How To Prepare In 24 Hours For Your Construction Interview
You’ve got 24 hours to prepare for an interview for a construction job you’ve got your heart set on. So, how do you go about it?
1. The first step is always to do a bit of research on the company. Go onto their website to search for construction projects they’ve worked on in the past. If you can bring up this kind of information in the interview, it marks you out as someone who has done their homework. Even better, try and find a comparison in your own experience to theirs. For instance, if they ask you in the interview how your skills and past experience will be of use to the company, you have the perfect opportunity to say something like: ‘I worked on X project, which from what I can tell was quite similar in scale and type to Y project that you worked on’. Or if you used the same suppliers or external contractors, that’s another big bonus which creates a working connection.
2. If you haven’t already, find out from your recruiter or interview contact what type of interview they’ll be running. If it’s competency-based, that’s your cue to get out the job description and start scouring it for ‘key competencies’ they’ve mentioned- such as ‘communication skills’, ‘proven ability to manage a team’-that kind of thing. Once you’ve established what they’re looking for, examine your experience to find real-life examples of when you’ve proven that you have these skills and aptitudes. Competency based interviews seem scary to some, but they’re actually quite easy to prepare for. We’ve written about this in much more detail here.
3. Have some questions to ask them in return. This one is most commonly forgotten, but the interview can be won or lost in those dying minutes when they ask you if you have any questions. You might think it doesn’t matter, and it does. This is another ideal situation to show that you’ve done your homework about the company and are genuinely keen on the job. It also gives you the opportunity to find out whether the company culture is right for you, and what your career path with them might look like. We’ve written an article here on some of the best questions you can ask in an interview.
4. If you want to take along any examples of your work, such as projects you’ve worked on in the past, then make sure to print them out or have them on a USB well before time. This gives you plenty of time to check the printer has ink, that the USB isn’t corrupted, and organise everything in a folder. Also, it never hurts to take along a copy of your CV in case their printer is down or they’ve misplaced their copy.
5. Make sure all your referees are expecting a call. Sure, the person you worked with four years ago might have written you a glowing reference, but four years is a long time and they might be a bit blurry on the details (or even forgotten who you are altogether). Get on the phone or computer and give them the heads up that someone will probably call. It’s respectful to them, and good sense on your part. Perhaps email through a copy of any written references to the referee so they can remember what they said.
6. You get up to get dressed, only to find your only suit has a really obvious mark on it. Or perhaps you walk into the interview in nice jeans and a smart blazer only to find that everyone else is wearing a business suit. There are many ways you can arrive at the interview feeling that you’re dressed all wrong, putting you at risk of feeling much more nervous and making the wrong impression. So find out what the dress code is beforehand, check your clothes the night before, and get yourself looking your best. Definitely clean- shaven, not too much perfume/cologne, neat hair and not too much makeup or exposed skin for women. Want more info? Find it here.
7. Know EXACTLY where the interview will be held and at what time. Factor in terrible traffic, train strikes and the unexpected if you need to, but make sure you get there at least 10 minutes early. The best way is to travel the route beforehand at the same time of day, and then add at least 30 minutes for contingency. Keep your eye on traffic reports, and have an alternative route mapped out. If this all sounds a bit serious, it’s because it is. It’s very hard to come back from being late to an interview.
8. If you’re nervous, keep in mind that you’ve prepared as well as you can (or at least, you have if you’ve followed all these steps.) Take deep breaths, remind yourself of your past successes, and go get ‘em.
If you can, get all the preparation done before you go to bed the night before. The interview might not be until 4pm, but you’ll sleep a lot better and wake up feeling much more confident if you’ve gotten everything done ahead of time.
Best of luck and best regards,