Interview Question: "Why Do You Want To Be a Project Manager?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 9, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Project management may be an excellent career path for individuals with strong communication, organization and leadership skills. If you're preparing for a project manager interview, you may find it useful to review common questions ahead of time to show that you're the best candidate for the job. One common interview question that you might encounter is "Why do you want to be a project manager?" In this article, we discuss why employers ask this question, provide instructions for how you might answer it and give some useful example answers.

Read more: Learn About Being a Project Manager

Why do employers ask "Why do you want to be a project manager?"

At an interview, an employer may ask why you want to be a project manager to learn more about your personal backstory. They may be interested in hearing about particular motivations, skills or inspirations that helped inspire you to follow this career path. This can help them learn more about your project management style, beliefs and goals. If your goals and beliefs align well with their company values, this might help them determine you're likely to add value to their company.

They may also use this opportunity to learn more about you as a person. Your answer to the question may reveal more about your personality than other, less personal, questions. This makes it a good way for interviewers to better understand if you're likely to get along with the rest of your department and how you would function as a part of their organization as a whole.

Related: How To Get a Project Management Job With No Experience

How to answer "Why do you want to be a project manager?"

This is a common interview question, so you may choose to spend some time before the interview thinking about and preparing your answer. Here are some steps you can take to answer this question:

1. Talk about your favorite element of the job

You may begin your response by naming an important element of project management that you find compelling. This can both give your interviewer a concise, immediate answer to their question and show that you know what being a project manager entails. For example, project managers often work on a variety of projects over the course of their careers. This may help keep their work vibrant and interesting, as there are always new things to learn and new challenges to undertake. If you consider this an exciting part of being a project manager, it may make a good opening point.

Alternatively, you may also talk about:

  • Leadership

  • Communication and collaboration

  • Interest in business

  • Team camaraderie

  • Team member professional development

  • Flexibility across industries

  • Transferable skills

  • Value you can add to the company

  • The satisfaction of completing a project

  • The satisfaction of overcoming a challenge

Related: 20 Skills Every Project Manager Should Have

2. Relate the answer to yourself

Once you outline your favorite aspects of project management, you can talk about how those elements relate to you specifically. You might discuss certain features of your personality and talk about how they fit well with certain project management elements. For example, if you choose to talk about the coordination and communication elements of the product manager's position, you might explain that you have strong people skills and that you love keeping track of multiple channels of communication.

This may also be a good opportunity to talk about a specific experience or person who made an impact on your career choice. You can relate this either to the personality trait you choose to discuss or to project management itself. Your story might involve a leader or manager you admire, a class you took or a leadership experience that you have. Whatever you choose to talk about, remember to include personal details. This can help the interviewer get to know you better and may make your interview more memorable for them.

3. Connect your answer to the company or job

It may be useful to talk specifically about the company that you're interviewing for, or about the job to which you're applying. Ultimately, the interviewer is trying to decide whether you're likely to add value to their company. By making the connection between your interests, goals and the company itself, you may help them see why you're a good candidate for the position.

Related: Project Manager Cover Letter Sample

Example answers for "Why do you want to be a project manager?"

Here are a few sample answers to this interview question:

Example 1

"For me, the best part of project management has always been the opportunity to help others develop their careers. My first project manager was actually the one who inspired me to follow this career path. I had a summer internship two years ago here at this company. When I began, I was nervous to speak up in meetings and unsure if I truly belonged. My project manager noticed, and began giving me tasks that involved greater levels of responsibility, slowly building up my self-esteem. She helped me to realize that my opinions matter.

I don't know if I would have had the courage to pursue this career without her help. Looking back, I am so impressed by the way she was able to identify and nurture my potential. As a project manager, I hope to do that for others. That is why I am particularly excited to be here today, applying for the very position that changed my life. I look forward to having as big an impact on the next generation."

Related: Understanding the Project Management Processes and Phases

Example 2

"I want to be a project manager because it's the best way for me to use my skills as a leader and organizer to contribute to a company, which I find very fulfilling. I have always been detail-oriented and methodical. Lists, planners and spreadsheets have been my academic and professional tools of choice since the fourth grade! I first realized that I had a particular knack for project management while running a college theater group. I served as Company Manager for two years, and in that position, I developed a leadership style based on collaboration and communication.

I was excited to have found a way to contribute to theater, which I was passionate about, without having to be onstage. I enjoyed delegating tasks and ensuring that all aspects of the company were running smoothly. That is when I realized that this may make a perfect career for me. As a project manager at a company like yours, with a mission I truly believe in, I know I am using my talents to do good in the world."

Example 3

"I have always wanted to work in business, and I realized that project management was the perfect position for me. I love overcoming challenges, and I prefer collaboration over competition. It's my philosophy that every project comes with a few unexpected challenges, regardless of how carefully you prepare. So, I always expect the unexpected, and I prepare my teams to do the same.

Once, I was managing a new product release when a snowstorm delayed our delivery truck. My team and I quickly used the event to gain social media attention and pushed back the delivery date without incident. This is the reason I love product management. There are always new challenges to overcome, and there are always ways to turn those challenges into successes. I have noticed that the success rates here at your company are impressive, and I look forward to being a part of that."

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