37 Questions to Ask a Facilities Manager at a Job Interview (With Example Answers)
Facilities operations managers are in charge of keeping an eye on an organization’s offices, campuses, and training facilities and trying to make them better. During an interview for a job as a facilities manager, the hiring manager may ask you about what you know about the industry, how you’ve led in the past, and what skills you have. Learning about some of the most common questions asked of facilities managers can help you prepare for your interview and feel more confident. This article has 37 interview questions for a facilities manager and a few sample answers to help you prepare for your own.
General interview questions
By how you answer general interview questions, you can tell the hiring manager about your work style, personality, and career goals. When you answer these questions, relate your answers to your experience as a facilities manager, the organization’s goals, or the job description. Before your interview, look at the company’s website and the job posting to make sure your answers show how well you fit the role. Here are 11 general questions you can ask someone who wants to be a facilities manager:
- Why did you want to work here?
- How often have you been in charge of a group?
- What would the people you used to work with say about you?
- Do you know what our business stands for and what it wants to do?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- As a manager of facilities, what are your best skills?
- What do you say to people?
- What are some of your long-term goals at work?
- What things at work could you do better?
- How do you describe your management style?
- Tell me about a time at work when you had to solve a problem. What did the event teach you?
Questions about your past and what you’ve done
These questions could be about any part of your work history and could be directly related to the job description. Be ready to talk about your past jobs, how well you know facilities management technology, and what you know about laws and rules. Here are 12 questions that a hiring manager for the job of facilities manager might ask about experience and background:
- Why did you want to work in managing facilities?
- How well do you know how to handle a bad situation?
- When you were in charge of facilities, what smart tools did you use at work?
- How knowledgeable are you about how FM technologies work?
- How do you know what kind of maintenance a building needs?
- How often do you like to look at buildings?
- How well do you know how to follow OSHA rules?
- How long have you been in charge of handling dangerous things?
- Have you improved your facilities management skills in the last year?
- What kind of facilities management certifications do you have?
- Are you a part of any groups that deal with building management?
- Can you tell me how people get jobs in operations?
In-depth facilities manager questions
These questions could show how good you are at solving problems and how much you know. They can give you a chance to talk to the hiring manager about how you have run facilities or solved problems in the past. Here are 10 detailed questions for people who want to become facilities managers:
- Tell me about a time when you had a problem with maintenance workers, vendors, or other outside contractors and how you fixed it.
- How do you use analysis of data to make management decisions?
- What do you think will change about the job of managing facilities in the next ten years?
- How could you help our company use technology more?
- Tell me about a time you made a building friendlier to the environment.
- How could you make plans to move our business toward a hybrid model?
- How important do you think facilities management is for a business like ours?
- What are some of your favorite ways to cut costs?
- Can you describe how you prepare crisis management plans?
- How did you measure how productive you were in the past?
Sample answers to questions about the facilities manager asked at an interview
Here are some questions and sample answers to help you get ready for your facilities manager job interview:
1. Can you tell me how you check out buildings?
A hiring manager might ask you this question to find out what you look for in a building. A good inspection process can make an organization more efficient by telling them what needs to be fixed and how well a building meets their goals. When answering this question, be specific about the equipment and spaces you look at when you visit a facility and explain why these things are important.
“In order for me to do my inspection, I need to know what the main purpose of the building is. For example, if I’m checking out a branch of an accounting firm like this one, I’ll look at how well it serves the accountants who work there. I’ll start by looking at the walls and ceilings and then move on to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which is important for keeping everyone comfortable.
“Then, I’ll pay close attention to the bathrooms and break rooms because they’re used a lot and have a lot of shared equipment. At the end of an inspection, I always ask the office manager or other workers if there is anything else they want me to look at. They know the building better than I do most of the time.
2. What do you think are the best ways for a building to use less energy without losing productivity?
This is a question that a hiring manager might ask if their company cares about the environment or if they want to save money by using less energy. Give specific examples and explain how these steps help the business run well when answering this question.
“I think it’s important to be smart about how we use energy. First, I always suggest that buildings use less energy when they can by switching to appliances and light bulbs that use less energy. This can make them more efficient and save energy without changing how much light or heat they give off. I also like to use technology to save energy, like smart thermostats that switch to a mode that uses less energy when no one is home and light switches that turn on and off when motion is detected. By lowering the amount of energy a building uses when it’s closed, you can really make your business more friendly to the environment.
3. Can you tell me about a time you handled a tough situation well? What did you learn from the event?
Crisis management is often one of the most important parts of a facilities manager’s job, so a hiring manager might ask you this question to see how you deal with problems. When you answer this question, describe the crisis and what caused it in a few words. Then, spend most of your time talking about what you did to solve the problem.
When I was the manager of a local gym franchise, a pipe in the ceiling broke and flooded the yoga studio. I went out there right away to check it out and called the landlord and our favorite plumber, who both came to meet me there. Our facilities team cleaned up the water and put up cones to warn people about the places that were still wet.
“The repairs were going to take a while, so I worked with the yoga teachers to find another place in the gym where classes could still be held. So, our clients didn’t lose service while we fixed the problem. The alternating classes went well, and the plumber fixed our ceiling in a few days.
4. What could you do if a team member wasn’t doing their job?
A hiring manager might ask you this to find out how you deal with problems. Facilities managers need to be able to lead teams of inventory associates, warehouse stockers, and other employees who work in the facilities. You can answer this question based on a past job or by making up a situation.
“I try to find a balance between high standards, ease of access, and direction. In my last job, I was in charge of a team that was in charge of operations and stock. One of my inventory workers had trouble entering data correctly and answering internal questions. I asked another manager for help, and the two of us met with this employee to give him a warning and make a plan for him to do better.
“He really wanted to be successful, but he didn’t have the organizational and communication skills to get there on his own. For about eight weeks, he copied me on every email he sent and asked me to check his data entry every day. He had to work very hard, but he got much better.”
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