Construction Managers: Hiring Questions You Should Be Asking

Published May 7, 2014 by Whirlwind Team

hiring constructionMeeting the challenge of hiring the right employees for your construction project requires some forethought about how to elicit answers that will truly tell you whether a particular worker will become a good representative of your company.

Before beginning your interviews, decide exactly what type of worker will best fit your company culture as well as have the skills you need on the job. From that you can start to form questions that will help you hire the best people.

Here are some hiring questions to help you get started.

Question: Give an Example of When You (fill in the blank).

If you are hiring for a specific skill set you want to ask questions to help you determine this person’s previous work experience and the skills used in previous projects.

This is a nice, open-ended question designed to get someone talking and give you a chance to ask follow-up questions.

You will want to hear the candidate tell you:

  • Details of the situation or project
  • The tasks to be completed
  • The actions the worker took to complete the tasks
  • The outcome (or results) of those actions

Listening to the answers and observing the candidate can tell you a lot about how he or she approaches assignments and the attitude toward such work.

Question: What Do You Know About the Company?

The answer will tell you whether the candidate has taken the initiative to learn about your business in order to be prepared to tell you how he will fit into the company and what he can bring to the table. It lets you know whether someone is just fishing for a job or whether he is truly engaged in providing value to an employer.

Question: What Do You Know About the Job?

The answer to this depends in large part on how much of a job description you offered in your hiring profile. Ideally the candidate will ask questions to elicit a better understanding of what the job entails providing you with a good understanding of this person’s communication skills. Such skills are important in all jobs but in construction, where safety and quality are paramount, poor communication skills can be dangerous to everyone concerned.

Question: What Would You Do If (fill in the blank)?

Think of some situations that can occur during the scope of a project and present them to the candidate to find out how they:

  • Think on their feet
  • Respond to pressure
  • React to common, or maybe not so common, situations

These scenarios can be anything from handling questions from a client to a hazardous situation on the job site. Decide ahead of time what you need to hear such as whether the candidate is familiar with Material Safety Data Sheets or first aid techniques.

These are four basic question forms that should provide an outline of the type of worker this person is and whether he has the necessary skills, both hard and soft, to fulfill the role you have open. Careful listening and observation can tell you a lot about a person and whether he or she will be successful in your company. 

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