Second Construction Interview Coming Up? Read This Before You Go In

Story by Gemma Beasley / April 8, 2024

Landing a second interview is huge, but don’t think you’re home free. The industry is ultra-competitive, especially when hiring at senior level. Don’t rely on construction skill shortages to carry you over the line – the best companies will dig deep to ensure they hire the best person for the job.

You’ve already done well to get this far, these tips will help you seal the deal.

  1. Take each interviewer as a blank slate

While the first interviewer briefs their colleague, don’t expect them to be 100% aligned or to pass on every detail accurately. Different roles prioritize different skills and experiences. By treating every interview as though you’re starting from scratch, you stand the best possible chance of getting all critical info across.

For example: You interviewed with the Superintendent first, who focused on your field leadership experience. For the second round with the Project Manager, don’t assume they have full context on the specific jobsite examples you provided. The PM may need you to re-explain how you’ve dealt with challenges like coordinating multiple subcontractors, managing site logistics/deliveries, or implementing quality control procedures.

  1. Ask questions to eliminate doubt

While you’ll want to reiterate your key qualifications, the second interview also provides an opportunity to dig deeper and gather additional insights about the role and company. Asking thoughtful, engaging questions serves two purposes – it eliminates any lingering doubts that your interviewer may have, and demonstrates your genuine enthusiasm for the position.

For example: For a Superintendent role, you can reaffirm your rigorous approach to safety and compliance by asking about job-specific details like local labor provisions, site access challenges, environmental monitoring requirements based on the project locality, or materials/equipment receiving constraints. This shows you’re thinking critically about potential issues unique to this project and role.

  1.  Tailor proof points to the company’s priorities

At this stage of the interview process, you should have a solid grasp of the role’s key responsibilities as well as the company’s overarching goals and cultural values. Now you can leverage this knowledge by tailoring the examples and accomplishments you highlight to align with what they need the most.

For instance: If you’re interviewing at a sustainability-focused design-build firm, you’ll want to emphasize your experience procuring renewable and locally-sourced materials, achieving green building certifications, and implementing eco-friendly construction practices.

On the other hand, if you’re pursuing a role at a large commercial general contractor, you can prioritize examples that showcase your tech-savviness. Highlight your expertise with BIM coordination, virtual design and construction tools, production tracking software, and optimizing workface planning. These examples illustrate your ability to boost productivity and efficiency on sizable projects.

  1. Stay energetic, focused and professional

While you may feel more at ease in the second interview, it’s crucial not to let your guard down or become complacent. By maintaining a focused mindset from start to finish, you allow your enthusiasm for the construction industry and passion for your work to shine through.

For example: When recounting how you overcame a major challenge like an unexpected site condition delay, convey the pride and satisfaction you derived from finding an intelligent solution through decisive leadership and strategic problem-solving. You should be mindful of your tone and language to avoid coming across as unprofessional when describing conflicts, mistakes, or high-pressure scenarios you’ve navigated.

  1. Confirm next steps before concluding

As the interview winds down, this is your chance to discuss the next stages of the process. You’ll minimize anxiety if you can set expectations and avoid potential miscommunications.

For instance, you can say: “If I understand correctly, the plan is to make a final decision within one week. I’m happy to share contacts from my most recent projects to provide references and verify my education, safety certifications, and other credentials. Is there anything else I should be aware of regarding next steps?”

Still nervous? Help is just a call (or LinkedIn message) away

Interviewing is a skill, one that requires thorough preparation and practice for every round. As a recruiting partner to many construction firms, I can provide free expert guidance to position you for success – whether it’s your first, second, or final-round interview.

Reach out today for a chat about getting you fully prepared to land your next role. With the right advice, you can ace any interview you want!


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