Congratulations! You have been invited to be a part of a phone interview that may lead to an in-person meeting for a technical project manager role. Your resume has gotten you in the door, but now what?
As you prepare for the interview, consider the industry you would be doing work in and how you could best contribute to the work they are already doing. Do the additional research and dive into the company’s mission, vision and objectives. By being able to determine how your goals and strengths match up with the company’s, you will be best able to align your responses in the interview for optimal success.
The project manager role differs at each company, so prior to the interview, review the job description and determine what type of manager would be most successful in this organization. As a project manager, your work would be incredibly important to the success of the business. What training and experience could you bring from your past roles to make the biggest impact with this new organization?
Consider the types of questions you could be asked during the interview. The better prepared you are prior to the interview, the more likely it is that you will deliver your best response to an important question. Below are a list of popular project management interview questions to prepare for as your interview approaches:
- How did you move into project management? Your degree, PM training and certifications provide real value, but especially in project management skills development, experience really matters! Project managers have a variety of paths to reach their interest in the field. This background will give the interviewer history on your interest and skills development, and why you pursued your competencies and the project management career path.
- What did you learn from your project management mentors? These qualities are incredibly important in guiding how you lead teams and manage others, both when projects are going well or a project needs course correction to succeed.
- How do you continue growing your project management skills? Project management education never stops. New skills can continue to be refined and as advancements in industries arise, continued development will be necessary. A desire to continue to grow professionally will show investment in the role and demonstrate how you choose to grow and advance moving forward.
- Which performance metrics do you feel best demonstrate progress and standing? If a project manager judged off of every KPI possible, they would be drowning in numbers and percentages. Which numbers and indicators matter most to you? Those indicators will demonstrate where focus resides and what drives your performance.
- Examples of past performance: “Tell me about a time that…” is a popular phrase in interviews, but especially in roles of management. How you handle stress or conflict tells a lot about a leader and their character. Consider all the possible examples you could present and ensure the best opportunities showing your range and leadership potential are presented.
- Expertise in the skillsets of those you are managing: The days of “stop watch” project managers are over. Skilled communicators who can lead that have strong competency in the skills of the project team members are now essential. For example, if you’re interviewing for a role in large-scale application integration and development, understanding the full software development life cycle (SDLC) is a requirement and having specific expertise in business process analysis, solutions design, technical architecture, application development, quality assurance, deployment and user adoption is a significant advantage. Position your skills to be a foundation of your leadership success.
As you prepare for that interview, consider penning a few questions to ask the interviewers. An interview is a two-way street: not only are you trying to connect with the interviewers so that they will continue you in the process, but you should be interested in what the company has to offer you, projecting a feeling you will positively contribute to what the company already offers. Your questions demonstrate your interest in the company, their culture and understanding the attributes that make an associate successful in their environment.
The interview is an important step in the hiring process. While the resume can open doors, connecting well with potential co-workers and management can make or break a job opportunity. Put in due time to prepare for an interview, demonstrating your talents, passion for the opportunity and authentic interest in the interviewing company. If you do, you have a great chance to land the career role you have been targeting.