So after completing your Project Management Professional Course, you successfully managed in your PMP Certification Exam and now you are a PMP! So you might now be under the euphoria of becoming a PMP. Do you want to know what kind of interview questions you would be facing to get to your dream job? Here, we will discuss the questions and the tips you need to prepare for the interview.
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What Happens After Getting the PMP Certification?
So, you have gone through the arduous journey of PMP certification and now have the tag PMP to your name. But, you are interested in the PMP benefits, one of which is a higher level position and you want to know the approach for it. We will discuss what you need to do to get your career rolling and how to ace the project manager interview questions.
How to Face the PMP Interview Questions?
Since you are already a PMP, you have a better understanding and speak the same language of the elite group of PMP. Therefore, as the saying goes ‘Well begun is half done’, you have the needed foundation to face the PMP interview questions. You may be aiming for a higher position that comes with a better PMP salary and a role that gives you scope for career growth which is why you went for Project Manager certification.
What are the Most Common Themes in PMP Interview Questions?
Are these PMP interview questions different from a project manager interview questions? Not really! So, where is the difference? The interviewer is also assessing you on Project management framework during the interview. Let’s list some of the most common themes in PMP Interview Questions.
One of the typical interview questions would be “How do you think of becoming a PMP helped you in managing your projects?”. These types of questions would be a little tricky if you are not careful. The interviewer may make it appear that you were not handling projects successfully earlier or you couldn’t manage projects. So, beware! You may want to focus on the framework of PMBOK, the process approach that helps in ensuring that all steps are taken care of.
You may be asked about the most challenging situation that you faced and how you handled it as part of the interview questions. Moreover, you may have to understand the risk management that you have done which is part of the Ten project management knowledge areas of PMBOK.
You may also be asked about the most important role of a project manager in PMP Interview Questions. As you know, communication with stakeholders is the key to success.
Since you are aspiring for higher positions, you should also be able to bring your team up to speed while involving and motivating them. During the interview, you may be asked to talk about the techniques you used while handling your team. Moreover, the focus could be on the projects that are slipping in addition to handling negative feedback from the customer.
How to Handle the PMP Interview Questions?
As a PMP, you need to broaden your perspective beyond the schedule and budget when you are facing the interview for senior roles. Are you able to showcase your knowledge of the PMBOK framework and importance of the interdependencies between processes?
- Portray your understanding of the benefits management when answering the PMP Interview Questions.
- What do stakeholders gain from this project?
- You need to emphasize how this project delivery fits into the organizational strategy as a whole and which other projects could depend on this when responding to PMP Interview Questions.
What would you do differently?
- One of the PMP Interview Questions could be on how differently you would handle a failed project now that you are a PMP.
- Another important PMP Interview Questions could be on the three key things you learned after becoming a PMP.
Importance of Planning for the PMP Interview Questions
While answering the PMP Interview Questions, focus on the importance of planning. Moreover, you may want to describe the ill effects of a knee-jerk reaction or a reactive approach.
Preparation for the PMP Interview Questions
Firstly, think of the PMBOK and the project management framework when you start preparing for the PMP Interview Questions. List the projects that you handled so far. Next, capture the conflicts, challenges that you faced and which was the toughest one.
Once you are through this, your preparation for PMP Interview Questions would involve analyzing in terms of what you could have done better. Therefore, when you face the PMP Interview Questions, check what was lacking? Was it Risk management or a clarity in communication, roles and responsibilities were the issues.
PMI Institute advocates the need to add skills other than technical to sustain the fast-paced business environment that you are in. Therefore, when preparing for the PMP interview, enhance your competency to match the talent triangle. What this means is that you need to have Strategic and Business Management, Technical Project Management and leadership skills.
When you are vying for higher roles, you would have to add these competencies to your skill matrix. Understanding requirements, customer satisfaction, problem-solving, proactive approach are some of the competencies you need to have. Of course, this is in addition to the scheduling, budgeting and risk management which is implicit for a PMP.
Look at the interpersonal skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, empathy, leadership, motivation, influencing, negotiation, etc. that you used when managing projects and how it helped.
Personal integrity and ethics are critical traits that the interviewer would assess you. For a project manager, ‘Integrity is not a lack of opportunity’. Jot down issues related to code of ethics that you may have faced during the project execution. Moreover, prepare for questions on how as an individual you upheld your personal ethics.
As a project manager, you work with people who are from different countries, cultures, race, etc. How did you handle aspects related to political awareness, legal rules, gender diversity and cultural sensitivity management?
Resources to Prepare for PMP Interview Questions
Your first resource for interview preparation is your experience and knowledge of project management methodology which you gained from the PMP course. You can also network with other project managers through the network meetings that your local PMI chapter conducts or online webinars. You can also access the resources on PMI website and the case studies published.
Therefore, PMP Interview Questions would be easy to answer if you prepare well, draw upon your experience while relating to the PMBOK.
Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant, trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. Sunanda has contributed to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling, PMI”. She has worked as the Liaison Officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. To her credit is a Book on Business Ethics which she co-authored