Tips and Tricks for Construction Job Interviews

If a hiring manager contacts you to schedule a job interview, congratulations! You’re one step closer to securing a position that could be the first – or next – step in a long and exciting career in construction. But first, you’ve got to nail the job interview and secure the opportunity. Similar to any other job, prospective construction workers should invest time preparing beforehand by going through topics and questions that might come up with a potential employer.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you be as well prepared and on your game as possible:

Presentation is Key

Job applicants should present themselves in a way that demonstrates they capable of fulfilling the requirements of the job they’re seeking but also perhaps interested in advancement. When it comes to the construction industry, you don’t have to wear a full suit and tie. But you should be neat and presentable, which demonstrates that you pay attention to detail and are taking the interview seriously.

Beyond physical appearance, timeliness is a key element of your personal presentation. Showing up five minutes early for an interview shows employers that you are respectful of other people’s time and able to manage your own schedule. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

Promote Specific Technical Skills

In our recent series, Pathways in Construction, we discussed more specialized roles within the construction industry. These jobs are often higher paying, but they also are tougher to get than general contracting positions as they require additional training and skills.

When speaking with a hiring manager, be specific about how you would bring your experience and knowledge to bear in the position for which you’re interviewing. It is helpful to provide detailed examples of tasks you have completed in the past to demonstrate familiarity and competence. Do not embellish your resume or work history, however. This is a slippery slope and if you are hired and cannot demonstrate that you do indeed know what you claimed to, you’ll be in a tight spot.

When Needed, Highlight “Soft Skills”

If you do not have extensive experience in the field you are pursuing, it is helpful to instead emphasize potentially relevant “soft skills” – like proficiency in teamwork, a strong work ethic, dependability, and problem-solving. Be prepared to provide detailed examples of how you put these skills to use in the past – if you have a job history to discuss. This helps bolster your qualifications, and often a worker’s ability to perform well with others is just as important, if not more so, as their knowledge of a specific tradecraft.

Prepare Questions

Preparing questions for the interviewer will help you better understand the job you’re seeking – maybe it’s not really all that you’re looking for. You want to be sure that the position will be a good fit on both sides. Inquisitiveness about a specific project or company also demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to do some research, which underscores your interest in a job. Ask specific questions about the role’s day-to-day tasks, and mention specifics of the company itself.

If you are ready to start looking for job and training opportunities in the construction industry, check out our Job Seekers page, and remember, the Building Skills team is a resource for you!