Attracting the top project managers takes time and dedication. No matter how large or respected your institution may be, there will always be a great deal of competition for the most skilled professionals.
Interviewing project managers properly is vital to your company’s success. If you don’t know where to look or what to look for, you risk missing out on the best project managers.
Interviewing project managers well is more of an art than a science. However, there are a few strategies you can employ to make your interview process a more successful one.
Choose the best project management methodology
There are plenty of effective project management frameworks to choose from. There are dozens of project management styles that are popular today. Below are a few that may be applicable to young companies and businesses looking to modernize.
Agile project managers utilize short development times, project retrospectives, and flat corporate structures to make products efficiently, reducing waste and boosting productivity by cycling through feedback loops.
Scrum Masters leverage agile principles and utilize sprints in order to speed up development further, maintain a steady pace, and bring a somewhat rigid schedule to a flexible framework.
Lean project managers identify areas of improvement by establishing value, mapping value streams, and encouraging inter-departmental communication.
Leverage project management resources
There are a plethora of project management sites used by certified project management professionals. Organizations like the PMI (Project Management Institute) can provide your business with a wealth of information about the best practices, the most important project management principles and the organization can provide you with leads on where to find qualified project managers for your company.
It’s also a good idea to search niche sites like project management forums, job boards, and other related online resources for project managers and for companies in search of them.
Ask them to pose questions
Great project managers are powered by unending curiosity. They have a strong drive to find inefficiencies and have the creativity to come up with unique solutions to common problems.
Good candidates are able to answer every question and interview throws at them but the best project manager candidates pose even better questions than the interviewer.
Be sure to allow a credible candidate to ask piercing questions about your organization, company culture, and project processes.
Gauge their social intelligence
Social intelligence is arguably the most important aspect of any project manager. Project managers should be well-versed in the technicalities of managing complex projects over long periods of time. However, it is of even greater importance that they exhibit an even temperament, an empathetic nature, and collaborative team spirit.
Managers of teams need to mollify any possible tension within the team, facilitating communication even through contentious feelings or actions. They must also encourage cooperation and cohesiveness with the team, which can only be achieved through gentle, calm, and supportive mentorship.
Test their project management skills
After testing their temperament and assessing whether or not your project management candidate is a good cultural fit, you’ll want to dive into the details of the job.
If you’re hiring an agile project manager, ask about the twelve core principles of agile and how to apply them to your project. If you’re seeking out a lean project manager ask about the value mapping process. Scrum masters should be able to talk at length about sprints and leading project retrospectives.
The best project managers are difficult to find. Interviewing candidates is always a nebulous process but one that can be done with relative ease with some research and dedication.
Choosing the best project management methodology is crucial for your company. For modern companies, frameworks like Scrum, lean, agile, and Kanban may be attractive. Do your own research to see which is the best fit for your culture.
Leverage project management resources to compose your own interview process and find leads for your search. Once you have a few candidates lined up, you should gauge their social intelligence, their management skills as well as their knowledge, and keep your eye out for curiosity and passion.
Interviewing the top project managers might not be the most simple or straightforward thing your company will do but it’s very well could be one of the most important activity your company engages in. Take care and use the tips listed above to ensure success.