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5 Construction Manager Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

How do you build and manage a team as a construction manager?

A:

As a construction manager, you are required to interact with a lot of people, including those who are on your crew. Learning how to manage a large number of employees can be stressful. The most talented construction managers are able to identify indispensable team members, hire them and measure their performance accurately. This takes a lot of skill in human resources, patience and attention to detail. What to look for in an answer:

  • Skill in managing large groups of people
  • Orientation to detail
  • Ability to build a successful team for projects

Example:

"When I build a team for my construction crew, I hire people I think show skill and dependability. Those are the two things needed in the construction world."

Q:

How do you organize, plan and execute your construction projects?

A:

A construction manager needs the skills to gather information, plan and execute complex assignments. They are the ones who have to look at the larger picture when it comes to building projects. The construction manager applicant needs to show that they have the vision and ability to organize large jobs professionally. If they can accurately tell you what their method is for planning a project, it will demonstrate that they use it on a regular basis. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to thoroughly explain their planning process
  • Capacity to visualize the required steps involved
  • Overall comprehension of organization and planning

Example:

"When I start a new project, I always set goals for each phase of it, month by month. I then do the same for the individual weeks and days."

Q:

If you fall behind a deadline in a project, how do you handle it?

A:

This can be a difficult question for construction managers to answer, but it is very important to understand how they deal with setbacks and deadlines. Listen for how the manager reacts to this question and see if they discuss problem-solving aptitude as a means of dealing with the situation. The most professional answers would include the manager talking about how they negotiate a new contract and how they make sure the client remains happy. What to look for in an answer:

  • Calm handling of stressful situations
  • Understanding that flexibility is important in some cases
  • Knowledge of contract negotiations

Example:

"Nothing is more disappointing than having to extend a deadline. When this happens, I write up a second contract and do my best to explain to the client why we need more time. When I handle the situations in a calm manner and explain the unforeseen problems to them, they are more apt to understand."

Q:

What size projects have you worked on in your previous experience?

A:

Here, you can get a feel for the types of jobs the construction manager has overseen. It is important to know this background information when hiring them for your business. The sizes of jobs construction managers have to deal with vary considerably from one company to another. This is a good way to find out if the candidate has dealt only with home construction or has managed large industrial building projects as well. What to look for in an answer:

  • A well-rounded person who has managed different types of projects
  • Ability to recount past experiences in a positive way
  • Past experience handling large, complex projects as well as small ones

Example:

"I started in the home remodeling business and then worked my way up to managing crews for remodeling shopping malls."

Q:

How do you keep your crew members dedicated and motivated to complete a job?

A:

This question will indicate how devoted the construction manager is to the members of his crew. A successful manager pays special attention to each person on his team and makes sure all subordinates are supported on the job. When people approach the end of a long project, they can sometimes grow tired and lose the motivation to produce quality work. The construction manager is responsible for encouraging and keeping his crew working at its peak. What to look for in an answer:

  • Someone who excels in encouraging his crew members and boosts morale
  • A person who pays attention to motivation levels
  • A manager who keeps a keen eye on work quality

Example:

"When my crew loses motivation during a large project, I start telling them about the next assignment. This usually keeps them moving along and eager to get to the next place."

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