Technical project managers have a significant set of responsibilities and are key players on your team. If you’re hiring someone for this role, they’ll have to lead teams, manage projects, use their technical knowledge, and sometimes complete budgeting and estimation work.
This requires a wide range of abilities, but with a Project Management skills test, you can start reviewing candidates’ skills immediately after they apply for your role.
After this step, no hiring process is complete without an interview in which you ask the right questions. So, if you need some in-depth interview questions for technical project manager candidates, check out the list we’ve compiled so that you can assess your applicants thoroughly.
By beginning the interview with general interview questions for technical project manager candidates, you can get to know your candidates’ project preferences, traits, and abilities. Ask them some of these 10 questions to review these factors.
1. What made you decide to be a technical project manager?
2. What excites you about our company’s role in particular?
3. Do you have any technical project management skills you want to hone?
4. What is your favorite aspect of technical project management?
5. What is your least favorite aspect of technical project management?
6. Can you describe your communication style?
7. Which one word would your team use to describe your project management style?
8. Can you tell us your best technical project management skill?
9. Have you read any technical project management books or blogs recently?
10. Can you give us some information about one of your project management soft skills?
Here are sample answers to the most important general interview questions for technical project manager candidates. Review your candidates’ responses by comparing them against these answers.
From technical skills such as business IT abilities to negotiation skills, several areas of expertise can help technical project managers achieve management goals.
With business IT skills, candidates can efficiently manage projects and relay technical data to other departments. They can also use leadership skills to manage teams and projects effectively.
If you’re trying to evaluate these skills, it’s best to use screening tools such as our Leadership and IT Business Analyst tests. However, each candidate might mention a different technical project manager skill, so it’s a good idea to check if their best skills align with the specific requirements of your role.
Soft skills are crucial in many roles, and technical project management isn’t an exception.
When responding to this question, some candidates might mention their communication skills and explain how they help them share information about technical projects with teams. Others may discuss their critical-thinking skills and how they facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
When evaluating answers, always listen for examples of how the skills enhanced the candidates’ work.
And don’t forget that it’s worth assessing critical thinking and communication skills with a Critical Thinking test and Communication test, respectively. These are some of the top soft skills employers look for – more than 50% of businesses focus on developing their employees’ critical-thinking skills.
Every candidate will have skills they use more frequently than others, depending on their current role’s specific expectations.
For example, some candidates might use financial planning skills more often than technical ones. But candidates must develop the skills they are weaker in, especially since 50% of all employees will have to reskill by 2025 to keep up with technology changes.
It’s important not to dwell too much on these skills but rather to check how your applicants practice using them. Some might attend IT conferences to learn which skills are most important for technical project management and how to improve – others may practice using specific tools to hone their abilities.
With information on your candidates’ strategies, you can determine if your company can help train them and whether they are a good match for the role.
Since technical project managers’ communication styles vary, you should look for candidates whose styles match your organization’s ethos and values.
If your organization values teamwork, checking if your candidates have experience communicating with large teams may be important. If your business values critical thinking, you may consider whether your applicant encourages IT teams to share their ideas when communicating with them.
Experts suggest that most leaders should also listen more than they speakand practice active listening, an essential communication skill. So, if you need to assess any of these abilities, our Communication test will help you learn more about your candidates’ communication skills.
Applicants can show their enthusiasm and passion for learning more about technical project management by mentioning books and blogs they enjoy reading. Although not every candidate will have recently read something related to their field, those who have may be more up to date with recent developments in project management.
If your candidates have read technical project management books, ask follow-up questions to find out if they learned something new from the publications.
With these 15 interview questions for technical project manager candidates, you can assess their experience and skills in project management, financial planning, and problem-solving. Ask your candidates a couple of these questions to learn more about them.
1. Can you tell us about your technical project management experience?
2. Tell us the most significant problem you’ve solved in technical project management.
3. Do you have a qualification in project management?
4. Can you tell us about your quality assurance experience?
5. Can you explain which project you enjoyed managing the most?
6. Can you describe your experience with project management tools?
7. What are the main advantages of using project management tools in this role?
8. Can you tell us how many people you’ve managed for one project?
9. Have your previous roles helped you succeed in your current role? Explain how.
10. How would you rate your client service and satisfaction skills?
11. How have your time-management skills enhanced your project management work?
12. How have your leadership skills helped you efficiently manage teams?
13. Do you have financial planning skills? How have they helped you with budgeting?
14. Do you have negotiation skills? Explain how they have made your work easier.
15. Can you explain how project management differs from technical project management?
Refer to our sample answers when reviewing your candidates’ responses to the following five key interview questions for technical project manager candidates.
Because technical project managers sometimes have to manage budgets, assessing their financial planning skills is important. They should know how to analyze the costs of projects and allocate funds to them. Candidates should also understand how to reduce costs for each project to adhere to the budget.
Are you searching for the ultimate financial planning skills assessment? Our Budgeting and Financial Management skills tests are just what you’re looking for. Use them to check if candidates can estimate financial resources, forecast financial outcomes, and manage a budget.
Since project management tools streamline technical project management work, applicants should know their importance and understand how to use them.
Most candidates will have experience using tools such as Asana, Trello, Jira, and Excel. This software enables project managers to view projects, organize tasks, and check the status of the team’s workload.
Some applicants might not know how to use your team’s project management tool. In that case, determine if they want to learn how to use them. Don’t forget to consider whether you can train your candidate to use the software before you make a hiring decision.
To enhance client-business relationships, technical project managers need to ensure client satisfaction. They can achieve this in many ways – from assisting with user acceptance training and managing scope creep to communicating effectively and using active listening.
With a Customer Service test, you can assess your candidates’ client service skills. However, if the test results suggest they lack these skills, consider whether you can offer them training.
One critical ability that can help technical project managers meet deadlines is time management. Time management can increase productivity and ensure projects are finished on schedule. Applicants should be able to use time-management skills to create project schedules and plan for deadlines.
These skills are particularly valuable when companies need to manage multiple projects and prioritize tasks. After giving candidates skills assessments, check out the results of their Time Management skills test to review their abilities.
The main difference between project management and technical project management is the level of technical expertise required for each role: A technical project manager should have a technical background.
You can expect technical project manager candidates to know that the role may require IT or engineering expertise. Many have high-level qualifications in these fields, such as a master’s degree in computer science.
Using these 10 process-related interview questions for technical project manager candidates can help you learn how your candidates complete complex project and team management processes. Ask them a few of these questions for more details.
1. Have you ever had to manage an underperforming team member?
2. Can you tell us how you handle your client’s expectations?
3. Can you tell me about your task delegation strategies?
4. I’d like to know about your conflict management strategy. Can you describe it?
5. Which project management software do you prefer?
6. Tell us about your experience with outsourced personnel.
7. How would your team rate your project management skills?
8. How would you manage a project when another key project uses some of its resources?
9. Can you describe your budget management experience?
10. What do you know about remote team management? How do you manage remote teams?
Check out these five sample answers to the most important process-related interview questions for technical project manager candidates. You can use them to assess your applicants’ responses.
Because 90% of tech professionals think remote working opportunities are an important factor when joining an organization, technical project managers need to prepare themselves to manage remote professionals.
Thankfully, remote team management doesn’t have to be difficult, and your candidates should know that the following methods can make it easier:
Strike the correct balance between structure and freedom
Offer the necessary technology software and tools to employees
Establish targets and encourage productivity
Ensure there are open communication and tools to achieve effective collaboration
Having a comprehensive conflict management strategy has many benefits. It can help employees remain focused and prevent a decline in morale. The number-one cause of conflict is poor communication. However, a technical project manager can use effective strategies to manage disagreements when they occur.
Candidates should know how to listen and avoid interrupting employees if they are to handle conflicts well. They might also rephrase the information they hear from their team members to ensure they understand the main points of disagreement and then act as a mediator between each party.
Task delegation can ensure technical project managers have sufficient time to handle their responsibilities and keep all team members engaged. Consider if candidates can complete the following steps to delegate effectively:
Play to their team members’ best skills
Explain the required outcome
Set up efficient communication channels
Deliver accurate feedback
Recognize the team’s successes
With our Leadership & People Management test, you can check your candidates’ task delegation abilities. The test will also help you review your candidates’ skills in supporting the development of team members to help them achieve their targets.
Underperforming team members can affect the team’s morale and reduce productivity. To avoid these consequences, your technical project manager must intervene to address the employee’s underperformance.
Listen out for responses that show your candidates can complete the following actions to manage this situation:
Record observations related to performance problems
Review the employee’s project completion process
Organize and attend a meeting with the employee
Establish expectations for the underperforming employee
Provide technical training to help the employee improve
Organize regular meetings to monitor the employee’s performance
You can also ask for additional information about your candidates’ experiences managing underperforming team members with follow-up questions, such as “Did the underperforming team member’s productivity increase after you intervened?” With this approach, you can determine whether your candidates’ methods are effective.
The easiest way to evaluate your candidates’ project management skills is to use our Project Management skills test. However, asking this interview question will help you get more information from your applicants. Candidates should have solid project management skills that enable them to:
Deliver high-quality work
Estimate and manage project schedules
Communicate effectively throughout the project
Since project management skills help technical project managers complete project deliverables on time for clients, ask them follow-up questions related to deadlines to review their abilities more closely.
Using skills tests before the interview phase has plenty of advantages, so you should reserve these questions until after giving candidates assessments. Here are just a few benefits of using skills assessments in your hiring process:
Completely bypass the resume screening process
Spend less time comparing candidates
Avoid costly mis-hires
When you receive the results of the pre-employment assessments, you can make a shortlist of suitable candidates and invite them to attend an interview. At this stage, you can use in-depth interview questions for technical project manager candidates to find the most skilled applicant.
Finding the best applicants is simpler than you might have thought. A winning combination of skills assessments and interview questions for technical project manager candidates will quickly reveal the best candidates.
So, what’s next? Why not look through our full list of skills tests in our test library or check how our platform works with a free demo? You can build your assessment by following a few simple steps, and then you’ll quickly have a shortlist of top candidates.
TestGorilla has supported many companies with peer-reviewed, high-quality tests. Don’t settle for a time-consuming hiring process. Create a free account to join the 9,000 businesses that trust TestGorilla, and hire a professional with our help.
With TestGorilla, the team at Ocean Outdoor can focus their attention on people who demonstrate the work ethic, critical thinking skills, and practical ability that Ocean Outdoor UK needs from new hires in their finance team. As a result, they have been able to drastically reduce mis-hires.
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