Top 50 Project Management (PMP) Interview Questions & Answers


Proficient Project Managers have become one of the most significant assets for every organization. The success and goal accomplishment of every corporate firm is credited to the efficiency and competency of a qualified project manager and this is in cognizance by the HR managers and senior executives. 

Things get a little complex when it comes to selecting professional project managers, and candidates are evaluated in a variety of methods. If you are a prospective professional looking forward to facing an interview, this comprehensive guide of top PMP interview questions and answers will help you prepare for a successful interview.

Most Common Project Management Interview Questions

We have curated the top PMP interview questions and answers based on various levels of expertise and application-based. Let us go through them as categorized and addressed below. 

Best Scenario-based Project Management Interview Questions

1. Explain what is a project?

A project is a collection of tasks/activities carried out to produce a product, service, or outcome. These are transient in the sense that they are not regular work, such as production, but rather a one-time set of activities.

2. Can you give a few examples for more context?

A product project will result in a finished product or a portion of a finished product. The Microsoft Surprise tablet, for example, was made using a liquid magnesium deposition process to make the casing. The process established during the research will be used to manufacture the tablet in the future. Creation of a new product or process (as in the example), construction of a road or bridge (infrastructure in general), development of a computer/information system, and so on are all examples.

3. Explain Project Management in your own understanding

Project management entails putting the project team's expertise and abilities, including the project manager's, to use, as well as the tools and procedures at hand, to guarantee that the set tasks are accomplished correctly. The term "proper completion" refers to achieving end outcomes within budget and time restrictions. It usually entails balancing the scope, budget, time, quality, risks, and resource restrictions.

4. Is there a distinction between different types of activities in a project?

During the course of a project's existence, it is common for it to go through a series of activities that may be easily identified. Some common activities that are associated with starting a project can be recognized. To plan the actions to be conducted in order to attain the given goals, a set of activities must be planned. Executing a set of activities aids in the completion of the project. A connected set of activities is required to monitor and rectify the project's course of action in order to keep it on track. The final group of actions is concerned with the project's systematic closure. The most crucial of them is, of course, to formally record what was learned during the project's implementation. Organizational process assets are a set of documents, relevant forms to be utilized, the manner estimates are to be made, a database of estimates for similar projects, and so on that have been recorded.

5. Differentiate the following terms in Project management: Projects, Programs, and Portfolio. 

Projects are carried out for a single or a group of connected goals. A program is a collection of projects that are managed together to achieve various aspects of a larger purpose. The command module and lunar landing modules, for example, were developed as separate programs for NASA's lunar landing program. A portfolio is a collection of initiatives, programs, and even other portfolios that work together to assist a company to achieve a high-level business goal.

6. What does being a stakeholder entail?

Any individual, organization, or entity whose interests are impacted by the initiative, whether positively or negatively. Stakeholder influence is a key factor to consider during any planning process, and then again during implementation.

7. What are the Impacts that a Project Manager effects on the organization?

Every organization has its own method of doing things, as well as collective wisdom on how to do things in the best manner possible, which influences the planning and execution processes. When estimating and planning project-related tasks, these factors must be taken into account. The term "organizational environmental factors" is frequently used.

8. What are the skills essential for a successful project manager?

In order to be effective, the PM must have additional personal qualities in addition to being a skilled professional manager. It is not only necessary for him to have project management abilities, but it is also necessary for him to be proficient in them. It is necessary to have the right attitude, basic personality traits, and leadership qualities. Team management and leadership skills are essential to help the team achieve common objectives and goals.

Domain-based Project Management Interview Questions and Answers

9. Define processes and process groups?

A process is a set of steps that must be followed in order to complete a task. The process not only specifies the acts to be completed but also the order in which they should be carried out. Process groups are a collection of processes that can be used at different stages of a project. For instance, a group that initiates the process, a group that plans the process, and so on. Each process takes a defined set of inputs and uses a set of tools and techniques to produce a defined set of outputs.

10. Elaborate on the life cycle of a Project.

When the range of activities necessary to complete project work varies, a project has multiple phases. There is a definite "start" phase, which is followed by a phase of organizing and preparation. "Carrying out" refers to the project's actual execution. The "closing" phase ensures that the project's temporary operations are concluded in a systematic manner. Phase gates, exits, milestones, and death points are all terms used to describe the points in time where phase shifts occur. If a project should be closed, it is decided at these stages based on its performance or whether the project's requirement has vanished.

11. What is a project charter?

This is the starting point for everything. This document is used to authorize projects, and projects are started using the top-level requirements provided in this document. It also includes a description of the project's initial requirements as seen by stakeholders and the project's outcomes.

12. Explain "plan baselines"?

Before the project execution begins, baselines are the final form of all blueprints. Project baselines are the initial versions of all project-related plans, such as the time schedule, quality plan, communication strategy, and so on. This serves as a benchmark against which project success is judged.

13. What is a Statement of Work (SOW)?

The statement of work, or SOW, is a precise description of the project's outcomes in terms of what products, services, or results are expected. If the customer is the one who requests the project, the most complete SOW is usually provided by him.

14. What is scope management and what does it entail?

Collecting requirements, defining scope, developing WBS, confirming scope, and controlling scope are typical steps in this process. The scope baseline is defined by the project scope statement, WBS, and WBS dictionary. Scope creep must be minimized by controlling the process of the scope.

15. What methods should be used to manage changes?

Through the use of an integrated change management methodology. A change control board will have to review any requested changes. Only the changes that have been approved should be included in the document changes that guide project execution.

16. Define Work Breakdown Structure (WBD), and how does it influence           task/activity work estimates?

The work breakdown structure describes the project's work activities as well as the sub-activities for each work requirement. The breakdown is broken down into tiers where all of the work that needs to be done is evident. Work does not need to be broken down any further. Additional data that assist describe the tasks are included in the work breakdown dictionary. When all aspects of the work and dependencies are known, time and effort estimations can be correct.

17. What are some methods for determining scope?

They can be listed as below:

  • Product breakdown
  • Requirements analysis
  • Systems engineering
  • Systems analysis
  • Value engineering
  • Value analysis 
  • Alternatives analysis

Brainstorming, lateral thinking, and pair-wise comparisons, among other techniques, can aid in alternative analysis.

18. What role does project scheduling have in project completion?

When the activity effort and resource estimates are known, how the tasks are scheduled determines how much work gets done. Other activities' dependencies must be properly understood. What actions should be done first and what should come after determine the basic order. To save time on a project, unrelated tasks/activities might be sequenced in parallel. Given optimum resource allocation and no constraints, the most optimized sequencing would offer you the best potential time needed. After the WBS has been finished, the activities list is used to schedule.

19. How are the estimations for "activity time" made?

Techniques for estimating activity time estimations include parametric estimates, three-point estimates, and similar estimates.

20. What is the method of estimating the three-point estimate?

For calculating a Three-point estimate, there are typically two formulas

  • Triangular Distribution - where in E = (P+M+O)/3 and 
  • PERT or Beta Distribution- where E= (P+4M+O)/6 

Here P means Pessimist

O means Optimist and M means Most likely.

PERT is the acronym for Program Evaluation and Review Techniques

21. What is the most common way the project time schedule is represented?

An activity scheduling network diagram is the most typical depiction of a project time schedule. Milestone charts and bar charts are frequently used in conjunction with this.

22. Define Work Breakdown Structure (WBD) and the way in which it influences task/activity work estimates?

The work breakdown structure describes the project's work activities as well as the sub-activities for each work requirement. The breakdown is broken down into tiers where all of the work that needs to be done is evident. Work does not need to be broken down any further. Additional data that assist describe the tasks are included in the work breakdown dictionary. When all aspects of the work and dependencies are known, time and effort estimations can be correct.

23. What do you mean when you say "milestone"?

A milestone is a moment in a project's timeline when a goal, a portion of a result, or a portion of the anticipated services are met.

24. What crucial procedures are included in project integration management?

The creation of the project charter is the first step. The creation of a project management plan is yet another crucial task. Plans that must be followed throughout the project include those to monitor and regulate project execution as well as to direct and manage it. The last set of operations for integration management is finishing the project (or the current phase). Since changes are frequently unavoidable, a comprehensive plan for change management must be created to methodically direct all changes.

25. What exactly is RAID in terms of project management?

Risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies are all referred to as RAID. A PM should be constantly aware of these important things. A PM must choose the least risky course of action because there are always hazards involved. Any calculations or actions could be erroneous if assumptions weren't made about them. The choices of actions are frequently restricted by problems and dependencies.

26. In a schedule network diagram, how do you define a critical path?

There will be some activities whose start and/or end times are not crucial when activity scheduling is complete. Due to dependencies, it may be possible to begin a task later than the scheduled start date. Likewise, an activity may be completed later if no other tasks are waiting for it to be finished. Floats are the name for these timers. There is always a route from beginning to end without any floats. There cannot be any delays, and all actions along the path must be completed in the allotted time. Any delays will have a direct impact on when the project will be finished. The critical path is the sequence of steps or the route taken from beginning to end.

27. What may be done to shorten a project's timetable?

There are two ways to speed up a project's timeline: crash and fast track. 

  • The crash technique uses the available time floats to optimize the schedule while keeping costs in check. 
  • Fast-tracking involves accelerating particular tasks by adding more resources as needed. It might entail paying team members for extra time worked, hiring consultants, etc.

28. Explain effort variance.

It is the discrepancy between the estimated effort and the actual effort required. 

Periodically, work performance is reviewed to see if there have been any variations in efforts so that corrective measures can be performed.

29. Define Earned Value Management

The projected value (PV), earned value (EV), and actual cost (AC) is tracked at each monitoring point. PMB  is the accumulation of all planned values, it stands for performance measurement baseline. Schedule variation (SV) and cost variance (CV) is estimated based on deviations from baselines. If earned value equals projected value, the project is on track to meet its objectives. If there is a major schedule or cost variance, proper action must be done to fix the slips. The estimate at completion (EAC) is calculated and compared to the budget at the end of the project. If there is a blunder, the financial repercussions will be known.

30. What are the benefits of A processes?

"A is a means of systematic monitoring and evaluation of aspects of the project, service, or facility to ensure that quality standards are met," according to a dictionary. As a result, everything it takes to ensure that products satisfy customer expectations is part of A's efforts. Quality is ensured by ensuring that everything that goes into manufacturing a product is of the highest quality and that no mistakes are made along the way.

31. What is quality control and how does it work?

Inspections are part of the quality control procedures to verify that quality standards are met.

32. Why are process improvement plans required?

The constant improvement of procedures is a cornerstone of A. Process improvements reduce errors in processes, resulting in higher quality.

33. What is the method for achieving process improvements?

The method employed is GM, or objectives, questions, and metrics. Goals are established, questions on how to enhance the process are posed, and metrics (measurements that provide information about the process) are implemented.

34. What are the most critical parts of a project team's HR plan?

The areas where clearly delineated policies should exist and be well understood by team members include acquiring the team, assembling the team, assigning roles and responsibilities, appraisal policies, awards & recognition, and appraisal policies.

35. Why is the HR management plan's performance management procedure so crucial?

People enjoy being acknowledged for their contributions. The project management team must recognize and reward talent as well as recognize and reward the performers. Not only should the assessment be fair, but it should also be seen to be fair.

36. How do you figure out what stakeholders require in terms of communication?

Stakeholder communication requirements are determined by their power/influence grid, power/interest grid, and impact/influence grid positions. Another way of determining who is most effective for the project's benefit is salience modeling. This is a qualitative assessment that will define the type and extent of project communications.

37. What are the many types of hazards you could face during a project?

Technical, external, internal/organizational, and other categories could be used. Other categories may need to be addressed depending on the type of project.

38. What is the purpose of a risk register?

This is a list or document that contains all of a project's identified risks. There is also a list of activities that could be taken.

39. Is there anything nice about the risk assessment process?

The risk assessment method may also uncover certain possibilities.

40. Differentiate risk impact from risk probability.

When evaluating risks, the project team considers the likelihood of the risk occurring and the impact it will have on the project if it does

41. What function do Ishikawa/Fishbone diagrams have in determining risk root causes?

This is a graphical way of determining the cause and effect links that contribute to a particular risk. Then, for that risk, mitigation actions could be determined.

42. What is your understanding of the Pareto principle/analysis (80/20)?

This is a statistical analytic method that aids in the prioritization of several actions. The premise is that there are around 20% of actions that, when carried out, produce 80% of the effects. This is used in quality assurance to find the 20% of reasons that cause 80% of the problems.

43. In procurement processes, what are fixed-type contracts?

The seller is required to provide the contracted things at a set price agreed upon at the time of the contract.

44. What is the difference between time and material contracts and other types of contracts?

The contractor is paid for time spent on the project as well as expenses for materials utilized and other agreed-upon expenses under this sort of contract.

45. What is the main goal of a procurement management strategy?

Determine what exactly has to be procured, and make sure it is procured at the greatest price and delivered to the project team on time.

46. What is the role of a procurement administrator?

Continue to monitor and ensure that any open procurement contracts are moving forward as planned.

47. Why is it necessary for a PM to be very proactive?

A project manager must be able to spot any symptoms of a delay in schedule and/or cost as soon as feasible. This allows the team to react as quickly as possible to remedy the situation or mitigate the impact.

48. Do you agree that the project manager's direct tasks include the formation of a team, developing the team, and expanding knowledge?

The project is carried out by the team. As a result, it's critical to hire the proper personnel. The importance of team development is critical since any holes must be filled. Improving one's own and the team's expertise is the same as continuously improving a process, and it should have an impact on the project's quality.

49. Do you believe that a PM's professionalism and ethics are key qualities?

The project manager is in charge of overseeing all parts of the project. 

Numerous things can go wrong unless he is a professional with ethics. 

Untruthful progress reporting will quickly backfire on the PM, resulting in a delayed or failing project for the organization.

50. What is the procedure for organizing a team?

There is a period of instability after the participants have been gathered as a project team before everything settles down. The forming-storming-norming-performing process is what it's called. There are rough storms that team members have to weather prior to settling into their roles. The norming phase is when they become accustomed to the relationship's structure over time. The team does not begin to perform until everyone has adjusted to their new responsibilities.


Those are the top PMP interview questions that will help professionals in preparing for their interview. 

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