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Wates Construction Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Engineering     Engineering And Construction Services    

Question 1 of 31

At Wates Construction we put the safety of our employees first. How familiar are you when it comes to construction safety standards?

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Interview Questions

1.

At Wates Construction we put the safety of our employees first. How familiar are you when it comes to construction safety standards?

Assure the interviewer that you understand safety construction standards and regulation. You also want to display to the interviewer that you put safety first.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I admire the fact that Wates Construction Ltd. puts the safety of their employees first. I am very immersed in the current safety standards for the engineering and construction industry. I do have a recent certification in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and am committed to applying that knowledge to a position with Wates Construction Ltd.. If there are additional pieces of training and certifications that you would like to see, I am happy to comply."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I believe that safety on site is incredibly important and, for that reason, I am eager to take any safety courses that you recommend. At this point, I have taken coursework in fatigue management, reporting, safe lifting, alcohol and drug awareness, and PPE guidelines."

2.

What makes you a great problem solver?

Employers want to know that you have a methodical approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am a great problem solver because I do not allow stress to cloud my judgment and mute my creativity. I am a keen observer with a great memory which allows me to recall unique solutions or ideas."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am a great problem solver because I draw from the experience of others, whether solicited advice or through my prior observations and then I improve upon that, where possible. My memory and years in the industry have exposed me to many types of situations and problems, so I feel I have a vast amount of experience to draw from, allowing me to be creative and effective in the way I approach any challenge."

3.

Do you ever use your sense of humor to diffuse a situation at work?

The interviewer wants to know that you can diffuse a tense situation if needed. They also want to see a bit more of your personality! Stress and fast-paced work environments can cause people to feel overwhelmed and sometimes even angry or upset. Think of a time when you took a much more lighthearted approach to diffuse a tense situation.

Rachelle's Answer

"I would say that I use my sense of humor often at work but in a good-natured way. Poking fun or adding a sense of sarcasm seems to make things a bit lighter and more fun on the floor and allows everyone to shake off whatever's bringing us down and move on to the next issue to tackle."

4.

At Wates Construction we know that efficiency is directly related to profitability. How do you accurately assess the progress of each project you manage?

Talk to the interviewer about your experience in assessing project progress. Are you able to remain on top of the needs of a project? Assure the interviewer that you can stay ahead of project needs and predict any possible productivity roadblocks.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I understand that efficiency is the primary factor in the profitability of a construction project. Because I bring six years of project management experience, I am confident that I can predict, early on, the inefficient factors on a job site. In my most recent position, I was able to increase employee productivity which directly resulted in faster delivery time and increased profits."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Before I begin a project, I will map out a project blueprint and timeline. I refer to this timeline on a daily basis to ensure that I am on target. It's an organized technique that has worked incredibly well for me."

5.

Tell me about a time at work when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?

Have you ever faced a time, in the workplace, where you were put to the test when it came to your integrity? Perhaps a co-worker has asked you to lie, or you were tempted to be dishonest on your time sheet when the boss was away. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you overcame the temptation to be dishonest.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Last year our manager went away on vacation for three weeks. Some of my co-workers wanted to falsify our time sheets to reflect overtime hours that we did not work. I disagreed and was able to convince them that it was a bad idea and certainly not worth being fired over."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I once had a subordinate that would perform work after clocking out. There was a rumor later that I forced my team to work off the clock to save the company money. I did not know it was happening, and I certainly did not ask anyone to work outside of their scheduled shift. The situation was cleared up later."

6.

Do you feel that you are currently paid what you are worth?

Many employees will look for new work if they feel that they are underpaid and underappreciated. Talk to the interviewer about your current compensation and whether or not you think it is fair.

If you feel you are currently paid what you are worth: "I feel that my current employer pays me fairly; however, I would like to see an increase in pay with an increase in responsibilities."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I feel that my current employer pays me fairly; however, I would like to see an increase in pay with an increase in responsibilities."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you do not feel you are currently paid what you are worth: "I know that I am underpaid compared to my industry colleagues. My company is small, and they do what they can, but this is part of why I am seeking a new position."

7.

At Wates Construction we put a lot of pride into the organization of our projects. Do you consider yourself to be highly organized?

Organization in the engineering and construction space can save a lot of time and money. This skill is of immense value to any employer. Assure the interviewer that you are a well organized and thoughtful planner.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have always been an organized person, and since obtaining my Project Management certificate, I find that I am even more dedicated to the organization than I had been in the past. My references will tell you that I am very organized as well. Rest assured, I understand the direct correlation between the organization, productivity, and profitability."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Even as a child, my mom would tease me about my organizational skills. I had every pencil etched with my name before the first day of school! All jokes aside, yes - I do consider myself to be very organized. I do my best work when my day's activities are pre-planned."

8.

In your opinion, what are the top 3 qualities every engineering/construction professional should possess?

When you list the top 3 qualities that every engineering/construction professional should possess you most certainly want to have personal examples. How do you display those specific qualities? This question is your time to assure the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a leader in the engineering/construction profession.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I believe that every engineering/construction professional should have strong attention to detail, be a bit of a perfectionist, and be able to multitask. These are all areas of strength for me, and I look forward to bringing these talents to work for Wates Construction Ltd.."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Here are some qualities an engineering / construction professional should have:

- Solid negotiation skills
- Resourcefulness
- Confidence in matters of project management
- Patience
- Ability to work well in a diverse environment
- Strong mathematical knowledge
- Solid ethics
- Ability to be diplomatic"

9.

We are 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 answer is the time to sell yourself. Make no apologies for your lack of years!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Although I have five years' experience vs. eight years' experience I can 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 five years working in this industry, I have worked in related industries my entire career. Also, I hope that my graduate degree gives me a little boost in experience over the required undergraduate degree."

10.

Tell me about a time you handled an incredibly difficult client. How did you come to a resolution with this person?

Keep your answer simple and precise. Stay away from long drawn out stories. Briefly, describe a time when you resolved a customer service issue. Highlight your ability to remain patient and rational.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Just last week, a customer called our design team because he was unhappy with a particular design we were creating for him. I reassured him that we would modify the design to his liking before finalizing the project. We spoke further and, in the end, he was feeling uncomfortable not being a part of the decision-making every step of the way. With any customer complaint I remain patient, listen to their concerns, and reassure the customer we would do anything within reason to satisfy their requests."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I worked in a retail customer care center and had to navigate angry customer experiences more times than I would have liked. People who are upset want to be heard and respected. I would listen, empathize and reassure the customer that I am there to support them and resolve the matter. Communication and reassurance are important throughout the process."

11.

What questions do you have for me about Wates Construction, and this role?

It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the items you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!

Here are some sample questions:

- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the biggest change in this industry over the past 3 years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

Rachelle's Answer

"Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"

12.

How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

The interviewer would like to know if you are satisfied with your interview performance. If your interview were a flop, you would know, and it's much better to address outright your performance than try to sweep it under the rug.

If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."

13.

Tell me about any experience you may have in overseeing the performance of other contractors.

Performance management and coaching experience will set you apart in the interview process. Talk to the interviewer about your experience when it comes to leading and coaching other contractors.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have approximately two years experience when it comes to leading and coaching other contractors. In my most recent position, I led a team of 25 employees ranging from general laborers to junior project managers."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"My experience in overseeing other contractors includes my current team of 4 tradesmen. I review their work throughout the day and do random safety checks. I enjoy working in this type of role because I am a natural leader and mentor. I especially enjoy training junior tradesmen."

14.

At Wates Construction we prefer to hire individuals invested in their professional development. Walk me through any industry related coursework you have completed.

The interviewer would like to know if you have taken any formal education and training related to the engineering/construction industry. This question will help the interviewer to assess your commitment to the company and industry.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have taken a variety of coursework related to the construction and engineering industry. In addition to my Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, I also have a Project Management certificate. I bring full dedication to forging a strong career in this field and look forward to bringing my knowledge to work for Wates Construction Ltd.."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"As I am new to the industry I have not had the opportunity to attend many industry related courses or workshops. With that said, I do have a certificate in construction safety and am CPR, and First Aid certified. Are there any particular courses you are looking for in your next hire? I would be happy to get a head start on anything required for me to be successful in this position."

15.

Do you have experience in determining labor requirements on large-scale construction projects?

Have you ever had a hand in hiring teams of employees for large-scale engineering and construction projects? Talk to the interviewer about any related experience and what it has taught you when it comes to smart hiring.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my most recent position I was responsible for hiring construction crews up to 25 people at a time. I understand the importance of hiring well-qualified individuals who have a reliable track record. Last year our retention rate increased by 24% once I began leading our hiring initiatives."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have not had direct experience in determining labor requirements; however, I do bring experience with interviewing, onboarding, and training. I have a strong record when it comes to employee retention."

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