So you’ve spent a few weeks filling out applications and making phone calls, and finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for – you’ve just received a call for the job opportunity that you’ve had your eyes on.
To increase your odds of landing the job, here are 6 must-dos that should be on the top of your priority list.
1. Do Your Research
Make sure you know who you will be working with. Make sure to Google your potential employer or reach out to your network for contacts who have worked with them. This will work in your favour by connecting what the company specializes in to your skills and expertise.
Inquire about the interview style – whether it is a one-on-one interview, with a recruiter, or panel. This will help you to determine your preparation and whether or not you may be expect to complete a presentation, demonstration, or need to carry a portfolio.
2. Be Ready To Relate A Story
Interviews can be tough if you’re not prepared with your A-game. For example, you may be given case questions where the interviewer provides you with a scenario and asks you to develop a project plan/outline around it. Through these questions you can prove your knowledge and capabilities.
Be ready for it – be able to provide examples of moments when you had to deal with stressful situations carrying out projects or managing your team, but was able to remain calm and professional. Tell them a story they can relate to.
3. Get Ready For These Top Project Management Interview Questions
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common interview questions in the project management realm. Make sure you can provide great answers to these top queries:
- Why would you like to work in this position?
- If you were faced with XYZ conflict, how would you deal with it? What steps would you take?
- How would you fit in our company?
- What would you do if you were relied upon to solve an issue with little or no direction?
- Can you explain the basic components and operations of XYZ blueprint/drawing?
- Can you tell us about a situation when you have had difficulty with a co-worker. How did you handle it?
- What types of projects did you manage while working at XYZ?
- What is your greatest and worst project achievement? What did you learn?
- Can you give me an example of a typical project size and budget you’ve managed or had responsibility on?
- Tell us about a situation when the project was in trouble and how you dealt with it….
- What personal strategies do you use to handle stress, tough deadlines and long work hours?
4. Ask Questions
Interviews give companies an opportunity to get a glimpse into your skills and experience, but also how you handle yourself as professional and a problems-solver. At the end of the interview, you get a chance to ask questions to the interviewer, and this is your chance to finish-up strong.
Create a lasting impression, as this Forbes article points out, with some smart and thought-provoking questions.
- What level of responsibility could I expect in this position?
- [Interviewers name], what do YOU like most about working at XYZ company?
- Is there any reason you wouldn’t hire me?
- How could I help your company meet it’s goals?
5. Avoid Criticizing….anyone
We’ve all been in some unsavory situations in the workplace, and sometimes it leads to you looking for new opportunities. Regardless of how it went down, never criticize a past employer or it’s employees in an interview.
Take a minute to process, formulate your response, and answer accordingly. Remain positive, and if it was a negative experience, add how you have or are currently working on making it better.
NEVER bad mouth previous employers or anyone for that matter. Every situation is a learning experience, whether it be a positive one or a negative one, there will always be something to take away that will help you to evolve.
6. Have Your Project Portfolio Ready
Be prepared to discuss your personal contributions that you have made in past projects and at past employment opportunities. Whether it was a success or not, discuss how you overcame that difficulty, what you learned from it, and how you will bring those positive results into the position you are interviewing for.
Have examples and projects prepared to link to questions an employer may throw at you. A great thing to do is to prepare a 1-page portfolio with any documentation or even referrals that highlight your achievements and the results they produced.
Here are some additional resources that may help:
- Interview Preparation Tips
- How to Discuss Your Project Management Experience in an Interview
- How to Ace A Project Management Interview
I’d love to hear from you! What was the most interesting or common interview question you were asked by an interviewer for a project management position?