When applying for a job in construction, the interview can be the make-or-break moment. Either you manage to convince the company that you’re a great fit, or they decide that you’re not suitable for the job after all. So…it’s a pretty important event!
There are plenty of does and don’ts when it comes to interviews, with tips and tricks and questions you should prepare for. The thing is, you don’t have to prepare for an interview; you have to prepare for a construction interview.
You need specific preparations, such as thinking about specific questions that would apply to a construction job, as opposed to any other job. The devil is in the details, after all!
So … how do you prepare for a construction interview?
Well, usually, a construction interview will be face-to-face. Especially because the job will be on site, you can’t exactly work from home in this scenario, so they will want to see you in person before deciding.
This means that the first step is to present yourself as a suitable professional in the industry.
The main aim of the interview will be to ask you personal and technical questions, along with checking your CV and going over both your experiences and your prospects going forward.
Here are a few things you need to do before the interview, in order to be prepared:
- Presenting yourself well:
Appearances can be very important, especially during an interview. Make sure you are well-dressed, in the manner expected for a construction interview. This might depend on the company, but usually, it will be formal attire, or at the very least a casual smart attire.
If you are nervous, practice answering questions beforehand, with the help of a friend. Nerves are normal, but you should be able to talk as confidently as possible, sure of yourself so that you communicate well.
- Know your CV and past experiences inside out:
One of the main aims of a job interview is to go through your CV to double-check your experience, and what you can bring to the company.
This means that they will likely ask you questions about your CV and previous jobs and that you will have to expand on whatever information you have written down on it.
Sometimes, these questions will help verify that your CV is legitimate, so you should know everything about your own CV, and everything should essentially add up.
- Research the company you are interviewing for:
During the interview, they will likely also ask you why you are interested in the job, and what you think you can bring to it. Basically, they will be testing how interested you really are in that particular job, and whether you have good knowledge of the company.
Showing that you have done plenty of research on it all beforehand will prove that you are invested in that company and that you are suitable for the role.
- Research the industry and the job requirements:
You should also research the industry and the job requirements, as they will ask you plenty of technical questions to make sure that you have the right knowledge and skills for the role.
They might even present you with hypothetical scenarios, to which you will have to give solutions or courses of action.
Questions to expect in the interview:
In interviews, the thing you can always expect without fail is to be asked a series of different questions that will test whether you are right for the job or not.
You won’t know what they are going to ask until they ask, but having an idea of the types of questions that are usually asked in construction interviews, can really help you prepare.
Here are some of the most typical questions that are asked during construction interviews:
- The “tell us about yourself” question:
This is usually a dreaded question, as it is open-ended and there isn’t much prompting for specifics. So what do you answer?
Take this as an opportunity to say things about yourself that are relevant to the job, such as skills that relate to the job requirements. Traits that make you a suitable candidate, for example.
- Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?
Usually, when a company hires a new worker, they want them to stay on long-term. So asking where you see yourself in the future is a way for them to see whether or not you want to be there long-term too.
Answer honestly, they will value this a great deal more. Also, include any expectations for rising within the company.
- Asking about a time you handled a hard situation or overcame a problem:
This is one of the most important questions that you will likely be asked. It is a way for them to see whether you are able to solve problems and how you do so. Use an example from a past working experience and how you overcame a difficult situation.
- What can you bring to this role?
This is the chance for you to sell yourself. Why should they hire you over all the other applicants? What makes you stand out! Make sure your answer to this is honest but unique.
- Asking about previous successes:
For this question, talk about previous successes in jobs, or about things that you have achieved in the past (preferably related to construction).
- Asking about what personality traits are important in construction:
What do you think is needed to be a good worker in construction? That is basically what they are asking here. It’s a good chance to pair this to some of the traits you have claimed to have in your CV.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for a Construction Interview
In conclusion, to properly prepare for a construction interview, you need to put in the research so that you know exactly what the construction company is about, and what the role entails and requires.
You should also practice answering some of the most common questions to communicate well and know what you’re saying, such as “What areas need improvement?”
Plus, you should make a list of any questions that you want to ask the interviewer, as it is equally important that the job is a good fit for your needs.
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