Need Help With Your Job Interview?
We've put together some helpful interview advice and tips for construction graduates, which we feel will help you to prepare for an interview and help you to ace it on the day!
With any interview, there are three key steps to consider to ensure you are fully prepared. The first step should always be to research the company that's going to interview you. The best place to start is on the company’s website, as most websites will offer the information that you're looking for. This is really important, as interviewers will ask what you know about the company. If you don't know anything about them, then they'll assume that you're not too bothered about working for them.
Key information to research:
- What type of company are they?
- How many office do they have?
- How many employees do they have?
- What is their reputation within the industry?
- What projects have they completed?
- What projects are they currently working on?
- Who are their main competitors?
The second step is to research the industry that the company is working within. It’s important to know as much as you can about the industry that you're trying to get into, as you may be asked questions relating to this. It's always impressive when you can back your views up with some facts.
Lastly, an interview is as much about you meeting the employer as it is about the employer meeting you, so it’s important that you have some question prepared to ask the interviewer.
Example questions to consider:
- Who will I report to?
- What are the career prospects?
- What training will I receive?
So, you've done your research and you now know who you're interviewing with. The next step is to prepare yourself for the interview by following the three steps below:
First, think of the questions that the employer might ask you - both technical and personal - in relation to the content of your CV and their job specification. Then, write down some answers. It really helps to have some examples prepared before the interview, and it will help you to impress the interviewer. Remember, you're going for a graduate role, so if you don't have workplace examples to offer, use examples from your education.
Example questions to consider:
- Can you give an example of a time you had to solve a problem?
- Can you give an example of a time you had to work individually?
- Why do you think you are the right candidate for this role?
- Can you give me an example of a time you had to work as part of a team?
The second step is to ensure that you have practiced your journey, and that you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there. Aim to arrive at the venue 15 minutes before the start of the interview, so you can report to reception and compose yourself. If you're not going to practice the route, at least research the best way to get there online.
Finally, ensure that you're dressed professionally and that you look as though you mean business. Get your interview clothes ready in advance, and check that they're clean and ironed - it's vital to create the right impression, as first impressions are often the most important!
During the Interview
Now you're fully prepared, it's time to get down to business and nail the interview. Below are some key pointers to take into consideration if you want to have the best chance of impressing:
- Don’t worry about being nervous; nerves keep you alert and show that you care about making a good impression
- Always be positive, and never be negative. Companies may tell you the worst in an effort to test your commitment, and so it's always important to think of a positive outcome and answer
- Listen closely to the interviewer, but don't hesitate to ask if you didn’t understand something
- Make sure you can talk confidently and positively about everything on your CV and application
- Engage with your interviewer, pay attention throughout and take your time to answer questions fully
- Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm towards the employer, and try and find out more about what exactly the graduate scheme will involve
- If you are keen to work there then tell them!
- Don’t pretend to be anything you're not - be yourself!
- If you feel confident enough, ask them if they have any reservations about hiring you - this is the time to iron out any concerns they may have
How do I apply for a construction graduate scheme?
We hope that this section has helped, and that you now feel confident about the interview process. Check out our tips and advice for applying for construction graduate schemes to find out more.