The position of Project Coordinator could mean many things in different companies. Your transferable skills may be what sparked their interest in you.
Usually, a coordinator guides a project from beginning to end. In the PR setting it could mean anything from searching for an event location, to planning a formal dinner with the President of Japan.
Prepare a list of questions for the interview, focusing on how the skills you have can benefit this new company. Ask about how they expect the candidate winning the job to interface with the project team as a leader and coordinator.
Basically, the Project Manager sets the goals and the methodology for a project; the Project Coordinator assists the PM with the implementation. Duties typically include:
Updating project plans
Setting up meetings, taking notes, and compiling/distributing the minutes
Tracking deliverables (often involves keeping after stakeholders to DELIVER their deliverables!)
Maintaining project files and documentation
There is a lot of variation, depending on the project itself & the needs of the PM. Remember that the PM is in charge – a common mistake is to think that you are the one running the project, which most PMs resent. The most important attributes of a good project coordinator are reliability, attention to detail, and the ability to work constructively with all kinds of people.
I’ve been a project coordinator for nearly fifteen years, and I love it. It’s an easily transferable skill that’s useful in many different business setting – I’ve worked in IT, manufacturing, finance, and marketing. So I never have trouble getting a job. I don’t want to put up with the midnight calls, the hassles and the politics of being a PM. I make good money, my work is valued and respected, and I have fun – what more can you ask?
Tips project coordinator interview questions
Dress appropriately. Plan your outfit at least the night before and make sure it is clean/pressed.
Turn OFF your cell phone (a lot of people forget this one).
Bring copies of your resume and references for the interviewer as well as a pad of paper and a pen. Be polite and friendly to EVERYONE that you meet because the hiring manager may ask for their opinion.
Look the interviewer in the eyes. Speak clearly. Smile. Try to use “confident” body language.
Stay calm and try to remember that an interview is a 2 way discussion. You’re trying to find out of an employer is going to be good for you, just like they are trying to find out if you will be good for them.
Prepare some answers for the typical questions like “tell me about yourself” “what are your greatest strengths/weaknesses” “where do you see yourself in x years” (you can search for interview questions and answers and see what more of the typical questions are as well as the best ways to answer them)
Try to include specific examples of your relevant skills, experience, and abilities in your answers. Remember you’re selling yourself so you want to point out things that are relevant to the company.
Stay positive. Try to frame everything in a positive way, even if it is/was horrible. Never speak badly of other people or past positions/companies. There is always something polite to say.
If you find yourself flustered, its ok to ask for a moment to think about the question… it is, afterall, a discussion and discussions have pauses and silence in them.
DO YOUR RESEARCH! Look into the company, their vision, the duties of the job, and the typical pay for a similar position in your area.
Ask questions at the end. You should prepare 5-10 questions (I prepare 8 in case some get answered) based on the research you have done.
- Tell me a little about yourself?
- Where would you like to be in five years? Ten years?
- What made you choose to apply to Project coordinator?
- What have you learned from your past jobs?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Tell me about your last position and what you did?
- What do you know about the position of Project coordinator?
- What are key tasks for Project coordinator?
- What are top 3 knowledge/top 3 skills for Project coordinator?
- What are KRAs/output of position: Project coordinator?
- How to measure/appraise your position: Project coordinator?
- What do you know about this company?
- Describe two or three major trends in your did you choose this profession/field?
- What tertiary qualifications have you attained that related to Project coordinator?
- What is the most recent skill you have learned that related to Project coordinator?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Top 7 interview questions with answers
1. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
2. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.
3. Describe a typical work week for you.
Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to discuss what they do while they are working in detail. Before you answer, consider the position you are applying for and how your current or past positions relate to it. The more you can connect your past experience with the job opening, the more successful you will be at answering the questions.
It should be obvious that it’s not a good idea talk about non-work related activities that you do on company time, but, I’ve had applicants tell me how they are often late because they have to drive a child to school or like to take a long lunch break to work at the gym.
Keep your answers focused on work and show the interviewer that you’re organized (“The first thing I do on Monday morning is check my voicemail and email, then I prioritize my activities for the week.”) and efficient.
4. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.
5. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.
6. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude
7. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? Are examples.