With the construction industry still in a labor crisis, commercial construction hiring managers need to make a good impression on candidates during the interview phase. It’s important to interview in a way that maximizes your odds so the candidate will want to accept your offer. Here are some interview tips to show prospective employees your construction firm is an ideal place to work.

Act Quickly

Once you receive a winning resume, set up the interview as soon as possible. After you interview, reach out to them right away. With the labor shortage, talent has their pick of companies to work for. You want to show them that you are responsive and value them enough to not leave them hanging. If you take too much time during the interview phase, by the time you send an offer, the candidate has already moved on to another opportunity.

Provide an Agenda

Communication is critical to a successful hiring process. Candidates don’t want to be left in the dark, so it’s a good idea to provide them with an agenda and communicate what the expectations are. Tell them about the steps in your hiring process and make sure you ask them if they have any questions.

Ask Behavioral-Based Questions

You want to vet candidates using a process that will give you the best chance of success. The key is to focus on behavioral-based questions. You want to ask questions that allow candidates to explain how their past work performance will translate into future performance in the role they are applying for. These type of questions also allow you to communicate your company’s values to candidates, which will help show them your firm is a good fit.

Ask “How” Questions

The best hires are usually candidates who have already performed the kind of building you want. You won’t get the insights you want just by asking the candidate if they can do the type of building in question. Instead, ask them to tell you how they did it before, when they did it, and how it turned out. Anyone can say they know how to do something. Candidates, however, won’t be able to describe a process in detail they haven’t done before. Design the questions in a way that encourages the candidates to open up about their experience and goals. You’ll also be able to tell if they are serious about the job or if they have any ulterior motives.

Use Your Talent as a Resource

Candidates take what hiring managers say with a grain of salt because they understand that their job is to sell the company to candidates. Have the candidates talk to some of your high performers, ideally tenured employees. Use them as ambassadors to influence the candidate while also giving them a clear idea of what to expect if hired; something along the lines of “if you really want the position, I will put in a good word for you.” Candidates will trust their peers more than managers.

Work with a Recruiter

Working with a top construction search firm will protect you from many common issues, like candidates who aren’t really interested in the position or candidates who have an ulterior motive (using you as a bargaining chip or fishing for a counteroffer). Recruiters inform candidates by walking through the hazards of counteroffers well in advance. Normally, 1 in 4 candidates will accept a counteroffer. With an experienced construction recruiter, the rate goes down exponentially to about 1 in 20. Recruiters also vet candidates to make sure they are serious about the position. Recruiters don’t charge candidates, but in return they insist on honesty, openness, and timely communication. They also pre-close the deal, managing expectations on both sides, and help with negotiations and timing.

You want everyone who interviews with you to leave wanting the job, that way you have your pick. Managing expectations, being responsive, and asking the right questions will help you win over every candidate that walks through your door.


How can we help you?

Searching for an opportunity in the construction industry? Contact The Birmingham Group’s team of seasoned commercial construction recruiters today to discuss your career path or browse our open positions.

Are you a hiring authority needed construction talent? Submit a search request today.