During a job interview, a prospective construction worker needs to convince the interviewer that he or she is dependable, takes direction well, exercises sound judgment, and brings the necessary physical prowess to get the job done.
As a construction worker, you'll be subject to heavy workloads, demanding duties, tight schedules, and will be working with a wide variety of people, so communicating your adaptability is imperative. You should also discuss your knowledge of various types of construction equipment and techniques.
What the Hiring Manager Will Be Looking For
The person who interviews you will be gauging not only your level of construction experience, but also your attitude and enthusiasm for the job. They will also seek to “hire the best person for the job,” so make sure that you mention your command of construction tools, techniques, and health and safety procedures.
General Skills to Highlight
Construction work is a demanding physical job, but construction workers bring more than sheer brawn to their work. During your job interview, you’ll need to highlight your skill set. Here’s a quick look at some of those important skills:
Technique. You’ll need to perform a broad range of industry-specific job responsibilities. Share some examples of the types of successful construction work you've completed. Employers are also looking for people who expand their skills whenever they can. Demonstrate your ability to learn new skills which makes both your physical capacity and knowledge of the work more valuable.
Specialization. Do you have a special skill or some type of trade certification? Let your interviewer know what your best skills are.
Working with a Team. Construction workers need to be able to contribute to a team successfully as well as work independently. Give your interviewer a few examples of how you work as a member of a team.
Attention to Detail. Construction work requires careful attention and focus to ensure safety and quality (measure twice and cut once, as they say). Describe a project or two you’ve done that highlight this skill.
Strength. Demonstrate that you are up to the task in terms of the physical demands of the job.
Flexibility. Every construction site requires performing a broad range of tasks. How easily do you move from one task to the next? In addition, can you adapt to changes and disruptions on the job?
Prepare for the Interview
- Practice answers to frequently asked questions before the interview. This will help you to feel confident during your actual meeting.
- Bring along your resume or a list of your employment history, as well as a list of references (people who will readily attest to your character and experience in construction).
- Be prepared to discuss your work history with the interviewer. If you don't have prior work experience, you can use informal work or volunteer experience.
- Make a list of the “soft skills” (aka “people skills”) you can offer. These include competencies such as a strong work ethic, time management, flexibility, and problem-solving.
Construction Worker Interview Questions
Get yourself ready for your upcoming job interview and review this list of frequently asked interview questions for construction workers.
Technical Skills Questions
You should be prepared to go into some detail about your trade skills, including the tools you use daily and your understanding of workplace safety regulations.
- How familiar are you with reading and interpreting blueprints and/or electrical drawings?
- What is on your personal check-list to ensure you are ready to leave the job site at the end of the day?
- How have you demonstrated safe work practices in your former job?
- How strong are your math skills?
- What procedures do you follow to prevent injuries on the job?
- How do you prioritize the necessary tasks of a job?
Questions about Your Work Experience
Your interviewer will be curious to learn how your experience stacks up against that of other candidates under consideration. These questions provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your experience in residential and / or commercial construction.
- Describe some of your most recent projects.
- Have you ever been injured on the job? What happened? What would you do differently now to prevent the injury from happening again?
- Have you/your company ever caused/been involved in an accident that caused someone to receive hospital treatment or be hospitalized?
- Tell me about a suggestion you made on the job that was implemented.
- Tell us about the biggest roadblocks you have encountered during a project. How did you resolve them?
Questions about Your Teamwork / Work Ethic
Good teamwork is critical to the successful outcome of most construction projects. Think of examples that will prove to your interviewer that you are a conscientious and supportive team player.
- What would you do if a customer had a problem with the quality of your work?
- How would you handle a situation if you and a coworker have a disagreement about a work issue?
- Have you ever walked off of a job? If so, for what reason?
- Give me an example of a time when you had little or no direction in solving an issue. What happened? What did you do? What was the outcome?
Practice Makes Perfect
You want to be cool, collected, and confident when you sit for your upcoming interview. Of course, there’s no guarantee the interviewer will ask all of these specific questions. The more prepared you are, though, the easier it will be to give thorough answers.
Go over these questions in your mind or have a friend or family member pose as the interviewer and ask the questions a few times until you’re comfortable with your answers. Don’t forget to brush up your resume to include your recent work or projects and contact your previous bosses or co-workers to see if they’re willing to be listed as references.
PREPARE YOUR “SKILLS” TOOLBELT: Before your interview, make a list of the important construction and workplace health and safety skills you possess so that you can readily talk about these with your interviewer.
WHAT TO BRING: Bring both a copy of your most recent resume and a list of references to present to the hiring manager. Your resume should include mention of significant construction projects you have worked on and any trade certifications you hold.
EMPHASIZE TEAMWORK: Have a few anecdotes ready to share about how well you have worked on teams before. If you have accomplishments like perfect work attendance or workplace safety or production awards, be sure to mention these.