Managing construction projects is complex work, which the prime reason that interviews for a construction manager position are tough to ace.
During the interview process, you will be asked a wide array of questions, based on your knowledge and experience of the work.
For a construction manager position, you might be asked some (or all) of the questions given below:
Related: Construction Manager Resume
Construction Manager Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I began working in the construction arena 10 years ago. Back then, I was a construction worker. Over the years, I managed to learn enough, and acquire the expertise to work in a supervisory role. I have been working in a construction manager capacity for 4 years now.
2. What duties have you performed in a construction manager role in the past?
As a construction manager, I have been performing a wide variety of duties, such as overseeing and directing construction projects, reviewing projects to ensure timely deliverables, and estimating costs. In addition to this, I have been busy coordinating and scheduling construction workers, tracking inventory, and reviewing daily work progress.
3. What is your biggest strength?
I believe that my biggest strength is my ability to handle a wide variety of tasks at the same time.
4. And what is your biggest weakness?
I am not as firm as a manager should be with a team. I feel that it is a weakness because I have to work extra hard to get the team to meet deadlines. However, I am working on this, and anticipate that it won’t be too long until I can be a little stricter.
5. How do you handle multiple projects?
I am excellent at setting priorities. And since multitasking is a great strength, it is not difficult for me to handle more than one project at a time, ensuring that all projects come to fruition within set deadlines.
6. How would you resolve a conflict between an in-house engineer and an independent contractor?
Resolving conflicts has never been a problem for me. If such an occasion transpired, I would sit them both down, listen to each side of the story, and ensure that a proper resolution is provided which is in the company’s interest.
7. What are the first steps in planning a construction project?
Planning construction projects is complex work. The first thing that one needs to do is to determine the clients’ requirements. Obtaining personnel to work on projects is next. Then, one has to acquire the right equipment and resources for the project. And then comes the execution of the actual construction program.
8. Describe your approach to leadership.
I am an easygoing individual who believes in delegating work and supervising off and on. My leadership style is participatory. I make sure that I do not just give out orders, but also help workers on a consistent basis.
9. Have you ever experienced conflict with superiors? Recount what happened.
Some years ago, I realized that our supplier was giving us compromised concrete mixes. When I mentioned this to my supervisor, he was not bothered about it. He said it is “all in a day’s work”. I mentioned that it could be fatal for many if the building that we were working on is built using low-quality materials. He asked me if I needed a cut. That is when the conflict began. I was livid, as I felt that I was being offered payment to let people die. After exchanging a few words, I had no choice but to inform my supervisor’s supervisor.
10 What do you intend to bring to the table, 3 months into working as a construction manager with us?
I am positive that I can contribute in many ways, including optimizing worker scheduling processes, and streamlining work so that deadlines are met.
11. What was the most challenging project that you managed to date?
I was recently overseeing a hotel construction project. It was complicated because of its unique design. The workers were having a hard time determining how to handle it. And since I had not done anything like it before, it took me some time to get into the groove of things. However, I managed to successfully complete it within the deadline and was praised by my efforts and those of my team.
12. How do you motivate your team of construction workers?
I make sure that I praise their work constantly, so that they feel appreciated, and work harder to achieve their goals.
13. How would you describe your ideal work environment?
I love working in challenging environments that test my skills on a constant basis. Also, it is motivating to work for an organization that provides room for learning.
14. What is your communication style?
My communication style is clear and inclusive. I make sure that I effectively connect with people from different backgrounds on an individual basis.
15. How do you deal with it when you are overwhelmed or underperforming?
I have a habit of constantly pushing myself to work well. When overwhelmed or in a state of low performance, I ensure that I look at the bright side – looking at past achievements gives me hope that I can perform well in the future as well.
16. Tell me about a time that you failed.
I was working on a project which turned out to be complicated because of the client’s consistently changing requirements. After the 21st change in specifications, I gave up and told him that I cannot work on it.
17. What do you like least about your work?
I don’t think that there is anything that I dislike about the work.
18. What do you like best about this work?
I love the fact that I can keep learning and contributing. It gives me a great feeling of success.
19. What motivates you?
Two things motivate me. A job that is well done, and a pat on the back for it.
20. Tell us a little bit about the different construction projects that you have been leading.
While there are many types of construction projects that I have been involved in lately, let me focus on two which I consider my pet projects. I have recently completed a residential apartment building which is considered one of its kind, owing to its Victorian interior. This was a huge and quite difficult project owing to the immense work that went into its detailing.
The other one was an indoor play area building that I happened to oversee the construction of. It was carefully designed to keep children’s safety in mind so I as a construction manager, had to be involved at each stage.
21. What would you do if you found out that the construction materials being used are of low quality?
I would report it immediately, without thinking about repercussions as there will be human safety and wellbeing to be considered.
22. Describe a few skills that you have acquired in your role as a construction manager.
To the outsider, construction work seems straightforward but it is anything but! Due to it not being so straightforward, I have learned how to handle adversities – expect them and be prepared for them. I have also learned how to apply an innovative approach to resolving problems with personnel, which is based on psychological dealings.
23. How important is quality control? Why?
There is nothing more important than quality control. At each step of a construction project, if the quality is not maintained, the entire project can fall (literally) and cumulate into loss of money and more importantly, lives.
24. When can you begin working for us?
According to the contract that I have signed with my present employer, I need to provide a 30-day notice of my intention to leave. I can join right after the notice period is over.