Need help figuring out what to ask candidates during the interview?
You can bet that PMs are well-versed in how to answer standard interview questions like, “What’s your greatest strength? Weakness?” or “Why should I hire you?” or even “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Because questions like these are so often used to gauge a PMs potential to perform well in a particular sector, answers are usually very scripted, insincere, and most cases tailored to what you’re looking for in a candidate. And, unfortunately, that doesn’t tell you a whole lot.
The best PMs are like axles: They smoothly link management, clients and staff to keep projects rolling along. If you want route out the good project managers from the mediocre ones, you’ll need to spark a more authentic and revealing discussion.
How, the answer is simple: ask better questions!
- “Why are you here?”
- “What’s your definition of hard work?”
- “Tell me a little bit about your career path, how did you move into Project Management?”
- “What do you feel is the value of a good Project Manager (PM)?”
- “How do you take advantage of your strengths? How do you compensate for your weaknesses?”
- “What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?”
- “Describe one of your most challenging projects? Why was it challenging and how did you pull the project through it?”
- “Tell me about the kinds of performance metrics you use to see if the project is on track?”
- “Tell me about a time when you encountered a serious conflict and how you dealt with it.”
- “How do you handle a situation where the client does not want to surface and address Risk?”
- “How do you make decisions?”
- “How do you deal with client employees with low motivation or low skills?”
- “What is motivating your job search?”
- “What qualities in your co-workers bother you most? Do you appreciate most?”
- “If I were to ask your current boss what your greatest strength is, what would he or she tell me?”
- “What types of projects don’t you want to work on?”
- “Tell me about a work incident in which you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside?”
- “What will make you love coming to work here everyday?
- “If you were limited to just one person to get advice and help from, which person would you choose? Why?”
- “What’s your greatest fear about this opportunity?”
- “Tell me about a time you screwed up?”
- “Was there a time you thought the program was going “too fast?” What happened?”
- “Describe a time when you were asked to do something you weren’t trained to do. How did you handle it?”
- “What would you do if management made a decision you didn’t agree with?”
- “What changes have you made in working with others to be more effective at work?”
- “If you had only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?”
- “What is there about this opportunity that most excites you?”
- “Describe the boss who would get the very best work from you?”
- “What can you tell me about this job that isn’t in the description?”
- “Is there any question I haven’t asked you that I should?”
What do you think are the most revealing interview questions to ask job candidates? Share in the comments!