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Ply Gem Interview
Questions

33 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 33

Ply Gem is asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?

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Ply Gem Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Ply Gem is asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?

      To many employers, the number of years' experience is flexible - so long as you have the results to show for the years that you do have. Talk to the interviewer about your major career successes. This is the time to sell yourself. Make no apologies for your lack of years!

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Although I have 5 years' experience vs 8 years' experience I can absolutely do this job well. In my previous role, I was outperforming colleagues who had 12 years of experience. To me, it's all about drive and ability to be a quick study. I have all of these qualities and more."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Along with my 5 years working in this industry, I have worked near it my entire career, and I hope that my graduate degree gives me a little boost in experience over the required undergraduate degree."

  2. 2.

    We have a few strong competitors at Ply Gem. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the others?

      Before your interview it is very important that you research Ply Gem as well as their competitive landscape. Perhaps they stand out by providing a different level of quality, great customer service, or strong vendor relationships. Briefly discuss the ways that you feel Ply Gem stands above the rest.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have done a lot of research on Ply Gem as well as your competitive landscape and found that you stand out from the crowd in a variety of ways. Your customer and employee reviews are the highest in the local construction industry and it appears that Ply Gem puts a great deal of focus on quality over speed. I would be honored to work for a company with such strong expectations and values."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I believe that Ply Gem holds a longer tradition of quality work than any of its competitors. You have a great reputation for delivering above-average work."

  3. 3.

    Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills?

      Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the "nice to have" or even the "must have" skills listed on the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "nice to have"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Could you share with me which skills you feel I am missing? Perhaps I could then elaborate on my experience or transferable skills."

  4. 4.

    Construction can be stressful. How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?

      Ah, the challenge of stress management! Your ability to manage stress will directly influence your ability to do your job successfully. Before answering this question, think of some ways you have learned to deal with stress at work. You can't always take a break when you need it, so what will you do?

      Some workplace stress management strategies are:

      - Track your primary stress factors and make a plan for overcoming those
      - Establish boundaries with distracting coworkers
      - Breathing exercises, or meditation
      - Be sure to recharge your emotional batteries throughout the day
      - Express your stress to your manager/supervisor
      - Ask for help

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I've learned some helpful breathing techniques that I can do while I'm at work. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a situation, I am able to slow down my breathing and remain calm. Once I understood that it was okay for me to take a minute for myself, I learned to handle workplace stressors in a whole new way."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I do well under pressure or stress. I do need to balance myself and keep my workload sustainable. I know myself and my triggers pretty well, so when I am feeling like there's too much on my plate, I am okay with delegating or asking for help."

  5. 5.

    At Ply Gem we strive to be the best in our industry. In your opinion, what could we be doing better?

      If you are going to give the interviewer feedback on what Ply Gem could be doing better, it's best that you choose a topic a bit on the lighter side rather than a critical business component. The heavier types of opinions should be reserved for those who have worked with Ply Gem for a significant amount of time.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "My experience with Ply Gem has been very positive so far. If I could suggest any area for improvement, I would mention that the online application process through your website could be more mobile friendly. With so many people working from their smart phones today, it's always a great idea to simplify your mobile user interface."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "That is a tough question for sure! If I had to think of a suggestion on the spot, I would suggest a stronger social media presence. A lot of construction and project management companies post on Instagram, showcasing their unique designs and attracting new customers."

  6. 6.

    What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?

      The interviewer would like to know more about the types of decisions you are accustomed to making in the workplace. The way you answer this questions will give them a good idea of your level of experience, seniority, and ability to handle the decision making requirements in this potential position.

      If the job you are interviewing for requires you to be decisive and quick on your feet, you will need to be able to provide examples of how you have done these things in the past. If you worked in tech support, you were faced with problems that you needed to find solutions for on a regular basis. If you worked as a sales rep, you may have needed to know how to negotiate and make decisions on prices and benefits you can give your customers.

      You may have been faced with decisions that became so routine you didn't think twice! Refer to these types of decisions and be sure to highlight how these types of decisions have prepared you for a role like this one.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my previous position I was quite often required to make decisions on staff scheduling as well as hiring and terminating. I feel that role prepared me quite well for a position like this one. I have well-honed decision making skills and my intuition, when it comes to hiring, has been elevated."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I regularly made decisions regarding pricing and discounts for customers. I had a standard set of criteria that I created, and I let that guide me for consistency."

  7. 7.

    We believe in goal setting, here at Ply Gem. Tell me about one of your goals. How are you working towards it?

      If the interviewer asks you any general questions about goals, try to focus your answer on something career-oriented. The job you're interviewing for could help you achieve your goal by teaching you new skills and giving you valuable experience. Demonstrate that you are proactive and willing to take action in order to reach your goals.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have a goal of soon completing my journeyman certification. The more experience I can get in the field, with a reputable company like Ply Gem, the closer I am getting to achieving my goal."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My primary goal is to find a role with a company where I can grow into a leadership position. I'd like to do this by continuing my education and taking additional coursework in management and business leadership."

  8. 8.

    What attracts you the most to this particular position?

      The perfect fit needs to go both ways. Assure the interviewer that you see this role as a strong fit for you and discuss the reasons why. Be specific.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "What attracts me most to this position is the fact that your organization puts so much effort into professional development for your employees. It's really impressive to me."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "The skills listed in your job description are the exact skills that I am looking to utilize in my next position. I am most excited about A, B, and C. These are my strongest points."

  9. 9.

    At Ply Gem we employ a large variety of personalities in trade and office based roles. Do you have experience managing a variety of personalities?

      In the construction industry you will come across a large range of personalities. Assure the interviewer that you are able to be comfortable in any type of work related exchange with a variety of communication styles.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "The majority of my experience comes from managing more blue-collar individuals from the trades. I do have experience communicating with white-collar office based individuals such as engineers and architectural planners. My personality allows for me to communicate well with most individuals, no matter their role or personality."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have worked as a manager for salaried, hourly, and even union employees. My experience is diverse and I enjoy working with a multitude of personality types. Everyone is unique and that is part of what makes life so interesting!"

  10. 10.

    At Ply Gem we work on a range of projects. When it comes to the construction industry, do you prefer working on commercial or residential projects?

      The interviewer would like to know more about your flexibility when it comes to the type of projects that you work on. The best answer you can give will reflect your willingness to do what it takes on any given day. Of course, you are allowed to express a preference. Just be sure to avoid closing a door one way or the other.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "The majority of my experience has been on commercial related construction projects. With that said, I am happy to work on any project given to me. I do bring residential related experience as well and am comfortable in either work environment."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "For the most part, I have worked on residential construction projects. I have a small amount of exposure to commercial projects and have really enjoyed those as well. I look forward to the variety with Ply Gem."

  11. 11.

    What is your current salary?

      A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 plus a car allowance of $900/month and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides opportunity for growth."

  12. 12.

    At Ply Gem we have a variety of career opportunities. Do you prefer to work on-site or in an office environment?

      The interviewer would like to know more about your flexibility when it comes to your work environment. The best answer you can give will reflect your willingness to do what it takes on any given day. Of course, you are allowed to express a preference. Just be sure to avoid closing a door one way or the other.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "The majority of my experience has been more hands on and working on-site. With that said, I am happy to work in any capacity required of me. I do bring office related experience as well and am comfortable in either work environment."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am much more comfortable in an office environment; however, I am open to learning more about on-site work. I am up for any challenge that comes my way, and I love to learn new skills. Where do you see the best fit for me at Ply Gem?"

  13. 13.

    Our construction projects at Ply Gem vary greatly in terms of size and budget. Tell me about the range of projects you have worked on.

      Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your variety of experience. If you have a large range of projects in your portfolio, it is probably easiest to speak briefly about the largest project and smallest project you have worked on recently. Try to use examples from your most recent employer.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have experience working on a large variety of projects. This year my smallest project has been a $450K single family home and the largest, a $20MM multi-residential condo development. I am comfortable working on either large or small budget projects. Each project, no matter the budget, brings their own challenges."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "As I am newer to project management, I have not had the opportunity to work on many large-scale projects. At this point in my career the projects I've worked on range from $50K to $600K. Regardless of the project or budget size, I believe in caring for each client the same. Every project deserves impeccable attention to detail."

  14. 14.

    Safety comes first at Ply Gem. Tell me about your safety related training and your safety record in your current position.

      It is important to Ply Gem that they hire people who are as safety conscious as they are. Whether you have formal safety related education or on-the-job training you should be prepared to talk to the interviewer about your safety record. If you have particular tickets or certifications it's a great idea to bring those with you to the interview.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have a lot of on-the-job safety training from the past 5 years in the construction industry. I have current certifications in Fall Arrest, Heights Safety, Electrical Safety and Fire Protection in the Workplace. If you would like a copy of these certifications I did bring them with me. I am very open to additional training opportunities. Are there any other safety related courses you would like for me to have?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Because I am new to this industry, I have not received any formal safety training. I am happy to get a head start on these if you care to share with me the certifications and training required before I start with Ply Gem."

  15. 15.

    Are you applying for any other jobs?

      It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if they are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far but be aware of not disclosing too much information. T

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am keeping an eye out for viable positions. Although I am not in final stages with any other company, I am actively seeking a new position."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Yes, I am applying for other related roles; however, will be choosy when it comes to my final decision. I want my next opportunity to be a long term fit."

  16. 16.

    Do you believe you are a leader? When have you led a team?

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  17. 17.

    We offer many opportunities for growth with Ply Gem. How would you like to see your career grow with us?

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  18. 18.

    We always have multiple projects on the go at Ply Gem. Are you accustomed to working on multiple projects at one time?

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  19. 19.

    At Ply Gem we seek to hire those with a wide range of skills and talents. What are your top 3 strengths.

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  20. 20.

    Ply Gem is looking for a team member with flexible work hours. Are you able and willing to work overtime as needed?

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  21. 21.

    What role do you generally like to take in team projects?

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  22. 22.

    Tell me about a recurring problem that you run into in your current position, and how you handle it.

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  23. 23.

    Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve upon.

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  24. 24.

    What type of goals do you like to set for yourself and your team?

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  25. 25.

    Do you think honesty is always the best policy?

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  26. 26.

    When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?

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  27. 27.

    When have you taken an existing process and used your own creativity to make it better?

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  28. 28.

    What feedback did you receive at your last job?

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  29. 29.

    Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.

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  30. 30.

    Why do you want this job with Ply Gem?

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  31. 31.

    Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

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  32. 32.

    Do you consider yourself a patient person? How do you increase your patience level in challenging situations?

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  33. 33.

    Which parts of your current position bring you the most stress?

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