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Facilities Manager

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Facilities Manager Interview questions

A Facilities Manager is in charge of all the maintenance and operations projects and issues related to your facilities. Whether it’s coordinating an expansion of your office or overseeing health and safety assessments on the premises. The Facility Manager ensures your organisation keeps running smoothly and all facilities are always in tip-top shape.

Typical Facilities Manager skills and characteristics to look for in a candidate include:

  • Amazing organisational and planning skills as their job mostly consists of overseeing and planning (large scale) projects
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills to ensure smooth alignment with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Financial acumen as they will have to work with budgets and negotiate contracts with third parties

Interviewing a Facilities Manager

Once you have a few potential candidates lined up for the role it’s time to invite them for an interview. This is an exciting opportunity, but you need to make sure that you don’t waste it. If you go into the interview unprepared, you have no chance of finding the right candidate for the job.

That’s where these Facilities Manager interview questions and answers (with PDF download) come in handy. These questions help you test the skills and experience of your candidate. That way, you have a better chance of finding the perfect candidate for the position.

Do note that the questions on this page are designed to be asked early on during the interview process. They help you sift through the first batch of candidates to quickly determine if someone actually has potential and the skills for the job.

How to open the job interview

So how do you start? Well, not by diving in with tough, profession-specific questions straight away.

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking for candidates. So instead of scaring them into a stuttering shock, you might want to start off easy with some icebreaker questions. They help both parties get comfortable and settle into the conversation a bit more, before going into the actual specifics.

Best interview questions for your hiring process

See our Facilities Manager job description here

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What do you like the most about working as a Facilities Manager?

Can you tell me a bit about your career path so far?

Why did you want to become a Facility Manager?

Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time when you were instructed to manage a large project. How did you handle the situation?

This question gives you an idea of how this person works and manages projects, which is a large part of the Facilities Manager’s role.

Tell me about a time you had to negotiate a contract with an external supplier. How did you determine what price to negotiate for and how did you achieve the desired outcome?

Negotiation skills are essential for any successful Facility Manager. They will often receive a budget from top management and have to ensure a project stays within that budget. Negotiating is crucial to achieving that.

Tell me about a time when you had to ask higher management for a bigger budget. How did you approach the situation?

Sometimes, negotiating alone just isn’t enough, and the project becomes impossible to manage within the original budget. In that case, it’s up to the Facilities Manager to apply the same negotiation tactics, but this time on their superiors.

Soft Skills

How do you keep track of different tasks and deadlines when working on a large project with different stakeholders?

Project management is an important part of this role. Find out how the candidate ensures they stay on track with the project and keep other stakeholders on track as well.

Walk me through your process when you have to debrief a team about their tasks as part of a large-scale project. For example, you have to instruct a cleaning crew on what needs to be done to get the new facility ready to accept customers.

Project management includes delegating tasks, and successful delegation starts with a clear debriefing.

Walk me through the process you would follow in case of a break in at one of our facilities.

This is a common problem Facilities Managers will face at work. This question gives you an idea of how they handle such a situation.

Hard Skills

What project management software and tools do you use?

A question to test their practical experience.

Do you have any health and safety or related certificates?

Again, a question to see what certificates and experience the candidate brings to the table.

What size budgets and teams have you managed in the past?

This shows you at what scale the candidate has managed projects in the past and whether this aligns with your business needs.

Operational / Situational Questions

Flashback to 2020. From one day to the next, the government orders everyone in our line of work to wear PPE masks, screens have to be installed between desks, and walkways have to implement one-way systems. You are tasked with making this happen ASAP. What do you do?

Sadly, a very realistic situation a Facilities Manager might have to deal with. Find out how they would handle this. Or, in the case that they actually did back in 2020, find out how they handled it in the past!

You are enjoying a nice summer holiday in Greece when your phone rings. A distressed colleague explains there has been a fire and as the only Facility Manager in the business, they need your help getting information like the company’s insurance data. What do you do?

Especially when your business only has one responsible Facility Manager a problem like this can occur. Nobody likes to be disturbed during their holiday, but in some extreme cases it might simply be necessary. Whether this applies will depend on the size and layout of your business, so what constitutes as a good answer will depend on that as well.

You are overseeing minor construction work at the office when the head builder approaches you stating they ran into some complications and the costs will be double of what was originally agreed upon. What do you do?

Building projects are notorious for not staying within the pre-defined budget. If you’re the Facilities Manager in charge, this might mean you have to circle back to higher management to request a bigger budget.

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