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Despite what you may think, the true secret to finding the next member of your construction team can be found in the construction interview questions you ask each candidate. In today’s world, a company is dependent on the professionalism and expertise your team can bring to the client. For that reason, you need to be able to count on them to get their projects completed in a timely and efficient manner.
This especially holds true within the construction industry, where workers also need to be prioritizing the safety and security of themselves as well as others around them. Therefore, it is imperative to prepare construction interview questions that will give you direct insight into whether or not each candidate will be a fit for your needs.
Zoro knows that properly vetting your prospective candidates will ensure they have the experience and skill set needed for the job for which they’re applying. As an employer, it can be challenging to know whether or not you are asking the right questions. Continue reading below for not only construction interview questions based on specific construction job types, but also the hard and soft skills to look for in order to spot the most ideal candidate.
Many people know that working in the construction industry is no easy profession. The duties performed can vary significantly, requiring a unique set of hard and soft skills in order to complete various projects and tasks successfully. But first, what is the difference between these two skill sets?
Hard skills include specialized knowledge and technical abilities that are easier to define and measure, whereas soft skills are associated with a worker’s personal and behavioral traits that help them thrive in their current role. Both skill categories prove important due to the job’s versatility, physical requirements, and independent direction needed. Below you will find a list of the most important hard and soft skills a construction worker could possess.
Construction teams are highly dependent on the presence of qualified project managers. These individuals should have a robust understanding of the building process from start to finish with experience tracking budgetary expenses. In addition, project managers should demonstrate strong leadership, time management, and communication skills in order to give proper direction to fellow coworkers and ensure accurate labor schedules. Ask the following questions when you’re interviewing for project managers.
Construction delays are common, but a good project manager knows how to get a project back on track efficiently. This question helps reveal leadership and communication style, and gives insight into how the project manager accepts ownership of the jobsite.
What to look for:
Project managers should have extensive experience ideating and planning construction projects from beginning to end. This question will give you a better understanding of whether or not a candidate can function independently while remaining efficient and on schedule.
All construction projects require detailed planning, from creating labor schedules to maintaining worksite safety standards. This question ensures you’ll have a manager with project management experience who is knowledgeable about the construction process.
Negotiations are routine when handling projects from start to finish. Project managers should be able to conduct distributive and integrative negotiations as they see fit in order to formulate a contract that will satisfy both parties.
Project management skills are a must when it comes to this specific role. This question will enable you to see if a candidate can handle a seemingly intimidating workload or lacks the ability to properly manage and prioritize tasks as needed.
Being able to function independently under pressure without the guidance of upper management distinguishes great managers from average ones. A well-rounded project manager will be able to detail instances in which they had to think on their toes to keep a project on track. What to look for:
Without a construction team made up of experienced professionals, a project may go nowhere. Having a project manager that knows how to strategically select individuals based on their proven hard and soft skills is key for success.
The protection and safety of all working personnel on a construction site should be of the utmost importance for all project managers heading a team of workers. Ideal candidates will have proven knowledge of workplace safety best practices and experience with implementation.
Without an effective leader keeping the overarching scope of a project in mind, deadlines and construction regulations could be missed or forgotten. An experienced project manager can successfully lead a team through the development of a project with specific direction and transparent communication.
A construction foreman functions as the liaison between the on-site construction workers and overarching supervisors. Typical duties include maintaining a functioning construction site by assisting with the creation of worker schedules, coordinating various tasks, and reporting on budgetary statuses to upper management. A foreman proves their value by playing an intrinsic role in making sure projects run smoothly and helping solve unexpected problems should they arise.
Ensuring that your foreman is accustomed to the role and its accompanying responsibilities is essential. They should have experience leading teams, managing labor schedules, tracking project expenses, and prioritizing health and safety regulations.
While working on a construction site, there are many different things happening simultaneously. A foreman needs to be highly detail-oriented to avoid unwanted accidents from occurring, ensuring the safety of everyone on the site.
A foreman assists with a variety of construction projects, usually consisting of differing designs, structures, and time frames. This professional should have a background of successfully putting together teams that will be able to complete projects based on the predetermined time frame and resources available.
A foreman should be comfortable with reviewing and analyzing data in order to draw actionable conclusions. This skill is needed in order to make budgetary adjustments and realign structure specifications to the desired outcome.
One of the key responsibilities of a foreman is to maintain and promote efficiency among the construction workers fulfilling their duties. The candidate should utilize performance measures that will give them insight into whether their work is on track or not in order to make necessary adjustments.
In construction, it can be tempting to take the easy way out. It’s not difficult to ignore a code regulation that will likely be overlooked by a building inspector. It’s important to remember, however, that choices like this often lead to greater headaches and possibly disastrous outcomes in the future. You should have a foreman who cares more about the quality of their work than how long it takes to get it done.
Construction site closures are no rare occurrence when health and safety guidelines are not met. Making sure you have a foreman who knows the importance of following regulations may lessen the likelihood of unexpected shutdowns.
A foreman should be proficient in performing pre-building assessments, which will allow them to plan and strategize the different aspects of a construction project that need to be completed. This enables them to see the full project scope and determine an estimated financial cost.
As previously mentioned, being ignorant of legally mandated construction regulations and safety guidelines can lead to indefinite shutdowns, delaying any further progress. Not only does this negatively affect the predetermined time frame, but also increases the cost. Having a foreman with a knowledge base around best practices to maintain a legally sound construction site is an asset.
The role of a construction worker primarily consists of assembling and deconstructing buildings for different clientele. This involves prepping and operating heavy machinery, as well as interpreting blueprints to bring what the client envisions to life. These skilled laborers should have strong math skills and experience utilizing various mechanical tools to help with the construction process.
Without a proficient background in interpreting blueprints and electrical maps, a construction worker may not be able to fulfill the requirements of a given construction project. The candidate should be more than comfortable dealing with various blueprint schematics and electrical maps. You should be able to give the candidate an example and have them give their thoughts and the potential structure.
Many construction jobs require the workers to either be located at or suspended from high floors for long periods of time. Being a construction worker with a phobia of heights may prevent them from doing any work taking them off the ground, greatly limiting their assigned duties. Candidates should be comfortable with all aspects that a construction job would entail.
Highly valued construction workers showcase their versatility when it comes to the range of projects they can handle, both independently and with a team. From laying concrete to erecting scaffolding, a candidate should be able to speak to the differing projects they’ve worked on that highlight the skill set they will bring to their new team.
There are a seemingly endless amount of dangers on a construction site. From potential electrocution to noise hazards throughout a construction site, if unregulated, they may lead to potential accidents and costly legal proceedings should the development company be liable. You want to make sure you’re hiring workers who already prioritize their individual safety so you don’t have to worry as much about accidents occurring.
While construction workers have a vast amount of experience interpreting and constructing building designs, there is always more to learn within this particular field. Being open to the feedback and advice that a foreman or project manager has to offer can propel their career in the right direction.
Complex projects are known for their odd and long hours, oftentimes requiring construction workers to put their personal schedule aside in order to get the job done. A potential candidate should have the flexibility to accommodate such labor schedules so that time frames can be estimated accurately.
A significant part of working on a construction project is functioning as a team player. Many workers are coming in with different levels of experience, and sometimes more experienced members will have to take the time to explain concepts to newer members of the team.
Working in the construction industry isn’t for everyone. There are long hours, demanding physical labor, and a vast amount of experience required to be proficient at the job. When interviewing a candidate, they should display their desire to grow and prosper within the industry to make certain they won’t abandon ship once things get tough.
Sometimes construction workers are faced with issues they don’t know how to handle, even after years of experience in the field. Being able to work past those roadblocks and think critically to find a resolution is essential.
As of today, the construction industry is on the rise. Having unique and thought-provoking construction interview questions is going to be key in identifying the most experienced individuals in a sea of candidates. Zoro understands the need to have a safely functioning and efficient construction site, and that starts with the team that runs it. Use this guide as a framework to design your construction dream team.
Sources: LinkedIn | LinkedIn | Indeed | Glassdoor | Associated Builders and Contractors
Product Compliance and Suitability
The product statements contained in this guide are intended for general informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness, accuracy, completeness, correctness or currentness of the information provided. Information provided in this guide does not replace the use by you of any manufacturer instructions, technical product manual, or other professional resource or adviser available to you. Always read, understand and follow all manufacturer instructions.