Why this matters:

Project coordinators play an important role in helping project managers plan and execute projects on time and within budget. This can include handling administrative tasks to ensure that the project runs smoothly, conducting meetings with project staff and stakeholders, and communicating updates and other important information to project teams.

What to listen for:

  • Strong communication skills
  • The desire to take initiative
  • Strong attention to detail

Why this matters:

It’s crucial for project coordinators to be able to accurately determine how long a project will take while mapping out deadlines. This typically entails an understanding of the project scope, estimating how long each task will take, determining project dependencies, identifying necessary resources, and identifying important milestones. Based on this information, they can accurately determine the project timeline.

What to listen for:

  • A clear understanding of the steps needed to determine a project’s timeline
  • The ability to be resourceful
  • Strong organizational skills

Why this matters:

Project managers are often responsible for leading meetings with their project team. This question will assess the candidate’s leadership and team management experience. They should be effective communicators who know how to take the stage in a room of people and keep the conversation on track.

What to listen for:

  • Strong public speaking skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong leadership skills

 

Why this matters:

A project coordinator should be comfortable leveraging available resources and pivoting when an obstacle or change arises. Regardless of the outcome of the project, the candidate should be able to clearly articulate what they learned from the experience, as well as what they did successfully or where they could have improved their process.

What to listen for:

  • A positive attitude when describing a challenging situation
  • A resourceful approach to their work
  • Flexibility and creative problem-solving

Why this matters:

Project coordinators must help the project manager lead a team of people. Sometimes, a team member may not be pulling their weight, which directly impacts the project. It’s important for project coordinators to have the conflict management skills necessary to remedy this type of situation.

What to listen for:

  • The ability to be firm without being confrontational
  • The ability to spot inefficiencies within the team
  • Strong problem-solving skills

Why this matters:

Projects don’t always turn out as expected, no matter how great the team is. It’s important for project coordinators to know how to communicate with dissatisfied clients and explain the problems that arose as well as the shortcomings during the project’s execution. They should be able to gracefully take responsibility and learn from challenging situations.

What to listen for:

  • Strong analytical skills and emotional intelligence
  • Self-awareness and leadership in taking ownership of poor results
  • A positive attitude and a commitment to ongoing professional growth

Why this matters:

Project coordinators work with all different types of people, and it’s important to understand their work style in order to ensure that they will be a good fit for your organization. Their answer should demonstrate their ability to work well with others, but they should also possess the capacity to work autonomously when needed.

What to listen for:

  • The ability to be flexible and adapt to different work situations
  • The ability to thrive off of collaborating with others
  • Confidence in leading a team

Why this matters:

As with any position, project coordinators face challenges given the intense nature of their work. These can include things like time or scope constraints, team members not pulling their weight, or budgeting issues. The ability to answer this question shows that the candidate expects challenges at work, and their answer gives insight into how they handle these challenges.

What to listen for:

  • The ability to overcome challenges and learn from them
  • The desire to be challenged in their career
  • A positive attitude when talking about challenges

Why this matters:

Successful project coordinators understand the importance of goal setting. Their answer should demonstrate their ability to devise a strategic plan of action, carry out comprehensive tasks, and measure success based on specific business objectives.

What to listen for:

  • Specific experiences with benchmarking, goal setting, and measurement
  • The ability to focus on the task at hand while also understanding the bigger picture
  • Drive and the willingness to see a project through from start to finish
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