Top Job Interview Questions

Biblical answer to one of the top job interview questions for project managers: "What is the greatest project management skill?"

Genesis 11 The Tower of Babel 1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, [a] they found a plain in Shinar [b] and settled there. 3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel [c] —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

From the few verses above, we can say without any doubt that it is communication skills, the ability to communicate the vision clearly.

According to Project Management Institute, communication is key to successsful project management and its importance is directly proportional to the size of the team.
If there are N people working on a given project, the number of communication channels is N*(N-1)/2.
This means for example if you have 10 people in the team, you have 45 different communication channels.
There are 45 times chances of miscommunication that could negatively impact the project deliverables and timing.
Your project is in jeopardy if there is confusion, if the team members don't understand each other.
This issue goes even beyond speaking the same language because same words don't mean the same thing for different people.

As a project manager, you have to relate to your team, to understand where they are coming from. Their personality profile also plays a big role in interpersonal understanding.

From the same verses, we can see the impact of great communication on the project team. It creates a sense of unity, a great team spirit.
The people on this tower of Babel project are described as "one". This was made possible by them speaking the same language, by them understanding each other perfectly. And we can see afterwards, when their languages got confused, the unity disappeared, there was now poor team spirit and they had to separate themselves.

We can also see from above verses that these people had a project plan, they were already in the project execution phase. This brings one additional element to the surface. The importance of communication skills is even more critical if as a project manager, you join a project you didn't initiate, for example in the execution phase.

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