We have a high bar that we set for Project Managers, and we expect them to rank high (8+ on a 1-10 scale) on all of these:
How they handle scope creep and out-of-scope requests (do they reduce scope, prioritize effectively, reset expectations?)
How they deal with a difficult personality on the team or with a client (do they get alignment, work toward a positive outcome, build a better relationship, save the project?)
How they tackle project plans (are they including buffers and internal reviews? Are they anticipating delays? Are they prioritizing effectively?)
How is their estimating process (watch to see if they include the team, do they work towards confidence on estimates, do they include risk analysis)
Red flags and risks
How they describe common red flags on projects and how to mitigate them (watch to see if they recognize how risk can be positive or negative and how they use red flags as an opportunity for team education and preventing scope creep)
How they talk about how a one week delay impacts the profitability of your project (cost of delay, blocking new projects from starting, not being able to collect from client)
How they respond to a difficult email and reset expectations (watch for tone and clarity)
Why they love being a PM (look for more words about people than projects)
How they describe how they support their teammates (look for examples of mentorship, education, bolstering, and expert communication)
How they handle e.g. if a teammate was a new dad and was consistently coming in late to meetings.
How they handle a situation where they know the team doesn’t have the skills for the project (watch for empathy and blameless communication; opportunities for growth)
How do they recommend creating a more productive team schedule (look for things like time blocking, agile approaches, focused productivity aka no meetings, retrospectives etc.).