The Shard in London, The Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Shanghai Tower in China – none of these buildings would ever have made it beyond the design stage without a construction project manager leading the way.

Below we’ll help you prepare for that all-important interview by covering the following:  

  • How to answer common questions
  • Behavioural interview questions
  • Questions to ask your interviewer 

It is a vital role in almost all construction projects across the UK as you’ll plan and execute projects, from start to finish, running the day to day activities whilst keeping a keen eye on health and safety procedures.

But you know that. You’re after the next steps. Once you have the qualifications needed with a degree in a construction or related subjects like construction management or civil engineering, you’ll be looking to beat the competition at the interview level.

Here’s our list of interview questions you’re likely to be asked at a project manager interview to put you ahead of the game.

How to answer construction project manager interview questions

What are the first steps you’d take in planning a project?

This question is designed to identify how much you know about the construction process as well as diving into your soft skills like time management, communication and organisation skills and attention to detail. The interviewer will be looking at how you structure your response; did you dive straight into picking a team or did you begin by holding a briefing meeting with key stakeholders to highlight the objectives of the project you are trying to construct? The level of detail and ownership of the project in the second statement makes for a much stronger, more professional response. Keep your ears tuned as this question could also come in many hidden forms.

Imagine a project you are supervising is starting to fall behind schedule. What actions do you take?

The key to answering this question is to take your time and gather your thoughts before answering. You don’t want to answer too quickly and suggest someone takes the blame. Instead relate to a previous situation, where a deadline was looming and you used your organisational and problem-solving skills to turn the situation around.

How would you resolve a conflict between a paid employee in your team and an independent contractor?

What you need to avoid here is a conflict that escalates into more people or companies being involved. Suggest that you would sit all three of you in a room to lay your cards on the table, set your expectations for both parties and that you would want to resolve it as quickly as possible. Make sure to show compassion and understanding for both sides.

Behavioural Interview Questions

Give an example of how you’ve previously communicated a failure to your team, manager or stakeholder?

This question is used to test your risk and communication management. The interviewer will be wanting to hear that you will communicate any news face to face. They want to know the steps you’d take, for example speaking to your manager before meeting with the team to discuss a contingency plan that you could then take to stakeholders so that you don’t just present bad news.

How would you motivate your team to exceed the set targets?

A very common question for most managerial positions. Your response should include how you aim to encourage your team to work hard but do not go into the realms of pushing your team too hard. You will need to find the balance between being a strong leader, who leads by example but also is open to rewarding exceptional work.

Top three questions to ask the interviewer

In addition to answering the interviewer’s questions, a candidate is often expected to pose some questions of their own. These questions may arise from the prior discussion, or they may be of a personal nature regarding the terms of the contract. However, it is good to have some professional construction industry questions ready for the interviewer. These may include: 

  • Have you been personally involved in any of the company's landmark projects?
  • what do you find most enjoyable about working for this company?
  • What would you expect is the first deliverable if I was successful in this application?

For further advice and helpful tips be sure to check out our career hub.