IT PROJECT MANAGER

IT project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, allocating resources for, budgeting and successfully executing organizations' specific IT goals. Such projects might include: Software and app development and/or Hardware installations. IT project managers oversee the development and installation of computer systems for organisations. They are responsible for making sure projects are completed on time and on budget.

TOP IT PROJECT MANAGER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Sample Answer:

I am a highly experienced, organized and focused IT project manager who has all the necessary qualities and attributes to achieve this companies strategic objectives. In previous roles I have often been required to plan tough IT projects in line with preset governance frameworks and complex technical requirements, all whilst working in collaboration with other staff members, departments and stakeholders. I would say my passion for both IT and project management makes me the ideal candidate for this position. If you hire me, you have my utmost reassurance every IT project I undertake on your behalf will be delivered on time, with the minimum of stress and problems, and most importantly, to the required standards and specifications.

 

Sample Answer:

I want to work for your company as IT project manager because the manner in which you conduct your business is in line with the same high standards and ethics I possess from a professional perspective. Becoming a competent IT project manager takes many years’ of hard work, training and commitment, and to work for a company of your stature and standing within the industry it serves would be an honor. Furthermore, during my research I managed to speak to current serving employees, and they too confirmed that you are forward-thinking, supportive of your staff and have exciting and ambitious plans for the future. I would like to be a part of those plans as your IT project manager and I feel I can bring something new, fresh and positive to the team.

 

Sample Answer:

The skills I possess include being a very strong communicator. I am someone who can get the most from a team by using positive, motivational and concise communication skills. I also possess the necessary technical levels of expertise, so if any member of the team is struggling, or they need IT technical guidance, I can provide it. I am a solid decision-maker who is not afraid to make unpopular leadership decisions, when needed, in the best interests of your organization. I also have exceptional planning and organizational capabilities; I will always remain cool under pressure, and I will always focus intently on the specific IT project objectives. Finally, I have an obsessive approach to ensuring all projects are on delivered on time, without excuses and to the necessary standards and specifications.

 

 

Sample Answer:

I would follow six main steps when setting up any important IT project.

Step 1 would be to MEET WITH THE PROJECT STAKEHOLDERS to establish who is affected by the results of the project. This would be important as I would need to know the exact goals and objectives of the project I would be responsible for.

Step 2 includes SETTING DEFINITIVE PROJECT OBJECTIVES – basically, what do I need to achieve and by when?

Step 3 would be to ASCERTAIN THE PROJECT DELIVERABLES. How are we going to get to where we need to be and by utilizing which recourses? Every IT project requires a different set of resources.

Step 4 would be to CREATE A SCHEDULE that everyone within the project team was signed up to.

Step 5 would be to CONDUCT A PROJECT RISK ASSESSMENT – what are the foreseeable issues, and how do we get around these? Finally, step 6 would be to meet up again with the project stakeholders to PRESENT THE PLAN, obtain clearance and then commence work.

 

Sample Answer:

An IT project governance framework is a method for ensuring an organization can implement, manage and monitor IT governance to ensure it meets its objectives. The framework is a highly effective way for ensuring all resources and processes are used properly within an organization. A governance framework will normally consist of

• a SPONSOR, which can be the IT project manager,
• a PROPER AND ROBUST PLAN,
• REPORTING MECHANISMS, and also
• SETTING TEAM ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

The framework also provides scope for making sure LESSONS ARE LEARNED following every IT project and also giving an organization the reassurance that ineffective IT projects are stopped immediately and therefore resources are not unduly wasted.

 

Sample Answer:

A matrix organizational structure is where project teams have various different functions and disciplines that support the same project. It is different to a normal hierarchy structure in the fact that you get a variety of different skills all blended into one under the control of the IT project manager. The advantages of this type of structure include the fact you have lots of talent and skills to draw from; there is less downtime during the project because you always have sufficient resources, and you also get to control the methods by which everyone works by. However, the main advantage is you can often get conflict within the team and it can be hard to access the right resource for your particular element of the project when needed because they may be required elsewhere.

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Sample Answer:

One particular IT project immediately springs to mind. I was managing a project for a client who had specific requirements that continually changed. Every week they would change their mind on what they required, but I focused on completing the project successfully, on budget and on time whilst motivating my team. The project was particularly challenging because some members of my team did not like the client and were threatening to quit. I motivated my team continually and listened to their concerns as and when they raised any issues. I found that by communicating with my team regularly, it helped them to stay focused on the project. I decided to discuss tactfully my concerns with the client. I felt it important to communicate with them how their indecision could potentially have a negative impact on the IT project and deliverables. Whilst I assured them the project would be delivered, I felt it was my responsibility to inform them of the potential negative impact the indecision could have on the overall result. They took on board my comments and suggestions and thanked me for my honest feedback. The end result was that the project was delivered on time and to the satisfaction of the client. At the end of the project, I conducted a meeting with my team members and all discussed what we had learned from the project so that we could improve for next time. I always find an honest and open approach to managing projects works well.

 

Sample Answer:

First and foremost, I would conduct regular appraisals and meetings with my staff to find out their strengths, weaknesses and also what they needed to perform their duties to the standard required. I would also set deadlines and make my team stick to them religiously. One of my strengths, as I stated at the start of the interview, is that I am obsessed with making sure projects are completed on time. I feel that, by applying deadlines for IT work to be completed, staff are more likely to develop successful habits and complete work on time. Finally, I also think it is very important to reward and praise staff when they work well. Again, by simply praising your staff, they are more likely to work hard for you and achieve the goals of the company.

 

 

Sample Answer:

There was one particular IT project I was involved in that didn’t go well, but it is also perhaps the one project that I learned the most from. I was part of a team of six people who were tasked with delivering a time-sensitive IT project for an important client. Because there was not much time to complete the project, the initial brief and task allocation delivered by the IT project manager was inadequate, in my opinion. This obviously had a knock-on effect whereby important milestones were missed. In the end the client abandoned the project and I felt quite embarrassed having been part of the team that failed. However, I took a tremendous amount from that experience and I always use it now as a reminder of what not to do. Whenever I am managing a project, I will always conduct a thorough brief based on my plan, allocate tasks to people who I can trust and also who will do the job for me, and I always hold regular team meetings to monitor progress. If things are not going to plan, I will always take decisive action quickly and put things in place to get them back on track and to specification. Again, as I stated in a previous answer, I always follow my six-step plan when getting ready to work on an important IT project.

 

Sample Answer:

In a previous role, I had just started managing the team when I noticed a member of staff was missing deadlines and appeared to have a lackadaisical attitude to their work. I immediately held a meeting with them to raise my concerns and to also get to the root of the problem. My aim was to resolve the issue as soon as possible and put a plan in place to get them back working to the required standard. After speaking to them for a few minutes, it became apparent they were having serious problems at home. I decided that the best approach here would be to demonstrate empathy, provide support and also to agree a plan with them to get them back to full working capacity. I discussed with them some options for obtaining counselling, for which they were open to. I also agreed with them that we would hold a weekly meeting to assess how they were feeling and to also assess the plan we had created to get them back to full working capacity. Overall, it took 4 weeks for me to get them back to where they were prior to their personal problems. I felt this was a success, as we got to the root of the problem quickly which enabled me to create a supportive plan that enabled them to start feeling better as soon as possible. Whenever I come across an issue with underperformance, I never let it impact on the IT project deliverables and will always make sure I have a back-up to cover someone if there is an issue.

 

Sample Answer:

My style of communication is always open, honest and encouraging. I believe that, by having an open and encouraging style of communication, my team will discuss with me any issues and potential problems, which will in turn allow us to deliver the IT project on time and to specification. Of course, there are times when a limited communication style is required, especially when we are operating to an extremely tight deadline. However, wherever possible, I always encourage open, honest and frank discussions where the team feel they can communicate with me at any time.

 

Sample Answer:

One of the most important things with regards to delegation, is to know your team’s key strengths and weaknesses. That is why it is important to get to know your team inside out as soon as possible, especially in regard to their technical levels of expertise. If you know your team well, you should not have a problem delegating tasks. To specifically answer your question, I would draw up a list of tasks that needed to be delegated during the planning phase of the IT project, before identifying which team members should carry out each particular task based on their technical strengths. Once the tasks were delegated, I would ensure each team member was fully aware of the brief. I would also make sure they provided me with a situation report and update on a periodic basis. This would allow me to benchmark against my plan to ensure each task was working towards delivering a successful project, on time and within budget. I would always trust my team to deliver based on the fact I would be fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Sample Answer:

The most difficult aspect of IT project management, and at the same time the most rewarding, is dealing with clients who have unrealistic expectations. I’ve been in situations before whereby I have spent a considerable amount of time discussing the project with a client, and also making them fully aware of the timelines and specification, only for them to place undue pressure on the project with altering expectations. Having said that, I do believe I have become highly competent at managing client’s expectations, and I do this by effective communication and making the client fully aware at every stage of the process we are working to. In my experience, by keeping the client fully onboard, and communicating with them competently at every stage, this saves time and problems later on down the line. The truth is, the client is the person who brings revenue into the business and it is my responsibility as a project manager to manage their expectations and keep them focused on the initial project aim and mission.

 

Sample Answer:

I would draw a visual diagram to explain the particular aspect of the proposal they are having difficulty understanding. It is a fact that people tend to learn and absorb information in visual format much easier, so I would take the time to create a simple and easy-to-understand diagram. In addition to this, if the opportunity presented itself, I would also try and relate the different IT project elements to something they could all relate to, such as the operation of a car for example, or even how a house is built using solid foundations. To be honest, if I was personally presenting an IT project to people who had little knowledge of IT from a technical perspective, I would automatically think ahead and create a visually appealing PowerPoint presentation that was simple and very easy to understand.

 

Sample Answer:

To be truthful, I want a new challenge where my skills and expertise are put to good use. I enjoy working where I am, and my employer has been fantastic to work for, but I want a new and fresh challenge with an organization that is clearly going places. I have not taken the decision to move on lightly, and having carried out extensive research, your company is the only one I want to work for.

 

Sample Answer:

:I always use the same, fundamental steps when solving any form of problem.
• I will start off by DEFINING THE PROBLEM and gaining CLARITY of the issue.
• I will then CONFIRM the exact issue by utilizing all relevant facts and information available, including from those within my team.
• Next, I will DIAGNOSE the problem, RECTIFY the cause before moving on the TESTING stage

Depending on the circumstances or situation, I would also consider the TRAINING stage. Training may have to carried out by the end user if they needed to be trained in the correct operation of the equipment, resource, device or computer that encountered the initial problem.

 

Sample Answer:

I dedicate a set amount of time each month to keep up-to-date with relevant IT developments and then I pass on all I have learnt to my team. Firstly, I subscribe to the Journal of Information Technology Management (JITM) and this contributes to me meeting my CPD obligations. I am also part of an IT Manager’s forum on LinkedIn.com, which I receive notifications about periodically. I find this is a useful resource if I need to find some advice on how to tackle a particular issue that is outside of my particular area of expertise. Finally, I sometimes attend IT management talks which I receive notifications about from the website Ted.com. Sometimes, these talks are not too far away from my hometown, so I will sometimes go along and do some networking whilst I am at the event. I take personal and professional development seriously as I feel I have an obligation to help my team perform to the best of their abilities and also in line with IT industry developments.

Sample Answer:

There are five stages to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library framework and these are: o Service Strategy; o Service Design; o Service Transition; o Service Operation; o Continual Service Improvement. The purpose of the ITIL is to provide detailed practices that allow IT service providers more efficient and effective services that are more aligned to the needs of a particular business or organization.

 

 

Sample Answer:

My biggest weakness has to be the fact that I see my work as the most important aspect of my life. In the past, I have sometimes found it difficult to strike a healthy work-life balance, and the hours I have put into managing and completing IT projects has been, some might say, excessive. However, whilst I am still very passionate about my work and I still work very long hours, I feel I am becoming a smarter IT manager and I have become a highly effective delegator who has the ability to identify those within a team who have the most appropriate strengths to help me achieve my team’s and my organizations objectives.

 

Sample Answer:

Having conducted some research online, I understand the average salary of an IT project manager within this industry is £49,000 to £59,500. Whilst I do believe I am worth the higher band of salary, I understand that I have a responsibility to prove to you I can excel within this role. On that basis, I feel a fair salary would be £53,000 and I feel confident you would be impressed with my strong work ethics and performance based on the salary.

NOTE: The salary range indicated within the above response is an estimate. Please ensure you carry out your own research from within you own industry based on the salary of an IT project manager.

 

Sample Answer:

• Q1. What are the strategic aims of the organization over the next 3-5 years and how could I help you in this role to achieve them?
• Q2. What would be the priority tasks and projects you need me to focus on within the first few weeks or starting?
• Q3. During my research into your organization, I noticed you have recently launched a new service titled xxx. Was it a successful launch from an IT perspective and are you pleased with the results so far?

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