Taking the next steps in your construction career? Follow our construction job interview tips to maximise your chances of securing the role you want.
Before you do anything else, make sure you are qualified to the Construction NVQ Level required for the position you are applying to hold; and that you have the right CSCS Card for your trade and skill level. You’ll need to pass the CSCS Health, Safety & Environment Test appropriate to your trade and the CSCS Card you are applying for. Construction Support Line is able to arrange On Site Assessment for your Construction NVQ; and can also book your CSCS Test and arrange for your CSCS Card application.
Managing Your Construction CV
So you have all the right qualifications and experience for the role you want; your potential employer has invited you for interview; and it is time to prepare. Tailor your construction CV to the role you are to be interviewed for. A good CV is never more than two sides of a sheet of A4: so aim to cover that amount with experience you have had that is directly relevant to the key skills required for your job.
List your full name; date of birth; contact details; your Construction NVQ Levels; and your CSCS Card and Health, Safety & Environment Test types at the top of your construction CV. Summarise your experience below your basic information, most recent parts first. Remember your CV is a summary so don’t include everything. You can use the summaries you have made as bullet points in your interview, expanding on them verbally as required.
Dress Appropriately for Your Role
If you turn up for a crane operative’s position interview dressed in a three piece suit, it’ll look a little odd. Always dress in a fashion that shows you have taken care to turn yourself out correctly, but don’t go over the top. Smart casual is fine for operational positions. Managerial and supervisory positions will require a more formal turnout for an interview.
Learn to Think Like a Construction Job Interviewer
The key to success in any interview situation is to know what your interviewer wants you to prove. The construction job interview is no different. Make everything you say and do relevant to the role you are being interviewed for. Understand the role and you will understand the kinds of answers your potential employer wants to hear.
Problem solving skills, technical knowledge and the ability to work in teams are all primary concerns of your interviewer. When you give an answer, make sure it embodies the skills your interviewer wants to uncover. If you back up answers to questions about technical skills with real life examples, citing instances where you have solved a problem using your brain and your skills, your interviewer will be able to see how your qualifications and knowledge are applied in a way that makes you the perfect candidate for the job.
If necessary, do a dry run of your journey to the interview so you don’t make yourself late (or end up arriving sweaty and out of breath) by failing to find the right location on the day.
Know the Company
Your construction job interview will fall at the first hurdle if you don’t know anything about the company interviewing you. It is not enough to be good at what you do. No company looks kindly on interviewees that have very little idea about what they do. The Internet is your best friend in the days before your interview. You don’t need to research a novel of course, but spend a couple of hours looking into your chosen employer beforehand and you’ll have an impressive familiarity with its overall business and recent project history.
First impressions count in interview situations. Smile and keep your body language open and interested. Make sure that you shake the hand of every person you are introduced to and try to look them in the eye.
Keep an eye on yourself during the interview. Sloppy body language, rapid delivery of words and an unwillingness to look at people while you talk are all natural consequences of feeling nervous. They are also sure ways to make a poor impression on your interviewers.
A good tip is to put your elbows on the desk in front of you and loosely fold your forearms over each other. By having your elbows on the table, you are making yourself lean forward slightly – which makes you look alert and interested.
By loosely folding your forearms you are preventing your hands from wandering: another distraction in an interview situation.