Are you interested in becoming a project manager, or someone that has to organize and manage projects for your company? It’s not as simple as leading a team. You need to be beyond organized, with everything accounted for and an outstanding action plan. True project managers leave absolutely nothing to chance. In fact if you are pursuing this career make sure you look up our post on the 15 Most Common Project Management Interview Questions.
Whenever the interviewer NEEDS to know something about your abilities, they’ll ask you for examples, because it’s much easier to know what someone is capable of from the examples they give than it is from what they say about themselves. So think carefully about a good example when they ask:
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a project that you planned. How did your organize and schedule the tasks? Tell me about your action plan.
For project management questions, the interviewer is looking for you to show you have:
- Organizational Skills
- Time Management Skills
- Planning Skills
In order to clearly show you can manage a project you need your answer to highlight your thought process and ensure your organisational and planning skills shine through. For example:
“I was lead Project Manager for several years at COMPANY, so I was very familiar with the processes of the workplace and the skillsets. I always like to start off with a brainstorm session, coming up with every single need that the project has and listing all those needs clearly.
I then consult with all relevant department heads to get realistic estimated due dates for each component of the project. This allows me to schedule them according to the needs of each department. For example, if sales needs an IT report before they can move forward with their project, the IT report is prioritized.
No one is without a task – even if someone’s task depends on someone else, I ask them to prepare everything else they’ll need. I usually schedule deadlines that are ahead of time so that the employees have something to shoot for, and I have all of those working on the project fill out a weekly survey that asks them about their progress and gives them a space to let me know if they need any help or feel they are overwhelmed/falling behind.
This process allowed me to keep tabs without being too invasive, and gave the employees motivation to complete more work because they knew they had to fill out the survey with their progress. I used this process for a variety of projects, including PROJECT NAME, and it proved very successful – we finished over a week ahead of time, with no errors. I’ve repeated it several times since then and it remains successful.”
Off course you will have your own unique answer. You must also be able to show how you manage multiple projects at once. Either way the answer should always focus on a combination of healthy thought processes and something special about your organizational skills that the employer will remember. “I used Microsoft Project” is not nearly as impressive as something like “I created a weekly survey to monitor progress” because nearly everyone uses some type of software for project management, but few have new ideas on how to organize. Always make sure to talk about projects that were successful, since you may be asked how the project went.