Interview Like a Pro: Boost Your Construction Team with These Tips

In the world of construction, finding the right talent is pivotal to success. The cornerstone of this talent acquisition process? Effective candidate interviews. Whether you’re seeking skilled finish carpenters and painters, estimators to calculate project costs, or project managers to coordinate multiple subcontractors, effective candidate interviews play a vital role in securing top talent. These interviews connect your company with potential stars who can positively impact your projects. But maybe just as important, they can weed out the losers who can drag down the team and cause delays and rework. In this post, I am highlighting some tips on the art of conducting interviews. For a deeper dive, mark your calendars for my upcoming Construction Exchange training session on October 26th, titled Recruiter’s Secrets – What Every Hiring Manager Needs to Know About Interviewing and Hiring. It’s available in-person or online and is tailored for the construction industry. Check it out Here.

Preparing for the Interview

Before you even sit down with a candidate, preparation is key. Start by reviewing their resume. Dive into the details of their experience, projects they’ve handled, and any relevant certifications. Doing so not only demonstrates your interest in the candidate but also helps you formulate tailored questions. Conduct a little research: Google the candidate’s name and check their LinkedIn profile. You might find that they’ve been recognized for projects that might not be on their resume or that you share a hobby. This not only helps you connect on a personal level but also ensures you’re not missing any hidden gems.

Conducting the Interview

Now, for the interview itself. Whether you’re seeking a carpenter with expert craftsmanship, an estimator with the ability to handle complex takeoffs, or a project manager with the organizational finesse to oversee intricate projects, the principles remain the same.  Begin by setting a comfortable, conversational tone. Put the candidate at ease; remember, you’re both there to explore a potential partnership. Active listening is your superpower. Pay attention not just to words, but to nuances in tone, body language, and enthusiasm. Write down prepared questions. Use a mix of behavioral questions (to gauge past actions), situational questions (to assess problem-solving skills), and hypothetical scenarios (to uncover thought processes). This balanced approach gives a more comprehensive view of the candidate’s capabilities.

Candidate Assessment

As the interview unfolds, keep your eyes peeled for key indicators. Assess their skills and experience, but don’t forget cultural fit, an essential consideration whether you’re hiring a carpenter to join a close-knit team or a project manager to lead large crews. Will they seamlessly integrate into your team? Will they share your company’s values and vision?


In conclusion, conducting effective candidate interviews is both an art and a science, especially when hiring for specialized roles in construction. It’s about preparation, active engagement, and keen assessment, whether you’re seeking a carpenter, estimator, or project manager. Is it worth the effort? Certainly, since your next star could be sitting across from you, waiting to shine on your next construction project. If you need more help or want to engage a pro to prescreen your candidates, call or message me at 716-800-2219. Together, we will assemble a stellar team that can conquer any project that comes your way.