A project manager in the construction industry is responsible for overseeing the planning, executing and closing out of a construction project. They will interact with developers, contractors, engineers, architects, subcontractors and tradesmen to coordinate the work schedule and work within a budget. They will review drawing to ensure they comply with industry standards. A construction manager is the hub of the project, gathering information from all project communicators and ensuring that each member has the information necessary to achieve the common goal. When interviewing for a position with a construction management company, the questions will focus on your ability to complete a project on time and within budget, minimize risk, work with a diverse team, maintain appropriate documentation, allocate resources and communicate effectively. To prepare for a successful interview you should research the company thoroughly, learning about past projects and those that are currently under construction. Finally, practice responding to common construction project manager interview questions and answers.
How Have You Managed Different Projects In the Past, and How Will This Contribute to Our Company?
This question requires a carefully organized response, as it has several parts and your response should be informative but concise. Plan to describe about three projects, ideally very different from one another. Summarize one project, detailing the scope of the work including the time frame, budget, building size and number of laborers. Outline several challenges the project presented. Then describe how you met those challenges and the skills you gained while on the project. Finally, outline how these skills can benefit the company in their current work. Repeat this sequence as you describe other projects. Be sure to detail different challenges and solutions so the interviewer can see the breadth of your experience and knowledge.
What Is One Task a Project Manager Should Never Neglect?
It’s important for a future employer to understand your priorities and how you approach a project. This question requires you to show that you really understand how your different duties play into the success of a project. Your response may indicate whether you are a good fit for the team, as some companies place a strong emphasis on following a specific process and others are more adaptable. Obviously there is more than one task you must complete to bring a project to fruition, but consider which of these has played into your success the most in the past. It may be ongoing communication with both the owners and subcontractors, diligence in maintaining proper documentation, or consulting and updating the schedule frequently to ensure the project will be completed as planned. However you choose to respond, be sure to illustrate the importance of the task with an example from your past experience.
Have You Ever Worked With A Difficult Owner or Subcontractor?
Interpersonal skills are essential for a construction project manager. With each project you might work with different owners, architects, subcontractors and laborers. It is important that you are able to communicate effectively with people at all levels of the project. You may need to manage disputes over the scope and quality of the work, conflicting schedules, changing client demands and payment issues. Managing the people involved in a project can sometimes be extremely stressful, and odds are you won’t like everyone you work with.
A potential employer wants to know how you will respond to interpersonal challenges of the position. Your response should show that you possess the problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills to negotiate a solution to any conflict. Many skills and traits play into the success of a project manager on a construction site. Before you arrive for an interview, consider common construction project manager questions and answers. Brainstorm a list of your most successful projects, as well as those where you learned the most, and be prepared to use those experiences to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the position.