January 9th, 2022
Construction Project Manager jobs are one of the most rewarding jobs out there in a construction company. For cracking a Project Manager round interview you would need a solid experience in the field, as well as good soft skills to impress the interviewers. In addition to that, to get you super-prepared, we address the ten most-asked Construction Project Manager round interview questions and answers which will definitely provide you with an extra mileage to ace your job interview, if you are striving to crack it.
1. Describe the steps of a project from initiation to completion (project life-cycle)
If the interviewer is keen to check whether you have not forgotten the fundamental theories of project management, they may ask this question.
Answer: A project has five stages: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & control, and closing. As a Project Manager, I would see and ensure that each of the above phases are properly planned and completed within the planned timeline.
2. How do you handle delays in a project?
This is a tricky question where the interviewer may want to see if you have the correct attitude towards delay of a project. To answer this, first of all mention that you will put all the efforts that the project is not delayed, including planning properly and getting personally involved in to the same, notifying the management for resources availability on time, notifying the client regarding variations or added features in to the original scope, etc.
Further, you will mention that if the delay happens in spite of your all-out efforts, you will keep the proper record with you along with impact, ask the planning team to prepare an 'impacted schedule' with the reasons of delay plotted on the baseline programme, and notify client for each delay events as per the norms mentioned in the contract.
3. How do you handle extra items?
Extra items are works that are not included in the original payable items as per the contract. While executing the contract you may encounter some unavoidable items due to change in the scenario, or even may be just as a result of missing out the same by the people who has framed the contract.
Answer: "As a Project Manager, I will always have an eye on the executed items and ensure that no extra items are executed without proper approval of the client, to ensure the payments are received on time. Also I will follow-up with the client for necessary amendment to the contract and budget revisions at our end."
4. How do you motivate your team?
This is a question to check if you are a good leader. A true leader is the person who can motivate the team as a whole and get the work done by them ensuring high-productivity, while timeline and cost are met. People work happily for these kind of a people.
Answer: While the answer can be too long, as there are a lot of ways to motivate different types of people at work, and a lot of the books are written on this, you will not get that much time to explain yourself inside the interview room.
Put the simple thing simple. Tell them that you will not just assign responsibilities to people and monitor them, you will tell them about the big picture and their role in it. You will apprise people about the value they can add to the project. Also, you will recognize their contributions and give their deserved credit. In short, you will make them feel important.
5. How do you tackle tough clients?
Well, another hypothetical question, but a favorite one for the HR Interview to select a Project Manager. This is a simple question of people management, which you need to be good if you want to become a successful Project Manager.
Answer: "As the representative of the contracting organization I always pay the highest attention to the deliverables as per the contract. How much tough the client be, they will start to cooperate once they see their business goal is being met. Additionally, while keeping a good terms with the client I will also check always that the client doesn't get any undue advantage which is beyond the contractual terms."
6. What are the safety and quality standards followed by your current organization?
This is a question to know whether you are conversant with the standards of your organization. While answering you should also mention the currently prevailing standards, so that the interviewer can rate you as a person conversant with the happenings in the industry.
7. How do you manage conflicts within the team?
Again a question to judge your team-leading and people-management skills. As a Project Manager, you will often find people in your team fighting with each other - small or big. As the leader your job is to sort things out.
Answer: "Once I see any conflict situation I will talk to the persons and get to know both their views, understand the reasons of agreement and disagreement, and sort the things out with my collaborative skills. Throughout the event, I will make the team-members understand that the project-goal is of the topmost priority and everybody in the team must be a party to achieve the same. Based on the larger goal of the project only the decisions will be taken."
8. What Kind Of Construction Projects Are You Comfortable With?
Now, this is a strategic question with pseudo-simplicity. This is to know whether you are flexible. Not really the interviewers are going to give you options in case you are selected. Don't just fall for it.
While you will mention the types of projects you have already worked in, you should add that you are eager to work in other types of a project, given there is a chance. You are a fast-learner and quick-implementer, so it would not be really a problem if you get the option to work in a project belong to the types you have not worked so far. Sound confident while you speak, and don't just tell it for the sake of telling.
9. How do you monitor progress of the project?
Answer: It is always advisable that you do not name a lot of reports while answering this. Put stress on the practical aspects, and the details of the standard reports. A Project Manager should not much rely on the reports, rather see things hands-on.
A sample answer could be, "While I check the daily progress reports and cost reports, I personally check the physical work balance with respect to the timeline, and the components physically having the work balance as on date. Similarly, I check the cash-flow and correlate it with the profit & loss statements, and the overheads where I could reduce further without hampering the progress and quality of the work."
10. What are the things in a project that you put the most of your efforts in the project?
Many of the people, even in the senior cadres, still have a perception that the Project Managers' job is to stay at site for the entire day, while doing so proves the inability of the Project Manager. Your answer should be somewhat like this: "I generally spend the first one or two hours of the day at the project site, interacting with the execution team. The rest of my day includes in-depth planning, monitoring procurement activities, meeting with the subcontractors and suppliers, meeting with the client at least once a day, and monitoring the cash-flow of the project. I also keep an eye on the contractual requisites as well as the mechanism of recording the delay, if any.