Go through these general project coordinator interview questions with simple answers
If you are appearing for a project coordinator interview, you need to be well-prepared for both technical and non-technical questions. This article will provide you with some of the most commonly-asked interview questions for a project coordinator profile.
Project coordinators are important management members of a project team in any organization. They are responsible for tracking and monitoring the overall progress of a project. They are the point of contact and are tasked with solving any troubleshooting issues that may arise. Reporting is an important part of the job too. These top Project Coordinator interview questions and answers will help you.
Top Project Coordinator interview questions and answers:
Below are some of the most frequent and top project coordinator interview questions and answers.
Q1. What are the most important skills according to you that are necessary to be a successful project coordinator?
Ans. Explain the top skills that are associated with project coordination like multitasking, fostering teamwork, time management, monitoring expenses and project management.
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Q2. How do you provide regular project updates to the team members?
Ans. The first step is to understand the information which is important to the team and how it is going to help them understand their progress.
Q3. How do you handle aggressive or difficult managers/clients?
Ans. This project coordinator interview question will test your management and interpersonal skills. Mention how you will handle their queries in a professional manner.
Q4. Have you ever worked with a large team of specialists? How was your experience?
Ans. If you have worked with such a team, describe the experiences that you had dealing with different team members, how you handled resources and solved conflicts.
Q5. What are the tools that you use to track labour and expenses of a project?
Ans. Describe the tools that you use for your project coordination. You must be very thorough with those tools and have hands-on experience. Do not mention any tools just for showing your knowledge unless you have used it practically.
Q6. Have you ever disagreed with your supervisor? What was it and how did you convince him/her?
Ans. Generally, a majority of disagreements arise due to work priorities. If you have been pulled off from a project that you feel was more important, explain why you felt it was higher on your priority list and if you convinced your supervisor, how you did it.
Q7. Why do some projects fail? What can you do to prevent the failure of a project?
Ans. Miscommunication and improper resource allocation are some of the common reasons why projects fail. Through this question, you must describe how you will plan and maintain the project so that you can prevent its failure.
Q8. How will you plan a project?
Ans. There are various steps involved in planning a project. The first step is feasibility which is to determine if the project is viable, the next step is to plan how the project will progress which includes setting targets, the third step is to allocate resources and distribute responsibilities and the final step is to make plans for the deadlines to be met.
Q9. How many phases are there in planning a project?
Ans. There are three phases involved in planning a project – 1) understanding project requirements, 2) planning and timeline development, and 3) implementation. For such project coordinator interview questions, prepare these pointers and try elaborating.
Q10. How will you handle conflicts within the team?
Ans. Explain how you will define responsibilities that will mitigate risks and if any conflict arises, you will handle it with your management skills.
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Q11. Mention some of your strengths that will help you as a project coordinator?
Ans. You can go for strengths like being an excellent team player, good interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and good negotiation skills.
Q12. In what ways have you helped your previous organization to reduce costs and save time?
Ans. If you follow the correct project coordination rules and are skilled enough to notice any shortcomings quickly, you can help in properly managing projects. This, in turn, will help you to reduce costs and save time.
Q13. What are the top job responsibilities of a project coordinator?
Ans. Some of the major responsibilities of a project coordinator are – scheduling projects, monitoring expenses, implementing cost-saving actions, resolving operational problems, and identifying improvements.
Q14. What are the common internal consulting tools that are used in project coordination?
Ans. Some of the popular tools are Oracle, EBS, and Salesforce.
Q15. What is your approach to conducting productive meetings?
Ans. Productive meetings improve team efficiency and productivity. The main focus should be on the agenda, which defines what the meeting should be and how it is going to fill the gaps present in the team.
Q16. If you have to report more than one person how are you going to prioritize your work?
Ans. Work priorities depend on the importance of the project that you are being handled but if you have to report to more than one person, you need to usually give equal priorities to all the projects.
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Q17. If a team member disagrees with how a project is being executed, how will you deal with that person?
Ans. Most of the disagreements are solved through proper communication and making the other person understand the benefits of your project execution plan.
Q18. How do you keep the team members motivated when there’s a tight deadline?
Ans. Describe what type of motivation you will offer to the team members and how it is going to help them improve their efficiency. Here the interviewer looks at your strong communication skills.
Q19. If your manager asked you to redo all your hard work for a project that has been changed, what will you do?
Ans. If it is necessary, you will have to do it irrespective of how you feel it. However, if you think it is not required to start from scratch, explain it to your manager properly.
Q20. How will you give bad news to a client regarding a project that did not turn out as expected?
Ans. Explain to the client what problems you faced and why there were shortcomings. Project coordinators need to have strong communication skills not just in the organisation but also outside it.
Q21. Have you ever trained sub-ordinates? How do you proceed with training?
Ans. Yes, we have frequent training sessions as every client has different requirements based on the project. Thus, the team needs steadfast training to ensure the project outcome matches the commitments. Recently, I helped my team members with Gantt charts covering topics like how to create and use these charts. We also helped freshers with the fundamentals of business writing.
Q22. How do you manage external vendors and get the bills cleared?
Ans. In my previous company, there was no such policy to offer service on credit, and thus, we hardly faced any bill related issues. (You can narrate your experience of getting the bills cleared if you had any.)
Q23. How do you manage frequent project changes? Does it affect you or your team?
Ans. Working as a project coordinator for the past few years, I have learned that uncertainties can drop in at any point in time. For tackling such kind of issues, I think creativity and quick decision making plays a vital role. Yes, frequent changes sometimes draw a challenging situation for the team as well, but the only way to persuade them is to show a broader picture. Clients many a time shoot their new requirements, and if it is pliable, we take it positively to maintain a long-term professional relationship with them.
Q24. How do you go ahead with receiving all deliveries in time to meet the deadline?
Ans. Sending frequent reminders is one aspect of ensuring that we receive all the deliveries and match the deadlines. Apart from this, while working as a project coordinator in my previous organization, I also used to conduct a one-on-one session with the team to understand the challenges because of which we were lagging and helped them with the appropriate solutions. This motivated the team, and frequent discussions enabled us to satisfy the client’s requirements. Maintaining tight deadlines are crucial in project management.
Q25. If asked, will you work on a holiday? How would you convince your team members for the same?
Ans. When anything is on priority, I am ready to give my time even on holidays. In my previous organization, if the entire team was asked to work on holidays, the team used to get a compensatory-off when the project was delivered.
Q26. What were your learnings from the previous role as a project coordinator?
Ans. I have learned that a project coordinator must be able to exercise and demonstrate 3 skills – patience, flexibility, and affability. At the same time, h/she should implement the right tact at the right time.
Q27. What was a common expectation of your reporting manager from you in your organization?
Ans. Working as a project coordinator, my manager expected me to outshine in soft skills, which I eventually did! My command over soft skills helped me in maintaining healthy and profitable relationships with clients. At the same time, I was able to resolve operational issues and maximized the outputs.
Q28. What is one new skill that you have learned while working as a project coordinator?
Ans. While working as a project coordinator, I have groomed my negotiating skills, which brought good deals for the company. I also acquired command over tools like Oracle and Salesforce.
Q29. What differentiates you as a project coordinator from a project manager?
Ans. Project coordination and project management are related fields but different from each other. As a project coordinator, I work under or along with a project manager. I’m required to handle the administrative tasks of a project manager as well as my team members. My work schedule includes creating budgets, ordering supplies, scheduling meetings with stakeholders, etc.
On the other hand, a project manager plans a project, breaks it down into different stages, plans the budget, evaluates risks, and communicates with stakeholders, among others.
Q30. Can you tell us the main administrative tasks you were involved in?
Ans. In my previous role as a project coordinator, some of the main administrative duties were:
- Distributing documents that are relevant for the project team
- Preparing and reviewing reports
Q31. Are you comfortable with any coding language?
Ans. Yes, I am. I know the basics of programming languages such as HTML and CSS.
(Although this project coordinator interview question is for IT project coordinators, knowledge of programming languages is beneficial for project coordinators in many different industries. If you have no experience, be honest about it.)
Q32. If you have used Gantt charts before, tell us a few advantages of it?
Ans. A Gantt chart is a highly useful tool in project management.
Previously, when I have used a Gantt chart, I’ve been able to help my team members easily by:
- Breaking down a project into tasks.
- Determining the time required for each task.
- Checking the project’s progress periodically.
- Carrying out a project successfully from beginning to end due to its transparency.
Q33. What steps will you take as a project coordinator for a successful project in our company?
Ans. As a project coordinator, these steps have helped me grow:
- Set up weekly meetings so that the project manager and team are on track with the objectives of a specific project.
- Communicate key developments in a project with my project manager so that s/he is able to update stakeholders timely.
- Discuss with team members regularly about work progress and whether the project is aligning with the requirements of the project manager and stakeholders.
Q34. Do you think Microsoft Project is better than Excel for project coordination? If so, why?
Ans. Some of the disadvantages of using Excel for project management and/or project coordination are:
- It is time-consuming to create project schedules and even update the progress of a project. Data has to be put manually. Even if a Gantt chart is used, it has to be created from scratch.
- Not everyone in a team may have an idea about the data visualisation that Excel provides. So there is a need for a separate specialist who has to create views for reporting.
Microsoft Project has these advantages:
- Tools such as Gantt charts are integrated with Microsoft Project. So as a project coordinator, I do not have to create one from scratch.
- Microsoft Project includes reporting tools. They display the project’s health and it is easy to understand for non-technical team members.
- It has built-in financial management tools that help in estimating budgets quicker.
Q35. Name some of the common project management tools.
Ans. The essential project management tools that I have knowledge about are:
- Microsoft Visio – A vector graphics application for presentations.
- JIRA – For managing multiple teams. (This is applicable if you have experience as an IT project coordinator)
- Evernote – To create to-do lists and store information on the cloud.
- Trello – To monitor assignments and if they are completed within a deadline.
(You can also mention Microsoft Project and/or Excel based on the previous question.)
Q36. Tell us briefly about Pivot Table, VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP in Excel.
Ans. I can tell you the main differences and uses among them.
|Pivot Table||It is used for summarising, grouping or reorganising stored data, and even transforming columns to rows and vice versa.|
|VLOOKUP||It is a function for finding data in a column. The data can be found in a specific range or table.|
|HLOOKUP||It is an Excel function to find data in a row.|
(This project coordinator interview question is a common one to test your familiarity with advanced Excel functions. You can explain the answer more with visual examples on a spreadsheet.)
Do check out Excel Courses
Q37. How would you create a new Microsoft Project report?
Ans. When I create a Microsoft Project:
- I click on the Report tab on the top.
- Then I go to New Report and from the drop-down menu, select a relevant design template.
(This is a basic project coordinator interview question for reporting. If you have more knowledge about the software, you can further highlight details including changing the appearance of reports and more.)
Q38. What makes you the best fit for a project coordinator in our company?
Ans. I’m fit for this role because I have a bachelor’s degree in project management and over 5 years of experience as a project coordinator. I can assess projects and possess strong communication and leadership skills.
(But, don’t end your answer here. Give examples of how you are willing to go beyond your work duties to carry out a project successfully. Show motivation that you will exceed their expectations.)
Q39. How would you monitor costs for a new project?
Ans. The first thing to do is to create a project budget that is thorough. This means each resource, deliverable and sub-deliverable should be considered while estimating budgets. The detailed budget report must also include the timeline of delivery for each resource, the actual incurred costs than planned, and the person behind each task.
If you want to improve your skills in project coordination, you can go for a professional online course in project management. There are many courses in project management that will help you in that direction. Hope these top Project Coordinator interview questions and answers will help you.
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