Hiring Guide

Project Manager

Specific duties of a Project Manager can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Why you should hire a Project Manager

Project Managers help companies achieve success by coordinating projects to ensure they are completed on time and within scope and budget. They also build and develop the project team by providing purpose, guidance, and motivation to ensure projects are executed and delivered effectively.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Project Manager.

Top 12 skills for Project Managers

Project and Resource Management

Budgeting
Quality Management
Scheduling

Stakeholder Relationship Management

Motivating Others
Influencing
Conflict Management

Strategic Project Planning

Strategc Thinking
Project Planning
Risk Management

Self-Management

Organizational Skills
Adaptability
Dependability

Sample Project Manager job description

Project Managers are generally responsible for planning scopes of work, overseeing the execution of project tasks, and managing interactions between relevant stakeholders. By coordinating projects from start to finish, their primary goal is to ensure the overall success of the project. Doing so requires them to manage both tasks and expectations of stakeholders, as well as being able to communicate project progress effectively. As project manager work spans many industries and functions within an organization, the specific requirements for a particular Project Manager role vary, but the core group of skills highlighted here are essential for project managers to be successful in any context.

Sample questions for Project Managers

Question 1

Imagine a project you are managing requires additional resources and has unexpected expenses, but the project has already exceeded its budget. What would you do?

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What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to effectively manage budget constraints and demands during projects

Answer tips

  • Suggests reassessing spending plan and key objectives to decide best strategy
  • Considers reducing project scope/time or identifying lower-cost resources
  • Analyzes whether certain resources can be reallocated based on priorities
  • Suggests approaching appropriate stakeholders to revise the budget if necessary
  • Relies on contingency reserve to allow flexibility/reduce risk of budget overrun

Question 2

As a Project Manager, scheduling for projects is a really important part of your role. If you were assigned a new project to lead, how would you plan and monitor the project's schedule?

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What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to create and manage a project calendar to monitor who task progress and completion

Answer tips

  • Breaks project down into tasks and identifies who is responsible for what 
  • Considers task interdependencies when creating the schedule  
  • Identifies key metrics and milestones to track progress and completion 
  • Suggests using software to manage schedule (e.g. excel, gantt chart)
  • Updates schedule throughout to ensure all tasks are assigned and completed

Question 3

Tell me about a time you were managing a project and had an unexpected problem that required you to pivot some of your project plans. How did you manage that change effectively?

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Hireguide I/O Psych Validated
Alycia Damp, PhD IRHR

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to respond to changing project conditions calmly, effectively, and efficiently

Answer tips

  • Describes the unexpected problem and why it arose
  • Explains how and why the project plans needed to pivot 
  • Discusses the implications of the pivot on the team and resources 
  • Estimates the implications on the overall project success and completion 
  • Discusses learnings and key takeaways from experience