations and building relationship with them ensuring their support for the project
  • Do team building, maintain team motivation
  • Ensure that the team is using all existing knowledge and also documenting new lessons learnt through the development of project work
  • Keep conducting audits to check process and quality standards compliance

26. You are aware that you will have to acquire various resources (man power and physical resources) for your project. How will you acquire all the necessary resources for project execution?  How project resource acquisition may be influenced depending upon your organization structure (projectized, functional, matrix)?

Knowledge Area:Project Resource Management 

  • The project will require both man power and other physical resources to be acquired for the project work. The man power resources will be acquired from within the organization, from different functional groups and common resource pools. If the man power resource needs are completely fulfilled from internal sources, then the PM will have to initiate the process of acquiring them from outside agencies on a contractual basis. The PM will be responsible for actively negotiating with various resource owners within the organization and select the best possible resources for the project. The same selection mechanism should be exercised while selecting man power from outside agencies. The team members possessing the required skills and competencies need to be carefully selected. The project manager will also have to ensure other resources such as material and machines are made available either from internal sources or through procurement. The PM will have to plan really well for procurements by working closely with the procurement department of the organization.
  • Resource acquisition first will happen from internal sources and later from external sources. IF the organization is a functional or a matrix organization, resource acquisition from internal sources will be quite challenging for the PM, since the resources by default will be part of other groups. The PM will have to actively negotiate with the functional managers and other resource owners for assigning the right man power resources to the project. The PM may need to take the help of the project sponsor also in this regard. If it is a functional or a weak-matrix organization, the PM will definitely have a challenging task in getting the right resources assigned to the project. If it is strong-matrix organization, the PM will have more authority and will have a stronger say in resource allocation. If it is a projectized organization, then the project manager will have lot of authority to select the resources of choice with full authority and freedom. But in case of projectized organization, most of the resources may have to hired from outside, which may take a good amount of lead time for hiring.  Hence good upfront planning for hiring will have to be put in place to ensure the resources come on board well in time as per the project plan.

27. You are aware that you have to build a new team and also have to manage the team for execution through the project life cycle. What is team building What is managing team? How do you do this?

Project teams are always new teams, as each project is a new project. The PM will start forming the team by selecting and acquiring the right team members, either from internal sources from external sources. It is important for the project manager to ensure that this newly formed team works as a great team, with immense trust and cohesiveness to achieve the project goals. The project manager also have to ensure that each team member is giving 100 % of their efforts to the project work and all are happy and motivated.

When we form a new project team, initially the team will not behave as a great team. The team spirit will not be present initially. It takes time for the team to evolve into a great team. Typically every new team will evolve through the stages of forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning as per Tuckman ladder. This is where the project manager will have to act as a leader helping and guiding the team  to evolve to its peak performance stage. The PM plans various team building activities providing an opportunity to the team members to start knowing each other well and developing a better team spirit and trust.

The project will also have to ensure that each team member is giving his/her best for the project. The PM will have to monitor the performance of each team member, give feedback as needed to ensure their best performance. Ensure that every member in the team is motivated and inspired.

28. Is motivation of the team important during execution? If yes, then how do you motivate your team? What formal techniques and motivation theories you may be making use of for this?

Motivation of the team is one of the most important aspects for project success. The PM will have to ensure that the team as a whole is inspired and motivated. Each team member is also motivated to give his/her best performance for the project success.

Motivation is a psychological phenomenon. Different things may motivate different person. The PM will need have clear understanding about this phenomenon and how motivation works and how we can motivate different individuals.

There are many formal theories on motivation each one explaining a very important aspect of motivation. Generally fulfilling the needs of people, providing them a challenging and invigorating environment to work; providing them appropriate rewards in a timely manner are critical factors in motivating people.

Some of the important theories include Maslow’s Theory, McGregor’s Theory, Hertzberg’s Theory, McClelland’s Theory, Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. As a PM one need to understand the underlying concepts and philosophies behind is theories and use them effectively for motivation.

For more information on this, you can refer:  rewards and recognition

29. During project execution, when work will start happening, there will be conflicts between team members and also stakeholders. What is a conflict? What are the reasons of conflict in projects? How will you manage conflicts? What are the different conflict management techniques which are used and their application?

  • Conflicts are natural and inevitable when multiple people start working together.
  • Conflicts are seen as a means of encouraging diverse views and ideas within the team. Hence they can be constructive too.
  • Administrative issues
  • Technical opinions
  • Personality
  • Conflicts can be best resolved by the parties involved in the conflict. The PM should create an environment of trust and respect within the team. The team members should be encouraged to resolve conflicts among themselves.

The manager can intervene if the conflicts are not getting resolved by the team members. While resolving conflicts, the care should be taken not only to resolve the conflict, but also to ensure that the team dynamics and harmony is maintained.

Some of the conflict management techniques used include the following:

  • Confront/Problem Solve/ Collaborate (Best method - win – win outcome)
  • Compromise (lose-lose outcome)
  • Force (win-lose outcome)
  • Avoid/Withdraw
  • Smoothing/Accommodating

For more detailed information in conflict management, please refer our article: Conflict-management

30. How do you manage geographically distributed virtual or international team? How do you maintain team spirit while you have distributed virtual team at different location?

Knowledge Area:Resource Management 

Virtual teams and international teams are a common phenomenon presently. Projects are global consisting of team members from across the globe. Project teams are geographically distributed, having the members operating from different locations.

Managing such distributed teams, it will be important to use technology effectively. Regular communication will be very important. Communication purpose, frequency and mechanism should be planned upfront. Colocation can also be used effectively as and when needed. These days it is possible to keep the team connected with proper communication planning

31. You will be acting as a leader during execution. What are the different leadership styles you are aware of? What is your leadership style?

The PM also acts as a leader. Leader’s role will be to guide the team, show direction, develop team spirit, motivate to achieve greater performance, help the team in case of adversity etc. There are different leadership styles.  Some of the important leadership styles include:

  • Liaises Faire
  • Servant leadership

For more details on leadership, please refer: Management styles

32. How will you manage underperforming team members?

Knowledge Area:Resource Management

There will be situations; the PM may find some of the team member’s performance is not up-to expectation and not meeting the expected performance needed for project success. The PM has to keep a very close observation about the performance of each team member. The moment the PM finds any kind of underperformance, the PM needs to immediately have some conversation with the team member. 

The PM needs to be careful and use empathy to understand the reason of underperformance. The PM should first try to provide all kinds of meaningful help, training and encouragement to the team member to improve his/her performance. The PM should also explore the possibility of changing the role of the team member within the project team based on his/her capability to see if that helps the member as well as the project. Initial discussion should be done somewhat informally. 

The PM should be judging the performance of the person, not the person itself. But if the underperformance still persists,  then the project manager may have to have some formal discussion and try to see if the resource can be changed with some other resource and the resource under consideration may be deployed into a more suitable role where his/her capabilities will fit the best. The PM must keep in mind that ultimately project is most important. Hence a delicate balance between ensuring project success and helping the underperforming team member to improve performance has to be done by the PM.

33. During execution you will also have to select contractors and third party suppliers for some part of your project work. How do you select the suppliers?

Knowledge Area:Procurement Management 

For some of the project work, there always may be a need for engaging some third party suppliers, contractors. During planning, the team would have already decided what to procure, and would have developed detailed specification of the procurement item or service. An RFP or RFQ is generally prepared during the procurement planning stage.

Before beginning execution, it will be important to share our detailed requirements through the RFP or RFQ document with potential suppliers. We need to request their response, proposal, and quotations.

Upon receiving the proposal, response and quotation from various suppliers, we need to evaluate their responses in an objective manner. We then need to invite the bidders with best proposals for final negotiation. After negotiation, the best seller/supplier is selected and an agreement is signed with them.

Negotiation is a difficult process. It should be kept in mind to ensure that the negotiations are done in a win-win manner ensuring the considerations and interests of both the sides are equally taken care of. After all, the selected supplier/seller becomes part of you extended team. Hence it should be seen more as a relationship rather than a transaction while negotiating the terms and conditions.

For more details you can refer our tutorial at, procurement management

34. What is Gold Plating and how do you prevent this?

Knowledge Area:Quality Management

Gold plating is a common phenomenon observed during execution. The development team may work on delivering more than what has been asked for or what is actually needed. The general thought behind gold plating is that it will make the customer feel happy since we are delivering more. But in the contrast a matured customer will not be happy. Instead may have doubts on our management capability as to how the team is able or willing to deliver more. In addition to this, gold plating if done, will lead to scope creep, which in turn will impact the project schedule and cost. The whole plan can go awry.

Hence it is highly recommended that the PM should be aware about this phenomenon and tendency of the team, and should discourage and prevent gold plating in a project scenario.

35. How do you assure quality during execution?

During quality management planning, the team decides the relevant standards and processes to be followed during product development including the reviews, testing etc. The PM will have to ensure that the team actually follows the chosen processes and standards for development. The PM also plans for regular quality audits for ensuring process compliance. Complying to the processes and standards ensures the team ends up developing the desired product without any defect. This method of ensuring quality through adherence to standards is known as quality assurance.

36. How do you engage all your stakeholders, especially the ones who hold high interest and high authority?

Knowledge Area:Stakeholder Management

Project stakeholders are identified during the project initiation stage itself. All the identified stakeholders are also analysed in terms of their power and interest with regards to the project in hand. Different strategies are planned for engaging the different groups of stakeholders.

Stakeholders with high authority and high interest in the project such as the sponsor, the customer and may be few other stakeholders need to be “Managed Closely”. The PM need to plan and use more frequent communication and engagement with such stakeholders in order to ensure that their authority is used effectively for the project decision making process and their interests are also best fulfilled.

The PM generally will plan a daily or weekly communication with such stakeholders with different agenda for each such communication. Face-to-face meetings, telephonic conversations are the best. Sharing important project information such as a plan, change requests, project documents and all kind of approvals must be done using formal written communication.

It will be important to ensure that such stakeholders are being constantly and closely managed. The PM will have to use excellent communication and interpersonal skills for such engagement.

37. During project execution, your team will be working on all the work as per the project baseline. But you are aware that, new change requests may keep coming up during the project. What are change requests? Why do we get change requests? What will be the steps and processes for change management? What will be some of the typical challenges you will face in handling change request?

Knowledge Area: Project Integration Management

  • Change requests are very common in a project. Change request is a request for changing some aspect of the project plan such as the scope, timeline, cost, resources, technology, requirements etc. Any change to the project baseline, is treated as a potential change request. Change requests in project context are also referred as “CR”. A CR may originate from any of the project stakeholders including the project team and project manager also.

The reasons for change requests in the middle of the project includes below points:

  • The stakeholders realize that a new feature or requirement or new technology will be beneficial for the project
  • Sometimes new regulatory requirements may come up and the project needs to comply to them leading changes in an already planned project
  • Stakeholders may suddenly feel the need for changing the project time lines, project budget leading to change requests.
  • Very often in the midst of the project, the team or stakeholders may feel the need for taking up some corrective or preventive actions if variances, issues and problems are faced by the project team. These are recommended for keeping the project on track and ensuring the project’s final outcome will remain relevant.
  • Change requests are normal in the project. But it is important to adopt a discipline approach for handling all change requests. For that, a change management plan may be developed which will enlist the change management procedure. This can be shared with all relevant stakeholders. Change management process should be done in the most formal manner. All stakeholders must be educated and informed about the procedure during the project planning stage itself.

A change request can impact the project baselines and various other project documents and already developed project deliverables.

Typical steps to be followed will include the following:

  • Conduct a thorough impact analysis of the change request.  The impacts could be on multiple aspects of the project.
  • The findings from the impact analysis should be presented to the appropriate impacted stakeholders. And a discussion with the appropriate stakeholders which may include the sponsor, customer must be done. Idea is to make all the stakeholders aware about the impact and seek their approval after they understand the impacts.
  • IF the stakeholders approve the change request with the impacts, then the project manager need to work on updating the project management plan ensuring the impacts are properly reflected in the updated plan.
  • The updated plan should be approved by the sponsor.
  • Upon approval of the updated plan, the PM should execute the project as per the updated project plan and should start implementing the change.
  • In the process of implementing the change, various existing project artefacts will undergo change. It will be important to maintain the versions of such artefacts to maintain the history of changes in happening in each of the artefacts.  These are known as configurable items and the process is known as configuration management.
  • Formal change management plan may not be present
  • Stakeholders may tend to raise change requests in an informal manner
  • There may be conflict very often. What the project team will say is actually a change request, the customer and stakeholders many times may say that it is part of original scope. The project manager will have to discuss and resolve such situations and bring all stakeholders to a common understanding.
  • Frequent changes will be a challenge.
  • The project manager and team sometime may find it difficult to say “NO” to a change.
  • Accepting or rejecting a change request with their associated impacts will require immense negotiation between the PM, team and other stakeholders including the customer and sponsor.

38. What is project monitoring and controlling mean?

Knowledge Area:Integration Management

Once the project execution begins, the work should progress as per plan. Hence it is important to track and review the progress, compare the actual performance with project baseline and find out the variances, if any.

If variances will be found, then the team needs to look for ways to not only correct the variances and but also see how similar variances will not occur in future.

39. How often project monitoring and controlling should be done? Should this be planned as part of project management plan?

Knowledge Area: Integration Management

Monitoring the progress and checking for variances should be done at a planned interval. The frequency of monitoring is also planned as part of project management plan. Various different kinds of monitoring activities at different levels of project hierarchy can be planned. There may be daily, weekly status meetings within the team planned for clear objectives for each such status meeting. There may be status meetings planned with customer and sponsor also.

40. What is the difference between monitoring and controlling?

Monitoring involves finding variances between actual project performances against the project baseline. Controlling means identifying recommended corrective, preventive actions and defect repairs for managing the variances.

41. What specific aspects of the project will you be monitoring as a project manager?

The project performance will be monitored against the project baseline. Monitoring is done against the project scope baseline, schedule baseline, cost baseline, quality baseline to check if the project performance is matching the planned baseline in these areas.  Variances in scope, schedule, cost and quality are identified. Monitoring is also done to compare actual performance in other areas of the plan such how the communication happening, how the procurement happening, how is the stakeholder engagement, how are the resource performing etc.

The on-going project monitoring will also focus on successful work completion and acceptance of the project work. How much of the project scope of work is getting successfully delivered and accepted is a very important part of the project monitoring. This helps the team to keep checking off the completed work.

42. What are the basic performance reports which will be prepared by the team?

As part of monitoring and controlling, the project team will be preparing various reports. Some of the basic reports which are prepared include:

  • Status report
  • Progress report
  • Forecast report

43. What is the difference between progress report and status report?

Progress report focuses on work completion in the project so far. Status report focuses on variances in project performance so far.

44. What is a forecast? Is this important during monitoring? 

While progress report and status report tell us where the project stands as of now, the Forecast report will tell eth details about the expected completion of the project based on actual performance so far.

Forecast report is very important which keeps informing the stakeholders about the expected completion time, cost of the project.

45. What variance means? What are the different project variances to be measured during the project execution?

Variance is the difference between the actual project performances with the project baseline. Mathematically it can be explained as Plan – Actual.

Variances will be measure for time duration (on schedule, ahead of schedule or behind schedule), cost (on budget, over budget or under budget). These variances can be measured numerically using different techniques. Variances in other knowledge areas can be checked, but may not be measured numerically.

46. Your sponsor mentions that Earned Value Management technique has gained immense popularity in recent years and you should consider using this in the current project. What is Earned Value Management (EVM)? What is the use of EVM?

Knowledge Area: Cost Management

EVM is a technique which is used for numerically calculating the schedule and cost variance in a project. It is used for calculating the schedule and cost performance index of the project. This is also used for creating new cost and performance forecast for the project.

This technique used quantification of planned value (PV) of work at different points in project schedule, earned value (EV) of work (work actually completed) and actual cost (AC) of work completed.

It is simple, yet a very practical and effective technique for ascertaining the variances and performances of the project numerically so that the team can make meaningful forecast and also identify appropriate corrective actions for managing the variances.

47. What is difference between trend analysis and variance analysis?

Knowledge Area: Integration and Cost Management

Variance analysis is the method for calculating the variance between current performances of the project with the baseline. It will be done regularly to keep a track on the variances so that timely corrective actions can be taken.

Trend analysis is also done at regular interval but no so frequently as variance analysis. The idea is to identify if any patterns or trends are emerging in the project performances and variances over time. If trends will be spotted, then we need to understand the reasons for the trends and identify suitable preventive actions.

48. What is the difference between corrective actions and preventive actions? Give example of some corrective actions and preventive actions.

Corrective action is to correct the existing variance.  Preventive action is to ensure that similar current variances should not occur in future.

For example, if we identify that the project is running behind schedule, then the corrective action will be something that can help to expedite the remaining work so that we can make up the schedule variance.

After doing a root cause analysis, if the team realizes that the schedule variance happened because of lack of clear management direction to the team, then the preventive action will include providing clear direction and information to each team member for their corresponding work so that similar variances will not occur in future.

49. What is the difference between project monitoring and project evaluation?

Project monitoring is done by the project manager and the team internally to check periodically how the project is doing.

While project evaluation is done by the project sponsor, customer to check how the project is doing. Evaluation is done by someone from outside the team.

50. While monitoring your project, you discover that your project is behind schedule? What can you do to bring your project back on track with regards to schedule?

Knowledge Area: Schedule Management

If the project is behind schedule, we first need to understand the extent of variance. If the variance is very small and the team will feel this variance can be managed easily without much change, then in that case, we may not do any alteration except keeping a very close watch on further progress.

Project schedule variance means some of the tasks on the critical path are having variances. Some of the critical tasks are running behind. If the variance requires intervention, then the team will identify means to expedite the remaining project work. Priority has to be given on expediting the work on the critical path without unduly neglecting the non-critical tasks.

Some of the common actions may include adding more resources on the critical path tasks appropriately or exploring to do some of the future tasks in parallel which are currently scheduled in sequence. These two methods can help in making up the schedule variance and help in expediting so that the project can be completed as per original timeline.

51. How do you ensure that the project gets delivered as per agreed project timelines?

We know that the critical path duration defines the project completion timelines. Hence if we can monitor the critical path activities more closely and see that they are on time, we can ensure that the project will get completed as per agreed timeline.

More focus has to be given to monitoring the critical tasks and also ensuring that the non-critical tasks are not unduly delayed so that they become critical.

52. How are Fast Tracking and Crashing techniques used for project control? Explain.

Knowledge Area:Schedule Management

Fast tracking and Crashing are techniques for expediting the project activities. They are applied when there is schedule variance observed. As explained in above question, adding more resources is termed as “Crashing” and doing tasks in parallel is termed as “Fast Tracking”.

Crashing may add more cost to the project, whereas Fast Tracking may add additional risk of rework since tasks will be performed in parallel.

53. When can one start closing the phase or the project?

The team will be developing the various project deliverables. When some significant deliverable will be ready by the team, the team will seek acceptance of the completed deliverables from stakeholders. Once the team will receive acceptance of major deliverables, typically at the end of phase or at the end of the project, the team will prepare for logically closing either the phase or the project depending upon where we are.

Hence the pre-condition for initiating phase or project closure is successful acceptance of project deliverables by the customer or stakeholders.

54. Prepare the list of various activities that will have to be performed during closing of phase or project.

Closing of phase or project logically is very important. All loose ends of the project or phase must be closed. Some of the important activities that will happen during closing of phase or project will include the following:

  • Analyse and ensure that all the acceptance criteria of the project and product have been met
  • Prepare and consolidate the final deliverable for handing over to the appropriate stakeholder or customer.
  • Handover all documents such as training manuals etc. to the customer
  • Close all financial dealings with suppliers and vendors of the project
  • Formal sign off from customer
  • Prepare a final project report which should detail out the story of the complete project for future reference
  • Consolidate all lessons learnt and ensure that they are shared across the organization
  • Archive all project records
  • Do appraisal of performance of all team members and provide feedback to their respective functional managers and HR
  • Recognize and reward all contributors of the project
  • Release all equipment and resources

55. What is the significance of project or phase closing? How does proper closing help the project and the organization?

Closing time is an opportunity for introspection for the project team. All lessons learnt are consolidated. It is ensured that the new learning gets institutionalised. They are used in the current project and also across the organization. We build new process assets for the organization. Proper phase closing helps in deciding to move to the next phase. Project closing brings the project to an orderly end by consolidating all assets & learning.


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Preparing for a project manager interview: Answering scenario-based questions

Aug 09, 2023

Preparing for a project manager interview: Answering scenario-based questions

US Editor at Welcome to the Jungle

“We’d like to invite you for an interview,” reads your email. Nice job! You’ve made it past the screening tests and managed to stand out among all the other applicants for a top job as a project manager. If the interview goes well and you land the role, you’ll be expected to handle resources, deadlines, and stakeholders while nurturing space for creative growth. But how can these qualities be assessed in an interview, you might ask? Through scenario-based questions—and we’re going to show you how to nail them.

To guide you through your interview preparations, Erik Akutagawa , a career coach and senior director of program management, and Mahati V. Singh , a leading global tech recruiter and career coach are here to help. Their experience-backed advice is top-notch and will set you up to confidently tackle these challenging interview questions.

Scenario-based questions in project manager interviews

Interviewers often use scenario-based questions to gain insights into your problem-solving abilities, decision-making process, and leadership style. These questions usually involve past experiences where you’re expected to demonstrate your approach toward solving complex problems or dealing with challenging circumstances.

Preparing your answers

According to Akutagawa, your preparation is essential to acing your project management interview. His recommendation? Have a roster of select projects ready for discussion. “Everyone needs to have three, four, maybe even five specific projects they’ve worked on and delivered that hit all the necessary points,” he advises. The key to crafting compelling narratives around these projects lies in straightforward storytelling, detailing the challenges faced and the solutions implemented. Akutagawa explains, “As part of your narrative, focus on your role in the projects and how you kept everyone aligned.” Being specific about your actions and the tools you used paints a vivid picture of your management style and how you operate within a project context.

Remember, each answer you prepare should ideally be two minutes long. The goal here is to ignite interest and trigger a deeper conversation. The interviewer should feel compelled to probe further into areas that catch their attention. Akutagawa underscores the significance of measurable outcomes: “In interviews, just as in a resume, outcomes play a huge role. Highlighting the result, such as, ‘I delivered X, and Y was the outcome,’ helps to convey your impact in a tangible way.” While you don’t need to be overly specific with numbers, providing estimates can reinforce the veracity of your claims and paint a clearer picture of your abilities as a PM.

Singh also advises showing how you align with company values . “Suppose a company demonstrates that its values are integrity and innovation. In that case, your answers must include how you were innovative in your last role , how much value you added to the firm, and how important integrity is for you.” It’s best to read the company values, research , and frame your answers beforehand.

Sample scenario-based questions and answers

If you want to put your best foot forward in your project manager interview, consider rehearsing scenario-based answers to some common interview questions . Here’s Akutagawa and Singh’s advice on how to do that.

“Tell me about yourself”

This seemingly innocuous question provides a powerful platform for you to set the interview’s tone and guide your story. Akutagawa reminds us, “It’s all about the narrative.” Craft your response in a way that tells a compelling story of your journey as a PM. Don’t forget to add why you’re interested in project management and the specific company. Akutagawa notes that “nobody starts off out of high school and says, I want to become a project manager. Everybody falls into it somehow or another.” So be prepared to share your personal journey into project management and why you’re passionate about it.

Highlight your key achievements . According to Akutagawa, you can “drop really high-level highlights as well as low lights” to this overall story. Mention the teams you led, the challenges you overcame, and the impact you made at each stop of your professional journey. Now is also your chance to highlight how your experience and values mesh with the company’s culture and mission, emphasizing your potential fit within their team. It’s also an opportunity to address any gaps in your resume. Akutagawa shares his experience, “I’ve been unemployed six times in seven years, and I can be very transparent as to why that happened.”

Akutagawa suggests that, based on your rapport with the interviewer, you could conclude your response by asking, “Is there anything specific you’d like to explore or any particular project you’d like to discuss further?” This demonstrates your readiness to delve into your experience in more detail and effectively transitions the conversation to the next topic.

Questions on leadership and leadership style

Effective leadership in project management isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair, as it influences project outcomes and team dynamics. Therefore, being able to articulate your unique leadership style is essential. Sharing your leadership journey, backed by concrete examples, can help better explain this, notes Akutagawa. “For instance, in one project, I kept the team aligned by sending out newsletters, updating dashboards, or utilizing Slack . These are short, quick, efficient strategies that offer high value for minimal time and friction investment.” He further emphasizes, “It’s not enough to just say that you led a project. Highlight the outcomes, and use data to back up your claims.” Even if the numbers are estimates, they provide verifiability.

Singh elaborates on the diversity of leadership styles, “There are various leadership styles and each has its pros and cons. Some styles may suit certain team members better, depending on their personalities, the projects at hand, and the challenges they face.” She explains that the question about leadership style is a way for the interviewer to determine if you can balance being both a manager and a leader. “Your response should confidently address the risks and benefits of your specific leadership style.” For instance, if you identify as a transformational leader, discuss how you manage the potential pressure your team could feel due to your constant involvement. If you consider yourself more of a laissez-faire or delegation leader, discuss how you ensure your team stays on track. If your leadership style is situational, give specific examples of how and when you’d adjust your approach, from supporting to coaching, delegating, or directing.

Questions on conflict-resolution

Conflicts within project teams are inevitable. How you handle these conflicts can greatly impact team morale and the project outcome. Interviewers are interested in understanding your strategies for identifying, addressing, and resolving disputes positively and constructively, especially when dealing with high-level co-workers.

Akutagawa recounts a scenario he faced while managing a high-profile project involving a heated argument between a General Manager and a Vice President. He shares his approach: “After the conflict arose during a meeting, I allowed them some time to cool down. Then, I individually reached out to each of them, inquiring about their well-being and subtly addressing the incident.” He urged them to address the ‘elephant in the room’ at the beginning of the next meeting. This step, he believed, was crucial to clear the air and to ensure everyone could focus on their tasks without walking on eggshells. “From there on out, we delivered without an issue,” he concludes.

Akutagawa recommends sharing these types of real-life scenarios during interviews. Not only do they demonstrate your conflict-resolution skills, but they also illustrate your commitment to maintaining a harmonious team environment. “It’s a tangible situation with a tangible outcome,” he adds. When responding to this question, you should demonstrate your ability to navigate difficult circumstances, ensuring successful project delivery even amidst interpersonal conflicts.

Questions on managing a remote team and keeping them motivated

Managing a remote team and keeping them motivated are critical skills for modern PMs , especially in a world where many organizations continue to adopt flexible and remote work settings. Singh suggests candidates describe the work environment they aim to cultivate for their team. This should be an environment where teammates feel valued, understood, and seen. Singh also stresses the importance of setting transparent and realistic project goals and expectations, which keeps the project on track and encourages efficient teamwork. In your response, she warns against focusing on monetary incentives like promotions or raises.

Akutagawa shares a personal experience to illustrate how to put these principles into practice. He speaks about a “coffee hour” he set up within his team—a relaxed, work-free space where team members could share personal stories or topics of interest. This initiative fostered a strong sense of community and intrinsic motivation, substantially increasing his team’s performance. Akutagawa further underlines the importance of helping team members understand the big picture and their role in it. Such an approach instills a sense of purpose and direction in team members, ensuring they stay aligned with the project objectives even while working remotely .

Questions on communicating bad news

Both Singh and Akutagawasay emphasize the importance of transparency, accountability, and adaptability when answering this question. Singh delineates, “The interviewer likely wants to find out if you have both the integrity and communication skills to deliver bad news to your team without causing misunderstandings or issues.” According to her, the best way to demonstrate this is by acknowledging the delicate balance between empathizing with the team’s emotional response and conveying the upper management’s decision. It’s crucial, she says, to be well-prepared and realistic without sugar-coating the bad news.

Echoing Singh’s advice, Akutagawa emphasizes transparency and data-driven explanations by explaining what happened, why it happened, and the mitigation plan. Acknowledging that you may not always have all the answers, but are committed to finding them, helps instill confidence. Akutagawa says you must show you can adjust your communication style depending on the audience. “How I communicate difficult news differs between a leadership person and someone directly on my team.” When communicating with high-level decision-makers, you must view any mistake as a collective failure rather than pinning it on an individual. This helps maintain team unity and morale during difficult times. However, within the team, accountability is crucial. He advises project managers to take ownership of their mistakes and detail steps to prevent a recurrence, fostering a culture of responsibility and growth.

Ending the interview in style

Just as the introduction and body of an interview are pivotal in making an impression , the conclusion, too, plays an equally important role, serving as the final opportunity to articulate your value and secure a positive impression. Akutagawa emphasizes the judicious use of interview time, advising that candidates should ideally utilize at least 50 minutes of an hour-long interview, which encourages a balance between brevity and detail in responses. He highlights the importance of asking questions that shed light on company culture, leadership, and expectations . Singh also highlights the necessity of transparent and empathetic communication. Collectively, their expert advice paints a comprehensive roadmap for project managers to excel in job interviews . Happy interviewing!

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Best 25 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers (2024)


Simplify project management. Plan and collaborate across teams and work styles for total visibility and greater productivity with ProjectManager.

Finding the right project manager, who has the skill sets, experience and proper corporate cultural fit for your organization is not as easy as just posting a job listing. You need to meet the potential candidate and figure out if they’re suited for the job. That’s where having the right project manager interview questions comes in.

Project management interview questions will guide your decision-making process. Hire a leader with the project management and communication skills that’ll lead your projects to success by using these project manager interview questions.

Related: Free Project Management Templates and Spreadsheets for Excel

Types of Project Manager Interview Questions

There are two main types of project management interview questions, behavioral and scenario-based questions. These two different approaches help interviewers get as much information as possible from project managers.

Scenario-Based Project Manager Interview Questions

The purpose of scenario-based interview questions is to ask project manager candidates how they’d respond to hypothetical project management scenarios. Here, you can understand the thinking process of your project managers and look into their problem-solving skills, leadership style, knowledge of project management methods and tools, etc.

Behavioral Project Manager Interview Questions

This type of interview question asks for events that happened in the past. The purpose of these project manager interview questions is to get an idea of how the project manager has acted in the past, and how he or she applied applicable project management skills and knowledge to solve real-life problems.

The 25 project management interview questions below include these two types of questions. We hope they help you prepare for your PM interview.

Types of Project Manager Interviews

Most employers typically conduct several rounds of interviews to look at project managers through different lenses. This is done to get a better understanding of the technical capabilities of project managers, their past performance and their decision-making under different scenarios.

Here’s some expert advice from Devin Deen, certified scrum master and project manager expert. In the video below he explains some the main types of project manager interviews that you’ll need to go through to get a project management  role .

Top Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Here are some of the most common project manager interview questions that will help you find the best talent for your projects. They’re also helpful if you want to learn how to prepare for a project manager interview. There are different types of PM interview questions as well as some icebreakers to start the interview.

1. Tell me about yourself

This is a typical question for an interview and is a great way to break the ice and conversate. But you can get important information about the candidate’s past experiences, skills and education. You can also get a feel of how well this individual will adapt to the project manager role at your organization. A good way to do this is to ask the candidate to tell you a little about his or her past, present and future project management job expectations.

How to answer: Be honest in answering this and every question, but keep it brief. You can share relevant information about your upbringing. For example, was one of your parents a project manager? What in your upbringing shows you have the leadership or communication skills to manage a team and handle the pressure of a project ? If you have project management certification or prior positions that make you the ideal candidate, make sure to bring that up.

2. What’s your background, personally and professionally?

It’s important to get a snapshot of the applicant to bring their project manager resume into sharper focus. Knowing a bit about their life story unveils their soft skills and how they might respond to issues at work, and whether they’ll fit into the corporate culture.

How to answer: If you haven’t brought up your profession and educational background in the previous question, now’s the time to do so. It’s also good to bring up a personal anecdote that illustrates your leadership qualities. The same goes for their project management experience. Staying at a single job for a long time can be either bad or good for project managers, but you won’t know until you put their choice into context.

3. What’s your ideal project?

The ideal project is the one that you’re hiring for, of course! But on a serious note, try to get them to answer honestly. It’ll let you know what sort of projects they prefer to work on which gives a better feel for what kind of project management methodology excites them. This can help you place the project manager with the right project, or help them adapt to the project team you’re hiring them to manage.

How to answer: Be specific in answering this question. It’s best if you can relate a past project you worked on and why it checked all the boxes for you. If, for example, you’re applying to a construction company, then you’ll want to share a previous construction project that excited you, perhaps because of the length and complexity of the project. The more specific and passionate you are in your answer, the better you can show your enthusiasm for the work.

4. Have you worked in this industry before?

Does the candidate have project management experience in your industry? That’s important because they might excel at the project management methods your company uses or may have the right risk management skills to manage your projects. If they don’t, it’s not a deal breaker as much of project management is the same from industry to industry.

How to answer: If you’ve worked as a project manager, share that experience, such as how the prevalent projects panned out. But if you haven’t held a project manager position in the past yet have strong project management skills or certifications that relate to the industry of your potential new employer, that can make up for a lack of direct experience. Whether you do or don’t have experience, be confident as it shows you’re an authentic person who’s comfortable in the position.

case study interview questions for project managers

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5. Have you managed remote teams?

Not all projects are executed under one roof and remote teams are common. With more dynamic project management tools and a global workforce to choose from, many project managers might never meet the members of their team, at least in person, but they’ll be able to work together using project management software. Then there are the necessary resources that’ll be outsourced, which involves a different resource management technique than when working with employees. Knowing how they’ve managed people and resources can help you get an overview of their leadership skills and be a crucial point in your decision to hire or not to hire.

How to answer: Again, honesty is key. Lying will only cause future troubles. If you’ve managed a remote team, talk about the challenges of leading a group of people who you never met face-to-face. How’d you build a cohesive team from a distributed group? How did you track progress, foster collaboration, etc.? If you haven’t managed a remote team, explain how you would or what team management experience you have and how it’d translate to a situation where the team was not working together under one roof.

6. How did your last project end?

This question is about discovering any lessons they learned from that project. Everything about project management is a learning experience, and each project offers lessons from which a good project manager grows.

How to answer: Don’t be vague. Answer the question with a specific example. Provide a quick overview of the project’s goals, deliverables , constraints and risks. Show how you dealt with those issues and brought the project to a successful conclusion. If the project failed, explain why, but don’t lay blame on others. You’re the project manager and the buck stops with you.

7. How do you prioritize tasks on a project?

Task management is important. There’s going to be more work in a day than can be accomplished, so any good project manager is going to have to determine what is crucial and what could be left undone if necessary. It’ll prove interesting and informative to see how the candidate makes these time management and task management decisions.

How to answer: If you can tether your answer to a real-life situation that’s best. Interviewers don’t want abstract answers. Explain how you review all the tasks for a particular project and then the decision-making process in prioritizing. For example, do you use the critical path method or some other technique? That will reveal a lot to the interviewer.

8. How do you foster team collaboration?

This behavioral question is a great way to gauge the candidate’s basic leadership and team management knowledge as well as their ability to use modern work management software and team collaboration apps. Project managers need to use tools to communicate with their team members whether they’re traditional, remote or hybrid teams.

How to answer: This question can be answered in two ways. You’ll want to give examples of how you facilitated collaboration with a team in the past by leading them through team-building exercises. But that just sets the stage for good collaboration. Next, you’ll want to talk about the project management software or other tools you used to connect teams so they could quickly and easily share files, comment on tasks, etc.

9. What was a challenging project, and how did you manage it?

This behavioral question takes the conversation from theoretical to practical. You can see how the project manager responded to real-life problems to help determine how they’d manage projects at your organization. This question also provides a sense of the person’s project management experience, such as how they lead teams and deal with conflicts. By asking about a challenging project, you can see how they apply their hard and soft skills when pushed to their limits and beyond.

How to answer: It’s a bit of a broken record, but the advice is important enough to repeat; be honest. Choose a real project that has challenged you. Set it up by explaining what those challenges were and explain how you addressed and resolved the challenges. It’s a bit of a balancing act as you want to make the project’s challenges real, but you also want to show how you dealt with them. Don’t take all the credit, though. Make sure to give credit to your team.

10. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a project?

Everyone makes mistakes; character is defined by how you deal with them. This project management interview question allows you to first gauge the candidate’s honesty.

How to answer: This is another tricky question. If you say that you’ve never made a mistake, you can rest assured that the interviewer won’t believe you’re truthful and your resume will go into the circular file. However, when you share a mistake you’ve made, interviewers will note that you take responsibility for your actions, which reveals your level of maturity. Bonus points if you can show how that mistake was rectified by you and your team.

Interview Questions for Project Managers About Team Management

Projects are a team effort, so any project management interview will likely include questions about how you manage teams. Make sure you highlight team management skills such as leadership, communication skills, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills. The main purpose of these project management interview questions is that interviewers want to understand how well you can work with others, including project teams and stakeholders.

11. What’s your leadership style?

Talking about managing a project will inevitably lead to a discussion of leadership style . There are many ways to lead, and all have their pluses and minuses. Depending on the project, a project manager might have to pick and choose how they lead, ranging from a top-down approach to servant leadership. See how well-versed they are in leadership techniques and how they apply them to project management.

12. What’s your communication style?

This is another classic project management interview question that directly stems from asking about managing projects and leadership. A project manager is nothing if he has poor communication skills. They need to be able to speak to team members, stakeholders, vendors, etc. Each group needs a slightly different approach. Stakeholders want the broad strokes of the project management plan, while team members need more detail. If a project manager can’t clearly communicate, the project is doomed before it has begun.

Being a good communicator is only the start. Project management software helps you better target communication with your team and stakeholders. ProjectManager has project management tools like Gantt charts , kanban boards and project calendars to clearly communicate your project plan. Our online software allows you and your team to collaborate in real time. If someone has a question, they can tag another person on the team to get them into the conversation. Our email and in-app notifications make sure you’re never late for a meeting or an important stakeholder presentation. Try our tool for free today.

kanban board in projectmanager

13. How do you seek help outside of the project team?

This project manager interview question gives you information about the leadership and communication skills of your project manager candidate. Some project managers are going to think you want a person who’s wholly independent and pulls from an inner reservoir. But more resourceful is the project manager who knows when they’re over their head and asks for help from a mentor or a network of professionals.

14. How do you gain agreement with teams?

Where there are people, there are conflicts, and even the best projects have problems. Good teams collaborate and trust one another. If there’s a problem between two or more project team members, it must be resolved quickly. But this can also apply to stakeholders, vendors, etc. A project manager is a bit of a psychologist who must know how to resolve conflicts quickly.

15. Do you delegate?

The last thing you want is a project manager who carries everything on their shoulders. But this is a bit of a trick question or at least one that has an implicit question embedded in it. What you really want to know is not whether they delegate, but how they delegate work to their team members . This is a great way to weed out the micromanagers.

That doesn’t mean a project manager is absent from the process. Project management software has features to keep them aware of what their team is doing but not in the way. For example, ProjectManager has a board view that visualizes the workflow. The kanban allows managers to oversee their team as they work and make sure things are moving forward. Even better, if a potential block is spotted in the production, the manager can reallocate resources to keep the work moving forward.

16. How do you manage team members that aren’t working to their full potential?

Sometimes, no matter how much due diligence you put into assembling a skilled and experienced project team , someone underperforms or creates conflicts. While the project is rolling, you don’t have time to stop and tweak your team. Rather, the project manager must use problem-solving techniques and communication skills to deal with the problem. This comes up with even the best project team, so any capable project manager would know how to nip underperformance in the bud.

Interview Questions for Project Managers About Work Experience

Work experience is always important in any type of interview, and that’s true for project management interviews. Employers make these project manager interview questions because they need to make sure you have the necessary hands-on experience that’s required to be a good fit for their type of projects and that you have the capabilities to excel in their industry.

17. How do you deal when you’re overwhelmed or underperforming?

It’s easy to forget that project managers are people, too. They’re hired to perform project management processes and lead a project to success, but they can suffer the same setbacks as anyone on the team over the course of the project life cycle. The difference between a good and a great project manager is the ability to monitor oneself and respond proactively to any drop-offs in performance.

18. How do you work with customers, sponsors and stakeholders?

Even project managers have to answer to someone. Responding to executives, project sponsors and stakeholders requires a different approach than the one they’d use with teams and vendors. Part of their duties includes managing stakeholders who hold a position of authority over the project manager. That takes a subtle touch.

19. If the project isn’t adhering to schedule, how do you get it back on track?

Knowing that a project isn’t keeping to its schedule is only as important as being able to get the project back on track. Once a project manager is aware of the discrepancy between the actual project schedule and the schedule baseline estimated in the project plan, they need to take action, such as project crashing or fast-tracking. Any project manager worth hiring will be able to answer this with practical specifics. On these types of questions, it’s best to answer with the STAR method.

20. Do you have budget management experience?

It helps to drill down into specific aspects of the project management experience of your candidates. Naturally, if the candidate has specific skills, they’ll be briefly sketched in the resume. But here’s your opportunity to get a deeper sense of where they stand in terms of their experience with project management processes such as budget management. Project managers are known as planners. They create a project schedule and lead teams to success. But there’s often money involved, so they should know how to handle a project budget.

21. How do you know the project is off track?

Every project hits a snag along the way, but not every project manager is aware of that delay until the project budget or project schedule is affected. The ability to monitor and track the progress of a project and tell immediately when it’s not meeting the benchmarks you set in the project planning phase is perhaps the most important duty of a project manager. It’s also important to see if the project manager candidates have experience implementing a risk management plan to mitigate risks and keep projects on budget and schedule. ProjectManager has project dashboards to help project managers spot issues before they become serious problems.

22. What project management software do you prefer?

A project manager needs project management tools to plan , monitor and report on the project. There are many, from simple to complex. This question reveals first how up-to-date the candidate is regarding software and project management tools. Additionally, it provides a picture of what tools and processes they use to manage a project.

Most project managers heavily rely on Gantt charts when it comes to project planning and scheduling. ProjectManager has award-winning online Gantt charts that allow project managers to plan every phase of their projects. Managers can create dependencies, add milestones, assign tasks, manage workload and more—all from one screen. Any project manager you hire would appreciate the power of our planning tools.

Zoomed in manufacturing Gantt chart

23. What’s your preferred project management methodology?

There are almost as many ways to manage a project as there are projects. From traditional methods like waterfall to hybrid methodologies, you want a project manager who understands the many ways to work. And more importantly, can they use the project management methodology that best suits the work at hand?

Out-of-the-Box Project Manager Interview Questions

Lastly, employers will often make out-of-the-box questions to relieve the tension of the interview and be able to get a better idea of what the candidate’s personality is like.

24. How tall are the pyramids in Egypt?

Talk about not being prepared. Who’s going into a job interview with this information in their head? You don’t want an accurate answer to this question, but you do want to see how the project manager deals critically and seriously with the question. Because during the project, they’ll be sidelined with unexpected challenges and questions.

25. What’s something you don’t want us to know?

Ouch. Yes, you need to go there and make the candidate uncomfortable. It’s not that you want to learn some secret or catch them in an unethical act. Less important than the content of their answer is the way they deal with the question. You’ll get a better picture of the person instead of the persona they’re presenting. It also shows their communication skills while under pressure. It might seem cruel, but it’ll help you get to the heart of the person that you’re going to trust with the management of your project.

Tips for Preparing for a Project Manager Interview

One tip for preparing for your project manager interview is to get familiar with the above questions to give you a sense of confidence when in the interview. This will go a long way. People want to hire people that they can trust.

Other than that, you should do your homework. Research the organization you’re interviewing at and know their history and what they do. Also, study the job description and make sure you understand what’ll be expected of you.

If you know who the hiring manager is, you can also do a bit of research on them. You don’t want to come across as a stalker, but it could help you feel more comfortable having a bit of background on the person.

Finally, practice. Ask a friend you trust to be honest with you and ask them to act as the interviewer. They can ask the questions above. It’ll help you get comfortable answering them. Take constructive feedback from your friend and hone your answers and mannerisms to be the best applicant.

How ProjectManager Helps Project Managers

If you’re a project manager or are looking for one, then you have projects to execute. Projects need more than a good project manager to lead them, they need project management tools, too. ProjectManager is online project management software that helps project managers plan, monitor and report on the project, while team members collaborate on tasks online. It’s ideal for the whole organization.

Dashboards to Track Your Projects

Monitoring a project is the only way to make sure your team is aligned with the project plan. Online Gantt charts measure the progress of each task, but project managers want a bird’s-eye view. ProjectManager has a real-time dashboard that tracks six project metrics to help project managers monitor the overall progress of the project. The dashboard also helps project managers keep their stakeholders in the loop.

case study interview questions for project managers

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Teams are a project’s most valuable resource. ProjectManager keeps team morale high by giving project managers the tools they need to manage their workload and make sure no one is given too many tasks while others are idle. ProjectManager also streamlines project timesheets and has features that manage project resources, so projects can deliver on stakeholder expectations.

Once you’ve gotten through the project manager interview process and a job offer has been made, then it’s up to you to provide them with the best tools to manage the project. ProjectManager is online project management software with real-time dashboards, online Gantt charts and a collaborative platform for your team. There’s no question, this is what your project manager will want. Try our award-winning software for free with this 30-day trial.

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10 Common Project Manager Interview Questions

Rachel Pelta

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Common project manager interview questions

Forage puts students first. Our blog articles are written independently by our editorial team. They have not been paid for or sponsored by our partners. See our full  editorial guidelines .

As you’re preparing for your project manager interview, you may wonder what kinds of questions you’ll encounter outside of the typical “ What is your greatest strength ?” question. While there’s no way to predict exactly which questions the interviewer will ask, here are 10 common project manager interview questions, along with some tips on how to answer them.

10 Common Interview Questions for Project Managers

1. tell me about the last project you worked on..

In some respects, this question is similar to “ Tell me about yourself .” The hiring manager wants to learn more about you as a professional. But when they ask you this project manager interview question, they’re trying to learn more about you as a project manager.

So, talk about the last project you managed, whether that was in a paid position, internship, or even a school project. Your answer should be detailed without rambling. And, when possible, explain what the outcome was.

The most recent project I worked on was overseeing the rollout of the new website. It was every page of the site, including the e-commerce side of things. There were a lot of moving parts, but I made sure everyone stayed on task and hit their due dates, so we were ready to go on launch day. We rolled the new site out on time, and it’s about a half-second faster (which is pretty noticeable!). And the e-commerce side has a new checkout page that’s far easier to navigate than the old one. Since launching, we’ve seen a 25% drop in abandoned carts.

2. Tell me about a time when something went wrong when you were managing a project.

While it would be nice if every project you managed ran perfectly, that’s unlikely to happen. The hiring manager is trying to figure out how you handle the inevitable roadblock, snag, or mistake. The trick is to explain what went wrong without placing blame and discuss how you course-corrected.

I was overseeing the build-out and redesign of a client’s office space. Initially, things went well. I got the permits with ease, and the workers were on time and did their job. Basically, things were rolling along. But as we approached the end of the build-out, there were supply chain issues. While that’s expected (especially these days), it messed up my timeline. I always build in extra time for the unexpected, but these were pretty significant delays, and it ate up more time than I would have liked. 

I was able to call in a few favors with some suppliers to get what we needed sooner rather than later, and that helped the contractors get enough work done to pass inspection and open the office on time. That said, I did have to explain to the client that not everyone would have new chairs when they moved in, and a few people had to work off folding tables for a few weeks.

3. How do you prioritize tasks and set timelines for a project?

Prioritization and time management are highly desired soft skills, no matter the role you’re applying for. But if you’re applying for a project manager role, the interviewer isn’t asking about your general ability with these skills. They’re wondering how you’ll use them as a project manager.

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Your answer will consist of two parts. First, talk about how you measure the urgency or importance of individual tasks. Is one task more vital to the project than another? Does task X have to be completed before anyone can start task Y? You might meet with stakeholders or the people working on the project for their input.

The second part focuses on time management. Once you know the order of the tasks, how do you decide how much time to allot to each one? Do task timelines overlap? How do you know when it’s appropriate to overlap versus using a sprint where the team only focuses on one thing?

4. Describe a project plan.

This straightforward project manager interview question gets at whether or not you understand the basics of project management.

While the easy (and technically correct) answer is, “The project plan is the plan for the project,” the hiring manager is looking for a bit more information. In general, a project plan includes:

  • Goals or objectives
  • Milestones or deliverables
  • Communication plan (frequency and method)
  • Stakeholders

As you answer the question, you’ll want to mention each of these, but you’ll also want to include reasons why these are necessary for a successful project plan. For example, you might say, 

A communication plan is essential for success because it outlines who is responsible for relaying what, as well as how they will communicate (Slack, email, or phone call), and how often (the project manager will give status updates every Monday and Thursday).

5. How would you encourage collaboration when some of the team is in-person, and some of the team is remote? How does this change when team members are in very different time zones?

Collaboration is another crucial skill for success as a project manager. And these days, it’s not uncommon for team members to work remotely and even live all over the world. It’s important to explain how you will ensure everyone on the team is communicating , collaborating, and staying on target, no matter where they are.

For example, when people live on different continents, it’s difficult to find a recurring time for synchronous meetings. So, talk about how you encourage asynchronous communications and set rules around response times.

6. What do you do when a project has gone completely off track?

This project manager interview question is similar to “ What is your greatest weakness ?” In this case, the hiring manager is assessing how honest you are with yourself about a failure and, more importantly, what you learned from it. Talk about what happened, how you identified where the failure was, and the action you took to remedy the situation:

I was working on a sprint where we were adding a new CTA block to all of the blog posts. It sounds easy enough, but somewhere along the way, the block design spiraled. Suddenly, it needed a new color and font, but no one could decide which colors and fonts were best. We spent three weeks redesigning the block when that wasn’t necessary, lost a lot of time, and were going to miss the deadline for rolling out the new block, which could potentially set back sales.

I met with the team to find out what was happening and learned that what had started as a fix to deal with a code conflict snowballed into something bigger, and the team didn’t realize how much time they had lost. I asked them to dump the other changes and focus on fixing the conflict, then move on. And I learned to adjust my check-ins with that team to make sure something like that never happened again.

7. How do you handle conflict on the team?

Teamwork means working together to achieve a common goal. But the path to getting there isn’t always as smooth as you might like. Conflicts may arise around the best way to achieve the goal. As project manager, it’s your job to rally the team and minimize conflicts.

Explain how you use your interpersonal skills to overcome differing opinions. For example, you could say that you’ve learned that not everyone has to agree on the exact solution, but once there is a solution that most agree is correct, you’re able to persuade the holdouts to buy into it.

8. How do you motivate your team?

As the project manager, you oversee the project and the people working on it. But, in general, you aren’t a supervisor. Your job is to oversee the day-to-day tasks of the project and make sure people are pulling their weight. And since you don’t manage the people working on the project, you may find that getting people to do their share of the job isn’t as easy as it could be if you were managing the individual contributors.

And that’s what’s at the heart of this project manager interview question. When you aren’t someone’s supervisor, how do you motivate them to get the job done? Do you explain how and why their part is critical to the rest of the project? Talk to them to see if they’re struggling in some way and don’t know how to ask for help? How do you support the individual contributors when they need it most?

9. How do you deal with (and avoid) scope creep?

The project plan often includes the project scope: what the project is and what you’re delivering. For example, the project scope might say that you’ll design three original buttons for a website, and the stakeholder picks one. The scope might also say that the stakeholder gets a total of two edits on the buttons.

Scope creep happens when the stakeholders start asking for things outside of the original project scope. Using the above example, when you present the three buttons, the stakeholder might ask you to design a fourth button using elements from the first two buttons. They may think that since you’re using elements you already created, it’s not really a fourth button.

You might agree, so you create the fourth button, which could also count as one of the edits, but the new button requires additional edits, and the next thing you know, you’ve created six buttons and edited them a total of 32 times. That’s scope creep!

The hiring manager is trying to figure out how you’ll stop this from happening. How do you say “no” without upsetting the stakeholders?

10. What do you think the difference between a project manager and a product manager is?

You might think this is a trick question, but it isn’t. There is a distinct difference between a project manager and a product manager.

In short, a project manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day tasks of a project. And that project could be anything from constructing a new building to designing a new curriculum. A product manager, however, is responsible for the specifics of a product, usually from its inception to retirement. 

>>MORE: CBRE Project Management Virtual Experience Program

Where people sometimes get confused is that a product manager may project manage certain aspects of the product. For example, if the product is software, the product manager may decide the software needs an upgrade, and they project manage the creation and implementation of that upgrade. A project manager, though, doesn’t come up with new product ideas. They manage the individual tasks that go into creating or updating the product.

Here’s how you might explain the difference in an interview:

A product manager “owns” a product. They might help create it, figure out how to improve it, and keep improving it until the product is retired. While a project manager might have ideas on how to improve a product, it’s not their primary role. A project manager oversees the day-to-day of a project, ensuring everyone is meeting their deadlines and turning in their deliverables. Project managers and product managers often work closely, as the product manager comes up with the ideas and the project manager shepherds that idea along from start to finish.

How to Prepare for Project Manager Interview Questions

You may have noticed that many of these project manager interview questions are strikingly similar to behavioral interview questions . And that’s likely because many of the situations a project manager faces require excellent problem-solving skills that you’ll use on the fly. You may have to figure out how to make something happen while getting buy-in from a team that’s in disagreement while also communicating as positively as possible with stakeholders about project progress.

Needless to say, you need a deep skill set of hard and soft skills to be successful as a project manager!

To help you answer these kinds of project manager interview questions, start your interview prep by reviewing which hard and soft skills you possess. Then, think of the times you were project managing and used those skills. Take it a step further, and use the STAR method to come up with different situations when you used your skills to face the project manager challenges you encountered.

Get prepped for more interview questions:

  • 10 Common Interview Questions for Product Managers
  • Analytical Skills Interview Questions (And Answers)
  • 15 Entry-Level Interview Questions
  • Interview Questions, Answered: ‘What Are Your Salary Expectations?’
  • 10 Common Leadership Interview Questions and Answers
  • How to Answer: ‘Why Do You Think You Are Qualified for This Position?’
  • How to Answer: ‘What Motivates You?’ in a Job Interview
  • How to Answer: ‘What Are Your Reasons for Leaving a Job?’
  • How to Answer: ‘Why Are You Applying for This Position?’
  • What Are Your Career Goals? How to Answer This Interview Question

Rachel Pelta

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Table of Contents

Most popular project management interview questions, project management interview questions and answers, project management interview questions on domain knowledge , project manager interview questions on clear communication, project manager interview questions on consistency and integrity, project manager interview questions on customer orientation, project manager interview questions on developing others, project manager interview questions on effective delegation, project manager interview questions on goal focus, project manager interview questions on managing ambiguity and risks, project manager interview questions on prioritizing and time management, project manager interview questions on proactive decision making, miscellaneous project management questions and answers, wrapping up, top 70+ project manager interview questions and answers.

Top 70+ Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

In a project manager interview, you will be asked questions that will test your knowledge of people skills, technical abilities, and response to specific scenarios. Senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as indispensable to business success. They know that skilled and credentialed project managers are among their most valuable resources.

The Project Management Institute reports in a survey that in the U.S., over $122 million gets wasted for every $1 billion invested due to poor project performance. When it comes to hiring certified project managers , things get a little tricky, and candidates are reviewed in several ways. Will the candidate fit into the culture of the organization? Will the candidate get along with other team members and lead them effectively? Will the candidate deliver on the project goals on time?

Getting through an interview successfully is both an art and a science. There are a lot of unknowns, but focusing on key areas or competencies and giving the right answers to the questions based on them in the interview helps you get selected. The video below will take you through some of the most popular questions that you may face in your Project Manager interviews. Here we discuss the list of most popular questions you can expect in an interview and how you can frame your answers.

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1. Tell us about your most successful project.

2. How do you define an ideal project? 

3. Define processes and process groups in a project management framework. 

4. When would you escalate an issue?

5. What’s the difference between project monitoring and controlling?

6. What are stakeholder analysis and Power-Interest Grid used for?

7. How do you monitor and review the delegated responsibilities?

8. What is a traceability matrix?

9. What are the steps for efficient risk planning?

10. What is the difference between risk impact and risk probability? Also Read: PMP Exam Preparation

Here are a few questions that you are likely to encounter in your interview as a project manager. Use this list for inspiration when preparing stories based on your past experiences. 

1. Tell us about yourself.

It is a common question that the interview usually starts with. The interviewer aims to summarize your journey and your primary skills to determine the follow-up questions and establish how well you might fit into the role. 

An excellent answer to this question would be to mention your present status, then go into the past with the companies you have worked for, at what positions, your strengths and the number of successful projects you have worked on. Do mention your years of experience; if you are a fresher, elaborate on your education. Finish the answer by mentioning your professional goals or what you hope to achieve at this job.

2. Can you briefly tell us about the last project you worked on?

The interviewer is looking for some aspects in your answer to place your seniority, determine the type of projects you have experience working on, your working style, the size of the team you handled and so on.

Start by mentioning the crucial points of the project. Ensure to include the team size, goal, deliverables and the approach used to complete it. Elaborate on the result by using some key statistics and metrics attained by the end of it. It is good to answer honestly and mention things that went well and anything you learned.

3. Tell us about an incident where something went wrong in your project while you were managing it.

Challenges often arise in projects. The interviewer's main aim here is to know the nature of the problem and how you dealt with it. They want to understand if you can work under pressure and your strategy to deal with unforeseen setbacks.

Describe the project, the problem, and why it went wrong. Follow this up with the solution that you were expected to execute. This is where you will elaborate on how you tackled the problem and mention how it solved it, the project's outcomes, and what you learned from it. 

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Here's what learners are saying regarding our programs:

Nathan C

PHC Business Manager , Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit

I wanted to transition into the Project Management field and wanted the right opportunity to do so. Thus, I took that leap forward and enrolled in this course. My learning experience was fantastic. It suited my learning style.

Katrina Tanchoco

Katrina Tanchoco

Shell - manila ,.

The interactive sessions make a huge difference as I'm able to ask for further clarifications. The training sessions are more engaging than the self-paced modules, it's easier now that i first decided to take up the online classroom training, and then followed it up with the self-paced learning (online and readings).

4. Tell us about your most successful project.

The recruiter wants to understand your definition of success through this question. While meeting the budget, deadlines, goals and deliverables are essential elements of success, it could also be incorporating change, tackling problems, adapting to change, and so on.

You can use this chance to elaborate on your strengths. While telling your success story, elaborate on your role and contributions, and acknowledge your team's efforts. Mention any critical factors that led to the success of the project.

Related read:

5. Do you have any experience with budget management?

A specific question like this is aimed at understanding your skills. If you do not have any experience, it is best to be honest about it and share any budgeting experience you have from your personal life. Also, mention how good you are at picking up new skills.

If you do have professional budget management experience, it will be an added advantage to your candidature. Elaborate with specific project examples and outcomes. 

6. What is a project plan?

The interviewer wants to know your technical understanding of the different aspects of a project. Elaborate on the elements of a project plan that you know, such as milestones, team members and tasks. Then follow it up with how you have worked with it in the past, brief about its key features and how its implementation in your project led to a successful outcome.

7. How do you facilitate an environment of collaboration on your team?

Collaboration, teamwork and motivation are essential to achieve positive goals and fostering a supportive, positive work environment is essential. It is best to elaborate on this answer with an example from your past experience on how you facilitate good communication. Moreover, mention any strategies or techniques you use, such as team-building exercises, creating communication structures or starting meetings with icebreakers.

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. How do you determine the prioritization of tasks in any project?

A vital element of project management is the ability to prioritize tasks optimally. The interviewer seeks to know how you would prioritize tasks and why. They might also follow up with a question about your ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.

Frame the answer in a way that ties to the objectives and interests of the project. Explain the prioritization process using a combination of the project's goals, constraints, and stakeholders' needs. You could also mention setting deadlines, identifying critical path tasks, or balancing resources across multiple projects. To illustrate your approach, use examples from prior experiences or hypothetical scenarios.

11. What is the most desired skill that is required to become a successful project manager, according to your experience? Please give us a couple of examples regarding your past projects. 

If you are experienced in project management, you might probably know that there is no single skill that is enough for a successful career in the field. To be a successful project manager, you should possess multiple project management skills like leadership skills , communication skills , negotiation skills, and time management skills , to name a few. To answer this question promptly, you should be able to justify why you have chosen a particular skill. You can include a couple of examples to substantiate your answer. 

12. 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. 

13. Suppose the project has gone off the rails. What steps would you take to get it back on track?

Once you realize a project is not going as per the pre-planned time, budget, scope, or goals, the next top priority is to get it back on track. The project manager should be efficient enough to take the necessary steps to resolve the discrepancy between actual progress and planned progress. Your answer to this project management interview question may include re-adjusting resource management, finding the real cause of off-tracking, putting in extra effort, and more. 

14. 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.

15. Can you tell us an example of a failed project? Have you had any such experiences? 

Success and failure are part of your career as a project manager . It is not wise to answer ‘no’ to this question as well. Instead, you can think of an event or phase in your previous projects where you have experienced failure. This project management interview question aims to check your experience in managing risk too. You need to include how you have handled the issue. 

16. Suppose the customer is not happy about the quality of the project outcomes. How do you handle the situation? What is your way of handling an unhappy stakeholder?

As a project manager, you will be answerable when the customers are unhappy about the project outcomes. While you answer this project management interview question, you should be able to reveal how much you value the customers and that you would accept their authority without being critical. You can say that you will try to make the necessary modifications that the customer is looking for. You can explain the steps you have taken to ensure regular interaction with the customer throughout the project. Also, you can say that you will communicate effectively to make the customer understand that the outcomes are within the scope of the project.  

17. What is your strategy to deal with internal conflicts among the team members? 

Here, the interviewer is trying to understand your mediation skills and how impartial you are while resolving conflicts. You can explain why there is a necessity to listen to both the parties and understand both perspectives. Your answer should include how you convince both the parties to come to a conclusion that works best for the project at hand and delivers a win-win situation. Also, it would help if you communicate how you ensure that both of them are not benefitting at the loss of the other.

18. 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.   

Read more: What is a Project Management Plan and How to Create One

19. Can you explain the differences between risk and issues? What are the major types of risks that may be encountered in a project?

Risks refer to an uncertain event or situation in the future that would bring a negative or positive impact on the project goals. Issues apply to any event or situation that currently impacts the project objectives . In other words, risk focuses on future events while issues are more of present occurrences. Issues are often considered negative, say a team member suddenly resigns from the organization. Risks would be either positive or negative.

The following are the most common forms of project risks:

Market Risk, Schedule Risk, Cost Risk, Resource Risk, Performance Risk, Technology Risk, Governance Risk, Legal Risk, External Risk, Strategic Risk, Operational Risk are all factors to consider.

20. Explain the concept of RAID in project management.

As you know, RAID is a critical tool for any project manager. It stands for Risks, Actions, Issues, and Decisions. To define it, RAID is a tool used by project managers to track risks, actions, issues, and decisions in an organized way. While answering the project management interview question, you should include the definitions of these four concepts as well. 

21. 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. 

22. 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. 

23. What do you know about the triple constraint triangle of project management?

Any project has restrictions and hazards that must be handled to be successful in the end. Project managers should know that time, scope, and money are the three critical restrictions. These are sometimes known as the project management triangle or the three restrictions. 

This is yet another technical question in which the interviewer assesses your technical knowledge and how you use it in your day-to-day job. Explain the definition and how you would use it.

24. How will you avoid gold plating?

  • To prevent gold plating, the top management should first stay away from anything above the requirements and scope baseline.
  • Secondly, We need to look at the project's scope from the outside. An independent auditor or inspector can quickly detect gold plating by verifying the deliverables to the project's scope baseline.

25. When would you escalate an issue?

Consider escalating a problem at work if:

  • The problem might cause a project delay or budget overrun.
  • You've attempted to reach an agreement and establish a common ground with everyone concerned.
  • You've previously tried and failed to solve the problem with various methods.
  • You or other teammates are forced to take on a large quantity of extra work due to the problem.

26. What’s your leadership style?

There are several methods to lead, each with its benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to project management, it's impossible to avoid bringing up a leadership style . A project manager may have to choose how they lead depending on the project, from top-down to servant leadership. Examine their understanding of leadership approaches and apply them to project management.

27. What project management software do you prefer?

Most project managers depend largely on Gantt charts regarding project planning and scheduling. Award-winning online Gantt charts in ProjectManager allow project managers to plan every aspect of their projects. Managers may use one screen to build dependencies, set milestones, assign tasks, manage workload, and more. The capability of our planning tools would wow any general contractor you employ.

A project manager needs project management tools to plan, monitor, and report on a project. There are several options, ranging from simple to sophisticated. This question exposes, first and foremost, how current the candidate is with software and project management technologies. It also gives an overview of the tools and techniques they employ to manage a project.

Related learning: What is Trello and How To Use It ?

Related learning: What Is Asana Project Management Tool & How Does It Work ?

28. What’s the difference between project monitoring and controlling?

Monitoring entails identifying discrepancies between actual project results and the project baseline, whereas Controlling entails identifying repair options for deviations and recommending corrective actions.

Both project monitoring and control are used to keep projects on track and carried out from start to finish. These procedures must be planned as part of the project management strategy for the project life cycle to go well.

29. How will you implement Earned Value Management? What is EVM and its use?

EVM is a practical approach for statistically determining project discrepancies and performance to aid the team in forecasting and planning appropriate preventative steps for dealing with variations. EVM is a project management approach that uses a schedule and cost performance index to calculate schedule and cost variances. It aids in the development of new project performance and cost estimates. 

A PM should use EVM by keeping a project schedule that lists all of the project activities and their start/end dates and budget. This timeline will serve as a benchmark against which the project's progress will be measured.

30. What is stakeholder analysis and Power-Interest Grid used for?

Stakeholder analysis involves compiling a list of all potential stakeholders who will be involved in some manner with the project. 

A power-interest grid aids in the classification of stakeholders based on their relevance and influence. These two aids in developing all-important stakeholder engagement strategies for diverse groups by outlining the positions of the project's stakeholders. 

31. What is the difference between Program, Project, and Portfolio?

  • A program is a sequence of interconnected initiatives handled as a unit. It is transient, just like a project, but it lasts longer. The program adheres to high-level plans that are supplemented by numerous specific plans.
  • A project is an attempt to develop a one-of-a-kind solution or product. It is transient and has a solid start and endpoint. The emphasis is on precise delivery.
  • A portfolio is a vast collection of projects and operations handled by a single group to achieve a strategic aim. It is permanent and integrated with strategic planning, unlike projects and programs. 

32. Explain Ishikawa/ Fishbone diagrams.

A root cause analysis for a specific problem is performed using an Ishikawa or Fishbone diagram. The essential advantage of this tool is its clear depiction and effectiveness in studying complicated issues with hidden elements. This enables the project manager to go beyond the symptoms and treat the root problems.

33. What is the process of calculating the three-point estimating method?

The three-point estimate can be calculated in two different ways:

  • PERT Distribution E = (P+4M+O)/6 
  • Triangular Distribution E = (P+M+O)/3 Beta

Where P denotes pessimist, O is optimist, and M denotes most likely.

34. What is Work Breakdown Structure (WBD)?

The Work Breakdown Structure is used to identify the project's core work activities and the different sub-activities that may be required to complete each activity. With a top-down or bottom-up approach, WBD's structure follows a hierarchical pattern, with core activities split off into sub-activities housed under each parent.

35. What is the Pareto principle analysis?

The 80/20 principle is another name for the Pareto principle. The efforts of 20% of the people produce 80% of the results. This approach aids in the prioritization of activities based on their significance rather than their urgency.

36. What are the motivation theories and formal techniques to keep a team motivated?

A project manager must keep the entire team motivated all of the time. The following motivation theories are helpful for project success:

  • McGregor's Hypothesis
  • McClelland's Hypothesis
  • Maslow's Theory of Motivation
  • Theory of Hertzberg
  • Vroom's Prediction Theory

A good project manager should have 2 features—experience, as well as an in-depth understanding of project management theories. While one without the other hinders performance, to be the ideal project manager, you must have a solid foundation in project management principles. The following question is often asked by interviewers to test the candidate’s domain knowledge and skills:

37. What are the three key challenges for our industry today, and how can these be tackled effectively?

This question will test your knowledge about the project management industry. Not only should you describe three relevant challenges, but possible solutions as well. Good examples can include challenges you’ve had personal experience with, along with effective solutions that you’ve used. Think about the top challenges of the industry in which the organization operates. Your response will reveal your understanding of the industry, the market, current challenges, and possible solutions. This knowledge is critical to the success of any project manager, as you will be tackling these challenges inside the organization if you get hired.

One of the essential skills for project managers is communication. Without this, everything else fails. Communication is the life and blood of any project. It is claimed at PMI® Research Conference that about 90 percent of a project manager’s time is spent communicating. In today's siloed organizations, communication happens between various groups and levels, including internal as well as external groups of stakeholders . Here are two communication-related questions asked to candidates:

38. What were the communication challenges on your last project?

As a project manager, you’ll need to communicate with your team for all projects effectively. Communication challenges will arise; nobody expects that this won’t happen. What the interviewer wants to see, however, is how you’ve handled these challenges in the past. It needs to be evident that even with communication issues, you were still able to work with your team effectively. For example, perhaps instead of being able to have face-to-face meetings when necessary, you were able to put together webchat meetings. Think of a time when something like this happened and how you dealt with the communication challenges efficiently to ensure that the project outcome was still a good one.

39. What is your communication style with your team?

If your interviewer asks this, you’ll want to assure him or her that you are an effective communicator who motivates others on your team. Not only should good project managers be encouraging when delegating to their team, but they should also be clear in their expectations. Make sure you point out that you understand the significance of being an effective communicator as a project manager. While the first question helps the interviewer assess how effectively you can handle communication in challenging situations, the second question helps understand how you engage with others, whether you demonstrate good sense and judgment, and are able to use language effectively.

Honesty and trustworthiness are of utmost importance in the world of business. Project managers manage critical responsibilities and resources such as material, money, and human resources. They also represent the organization to employees, customers, and vendors. They are role models for their team members. Any lack of consistency and integrity can cost the organization a lot more than money. Therefore, the key questions asked to the candidate will be:

40. How do you communicate bad news?

It’s likely you’ve had to deliver bad news in the past as a project manager, and your interviewer wants to see how, exactly, you go about doing so. They want to see that you’re considerate and upfront with everyone, that you have all of the facts first, and that you’ve thought about how this news will impact all of your team members—not just the person you’re delivering the bad news to directly.

41. How have you handled disgruntled employees?

The interviewer wants to see that you’re a critical thinker and an effective problem solver. Even if you don’t have a specific example to talk about, explain that you always care about your team members and would want to uncover the root of the problem, and find out why, exactly, they’re unhappy. While it may not be possible to please every disgruntled employee, the interviewer just wants to see that you would make an effort to rectify the situation and be professional about everything.

42. What are some examples of times you’ve kept your promise even when that might have been difficult?

Think about a time when you reluctantly agreed to a challenging request, because as a project manager, you’re expected to make things happen. Explain to the interviewer how you managed to juggle your tasks and effectively manage your time to ensure that you would be able to follow through with an ambiguous promise. Even though you may have had a lot on your plate, interviewers want to hear specific examples that show you were still successful in accommodating additional requests.

Project managers are responsible for understanding the need of the customer and responding in a timely, efficient manner in ways that meet customer expectations. They are also responsible for establishing and maintaining effective relationships and gaining the trust and respect of customers. Here are a few questions that are usually asked to gauge the candidate's customer orientation:

43. How do you ensure you and your team deliver or exceed customer expectations?

In a nutshell, the interviewer wants to see how, in detail, you’re able to succeed as a project manager. After all, meeting (or exceeding) customer expectations when it comes to project delivery is your ultimate goal. It’s important not to be vague and give a generalized answer; you’ll want to give precise examples and details about your process.

44. What are some best practices you’ve used to develop excellent customer relationships?

Current clients make the best repeat customers, and it’s important to maintain excellent relationships, beyond just delivering them what they paid for. The person interviewing you wants to know you feel this way also, so as you explain the ways you’ve maintained excellent customer relationships, be sure to stress the importance of always having a very happy customer.

A project manager relies on the team to execute activities to achieve the desired results. It is crucial that a project manager can assess talent, contribute actively towards developing, mentor, and coach team members, and offer constructive feedback to them. Responses to the following questions will reveal if you are someone who can motivate the members of a team:

45. How do you go about managing the performance of your team?

It’s important to show that you have leadership skills when you answer this question. Be thorough about your daily tasks when it comes to managing your team’s performance—for example, perhaps you hold weekly strategy discussions and meetings. You’ll also want to provide specific examples of how your management style has resulted in positive team performance.

46. How do you motivate team members?

It’s crucial as a leader to not only ensure your team stays on the right track but also gets motivated about the projects they’re working on. Maybe you give praise for a job well done as a form of motivation. As long as you can demonstrate past examples of how you’ve motivated team members, there’s not a right or wrong answer here.

47. What are some of the tools and resources you’ve used to develop your team?

This is your chance to show your knowledge of some of the many different technologies that project managers use these days. Be sure to name any software programs, online tools, and other things that you’ve used to complete your daily tasks. Be sure also to explain that you are always open and eager to learn new tools or programs.

One of the key success factors for a project manager is effective delegation. How effectively can you get work done through others? The delegation must happen through empowerment without interference or loss of control. The following questions will determine if you are good at delegating:

48. What is your delegation style?

This is a question that is designed to ask about leadership skills. Explain what has been best for you and use examples of how your delegation style has worked well in the past. Even if you’ve never technically led a team before, it’s important to find an example of how you might’ve delegated in the past.

49. How easily do you delegate responsibility?

Easily delegating responsibility is an essential quality of any project manager. Be sure to discuss a relevant example that assures the interviewer that delegating responsibility comes naturally to you.

50. How do you monitor and review the delegated responsibilities?

As a project manager, it’s important to routinely stay on top of your team members’ tasks and responsibilities. Discuss how you do this with specific examples—whether it’s by scheduling brief meetings, using project management software , and so on.

Being focused on goals is essential for project managers. You need a clear focus to succeed. It is important for candidates to demonstrate the ability to align resources to achieve key objectives, to plan and identify ways to improve and achieve greater efficiency and to monitor and fine-tune execution with agility, hard work, perseverance, and good judgment. Key questions asked in this area are:

51. What are your career and project goals for the next six months?

Be honest about any short-term project goals you have currently, as this shows the interviewer that you are enthusiastic about your projects and that you’re goal-oriented. When it comes to discussing your career goals, be sure to include the company you’re interviewing with as part of your goals. If you’re interviewing with a recruiter for job placement , you may not have a specific company in mind, and that’s okay—just be sure to be clear about what type of role you see yourself working in.

52. How do you set goals for your team? And how do you track these goals?

Whether it’s deadline goals or overall project goals, setting goals is an important part of being a project manager, as it motivates team members and helps to keep projects on track. Be sure to give specific examples that demonstrate how you’ve set goals for your team in the past and how you’ve tracked these goals. For instance, you might have set a project completion goal for a specific project that required everyone to complete their part by a certain date. Perhaps you regularly checked in with team members to see if any obstacles could stop them from meeting that deadline and if so, you offered possible solutions.

A project manager has to deal with uncertainty. It is important that you can identify and prioritize risks and take appropriate action in ambiguous situations. It is equally important to manage others’ concerns in changing environments. To assess competency in this area, the following scenario-based questions are often asked:

53. Describe two areas in your current project, where there is a high level of uncertainty. How do you tackle these uncertainties?

No project goes without a hitch, and people expect that. What your interviewer wants to see is how you handle anything that can result in a potential setback. An effective project manager should always have a few tricks up his or her sleeve.

54. How do you control changes to your project?

Some level of change is inevitable, but as a project manager, it’s important to adapt to those changes quickly. Explain to your interviewer how you continue to keep your team on track whenever any project changes pop up.

A project manager must tackle multiple tasks and issues. To be a successful project manager, you have to choose your battles wisely. Since resources are always limited, they need to be prioritized. Time is a valuable resource for the project because once lost; it cannot be recovered easily. As a result, Project time management is one of the key skills for any project manager. The following questions are asked to assess whether you are capable of taking up the responsibility for creating efficient ways to execute tasks:

55. How do you ensure that your project is always on track?

Your interviewer wants to understand your work process and see that you’re detail-oriented. Explain how you check in with your team throughout a project. For example, you may want to point out that you believe effective and regular communication is key to ensuring that a project stays on track.

56. What tools do you use as a manager to plan your activities as well as that of your team?

From meetings to project management programs and everything in between, there’s an endless list of tools and processes that project managers use to stay organized. Be sure to list as many tools as you can think of that you’re familiar with to demonstrate your knowledge of project management software and other tools.

A project manager needs to be able to identify and prevent issues from impacting the project adversely. It is important that the candidate demonstrates the ability to take proactive steps, avoid procrastination, and not shy away from making tough decisions. Thus, candidates are often asked to share examples and real-life scenarios from their projects and life where they made proactive decisions. Here are a few such questions:

57. Give a few examples of proactive decision-making in your past projects and your life in general.

It’s always important to take the initiative as a project manager, and your interviewer wants to see just how you do that. Think of specific project examples that included a lot of proactive decision-making, but don’t also be afraid to include examples that don’t include the workplace.

58. Can you give me a few examples of a time when you made a tough decision, and it backfired?

This question is a tough one for candidates to handle as it tells the interviewer how honest you are with yourself and compels you to talk about an instance when you failed. Your interviewer wants to see how you handle setbacks because no matter how good you are at your job, they will happen. Most importantly, they want to know what you learned from these experiences. When you give your examples, explain how you used those setbacks to improve as a project manager overall.

59. How do you identify stakeholders?

You can identify stakeholders if they perform any of the following actions:

  • Furnishing funds
  • Supplying resources
  • Being the end customers
  • Supporting you
  • Giving guidelines/regulations

60. Why do you need to know more about stakeholders?

Knowing about stakeholders will help you engage them. The project's success means fulfilling the stakeholders' objectives and expectations. So engaging will result in project success. 

61. What is a traceability matrix?

A requirement traceability matrix shows the relationship between requirements and other artifacts. It also documents document requirements, tests, test results, and issues. 

62. Is maintaining a requirement traceability matrix crucial?

The requirement traceability matrix tracks each requirement at every stage of the project development. It ensures that no phase closes before you fulfill the requirements. Additionally, you also avoid missing any essentials. 

63. What details should a project plan include?

The project prepares the project plan. It includes details about:

  • Project execution
  • Project monitoring
  • Project completion

64. What are the steps for efficient risk planning?

Efficient risk planning minimizes threats and maximizes opportunities. The risk planning steps are:

  • Discovering risks
  • Analyzing potential risks
  • Prioritizing risks
  • Developing risk response
  • Maintaining risk register

65. How will you tackle project execution?

Project managers can handle project execution by leading the team of project stakeholders, sponsors, and peers. They should demonstrate excellent communication and intrapersonal skills.

66. How should you deal with an underperforming team member?

You should deal with an underperforming team member as follows:

  • Informal conversation
  • Understand underlying cause
  • possibility of role change
  • Replace the underperforming resource

67. How to handle a difficult stakeholder?

To manage a difficult stakeholder:

  • Identify and manage them closely
  • Listen and understand what the stakeholders say
  • Arrange a meeting with them
  • Understand what motivates them
  • Make them understand your point of view

68. What are the steps to consider when your project is off track?

If your project is off track, you can do the following:

  • Review and assess the situation
  • Understand the extent of the problem
  • Develop and implement a plan of action
  • Get help from a high-performance team

69. What are the project management methodologies in your project?

The top ten project management methodologies are:

  • Waterfall Methodologies
  • Agile Methodology
  • Scrum Methodology
  • Critical Path Method
  • Kanban Method
  • Extreme Programming
  • Lean Methodology

70. What is the difference between risk impact and risk probability?

Risk Impact measures the extent of the damage in the event of a disaster. And Risk Probability tells the likelihood of the disaster. 

71. How can an individual manage a challenging project?

You can manage a challenging project by:

  • Sticking to the plan
  • Identifying the project scope, goals, stakeholders, and requirements
  • Picking the right people for the team
  • Managing time efficiently
  • Seeking help when required
  • Visualizing the result

72. What is the life cycle of a project?

A project’s life cycle includes:

  • Initiating 

The interview questions cover the most important project management skills and competencies that the candidate will not only be tested on during an interview but also will need to succeed as a project manager. Knowing the right answers alone isn’t enough. Simplilearn offers PMP® Certification Training programs that can help you acquire and build on these skills further, and prepare you to get beyond the interview and land the job!

PMBOK®, PMP®, and PMI® have registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

1) What are the 5 key roles as a project manager?

The key roles of a project manager include: 

  • Project Planning Expert
  • Team Leader and Motivator
  • Risk Manager
  • Stakeholder Manager
  • Quality Assurance Enforcer

2) What are the 3 most important things for a project manager?

The important things for a project manager are: 

  • Effective Communication
  • Time and Resource Management
  • Adaptability and Problem-Solving

3) What is a project process?

A project process is a systematic series of activities from project initiation to completion, including stages like initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, control, and closure.

Our Project Management Courses Duration And Fees

Project Management Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

Program NameDurationFees

Cohort Starts:

6 Months€ 2,250
Plus36 Months€ 1,199
11 Months€ 499

Recommended Reads

Project Management Interview Guide

7 Questions Every PMP® Student Asks About Project Management

What Is Project Management?

An Introduction to Project Management: A Beginner’s Guide

Eleven Important Questions for PMP® Certification Exam

What is Agile Project Management?

Get Affiliated Certifications with Live Class programs

  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

case study interview questions for project managers

How to Nail your next Technical Interview

You may be missing out on a 66.5% salary hike*, nick camilleri, how many years of coding experience do you have, free course on 'sorting algorithms' by omkar deshpande (stanford phd, head of curriculum, ik), help us with your details.

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Top Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Last updated by Abhinav Rawat on May 30, 2024 at 05:55 PM | Reading time: 13 minutes

You must get well-versed with the most anticipated scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers to demonstrate your core abilities and outperform the competition. Scenario-based questions often form an integral part of the final interview rounds at FAANG+ companies. Your answers to these questions must translate your efficiency in effectively organizing, planning, and executing projects even while working within budget and time constraints.

A project manager is responsible for various duties, including team supervision, defining goals, communicating with stakeholders, and reviewing a project throughout its journey. This position requires an assemblage of technical and non-technical attributes in an ideal candidate. About 90% of the time that project managers are working is on communication-related issues. This emphasizes the significance of strong leadership, communication abilities, and specific tools and behaviors in achieving success in a project.

Continue reading to discover the most commonly asked scenario-based project manager interview questions and their befitting replies.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist , interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!

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What Does a Project Manager Do at FAANG+ Companies?

Scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers on teamwork and collaboration, scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers on adaptability, scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers on management abilities, sample project manager interview questions for practice.

What experts say?

“Operations keep the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.”

(Senior Director at Project Auditors)

If you are a project manager at any FAANG company, you will be entitled to perform the following duties:

  • Organize, plan, and execute projects
  • Communicate with stakeholders
  • Ensure that the team members have the essential technical tools to meet project milestones
  • Create project schedules, including requirements (tools and members), and submit them to the management
  • Create summary reports for company management
  • Build a strong team by cultivating relationships

The following scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers will help you crack interview rounds at FAANG+ companies. These questions will help you devise a strong strategy for navigating challenging behavioral rounds.

Q1. How will you prioritize tasks in a project?

You ought to be efficient in prioritizing tasks in a project to ensure its successful and timely completion. You can include the following task prioritization strategies while answering this question:

  • Creating a list of responsibilities
  • Splitting important and urgent tasks
  • Considering and ordering tasks by estimated efforts
  • Assessing the criterion value of every task
  • Avoiding competing priorities
  • Staying flexible

Task prioritization strategies while answering this question

Q2. As a project manager, how will you earn trust within a team?  

The interviewer will assess your leadership qualities via scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers. You can highlight the following points while answering this question:

  • Giving special attention to creating proper networking opportunities for team members and allowing them to share their capabilities
  • Relying on the truth
  • Role-model transparency
  • Highlighting successes
  • Admitting mistakes
  • Allowing others to improvise on their work rather than being intolerable to mistakes

Q3. In the recent pandemic conditions, work from home has become common. How well do you find yourself prepared to lead a remote team?

This scenario-based interview question aims at understanding your thought process. You should not try to recite a memorized answer. The following points on working with people and resources in a remote environment will help you create an effective answer to this question.

  • Setting clear expectations and communicating them well to the team members.
  • Conducting one-on-one and group meetings for ongoing projects more frequently while keeping them precise.
  • Following a structured and detailed feedback system to ensure that the team members do not repeat their mistakes.
  • Using project management tools to involve team members and create project status visibility.
  • Creating opportunities for team bonding and levity.

Q4. What steps will you take if you come across an underperforming team member?

If you are a good leader , you must possess the skills to bring out the best in every team member. Such scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers assess your skill to uplift your team members. You can take the following measures to deal with an underperforming team member:

  • Firstly, it is vital to question whether the team member has explicit knowledge of what is expected from them.
  • Highlight the repercussions of underperformance in a meeting without targeting the individual.
  • Try to be more specific about the performance issue instead of being generic.
  • Most importantly, understanding their concerns and reasons is crucial to checking underperformance.
  • Provide quality assistance and training.

Recommended Reading: Project manager interview questions for technical rounds

The recruiters hunt for meaningful and articulated responses via scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers. You must ensure that you sound flexible and your answers highlight your adaptability skills.

Q1. If the client makes some last-minute, abrupt changes, how would you accommodate them?

You can frame your answer around the following key points:

  • Understand the need behind the last-minute change while patiently communicating with the client
  • Document the change
  • Evaluate the change in terms of scope, schedule, and budget
  • Weigh all the implications and get any suggestions or changes approved
  • Implement the changes
  • Communicate them to the team and try to achieve the target as soon as possible

Q2. How would you handle a situation when a coworker takes the credit for your work?

Such scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers can be challenging. You must be calculative while choosing the correct words for your answer. You can follow the steps given below for dealing with the situation:

  • You must take your time to maintain your composure and not react immediately.
  • Evaluate the circumstances from an unbiased viewpoint. You must also weigh the chances of an unknowing claim for your work instead of deliberate.
  • Reconsider the situation thoroughly to avoid any confusion.
  • Finally, communicate with the other person rather than accusing them publicly. Understand their viewpoint before approaching a manager.

Q3. What steps will you take to bring back a project that has gone off-track?

You should be adept at resolving the discrepancy between planned progress and actual progress. Your answer can include the following measures:

  • Re-adjusting resource management
  • Recognizing early warnings
  • Finding the root cause of off-tracking
  • Employing extra effort
  • Encouraging the team members

If you are a project manager, you need to ace the following scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers with your outshine management skills.

Q1. You realize that you will require additional resources (workforce and physical resources) for your project. How will you acquire them?

You can answer this scenario-based question keeping the following postulates in mind:

  • If you are an efficient project manager, this realization for additional resources should hit at the initial stage of the project.
  • The workforce resources can be supplemented from within the organization. If the workforce resource needs are not completely satisfied by internal sources, the project manager will have to acquire them from outside agencies.
  • As a project manager, you will have to be careful in selecting suitable candidates with the required competencies.
  • You will follow the same procedure for physical resources: an internal hunt followed by an external for the required sources.
  • You will collaborate with project sponsors and other functional managers.

Q2. How will you present your conflicting ideas before your senior?

You can take the following measures to present conflicting ideas before your senior:

  • Understand the other person's viewpoint
  • Wait for the right time to address the issue
  • Offer alternatives and be flexible with your idea as well
  • Talk to them and convey the points you agree on, and weave in your new idea in the conversation so that they agree with your viewpoint as you have already given them information on the same.

Q3. How will you assure quality during the execution of a project?

Your answer to this project manager interview question can include the following steps:

  • You will decide the relevant standards for the project during the initial quality management planning session. This process will also include reviews and testing.
  • As a project manager, you will ensure that the team abides by the chosen processes and development standards.
  • Perform regular quality audits to confirm process compliance.

Recommended Reading: Top Companies Hiring Project Managers in 2022

  • How will you resolve a situation of conflicting personal and professional interests?
  • If something unpleasant happens in your personal life, how will it impact your professional life?
  • What steps can an organization take to improve work-life balance for project managers?
  • How will you handle a situation wherein you need information from a coworker who is too slow to respond?
  • How will you persuade your team to see things from your perspective?
  • What will you do if your senior commits a mistake?
  • Suppose you made a mistake and no one has discovered it yet. How will you handle it?
  • You have no experience in the task assigned to you. How will you approach the task?

This completes the list of scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers. We hope practicing these questions will help you nail your PM interview .

FAQs on Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q1. how to answer scenario-based project manager interview questions .

The STAR method is an effective way to answer scenario-based project manager interview questions . STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. You will begin answering the question by describing the situation you encountered as a project manager .

Next, you must explain your task, followed by the specific actions you took to resolve the situation. Lastly, end your answers with details on the results. You must ensure that you quantify your answers wherever possible.

Q2. How many scenario-based interview questions are asked in a project manager interview at FAANG+ companies?

You should prepare at least four to five scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers in the final HR interview round at FAANG+ companies.

Q3. Are scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers more important than technical questions?

If you are interviewing for a project manager , program manager, or any other leadership position, you must realize that scenario-based interview questions are equally important as technical questions.

Often a recruiter may draw conclusive results for the interview from your answers to such hypothetical questions. Since these questions force you to go off script and think critically, the employers assess your potential performance and whether you will be able to handle the specifics of the role based on your answers.

Q4. What is the average project manager salary in the US?

The average salary of a project manager is $77,250 per annum in the US (Source: Indeed.com) . You can also expect approximately $12,000 per year as an additional cash bonus for this position.

Q5. Which company is the best for a role as a project manager ?

Various companies are looking for project managers in 2023. Several top companies include Apple, Google, IBM, Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, AT&T, American Express, Bank of America, etc. Depending on the salary package, job location, working environment, and related aspects, you can decide which company best fits you for a project manager role.

Nail Your Next Project Manager Interview

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100 Best Case Study Questions for Your Next Customer Spotlight

Brittany Fuller

Published: November 29, 2022

Case studies and testimonials are helpful to have in your arsenal. But to build an effective library, you need to ask the right case study questions. You also need to know how to write a case study .

marketing team coming up with case study questions

Case studies are customers' stories that your sales team can use to share relevant content with prospects . Not only that, but case studies help you earn a prospect's trust, show them what life would be like as your customer, and validate that your product or service works for your clients.

Before you start building your library of case studies, check out our list of 100 case study questions to ask your clients. With this helpful guide, you'll have the know-how to build your narrative using the " Problem-Agitate-Solve " Method.

Download Now: 3 Free Case Study Templates

What makes a good case study questionnaire?

The ultimate list of case study questions, how to ask your customer for a case study, creating an effective case study.

Certain key elements make up a good case study questionnaire.

A questionnaire should never feel like an interrogation. Instead, aim to structure your case study questions like a conversation. Some of the essential things that your questionnaire should cover include:

  • The problem faced by the client before choosing your organization.
  • Why they chose your company.
  • How your product solved the problem clients faced.
  • The measurable results of the service provided.
  • Data and metrics that prove the success of your service or product, if possible.

You can adapt these considerations based on how your customers use your product and the specific answers or quotes that you want to receive.

What makes a good case study question?

A good case study question delivers a powerful message to leads in the decision stage of your prospective buyer's journey.

Since your client has agreed to participate in a case study, they're likely enthusiastic about the service you provide. Thus, a good case study question hands the reins over to the client and opens a conversation.

Try asking open-ended questions to encourage your client to talk about the excellent service or product you provide.

Free Case Study Templates

Tell us about yourself to access the templates..


Categories for the Best Case Study Questions

  • Case study questions about the customer's business
  • Case study questions about the environment before the purchase
  • Case study questions about the decision process
  • Case study questions about the customer's business case
  • Case study questions about the buying team and internal advocates
  • Case study questions about customer success
  • Case study questions about product feedback
  • Case study questions about willingness to make referrals
  • Case study question to prompt quote-worthy feedback
  • Case study questions about the customers' future goals

case study interview questions for project managers

Showcase your company's success using these three free case study templates.

  • Data-Driven Case Study Template
  • Product-Specific Case Study Template
  • General Case Study Template

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Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business

Knowing the customer's business is an excellent way of setting the tone for a case study.

Use these questions to get some background information about the company and its business goals. This information can be used to introduce the business at the beginning of the case study — plus, future prospects might resonate with their stories and become leads for you.

  • Would you give me a quick overview of [company]? This is an opportunity for the client to describe their business in their own words. You'll get useful background information and it's an easy prompt to get the client talking.
  • Can you describe your role? This will give you a better idea of the responsibilities they are subject to.
  • How do your role and team fit into the company and its goals? Knowing how the team functions to achieve company goals will help you formulate how your solution involves all stakeholders.
  • How long has your company been in business? Getting this information will help the reader gauge if pain points are specific to a startup or new company vs. a veteran company.
  • How many employees do you have? Another great descriptor for readers to have. They can compare the featured company size with their own.
  • Is your company revenue available? If so, what is it? This will give your readers background information on the featured company's gross sales.
  • Who is your target customer? Knowing who the target audience is will help you provide a better overview of their market for your case study readers.
  • How does our product help your team or company achieve its objectives? This is one of the most important questions because it is the basis of the case study. Get specifics on how your product provided a solution for your client. You want to be able to say "X company implemented our solution and achieved Y. "
  • How are our companies aligned (mission, strategy, culture, etc.)? If any attributes of your company's mission or culture appealed to the client, call it out.

How many people are on your team? What are their roles? This will help describe key players within the organization and their impact on the implementation of your solution.


Case Study Interview Questions About the Environment Before the Purchase

A good case study is designed to build trust. Ask clients to describe the tools and processes they used before your product or service. These kinds of case study questions will highlight the business' need they had to fulfill and appeal to future clients.

  • What was your team's process prior to using our product? This will give the reader a baseline to compare the results for your company's product.
  • Were there any costs associated with the process prior to using our product? Was it more expensive? Was it worth the cost? How did the product affect the client's bottom line? This will be a useful metric to disclose if your company saved the client money or was more cost-efficient.
  • What were the major pain points of your process prior to using our product? Describe these obstacles in detail. You want the reader to get as much information on the problem as possible as it sets up the reasoning for why your company's solution was implemented.
  • Did our product replace a similar tool or is this the first time your team is using a product like this? Were they using a similar product? If so, having this information may give readers a reason to choose your brand over the competition.
  • What other challenges were you and your team experiencing prior to using our product? The more details you can give readers regarding the client's struggles, the better. You want to paint a full picture of the challenges the client faced and how your company resolved them.
  • Were there any concerns about how your customers would be impacted by using our product? Getting answers to this question will illustrate to readers the client's concerns about switching to your service. Your readers may have similar concerns and reading how your client worked through this process will be helpful.
  • Why didn't you buy our product or a similar product earlier? Have the client describe any hesitations they had using your product. Their concerns may be relatable to potential leads.
  • Were there any "dealbreakers" involved in your decision to become a customer? Describing how your company was able to provide a solution that worked within those parameters demonstrates how accommodating your brand is and how you put the customer first. It's also great to illustrate any unique challenges the client had. This better explains their situation to the reader.
  • Did you have to make any changes you weren't anticipating once you became a customer? Readers of your case study can learn how switching to your product came with some unexpected changes (good or bad) and how they navigated them. If you helped your client with troubleshooting, ask them to explain that here.

How has your perception of the product changed since you've become a customer? Get the interviewee to describe how your product changed how they do business. This includes how your product accomplished what they previously thought was impossible.


Case Study Interview Questions About the Decision Process

Readers of the case study will be interested in which factors influenced the decision-making process for the client. If they can relate to that process, there's a bigger chance they'll buy your product.

The answers to these questions will help potential customers through their decision-making process.

  • How did you hear about our product? If the client chose to work with you based on a recommendation or another positive case study, include that. It will demonstrate that you are a trusted brand with an established reputation for delivering results.
  • How long had you been looking for a solution to this problem? This will add to the reader's understanding of how these particular challenges impacted the company before choosing your product.
  • Were you comparing alternative solutions? Which ones? This will demonstrate to readers that the client explored other options before choosing your company.
  • Would you describe a few of the reasons you decided to buy our product? Ask the interviewee to describe why they chose your product over the competition and any benefits your company offered that made you stand out.
  • What were the criteria you used when deciding to buy our product? This will give readers more background insight into the factors that impacted their decision-making process.
  • Were there any high-level initiatives or goals that prompted the decision to buy? For example, was this decision motivated by a company-wide vision? Prompt your clients to discuss what lead to the decision to work with you and how you're the obvious choice.
  • What was the buying process like? Did you notice anything exceptional or any points of friction? This is an opportunity for the client to comment on how seamless and easy you make the buying process. Get them to describe what went well from start to finish.
  • How would you have changed the buying process, if at all? This is an opportunity for you to fine-tune your process to accommodate future buyers.
  • Who on your team was involved in the buying process? This will give readers more background on the key players involved from executives to project managers. With this information, readers can see who they may potentially need to involve in the decision-making process on their teams.


Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business Case

Your case study questions should ask about your product or solution's impact on the customer's employees, teams, metrics, and goals. These questions allow the client to praise the value of your service and tell others exactly what benefits they derived from it.

When readers review your product or service's impact on the client, it enforces the belief that the case study is credible.

  • How long have you been using our product? This will help readers gauge how long it took to see results and your overall satisfaction with the product or service.
  • How many different people at your company use our product? This will help readers gauge how they can adapt the product to their teams if similar in size.
  • Are there multiple departments or teams using our product? This will demonstrate how great of an impact your product has made across departments.
  • How do you and your team currently use the product? What types of goals or tasks are you using the product to accomplish? Get specifics on how the product actively helps the client achieve their goals.
  • If other teams or departments are using our product, do you know how they're using it? With this information, leads can picture how they can use your product across their teams and how it may improve their workflow and metrics.
  • What was the most obvious advantage you felt our product offered during the sales process? The interviewee should explain the benefits they've gained from using your product or service. This is important for convincing other leads you are better than the competition.
  • Were there any other advantages you discovered after using the product more regularly? Your interviewee may have experienced some additional benefits from using your product. Have them describe in detail what these advantages are and how they've helped the company improve.
  • Are there any metrics or KPIs you track with our product? What are they? The more numbers and data the client can provide, the better.
  • Were you tracking any metrics prior to using our product? What were they? This will allow readers to get a clear, before-and-after comparison of using your product.
  • How has our product impacted your core metrics? This is an opportunity for your clients to drive home how your product assisted them in hitting their metrics and goals.


Case Study Interview Questions About the Buying Team and Internal Advocates

See if there are any individuals at the customer's company who are advocates for your product.

  • Are there any additional team members you consider to be advocates for our product? For example, does anyone stick out as a "power user" or product expert on your team? You may want to interview and include these power users in your case study as well. Consider asking them for tips on using your service or product.
  • Is there anyone else on your team you think we should talk to? Again, the more people can share their experience using your product, the better.
  • Are there any team members who you think might not be the biggest fans of our product or who might need more training? Providing extra support to those struggling with your product may improve their user experience and turn into an opportunity to not only learn about their obstacles but turn them into a product fan
  • Would you share some details about how your team implemented our product? Get as much information as possible about the rollout. Hopefully, they'll gush about how seamless the process was.
  • Who from your company was involved in implementing our product? This will give readers more insight into who needs to be involved for a successful rollout of their own.
  • Were there any internal risks or additional costs involved with implementing our product? If so, how did you address them? This will give insight into the client's process and rollout and this case study question will likely provide tips on what potential leads should be on the lookout for.
  • Is there a training process in place for your team's use of our product? If so, what does it look like? If your company provided support and training to the client, have them describe that experience.
  • About how long does it take a new team member to get up to speed with our product? This will help leads determine how much time it will take to onboard an employee to your using your product. If a new user can quickly get started seamlessly, it bodes well for you.
  • What was your main concern about rolling this product out to your company? Describing their challenges in detail will provide readers with useful insight.


Case Study Interview Questions About Customer Success

Has the customer found success with your product? Ask these questions to learn more.

  • By using our product can you measure any reduced costs? If it has, you'll want to emphasize those savings in your case study.
  • By using our product can you measure any improvements in productivity or time savings? Any metrics or specific stories your interviewee can provide will help demonstrate the value of your product.
  • By using our product can you measure any increases in revenue or growth? Again, say it with numbers and data whenever possible.
  • Are you likely to recommend our product to a friend or colleague? Recommendations from existing customers are some of the best marketing you can get.
  • How has our product impacted your success? Your team's success? Getting the interviewee to describe how your product played an integral role in solving their challenges will show leads that they can also have success using your product.
  • In the beginning, you had XYZ concerns; how do you feel about them now? Let them explain how working with your company eliminated those concerns.
  • I noticed your team is currently doing XYZ with our product. Tell me more about how that helps your business. Illustrate to your readers how current customers are using your product to solve additional challenges. It will convey how versatile your product is.
  • Have you thought about using our product for a new use case with your team or at your company? The more examples of use cases the client can provide, the better.
  • How do you measure the value our product provides? Have the interviewee illustrate what metrics they use to gauge the product's success and how. Data is helpful, but you should go beyond the numbers. Maybe your product improved company morale and how teams work together.


Case Study Interview Questions About Product Feedback

Ask the customer if they'd recommend your product to others. A strong recommendation will help potential clients be more open to purchasing your product.

  • How do other companies in this industry solve the problems you had before you purchased our product? This will give you insight into how other companies may be functioning without your product and how you can assist them.
  • Have you ever talked about our product to any of your clients or peers? What did you say? This can provide you with more leads and a chance to get a referral.
  • Why would you recommend our product to a friend or client? Be sure they pinpoint which features they would highlight in a recommendation.
  • Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. Your interviewee may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
  • What is your advice for other teams or companies who are tackling problems similar to those you had before you purchased our product? This is another opportunity for your client to talk up your product or service.
  • Do you know someone in X industry who has similar problems to the ones you had prior to using our product? The client can make an introduction so you can interview them about their experience as well.
  • I noticed you work with Company Y. Do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
  • Does your company participate in any partner or referral programs? Having a strong referral program will help you increase leads and improve customer retention.
  • Can I send you a referral kit as a thank-you for making a referral and give you the tools to refer someone to us? This is a great strategy to request a referral while rewarding your existing customers.
  • Are you interested in working with us to produce additional marketing content? The more opportunities you can showcase happy customers, the better.


Case Study Interview Questions About Willingness to Make Referrals

  • How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or client? Ideally, they would definitely refer your product to someone they know.
  • Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Again, your interviewee is a great source for more leads. Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. They may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
  • I noticed you work with Company Y; do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.


Case Study Interview Questions to Prompt Quote-Worthy Feedback

Enhance your case study with quotable soundbites from the customer. By asking these questions, prospects have more insight into other clients and their success with your product — which helps build trust.

  • How would you describe your process in one sentence prior to using our product? Ideally, this sentence would quickly and descriptively sum up the most prominent pain point or challenge with the previous process.
  • What is your advice to others who might be considering our product? Readers can learn from your customer's experience.
  • What would your team's workflow or process be like without our product? This will drive home the value your product provides and how essential it is to their business.
  • Do you think the investment in our product was worthwhile? Why? Have your customer make the case for the value you provide.
  • What would you say if we told you our product would soon be unavailable? What would this mean to you? Again, this illustrates how integral your product is to their business.
  • How would you describe our product if you were explaining it to a friend? Your customers can often distill the value of your product to their friends better than you can.
  • What do you love about your job? Your company? This gives the reader more background on your customer and their industry.
  • What was the worst part of your process before you started using our product? Ideally, they'd reiterate how your product helped solve this challenge.
  • What do you love about our product? Another great way to get the customer's opinion about what makes your product worth it.
  • Why do you do business with us? Hopefully, your interviewee will share how wonderful your business relationship is.


Case Study Interview Questions About the Customers' Future Goals

Ask the customer about their goals, challenges, and plans for the future. This will provide insight into how a business can grow with your product.

  • What are the biggest challenges on the horizon for your industry? Chances are potential leads within the same industry will have similar challenges.
  • What are your goals for the next three months? Knowing their short-term goals will enable your company to get some quick wins for the client.
  • How would you like to use our product to meet those challenges and goals? This will help potential leads understand that your product can help their business as they scale and grow.
  • Is there anything we can do to help you and your team meet your goals? If you haven't covered it already, this will allow your interviewee to express how you can better assist them.
  • Do you think you will buy more, less, or about the same amount of our product next year? This can help you gauge how your product is used and why.
  • What are the growth plans for your company this year? Your team? This will help you gain insight into how your product can help them achieve future goals.
  • How can we help you meet your long-term goals? Getting specifics on the needs of your clients will help you create a unique solution designed for their needs.
  • What is the long-term impact of using our product? Get their feedback on how your product has created a lasting impact.
  • Are there any initiatives that you personally would like to achieve that our product or team can help with? Again, you want to continue to provide products that help your customers excel.
  • What will you need from us in the future? This will help you anticipate the customer's business needs.
  • Is there anything we can do to improve our product or process for working together in the future? The more feedback you can get about what is and isn't working, the better.


Before you can start putting together your case study, you need to ask your customer's permission.

If you have a customer who's seen success with your product, reach out to them. Use this template to get started:

Thank you & quick request

Hi [customer name],

Thanks again for your business — working with you to [solve X, launch Y, take advantage of Z opportunity] has been extremely rewarding, and I'm looking forward to more collaboration in the future.

[Name of your company] is building a library of case studies to include on our site. We're looking for successful companies using [product] to solve interesting challenges, and your team immediately came to mind. Are you open to [customer company name] being featured?

It should be a lightweight process — [I, a product marketer] will ask you roughly [10, 15, 20] questions via email or phone about your experience and results. This case study will include a blurb about your company and a link to your homepage (which hopefully will make your SEO team happy!)

In any case, thank you again for the chance to work with you, and I hope you have a great week.

[Your name]

case study interview questions for project managers

If one of your customers has recently passed along some praise (to you, their account manager, your boss; on an online forum; to another potential customer; etc.), then send them a version of this email:

Hey [customer name],

Thanks for the great feedback — I'm really glad to hear [product] is working well for you and that [customer company name] is getting the results you're looking for.

My team is actually in the process of building out our library of case studies, and I'd love to include your story. Happy to provide more details if you're potentially interested.

Either way, thank you again, and I look forward to getting more updates on your progress.

case study interview questions for project managers

You can also find potential case study customers by usage or product data. For instance, maybe you see a company you sold to 10 months ago just bought eight more seats or upgraded to a new tier. Clearly, they're happy with the solution. Try this template:

I saw you just [invested in our X product; added Y more users; achieved Z product milestone]. Congratulations! I'd love to share your story using [product] with the world -- I think it's a great example of how our product + a dedicated team and a good strategy can achieve awesome results.

Are you open to being featured? If so, I'll send along more details.

case study interview questions for project managers

Case Study Benefits

  • Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
  • Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
  • Case studies are easily sharable.
  • Case studies build rapport with your customers.
  • Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.

1. Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.

If you haven't noticed, customers aren't always quick to trust a brand's advertisements and sales strategies.

With every other brand claiming to be the best in the business, it's hard to sort exaggeration from reality.

This is the most important reason why case studies are effective. They are testimonials from your customers of your service. If someone is considering your business, a case study is a much more convincing piece of marketing or sales material than traditional advertising.

2. Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.

Your business isn't the only one that benefits from a case study. Customers participating in case studies benefit, too.

Think about it. Case studies are free advertisements for your customers, not to mention the SEO factor, too. While they're not promoting their products or services, they're still getting the word out about their business. And, the case study highlights how successful their business is — showing interested leads that they're on the up and up.

3. Case studies are easily sharable.

No matter your role on the sales team, case studies are great to have on hand. You can easily share them with leads, prospects, and clients.

Whether you embed them on your website or save them as a PDF, you can simply send a link to share your case study with others. They can share that link with their peers and colleagues, and so on.

Case studies can also be useful during a sales pitch. In sales, timing is everything. If a customer is explaining a problem that was solved and discussed in your case study, you can quickly find the document and share it with them.

4. Case studies build rapport with your customers.

While case studies are very useful, they do require some back and forth with your customers to obtain the exact feedback you're looking for.

Even though time is involved, the good news is this builds rapport with your most loyal customers. You get to know them on a personal level, and they'll become more than just your most valuable clients.

And, the better the rapport you have with them, the more likely they'll be to recommend your business, products, or services to others.

5. Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.

Data is the difference between a case study and a review. Customer reviews are typically based on the customer's opinion of your brand. While they might write a glowing review, it's completely subjective and there's rarely empirical evidence supporting their claim.

Case studies, on the other hand, are more data-driven. While they'll still talk about how great your brand is, they support this claim with quantitative data that's relevant to the reader. It's hard to argue with data.

An effective case study must be genuine and credible. Your case study should explain why certain customers are the right fit for your business and how your company can help meet their specific needs. That way, someone in a similar situation can use your case study as a testimonial for why they should choose your business.

Use the case study questions above to create an ideal customer case study questionnaire. By asking your customers the right questions, you can obtain valuable feedback that can be shared with potential leads and convert them into loyal customers.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


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Strategy Execution for Public Leadership

Implement a public leadership approach for long-term success..

Join Harvard Kennedy School faculty and former Pentagon Chief of Staff Eric Rosenbach to learn how to develop strategies for public leadership success.

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What You'll Learn

How do you execute a strategic initiative that has a long-lasting impact? Do you know how to effectively communicate your strategic approach, gathering input and support from key stakeholders? How will you anticipate and respond to scrutiny from shareholders, news media, and the public?

Leaders in government, non-profit, and education organizations face unique challenges when it comes to making strategic, business-oriented decisions. If not thoroughly planned and executed, these decisions have real consequences with high-stakes outcomes. What can we learn from world leaders and experts who have faced these monumental decisions? How can you build a high performing team to successfully execute strategic ideas?

In Strategy Execution for Public Leadership, former United States Pentagon Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security Eric Rosenbach will lead you through real-life public sector challenges, showing you how a purpose-driven strategy execution framework can lead to long-term adoption and success.

This government and nonprofit leadership training online course offers the opportunity to study decisions of key public leaders, like Former United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, so you can better understand how to develop strategies that not only align with your organizational goals, but also gain insight into the challenges and scrutiny that come along with making public decisions. Too often, public strategies fail because leaders don’t think about execution, which is made up of leadership and management tools, as well as a team who anticipates all scenarios prior to putting your plan into place. 

Through global case studies and protagonist examples, you will explore topics that set you on a path to strengthen your public leadership skills, including leadership and team development, resource and budget planning, talent recruitment and retention, strategic communications and crisis management, and risk planning and mitigation tactics.

By the end of this leadership development course, you will not only have the tools to create a sound public strategy, but also know how to test and optimize your strategy, increase competitive advantage, and sustain long-term impact and success.

Strategy is not one-size-fits-all. Implement a public leadership approach for long-term success.

The course will be delivered via  HBS Online’s course platform  and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Enhance your strategic thinking by understanding the core elements of public leadership, management, strategy, and execution
  • Develop the skills to institute strategic models that align with your goals and your stakeholders
  • Prepare to lead your organization to long-term success through a shared understanding of strategic direction
  • Create a culture of consistency, both internally and externally, that considers core objectives, resources, and environmental factors  
  • Know how to approach strategy both effectively and efficiently, incorporating feedback cycles and creating public value
  • Identify weaknesses and risks, developing the skills and planning to respond in a crisis
  • Develop strategic communications to effectively roll out new initiatives and anticipate shareholder and media feedback

Your Instructor

Eric Rosenbach is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and is the Director of the Defense, Emerging Technology, and Strategy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Rosenbach teaches graduate courses in policy development, strategy execution, and national security.  As Pentagon Chief of Staff from 2015–2017, Rosenbach led and managed the execution of dozens of high-profile strategic initiatives for the largest public sector organization in the world.  As Assistant Secretary of Defense, Rosenbach was responsible for developing and executing the strategy for all aspects of the Department’s cyber activities and other key areas of defense policy. In the private sector, he led the cybersecurity practice of a global management consulting firm, advising the executives of Fortune 500 companies on strategic risk mitigation strategies.

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Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

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Leadership is a valuable skill that can be cultivated and strengthened.  Hear from the Executive Director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas to discover what it takes to become an effective leader at any level.

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Communication errors are often cited as the primary reason that initiatives fail. Learn the best strategies for effective communications and media relations from a former United States Secretary of Defense.

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Risk prevention and mitigation is everyone’s responsibility. Explore how to assess and mitigate risks by learning about international events, including the Ebola Endemic, BP Oil Spill, and more.

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Learners who have enrolled in at least one qualifying Harvard Online program hosted on the HBS Online platform are eligible to receive a 30% discount on this course, regardless of completion or certificate status in the first purchased program. Past Participant Discounts are automatically applied to the Program Fee upon time of payment.  Learn more here .

Learners who have earned a verified certificate for a HarvardX course hosted on the  edX platform  are eligible to receive a 30% discount on this course using a discount code. Discounts are not available after you've submitted payment, so if you think you are eligible for a discount on a registration, please check your email for a code or contact us .

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Public Sector Leaders

Local, state, and national government leaders will benefit by better understanding the core principles of public sector strategy formulation and execution.

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Military, defense, local, state, and federal officials, learn the the business fundamentals of strategy, including competitive analysis, stakeholder identification, and feedback.

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Focused on rising leaders who will benefit from understanding how public sector strategy and execution serves a unique purpose, and can serve as the eyes and ears on the ground to enhance adoption and strategy optimization.

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“My goal for taking the course was to better understand public program decision making. The course was thoughtfully developed and gave me the opportunity to better understand the public leadership perspective. I would recommend this course to individuals wanting a career in public leadership.”

Rob Arnold Executive Director Health Commons Project

Syllabus and Upcoming Calendars

This public leadership training course will help executives, managers, and rising managers in the nonprofit, government, and education sectors develop and implement actionable plans and strategies that will have a lasting impact on their organizations and communities they serve. 

Online Course requirements: There are no prerequisites needed to take this online course. In order to earn a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Online, participants must thoughtfully complete all 8 modules, including satisfactory completion of the associated quizzes, by stated deadlines.

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  • Prepare for this strategy execution training course for public sector leaders and rising leaders
  • Understand why strategy execution is important in the public sector
  • Overview of the course
  • Study a case on Women in the U.S. Military
  • Formulate an effective strategy to tackle any problem or opportunity and achieve your intended goals
  • Learn how to use environmental scan tools like SWOT and PESTEL
  • Study a case on the German Refugee Crisis
  • Plan and manage your initiative’s operations to increase performance and productivity
  • Learn to generate an activity list using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Study a case on healthcare.gov
  • Assess and use financial and technological tools to responsibly manage resources and maintain public trust
  • Practice generating cost estimate, calculating burn rates, and comparing waterfall and agile methodologies
  • Study a case on Equitable Transportation for Houston
  • Learn how to strengthen your leadership skills by understanding the styles and traits of an effective leader
  • Identify leadership styles and reflect on your own
  • Revisit the case study on Women in the U.S. Military
  • Communicate your ideas purposefully and persuasively to garner necessary support and commitment
  • Learn communications strategies that align with your audience and purpose and compare the uses and roles of different communication channels
  • Study the case on the Ebola Endemic in Liberia
  • Assess risks and craft ways to mitigate them so that they do not derail your efforts
  • Assess risks using an Impact-Probability Matrix
  • Learn to match mitigation strategies to risks to create a contingency plan
  • Evaluate your initiative to understand your level of impact and how to improve in the future
  • Identify key aspects of the Logical Framework planning tool and learn to compare the Logical Framework planning tool to a Performance Management Plan

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At-Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: Frequently Asked Questions

May 12, 2023 - The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declared under section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act expired on May 11, 2023.

The end of the PHE under section 319 of the PHS Act does not impact the FDA's ability to authorize devices, including tests, for emergency use. Existing emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for devices remain in effect, and the FDA may continue to issue new EUAs going forward while the EUA declarations under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act are in effect and when the criteria for issuance of an EUA are met. Additional information is provided on the page FAQs: What happens to EUAs when a public health emergency ends ?

Diagnostic tests can show if you have an active COVID-19 infection and need to take steps to quarantine or isolate yourself from others.

This page supplements the information found at: At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests  and provides answers to frequently asked questions related to at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests. This page is part of the FAQs on Testing for SARS-CoV-2 .

  • When should I test for COVID-19?
  • What do my at-home COVID-19 test results mean?
  • I got a negative test result on an at-home COVID-19 antigen test. Do I need to take another test?
  • Do I need to report my at-home COVID-19 test results?
  • Are at-home COVID-19 tests safe to use? Do they contain toxic chemicals?
  • Can I use an authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test if it was left outside in freezing temperatures or in the heat?
  • How is the expiration date determined for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test and can it be extended?
  • Can I use an FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test that is expired?

Q: When should I test for COVID-19?

A: COVID-19 testing is important to find out if you have COVID-19 so that you can get treatment, if needed, as well as to be aware if you are infected and should stay away from people to help reduce the spread of the virus. You should test for COVID-19 in the following situations:

  • If you have symptoms , test immediately, and then test again per the instructions if your first result is negative.
  • If you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19 and you do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may have an inaccurate result.
  • If you are in certain high-risk settings, you may need to test as part of a screening testing program.
  • Consider testing before coming into contact with someone who has a high risk for severe COVID-19, people who are older adults or immunocompromised, or have other medical conditions, especially if you are in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level.

Q: What do my at-home COVID-19 test results mean?

A: If you receive a positive result on any COVID-19 test, assume you have COVID-19. Be sure to follow the CDC's guidelines for people with COVID-19, including to stay home, isolate from others, and seek follow-up care with a health care provider to determine what steps to take next.

If you receive a negative result on your at-home COVID-19 antigen test, it means the test did not detect the virus that causes COVID-19, but it does not rule out an infection because some tests may not detect the virus early in an infection. Always do a repeat test  48 hours after a negative result on an antigen test. The FDA encourages you to voluntarily and anonymously report your positive or negative test results every time you use an at-home COVID-19 test. You can send your test result to MakeMyTestCount.org or use an app or other digital option for self-reporting that may be included with your test.

Find out more about at-home testing, when and how often to test, and understanding your test results at Understanding At-Home OTC COVID-19 Antigen Diagnostic Test Results .

Q: I got a negative test result on an at-home COVID-19 antigen test. Do I need to take another test?

A: Yes. The FDA recommends repeat testing following a negative COVID-19 antigen test result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 antigen tests are less accurate than molecular tests and may not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus early in an infection or in people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

You should perform repeat testing following a negative result on a COVID-19 antigen test to reduce the risk an infection may have been missed (false negative result) and to help prevent unknowingly spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, test again 48 hours after the first negative test, for a total of at least two tests.
  • If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, test again 48 hours after the first negative test, then 48 hours after the second negative test, for a total of at least three tests.
  • If you get a positive result on any COVID-19 test, you most likely have COVID-19 and should follow the CDC guidance for people with COVID-19.

In August 2022, the FDA issued a Safety Communication on the need to perform repeat testing to reduce your risk of a false negative result. In November 2022 , the FDA required all manufacturers of EUA-authorized COVID-19 antigen tests to update their labeling to reflect the need for repeat testing at least twice over three days for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 and at least three times over five days for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19, as appropriate based on their authorized uses.

Q. Do I need to report my at-home COVID-19 test results?

A. The FDA encourages you to voluntarily and anonymously report your positive or negative test results every time you use an at-home COVID-19 test. You can send your test result to MakeMyTestCount.org or use an app or other digital option for self-reporting that may be included with your test. Report each test result one time.

The data from MakeMyTestCount.org can help public health departments know how fast the virus is spreading. This valuable test data helps public health departments assess and modify their response to COVID-19 in their local communities, states, or across the country. The MakeMyTestCount website is developed through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Tech program and allows consumers to anonymously report their test results from OTC at-home COVID-19 test.

Q. Are at-home COVID-19 tests safe to use? Do they contain toxic chemicals?

A: FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 tests are safe to use when people follow the manufacturer's step by step instructions. However, incorrect use of at-home COVID-19 tests can cause harm if the parts of the test kit, such as liquid solutions in small vials that may contain chemicals like sodium azide, are swallowed or if the liquid solutions touch a person's skin or eyes. The FDA has provided recommendations to promote the safe use of at-home COVID-19 tests in a Safety Communication issued March 18, 2022, including to keep all parts of at-home COVID-19 tests out of reach of children and pets before and after use, and to follow the test's step by step instructions exactly, including the Warning, Precautions, And Safety Information.

Q: Can I use an authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test if it was left outside in freezing temperatures or in the heat?

A: Since shipping conditions may vary, test developers perform stability testing to ensure that the test performance will remain stable when tests are stored at various temperatures, including shipping during the summer in very hot regions and in the winter in very cold regions.

However, test performance may be impacted if the test is used while it is still cold, such as being used outdoors in freezing temperatures or being used immediately after being brought inside from freezing temperatures, or in a hotter than expected environment, such as outside in the summer. The stated performance generally assumes the test is being performed in an environment that is between 15-30⁰C (approximately 59-86⁰F). The specific conditions that were validated are included in the authorized Instructions for Use for each test.

In order to ensure appropriate test performance with a test that is delivered to you in below freezing temperatures or in very hot temperatures, you should bring the package inside your home and leave it unopened at room temperature for at least two hours before opening it. Once the package is at room temperature, you may open it and perform the test according to the authorized instructions for use. As long as the test line(s) appear as described in the instructions, you can be confident that the test is performing as it should. If the line(s) do not appear in the correct location(s) and within the correct time as shown in the test instructions when you perform the test, then the results may not be accurate, and a new test is needed to get an accurate result.

In addition, long exposure to high temperatures may impact the test performance. If your test has been left in a high temperature environment beyond the normal shipping time to be delivered to you, such as being left outside in the heat for several days, the FDA recommends considering using a different test.

Q: How is the expiration date determined for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test and can it be extended?

A: All at-home OTC COVID-19 diagnostic tests are labeled with an expiration date printed on the outer box or package.  Generally, tests should not be used beyond this expiration date.  However, as discussed here, these expiration dates can be extended beyond the date printed on the outer box or package as additional stability data is collected. 

COVID-19 test manufacturers perform studies to show how long after manufacturing COVID-19 tests perform as accurately as the day the test was manufactured. The shelf-life is how long the test should perform as expected and is measured from the date the test was manufactured. The expiration date is set at the end of the shelf-life and is the date through which the test is expected to perform as accurately as when manufactured.

The testing to determine this time period is called stability testing because it is confirming the time period over which the performance is expected to remain stable. There are different types of stability testing. The most accurate is real-time stability testing, where the manufacturer stores the tests for the time period of the proposed shelf-life (plus a little extra time to ensure the expiration date can be relied upon) and then evaluates its ability to perform accurately. For example, for a proposed 12-month shelf-life, the manufacturer would evaluate the performance after storing the test for 13 months.

In some cases, accelerated testing provides a faster way to estimate the stability of a test's performance over time by storing the test for a shorter time at a higher temperature, and then evaluating its ability to perform accurately. However, since accelerated testing only estimates the test stability, it does not provide as much assurance as real-time data, especially for longer time periods. Based on experience with tests and stability testing, accelerated testing typically provides sufficient assurance to label tests with a shelf-life of up to six months.

Since it takes time for test manufacturers to perform stability testing, the FDA typically authorizes at-home COVID-19 tests with a shelf-life of about four to six months from the day the test was manufactured, based on initial study results, and it may be extended later as additional data is collected. 

Once the test manufacturer has more stability testing results, such as 12 or 18 months, the test manufacturer can contact the FDA to request that the FDA authorize a longer shelf-life.  When a longer shelf-life is authorized, the expiration dates will be extended and the test manufacturer may send a notice to customers to provide the new authorized expiration dates, so the customers know how long they can use the tests they already have.  If you did not purchase your at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test directly from the test manufacturer, you may not receive such a notice. 

You can check the Expiration Date column of the List of Authorized At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests to see if the expiration date for your at-home OTC COVID-19 test has been extended and how to find any new expiration date.

Q. Can I use an FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test that is expired?

A: The expiration date for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test may be extended beyond the date printed on the outer box or package as additional stability data is collected. You can check the Expiration Date column of the List of Authorized At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests to see if the expiration date for your at-home OTC COVID-19 test has been extended and how to find any new expiration date.

The FDA does not recommend using at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests beyond their authorized expiration dates, which, as noted above, may go beyond the date printed on the box. COVID-19 tests and the parts they are made of may degrade, or break down, over time. Because of this, expired test kits could give inaccurate or invalid test results.

  • At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests
  • COVID-19 Test Basics
  • If you think you had a problem with a COVID-19 test, the FDA encourages you to  report the problem through the MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form .
  • If you have other questions about COVID-19 testing, email the Division of Industry and Consumer Education (DICE) at  [email protected]  or call 800-638-2041 or 301-796-7100. You may also contact the customer service department for the COVID-19 test you are using.
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  • Published: 13 August 2022

Implementation of a telemedicine, stroke evaluation service; a qualitative study

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Acute ischemic stroke requires early medical imaging with a computed tomography (CT) scan and immediate thrombolysis treatment. In rural areas, the long distance to the nearest hospital reduce the patients’ probability of receiving medical assistance within the 4.5-h period. The aim of this study was to assess how the service was set-up, and how managers and personnel experience the organisation and value of a rural telemedicine, remote controlled CT stroke service.

Ten semi-structured individual interviews and one semi-structured focus group interview were conducted. The sample included 15 participants involved in the telemedicine service in Hallingdal, Norway. The interview guide consisted of questions on the service, experience of working with the service, value and quality, management, and challenges. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic content analysis was used to develop a narrative of the findings.

Findings were categorised into three main categories; value of the service, organisation of the project, and from project to permanent service. Participants perceived the service to be valuable for patients and the local community. The service included task shifting from radiographers and junior doctors to the local paramedics. To enable long- term operation of the service the participants suggested management, coordination, and continuous training as important factors.


The service was perceived as valuable to the local community, providing a sense of healthcare security and equitability. Management’s involvement, flexibility, and coordination appears to be a key factor for successful implementation and long-term sustainability of the service.

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Acute stroke is a common condition in high-income countries. Worldwide one in four people over the age of 25 will be affected by a stroke during their lifetime and just in 2016 more than 9.5 million cases of ischemic stroke were reported [ 1 ]. Management of acute ischemic stroke has changed during the last years after demonstration of the efficacy of thrombolysis treatment [ 2 ]. This therapy has improved the outcome for patients with vessel occlusion; however, treatment must be given within 4.5 h of onset of symptoms [ 3 ]. In remote and rural areas, it can be challenging to reach the nearest hospital and start the treatment on time. Telemedicine can assist stroke assessment in prehospital service, however suitable technologies are still developing [ 4 ]. In addition, telemedicine can be used to guide on-site personnel with medical imaging and treatment to save patients’ lives or to limit the damage caused by a stroke [ 5 ].

In the rural area of Hallingdal in Norway, patients need to travel up to 3 h to reach the nearest local hospital where a stroke healthcare team is available on site. To provide an immediate alternative service for these patients at a nearby medical centre where a Computed tomography (CT) -scanner is available, an ongoing telemedicine implementation project was initiated. The service requires that nights and weekends the on call paramedics perform the CT examination guided by a radiographer at the local hospital, and a junior doctor guides the paramedic to perform a neurological examination (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS)) and start the thrombolysis treatment if appropriate [ 6 ]. Kjelle & Myklebust [ 5 ] describes the specific procedure for this service in more detail. This type of telemedicine service initiated by Ibsen and Hall [ 6 ] is the first implemented in Norway and to the authors’ knowledge novel internationally as well.

Implementing a telemedicine service requires suitable equipment, high bandwidth, and fast routing [ 7 ]. In addition, planning, flexibility, and dedicated mangers, coordinators, and personnel are key to its success [ 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 ]. The Hallingdal stroke evaluation project also required task shifting and changing of routines in several departments and across health care organisations. Staff taking on new or expanded roles formerly performed by other professionals require further training and education [ 8 , 9 , 12 ]. Organisational and system context, as well as the culture in the specific organisation is thus essential for implementing an effective task shifting health service [ 10 , 11 , 13 ]. In this study’s context, the driver for task shifting was a pragmatic response to meet the need for stoke evaluation by use of CT diagnostics, neurologic examination, and thrombolytic treatment.

As part of a larger project assessing the telemedical, stroke evaluation team, the aim of this second study was to assess how the service was set-up, and how managers and personnel experience the organisation and value of a rural telemedicine, remote controlled CT stroke service.

The study context

The Norwegian healthcare system is mainly a public system based on general taxation [ 14 ]. Local health services are managed at municipal levels while specialised healthcare, including imaging services, is largely provided by hospital trusts managed on a regional level [ 14 ]. The Co-ordination Reform, implemented in 2012 aimed to improve the quality of the health services in a sustainable manner, and improve the proximity of services to patients in rural and remote areas [ 15 ]. Accordingly, local medical centres (community hospitals) organised under the hospital trust were established to provide health services for the local population and tourists as a combination of primary and specialised care [ 16 , 17 ]. In some of these local medical centres, as in Hallingdal, there is an X-ray machine and a CT scanner [ 17 ]. Hallingdal is an area of 5.832km 2 with 20.532 inhabitants, 3.5 people per km 2 [ 18 ]. The area is popular for tourists, and in 2018 there were 3.6 million tourist visits reported [ 19 ]. The Hallingdal local medical centre offers health services to both inhabitants and visiting tourists [ 6 ]. The travel distance in good driving conditions to a hospital is estimated between 1–3 h depending on location [ 6 ]. The location of the local medical centre reduces travel times from 2.5 h to 40 min by ambulance for the most remote areas [ 6 ].


Ten semi-structured individual interviews and one semi-structured focus group interview were conducted in this qualitative interpretative descriptive approach to assess the participants’ experience of a telemedicine service. The individual interviews included radiographers, paramedics, physicians, hospital managers, and project managers. The focus group included managers from the prehospital services, local health centre, and the municipality. The participants were all experienced in their field with more than 5 years of clinical practice or management experience. In total seven male and eight female participants were interviewed. Details on profession and role in the service are indicated in Table 1 .

The participants in this study were recruited from the local medical centre, municipality, hospital, and pre-hospital service using volunteer sampling [ 20 ]. An invitation was sent to the hospital trust and local municipalities asking for candidates in accordance with the inclusion criteria. A list of possible participants was provided and EK and AMM invited candidates to participate via e-mail providing an information letter and consent form. All participants volunteering returned the consent form before an interview was set up. The inclusion criteria were managers, radiographers, paramedics, or physicians who managed or had been involved in performing the remote CT stroke service.

Data collection

The semi-structured approach was chosen to allow relevant topics to be explored openly, and at the same time ensuring that the same topics were discussed with all participants [ 21 ]. An interview guide with open-ended questions was developed. Core issues derived by experience included; competence, training, communication, cooperation and the quality of service. The interview guide is available in Table 2 . The individual interviews were conducted in June 2020 and October 2020 online, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, using the Microsoft Skype for Business (2016) software. The focus group interview was conducted face to face at the local medical centre in June 2020. A second focus group with hospital managers was planned but due to the number of recruited participants, it had to be substituted for individual interviews. A Zoom H1 Handy Recorder recorded the dialogue of the interviews. The authors, both female, experienced radiographers working at a university jointly interviewed the participants. Both authors introduced and explained the project to the participants before the interview. The authors were not involved in any procedures of the investigated project. The individual interviews lasted on average 36 min (22–47 min). The focus group interview lasted 52 min. In order to reach consensus [ 21 ] at the end of each interview the main interviewer summarised the participant’s statements of the main subjects. The participant could then comment on the summary, clarify misunderstandings, or add details if needed.

Inductive thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data, a well-established approach in thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews [ 21 ]. Data from individual and focus group interviews were analysed together. The analysis process consisted of six steps based on the descriptions of content analysis of Graneheim and Lundmann [ 22 ] presented in Table 3 .

To illustrate how steps 3 to 5 are used on the interview data, an example is given in Table 4 .

The Norwegian Centre for Research Data approved the processing and storage of personal information in this study (Ref. 358,427).

Based on the participants experience the analysis revealed topics related to value of the service, resources used, the responsibilities in the project, and the progression from project to establishing a permanent service in Hallingdal. Value and organisation of the remote-controlled stroke evaluation CT service was identified as the main theme. Findings were organised into three main categories with two to three sub-categories each presented in Fig.  1 . The main categories were “Value of the service”, “Organisation of the project”, and “From project to permanent service”. Each category will be described in detail in separate sections and exemplified using quotes.

figure 1

Overview of theme (grey box), main categories, and sub-categories (bullet points)

Value of the service

Equal access to quality health services.

Even though there were no reports or data published from the project all participants experienced having a CT scanner in the area as improving health care quality. They perceived the service as safe and that the inhabitants felt safer knowing that medical assistance was within proximity in the event that themselves or a loved one should suffer a stroke. In addition, the participants experienced that this service was a way to make the health service in rural areas comparable with services provided in urban areas. Provision of timely and equitable healthcare services was viewed as right and just. One municipality manager said: “ This service is very important to our citizens, and the patients are satisfied .”

Living in rural areas has the disadvantage of longer travel time for patients to reach a hospital to receive high quality care in case of acute stroke. All the participants identified this as the most important problem the service could overcome and thus prevent patients from developing severe complications. In addition, the participants expressed the importance of the patients being able to stay close to family and friends. The travel time does not only affect physical but also psychological burden on patients and their families. For instance, in cases where patients experience a large brain haemorrhage and accompanying complications, the participants explained the benefits of the patients receiving palliative care closer to home and loved ones instead of spending their last hours in an ambulance or at a hospital far away. One project manager said. “ In some patients the bleed is so big and the patient more than 90 years old, then the patient can stay at the local medical centre with his or her family and receive good palliative care rather than spending their last hours in an ambulance .”

Socioeconomic issues

In addition to the value for the individual patient, the participants expressed that the service would have a socioeconomic value. Using the already available personnel on call at both the local medical centre and hospital was considered essential to keep costs to a minimum. The investment in equipment was weighted as a smaller cost compared to keeping extra personnel on call 24 h a day, 7 days a week. In addition, quickly starting thrombolysis reduces complications for the patients, which the participants suggested benefits society as the costs of rehabilitation and hospitalisation are in the long term reduced. One project manager said: “ The CT and the rebuild was 650,000 €, if we save one person from living in a wheelchair for the rest of their life, society have earned back that investment .”

Organisation of the project

The project started when a CT scanner was installed in the local medical centre. Initially it was operational during the daytime only as this was when a radiographer was present. However, as the respondents all agreed, stroke can occur at any time of day, and there was need to find a way to keep the CT operational for stroke evaluation during the night and weekend as well. The project wanted to follow the same procedures as performed in hospital, and at daytime in the medical centre. The procedure being that patients with suspected stroke without a visible bleed on the unenhanced CT undergo a head CT angiography (CTA) to assess if there is a thrombus and its location, as this assist to determine the appropriate treatment.

Alternative organisation

There were insufficient funds to employ more radiographers in the local medical centre; therefore, a system that uses personnel who are already on call was needed. At the Hallingdal emergency room, a doctor is present 24-h a day. However, training the doctors to conduct the CT-scan and thrombolysis treatment was perceived as complicated. Most of these doctors are foreign, substitute doctors, and the continuity of the training would be hard to achieve. Near the local medical centre there is an air medical service station with doctors on call. However, they cover a large area, and would often be away on assignments. The management decided to train the paramedics on the local base. One project manager said: “ We understood that we needed to use personnel on call, and that was the paramedics. ”

Service set-up

In the beginning, the project was planned without directly involving the radiology department. The project initially considered the paramedics capable of operating the CT-scan and the junior doctors with support from a consultant physician to interpret the CT images. Thus, there was limited inclusion of the radiologists in the project. One project manager said. “ We make the diagnostic decision without them [Radiologists]; we informed them about the project, but no specific cooperation ”

However, the radiographers were sceptical regarding paramedics operating the CT-scan independently. The radiation protection regulation states that radiographers must be involved in CT scanning, and thus radiographers needed to be involved in the project. Through the remote-control system, this became possible without employing more radiographers locally. However, not involving the radiographers from the beginning did raise scepticism and doubts as to whether the project managers understood what knowledge was required to operate a CT-scan and the risks to the patient. One project manager said: “ They started the project without us [radiology department]; it became an unnecessary though start .”

Another challenge was that the radiographers could not perform the contrast tracking needed for a head CTA via the remote-control system, as the system creates a delay. Paramedics preparing and administering contrast media was also observed as a factor complicating and adding time to the procedure with limited gain to patients’ outcome. Thus, the procedure was changed to start thrombolysis first to open the blood supply to the brain cells and if needed, perform the CTA in the local or tertiary hospital later, depending on the patient’s condition. One radiographer said: “ It is not possible to remote control the enhanced scan, as the remote control creates delay. Then the automatic tracker does not function properly .”

After discussions and planning, the service was organised as illustrated in Fig.  2 . The CT at the local medical centre was set up for remote control from the local hospital where a radiographer and junior doctor is on call 24-h a day. A video link system in the scanner room is used for the junior doctor to observe the patient and communicate with the paramedics and for the radiographer to observe and guide the positioning of the patient in the scanner. The local medical centre uses the same radiology information system (RIS) and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) as the local hospital, thus the images are stored and viewed in the hospitals PACS.

figure 2

An illustration of the tasks, organisation and equipment needed in the telemedicine remote-controlled CT stroke service in Hallingdal local medical centre. Blue boxes describe tasks, grey circles represent third parties involved in the project, grey arrow illustrates regulation affecting the organisation of the service, and black arrow represent the technology used in the telemedicine service. (NIHSS—National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, PACS—Picture archiving and communication system, RIS – Radiology information system)

The paramedics were trained to position the patient in the CT scanner, and start the scan guided by a radiographer. Further, they were trained to do a NIHSS examination and starting thrombolysis supervised by a junior doctor. The ambulance call centre controlling the fleet of ambulances in the area developed special procedures for stroke patients in the Hallingdal area. Securing paramedics included in the project to be present in the area as much as possible. The junior doctor at the hospital communicates with the tertiary hospital in cases where patients are candidates for endovascular thrombectomy. Moreover, the tertiary hospital changes their procedures to accept patient transfer without a head CTA performed.

The service set-up required different governmental approvals. To allow paramedics to CT-scan, the project needed a dispensation from the Norwegian radiation and nuclear safety authority. To obtain approval the paramedics needed education and training in radiation protection. The project radiographer and the radiation protection officer at the local hospital provided education and training. One project manager said: “ We are working under dispensation from the Norwegian radiation and nuclear safety authority.”

In addition, opening for remote control of the CT scanner rendered the system vulnerable to a privacy or security breach. A risk evaluation had to be conducted to get a privacy approval through the IT-department. This was experienced as a bureaucratic and time-consuming process for the project, and the risk was considered low. One project manager said: “ We needed a risk evaluation and privacy approval for running the remote-control system. That took 6 months; it was a long process for a project with such low risk .”

Close management and evaluation were experienced as important in the project. This project has one main project manager with a supervisor who is also involved in service planning, set-up, and research. In addition, there is a project radiographer in a 20% position in charge of the organisation and training of radiographers and issues related to the CT-scan and image quality. The main project manager is well known among the employees and trusted by all involved personnel and cooperating managers in other departments. This manager is responsible for the education and training of the paramedics and junior doctors and for setting up weekly training sessions and evaluation patient cases. The project manager also takes responsibility for patient safety during the project. One project manager said: “ Yes, I am responsible for the training, and if something goes wrong it is my responsibility .”

From project to permanent service

Continuing the service.

As all the participants experienced this service to be of high value to the patients and the community, there was mutual agreement that the service was necessary and should continue after completion of the project. The managers from the local medical centre and municipalities considered this service vital. Radiographers and junior doctors however expressed concern that the low number of patients per year would be seen as a reason for the hospital to shut down the service when the project ended. One radiographer said: “ As I see the project now, I think it should continue, however it might be the number of patients that decides if that is possible .”

Management requirements

The project managers expressed a need for the ordinary management at the local hospital to be included in the service if it should continue after the project period. From their experience, there is a need for management involvement in both the medical and radiological departments to secure continuous training for paramedics, radiographers, and junior doctors. Moreover, for including new employees as they join the departments. In addition, there is a need for evaluation and follow-up of patient cases and the service organisation and functioning. One project manager said: “ Management needs to decide this; however we need a doctor from the stroke unit to be in charge and organise the training. Now we have a radiographer 20% dedicated to this project and that is essential. We cannot continue the service without a radiography manager dedicated to this service .”

Long-term workload

Involving the on call radiographer led to the radiographers experiencing an increased workload. Before the project started, the radiology department had one radiographer on call in the evenings, nights, and weekends. The radiographers considered dealing with a remote-controlled service in addition to the usual on call work indefensible. Thus, management increased the number of radiographers to two radiographers in the evenings. The radiographers however still express working alone on a night call as a risk. One radiographer said: “ The workload on the radiographers increased, management increased the number of radiographers to two in the evenings; however, at night we are alone. We are working to change this, so that we would always be two radiographers on-call .”

Research and documentation

The service is currently part of a research project assessing patient outcome and cost-effectiveness. That research was regarded by the participants as essential to evaluate the safety and efficiency of the service. The participants perceived the service to be safe and efficient for patients to continuing receiving the services. In addition, the managers were involved in evaluation of training and organisation of the service during the research project. This assists in adjusting the services to the local setting and improve routines throughout the project, through learning from prior mistakes. One municipal manager said: “ We have meetings going over how this is working and what can be done differently, you need to learn from your mistakes .”

The service was experienced as valuable for the local inhabitants and tourists visiting the area. The municipal and the local medical centre managers were supportive of such a service in their community as it increases equality in health services for the rural population. In addition, the service was considered cost-effective to the society as unnecessary patient transfers were avoided and the number of patients needing comprehensive rehabilitation seemed reduced. Overall, the participants thought this service should be continued after the project ends.

This study showed that a remote-controlled stroke evaluation CT service could be set up using personnel on-site to keep the service operational also outside the normal dayshift. However, this requires task shifting and changing routines coordinated in several departments and across health care organisations. Considering that paramedics prepared the CT scanning, performed the patient examination as well as administered the required medication, the service required task shifting. A project manager from the internal medicine department was needed to plan routines, education, and training [ 8 , 12 ]. The involvement of the radiology department especially the radiographers and a radiology project manager were vital to train the paramedics in CT procedures and radiation protection and to obtain permission from the radiation protection authority for the paramedics to handle patients undergoing CT-scan. This further required managers at the pre-hospital services to organise training sessions and changes in fleet management, showing the importance of support and flexibility in the organisation culture and management [ 13 ]. Using the remote controlled application, the contrast delay tracked does not function properly as the delays slow down the system. Thus, routines when performing the head CTA were changed. Subsequently the routine for the tertiary hospital serving the area also had to change, as they approved patient transfer without a CTA performed and interpreted beforehand. These changes in routines went way beyond the included departments and organisations. It required coordination and flexibility between and among the external organisations as well as within the included departments, these are important factors in successful innovation processes and especially when implementing telemedicine services [ 8 , 10 , 11 ].

According to May et al. [ 11 ] both normative and relational reconstruction are needed for implementation of new technologies to be successful and lasting. For continuation of the service after the project’s completion, the participants expressed the need for management support and coordination from all the involved departments. As the number of patients CT scanned after normal working hours was small, there would be a need for weekly training for all personnel groups also after the project ends. This would be possible only if the larger context adapted to and assimilated the new service into their routines, and management support is essential to achieve assimilation [ 10 , 11 ]. In addition, knowledge on the cost-effectiveness of the service is required to determine whether the efforts produced the expected outcome for patients and society. According to Greenhalgh et al. [ 10 ] services that are cost-effective are more easily adopted into clinical practice. The clinical and socio-economic research accompanying this project was expected by the participants to provide evidence to enable the management at the hospital trust to decide whether to continue the service or not.

Strength and limitations

The study used a qualitative inductive approach, this led to first hand experiences for the involved personnel and managers to be explored. However, a more theory driven approach could have prompted other topics to be discussed in the interviews.

This study has a combination of one focus group and several individual interviews. This was due to two factors. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic and difficulty in recruitment. Recruitment from the top management of the radiology department was difficult. The reason for this is unknown, this would have made a focus group from the hospital too small and unbalanced, resulting in individual interviews with managers from hospital. In addition, the pandemic made the gathering of people for a physical focus group meeting difficult. As an alternatively, several interviews were conducted online to reduce traveling and meeting in person. This combination may lead to a different depth in data obtained from managers in the focus group compared to managers and personnel in the individual interviews [ 23 ]. However, the mixing of individual and focus group interviews may also provide findings not possible if all interviews was either individual or in focus groups as the two methods have different strengths and limitations [ 23 ].

Patients and carers were not included in this study. Including patients and carers having experience from this service could have brought up further aspects and experiences, thus patients/cares should be explored in future studies.

The recruitment depended on the municipality and hospital management to identify potential volunteering participants. This may have resulted in volunteers responding positively to the project mainly to portray management in a favourable light. On the other hand, personnel who are judgemental towards the service could also be motivated to voluntarily participate and criticise the project anonymously. This study describes a project in one specific rural area of Norway. Thus, caution is warranted for transferability of the observed findings to other countries and contexts. However, rich, thick descriptions of the context, service set-up and participants would enable transferability assessment [ 24 ]. The results are based on self-reported data, no attempt have been made to verify their statements independently.

This study showed that telemedicine stroke evaluation with a remote-controlled CT using local on call personnel was experienced as valuable in the local community, providing a sense of healthcare services security and equality. The set-up of the service required radiation protection and privacy approvals, which is important to be aware of when planning similar services. Task shifting for paramedics was a main task in the project. This supported the importance of a manager/coordinator role for education and training, as the paramedics needed to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in working with the telemedicine application combined with CT scanning and new clinical tasks. Management involvement, flexibility, and a culture for coordination and cooperation both within and between the departments locally, and with external hospitals seems to be a key factor both in the implementation process and for keeping the service operating long term.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets generated and analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to participant anonymity issues. Dataset can be made available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


  • Computed tomography

Computed tomography angiography

National Institute of Health Stroke Scale

Picture archiving and communication system

Radiology information system

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We would like to thank all the participants who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the interviews.

This research was conducted under the employment at the University of South-eastern Norway.

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EK and AMM both planned this study, develop the interview guide, conducted interviews, and analysed the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Kjelle, E., Myklebust, A.M. Implementation of a telemedicine, stroke evaluation service; a qualitative study. BMC Health Serv Res 22 , 1036 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-08428-x

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-08428-x

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  6. Top 30 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers


  1. Project Manager Case Study Interview Questions And Answers

    Prepare Questions: Have a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. This will show that you are engaged and interested in the project. 5. Be Professional: Make sure to dress professionally and arrive on time. Be polite and courteous throughout the interview and make sure to thank the interviewer for their time.

  2. 41 Project Manager Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)

    Your answer can describe how often you contact your sponsor and why. To answer this question, try to think about your interactions with project sponsors and when you talk to them. Example: "Since I believe communication is the most important part of my job, I try to keep my sponsors updated at all times.

  3. 12 Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

    3. Tell us about a time something went wrong in a project you were managing. Setbacks are normal in managing projects. Hiring managers will want to know how you've dealt with them in the past to understand what you do when things don't go according to plan.

  4. Project Manager Interview Questions (with Sample Answers & How-To Guide)

    Here are the top 18 project manager interview questions, with example answers. IYKYK — Project Manager interviews are intense and challenging. The questions focus on your ability to navigate complex scenarios, manage diverse teams and stakeholders, and drive projects to completion. You need to show how you handle real-world project dynamics.

  5. Project Manager Interview Questions (14 Specific Questions + Answers

    During a project manager job interview, you can expect a range of questions and possibly practical assessments aimed at evaluating your skills, experience, and fit for the role. Here's what you typically might encounter: 1. Questions About Leadership and Team Management: Expect questions about your leadership style, how you motivate teams ...

  6. Cracking Case Study Interviews: Examples and Expert Tips

    A case interview is a form of an interview in which the hiring manager gives the candidate a business problem and asks them to suggest a solution to deal with it. Hiring managers typically utilise case studies for interviews in investment banking or management consulting. The purpose of these interviews is to assess a candidate's analytical ...

  7. 20 Project Management Interview Questions & Answers [2024] • Asana

    No matter how dreadful your current or past job is or was, it's important to look forward and stay positive in your interview. 15. Name three tactics you've used to develop and maintain great customer relationships. Depending on your field, you may have to deal with customers or clients on a regular basis.

  8. 2024 Project Manager Interview Questions & Answers

    Case Study and Scenario-Based Questions Case study and scenario-based questions challenge you to apply your project management skills to hypothetical or real-world situations. You might be given a project scenario and asked to outline your approach to planning, executing, or troubleshooting it.

  9. 12 Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

    Having some metrics on hand to show the results of the project can be useful here. 3. Tell us about a time something went wrong in a project you were managing. This can sound like a trick question and it seems counterintuitive to highlight what didn't go well, but setbacks are normal in managing projects.

  10. 12 Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

    Speak candidly about what went well, and be sure to mention something you might have improved or that you learned. Having some metrics on hand to show the results of the project can be useful here. 3. Tell us about a time something went wrong in a project you were managing. Setbacks are normal in managing projects.

  11. Top 45 Project Manager Interview Questions For 2020

    Top 3 Tips For A Project Manager Interview. Before we get into our top 46 interview questions let's go over a few critical points you need to be aware of before you sit down for your project manager interview…. 1. Have several "Success Stories" ready. Odds are pretty high the hiring manager is going to ask you to discuss past projects ...

  12. Case Study Interview Questions and Answers

    Case Study Interview Prompts Examples. Our client is a European-based speaker manufacturing company that is seeking further growth. The client is considering entering the US market but has some reservations and would like you to analyze whether it's a good idea. Our client is a light bulb manufacturer that is based in Brazil.

  13. 30 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    30 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers. Common Project Manager interview questions, how to answer them, and example answers from a certified career coach. So you've landed an interview for a project manager position—congratulations! As someone who thrives on organizing chaos, solving problems, and leading teams to success, you ...

  14. Common Project Manager Interview Questions + Tips & Samples

    Case-study project manager interview questions care more about your process than the final result. Case-study PM interview questions give you a chance to showcase your analytical skills. You can use traditional analysis frameworks to strengthen your answers such as the four Ps of Marketing, the STAR method, SWOT analysis, and Porter's five ...

  15. Project Manager Scenario-Based Interview Questions and Answers

    Related: Top 12 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers. Related jobs on Indeed. Part-time jobs. Full-time jobs. Remote jobs. Urgently hiring jobs. View more jobs on Indeed ... You can find case studies to help you think of projects that might impress the hiring manager. This can help you effectively learn from other peoples ...

  16. Project Management Scenario Interview Questions and Answers

    The questions below are broken down into several topics. You can find step-by-step explanations for each question and understand the concept in detail. With Project Management Scenario interview questions, you can be confident about your preparation for the upcoming interview. 4.5 Rating

  17. Project manager interview: Answering scenario-based questions

    Scenario-based questions in project manager interviews. ...

  18. Best 25 Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers (2024)

    That's where having the right project manager interview questions comes in. Project management interview questions will guide your decision-making process. Hire a leader with the project management and communication skills that'll lead your projects to success by using these project manager interview questions. Related: Free Project ...

  19. 10 Common Project Manager Interview Questions

    1. Tell me about the last project you worked on. In some respects, this question is similar to " Tell me about yourself .". The hiring manager wants to learn more about you as a professional. But when they ask you this project manager interview question, they're trying to learn more about you as a project manager.

  20. Top 70+ Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    PMP Certification in Manila. 22. 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.

  21. Project manager scenario-based interview questions and answers

    What are project manager scenario-based interview questions and answers? Project manager scenario-based interview questions and answers are what hiring managers commonly ask candidates seeking the role. They may ask how you'd manage particular situations. Typically, these questions are more in-depth, and the interviewer may ask them later in the interview.

  22. Top Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers on Adaptability. The recruiters hunt for meaningful and articulated responses via scenario-based project manager interview questions and answers. You must ensure that you sound flexible and your answers highlight your adaptability skills. Q1.

  23. 100 Case Study Interview Questions [Updated for 2020]

    Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business. Knowing the customer's business is an excellent way of setting the tone for a case study. ... This will give readers more background on the key players involved from executives to project managers. With this information, readers can see who they may potentially need to involve in the ...

  24. Project Manager Scenario-Based Interview Questions And Answers

    5 Project Manager Scenario-Based Interview Questions And Answers. You can use the following Project Manager scenario-based interview questions and answers for your job interview preparation: 1. Suppose you inherited a half-finished project after the former Project Manager left it unexpectedly. What steps would you take to assume control and ...

  25. Strategy Execution for Public Leadership

    Create a culture of consistency, both internally and externally, that considers core objectives, resources, and environmental factors. Know how to approach strategy both effectively and efficiently, incorporating feedback cycles and creating public value. Identify weaknesses and risks, developing the skills and planning to respond in a crisis.

  26. At-Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have other questions about COVID-19 testing, email the Division of Industry and Consumer Education (DICE) at [email protected] or call 800-638-2041 or 301-796-7100. You may also contact the ...

  27. Implementation of a telemedicine, stroke evaluation service; a

    Background Acute ischemic stroke requires early medical imaging with a computed tomography (CT) scan and immediate thrombolysis treatment. In rural areas, the long distance to the nearest hospital reduce the patients' probability of receiving medical assistance within the 4.5-h period. The aim of this study was to assess how the service was set-up, and how managers and personnel experience ...