What are the top characteristics of a successful recruiter?
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Despite a tumultuous few years triggered by Covid-19, the construction industry is pegged to emerge stronger, partly due to the sheer level of investments pouring in. This includes The Construction Sector Deal, a £420 million joint investment from the sector and the government in new technology and techniques, creating more building jobs across the country. The ongoing flurry of activity makes now the perfect time to see if there’s a better opportunity for you out there. However, before you start the search, you’ll want to brush up on your interviewing skills. Having helped professionals in the built environment find their next role for over 15 years, we’ve put together our top advice for preparing for a construction interview.
If you've figured out how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out and now have an interview lined up, then congratulations are in order. Alternatively, you might still be on the lookout for a job in construction. Either way, preparing for your next interview should be a priority.
Can you explain a time when you had to…?
A competency-based question like this one is often used by recruiters and hiring managers to uncover situations when you’ve displayed skills such as problem-solving, self-management and interpersonal skills – all essential in the construction industry. When prepping for the interview, list the skills you need for the role, and prepare an answer that will evidence when you showed this skill at work.
What would you do if...?
Construction and building jobs are unpredictable, and to discern whether you’re a viable candidate, companies will ask situation-based questions designed to get you thinking on your feet. Since you can’t prepare for the exact situation, you will need to focus on your approach. Take your time and start by describing the problem and the challenges that would arise. This will give you a chance to collect your thoughts before you explain the actions you’d take.
Preparing some questions about the role you're applying for should always be your starting point.
The day-to-day responsibilities
While this information will be listed on the job advertisement, it's wise to delve deeper into what's expected of you. For example, before accepting a construction project manager job, you need more information about the responsibilities, such as procurement, liaising with subcontractors and how many projects you'll oversee at one time.
The structure of your team will play a large part in how you conduct your daily tasks. Make sure to ask about who you'll report to and if you'll have any direct reports. In most cases, you'll work closely with these people, so it's worth unearthing team dynamics.
Depending on where you are in your career, this might be the most important question to put forward. When looking at quantity surveyor jobs, you want to know if there are career development opportunities that would allow you to progress to the senior quantity surveyor.
Prepare questions for the company
Remember that an interview is a two-way process. Just as it's paramount to come prepared with answers for the interviewer, this is also your chance to ask your own questions.
When selecting a company to work for, you want to know how they're performing and about future plans. This will give you an insight into job security, exciting construction projects in the pipeline, and new markets they might be expanding into.
Next, you need to make sure you're a good fit for the company and vice versa. Ask the hiring manager or recruiter about the working culture to uncover information about the work-life balance, values, cross-team collaboration, social events and their outlook on the importance of diversity in the workplace.
Lastly, ask about company benefits, such as a car allowance, as you might need to know how to conduct successful site visits. Other important benefits to ask about include pension schemes, bonuses, healthcare, training and flexible working.
Ask about the next steps
Not only will this save you having to email the recruiter or hiring manager to ask when you can expect to hear from them, but it also signals that you’re interested in the role. Additionally, it can’t be overstated how necessary it is to show your enthusiasm in an interview.
At PSR Solutions, we're focused on building careers. Now that you know how to make your next construction interview a success, the next step is to put it into practice. Whether you've already started the search and have some interviews lined up, or you're just beginning to test the waters, why not explore our opportunities? With a well-established presence and reputation, we have access to a range of roles across the industry.
Browse our jobs and use the filters to search across specialisms, or quick send your CV, and a member of the team will be in touch with opportunities suited to you. We specialise in recruiting for building jobs, so we’re well-equipped to help you. With seven offices located across the UK, all in prime positions to service the UK construction industry, our team of experienced consultants are well-placed to help you make your next career move.