Technical Project Manager Interview Questions (And Answers)

Updated August 8, 2022

Technical project managers are the leaders that manage the IT aspects, risks and problems with projects and teams. There are common questions that interviewers might ask to find out how much you understand about the position. Knowing some possible questions that an interviewer could ask you about a technical project management position can help you prepare your answers.

In this article, we list 43 common interview questions about technical project management and provide examples of answers as a guide.

Related: Learn About Being a Project Manager

General questions

These general questions are used by the interviewer to discover your personality and interest in the job:

  • Why do you want to be a technical project manager?

  • What made you want to apply for this position?

  • What is a weakness you have with project management?

  • What kind of leadership qualities do you possess?

  • What do you like most about technical project management?

  • What do you dislike most about project management?

  • What kind of communication style do you have?

  • Why did you choose the technical side of project management?

  • What are your hobbies outside of being a project manager?

  • How would you describe yourself as a technical project manager?

  • What is one word that someone would use to describe you as a project manager?

Related: 8 Qualities of a Successful Project Manager

Questions about experience and background

These background questions can help the interviewer understand more about your experience in the project management field:

  • Have you ever managed the technical side of project management before?

  • How much experience do you have with technical project management?

  • What's the difference between project management and technical project management?

  • What has been the largest problem that you have faced in project management?

  • How does your educational background relate to working in project management?

  • Have you ever worked in quality assurance?

  • How has your previous job prepared you for this project management position?

  • What project has been your favorite to manage?

  • What kinds of project management tools have you used before?

  • How many people have you managed at one time for a project?

Related: Understanding the Project Management Processes and Phases

In-depth questions

These in-depth questions can help an interviewer understand your comprehensive knowledge of the technical side of project management:

  • How can you tell when a project is not working up to its potential?

  • What does an ideal project look like to you?

  • What is your experience like in budget management?

  • How would you go about managing a remote team?

  • Explain how you would use outsourced resources for a project.

  • How would you handle a team member who was working less than their full potential?

  • How do you manage team members who are overwhelmed?

  • Explain what it is like managing the expectations of customers or clients.

  • What is the biggest mistake that you have ever made on a project?

  • What is your strategy for prioritizing project tasks?

  • What project management software do you like the most?

  • How do you delegate tasks among a team?

  • How would you resolve a conflict between two or more team members?

  • Have you ever had to convince a customer of the final product of a project?

Related: 6 Popular Interview Questions for Managers

Interview questions with sample answers

Here are some common interview questions and sample answers related to technical project management.

What is a weakness you have with project management?

Your answer to this question can show your ability to recognize your errors and strive for self-improvement. Briefly describe what weakness you have or had as well as what you have done or are currently doing to fix or strengthen it.

Example: "One weakness that I have is sometimes delegating too much of a task to a single person. While I know someone has the skills to complete a task, there have been times when I have relied on a single person too much. I now try to minimally increase a team member's workload to ensure the project gets completed successfully."

Why did you choose the technical side of project management?

Your answer to this question can show the interviewer that you understand the technical aspects of project management. Technical project managers frequently have more experience and knowledge of project management, so you can use this question to show how much you know about the field and position.

Example: "I've worked in project management for many years, and over time, I have gained experience in all facets of managing projects, team members, budgets, time restrictions and clientele. I became very interested in the technical side when I started working for a software development firm. I found that technical project management involves a new set of challenges that I enjoy solving."

What is your experience like in budget management?

Many technical project managers must understand how to handle project budgets, including the cost of materials, project team members and the time it takes to complete a project. A technical project manager must consider all of these when determining a budget for a project so the client understands the costs before starting. Good project managers can determine close estimates of a project's budget, so explaining your experience or expertise in budget management will show the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job.

Example: "I started my project management career solely on time management and team member management, and over the years, I have gained an expert understanding of the fiscal side of projects. My previous jobs required me to create estimates, budgets and final expenditures for a project's cost, and I can create and manage budgets for any project. If a project begins to require more money than initially stated, I understand the procedures for requesting budget changes as well as managing resources to stay on budget throughout the project."

How would you resolve a conflict between two or more team members?

Working with teams sometimes results in conflict and being able to manage and resolve disputes among team members saves time and creates positive environments. Show the interviewer how you would successfully resolve a conflict between two team members. Consider speaking about a past conflict and how you acted as the team leader or project manager to resolve it quickly and efficiently. The STAR method is an effective way to explain your conflict resolution skills.

Example: "Every conflict is different, but the only way to truly resolve one is to understand the root of the problem. Once the root of the problem is understood, it is my job as the technical project manager to resolve the conflict in the fastest and most effective way possible.

I once encountered a situation between my business analyst and QA lead about the best way to approach user acceptance testing. The business analyst had been with the company longer, but the QA lead had more experience in testing. Since they both had good ideas, I held a short meeting with both of them to present both sides and choose the best method. At the end of the meeting, we all agreed to use the QA lead's idea, but the business analyst would be heavily involved to ensure we followed company guidelines."

How can you tell when a project is not working up to its potential?

Some projects start strong but can eventually go over time or budget limits. It is the technical project manager's job to bring the project back together and keep it moving toward the final goal. Explain a situation that you've been in where you had to bring a project back into a workable timeline or budget.

Example: "At my previous job, there was a project that was moving slower than expected. I started by supervising the tasks of each team member and found out that there were additional tasks that were unforeseen in the initial strategy. Finding out about these additional tasks early was essential to fixing them so the project could be completed on time. I believe that having a strong strategy from the beginning with clear communication from all team members is important, and keeping track of time and budgets throughout the project is critical to a successful project."

What is one word that someone would use to describe you as a project manager and why?

Some interviewers may ask you to describe yourself using one or a few words. Consider choosing a few words that you or others would use to describe yourself as a manager and relate these words to real scenarios and experiences you have managed. Choosing words like organized, prepared or efficient will show the interviewer you understand the qualities of a project manager.

Example: "Every team I've managed would describe me as prepared. Whatever happened during a project, I always had a solution or a process that I could use to manage every situation effectively. There are always unknowns in projects, and I believe that being prepared for anything has been my best quality as a technical project manager."

What is the biggest mistake that you have ever made on a project?

Similar to understanding your weaknesses, you can explain a situation where you took responsibility for a mistake and handled it. Besides explaining your error, show the interviewer how you fixed the mistake and what you have done to ensure you made better choices in the future. The interviewer wants to know that you can fix your mistakes to continue progressing as a technical project manager.

Example: "My biggest mistake was a few years ago when I failed to keep track of a team member's progress on their project task. Their final output was essential to the success of the project, and because I didn't check in on the work enough, the entire team was left doing the work of one team member in the final hours of the project deadline. Since then, I make sure to always check in on my team members to ensure that the project is moving forward at the rate it needs to be."

How do you delegate tasks among a team?

Each project manager delegates tasks differently depending on the team and the qualities each individual possesses. While the company you are applying for might have a specific task delegation process, explaining how you assign tasks can show your leadership qualities and how capable you are of managing tasks among a team. Consider showing the interviewer that you are flexible depending on the unique situation.

Example: "Every person has unique qualities and skills, and understanding how each individual makes up an entire team is essential in technical project management. While I believe every team member should be doing a generally equal amount of work, I also understand that some people have different skills than others. I would delegate more difficult tasks to those who could manage them. Team members who work hard would be rewarded and recognized to inspire the rest of the team to strengthen their weaknesses and progress their skills."

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