Hiring a Project Manager?……Choose Wisely…….Choose Differently.


Of course no amount of time spent selecting and interviewing will ever guarantee a perfect candidate that will always deliver. I’ve had some great hiring successes and some not so good experiences in the past. I have learned that when selecting a Project Manager, you need to think a little differently.
Looking at the hiring process:

Job Description
Final Interview
Job Offer

After following this process – you can still choose either the wrong person or the person who is not “quite right”.
A CV (Résumé) can look great, references can check out and interviews can go fantastically well and still the chosen candidate can be the wrong one. There are as many interviewing techniques and aptitude tests than there are role descriptions themselves. It can be a huge challenge to match the right person with the right role and ensure that the personality will be a good fit for the organization and the rest of the team.

So how do you start to do something different?


I’ve always felt that the interview process is given very little time in general – i.e. – you interview for an hour and hire the person for a permanent role for years. Do we really give ourselves enough time to think the hire through?

Why not try to spend more time with the people we are hiring in both normal and abnormal situations. In addition to the standard interview – go for a walk with the person – grab a coffee or lunch together. See how they behave in the outside world and how they treat others in the general public – not only in work environment.


There are a number of commonly used methods for understanding personality types and they all help. (Contact us below and we can provide some useful links).  It is important to understand personalities and these methods are quite accurate in categorizing a personality type. You can design a functioning and effective team around how different personalities work together. There is an abundance of research material out there to back this up. But to really see the person why not try something different?

Go for lunch with the candidate to a restaurant where you know the food is awful and the service is even worse. When something goes wrong – see how they react. Observe the facial expressions and the body language. If you really want to shake it up a little – “bump” into another “colleague” by “accident”. Make the introductions and again see how the candidate responds. Talk about more general topics other than the role than those associated with the current role. How would this person react under pressure? How do they manage an unforeseen event? What is your general impression and that of your colleague?

Ok so this approach may sound a little alternative but think about it. You will get to see more of the person than just a discussion about the résumé.

Make an effort to get a good feel for who the person really is. How would this person work with and manage existing resources in the organization? If this is a customer facing role – knowing the personalities of your key clients – how would this candidate work with and communicate with your clients?


Remember that although experience and track record are a huge factor in hiring the right person, it is the personality that will guide the person to say the right things and the right time to the right audience. People do business with people. Choose the person.

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1 reply
  1. Gary
    Gary says:

    Some great points made here. A résumé should only really serve as a reference point and to shortlist potential candidates. Being a good fit for the company and understanding the role and it’s requirements are far more important than being able to write a good CV or cover letter.


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