25 General Contractor Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a general contractor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a general contractor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
General contractors are the people who plan, design, manage, and execute construction projects. They work on a wide range of projects, from small residential renovations to large commercial developments.
If you’re interviewing for a job as a general contractor, you can expect to be asked a range of questions about your experience, your understanding of the construction process, and your ability to manage projects. In this article, we’ll provide you with some sample questions and answers that will help you prepare for your interview.
General contractors need to be familiar with the building codes in their area. This is because they are responsible for ensuring that construction projects comply with these regulations. When answering this question, you can mention a specific code and explain how it affects your work as a general contractor.
Example: “Yes, I am very familiar with the building codes in this area. I have been a General Contractor for over 10 years and have worked on many projects throughout the region. I understand the importance of following local regulations and ensuring that all work is done to code. I also stay up-to-date on any changes or updates to the building codes so that I can ensure my projects are compliant. My experience has taught me how to interpret and apply the codes correctly while still achieving the desired results. I believe that my knowledge and expertise make me an ideal candidate for this position.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities needed to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your own personal traits that helped you achieve success as a general contractor.
Example: “As a successful general contractor, I believe the most important qualities are strong communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to stay organized.
Having strong communication skills is essential for any general contractor because it allows them to effectively communicate with clients, subcontractors, and other stakeholders involved in a project. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed efficiently.
Attention to detail is also an important quality for a general contractor. Being able to recognize small details can help avoid costly mistakes or delays during a project. It’s also important to be able to identify potential problems before they become bigger issues.
Lastly, staying organized is key for any general contractor. Keeping track of deadlines, budgets, materials, and other aspects of a project can make all the difference in its success. Having a system in place to manage these things will help keep projects running smoothly.”
This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to manage a project that is experiencing challenges. Use examples from past projects where you were able to overcome obstacles, meet deadlines or reduce costs.
Example: “I understand the importance of managing projects that are behind schedule and over budget. My experience as a General Contractor has taught me how to effectively manage such projects in order to ensure successful completion.
When faced with this situation, I first take a step back and assess the project from an objective perspective. This helps me identify any areas where we can make up for lost time or reduce costs. After identifying these areas, I develop a plan of action that outlines specific steps to get the project back on track. This includes setting realistic deadlines and goals, communicating expectations clearly to all team members, and monitoring progress regularly.
I also focus on building strong relationships with subcontractors and suppliers to ensure they remain committed to meeting our timeline and budget. Finally, I stay organized and keep detailed records of all decisions and actions taken throughout the course of the project. By taking these proactive steps, I am confident that I can successfully manage a project that is behind schedule and over budget.”
General contractors often oversee a team of subcontractors, and the interviewer may want to know how you’ve managed this in the past. Your answer should highlight your leadership skills and ability to delegate tasks effectively.
Example: “I have extensive experience managing subcontractors. In my current role as a General Contractor, I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of the project from start to finish. This includes managing and coordinating with subcontractors to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. I have developed strong relationships with many subcontractors over the years, which has enabled me to get the best value for our clients. I also take pride in ensuring that safety protocols are followed at all times, and that quality standards are met.”
Interviewers ask this question to see how you handle conflict. They want to know that you can remain calm and professional when faced with a challenging situation. In your answer, try to focus on the steps you took to resolve the issue.
Example: “I recently had a difficult client situation when I was working on a large-scale construction project. The client was very particular about the details and wanted everything to be done in a certain way, even if it wasn’t necessarily the most efficient or cost effective approach.
In order to keep the client happy while still completing the job within budget and timeline, I had to work with them to find a compromise that would meet their needs without compromising the quality of the finished product. This required me to take the time to listen to their concerns and explain why certain approaches weren’t feasible. In the end, we were able to come to an agreement that satisfied both parties.
This experience has taught me how important it is to be patient and understanding when dealing with difficult clients. It also reinforced my belief that communication is key to resolving any issues quickly and efficiently.”
This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your priorities and values. It’s important to show that you value both aspects of construction, but it’s also important to be honest about which one is more important to you.
Example: “Making money is important to me as a General Contractor, but I believe that completing projects successfully should be my top priority. My goal when taking on any project is to ensure the highest quality of work and customer satisfaction. This means that I will always strive to complete each job with excellence and within budget.
I understand that making money is essential for business success, but I also recognize that it’s not the only factor in determining success. By focusing on delivering successful projects, I can build a reputation for dependability and trustworthiness which will ultimately lead to more opportunities and greater financial rewards.”
Interviewers may ask this question to assess your leadership skills and how you would handle a conflict between employees. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to investigate the situation and resolve it as quickly as possible.
Example: “If I discovered that one of my employees was stealing materials from the site, I would take immediate action. First, I would confront the employee and ask them to explain their actions. If they admitted to wrongdoing, I would document it in writing and then terminate their employment.
I understand the importance of maintaining a safe and secure work environment for all employees, so I would also make sure to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. Finally, I would review our security protocols and procedures to ensure that this type of situation does not happen again. My goal is to maintain an ethical workplace where everyone feels comfortable and respected.”
General contractors often face challenges on the job site, such as unexpected weather conditions or delays in deliveries. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle stress and remain calm when it occurs. In your answer, share a time when you faced a stressful situation at work and how you handled it. Explain what steps you took to manage your stress and come up with solutions for overcoming the challenge.
Example: “I believe I handle stress very well. I have been a General Contractor for many years and understand that there are always going to be stressful moments on the job. I am able to stay calm in these situations, assess the situation, and come up with solutions quickly. I take pride in my ability to remain composed under pressure and think clearly when faced with difficult tasks.
In addition, I’m also great at delegating tasks and managing teams of people. I understand how important it is to delegate responsibilities so that everyone can work together efficiently and effectively. This helps reduce the amount of stress and allows us to complete projects on time. I’m confident that my experience as a General Contractor has prepared me to handle any type of stressful situation that may arise.”
General contractors often work with specialty trades, such as plumbers and electricians. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience working with these types of professionals in the past. Showcase your ability to communicate effectively with other team members and delegate tasks when necessary.
Example: “Yes, I do have experience working with specialty trades. Throughout my career as a General Contractor, I have had the opportunity to work closely with plumbers and electricians on various projects. I understand the importance of having a good relationship with these trades in order to ensure that all aspects of the project are completed correctly and efficiently. In addition, I am familiar with local codes and regulations related to plumbing and electrical work, which helps me to ensure that all work is done safely and up to code. Finally, I am comfortable communicating with both clients and subcontractors to make sure everyone is on the same page throughout the duration of the project.”
General contractors often have to market their projects to potential clients. Employers ask this question to make sure you know when it’s best to start marketing a project and how to do so effectively. In your answer, explain the steps you would take to promote a construction project. Try to include details about what you would do at each stage of the process.
Example: “The best time to start marketing a new construction project is before the project begins. This allows potential customers to become aware of the project and its features, as well as giving them an opportunity to get involved early on. By starting the marketing process early, it also gives contractors more time to plan out their strategy and create materials such as brochures, flyers, and other promotional items. Furthermore, it allows for more time to build relationships with subcontractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders who may be involved in the project. Finally, starting the marketing process early can help ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.”
General contractors often have a large team of subcontractors and employees working on their projects. Employers ask this question to make sure you can lead your team effectively and create an environment where people enjoy coming to work. In your answer, explain how you plan to improve morale by encouraging collaboration and communication among your team members.
Example: “Improving employee morale is essential for any successful project. I believe there are several ways to do this on this particular project.
Firstly, I would ensure that all employees feel valued and appreciated by providing regular feedback on their performance. This could be done through one-on-one meetings with supervisors or team leaders, as well as through surveys and other forms of communication.
Secondly, I would create a positive work environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. This could involve introducing team building activities such as group lunches or outings, or simply creating an open dialogue between management and staff.
Thirdly, I would make sure that the workload is distributed fairly among all employees. This will help to reduce stress levels and ensure that everyone has enough time to complete tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
Lastly, I would encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day and provide them with resources to manage their mental health. This could include offering flexible working hours, access to counseling services, or even just having a designated break room where they can relax and unwind.”
General contractors often oversee multiple projects at once. Employers ask this question to learn more about your organizational skills and how you plan out your workday. In your answer, explain what steps you take to manage all of the different tasks you have on any given day. Try to be as specific as possible so that the employer can see that you are organized and prepared for a busy schedule.
Example: “My process for managing multiple projects at once is centered around organization and communication. I start by breaking down each project into its individual components, then create a timeline with deadlines for each component. This helps me to stay on track and ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner.
I also make sure to communicate regularly with my team members and clients throughout the entire process. This ensures that everyone involved is aware of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and who is responsible for completing it. I also use software tools such as project management systems and task tracking apps to help keep everything organized and up-to-date.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your unique skills and abilities. They want to know what makes you a valuable asset to their company. When answering this question, think of two or three things that make you stand out from other general contractors. These can be specific skills or experiences that are relevant to the job.
Example: “I believe my experience and dedication to the craft of general contracting make me stand out from other contractors. I have been in the industry for over ten years, and during this time I have developed a strong knowledge base regarding construction techniques, materials, and safety regulations. My attention to detail is second to none, as I strive to ensure that every project is completed with the highest quality standards. I also take great pride in staying up-to-date on the latest trends in the field, so I can provide clients with innovative solutions to their needs. Finally, I am passionate about providing excellent customer service, which has earned me a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy.”
General contractors use a variety of construction software programs to manage their projects. The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience with specific programs and how you would adapt to using new ones if necessary. In your answer, list the construction management software programs you are familiar with and explain why they’re important for general contracting work.
Example: “I am very familiar with a variety of construction software programs. I have experience working with AutoCAD, SketchUp Pro, and Revit for architectural design projects. For project management, I’m well-versed in Microsoft Project and Primavera P6. I also have experience using BIM 360 Field to manage field operations and document progress onsite. Finally, I’m comfortable working with estimating software such as Timberline Estimating and On-Screen Takeoff.”
This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your construction planning skills. Your answer should include an example from your experience that shows you know how to plan a project effectively.
Example: “When planning a construction project, I believe the most important thing to remember is that communication and organization are key. It’s essential to ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and understands their roles and responsibilities. This includes clearly communicating timelines, budgets, materials, and any other details related to the project.
Additionally, it’s important to stay organized throughout the entire process. Keeping detailed records of all conversations, decisions, and tasks will help keep the project running smoothly and efficiently. Finally, it’s also important to be aware of potential risks and plan accordingly. By doing so, you can minimize delays and unexpected costs.”
The interviewer may ask you this question to gauge your experience with construction maintenance and how often you recommend it. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of regular maintenance for a new project and can provide an estimate of when you would recommend cleaning or repairing a building.
Example: “I believe that cleaning and maintaining a new construction project should be done on a regular basis. Depending on the size of the project, I usually recommend weekly or bi-weekly cleanings to ensure that the site is kept in optimal condition. This includes removing debris, dusting surfaces, and ensuring all tools are properly stored away. In addition, I also suggest performing monthly inspections to check for any potential safety hazards or structural issues that may need to be addressed. Finally, I always advise my clients to have an annual inspection performed by a professional to make sure that everything is up to code and functioning correctly. By following these guidelines, we can ensure that the project remains safe and efficient throughout its lifespan.”
General contractors often work with subcontractors, and conflicts can arise. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary to resolve conflict in a professional manner. In your answer, explain how you would handle the situation. Explain that you would try to solve the problem as quickly as possible while maintaining good relationships with all parties involved.
Example: “When it comes to managing conflicts between subcontractors, my approach is to first listen to both sides of the story and try to understand each party’s perspective. I then work with them to come up with a mutually beneficial solution that takes into account their individual needs. I believe in being fair and open-minded when dealing with these types of issues, as this helps to foster an environment of trust and respect.
I also make sure to keep communication lines open so that all parties involved can express their concerns without fear of repercussions. This allows me to get to the root of the problem quickly and efficiently. Finally, I always document any agreements made during the resolution process for future reference. By doing this, I am able to ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions and that the conflict does not resurface in the future.”
General contractors often need to make sure their projects are up to code. This question helps the interviewer see how you ensure your work is safe and meets regulations. Use examples from past experience where you’ve helped a client or employer meet building codes.
Example: “I take pride in ensuring that all of my projects are up to code. Before beginning a project, I always review the local building codes and regulations to make sure I am aware of any changes or updates that may have been made since the last time I worked on a similar project. During construction, I regularly inspect the work being done to ensure it is compliant with the applicable codes and regulations. If something does not meet the standards, I will immediately address the issue and make corrections as needed. Finally, upon completion of the project, I conduct a final inspection to verify that everything is up to code before handing off the project to the client.”
General contractors are responsible for the safety of their construction sites. Employers ask this question to make sure you have a plan in place to keep your workers safe and healthy while on the job. In your answer, explain what steps you take to ensure the safety of your team members. You can also mention any certifications or training you’ve had that relate to workplace safety.
Example: “Safety is my top priority when it comes to any construction project. I have a number of protocols in place to ensure the safety of all workers on site. First, I require that all employees complete an OSHA 10-hour course before they are allowed to work on any job sites. This ensures that everyone knows the proper safety procedures and what to do in case of an emergency.
I also make sure that each job site has the necessary safety equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, and other protective gear. All tools and materials used must be inspected for any defects or damage before use. Finally, I conduct regular safety meetings with all workers to review safety protocols and discuss any potential hazards. These meetings help keep everyone informed and aware of their surroundings so that accidents can be avoided.”
General contractors often work with a team of subcontractors and other professionals. However, sometimes they have to solve problems on their own without the help of others. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills. Use past experiences where you had to rely on yourself to show that you can be independent when needed.
Example: “I recently had to solve a problem without additional resources while working as a General Contractor. I was tasked with completing an entire renovation project for a client in a very short time frame. With limited staff and no extra budget, I knew that I would have to be creative in order to get the job done on time.
To start, I identified which tasks were most important and prioritized them accordingly. Then, I reached out to my network of contractors and asked if they could lend a hand. Fortunately, many of them agreed to help me complete the project within the timeline. Finally, I used my existing tools and materials to their fullest potential and worked around the clock to finish the job.
In the end, I was able to successfully complete the project without any additional resources. My clients were extremely pleased with the results and I was proud to show them what I was capable of doing with limited resources. This experience has taught me how to think outside the box and use all available resources to get the job done.”
This question allows you to highlight your experience and expertise as a general contractor. When answering this question, it can be helpful to choose a project that was particularly challenging or one that helped you grow professionally.
Example: “When I first started my business, I had the opportunity to work on a large commercial construction project. This was my first time working with a team of subcontractors, so I was nervous about how smoothly the project would go. However, we were able to complete the project ahead of schedule and under budget. The client was very happy with our work, which made me feel confident in my abilities as a general contractor.”
Example: “I recently completed a successful project as a general contractor for a large commercial building. My team and I were tasked with constructing the entire building from the ground up, which included managing all aspects of the construction process. We had to coordinate between multiple subcontractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders while ensuring that the project stayed on budget and was completed on time.
My team and I worked hard to ensure that every detail of the project was taken care of, from the initial planning stages to the final inspection. We kept an open line of communication with everyone involved in the project, making sure that everyone was on the same page and that any issues or concerns were addressed quickly. In addition, we also made sure to stay within the allocated budget by negotiating competitive prices with our vendors and subcontractors.
In the end, the project was completed on schedule and within budget. The client was extremely satisfied with the results and praised us for our professionalism and attention to detail. This experience has taught me how important it is to have strong organizational and communication skills when working on complex projects like this one. It also reinforced my belief that success comes from careful planning and dedication to excellence.”
General contractors often need to be aware of the latest construction practices and materials that are environmentally friendly. This question helps employers determine if you have experience with green building techniques, which can help them decide whether or not you’re a good fit for their company. In your answer, explain what you know about green building and how it relates to general contracting.
Example: “I have extensive experience with green building practices. I have been involved in the construction of several LEED-certified buildings, and I understand the importance of sustainability in the construction industry. I am well-versed in energy efficiency measures such as proper insulation, efficient lighting systems, and renewable energy sources. I also have a good understanding of water conservation techniques, including rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse. Finally, I am familiar with materials selection processes that prioritize recycled and sustainable materials.”
General contractors often work with local governments to ensure they meet building codes and regulations. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working in the local government system. In your answer, share a specific example of how you worked with a local government on a construction project. Explain what steps you took to ensure that you met all necessary requirements.
Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience working with local governments on construction projects. In my current role as a General Contractor, I have worked on multiple projects for the City of Los Angeles and other local municipalities. My experience includes overseeing all aspects of project management from budgeting to scheduling to ensuring compliance with local building codes.
I understand the importance of meeting deadlines and staying within budget while also adhering to safety standards and regulations. I am familiar with the various permitting processes required by local governments and have successfully navigated these requirements in order to ensure successful completion of projects.”
General contractors often need to be aware of the unique challenges that come with constructing a two-story building. This question allows you to show your knowledge and experience in this area, as well as how you would handle it if you were given the opportunity to work for this company.
Example: “Yes, there are several special considerations that need to be taken when constructing a two-story building. First and foremost is the structural integrity of the building. It is important to ensure that all load bearing walls and columns are properly designed and constructed to support the weight of the upper floor. In addition, it is essential to consider the type of materials used in the construction. For example, if the building is located in an area with high winds or seismic activity, then stronger materials may need to be used for the foundation and framing. Finally, safety must always be top priority. This means making sure that all stairways and railings meet code requirements and that any windows or balconies have proper guardrails installed. By taking these special considerations into account, I can ensure that the two-story building is safe and structurally sound.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities to be successful in this role. Use your answer to highlight a few of the most important skills for general contractors, such as communication, organization and problem-solving skills.
Example: “I believe the most important skills for a general contractor are organization, communication, and problem-solving. Organization is key to ensure that all tasks are completed on time and within budget. Communication is also essential in order to keep everyone involved informed of progress and any changes that may arise. Finally, problem-solving is an invaluable skill as it allows us to quickly identify issues and come up with creative solutions.
In my experience as a general contractor, I have found that these three skills are essential to success. I am confident in my ability to use them effectively and efficiently to ensure projects are completed satisfactorily. Furthermore, I am always willing to learn new techniques and strategies to improve my performance and stay ahead of the curve.”