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Project Management Professionals: Sample Job Interview Questions and Answers



By U.S. News University Directory
Posted 2011


In today’s complex business environment, organizations depend on the skills of professional project managers to help them achieve their objectives and attain greater productivity and profitability. Industry-recognized certifications, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP®), awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), demonstrate a firm grasp on the highest level of core skills and essential knowledge that top employers require. PMP certification can lead to expanded career opportunities, higher potential earnings and a boost of self-confidence that can help you successfully compete for top project management positions.


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An Overview of PMP Requirements

To ensure the validity and status of PMP certification, the PMI has established minimum requirements to apply for this prestigious credential.

At the time of application, a candidate must have:

  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s or global equivalent)
  • A minimum of three years of project management experience
  • At least 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • A minimum of 35 hours of project management education

Or:

  • A secondary diploma (high school or global equivalent)
  • A minimum of five years of project management experience
  • With at least 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • And a minimum of 35 hours of project management education

Additionally, maintaining PMP certification requires a minimum of 60 professional development units (PDUs) per three-year cycle.

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PMP Certification Training Options

PMP training can prepare you for PMP certification, give you the critical skills that employers value most, and help you advance your career possibilities.

When considering your project management training options, examine each program’s offerings. Online courses can be advantageous to working professionals, with the convenience and flexibility of attending classes anytime. You’ll also want to study the credentials of a PMP training program’s instructors, as well as your ability to interact with fellow students and faculty. In addition, check out the learning technology tools offered by the training program. Will you be limited to classroom training, or will you have the ability to take your education on the road when you travel?

Most importantly, make sure you enroll in a PMP training program offered by a leading educational institution with a reputation for excellence. After all, when you’re investing your time, energy and money in a PMP training program, you want to be sure you’re receiving a quality education and have the best chance of passing the PMP certification exam.

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How PMP Certification Can Impact Your Career and Earnings

PMP certification can make you a more valued employee, and expand your career opportunities. Here’s why:

  1. Global businesses meet their objectives through project-based initiatives.
  2. Highly skilled project managers are needed to plan, organize and manage the resources that lead to project success.
  3. Employers cannot risk hiring project managers without the essential skills required to effectively lead projects.
  4. As a result, corporations increasingly require PMP certification for employment or advancement.

Because it is the most widely recognized and respected credential for project managers, PMP certification demonstrates to hiring managers that you have the proven skills, education and competence to lead complex projects and add tremendous value to an organization.

PMP certification can also give your confidence – and your salary – a boost. The PMP designation instantly distinguishes you among candidates for top project management positions, so you’ll feel confident to negotiate the salary you deserve. In fact, the PMI reports in its PMI Salary Survey – Sixth Edition that a PMP increases one’s salary up to 10% over non-credentialed peers.

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Four Typical Project Manager Job Interview Questions

Becoming a successful project management professional requires that you first nail the interview and land the position. Here are a few sample project manager job interview questions and answers that may help you prepare to perform your best during an interview.

1. What motivates you the most to successfully handle a large project?
A great answer might be, “Achieving short-term goals on time, with contributions by the entire team, moves us all toward the goal of completing the project. Meeting each set of goals helps keep everyone focused, improves the work environment and leads to success – which motivates me to take on increasingly complex projects.”

2. How do you handle disagreements during the course of a project?
Handling disagreements is a normal part of project management. Having the tools to settle disputes and negotiate solutions makes that part of the job easier. Share an example of how you faced differences among your team or management and changed the outcome, using skills you learned in PMP training.

3. What were your greatest achievements in your previous job?
Explain a successful project or share an aspect of your job that was meaningful. Highlight your favorite projects in a clear and concise way, making sure to include how your efforts advanced the company’s objectives.

4. How do you handle risk and roadblocks that threaten a project’s success?
A good approach to this question is to highlight how your advanced project management training has prepared you to anticipate and plan contingencies for each phase of a project.

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Plan for PMP Training and Project Management Career Success

Successful companies around the world recognize the value of advanced Project Management degrees and PMP certification. PMP holders demonstrate a dedication to their project management careers and to performing at the highest possible level. The PMP credential’s continuing education requirement means that these professionals are always at the leading edge of developments in the project management field. When you consider ways to advance your project management career to the highest level, consider making PMP training and certification the cornerstone of your plans.


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