Best Queries to Ask Before You Hire a Project Manager

Intending to hire a project manager for your engineering startup? Check some of the best interview questions you can ask specialists when performing your next interview to hire a project manager.

Prior to scheduling, designing, and successfully finalizing an engineering solution, it is a must to find and hire a talented project manager to supervise it. Frankly speaking, this position is considered one of the most challenging to fill. Such professionals require a wide spectrum of qualifications, skills, proficiency in applying various methodologies, and being a guru in communication.

Before you conduct an interview, the startup owner/recruiter should prepare scenario- and behavioral-oriented queries, as well as advanced interview approaches, such as STAR. The last allows interviewers to receive proves of a candidate’s managerial style and other leadership skills/features.

It’s enormously tough to discover an individual that is not only well versed in the project management peculiarities but also can inspire/motivate their colleagues to overcome challenges on the way to a top-performance solution. Many startup owners believe that they might have to hire a pack of employees to implement every component of project management (planning, controlling, and so on).

However, there are professionals that possess the powerful experience and knowledge necessary for implementing project management approaches to prosperously lead projects. They are proficient in various aspects, such as utilizing project management tools as well as practicing the power of partnership. Being experts in communication, they are able to delegate activities to accentuate where their supervision is required most.

Well, how do startup owners/recruiters reveal a project manager that will be an ideal match to the job itself and your business’s values? Further, you will get the best project manager interview queries with recommendations to support you through the hiring practice. But let’s start with the list of obligatory skills a project manager should demonstrate to provide you with the idea of what it means to be a perfect project manager.

Wondering where to find project management companies to support your engineering startup? The best place to hire the top company is a reputable B2B engineering marketplace, such as Engre.co.

What is an Ideal Project Manager?

The following skills are a must for hiring a project manager to bring your engineering startup to sweetness and light.

1.Being a Leader

Project management is never an individual activity. Traditionally, to finalize a solution, you require controlling dozens of specialists within a team.

Super powerful project management is always about showing decent leadership skills: the ability to encourage engineers to outperform at their most productive level.

2.Being Organized

Organizational skills assist project managers in being up-to-date regarding solutions they are bringing to life. The company supports project managers in being efficient and proactive via delivering priority to performing their functions. Additionally, the company permanently informs project managers regarding the status of its business to enable them to notice and momentarily react to problems when they occur.

3.Being a Team-Builder

Project managers usually know that it is impossible to finalize tasks on their own, so they should demonstrate exciting team-building skills. Such professionals should know the clues on how to encourage their teams to arrive at a common target. This skill involves the ability to delegate as well as motivate for collaboration to gain the goal.

Furthermore, a project manager should be proficient at identifying every team member’s scope of work and delivering an action plan for every engineering specialist.

4.Being an Excellent Communicator

Guided by the necessity to build a team, a project manager should possess solid communication skills.

Whether this incurs being able to utilize communication software or negotiate with an engineer face-to-face, healthy communication is essential in any place of employment, and particularly in project management. Such professionals should know how to share opinions with their colleagues, vendors, customers as well as top-management of the business. To thrive, you need to be a brilliant interlocutor.

Communication guarantees that team members clearly realize their targets, scope of work, KPIs, and aspirations connected with a solution.

Additionally, communication enables troubles to be addressed asap and ways out to be negotiated and introduced. Those discussions help to prevent serious failures, such as deadline violations.

5.Being a Problem-Solver

Being a problem-solver is a feature of a good project manager because it is their responsibility to lead a project in the right direction. A project manager is always a front-runner, so the team members should be sure that they can rely on the leader for recommendation/feedback regarding the ways to resolve issues, both connected with the solution at hand but and often individual problems they run into, that are interfering with their performance.

6.Being Competent

It is self-evident that project managers must be competent at holding such a position. They must be aware of what and how to perform the things that bring a solution to success.

Now, it is time to proceed with the best queries to ask before you hire a project manager.

Read also: Construction Project Management: The Detailed Guide

What supports you in handling difficult solutions?

This query will support the startup owner/recruiter in understanding how a candidate manages issues, behaves in conflicts, and controls teams. Here, a great candidate should tell you about their problem-solving when it comes to challenging projects with tight deadlines.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to check what type of project management approaches they apply (Kanban, Scrum, Agile, and so on).

What is your experience of collaborating with outsourcing teams?

Top project managers can show a rich number of cases when it comes to managing engineering contractors from around the globe that they never met at their offices. The ability to supervise a remote team matters depending on a solution that you intend to develop.

Project managers that have no/poor experience of partnering with outsourcing contractors usually face numerous unpredicted challenges in case their potential project presupposes 100% remote collaboration with engineers. Such problems can result in violating solution deadlines.

Can you reveal how you organize things at office?

This query is frequently asked not only when applying for a project manager role but other controlling positions. The key thing you should remember is that it makes no difference whether a candidate prefers a laid-back/hands-on style or something in the middle; the key thing here is that they must be efficient!

As a rule, based on the engineering team and kind of solution, project managers should be ready to adjust their managerial style to its requirements. This will enable matching the needs of the staff and solution targets. Startup owners usually want to hire a candidate that is proficient at dozens of leadership methods in their arsenal that can be applied once the situation would need that.

What is perfect communication for you?

Why must a project manager know the secrets of efficient communication? Any solution, especially the one that presupposes using innovative approaches, undergoes difficult modifications that frequently must be implemented momentarily. To succeed in that, a project manager should know how to powerfully negotiate with vendors, stakeholders, clients, and engineering colleagues.

The point is that everyone from the above-mentioned list needs to be communicated in a particular manner. An excellent project manager is aware of how to keep a nice balance between various team members as well as soften any cases that occur.

Note that you should avoid hiring a project manager with no substantial communication skills.

How do you count a solution budget?

This question enables startup owners/recruiters to make a detailed study concerning particular components of a candidate’s project management experience. Obviously, in case a project manager possesses rich expertise it will be brightly sketched in the CV.

However, here is an interviewer’s chance to dive deeper in terms of a candidate’s experience in project management strategies, such as budget matters. Project managers must be amazing planners and when money is involved, they have a better understanding of how to control a solution budget.

How do you behave when you badly need assistance outside your engineering team?

Several project managers might believe that startup owners desire to hire a specialist that is totally independent and draws data from an inner reservoir. Well, such personalities are not rare and they are in demand. However, more inventive is considered the project manager that understands the moment when they can’t function alone anymore, so they ask for support from someone that constitutes a network of managers of the startup.

How do you deal with arduous projects?

A perfect candidate for hiring a project manager position should have diverse experience in responding to real-life issues. Their answer will help an interviewer to determine the way they would deal with solutions at your startup. Moreover, they can comprehend how they enforce their soft/hard skills when they reach their limits and even more.

What is your most significant error while designing a solution?

An ideal project manager should admit failures as well as digest them because it can be a precious asset to a startup. In case you ask this query but a candidate feels puzzled about what to answer, you should be wary. Even experts sometimes get in error. Being sincere and free to discuss that demonstrates a candidate’s gentle character.

What type of software do you frequently apply?

Some project managers may prefer Wrike or ClickUp and others admire Monday or Asana. You should simply ensure that a candidate you hire is in the loop regarding numerous digital apps for both in-house and remote teams.

Project managers should be aware of the approaches to carry out virtual meetings, design various reports, track deadlines, develop charts to evaluate progress, and many others.

Staying informed on all existing software platforms on the contemporary market with the ability to utilize project partnership tools greatly support this process.

Is there any project type that you hate?

Every project manager possesses particular kinds of projects as well as certain aspects they try to avoid. However, startup owners need project managers that can overcome issues. A good project manager quickly responds to business requirements even in case the solution is not their beneficial choice.

Everyone wants to hire a project manager that is sincere concerning the kinds of projects they can’t stand as opposed to a candidate that states they enjoy everything and everyone.

Check also: A Simple Guide to Construction Engineering Management