Best Practices for Interviewing Candidates in the Construction Industry

Best Practices for Interviewing Candidates in the Construction Industry

Recruitment in the construction industry is challenging right now. A shortage of skilled workers means employees are in demand and, if they’re not impressed with you during the interview process, may opt to work for a direct competitor. Our interview tips can help prepare construction industry recruitment specialists for success, wowing candidates and positioning businesses as great places to work.

Asking the Right Questions

There are a few interview tips recruiters should always follow, regardless of industry:

  • Prepare questions in advance.
  • Focus on behavior-based questions.
  • Listen carefully to answers.
  • Allow enough time for each interview.
  • Follow up with references.

When interviewing candidates for a construction role, there are other factors to consider. Years of experience might not translate to any experience on the types of sites this role entails. For example, a construction project manager who’s solely worked on school and university projects might not have the right experience to oversee the construction of an entire new neighborhood. However, they might be more suited to this role than someone who has only ever worked on building small retail outlets. 

Asking candidates what types of construction industry-related technology they’re familiar with could be enlightening, too. A site manager who knows how to utilize LiDAR to assess workplace safety could bring something extra to a role than one who would need to outsource this to a third-party civil engineer. Likewise, a professional who knows how to make site plans remotely accessible and share them with relevant parties might have an edge over a less tech-savvy candidate.

Understanding Construction Industry-Specific Skills

It pays to have a member of the team the candidate is applying for in the interview situation. This ensures that any unusual or role-specific skills or technologies the applicant mentions are fully understood and not accidentally overlooked. 

As mentioned above, construction often requires quite advanced and varied technologies, and if recruiters aren’t up to speed with those requirements, this could be frustrating for a candidate trying to showcase an impressive skillset. Leveraging the know-how of site managers and other professionals with boots on the ground can ensure interviews focus on finding the right skills and expertise for the job at hand.

Additional Construction Industry Interview Tips

Remember, the interview isn’t just an opportunity for a candidate to present themselves. It’s where your applicant gains their real first impression of your organization. Construction companies can present themselves as the best option for ambitious applicants by following these interview tips:

  • Be prepared with a list of achievements and completed construction projects in case the candidate wants to know about the company’s history and success.
  • Understand your corporate values and be ready to explain them.
  • Ask questions specific to the upcoming project as well as generally about the ongoing role.
  • Discuss the applicant’s construction-related qualifications, but remember that in this industry, experience is often just as important, if not more so.

Many construction professionals want to know that the role they’re applying for will cement their career onto a clear trajectory. Organizations that want the best talent should make sure they have development, training, or progression opportunities they can showcase to gain an edge over competitors. 

Data shows that 95% of contractors currently have trouble finding skilled employees in the construction industry, a challenge that contributes to a backlog of work and contracts extending beyond their original deadlines. A national shortage of construction workers is impacting so many markets, from housing to education. Having the right recruitment processes in place positions organizations to attract top talent and impress prospective hires, discouraging them from joining the competition. Use the above interview tips to build a strong foundation for your construction industry recruitment strategy.

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