Interviewing For Design Work opportunities & Building Trades Work – Two Interviewing Styles
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When interviewing for development careers or building trades work opportunities, there are basically two types of interviews: the screening interview and the hiring/selection interview. Both of these are styled differently and you need to be prepared for both.Cohen Construction
Screening interviews are used to qualify you for selection before you meet with a construction hiring authority. Screeners will try to weed you out rather than get you hired. These construction interviews are normal for companies who receive hundreds or thousands of solicitations for a single design job opportunity. Screening interviews are usually quick, efficient and low cost strategies that result in a short list of qualified candidates. They assist Operations Managers to save critical time by eliminating unqualified candidates.
If invited to a face-to-face screening interview, it will usually be with a third-party construction recruiter or someone from human resources. Human resource interviewers are typically experienced and often are professionals skilled at building interviewing and screening candidates. They may not understand the details of the job that you interview for, but they are effective at judging character, intelligence, and good fits for the company culture. They are also good at identifying potential “red flags” or problem areas with your work background and general qualifications.
Your toughest task might be to get past the screeners to the Operation’s Managers. Be prepared to explain any discrepancies in your background (i.e. gaps in construction employment or design education, frequent job changes, layoffs, etc.).
Some examples of screening interviews include telephone interviews, computer interviews, video- conference interviews and the structured interview. The purpose of these interviews are to screen you and eliminate you from selection of for the various development work you are interviewing for. The result of this process results in a short list of a few finalists since there may be several dozen candidates to weed out.
Telephone interviewing is the most common way to perform an initial screening interview. It helps both the construction interviewer and the candidate get a general sense of mutual interest in pursuing things beyond the first development interview. It also saves time and money, and may be tape recorded for review by other interviewers.
During a phone interview, your goal as a candidate should be to arrange a face-to-face meeting. If this is not possible, try to arrange another time to talk, or get the name/address of a suitable contact in the employer’s firm so that you can submit a development resume.
If you are caught off guard or unprepared with an incoming interview call, ask to meet in person, or reschedule the appointment for a more convenient time. Remember that the person calling is the one who establishes control. Therefore, it’s to your advantage to place the call at a more convenient time.