This article provides the top 30 project management interview questions and the best way you can respond. Ensure to understand them to maximize your chances of securing your dream job in project management.
1 . Describe The Steps Involved From The Time Of Project Initiation To Project Completion
There are five main steps in the project management process:
- Project initiation
Project initiation is the first phase of the project management process. It entails making your intangible idea clear. To do that, one creates a business case and defines a project on a broader level. The project manager and their team determines the need for the project and develops a project charter.
- Project planning
This is the phase where a project roadmap is developed. The key tasks in this phase are to identify technical requirements, develop a detailed project schedule, create a communication plan, and create goals and deliverables.
- Project execution
During this stage, the team and stakeholders perform the actual work. The project manager establishes efficient workflows. He also monitors the progress of his team. The project execution phase involves allocating and managing project resources, building products, meeting project teams, and fixing issues as they arise.
- Project monitoring and controlling
This stage runs simultaneously with the third phase to attain project objectives and deliverables. The manager also tracks the effort and cost in this phase. Tracking helps to ensure that the project is within the budget.
- Project closing
Project closing is the final stage of the project management process. It indicates the completion of the project after the last delivery. The final task of this stage is to review the whole project to complete a thorough report that includes every aspect.
2. How Do You Measure The Success Of A Project?
To measure the success of a project, I review the project scope, assess the specification of the project, and analyze the project budget. I also seek feedback from the client to know their satisfaction level. When reviewing the project scope, I begin by evaluating the requirements and deliverables that the team agreed on at the start. I then evaluate whether or not the project met the expectations and goals. Next, I look at the resources spent on the budget to check if or not they exceeded the budget. I also use the client feedback to assess whether or not they were satisfied with the project. Additionally, I find out whether the team members were satisfied with the quality of the deliverables.
3. If You Are To Work With Remote Teams, How Would You Measure Project Success?
I believe that whether working with a remote team or a non-remote team, success is measurable. But when measuring project success, I would consider how the project team circumnavigates communication. That includes how they coordinate irrespective of straddling different time zones and cultural differences.
4. Highlight Some Of The Tools You Have Used In Project Planning
During project planning, I use various systems and methodologies premediated to ensure that my teams can complete both long- and short-term projects. In most cases, I like using charts and graphs to track the progress of the projects. For instance, the Gantt chart helps to show the tasks of a project, the time they can be performed, how long each task will take, and the completion status. On the other hand, the Plan-do-check-act cycle helps when carrying out change on large and small scales. This system allows changes to be repeated time and again for continuous improvement. That helps me to test and evaluate changes in internal processes and systems.
5. Define The Term Project Escalation
Project escalation involves moving issues regarding a project to a higher level of management to ensure timely resolution. It is a process by which teams move open issues to the next management stage since they cannot be solved at the current level at that particular time. Project escalation happens until when resolution is found and executed.
6. Why Is Project Escalation Important?
Project Escalation results from changes that take place within existing issue management. Project managers initiate project escalation due to major tradeoff decisions, scope issues, and serious conflicts during resource acquisition and management. I believe the main aim of project escalation is to help the top management address problems on time. Project escalation is done to help solve issues that can alter the results of the current project if left unsolved.
7. What Is Scope Creep In Project Management?
Scope creep is a situation that happens when changes are effected to the project scope without complying with control procedures such as change requests. Scope creep occurs when project stakeholders incorporate new project requirements after the project implementation has begun. In my opinion, these changes affect the project budget, costs, schedule, and resource allocation. They can also compromise the completion of both milestones and goals.
8. If We Hire You For This Role, How Will You Keep Control Of Your Project Scope?
I would implement several measures to prevent the crippling of projects. To do that, there are some measures I would take. To start with, I will document all the project requirements. Next, I will talk to all users and project stakeholders to work out everything they need from the project. This will enable me to manage conflicts as well. I will design change control processes and ensure a change management plan is in place. This will provide the project stakeholders with the procedures to be followed when the project plan requires to be changed. I will also design a clear project schedule consisting work breakdown structure. This will show every requirement needed including how to achieve each requirement.
9. Explain Two Different Project Management Styles That You Are Familiar With
In my opinion, a project management style refers to an individual mindset that a project manager uses to manage their team. I am familiar with the Agile project management style. The agile style focuses on moving quickly and easily. I prefer this style since I expect my team members to be adaptive and flexible. This style helps to be fast and organized. I also use the hand-off management style to demonstrate to the team members that they have complete independence in carrying out the project life cycle. The team members understand they have a project manager they can trust and who sets expectations with the knowledge that they are capable of exceeding those expectations.
10. What Is Project Management Budgeting?
Project management budgeting refers to the process of defining or establishing the total funds allocated for a certain project. The project management team usually set the budget, which comprises all the projected costs of the proposed project.
11. What Are The Components You Would Consider While Preparing A Project Budget?
While preparing a project budget, I would consider different components such as fixed and variable costs, direct and indirect costs, licenses, travel, materials, space, equipment, or other components that may affect the project expenses. I would ensure that I would create a thorough budget to avoid missing any aspect that requires funding.
12. Outline Essential Steps Toward Designing And Managing Project Budget
- Using historical data
It is important to look back at other similar projects and their budgets. This can give you a head start on creating your budget.
- Referencing lessons learned
Focus on the success and mistakes recorded in historical data. This can give you a clear path that enhances accurate estimates.
- Leveraging your expertise
Take advantage of those with knowledge and experience. This includes reaching out to experts who have developed budgets to enable you to remain on track and keep off from unnecessary pitfalls.
It is essential to confirm the accuracy of the budget by double-checking everything to ensure it is right.
- Baseline and re-baseline the budget
The budget should act as a tool to measure the variance of the project.
13. Why Is Budgeting In Project Management Important?
Budgeting in project management is a very crucial aspect. It is used to evaluate the success rate of the upcoming project. The benefits arising from the completion of the project are compared to the total funds spent. Additionally, it defines the organization’s entire direction. A project budget also guides an organization in defining its priorities.
14. Explain Three Popular Methods Of Determining The Appropriate Budget For A Project
- Parametric estimating:
This method involves the use of historical data as well as other related variables that estimates the project’s duration, total cost, and scope. It is achieved by researching the past data, estimating a wide range of per unit costs for aspects that are common to the project at hand, and fine-tuning the proportions you find so they can fit the scope of the new project.
- Analogous estimating:
This method involves analyzing the already finished project, which has a similar scope to the one at hand, and then using its budgeting proportions. Then, proportions are adjusted for differences in execution, quality, scope, and other important parameters.
- Three-point estimate:
This method considers the calculations of the most cost-effective scenario, the scenario that is most likely to occur, and the most expensive scenario to estimate a budget.
15. Setting Realistic And Accurate Project Management Goals Is Crucial In Ensuring A Hassle-Free Execution. Take Me Through How You Set Your Project Goals.
While setting project management goals, I follow the following steps:
- Identifying goals
In this phase, I concentrate on what is important. I incorporate my ideas with those of the team members, clients, and managers to identify what can be achieved in the course of the project, and the end goal.
- Defining S.M.A.R.T Goals
I take the goals identified in step one and define them using the S.M.A.R.T goal method.
- Creating an Action Plan
After defining the project goals, I will go ahead and create an action plan to help me grasp what I need to do as well as how I will ensure that everything gets done.
- Setting plan into action
Here, I will assign tasks to each team member, set deadlines, and provide resources to ensure every task is completed on time.
This will help me ensure that everything is on track to avoid confusion.
16. Why Is Important To Set Goals In Project Management?
Setting goals is crucial for project success due to the following:
- Goals enable project managers to build focus, direct their team members, and ensure the company operates at the expected level.
- Goals help team members at all levels to focus on their assigned tasks and activities.
- Goals enable employees to measure progress in terms of the milestones achieved
- They increase the probability of team members and other employees being successful due to updates, group accountability, and check-ins
17. What Is A Stakeholder Analysis?
A stakeholder analysis is a tool that helps managers define how stakeholders impact project goals, policies, and actions. This tool shows how the organization exercises power over the stakeholders and vice versa. This enhances the formulation of an action plan that handles imbalances during project management. Thus a stakeholder analysis can be described as an act of identifying stakeholders before a project begins, classifying them based on the level of their participation, influence, and interest in the project, and determining the best way to involve each of the stakeholders.
18. Why Is Stakeholder Analysis Important In Project Management?
There are many benefits of stakeholder analysis.
It enhances the enlisting help of key organizational players: Involving stakeholders for help before beginning the project leverage the knowledge of key players thus contributing to a successful outcome. Stakeholder analysis helps everyone to begin implementing the project with a clear goal and understanding of how the project’s success will be including how they will contribute to project success. Stakeholder analysis helps in addressing issues and conflicts early on.
19. Take Me Through How You Would Conduct A Stakeholder Analysis
My first step would be to determine the stakeholders. I would brainstorm a list of potential stakeholders for the upcoming project. The second step is to group and prioritize the stakeholders brainstormed in step one. This will be based on the stakeholder interest, participation level, and influence in the project. The third step would be to think about how best to get the support of each of the prioritized stakeholders. Finally, I will focus on the next stage of designing the stakeholder management process including creating a communication plan.
20. What Is Earned Value Management (EVM) And Why Is It Important?
EVM is a project management methodology that provides all stakeholders with an integrated approach regarding cost, scope to determine project performance, and cost. It is a tool to predict the future that helps the project team members to adjust accordingly. EVM has many benefits:
- Provide visibility and create accountability among all stakeholders using clear metrics.
- Developing a data-based framework that helps in making decisions for the future
- Mapping work with costs includes minimizing unknown costs into quantifiable factors
- Compare and benchmark the ongoing status against the current project baseline and identify critical paths.
- Offering an understanding of the project as well as portfolio levels.
21. Define The Term Cost Performance Index(Cpi)
The cost performance index is the measure of the cost-effectiveness of a project. This is determined by the ratio of EV ( earned value) to the AC ( actual cost).
22. Highlight Potential Causes Of Both Favorable And Unfavorable Cost Performance
Potential causes of favorable cost performance are caused by:
- Fewer revisions and rework
- Achievement of efficiency
- Decreases in the overhead rate
- When work becomes less complex than initially anticipated
- Favorable market fluctuations in material or cost of labor
Potential causes of unfavorable cost performance are caused by:
- Scope creep
- Unclear requirements
- Increases in overhead rates
- Work is more complex than initially anticipated
- Unfavorable market fluctuations in materials and cost of labor
23. What Is Gold Plating In Project Management?
Gold plating is the act of effecting changes to a project that were not agreed upon when the project was beginning. It occurs when the project teams incorporate features that were not in the original scope.
24. How Can You Avoid Gold Plating?
There are many ways to avoid gold plating:
- Send a standard that no one should add any extra feature without approval from the project management team
- Establish steps to be followed if a team member feels additional work is required outside the initial project scope.
- Ensuring that there is open communication and efficient monitoring throughout the project
25. What Is The RACI Matrix?
The RACI matrix refers to a responsibility role chart that maps out every key decision, milestone, or task involved in finishing a project and tasks whose assignment is responsible for action items. It also maps out which personnel is accountable for what and who needs to be consulted or informed at a particular point.
26. Describe How Raci Matrix Is Created
The following steps explain how to create a RACI matrix:
- Based on the completion order, identify all the activities involved in implementing the project. Once identified, tasks should be listed on the left-hand side of the chart depending on how they are completed.
- List the identified project stakeholders at the top of the chart.
- Fill in who is responsible, accountable, and who is to be informed or consulted for each task.
- Ascertain that each task has one stakeholder who is responsible for it
- Ensure that one stakeholder is accountable for a particular task
- Share and agree with all the stakeholders on the created RACI model.
27. What’s Your Leadership Style?
I use a combination of many different leadership styles in project management. However, I enjoy using both the pace-setting leadership style and the participative leadership style. I use a pace-setting leadership style, hoping the team members will excellently accomplish tasks. I ensure that I have provided detailed instructions for the team members to follow while performing the delegated duties. I also use the participative leadership style to build commitment and generate new ideas amongst the team members. While using this style, I can monitor how the tasks are being executed by team members and at the same time, give my contributions.
28. What Makes You A Good Leader?
I am a great leader who influences others to do right. I ensure to clarify the objectives, expectations, and roles. I make sure to set high-performance standards and provide timely feedback. I recognize and appreciate the achievements of others. I also value and respect others and value effective communication. Additionally, I am always committed to solving problems as soon as they arise. I believe that solving problems quickly encourages the motivates the team members thus creating a favorable environment for them to work in. Lastly, I am customer-centric and this helps me to blend well with every stakeholder in the project implementation.
29. Define What Is Requirement Traceability Matrix And Demonstrate How To Create It.
Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a tool used to identify the requirements needed to test whether all the requirements are fulfilled. Here are steps to help prepare RTM:
- Put all the available requirements together
- Provide a unique requirement id to every requirement
- Make test cases for every requirement
- Link the test case id to every requirement id
30. Explain The Types Of Software Testing Traceability Matrix That You Are Familiar With
I am familiar with several types of software testing traceability matrices. These include forward, bidirectional, and reverse traceability. Forward traceability is used to determine whether the project is moving in the desired direction. Reverse traceability determines whether the current products stick on the right track. Bidirectional traceability combines forward and reverses (backward) traceability into a single document. That helps to establish each requirement with relating test cases.
These project management interview questions and answers may be just what you need to ace your interview. Ensure to study and practice them. Also, visit the company website to familiarize yourself with the company. That will help to get ready, just in case, the interviewer asks a question about the company. Good luck!