The construction industry is expected to grow this year, which means business owners around the U.S. will interview and hire employees for numerous positions. However, these tasks are easier said than done. Like any industry, construction has its standards, and for business owners to hire the best workers, they need to know the best way to judge applicants against these standards and determine if they will be a good fit at the owners’ companies.

With Dodge Data and Analytics expecting a 9 percent expansion in construction starts throughout this year, construction business owners and hiring managers need to be prepared with the right questions to find the most qualified workers.

Basic Inquiries

To gain an accurate picture of applicants’ experience and abilities, owners should ask:

  • About the applicant’s previous job
  • What the applicant enjoyed most about their previous work
  • What the applicant enjoyed least regarding their previous job
  • Why the applicant left his or her previous position
  • Why the applicant feels he or she is qualified for the current position
  • About specific training and certifications the applicant has received
  • For an example of a problem the applicant solved in a creative way
  • What he or she knows about your company
  • Why he or she wants to work for your business
  • What makes the applicant feel successful

Dig Deeper

The above questions are a great way for owners to determine applicants’ basic qualifications, but it’s often smart for owners to ask applicants how they would handle specific problems that may arise in the type of work they will be doing. This can include dangerous situations, unplanned requests from clients or disagreements with coworkers. These types of questions make applicants think on their feet and can provide additional specific examples of what applicants have done in the past when problems arose.

Determine their level of preparation

Some applicants will come to a job interview fully prepared to answer a broad range of questions, while others will be have a more “wing it” attitude. To determine which workers did their homework before the meeting, owners should ask what the applicants know about the company and why they want to work there.

If the applicant gives a generic answer, the owner can assume he or she doesn’t know much about the business. An answer that incorporates specific details about the company will show the applicant wants the job enough to thoroughly prepare for the interview.

Perform Due Diligence

There’s always the small chance that an unqualified applicant will look great at the interview. To avoid hiring someone who won’t do well at the company, owners must be diligent in checking the worker’s background and references.

Owners should request copies of important certifications to ensure they are legitimate and also ask for multiple work references to ascertain how coworkers and supervisors view the applicant.

For jobs where safety is a top priority, owners may also want to perform background checks on applicants they are seriously considering hiring.


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