How to answer "What is your experience with project management and planning?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why employers ask this

Project management and planning are crucial skills that employers seek in potential employees. Hiring managers want to know about your experience with project management because it’s an essential skill for most jobs, regardless of the industry. A project manager's role is to oversee the planning, execution, and closing of a project. The employer needs to ensure that you can manage your work efficiently and are capable of leading a team to deliver quality results.

When an employer asks you this question, they want to know if you have the relevant skills and experience for the job. Your answer will help the employer understand how you’ve managed projects in the past, your approach to problem-solving, and how you handle deadlines and difficult team members.

How to answer the question

When answering this question, it’s essential to highlight your experience with project management. Ensure you provide examples of how you’ve managed projects in the past, including the size and scope of the project. Tell the interviewer how you developed a project plan, set deadlines, and monitored the project progress.

You can provide examples of when you’ve had to adapt to changes that occurred during the project, such as an unexpected delay or cost overrun, and how you resolved the issue. Show the interviewer how you worked with a team and delegated tasks. Talk about how you ensured everyone was on the same page and motivated to achieve the project goals.

Remember, it’s not enough to say you have experience in project management. Use your response to demonstrate how you implemented project management methodology, how you’ve evaluated project success, and how you continued to improve the process.

Sample answers

Answer 1: "I led a team of 5 to successfully deliver a marketing campaign for XYZ company. We utilized project management software to break down the tasks, set deadlines, and assign responsibilities. It was a challenging project, but we delivered it on time and within budget."

Why it's a good answer: This answer showcases the candidate's direct experience with project management and planning. It also highlights their ability to work with a team and use appropriate tools to manage a project.

Answer 2: "I have some experience with project management, but it's not my strongest skill. I prefer to work independently and prioritize my own tasks."

Why it's a bad answer: This answer shows a lack of confidence and experience in project management and planning, which may not be ideal for certain job roles. It also suggests a potential lack of collaboration and teamwork skills.

Answer 3: "I have a certification in project management and have successfully managed projects in my previous jobs. One example is when I led a team of 8 to develop a new product line for ABC company. We utilized agile methodology and daily stand-up meetings to stay on track and meet our goals."

Why it's a good answer: This answer showcases the candidate's qualifications and experience in project management. It also highlights their ability to utilize different methodologies and tools to successfully manage a project.

Answer 4: "I'm sorry, but I don't have any experience with project management or planning. However, I am eager to learn and have been researching project management best practices in preparation for this role."

Why it's a neutral answer: While this answer may not be ideal for candidates with previous project management experience, it shows a willingness to learn and improve. It also highlights the candidate's initiative in preparing for the interview and the role.

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