One of the most common competency-based questions for any role requiring some project management experience is “Describe an important project you’ve worked on.” There are a few reasons why interviewers ask this question. They want to see how well you can manage a project or a situation, what your approach to dealing with challenges is, and how your skills would help you to successfully lead a project. They also want to know what your work ethic is like, and gain insight into how you handle stress. So how are you going to answer this question?
First, you need to prepare an answer in advance. It’s very hard to give a well thought-out, five-star answer if you haven’t done prep before your interview. To get started with prepping a response to this interview question, write out a list of all the important projects you’ve worked on in your career. Then, note what the goal was of each project, and what part you played in bringing each project across the finish line. Then, note the outcomes of all the projects.
The next step is to hone in on the project (or projects) you’ll discuss in an interview situation. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to create a concise (yet thorough) answer. Make sure your answer demonstrates your abilities with setting priorities, making decisions, hitting deadlines, and delegating tasks (if you’ve been in a management role). Below are some points to consider when preparing your answer.