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Construction Project Manager

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Construction Project Manager Interview questions

Construction Project Managers are organisation, motivation and mathematical masters. They will specialise in having a complete overview of a construction project from start to finish. Whether they are communicating with stakeholders, managing budgets or adjusting timelines, there will be nothing they don’t know about their project.

• These are the skills a Construction Project Manager should have:
• Excellent organisational ability.
• Perfect written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong mathematical ability.
• Strong knowledge of construction safety laws and regulations.
• Qualification in relevant field.
• Past management experience.

Also see our article: How to hire a project manager

Interviewing a Construction Project Manager

A Construction Project Manager will be a source of knowledge, motivation and organisation for the rest of your construction team. With their skills and expertise, a project will be completed to the highest possible standard, and in a timely manner! Therefore, you need to ensure you’re hiring the right person.

So, the interview process is of the utmost importance here! To help guide you through this, we’ve put together a list of interview questions that can help you decide whether to move forward with your candidate.

These interview questions are designed to be used at the beginning of the process, so you can get a feel for the candidate right away.

How to open the job interview

Even the most experienced Construction Project Managers will feel a little nervous before a big interview. But being too nervous can mean that their skills and personality don’t accurately shine through!

This is something that can easily be combatted by putting the candidate at ease early in the interview. One way to do this is by asking a couple of upbeat and positive interview-opening questions.

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our Construction Project Manager job description here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

How did you decide on a career in Construction Project Management?

What project are you most proud of working on?

Behavioral Questions

How do you help to resolve a disagreement between two members of your construction team?

Colleagues won’t always agree on things! A Construction Project Manager will know this better than anyone. As communication experts, they should be able to take both sides of the argument on board and come to a reasonable conclusion quickly to minimise disruption to the project.

What type of working environment do you believe you work best in?

This question will give you an insight into a candidate’s experience and personality. Finding out how they are used to working will give you an idea of how they will fit into your business. Bonus points if they mention adaptability! 

Can you give an example of a construction project that inspires you?

This will give you an idea of how well-researched your candidate is, and the kind of work that inspires them. You can then compare this to the work they will complete in your company, for an idea of cultural fit.

How do you stay up-to-date with new changes and trends in the construction industry?

In an ever-changing industry, it is important that your candidate is constantly learning and staying informed. Here, they should be able to mention workshops, events or literature they consume to keep up to date!

Soft Skills

How do you motivate your construction team to keep productivity levels high? 

Since your candidate will be in contact with several different teams across the construction department, it is important that they have the leadership skills and communication ability needed to help keep motivation flowing. Any techniques or processes they mention can be sized up against your current team.

When preparing reports for business stakeholders who have less technical knowledge than you, how do you ensure that they are understanding what you are saying?

This is another communication-based question. The candidate should be able to call on communication techniques such as showing diagrams, as well as their experience, to ensure that all members of the team are informed.

How would you approach the issue of a team member who seemed to struggle to keep up with their workload? 

Efficiency and leadership are important points to look for in this answer. Your candidate should mention bringing up the issue right away, to minimise productivity lags. Communicating with the team member on areas they may be struggling in means that your potential hire can help provide additional support. This can be by training in areas of weakness or delegating some of the team member’s tasks, to help ease the pressure on them.

When attending client meetings and finding it more difficult than usual to form a relationship with a client, how do you approach this?

As Construction Project Managers will often be the link between internal and external stakeholders, forming relationships will be a part of their role. Knowing they have tactics to do this is important.

Hard Skills

What formal health and safety training have you attended which you can use when working on-site?

Here, the candidate should be able to relay a few examples of training or workshops they have attended, or qualifications they have received. 

What experience do you have with getting permits to allow a construction project to begin? What steps do you take to do this?

Construction Project Managers will play a huge role in getting planning permission for different construction projects. Knowing they know the process for this, and have a set technique, is a huge plus. 

Which budget management systems have you used?

This answer will simply give you an idea of how the candidate’s experience matches up with your working environment and what they will need to be onboarded.

What project management software or systems have you used in the past?

As above, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how their experience matches up with your own.

What experience do you have with training employees?

In some cases, new employees will need training in certain areas of work. Other times, the candidate may attend a workshop or training and need to relay the information learned. Therefore, it is important to know whether this is a challenge they are up to.

Operational / Situational Questions

Imagine you receive negative feedback from a client on a project design you present to them, how would you handle this?

Here, a candidate’s negotiation skills should shine through. They should be able to take a client’s comments on board and turn them into actionable points, while ensuring the team’s expert knowledge is not overridden.  

Imagine you have found you are over budget and need to cut down expenses. What would your process be?

This may happen from time to time, and a Construction Project Manager should be able to cut down spending accurately. They should be able to mention communicating with the team and finding out what is truly necessary and what can be cut.

If an employee was found to be breaking several safety regulations, how would you approach this issue?

Here, a warning should certainly be given to the employee. The candidate may mention extra training, as well as checking in on the employee regularly to ensure changes are being made in their behaviour.

Imagine you had to make a rapid decision on a construction site, how would you ensure safety remained at the forefront of your process?

The answer should mention taking all basic safety knowledge into consideration, as well as properly documenting the change later.

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