Written by: Kelly Barcelos

Recruiters are well-aware of the varied and challenging requirements for top project managers. The key to hiring the right candidate for this demanding job is asking the right questions. Listed here are 5 important questions which can help you identify an experienced and well-suited candidate for this tough role:

1 – Domain Knowledge

Experience and in-depth understanding of project management theories are one of the most basic yet vital strengths of a good candidate. A solid foundation in project management basics is the first sign you should look for in a potential candidate.  

The question to ask:

  • What according to you are the three key challenges faced by our industry today and how would you tackle them effectively?

What to look for:

Describes three of the most relevant challenges and can include some related examples from personal experience with effective solutions.

2 – Prioritization and Time Management

Experienced project managers must be able to tackle multiple tasks without compromising on the quality of the outcome and adhere to stringent deadlines. Resources can run short most of the time so prioritization is important. Time is one of the most valuable resources and hence managing it well is the key to a successful project. The candidate should hence be adept at prioritization and time management – two of the most important skills required for the profile.

Questions to ask:

  • How to always ensure that the projects are executed within deadlines without compromising the quality?
  • How to determine project priority when every single project is urgent?
  • Have you ever faced a time lag on any of your projects? Did you manage to complete them on time? If yes, how?

What to look for:

Regular communication, ability to discern abilities without getting bogged down or overwhelmed and creative solutions which require minimum possible sacrifices to speed up the lagging process are some of the qualities to look for.

project managers, Want to Attract Top Project Managers? Ask These 5 Questions, Eylean Blog, Eylean Blog

3 – Communication Style

Another crucial skill which can make or break a project is the manager’s communication style. Be it with internal or external stakeholders, the communication skills of project managers are instrumental in determining success.

The question to ask:

  • How would you describe your communication style with your team?

What to look for:

Look for a candidate who is an effective communicator who shows empathy and encourages the team especially during a crisis to ensure that the project is completed successfully.

4 – Risk Mitigation

From under-performing team members to unexpected turns – several types of risks are a part and parcel of every project. An experienced project manager can keep a cool head and take appropriate action in the face of ambiguous situations for successful risk mitigation.

Questions to ask:

  • How would you deal with any unexpected changes in your project?
  • What measures would you take to bring a project back on track which isn’t going as planned?
  • How to deal with an under-performing team member?

What to expect:

An effective project manager has the ability to re-evaluate and re-prioritize as and when required during the project. Besides, even under-performing team members can trigger setbacks in a project. An experienced manager can successfully train, coach and motivate all the team members.

5 – Delegation Skills

Effective delegation skills are a true mark of a good project manager. Is the candidate capable of effectively getting work done from others without interference or loss of control? Can he or she extract the best from the team? For instance, team building activities which promote collaborative decision making among the members are an extremely useful tool for any project manager.

Questions to ask:

  • What tools would you opt to promote collaborative decision making in your team?
  • How do you review your delegated responsibilities?

What to expect:

A top candidate stays regularly updated with the delegated tasks through meetings, project management software etc. He or she believes in getting work done by empowering the team members and helping them thrive individually as well as a team.

Besides including these questions for selecting that best possible candidate, also ensure that the applicant has substantial understanding of your Company and his roles and responsibilities as a project manager.

Author Bio: Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager for Jobsoid – Applicant Tracking System. She is responsible for leading the content and social media teams at work. Her expertise and experience in the field of HR enable her to create value-driven content for her readers – both on Jobsoid’s blog and other guest blogs where she publishes content regularly.