BlogHow To Prepare for a Construction Job Interview
By Construct-Ed Inc.
So, you’ve just landed your first construction job interview. Now, how do you make sure you rock the interview process and prove to your hopefully future employer that you’re the best person for the job?
Don’t know where to start? Not to worry! Construct-Ed has you covered. Our team has compiled a list of helpful tips and tools that will help you stand out from your competition.
Tip #1: Do Your Research
Start by preparing for your construction job interview by researching the company you’ve applied to. What are the company values? What industry does the company specialize in? Residential roofing? Commercial roofing? Both? Custom-home building? Our list could go on, but you get the idea.
One avenue of research you may not consider is who will actually be conducting your interview. If you know who will be interviewing you, visit the company’s website or LinkedIn to see if they have an online profile for the interviewer.
No matter the amount of information you have on the company prior to your interview, any information is helpful information.
Tip #2: Know What Your Technical Abilities Are
What does every industry in the construction world require? Some sort of technical skills.
What are technical skills you may ask? Basically, any set of abilities and/or knowledge that is used to help you succeed in performing practical tasks.
Example – Let’s say you are applying for an entry level general laborer position at a custom home construction company. In your interview, you may want to mention that one of your best technical skills is how to effectively read a set of blueprints.
However, it’s REALLY important that you don’t BS your technical skills to your interviewer. If you don’t know how to read blueprints, then don’t tell them you do. It’s better to be prepared, if possible, for any job responsibilities you may have by taking a course at your local votech or community college. Don’t have time for that? How about an online starter course, like for instance right here at Construct-Ed.com. It will at least make you a better candidate than the other two people applying for the same position who may have never even looked at a blueprint in their lives.
Tip #3: Know How Effectively You Can Use Special Tools and Equipment
What is not always needed but highly recommended to have? Knowledge of how to use special tools and equipment on a job site. Start to compile a mental list of all the tools and equipment that you have experience using for your construction job interview. This can be anything – from a simple measuring tape all the way to a forklift.
Keep in mind that if you plan on telling your interviewer that you have five years of experience in a specific field, you should have ample knowledge of the tools and equipment related to that field.
Example – Let’s say that you are coming into an interview with five years of experience as a carpenter. You probably have experience using a circular saw, nail gun, etc. Make sure you mention your proficiency in using these tools during the interview!
However, if you don’t have much experience relating to in-depth tools and equipment, be honest about it! Honesty is always the best policy, especially in an interview. Many employers will value a self-starter attitude and someone who is excited and willing to learn over skills alone. Any good employer understands the value of work ethic and attitude over technical skills since technical skills can always be taught easier than trying to get an employee to want to learn.
JUMPSTART YOUR CONSTRUCTION CAREER
Why not set yourself apart from the competition by knowing how to read blueprints effectively? And better yet… why not set yourself apart from the competition with a certificate saying you have taken the course? Cause guess what? Upon finishing this amazingly in-depth course, you receive a completion certificate as proof. Now how’s that for impressing your interviewer?
Cue mic drop…
Tip #4: What To Wear To a Construction Job Interview
Nowadays with virtual interviews, whether it is conducted online or over a phone call, it is easy to forget that physical appearance does matter in an interview. After all, when an interview is done over the phone, you could be in beach attire and the interviewer would never know.
While many interviews start virtually, construction interviews must end in person. Wondering what to wear to a construction job interview? When going into an in-person (or virtual) interview, DRESS TO IMPRESS. We really cannot stress this enough.
Yes, while your experience in the field and with tools and equipment matters greatly, so does your physical presentation. Your physical presentation is one of the first things, if not the absolute first thing, that an interviewer will judge you on when you first walk into the room. So, make sure you are dressed appropriately for the position you are applying for and groomed accordingly.
Are you applying for a general laborer position that is out in the field most days? Well, you’ll probably want to dress in “construction casual” – jeans, collared shirt, work boots.
Don’t overthink this part too much – generally, construction interviews don’t require suits at an interview. But you still want to appear neat and clean and JUST THIS ONCE consider breaking out that strange triangular tool you don’t use called an iron. We promise it will be worth the effort.
Tip #5: Practice Your Communication Skills
Keep this in mind as you prepare for your interview – interviews are conversational. They aren’t meant to be “robotic”, where an interviewer asks a question and like a robot, the interviewee gives a very short sweet “cold” answer back.
During a construction job interview, you want to communicate your answers in a genuine, effective manner that still lends itself to a good conversation but doesn’t derail the conversation into another off-topic topic. For instance, if the interviewer asks, “What is your five- or ten-year plan?” and you start off with answering the question but get derailed on what you are having for dinner tonight, that isn’t being effective.
It is okay to have a genuine conversation during the interview as long as you are sticking to the topic at hand. Also, make sure to keep your language in check during your interview. Don’t use curse or crude language when you are talking to your interviewer (even if they let it slip in their speech when they are talking to you). Just like a sloppy appearance, inappropriate language can play a part in hurting the way an interview plays out.
Let us be the first to say… Good luck with your interview! We hope you nail it and these tips we’ve shared help you be more confident and rock that interview. And remember, especially if this is your first interview, if you don’t get this job there are others so don’t get discouraged! Instead see each and every interview as real-world practice. Each interview will get easier and easier as you start to get a feel for a construction job interview process.
We would love to hear your interview success story if you used this article to prepare for it! Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share which tips helped you!
DON’T FORGET YOUR RESUME!
An effective resume can be the difference between you getting a call back for a job opportunity or being overlooked. Learning to write an effective resume will help you compete for better jobs and positions in the construction industry and ultimately build a career in the skilled trades.