So you’re interviewing for a project manager position? Great, it’s time to prepare. Of course, you need to start rehearsing your answers to all those standard (and sometimes repetitive) interview questions, but some would argue that the questions you ask of the interviewers are just as, if not more, important than your answers. Sometimes those questions are the tipping point, what separates you from the rest of the competition. Good questions are open-ended, show that you’re thinking, and demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested and thinking ahead to the job itself. Here are five questions that project managers should ask during an interview.
How many clients?
In other words, what will your workload be like? Or, what will your day-to-day responsibilities look like? Start to explore what will be expected of you in terms of communication and planning, marketing, and budgeting. The more you know about the company’s expectations, the better you’ll know how well you’re suited for the role.
Is the team collaborative or independent?
All team dynamics are different, and it’s essential to recognize that if you’re in a management position. As a new person, you want to make sure you can adapt to the company culture and the environment of the team. Will you be a good fit there? It’s important to know that ahead of time.
Is there room for growth or advancement?
When you ask about opportunities for growth or about a typical career path in the company, you show that you’re driven, and you’d be a commitment to a long tenure there. It’s expensive to recruit, hire, and train new employees, so no one wants to hire someone who will leave in a few months. And selfishly, you want to know that you’ll be supported in learning more and developing your skills. After all, why would you want to work somewhere if there’s no chance to get promoted?
What’s the company’s biggest challenge?
Show that you’re thinking of the company’s well being, instead of just your status. As you learn about the company’s weaknesses, talk about how your strengths and talents can begin to fill some of those gaps. Plus, you can consider the realities of the role and decide whether you’re ready to take them on. Then ask how your projects contribute to the company’s goals and objectives. In other words, how vital would you be? And what type of support will you receive from management?
What challenges should I anticipate?
This question demonstrates that you’re thinking ahead, that you’re already putting yourself in the shoes of this role, hopefully preparing to tackle them. It also allows you to present yourself as the ultimate problem-solver for this company. Explain how your skills and experiences are a perfect fit for the challenges ahead of you.
Prepare for your interview
For more tips on preparing for your interview as a project manager, check out our website.