Interviewing a Construction Manager

Companies looking for a construction manager, typically are looking for a well-balanced and experienced individual.  The difficult part about hiring the perfect construction manager, is the interview.  The interview for a construction manager differs from other positions, because of the complexity of the position.

Most construction managers will have some sort of degree and should have an extensive knowledge of the industry.  They are usually involved in each project from the conception phase through completion, therefore, the questions asked of them during an interview will need to focus on all aspects of the job.

Interview questions should cover operational, behavioral, and role specific questions.  Here are a few to consider during your interview of a construction manager:

Operational Questions

Most construction managers will oversee a majority of the operations involved with a project.  They will need skills such as time management, planning, leadership, budgeting, and coordination.  The following questions will help give you some idea of their capabilities in this area:

  • Your current project is starting to fall behind schedule, what actions would you take to correct this?
  • A worker on your crew has disregarded your instructions, how would you handle or respond to this?
  • One of your subcontractors is trying to change the terms of their agreement, mid-project, how would you handle this?

Behavioral Questions

It is important that your construction manager handle himself/herself appropriately in every situation.  The following questions will give you a glimpse of how he/she would handle some situations:

  • You experience conflict with a superior on a current project, how do you handle the situation?
  • Describe how you approach leadership on the job site?
  • What are some behavioral issues you have experienced on a project, and what have you done to resolve them?

Role Specific Questions –

Every construction manager will have specific roles you expect them to fulfill.  Always ask questions specific to the types of roles they will have to fill:

  • What steps do you take in planning and prioritizing a project?
  • What do you do to ensure quality control during a project?
  • Explain how you would negotiate contract prices for a project?
  • Tell us what a project budget means to you and how you implement it into the daily operation of the project?

As you can see, the interview questions for a construction manager are quite complex.  All parties should expect to spend a minimum of 3-4 hours on the interview, with most doing multiple interview sessions.  Finding the best talent available for a construction manager is critical to the overall success of a business, therefore it is best to take your time and ask the right questions!

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