17 Construction Controller Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a construction controller, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

A construction controller is responsible for financial planning and management in the construction industry. This includes budgeting, forecasting, and ensuring that projects stay on track financially. They also work with accounting and legal teams to resolve any financial issues that may arise.

If you’re interviewing for a construction controller position, you can expect to be asked a range of questions about your experience in financial planning and management, as well as questions about your understanding of the construction industry. In this guide, we’ll provide you with sample questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Are you comfortable working with numbers and accounting software?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your comfort level with accounting software and numbers. If you have experience using these tools, share that information with the interviewer. If you don’t have experience, explain how comfortable you are learning new programs or applications.

Example: “I’ve used several different types of accounting software in my previous positions, so I’m very familiar with them. In fact, I prefer working with a specific type of construction accounting software because it’s more user-friendly than other systems. However, I am open to learning new software if necessary.”

What are some of the most important skills for a construction controller to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. Use your answer to highlight some of the most important skills for construction controllers and explain why they are so important.

Example: “The two most important skills for a construction controller are attention to detail and communication. These skills allow me to ensure that all projects I’m working on stay within budget and on schedule, which is essential for any construction company. Attention to detail also helps me make sure that every aspect of a project is completed correctly, while communication allows me to work well with my team members.”

How do you keep track of all the different numbers related to a construction project?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you use your construction accounting skills to keep track of all the different numbers related to a project. Use examples from past projects where you used your organizational and time management skills to manage large amounts of data.

Example: “I have several methods I use to organize my construction accounting records, including using spreadsheets and databases to store information about each project. In addition, I also use software programs that allow me to enter in key information into a database so I can easily access it later. These tools make it easy for me to find important details about a project when needed.”

What is your experience with using accounting software?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience with specific software programs. Use your answer to describe the accounting software you’ve used in the past and what you like or dislike about it. You can also use this opportunity to mention any certifications you have for using construction accounting software.

Example: “I’ve worked with several different types of accounting software, including QuickBooks, Freshbooks and Xero. I find that these programs are all useful for different aspects of my job. For example, I prefer working with QuickBooks because it’s easy to navigate and has a lot of helpful features. However, I also like using Xero because it allows me to collaborate with other professionals on projects.”

Provide an example of a time when you identified a problem with a construction project and your solution.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you noticed something was wrong with a construction project and what steps you took to resolve it.

Example: “In my last role as a construction controller, I noticed that we were running low on supplies for one of our projects. This meant that some workers would have to wait until other tasks were completed before they could continue their work. To solve this issue, I contacted the supplier who provided us with materials and asked if they could deliver additional supplies by the end of the week. They agreed, and I communicated this information to all team members so they knew when to expect the new supplies.”

If you had to choose one area of construction to focus on, what would it be and why?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your knowledge of construction and determine if you have any areas of expertise. It’s important to show that you’re passionate about construction, but it’s also beneficial to demonstrate that you can work in all aspects of the industry. When answering this question, try to highlight an area of construction that you enjoy most while still being able to discuss other areas.

Example: “If I had to choose one area of construction to focus on, I would definitely say interior design. Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by how spaces are designed and constructed. I think there’s so much creativity involved in interior design, and I love learning new ways to make spaces more functional and aesthetically pleasing.”

What would you do if you noticed a discrepancy in the construction budget?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your ability to notice errors and take action. Use your answer to highlight your attention to detail, problem-solving skills and willingness to speak up when you see something that could impact the construction project’s budget.

Example: “If I noticed a discrepancy in the construction budget, I would first try to find out why there was an error. If it was due to my own mistake, I would immediately correct the issue. However, if someone else made the mistake, I would bring it to their attention so they can fix it. In either case, I would make sure to document the changes so everyone is aware of the new numbers.”

How well do you understand the different types of construction contracts?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of construction contracts and how well you can read them. Use your answer to highlight your understanding of the different types of contracts, including fixed-price, cost-plus and time-and-materials.

Example: “I have worked with all three types of construction contracts in my previous role as a construction controller. Time-and-materials is the most flexible type of contract because it allows both parties to negotiate prices for additional work or materials. Cost-plus contracts are also flexible but require the contractor to submit an invoice that includes their costs plus a percentage profit margin. Fixed-price contracts are more rigid because they set the price for the entire project up front.”

Do you have experience working with a wide range of stakeholders?

Construction projects often involve a lot of different stakeholders, including clients, architects and engineers. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with people from all walks of life. Use your answer to explain that you are comfortable working with many types of people. Explain that you know how to communicate effectively with each type of stakeholder.

Example: “I’ve worked on several construction projects where I had to work with multiple stakeholders. For example, I once worked on a project where we had to collaborate with the client, an architect and an engineer. Each person had their own unique perspective on the project, so it was important for me to understand what they were looking for. I always made sure to communicate clearly with everyone involved in the project. This helped ensure that everyone was on the same page.”

When is it appropriate to request a change order?

A construction controller may need to request a change order from the client or project manager. This is an important part of your job, and you should be able to explain when it’s appropriate to do so. You can also mention that you will always follow company procedures for requesting change orders.

Example: “Change orders are necessary if there are any changes in the scope of work after the contract has been signed. I would only request a change order if the additional costs exceed 10% of the original budget. If this happens, I will meet with the client or project manager to discuss the situation and determine whether we can proceed with the new scope of work without incurring extra costs.”

We want to ensure our construction projects are environmentally friendly. What is your opinion on green construction?

This question is a great way to gauge the candidate’s knowledge of current construction trends. It also allows you to see how they feel about green construction and whether or not they would be willing to implement it on your projects.

Example: “I think that green construction is an excellent idea, especially since we are in such a fragile environment. I believe that every project should have some sort of environmental component to it, even if it’s just using recycled materials for the interior of the building. I am always looking for ways to make our projects more environmentally friendly.”

Describe your process for reviewing and approving construction plans.

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you use your construction knowledge and experience to review plans, ensure they’re accurate and approve them for the project. Use examples from past projects where you reviewed and approved construction plans to show that you can apply your expertise to these processes.

Example: “I always start by reviewing all of the details on a plan before I approve it. This includes checking measurements, ensuring materials are ordered correctly and confirming any safety precautions or requirements. After I’ve checked everything, I’ll submit my approval so the contractor can begin work on the project. In my last role, I also had the opportunity to train new construction controllers on the process of reviewing and approving construction plans.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of three things that make you the best candidate for this position. These could be skills or experiences that relate to construction controller work.

Example: “I have extensive experience working with budgets and scheduling projects. I also understand the importance of safety in construction sites. In my last role, I developed a new system for tracking safety violations on job sites. This helped me identify areas where we needed improvement so we could keep our employees safe.”

Which construction project made an impact on you and why?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how your personality fits into their company culture. It also helps them understand what kind of construction projects you’ve worked on in the past, which can be helpful if they’re looking for someone with experience working on similar projects.

Example: “I once worked on a project where we were building a new wing of a hospital. The hospital was already running at full capacity, so this addition would allow more patients to receive care. I loved that I could work on something that helped people. I felt like my hard work made a difference in the lives of others.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of communication for construction managers?

Communication is a vital skill for construction controllers. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of communication in your role and how it can affect the entire project. In your answer, explain that effective communication is important because it allows everyone on the team to know what’s happening with the project. You should also mention that good communication helps keep projects on schedule and within budget.

Example: “I think clear communication is one of the most important aspects of being a construction controller. When I’m communicating with my team members, I try to be as specific as possible about what needs to happen next. This way, everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to do and when they need to have it done by. It also helps me stay organized and ensure we’re staying on track.”

How often should construction plans be updated?

This question can help the interviewer determine how often you update construction plans and whether your approach aligns with their company’s practices. Use your answer to highlight your ability to work independently while also collaborating with others.

Example: “I believe that construction plans should be updated as soon as possible when there are any changes or updates to a project. This helps ensure that everyone on the team is working from the most recent information, which can reduce confusion and mistakes. I’ve worked in companies where this was the standard practice, but I’ve also worked for companies where it wasn’t common practice to update construction plans regularly. In both situations, I always made sure to update my own construction plans so I could stay organized.”

There is a disagreement between two team members about how to complete a task. What do you do?

This question can help an interviewer understand how you handle conflict and disagreements in the workplace. It can also show them your problem-solving skills, communication abilities and leadership qualities. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take to resolve the disagreement between team members.

Example: “If there is a disagreement about how to complete a task, I first ask each person why they think their way is best. Then, I discuss with both of them which tasks are most important to get done that day and decide together which one should be completed first. This helps me ensure everyone’s opinion is heard while still getting work done.”


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