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Assistant Project Manager Interview Questions

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  1. Tell me about a time when someone on your team failed to deliver results within an expected timeline. How did you handle the situation as the assistant project manager? See answer
  2. Have you ever disagreed with your project manager? If so, how did you handle it? See answer
  3. As an assistant project manager, what would you do if you do not get along with one of your staff members who report to you? See answer
  4. Tell me about the project management approaches you have worked with. See answer
  5. What is your experience with project management software?
  6. Tell me about a successful project you helped lead. What was your contribution?
  7. Tell me about how you manage your time to ensure that all your project tasks are completed according to deadlines.
  8. What is your strategy for resource allocation?
  9. A productive assistant project manager has the right personality for the job. Tell me about any personal qualities that make you better at your job.
  10. There is a disagreement among members in your project team, and the project manager tells you to handle it. What do you do?
  11. Some of the team members are demotivated because there are environmental setbacks. How would you motivate them?
  12. During your regular evaluations of project progress, you find ideas for improvements. How do you present them to project stakeholders?
  13. You’re using PMI’s PMBOK with a phased project management approach for a project. Based on your evaluations, your project requires a more adaptive methodology. Would you recommend a methodology change to the project manager? Explain your answer.
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6 Assistant Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Tell me about a time when someone on your team failed to deliver results within an expected timeline. How did you handle the situation as the assistant project manager?

A:

Assistant project managers will need to work in teams, likely with people from diverse backgrounds and abilities. While it is easy for candidates to speak about times when they have led their crews well and delivered results, there will always be times when something falls through the cracks. An applicant’s answer to this question will tell you about their ability to be resilient when things do not go as planned.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Candidate has a clear example and answers question directly
  • Applicant shows strong logic in walking the interviewer through how they solved the problem
  • Candidate shows creativity and a willingness to take on responsibilities beyond what was originally designated to them

Example:

“One time, the analyst who reported directly to me was stuck in traffic and could not make it to an important client meeting on time. I had asked for an e-copy of her data beforehand as a backup, and we talked over the phone to make sure that some of the last-minute changes she had made were incorporated into the version I had on hand so that our client had the most up-to-date information.”

Q:

Have you ever disagreed with your project manager? If so, how did you handle it?

A:

Many assistant project managers will work directly with analysts and other reporters who may not speak directly to the head project manager. There may be circumstances in which the project lead has a different vision than your candidate, so they will need to know how to navigate these situations effectively. This question will show how the applicant handles conflict and how they may resolve a disagreement.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant does not show aggression or anger at the thought of being in disagreement
  • Candidate is reasonable in working out a solution
  • Assistant manager does not accept the project manager’s decision blindly

Example:

“My project manager wanted to put a limit of $10,000 for the team’s annual travel budget since our group’s total travel expenses were $9,900 last year. The analyst I worked with had remarked earlier in the week that gas prices had risen by $0.20 a gallon, so I mentioned the fact to my project manager, who then increased the travel budget.”

Q:

What is your experience with project management software programs?

A:

Your assistant project manager will likely be the team’s go-to person for information regarding timelines, deadlines and budgets. They will need to be savvy with technology and be able to manage assignments on tight schedules. You are going to need someone who is able to navigate between several staff members, clients and possibly even tasks at the same time. The answer to this question will allow you to gain a sense of whether the candidate has been successful in using project management software in the past.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Identifies one or multiple project management software programs
  • Explains their level of experience with each application
  • Describes what they’ve used the program to achieve

Example:

“My team’s go-to visual collaboration tool was Trello, which we have used for the past two years. My task was to track all the new ideas that team members contributed to the idea board and highlight the good ideas.”

Q:

Tell me about a successful project that you have helped lead. What was your contribution?

A:

You want to look for candidates who have a proven track record of success in the field so that they can continue to provide value for your company. Applicants who have prepared strong answers about some of their successful assignments will help you gain a better understanding of what is on their resume as well as allow you to see if they will fit well into your project team.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Candidate recalls specific facts and figures about the project
  • Clearly explains their role in the assignment
  • Quantifies the magnitude of success in the project

Example:

“Last year, my team worked on introducing a new drink line for a local grocer. We ended up introducing a new tea brand, which sold 100,000 bottles in the first year. I was in charge of the external communications component of the project, which was vital since we needed to work with several suppliers.”

Q:

As an assistant project manager, what would you do if you do not get along with one of your staff members who report to you?

A:

Your assistant project manager will be the glue that ties all members of your team together. They will be the one to work with your entry-level employees and relay important data to their superiors. They will also be the one to arrange key internal and external meetings. Thus, how they handle work relationships and deal with team members is critical to the long-term success of your project.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Recalls a time they worked with a teammate they did not get along with
  • Explains how they handled disagreements and ensured the project continued without mishap
  • Does not attempt to avoid answering the question

Example:

“One of my teammates, Mike, was always late to meetings. This meant that everyone was stuck waiting, and it made my job really difficult since I needed to plan meetings around everyone’s busy schedules. I ended up asking Mike to grab lunch with me and pointed out that he needed to be more respectful of everyone’s time, and he began making it on time to meetings after this.”

Q:

Tell me about the project management approaches you have worked with.

A:

Project management methodologies can significantly influence project output, and assistant project managers should know how to use them even if they do not have experience in being project leads. An employer can use this question to find out the on-the-job training and skills of candidates. An ideal assistant project manager applicant will articulate experience in major project management methodologies, such as Agile, Lean Practices and PMI's PMBOK.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Understanding of key project management methodologies
  • Project management and communication skills
  • Suitable training for the position

An example answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"In my previous job, I used the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, which helps in reducing project defects and helps in finding new opportunities. I also have industry experience in using Lean Practices, which is a great approach for achieving targets with limited resources. Agile, which works well for projects that need process flexibility, and PMI's PMBOK with a phased project management approach, which suits projects that require data collection during the initial stages before enterprise-level deployment, are other approaches I have worked with."

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