Once you have sent in your job application – complete with resume and cover letter – it is time to wait for an interview call. People consider this waiting time as cruel as they do not know what to expect. Are we good enough to be interviewed? Will we receive a call? But it is not the waiting that is painful – it is when you have been called in for an interview and you do not know what to do!
Weren’t you expecting this? If you were, you would probably be practicing what to say in an interview. If you weren’t, well, start now! Because the interview is the last stage in the job application process and also the most important one. You do not just go in and give interviews. You learn what to do at the interview and you practice for it beforehand.
The practice part is what takes the mickey out of us! What does one practice for? Answering interview questions, of course! But how will one know what questions will be asked? One cannot know. But one can anticipate. If you know your work well, you will also know what you will be tested on. Use this information to develop your own questions and practice answering them.
For a general contractor interview, the following questions may be asked:
As a general contractor, how many crew members have you worked with?
The minimum number of crew members that I have worked with is 20. The maximum is 80. This includes all construction workers and subcontractors as well.
Why does one need to hire subcontractors? Why give a chunk of what you make to others when you can probably do the job yourself?
Working on a construction project is teamwork. Every subcontractor hired has a specialized field that he works in. There is no point in doing everything yourself even if you do know how to, since you are not being honest with the client. General contractors may be jacks of all trades but this work requires masters!
What is the one thing that you provide to a client to ensure repeat business and referrals?
It is very important to satisfy the client completely. My way of ensuring this is to provide them with a complete owner’s manual at the end of the project. This includes manufacturers’ warrantees, product information and subcontractors’ contact information. It is a surefire way to build trust and ensure that the client uses your services again and / or provides referrals.
Explain briefly what your primary duties as a general contractor are.
As a general contractor, I am responsible for understanding clients’ requirements and ensuring that crew members comprehend them too. I delegate tasks to crew members, oversee their work, provide suggestions for improvement and make sure that everything is done on schedule. I am also responsible for procuring materials and equipment to help crew members with their work.