You’ll never become a project manager if you don’t knock it out of the park during your interview. Ascending to rookie status or even unintentionally climbing into a leadership position is difficult, and you’ll have to speak with upper-level executives before you move into the job.
Of all the matters you have to handle in your careers, interviews will always be among the most nerve wracking. Even if you’re continuously applying for new gigs, it’s terrifying to sit in front of a recruiter and explain why you should be given a position over all of the other candidates.
Over time, you’ll learn to ace the interview and convince people that you’re worthy of being named project manager. Until then, let’s take a look at a couple of questions you’ll likely have to answer when vying for a new job.
What have you worked and how does that apply to our company?
According to Career Realism’s Jessie Allen, interviewers frequently ask about previous projects and want to know how it applies to their organizations. They frequently want to know if the candidates have any experience with working in the company’s field.
But you shouldn’t worry about this question if your past projects don’t exactly line up with the types of assignments that the enterprise frequently receives from clients. The best strategy is to discuss how your experience makes you a viable candidate and how you can connect what you’ve learned to a new employer.
If anything, this is the better way to go than just talking about specific details because interviewers want you to demonstrate your abstract thinking and see how you deal with a high-pressure situation. By showing that you understand how to apply the skills you’ve developed to new fields, you’re signaling that you have the expertise to lead a team in almost any sector.
What tools do you think are most beneficial for project management?
In a report for the Houston Chronicle, Debra Hojberg-Kraft wrote that many interviewers want to know what types of tools and software prospective project managers think are the most beneficial for monitoring a team and boosting efficiency.
When answering this question, you have to demonstrate that you can use platforms expertly and not just one a basic level. After all, you can’t lead a team if you regularly have to stop and figure out how to access new functions in a program.
That’s why you should spend time with your go-to tools and review every resource. This way you’ll be able to detail how you can use the platform to help your staff succeed. Additionally, you should talk about how you would implement new software and train your employees with it so the interviewer can see that you’re willing to go the extra mile to reach your objectives.
Tell us how you’ve failed as a leader.
Interviewers love to make candidates talk about their weaknesses and failures. This is because they want to put prospects into bad positions to see whether they can find a positive angle to take.
When you’re asked specifically how you’ve made mistakes when dealing with employees or overseeing a project, you need to explain that there were obstacles and you managed to overcome them. Discuss your strategies for dealing with problems and how you succeeded despite the hurdles in your path.
Answering in this fashion shows interviewers that you can be resourceful when necessary and find innovative solutions to every problem. As a result, you’ll seem like a strong project manager who is ready to take on a leadership role, even under trying circumstances.
Why should you be project manager?
Finally, this is the biggest question you’ll have to deal with in most interviews. You’re essentially given the floor and expected to showcase your skills to ensure that you’ll land the job.
Your answer should be short, sweet and concise. The worst thing you can do is monolog about your career and why you’re the cream of the crop. Explain that you’re a strong worker who’s extremely dedicated to his or her team and does everything necessary to complete a project on time. This kind of response shows interviewers that you’re confident in your abilities and have what it takes to thrive as a project manager.