40 Questions to Ask a Construction Project Manager and Their Answers
Being able to answer questions in an interview is an important part of getting a job as a construction project manager. If you can confidently answer questions about construction project management, it shows potential employers that you have important skills and experience that can help their business. Sample questions about a construction project manager’s main responsibilities can help you prepare for an interview. This article gives you some examples of interview questions for construction project managers, as well as tips and other examples to help you prepare answers.
For a building project, what is a project manager?
A person in charge of making sure buildings are built and construction projects are finished is called a construction project manager. They give jobs to construction workers and watch over every step of the building process to make sure it’s done the way the client wants. Project managers on construction sites are very important because they keep things running smoothly and make sure that standards are met.
What should the person in charge of a building project do?
Construction managers are in charge of many different parts of building projects, from the first steps of planning to the final inspections. Most of what they have to do is:
- Creating plans for projects
- Putting together schedules for workers
- Getting materials and making deals with suppliers
- How to understand plans
- How to deal with subcontractors
- Taking responsibility for building tasks
- quality and safety checks on buildings
- Budgeting and keeping track of expenses
- Getting to know what clients want by talking to them
General construction project manager interview questions
Here are some questions you might be asked at an interview to become a construction project manager. They ask about who you are in general and how you act at work.
- Why do you want to run construction projects?
- Do you work better alone or with other people?
- What do you like about the company that builds our homes?
- What do you like best about running a building project?
- What would you say about how you lead?
- What are your next goals in the construction industry now that you’re a construction project manager?
- How would you describe the tasks of a construction project manager?
- What do you think will be the hardest things you’ll have to deal with as a construction manager?
- How do you figure out what to do at work first?
- How do you handle the conditions at a construction site?
Questions about building project management experience and background
These examples of interview questions cover common ones about your work history and experience in the construction field:
- What kinds of building jobs have you done in the past?
- How would you use your hands-on construction experience in a job as a manager?
- Tell me about a time when you were working on a construction site and you had to solve a problem.
- How big was the biggest building project you worked on?
- Have you ever had trouble getting your message across at work? If so, how did you make it better?
- Tell me about what you’ve done to teach other construction workers.
- What are the main steps from the beginning to the end of a building project?
- Do you have any building-specific certifications or training?
- How do you keep working on long-term construction projects that won’t pay off for a long time?
- Tell me about a building project where you made a mistake and how you fixed it.
In-depth construction project manager interview questions
Answering these questions will help you get ready for questions about specific situations and practices for construction project managers:
- Tell me how to get the building permits I need to get started.
- What are some common roles and tasks in construction, and how would you do them?
- What would you do if the wrong building materials were sent to you by a supplier?
- How do zoning rules in your area change the way you build?
- How would you teach new people how to do hard jobs on a construction site?
- How do you learn about new ways to build and the best ways to do things?
- How do you decide whether or not a place is good for building?
- What would you do if a key employee quit halfway through their shift?
- Tell me what you know about damage claims and construction insurance.
- How do you figure out what kind of construction tools you need to rent to finish a job?
Interview questions for a construction project manager and how to answer them
During an interview, you can give better answers if you think about what the employer wants to hear. Here are some examples of interview questions and their answers and explanations for construction project managers:
How could you be a good project manager for a building project?
When asked why you might be good at construction management, talk about personal traits that are related to the main tasks of the job. In your answer, you should talk about how you want to use your skills to make your potential employer’s construction management better.
Example: “I’m very organized and have a great memory, which makes it easy for me to keep track of many different priorities. As a construction manager, I used my memory and ability to stay organized to make sure everyone on my team did what they were supposed to do and that important tasks were done before each deadline.”
How would you make sure that all the subcontractors you hire for big projects meet the same standards?
Construction managers often have to hire employees or subcontractors to help with big projects. Answer by telling what you think are the most important professional qualifications and how you would go about finding them.
“I’d do thorough background checks on all potential team members and ask for testimonials and character references to make sure they could do the tasks they were given and act in a good way.”
What would you do if a building project started to fall behind schedule?
There are many things that can slow down construction teams, so your answer to this question should talk about how you would keep these things from affecting the success of the project. Think about a time when there was a delay and how you would handle it.
Example: “When there are delays, I talk to my team to find out why and figure out how to make up for slow times in the future. For instance, if bad weather kept my team from working, I would schedule more shifts to make sure the project was finished on time.”
How would you talk to a client who had too high of hopes for a building project?
Construction managers work directly with clients to set up the details of a construction contract and keep them up to date on the building process. When answering this question, give an example of how you set professional boundaries with clients and describe some of the ways you work with clients.
Example: “I’d start by telling them how much and how long projects like this usually cost and take. Before a project starts, I can help clients know what to expect by giving them detailed information about building similar structures.”
How can you make sure that building projects that are finished pass inspection?
In your answer, describe some common quality control methods used in construction and how you would use them to make sure your buildings would pass inspection without needing to be changed.
Example: “After each task, I have my team members fill out detailed checklists to make sure that their work meets expectations at every step. This lets me find any problems with the inspection ahead of time and fix them.”
How do you get your construction crew to keep going when the work is hard and boring?
In your answer, talk about what you do to help your construction team and boost morale at work. Tell other people about your favorite ways to get them going and how they might help.
Example: “Giving my team something fun to look forward to at the end of a long day helps them work hard. I also praise my crew out loud throughout the day to help them feel like a team and be proud of what they’ve done. This pushes them to work harder and finish hard tasks.”
How would you feel if you found out that one of your workers was building things in a dangerous way?
A construction manager’s job is to keep their clients and workers safe by encouraging safe ways to build. In your answer, tell what you’d do to make sure unsafe things don’t happen again. This shows you care about keeping people safe.
Example: “If I found out that an employee had broken a safety rule, I would talk to them right away about the right way to do their job. I’d show them the right way to act and think about holding a training for the whole team to remind them of safety rules.”
How do you keep track of how a building project is going? What do you do and how do you do it?
Tell us how you find out how well your team is doing and how you use that information in your answer. A good answer shows that you know how to lead people, manage projects, and look at data.
Example: “I start by making baseline projections based on projects that have already been done. This shows me how things are really going on the building site. I have my team members keep careful track of their hours and write down when they finish each task so I can easily spot problems with how things are going.”
Tell me about the time you’ve spent negotiating contracts and figuring out how much a project will cost.
Use this question to show that you know how to set expectations for contracts, close deals with clients, and figure out the price of contracts. Tell how you helped the company make deals with other businesses and how your work helped the business.
Example: “I often negotiate contracts with clients that are worth millions of dollars as part of my current job. For such big projects, I do a lot of research and find out what’s important to the client so that I can give them accurate cost estimates and help them see their money as an investment in their own success.”
What would you do if a client changed a project’s goals after your team had started working on it?
Being a construction project manager means dealing with a lot of change, so you can use this question to show how flexible you are and how well you can solve problems. Tell me what you would change to meet new expectations without throwing away what you’ve already done.
Example: “I would start right away coming up with ideas with my team about how we could change the structure to meet client needs. I would also talk to the client about how their requests might change the overall schedule and costs.”