10 Advanced PMP Interview Questions
hat bases its thinking and decision-According to (PMI) Project Management Institute, organizations risk ending up with failed projects by 50% by not valuing the importance of project management. Today, more organizations are moving away from routine work and shifting towards project-based work. Hence, based on Bain & Company projection, by 2027 most work will be project-based. There is more to project management than merely creating budgets, timelines, and accomplishing tasks. While all these are important aspects of project management, project management also involves assessing project risks and effective communication across the project’s teams and stakeholders.
The goal of project management is to plan and execute a project’s deliverables successfully within defined timelines and budgets. Failed projects can significantly stunt or altogether prevent business growth. Thus, at the very basic level, a project manager, as the driver and coordinator of project activities, needs to have undertaken project management training in addition to possessing the right experience, skills, and personality. Such project management qualifications as PMP and Prince2 are worthwhile additions to a project manager’s resume.
10 Advanced PMP Interview Questions
For an aspiring project manager, the greatest challenge is not acquiring skills or training but demonstrating to recruiters that you are the best fit for a project manager’s role. Before you head off for your interview, preparing for it by rehearsing these common project manager’s interview questions will make the whole difference. In this article, we focus on PMP interview questions for advanced project management roles.
What is a decision support system in project management?
Decision support systems, abbreviated DSS, are interactive systems that allow project managers to access and organize specific data and information from multiple sources enabling them to evaluate this data using computerized models to make informed decisions by predicting the outcomes of alternative courses of action.
Explain the principle of Six Thinking Hats and how it is useful in project management
Six Thinking Hats is an important decision-making tool in project management that helps evaluate an issue from six different perspectives without these perspectives conflicting with each other. This approach is important as it helps decision-makers to think about issues in ways they are not naturally accustomed to. Looking at situations from different perspectives encourages constructive thinking, creativity, and productivity.
The Six Thinking Hats looks at issues by dividing various perspectives into six hats. Each individual (s) in the team represents the perspective from each hat. These hats are:
- The White Hat (The Factual Hat). The whitemaking process on available facts and information.
- The Green Hat (The Creative Hat). The Green Hat is creative and often the one that generates innovative solutions.
- The Red Hat (The Hat for emotions or feelings). The red hat is the heart perspective. It expresses emotions relating such as love, like, hate, dislike, and more during the decision-making process.
- The Yellow Hat (The Optimism Hat). The Yellow Hat represents positivity during the thinking and decision-making process to keep the team’s spirit raised throughout the process especially during stressful moments.
- The Black Hat (The Caution Hat). The Black Hat is the critical thinker in the team. He assesses risks and is often reluctant to take risks.
- The Blue Hat (The Control Hat). The blue hat ensures that all the perspectives of the Six Thinking Hats approach are observed. The blue hat considers summaries from each hat to arrive at a collective decision.
Explain critical path analysis in project management
Critical path analysis (CPA), also commonly referred to as the Critical Path Method (CPM), is a scheduling method used for planning the tasks in a project in the order that they need to be undertaken. Critical Path Analysis maps out all the key tasks of a project, calculates the required resources and dependencies required for each activity. CPA helps to plan a realistic deadline and schedules for the project and will also be useful for controlling project activities and tracking its progress.
What is used to mark the transition of one phase of a project to the next?
At the end of every project phase, a review is done to determine whether the deliverables have been completed as required and whether the project is on track based on the project plan. This is known as the kill point, stage gate, or project phase end review. This review helps the project manager together with the stakeholders to determine whether carrying on to the next phase of the project is a viable course of action or otherwise. It also helps to identify variances, errors, or issues and address them before proceeding to the next phase.
List the seven basic tools of quality in project management
The seven basic tools of quality in project management are:
- Cause and effect diagrams
- Flow charts
- Control charts
- Pareto charts
- Scatter diagrams
- Check sheets
Provide examples of project management ethical responsibilities
Honesty, trust, accountability, and fairness are values that should be upheld by the entire project team in the best interest of the project, the stakeholders, and the organization. Guidelines about the ethical responsibilities of a project manager are outlined in the PMI guidelines on issues such as conflict of interest. These are:
- Responsibility. It is the duty of the project manager to take ownership of the decisions and actions they will make or fail to make alongside the consequences of the same.
- Respect. It is the duty of the project manager and all project stakeholders to extend respect to one another and to the resources allocated for the project.
- Fairness. The duty to make impartial decisions and act impartially and objectively without self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism.
- Honesty. The duty to know and act in a truthful manner in communication and conduct.
- Reporting. The role of the project manager is to establish standards and best practices for reporting project progress and resource use.
Explain the project management communications channel formula
Effective communication is critical to the success of a project. Any project should have an adequate number of communication channels to facilitate effective communication between project team members and other stakeholders.
The project management communication channel formula is used to determine the number of communication channels required in a project depending on the number of project participants. This formula is N * (N-1) / 2 where:
N refers to the total number of participants of a project. For instance, a project with 2 stakeholders will require 1 channel of communication while that with 8 stakeholders will require 28 channels of communication as calculated below.
8(8-1)/2 = 28
What are the different formulas for calculating estimations using the three-point estimation method?
The two methods used to calculate the three-point estimation are:
- PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Techniques) or Beta Distribution whose formula is E = (P+4M+O)/6
- Triangular Distribution whose formula is E = (P+M+O)/3
P is Pessimist
O is Optimist
M is most likely
What are the two efficiency indicators used in project management to reflect the cost and schedule performance of a project?
Two indicators of cost and schedule performance of a project are:
- CPI (Cost Performance Indicator)
- SPI (Schedule Performance Indicator)
The Cost Performance Index, in other words, the ratio of earned value (EV) to the actual costs (AC) is 1.2 in a project. Explain why this is a favorable or unfavorable condition
A cost performance index (CPI) of more than 1 (for instance 1.2 in this scenario) means that the project is performing under budget which is the best result. A CPI of 1 means that the project is on budget while a CPI of less than 1 (for instance 0.75) means that the project is performing over the budget which indicates that the project may run short of funds before competition thus corrective action should be taken.
It takes a lot for a project to be completed successfully. As an aspiring project manager, it is not enough to rehearse only the common interview questions as recruiters will also be checking whether you possess the necessary soft skills for the job. Skills like leadership, teamwork, communication, decision-making, problem-solving, critical thinking and an eye for detail are equally important. You also need to express confidence in your knowledge, skills, and experience, especially when answering behavioral questions.