Top Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers
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.
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Here's what we'll cover:
- 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.”
~ Joy Gumz
(Senior Director at Project Auditors)
What Does a Project Manager Do at FAANG+ Companies?
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
Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers on Teamwork and Collaboration
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
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
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. 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
Scenario-based Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers on Management Abilities
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
Sample Project Manager Interview Questions for Practice
- 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?
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.
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