Questions to Ask During Your Construction Job Interview

Candidate and Interviewer in a Construction Job Interview

Many job applicants don’t come to a construction job interview with any questions prepared. They think that it’s the interviewer’s job to ask questions. Since they’re being interviewed, they feel like it’s on them to have good answers that prove they’re good enough for the job they’ve applied for.

But that’s not actually how it works.

If you’re being interviewed, you definitely should come to an interview with questions of your own. In addition to helping you learn more about the company and the job, your questions will show the interviewer that you’re a serious candidate. And if you’re interviewing for your first construction job, there are several questions you absolutely must ask.

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of questioning your interviewers and consider some of the questions you’ll need to ask during a construction job interview.

Reasons to ask questions during a construction job interview

Coming to an interview with questions of your own is smart. Here are several reasons why you should always come to an interview with questions prepared.

1. Get the inside scoop

If you don’t ask questions about the company, an interviewer will usually do one of two things:

  1. Paint the rosiest possible picture of the company, or
  2. Tell you virtually nothing at all about what it’s like to work there

Neither of those scenarios are good. You don’t want to start a job at a company that you thought was going to be a great place to work only to find out there are lots of things about it you don’t like. At the same time, you don’t want to start a job for a company knowing virtually nothing about them or what they do.

In both of those situations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. On the other hand, if you ask questions about the company you’re interviewing for, you’ll probably learn a lot about what it’s like to have a job there. Which means you can…

2. Set realistic expectations for yourself

It’s always good to know what you’re getting into. If you’re wondering what kinds of duties you’ll be expected to perform during your first month on the job, that’s something you can ask about. Then, when you arrive at the site, there won’t be any surprises. And if you’ve heard stories about construction work in the past, asking questions during an interview can help you separate myth from fact.

Wondering how long it will take to work your way into a position of greater responsibility? Ask! That way, you’ll have a reasonable expectation about your career trajectory at the company.

3. Show the interviewer you care

Every company wants engaged employees who contribute their best. To that end, asking questions shows your interviewer that you care about the job and that doing it well is important to you.

4. Show the interviewer you’re confident in your abilities

A confident candidate is an attractive candidate. By asking questions about the position, you’re showing a potential employer that you value yourself. They’ll know that the work environment is important to you and that it means something to you that you put yourself in a good situation with good people.

You don’t have to do anything special during the interview to show the interviewer you’re confident. Just answer questions honestly and be sure to arrive with some of your own.

Ask these questions during your first construction job interview

Interviewing for a job in the construction field? Here are some questions you should definitely ask:

1. Where will I be after working for you for three months? Six months?

One of the best things about working in construction is the upward mobility. The industry tends to promote from within, so the job title and pay grade you have on Day One is likely to change before the end of the year — and for the better.

Find out if a worker who stays on for three months is likely to get a bump in responsibility and pay. It might take longer than that, and that’s fine! Just find out so that you know what you’re getting into. It’s also a good idea to find out how long it usually takes for hourly wage earners to move into salaried positions.

2. What kind of continuing education is available?

Employers often provide on-the-job training and/or sponsor off-site training and credentialing. You’ll want to find out about these opportunities during the interview.

Why? For one thing, you’ll learn about the ways to advance your career and your position in the company. You’ll also show the interviewer that you care about your long-term future with the company.

3. What is the pay rate today and in the future?

This is kind of an extension of the first question. You’ll want to know what your pay rate is at the beginning and how it increases as you grow with the company. In addition to showing the employer that you want to grow with the company, this question helps you set realistic expectations for yourself.

4. How is the work/life balance with this position?

Work is important, but it’s not the only thing you do! Everybody deserves to spend time with their families.

To that end, be sure to ask about holidays and time off, whether paid or unpaid. You’ll want to know whether you’re working for a company that’s more (or less) generous with time away from the job site.

5. How meaningful is the work I’ll be doing?

You can use your own words to ask this question. You don’t have to use ours.

What you’re trying to do here is find out whether what you’re doing matters. Another great aspect of working in construction is the feeling that you’re building something that’s useful to people. Whether that’s a football stadium, a hospital, a shopping complex, or an office park, construction professionals build environments that give people more (and better) places to live, work, and thrive.

Of course, some types of construction work are more meaningful than others. Also, your definition of “meaningful” might be different from someone else’s. The point is that you’ll want to know whether you’re starting work at a company that’s involved in projects you want to be involved in.

Here’s one way to prepare for a construction job interview

At Construction Ready, our 20-day program prepares adult learners for construction jobs. In just three weeks, you get the training and credentials you need to land your first job in the construction industry. 97% of graduates get hired before they finish the program!

One opportunity that’s available to you during Construction Ready is a round of job interviews with actual construction employers. That’s how so many of our graduates secure their first construction job before they finish the program.

And yes, we’ll help you prepare for those interviews before you actually take part in any.

Contact us today to learn more about Construction Ready or to sign up for training!

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